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Exclusive: 3 winners and 2 losers from the Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, and Washington DC elections

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3 winners and 2 losers from the Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, and Washington DC elections

#winners #losers #Alabama #Georgia #Virginia #Washington #elections

Run-off elections in Georgia and Alabama tested Donald Trump’s influence over Republicans yet again Tuesday, while voters in Virginia and the District of Columbia reaffirmed the grip of establishment and moderate Democrats in several primary contests.

Though it wasn’t exactly a primary day full of competitive races, Tuesday continued a handful of trends we’ve seen so far this election season: GOP primary voters favoring deeply conservative, Trump-aligned candidates; that progressives face significant headwinds; and that it helps to be an incumbent.

Here are three winners and two losers from Tuesday’s elections in Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, and Washington DC.

Winner: Trump, even when he loses

As has been the case for most of the 2022 Republican primaries so far, Trumpism won out again Tuesday night. And that was largely the case even in races where Trump-endorsed candidates didn’t claim victory.

Though Trump’s spotty win-loss record in the primaries may have shaken some Republicans’ confidence in his reputation as a kingmaker, it’s clear that most Republican candidates are still looking to shape themselves in the mold of the former president.

In the Georgia runoffs, two of Trump’s picks ultimately lost to Rich McCormick in the 6th District and Mike Collins in the 10th district, each of whom will likely win their solidly red seats. But although they lacked Trump’s endorsement, McCormick and Collins are still products of Trumpism: They adopted conservative stances on abortion, gun rights, building a wall on the US-Mexico border, critical race theory, and other cultural issues designed to appeal to the MAGA base. Collins stressed his early support for Trump, and promised to fight “RINOs,” or “Republicans in name only.” And both have attacked their opponents, Trump-backed Jake Evans and former Democratic state Rep. Vernon Jones, for being insufficiently conservative.

Trump wasn’t particularly active in either runoff. Evans didn’t receive significant financial backing from Trump’s PAC — just $10,000 — and the former president didn’t say anything about his race during the runoffs. Though Trump held a fundraiser for Jones at Mar-a-Lago after he dropped out of the Republican gubernatorial primary in Georgia to make way for former US Sen. David Perdue’s failed bid, he also only received $10,000 from Trump’s PAC.

In the GOP runoff for Alabama’s US Senate seat, Trump-backed Katie Britt defeated Freedom Caucus Rep. Mo Brooks, and will likely go on to win the solidly red seat in November. Britt was already perceived as the clear frontrunner before Trump rescinded his endorsement of Brooks in March and later endorsed her instead, so it’s not clear that his backing had any meaningful impact on the result. But she has for months courted the party’s MAGA base, saying that there were “major problems” with the 2020 election and visiting Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in February.

It’s clear that Trump’s influence over the GOP base and the candidates they elect is still strong, whether or not he places bets on the right candidates.

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Nicole Narea

Loser: Progressive challengers

Progressives didn’t have the best election night on Tuesday. In the only contested Democratic congressional primary in Virginia, longtime Rep. Don Beyer crushed a political newcomer, Victoria Virasingh, to go on to the general election.

The seat, in Virginia’s eighth district, covers much of the national capital’s immediate northern Virginia suburbs, including Arlington County and Alexandria city, making it a safe Democratic seat. Beyer, a moderate, business-friendly Democrat and member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has held the seat since 2015 and never faced a primary, but this year battled the 30-year-old progressive Virasingh, who campaigned on raising the minimum wage to $18 an hour, universal housing, and Medicare-for-all.

Victoria Virasingh, who challenged incumbent Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), speaks at a pro-abortion rights rally outside the Supreme Court on May 5, 2022.
Bryan Dozier/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

In Washington, DC, local primary elections also saw a progressive slate of challengers fail to oust incumbents. Muriel Bowser, the moderate, two-term mayor who has tiptoed between progressive messaging but centrist governing, beat back a serious challenge from the progressive council member Robert White, who’s sparred with Bowser over policing and handling of crime. The city council’s chair, Phil Mendelson, another moderate, won his primary over a progressive local lawyer and neighborhood elected official. As of Tuesday night, an establishment favorite, Brian Schwalb, was on track to beat a progressive in the primary race to be the city’s attorney general.

