Slow clap.

Dammit, David Shulkin! You were supposed to be the competent one! You're the only Obama holdover, the only one actually qualified to do the job, and you screw yourself by scamming travel expenses? What the hell, Dude!

By the time you read this, David Shulkin, secretary of Veterans Affairs, may have already resigned. As he probably should! And if he does, the MBAs trying to outsource the VA and the beer executive they parked at the agency to spy on him can raise a can of Leinenkugel's to toast their great victory. Then Donald Trump can appoint some party planner from one of his golf clubs to oversee the 377,000 employees caring for 21 million veterans. Flawless victory!

Let's back up and explain:

In a nutshell, Secretary Shulkin was traveling to London in July for a conference on veterans' mental health. And because he was in Europe, he thought he'd set up a couple meetings in Denmark. And even though the Danes were supposed to be on holiday, they said, "Ja, okay." And then he asked the agency to pay for his wife to come along. At first they said nope, but then someone at the VA helpfully dummied up an email to make it look like Shulkin was getting an award from the Danes for ruining their vacation plans. So the Missus was cleared for takeoff, with all airfare, hotel, and meals to be covered by US taxpayers! Also for four additional staffers and several bodyguards. And they extended the trip to ten days. And and and.

If you give a mouse a cookie ...

Oh, and Shulkin also phoned up an acquaintance in the UK who ran sporting events, and she just happened to have two free tickets to Wimbledon for the secretary and his wife during his visit to London. With grounds passes! How fun!

ETHICS, HOW DO THEY WORK? (Spoiler Alert: Not like that.)

The Mean Girl Administration has been jockeying for months to get Shulkin out so they can work their B-school fuckery on the VA. They installed Jake Leinenkugel, the retired head of Leinenkugel Brewing Company, as senior White House advisor to the VA. Shulkin may be a medical doctor who's run a hospital. But does he know how to brew Summer Shandy? Well, there ya go!

Here's a link to a December 4 email leaked to the Post in which Leinenkugel lays out "Jake's Overview and Recommendations," which are that Shulkin needs to go:

My initial impression of Dr. David Shulkin was that he would be a game changer that provided an aligned approach to POTUS Veteran agenda.

At that point Shulkin had been in the job for two years, but go on.

He accepted my role as a former CEO and business leader with a strong team building sense, business acumen around sales, marketing, finance and risk taking. He properly utilized me to initially meet with Reed Cornish [sic] around new ideation for innovation, assignment of political [sic] for Assistant Secretary roles and connecting with Cabinet Affairs.

Smell that Grade A B-school BS! Leinenkugel went on to complain that one time Shulkin yelled at him and didn't even apologize!

I have not since felt a sense of trust even though I would meet weekly to discuss key topics and action items.

Snowflake Jake was also very sad that Shulkin took one look at Camilo Sandoval, the campaign flunky Trumpland sent over to be a White House spy, and immediately made him as a White House spy! Funny enough, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin did exactly the same thing when they tried to dump Sandoval at his doorstep, and literally parked him in the basement in short order.

We should note that Shulkin and his deputies say their internal emails were hacked to make the sign-off on his wife's travel expenses look much worse than it was. Adam Weinstein of Task and Purpose has been reporting on Trumpland machinations to get rid of Shulkin for months and tweets, "[W]hen Trump stalwarts in DC tell you Shulkin has to go because this travel imbroglio has shot his integrity, take their outrage with a whole mountain of salt."

Republican congressmen seemed inclined to let Shulkin off with an embarrassing dress-down during a hearing yesterday before the Veterans Affairs Committee. Committee Chair Phil Roe said,

I believe your intentions to serve and care for our nation's veterans are clear. I encourage you to take every step to address the findings of this [Inspector General's] report, and to make any changes necessary.

Translation: Don't quit! My God, those idiots at the White House will probably leave the position vacant for six months before installing that Leinenkugel beer idiot in your place. Or Ivanka's hairdresser! Just pay the money back and we'll pretend this never happened, okay?


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[WaPo / WaPo, again / WaPo, FTW / Politico]

Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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