"The most significant threat to our national security is our debt," Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, August 27,2010


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

SNAFU

It is actually a military term – Situation Normal, All F****d Up.

We usually do not delve into matters military; for several reasons.  Our knowledge of military protocol, processes and law is limited and we all know that the military bureaucracy will only reveal information that serves its purposes.  Active duty military personnel are restricted from saying much if anything about what goes on.  The only real information comes from some of those who have left.
We do however value our ability to comment on leadership matters or, to be more specific, the lack of leadership that now is routine in Mr. Obama’s presidency.  We know that this man uses optics (visuals, speeches, staged events and spin) to serve his agenda.  We have posted on several occasions about the lack of connection between his rhetoric and results.  We also know he loves to take center stage when something happens that he can manipulate to his benefit.  We think this latest SNAFU is the direct consequence of bad leadership seizing what appears to be a positive event to deflect the growing dissatisfaction of Mr. Obama’s inability to see a problem; deal with a problem and solve a problem.
The problem (or, predictable event if you are justifiably cynical of this man and his minions now) was the Veteran Administration and the clever bureaucrats in that outfit who had figured out how to fake waiting times and processing times for patients for the sole purpose of achieving bonuses that they would otherwise not qualify for.  Does it surprise anyone that a bureaucrat would not think about improving performance to attain a bonus if they could simply create a fake report displaying improved performance, turn it in, and get paid?  The real problem, of course, is that everyone knows this but the faux leader who is supposed to stop it.
So Obama finds himself without cover – he yapped it up; blaming Mr. Bush and others for a non-performing VA; setting lofty standards for solutions and performance under his guidance, of course; and then moved on to solve the next problem.  Did he look back?  Check in?  Set some performance standards?  Measure actual results against the standards?  Have some follow-up meetings – kick some behind – bring in new managers?  We would not be carrying on with this essay if he did; but, alas he does not have a clue about what we just wrote.  He has never run, managed, or been responsible for running, managing or accomplishing anything.  He thinks lofty speeches are what it takes to get something done.
So, the sh** storm befalls his office – he fires the top guy – but along the way someone, perhaps even the great leader himself, sees an opportunity.  Hey, can’t we trade some Gitmo guys for this captured soldier; make a big deal out of it; we look good; the military looks good; and best of all; the media and republicans get off the VA mess?
Sure we can.  Let’s get it done.  We can bring his mom and dad to the white house; we can parade them around; I will escort mom; place my arm around her; show how much I care; mom will swoon; we can’t be sure about dad but we’ll work mom; bingo, VA mess gone; forgotten.
The best laid plans…..
A leader would simply say, “I screwed up.”  I tried to fake my way out of a mess I was responsible for and made a bigger mess.  No, we’ll take that back.  A real leader would never have played his role so perfectly in just one more SNAFU on this weak man’s watch.  Come to think of it that term – SNAFU – would make a great title for his book after he leaves office.
Closing comment:  what do you think they are cooking up now to deflect away from this situation?  A hurricane, perhaps?  Maybe put the spotlight on some sports figure?  Question him in his backswing?  We don’t know what or when but we can safely predict it will be soon.

 

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