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Races for the city council were an ideological wash that favored incumbents, with a moderate on track to win one of two competitive at-large races, a progressive on track to win an open seat in the city’s fifth ward, and an incumbent progressive beating back a moderate challenge in the most liberal part of the city, Ward 1.

In a final disappointment for progressives, a final recount in Texas’s 28th district run-off contest, held on May 24 between conservative incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar and progressive challenger Jessica Cisneros, confirmed Cuellar’s win.

– Christian Paz

Winner: The MAGA caucus

In safe Republican districts, Tuesday’s winners were as Trumpy as ever, and may help drive what could be a sharp rightward shift in the House Republican caucus in 2023. Given that Republicans have a good chance of gaining control of the House, such a shift could have real policy consequences.

In Georgia, McCormick and Collins — both candidates who embraced Trumpism — won their runoffs in the 6th and 10th districts, respectively.

And self-proclaimed “Trump conservative” Dale Strong prevailed over school superintendent and former Assistant Secretary of the Army Casey Wardynski in Alabama’s 5th district, a seat that will be vacated by Brooks since he chose to run for Senate. Strong and Wardynski both sought to portray themselves as the more pro-Trump candidate in the race, questioning each other’s conservative bona fides.

Republicans who break from the MAGA platform have become an increasingly rare breed in 2022. Some have already been picked off in the primaries, including Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC), one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump last year. Rep. Chris Jacobs (R-NY) decided not to seek reelection after supporting gun safety measures in the wake of the recent streak of major mass shootings, including in Buffalo, New York. And Rep. Michael Guest (R-MS) is facing a runoff against a Republican challenger who has slammed him for supporting a bipartisan January 6 commission.

It’s an acceleration of a phenomenon that’s already been in the GOP for a while: fealty to Trump and to his MAGA base above all else.

– Nicole Narea

Winner: Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia, helped propel three down-ballot candidates in the state to victory in their runoffs.

Abrams endorsed State Rep. Bee Nguyen for secretary of state over former state Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler, Charlie Bailey for lieutenant governor over Kwanza Hall, and William Boddie for labor commissioner over Nicole Horn. All three Abrams-backed candidates handily won their runoffs on Tuesday, with Nguyen’s race called soon after polls closed.

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“If you didn’t know how much more a [Stacy Abrams] endorsement mattered than a Trump endorsement, tonight just told you,” Democratic State Rep. Josh McLaurin tweeted.

Nguyen, seated in a grey suit, sits next to Abrams, who is wearing a black mask and black dress. Abrams has Nguyen’s hand in hers, and the two appear to be talking indoors; a wall of dark wood paneling stretches behind them.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams speaks with Secretary of State candidate Rep. Bee Nguyen at the March 16, 2022 Asian Justice Rally.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Nguyen will face incumbent Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who survived a primary challenge from a Trump-backed candidate after he certified the 2020 election results and pushed back against the former president’s election lies. She is aiming to become the first Asian American elected to a statewide political office in Georgia, though she may face an uphill battle given that Raffensperger has previously polled favorably among Democrats, and was at one point the most popular Republican elected to a statewide office.

Bailey will go up against Trump-backed Republican State Sen. Burt Jones to replace outgoing Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, who became the subject of Trump’s ire after refusing to overturn the 2020 election results. Boddie is running for an open position that is being vacated by incumbent Mark Butler, the state’s first ever Republican labor commissioner, against the GOP nominee, State Sen. Bruce Thompson.

Though Abrams went three for three with her endorsements, it’s not yet clear how much she actually swayed the runoffs in her chosen candidates’ favor. Nguyen was already a clear frontrunner in the May primaries, though not by a large enough margin to cross the 50 percent threshold necessary to avoid a runoff. Bailey and Boddie were in closer primary races but may have benefited from voters who had previously backed other candidates consolidating behind them in the runoffs. What’s more, turnout was considerably lower for the runoffs than the primaries last month, down from a record 795,000 early voters to 138,000. That’s generally the case for runoffs, but the lower turnout might have been exacerbated by Georgia’s new voting laws, which shortened the early voting period.

