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"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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