Does the “proof” offered by Daily Kos support the allegation….???

Does the “proof” offered by Daily Kos support the allegation….???

Trump handed off the VA to three Mar-a-Lago fat cats who have been running it in secret

 

Mark Sumner  ……Daily Kos Staff……2018/08/08 · 06:31

As it turns out, there are secret masters of the government, pulling the strings without the benefit of an election, nomination, or appointment. As a Propublica investigation has discovered, Donald Trump handed off control of the Department of Veterans Affairs to three members of his Mar-a-Lago golf resort. These three have been issuing orders to the people who are supposed to be running the department forming a “previously unknown triumvirate that hovered over public servants without any transparency, accountability or oversight.”

Known within the VA as “the Mar-a-Lago Crowd,” the three were Marvel Entertainment chair Ike Perlmutter, New York attorney Marc Sherman, and Bruce Moskowitz a “concierge” doctor who runs a service catering to the Palm Beach elite.

What reporter Isaac Arnsdorf discovered, through interviews and thousands of documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, is that these three have been ordering members of the VA around for over a year. At the beginning of the year, Trump’s appointment of Ronny Jackson, the doctor who had proclaimed that Trump has “great genes,” as the VA secretary ran into issues when reports of both abuse and incompetence surfaced around Jackson. After leaving the position vacant for month, Trump finally nominated acting director Robert Wilkie in May. But as it turns out, little of that maneuvering matters. Because when Trump wants to talk to the man in charge, he calls Perlmutter.

The documents turned up by Pro Publica don’t just show Perlmutter issuing orders to VA, but reviewing policy, and making personnel selections. VA officials, at taxpayer expense, traveled to Mar-a-Lago to “consult” with Perlmutter and get his approval.

“Everyone has to go down and kiss the ring,” a former administration official said.

If the idea that the chairman of Marvel Entertainment is running the VA makes it sound that there at least might be an injection of creativity into the agency, that’s not this guy. Perlmutter mounted a series of hostile takeovers—Revco, Coleco, Remington—and gained control of Marvel during a series of buyouts and bankruptcies. He was paid $800 million by Disney when that company bought out Marvel, mostly to go away. The company was specifically split in half so that Perlmutter had nothing to do with the films—because he’s famously abusive and bigoted.

Perlmutter also has a history of behavior that’s distinctly odd. That includes turning a fight with a neighbor over the condition of a private tennis court—surely one of those issues that affects all Americans—into a hate mail campaign in which Perlmutter accused the neighbor of, among other things “illegally harvesting his DNA.” As the Hollywood Reporter explains, Perlmutter sent out unsigned mailings around the exclusive community attacking his neighbor, then turned his attention to the man’s workplace, where he accused the neighbor of being a Nazi and covering up sexual assault. And then … Perlmutter really did show some creativity.

One series of mailings allegedly went out to more than a thousand inmates in prisons across Florida and Ontario, Canada, in [neighbor Harold] Peerenboom’s name, with provoking statements like, "While your [sic] in jail, I am writing to your mom, telling her exactly what kind of scumbag you are."

The guy who tried to get his neighbor killed by sending provocative notes to over 1,000 inmates … that’s the guy Trump has secretly put in charge of the VA.

It was Perlmutter who put together the “troika” now running the VA. Of the other two, at least Moskowitz is a doctor, and while his specialty of finding pricey experts to pay house calls on nervous Palm Beach millionaires may be miles away from providing service for millions of veterans, at least it’s health care adjacent. Sherman is a lawyer who specializes in white collar crime. As in, defending those accused of it. That’s likely endeared him to both Perlmutter and Trump, but none of his background indicates any knowledge of health care, veterans, or running a large organization.

The troika has been in place from the beginning of Trump’s time in office. With former VA chief David Shulkin forced to fly down to Mar-a-Lago for his ring-kissing in February of 2017. Moscowitz then nicely informed Shulkin that he didn’t have to make a monthly appearance before the three actual heads of his agency. Instead, they would “set up phone conference calls at a convenient time.”

All those stories about how Shulkin was resisting implementing Trump’s policies, really boil down to his growing reluctance to take orders from the secret masters of his agency, who were ruling on the lives of wounded and ailing veterans between tee times. And they didn’t hesitate to bypass Shulkin.

The Mar-a-Lago Crowd bombarded VA officials with demands, many of them inapt or unhelpful. On phone calls with VA officials, Perlmutter would bark at them to move faster, having no patience for bureaucratic explanations about why something has to be done a certain way or take a certain amount of time, former officials said.

Much of what the troika kicked off seemed to be generated by hearsay, antecedents picked up from TV, and cases mentioned by friends. That included one example Perlmutter was particularly keen on that originated with … the woman in charge of the disputed tennis court.

At the moment, he doesn’t appear to have written to thousands of inmates attempting to get them to murder David Shulkin. But at least that was some out of the box thinking. If sanity is a box

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