Still, all three significantly improved on their vote share from the primary, and Abrams could plausibly take credit for that: As of late Tuesday night, Bailey got 63 percent, up from 17.6; Boddie got 62 percent, up from 27.6; and Nguyen got 77 percent, up from 44.3.

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The success of Abrams’s picks is another positive signal for her ability to organize the base in a year where she and other Democrats in the state are counting on high enthusiasm, despite the fact that typically fewer voters show up in midterm election years and the party of the incumbent president is at a disadvantage. She also endorsed another 19 candidates in the primaries, who are all running for reelection and are already on the November ballot. Now, they can head into the fall presenting an even more unified ticket.

– Nicole Narea

Loser: Election integrity

Alabama’s Republican primary runoff for secretary of state featured two Trumpy candidates struggling to out-MAGA the other. Election denier Wes Allen, a state representative, beat “election questioner” Jim Zeigler, the state auditor, by a 30-point margin.

Both threatened to upturn the way the state runs its elections. Zeigler is a member of the America First Secretary of State Coalition, a national group of candidates who have rejected the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s election. Among that group are two candidates who have already won nominations: Doug Mastriano for governor in Pennsylvania, and Jim Marchant for secretary of state in Nevada (who just won his race last week).

Though Allen came out ahead, he also espouses radical views on election administration, including withdrawing from the Electronic Registration Information Center, a program that helps 31 states and Washington, DC cooperate on maintaining updated voter rolls, and as a lawmaker, backed bills restricting means of voting.

As a Republican running in dark-red Alabama, Allen will likely be the winner in the general election. But even the outgoing Republican secretary of state has warned against some of Allen’s proposals, which would make running elections more difficult. And his support for limits on curbside voting and opposition to early voting or no-excuse absentee voting could make voting itself harder.

– Christian Paz


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Exclusive: The end of Roe is only the beginning for Republicans – TalkOfNews.com

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The end of Roe is only the beginning for Republicans

#Roe #beginning #Republicans

Republicans are celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade as a win for the anti-abortion movement that was decades in the making.

After a draft version of the opinion was leaked to Politico in May, Republicans expressed optimism, but largely withheld expressions of triumph. They didn’t hold back on Friday, reveling in the immediate shift that began taking place after the decision, as red states invoked laws to further restrict abortion and as congressional Republicans began planning new anti-abortion policies.

“What an historic day this is and what a great victory for life. And it’s not just a victory for life. It’s a victory for millions of people who have been part of this pro-life movement for decades, who have gone to state legislatures, who have gotten involved in the political process, who prayed … The decades of work [are] celebrated today,” House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) said during a press conference on Friday.

For most Republicans, the decision presented an opportunity to tout their party’s ability to deliver on long-running campaign promises as they head into the midterms. But for Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) — who supported the confirmations of some of the conservative justices who joined the opinion based on the assumption that they wouldn’t overturn Roe — it was a moment of reckoning.

“This decision is inconsistent with what Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said in their testimony and their meetings with me, where they both were insistent on the importance of supporting long-standing precedents that the country has relied upon,” Collins said in a statement.

Most Republican lawmakers didn’t share Collins’s frustrations, and have made clear that the end of Roe is a launching pad for the anti-abortion movement, not an endgame. For months, they’ve been outlining a longer-term goal of imposing new restrictions on abortion nationally if they retake control of Congress.

How far they actually go could be limited by public opinion: Gallup’s tracking poll has found 85 percent of voters think abortion should be legal in some or all circumstances. Former President Donald Trump reportedly predicted that the decision could ultimately hurt Republicans politically, especially among suburban women who helped propel him into office in 2016.

For now, however, those fears aren’t stopping red states and national Republicans.

