"Fox & Friends" idiot host (but we repeat ourselves) Pete Hegseth, who has long advocated for privatizing the Veterans Affairs healthcare system, stepped in his own pro-privatization bullshit Friday when he suggested that veterans who actually use the benefits they're entitled to are lazy takers who have become "dependent" on government. Cohost Brian Kilmeade chimed in, agreeing vets should have more "personal integrity." Fortunately, Hegseth and rightwingers later agreed he'd actually said nothing of the sort, because he'd started the clip calling for privatizing the VA, or as these assholes like to claim, letting vets have more "choice" in their healthcare (by privatizing the VA). Remember, Trump wanted Hegseth to be VA secretary, kids!

Here's the clip, as tweeted by untrustworthy non-Trump-aligned vets group VoteVets:

Hegseth explained that providing VA hospital care for vets is actually tyranny since it doesn't "compel" veterans to find their own local doctors outside the VA system. Then cohost Ainsley Earhardt offered staggering proof that the VA is just overrun with people using too many services -- unlike in the good old days right after World War II, when hardly any vets were clogging up the system with their fakey-fake disability claims (yes, we are adding the subtext) there:

If only 1.5 million of the Boys Who Saved America were getting disability, then why, in our much smaller wars now, are there so many disableds, huh?

First: Consider that a lot of service-related disorders like PTSD weren't even covered until long after WWII? Not to mention ALL the fun wars, including Vietnam, we've had since.

Second: Were you aware that before our field medicine became so advanced, soldiers would just die of their wounds right there on the battlefield? That does cut a lot of your disability claims right there; perhaps we could go back to it?

We have doubts about your methodology, Dr. Patton.

Hegseth explained that "disability" is a tricky thing, and that the ratings take into account every picky little problem a vet might have. But thankfully he, Pete Hegseth, isn't trying to pretend he's a basket case, unlike some lazy takers he seems to know of:

This is a really complicated discussion. This is about disability ratings, which isn't always necessarily tied to health care but the idea that this -- the health care you get is about service-connected disabilities. If you go to war, and you get injured, we'll take care of you. So when you come home, they try to rate how disabled you are and that's how much care you get. Well, I could be rated for 50 percent right now if I wanted to be. I mean, just to have a totally -- and vets know this out there, I could do ear, and ankle, and knee, and back.

Thing is, said Hegseth, there are a lot of nasty terrible groups out there that want vets to become dependent on government instead of paying a private provider (with some taxpayer funds, plus a copay prolly, he's not a MONSTER).

Groups out there -- vets groups, mostly -- encourage vets to apply for every government benefit they can ever get after they leave the service.

Steve Doocy chimed in "why not?" because hey, living large off Uncle Sugar is what the libs want all people to do instead of standing on their own two feet if they still have them. And if not, there's always the "Fox & Friends" couch. Hegseth hedged here, because he really wants to draw a distinction between worthy vets who deserve benefits and the lazy takers who are "dependent" on free stuff they may not deserve:

Hegseth: Because -- well, why not, right, if government's giving it out. To me, the ethos of service is I served my country because I love my country and I'm going to come home and start the next chapter of my life. And if I've got a chronic condition, mental, physical, otherwise, the government better be there for me. But otherwise, I don't want to be dependent if I don't have to be.

Kilmeade: You got to have integrity. You got to have personal integrity.

Hegseth: Well and right now a lot of groups are convincing vets to give -- get, take more from the system as opposed to just what you need for the service you gave.

Not surprisingly, this went over with veterans like a turd in an MRE (without even the little packet of Tabasco, either).

Also from a senator on the Defense committee:

BUT WAIT! THERE'S A SIMPLE EXPLANATION! The brains at Twitchy explained that Hegseth never said all vets are takers, because he said some vets deserve benefits, so STOP LYING, LIBERALS! And please stop reading the Fox chyron "GOVERNMENT DEPENDENCY AND THE VA," which probably meant something about "choice" for vets, too.

Hegseth himself insisted he stood by every single word of what he'd said, because after all, he said some vets deserve benefits, and the group that tweeted his remarks is LEFTIST, so he wins!

Got that? He stands by his insistence that a lot of vets should not get the benefits they've earned, at least not past the point where the value of their service is outweighed by the price of their care.

Maybe then they could still be of use to their country. Build WALL out of them.

[VoteVets on Twitter / Media Matters / Twitchy]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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You guys, hi, hello, it is almost the holiday weekend, so we are going to share you a real video posted last night by "Doctor" Sebastian "Don't Call Me A Nazi" Gorka, that hilarious old knucklecuck. We guess now that he had to give up (or gave up voluntarily!) his Fox News contract, he just makes videos for the Twitter. Hoo ... ray?

Anyway, Gorka is super-excited that Donald Trump issued that order last night, giving Bill Barr all kinds of new powers to expose the Deep State for what it is and PROVE once and for all that the gremlins who live inside Trump's diarrhea are correct when they say Hillary ordered the Deep State to do an illegal witch hunt to Trump, yadda yadda yadda, you've seen these people huff paint before, we don't have to type it all.

Here is the video, after which Wonkette will either transcribe it OR we will provide our own dramatic interpretation. Which one will it be? We don't know! Would you be able to tell the difference between the two? We don't know!

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We want to say right here at the outset that we hate Julian Assange. Aside from the sexual assault allegations against him, and aside from the fact that he's just a generally stinky and loathsome person who reportedly smeared poop on the walls at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, while reportedly not taking care of his cat, an innocent creature, he acted as Russia's handmaiden during the 2016 election, in order to further Russia's campaign to steal it for Donald Trump. All signs point to his campaign being a success!

So we are justifiably happy when bad things happen to Julian Assange. We are happy his name is shit the world over, and that any reputation WikiLeaks used to have for being on the side of freedom and transparency has been stuffed down the toilet where it belongs. We are happy he looked like such a sad-ass loser when the Ecuadorian embassy finally kicked him out and he was arrested.

And quite frankly, we were OK with the initial charge against him recently unsealed in the Eastern District of Virginia. If you'll remember, he was charged with trying to help Chelsea Manning hack a password into the Defense Department, which is not what journalists do. Journalists do not drive the get-away car for sources. Journalists do not hold their sources' hair back while they're stealing classified intel. Assange is essentially accused of doing all that.

Now, put all that aside. Because -- and this is key -- journalists do publish secrets they are provided by sources. That's First Amendment, chapter and verse, American as fucking apple pie and fast-food-induced diabetes. And that is what much of the superseding indictment of Assange unsealed yesterday was about. (And nope, it wasn't about anything regarding Assange's ratfucking the 2016 election or Hillary's emails. Why would the Trump Justice Department prosecute anything about that? It's all about the older Chelsea Manning stuff, the stuff the Obama Justice Department considered charging Assange with, but ultimately declined, because of that little thing called the First Amendment.)

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