<Editor’s Comment: This is a follow up to the hard-hitting article of the same name previously published on 14 April>
Washington, D.C. (May 30, 2014) – In a surprise move designed to coincide with the weekend network news cycle and Americans’ short attention span, outgoing White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced in his final press conference that ousted Veterans Administration Secretary Eric Shenseki will be replaced by former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebilius.
Sebelius, who formerly distinguished herself as the chief administration of the floundering Obamacare™ national health care system, takes the helm during a particularly turbulent time for the VA. At the news conference, she brushed off concerned that she was neither qualified nor prepared to serve as VA Secretary. “Well, I wasn’t really qualified to run Obamacare™ either,” she explained. “Besides, Obamacare™ and the VA aren’t really that different. For example, I’m used to managing organizations that set unrealistically low expectations and then fail to meet them. When I was running Obamacare™ we managed to convince everyone that enrolling 7 million people out of a country with more than 350 million is somehow a win, even though we only managed to get to even that low number through some dodgy accounting magic. So with that kind of logic, I’m thinking that reducing the VA backlog by about… 1,000 cases should be enough for me to claim victory over the more than 600,000 claims registered with the VA.”
“…and take that black beret with you.”
While it is unclear what finally made President Obama pull the trigger on Shineski, reportedly the final straw came when Shinseki refused President Obama’s order to rescind Shinseki’s his much-maligned 2001 decision to outfit the entire Army with the black beret.
“As Obamacare™ is to President Obama’s administration, the black beret was my legacy to the Army,” explained Shinseki, who served as Army Chief of Staff from 1999-2003. “And like Obamacare™ was to the nation as a whole, my idea to take the black beret from the elite Army Rangers and give it to the entire Army was a poorly conceived, haphazardly implemented, and fatally flawed plan. However, the black beret is my legacy to the Army, just like ObamaCare™ is the President’s legacy to our nation. Thereofre, I could no more give up my failed attempt at social engineering than the President could give up his.” Ultimately, sources say, the President told Shenseki to “…not let the door hit you in the ass on your way out… and take that beret with you.”
With news of the end of Shinseki’s lingering influence over the Army and the much-anticipated demise of the black beret, impromptu black beret burning ceremonies reportedly occurred at Army bases worldwide. “Getting the VA straight is good, but finally putting a stake through the heart of the headgear that just wouldn’t die is AWSOME,” said one Army sergeant.
For her part, Sebelius acknowledged that her new job is fraught with troubles. “Don’t get me wrong, we are definitely on the struggle bus over at the VA, what with these massive backlogs of claims and whatever. But what we saw with Obamacare™ is that if you just keep giving people more time and moving the deadline to the right, that eventually you’ll get the numbers you want. So, as director of the VA, I’ll just give our workers more time to process and settle VA claims. Maybe we’ll devise some creating accounting measures, or some new ways to define what ‘wait time’ is. I think you’ll see that if we wait long enough, these problems with all these claims will tend to solve themselves. The problems kind of… die off, so to speak.”