Red states immediately started moving to further restrict abortion

At least 13 states have “trigger laws” that were designed to outlaw abortion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe. Some of them activated those laws in the immediate aftermath of the decision on Friday.

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Within minutes of the Supreme Court’s decision, Missouri’s Republican attorney general issued an opinion that “triggers” parts of a 2019 law to effectively end abortion in the state. That law bans abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy unless there is a critical medical reason, with no exceptions for rape, incest, or human trafficking. It also explicitly bans abortions for fetuses that might have Down syndrome and requires minors to notify their parents or guardians before getting an abortion in most cases.

Texas has yet to trigger its own law, though that will likely happen in about a month. But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton warned Friday that prosecutors could start seeking criminal charges against abortion providers immediately based on old state abortion bans that were enacted before Roe and that were never repealed by the legislature. The few remaining abortion providers and funds in the state consequently announced that they would be shutting down for fear of legal repercussions.

“Although these statutes were unenforceable while Roe was on the books, they are still Texas law,” Paxton wrote. “Under these pre-Roe statutes, abortion providers could be criminally liable for providing abortions starting today.”

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, also announced Friday that he had enlisted state lawmakers to craft legislation that would ban most abortions after 15 to 20 weeks of pregnancy with exceptions for when the pregnant person’s life is endangered and in cases of rape and incest. He told the Washington Post that his preference would be a 15-week cutoff, but that 20 weeks might be a feasible compromise in the split state legislature.

“The truth is, Virginians want fewer abortions, not more abortions. We can build a bipartisan consensus on protecting the life of unborn children, especially when they begin to feel pain in the womb, and importantly supporting mothers and families who choose life,” he said in a statement.

Republicans are already calling for a nationwide abortion ban

Republicans have also started to build a foundation to further restrict abortion access in the US, especially if they retake control of Congress.

“Having been given this second chance for Life, we must not rest and must not relent until the sanctity of life is restored to the center of American law in every state in the land,” former Vice President Mike Pence tweeted Friday.

House Republican leaders — including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Republican Study Committee chair Jim Banks, and Judiciary ranking member Jim Jordan — are already lining up to support legislation that would impose a nationwide ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, CNN reported.

That ban could pass the House if Republicans recapture the majority in this year’s midterm elections, as they are widely expected to, but it probably wouldn’t win support from a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, even if the GOP regains control of the chamber. It is possible that Republicans could choose to eliminate the filibuster to pass the ban, but so long as a Democrat remains in the White House, they would veto any such legislation.

Republicans have also indicated that they plan to reintroduce the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” if they recapture the House majority. That bill would put in place requirements for the care of infants born after failed, late-term abortions and could send doctors to prison if they fail to comply. Reproductive rights and physician groups have previously opposed the legislation on the basis that it could criminalize doctors and is duplicative of existing laws that already support infants in these very rare cases.

And those plans appear to be only the beginning of their ambitions.

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“In the days and weeks following this decision, we must work to continue to reject extreme policies that seek to allow late-term abortions and taxpayer dollars to fund these elective procedures,” McCarthy said in a statement Friday. “As we celebrate today’s decision, we recognize the decades of advocacy from the pro-life movement and we acknowledge much work remains to protect the most vulnerable among us.”


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Exclusive: Midterms go to the party out of power, but as Roe decision shows, Democrats aren't actually in power – TalkOfNews.com

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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 24: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains profanity.) Abortion-rights activists demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court after the Court announced a ruling in the Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organization case on June 24, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Court's decision in the Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health case overturns the landmark 50-year-old Roe v Wade case, removing a federal right to an abortion. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

#Midterms #party #power #Roe #decision #shows #Democrats #aren039t #power

Meanwhile, this same Supreme Court makes it harder to vote, makes it easier to suppress the vote, and allows partisan gerrymandering that makes a mockery of equal representation. The Senate is so breathtakingly undemocratic that five of the six Republican-appointed justices were confirmed by Republican majorities having earned fewer votes and representing fewer people than the Democratic minority.

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There are ways to mitigate the inequities in our system: statehood for Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico if they want it, Supreme Court expansion and term limits, a federal ban on partisan gerrymandering, etc. But none of that will happen if historical trends maintain and Republicans take control of the House or Senate.

What’s worse: Holding our ground isn’t enough. We have to gain seats to break the Senate logjam and disempower Send. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. We also need the cushion, because the 2024 map is tough, and unless President Joe Biden can turn his approval ratings around, a Republican trifecta would be the end of whatever rights we have left. They wouldn’t even need a Supreme Court at that point. 

So yes, it’s hard to argue for voting as the solution, when voting has proved so impotent to this point. And therein lies something else I feel viscerally: the disempowerment of our supposed majority. In fact, it feels like we’re in the minority. Because functionally, we are. And I can sense that permeating through—not just from the politically engaged, but even among the kinds of people who only perk up around presidential election time. I’m even sensing it among the apolitical

It feels like November 2016, when Trump “defeated” Hillary Clinton despite receiving three million fewer votes. 

We all know what history says about midterm elections—the party that controls the White House usually gets walloped, particularly during a new president’s first term. There are several reasons for that, such as a president’s inability to deliver campaign promises through our broken Congress. But the biggest reason is quite simple—the minority motivates. The Tea Party movement emerged after Barack Obama’s election. The Resistance emerged after Donald Trump’s selection. QAnon hit the big time after Joe Biden won, fueling school board protests over masks and the “CRT” boogeyman. 

Meanwhile, those in the majority become complacent. “We won, mission accomplished!” That, along with dissatisfaction with the pace of accomplishments, led to a double-whammy situation where the opposition party is highly motivated and mobilized, the party in power is moribund. More often than not, a wave election sweeps the opposition to legislative power. 

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Who is in the minority today? 

Republicans, sure. Democrats control the presidency, House, and nominally, the Senate. 

But who is really in the minority today? We are.

Every liberal who cares about gun safety, about abortion, about core privacy rights, about keeping the conservative theocratic agenda out of our lives. We can’t even safeguard public health during a pandemic because of these conservative ideologues. We may not even be done this Supreme Court term, as the court may literally strip the Environmental Protection Agency of the power to protect our environment (in a decision that would gut the federal government’s agency power). 

Even if we gained Senate seats and got rid of the filibuster next year, would the Supreme Court allow D.C. statehood? Would they allow a genuine voting rights bill? Of course not! This is a renegade Court, literally inventing nonsensical rationales to push their unpopular agenda on all Americans. Somehow, the Second Amendment’s plaintext “well-regulated militia” has morphed, thanks to a supposed “originalist,” into a perverse blanket right for all gun fetishists to threaten society.

It viscerally feels like we’re in the minority because we are, in fact, in the minority.

Thus November puts us in uncharted territory. Yes, Joe Biden is unpopular. Yes, inflation and gas prices are high. Yes, history says the party out of power gains seats. But it’s the party out of power that is currently winning. The rules are being rewritten. 

Republicans have gotten big mileage out of their single-issue abortion and gun owners. Evangelicals may love Trump today, but they were originally unhappy with the amoral philanderer crook who ripped off his own charity and had sex with a porn star while his wife was at home with their baby. That didn’t stop them from voting for him, because abortion. Nothing else mattered. Meanwhile, liberals love to complain about all the ways a candidate fails us, and it costs us. 

But now, we may now be seeing the birth of the single-issue liberal voter. Kerry Eleveld wrote about an intriguing poll of the Pennsylvania governor and senate races. Respondents were asked their top priorities. 

PA SEN/PA GUV: TOP ISSUES FOR PENNSYLVANIA WOMEN
WOMEN MEN ALL VOTERS
ABORTION (SEN/GUV) 24%/16% 4%/3% 14%/10%
ECONOMY (SEN/GUV) 16%/24% 29%/28% 22%/26%
GUN CONTROL (SEN/GUV) 16%/18% 18%/15% 17%/16%

Women respondents were more apt to cite abortion as their top priority in the Senate race, clearly not yet understanding that abortion is explicitly on the ballot in their governor’s race as well. That’ll come, undoubtedly. 

Women then preferred the Democratic candidate in the Senate race by 23 points, and in the governor’s race by 16 points. In other words, the more abortion mattered to women, the stronger their support for the Democratic candidate, overriding concerns over the economy that would normally be front and center in a midterm election. 

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To be clear, this is a single data point, so we need more information, but it certainly supports my gut feeling that traditional dynamics have been upturned. Why else would Democrats be leading in Wisconsin as well? If Democrats are leading (if slightly) in two of the most evenly divided states in the union, that certainly suggests that we’re not in business-as-usual territory. And note, both those polls were conducted before this decision hit with the force of a neutron bomb. 

One more anecdotal data point is this dynamic: 

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My apolitical, hyper-religious, large Latino family group chat is on-fire angry about this decision. My partner reports the same, with women realizing that even their fertility treatments are at risk. You might be seeing the same on your social media feeds and group chats. Keep an eye on people you considered apolitical, or even Republican-leaning. If you’re seeing what I and others are seeing, chime in the comments. I’m really curious to learn, even anecdotally, what others are experiencing. 

In a perfect world, this outrageous conservative overreach galvanizes progressive (and even non-progressive) turnout on behalf of Democrats, who take advantage of the moment by campaigning heavily against the Supreme Court, promising reforms to restore balance and strengthen our democratic right to vote. 

Add votes on contraception, too, and that’s a real solid plan heading into November. 

Today, we saw Nancy Pelosi read some stupid poem, House Democrats sing “American the Beautiful” on the steps of Congress, and House Whip Jim Clyburn claim the decision to end Roe was “anti-climactic.” We need better leaders, and a better approach these next few months, to maximize our chances for victory. We need fire. 

But it may not matter in the end, just like Evangelicals voted for Trump. With abortion on the ballot, in every state, red or blue, we may see the kind of mobilization we’ve never seen before, especially in a mid-term election. It’s either that, or we start a countdown for the next cherished right on the chopping block. 


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Exclusive: Video Of Atlanta VA Clinic Employee Mercilessly Beating Vietnam Veteran Is Latest In Horrific VA Abuses – TalkOfNews.com

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Video Of Atlanta VA Clinic Employee Mercilessly Beating Vietnam Veteran Is Latest In Horrific VA Abuses

#Video #Atlanta #Clinic #Employee #Mercilessly #Beating #Vietnam #Veteran #Latest #Horrific #Abuses

Justin Gray of WSB-TV Atlanta released a disturbing video this week that shows an Atlanta VA clinic patient advocate pummeling a helpless Vietnam veteran.

The attacker, reported as Lawrence Gaillard, who appears to be still employed by the VA, is seen viciously beating 73-year-old Phillip Webb.

Mr. Webb was at the Fort McPherson VA clinic for some pre-surgical appointments. Unfortunately, his beating resulted in a brain bleed and a three-day stay at a nearby hospital. 

The disturbing video is below, if you have the stomach for it:

Mr. Gaillard was arrested for assault on April 28th and released on a $10,000 bond. He is suspended without pay and “only allowed on VA property for work-related purposes.”

This incident alone is enough to make your blood boil. Still, the sad truth is it isn’t an isolated incident of VA clinic mistreatment.

Putting Administrative Work Above Patient Care In Florida

An Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report shows emergency room staff at a Florida VA clinic violated policy by refusing to care for a veteran dying from heart failure in 2020.

The reason behind their denial? Their inability to confirm his veteran status. 

The delay in his care led to valuable time wasted. The 60-year-old veteran was transferred to another hospital and died ten hours later. 

Perhaps more disturbing is that the report goes on to say that the administrators of Malcom Randall VA center went with an “inadequate response” to the report’s findings. The original report recommended that the nurses involved be removed from emergency care. 

The administrators opted for written warnings. 

RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Sky-High Inflation Crushing Veterans, Says Code of Vets Founder Gretchen Smith

Lack Of Urgency And Compassion In Nevada

Another leaked VA clinic video, this time from Nevada, shows an 88-year-old Marine Corps veteran collapsing in the lobby. The video is below; the lack of urgency and care is disturbing.

It took two minutes for a nurse to arrive and another five minutes for staff to begin CPR, poorly. Unfortunately, the veteran did not make it.

William Caron, head of the VA healthcare system in Southern Nevada, told the local news that he believed the care was “sufficient.” But, of course, that was before he knew about the leaked video.

After news of the leaked video made it out, only then did his office send a lengthy statement admitting some issues with the care. Again, it shows this clinic administrator’s transparency, which is about as transparent as a brick wall.

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Taxpayer Dollars Wasted On A Faulty Computer System 

It’s not just VA clinic employees causing harm to veterans. The computer systems that are employed even hurt veterans.

A report has revealed that a computer system utilized at a Spokane VA hospital caused varying levels of harm to 148 veterans. Doctors and nurses use the system to order labs, submit referrals for patients to see specialists, and various other administrative orders.

The report discovered that over 11,000 of these orders never made it to their intended destination, causing critical appointments, follow-ups, and other work to never be completed.

In one particular case, it was found that the system error directly contributed to a veteran’s heart failure. Due to medication information not updating appropriately, vital medicine was unknowingly inaccurately stopped, causing heart failure.

The system was developed by the Cerner Corporation, which was paid a staggering $16 billion for the electronic records system. Department of Veteran Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough claimed this Spring that he was unaware of any life-threatening issues with the system.

However, a VA patient safety team had briefed his deputy secretary in October. So it seems there is a severe communications problem at the top of this organization.

RELATED: Air Force Members File Suit After Being Rejected Religious Exemption From COVID Vaccine

A Familiar Deadly Trend In A Familiar City

The OIG has investigated a Phoenix VA clinic over a veteran who had been seeking mental health care and who eventually committed suicide. The investigation revealed that the veteran had been passed off to numerous people over many months, inevitably never to receive the care he was seeking.

An attorney for the family, Richard Lyons, said of this particular incident:

“From the day he asked for help, in January of 2019, for the next five months, he talked to eight different people at different levels of the VA.”

If Phoenix, Arizona, and VA clinic issues sound familiar, they should. The famous VA clinic scandal that rocked the nation in 2014 originated largely due to a CNN article that focused on wait times and wait lists at none other than the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

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The report found that 40 veterans had died waiting for appointments, to refresh your memory. However, the most infuriating part of the story is almost more to do with the cover-up.

The Phoenix VA had two waiting lists. The list they used to report to Congress was that everything was fine, and veterans received the care they needed in the appropriate amount of time. And the secret list contained between 1,400 and 1,600 sick veterans, some of who waited more than a year for appointments.

It doesn’t seem like much has changed.

RELATED: The Truth Behind Military Brass Incompetence And The System That Perpetuates It

Empty Words And Empty Promises

After the 2014 VA scandal broke, one of the developments to come out of the mess was allowing veterans to see providers outside the VA system in certain circumstances. Now the VA is discussing changing that rule due to increased spending.

When the trend seems to show that the VA system hasn’t improved, it doesn’t make much sense to make it harder for veterans to get the care they want and deserve. Watching these videos of our nation’s veterans who have given so much of themselves to their country be beaten, abandoned, and treated like a nuisance is enough to make my head explode.

Perhaps even more jarring are the police reports. For example, the police narrative of Mr. Webb’s beating in Atlanta reads as below:

“(Mr. Gaillard is seen) punching Mr. Webb in the face with both fists, moving him backwards until he was pinned up against the wall. Mr. Gaillard was seen placing his hands around Mr. Webb’s neck then proceeded to body slam him to the floor. Mr. Gaillard then kicked Mr. Webb in the head several times while he was on the floor.”

A VA spokesperson said of the incident:

“This disturbing behavior is contrary to our core values of treating Veterans with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

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