The head of the American Legion Monday called for the resignations of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and two aides amid a probe into alleged corruption and unnecessary deaths at a Phoenix VA hospital that “are part of what appear to be a pattern of scandals that has infected the entire system.”
The Legion’s national commander, Daniel Dellinger, issued the stunning call on the heels of whistleblower reports that more than 40 veterans may have died waiting for treatment while the Phoenix Veterans Administration Health Care System kept a secret waiting list to cover up delays in care, Stars and Stripes reported.
Dellinger also pointed to an outbreak of Legionnaires disease at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System he linked to “continuous management failures,” and delays in providing specialty services to Georgia veterans that may have hastened the deaths of three cancer patients.
Podesta: Congress Can’t Stop Obama On Global Warming
White House adviser John Podesta told reporters Monday afternoon that Congress could not derail the Obama administration’s efforts to unilaterally enact policies to fight global warming.
Podesta said that the president was committed to using executive orders to pass regulations under the Clean Air Act to limit carbon dioxide emissions that they say cause global warming.
“They may try, but there are no takers at this end of Pennsylvania Avenue,” Podesta told reporters at a Monday press conference at the White House.
Massachusetts ditches RomneyCare health exchange
RomneyCare’s pioneering health insurance exchange is headed for the scrap heap.
Bay State officials are taking steps this week to junk central parts of their dysfunctional health insurance exchange — the model for President Barack Obama’s health care law — and merge with the federal enrollment site HealthCare.gov.
The decision is part of an expensive plan that would occur alongside a parallel, last-ditch attempt to still build a working state system.
Sen. Introduces Bill To Test Out Taxing Motorists For Every Mile They Drive
The California Legislature is looking at a voluntary program that would tax motorists for every mile they drive.
Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, introduced a bill to test out the vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax because the state’s gas tax was no longer bringing in the revenue it used to due to people driving more fuel efficient vehicles.
The program is modeled after ones in Oregon and Washington.
Possibly The Worst Poll Yet For Democrats
The Republican Party is at its strongest point in two decades heading into midterm elections, according to a new Pew Research-USA Today poll, the latest daunting sign for Democrats ahead of campaign season.
The GOP is at an even stronger point than in previous “wave” elections in 1994 and 2010 and looks poised to make major gains — and possibly take control of the U.S. Senate.
According to the poll, out Monday, Republicans have a 47-43 lead on the generic congressional ballot. That’s a 10-point swing from October, when Democrats, boosted by GOP blame for the federal government shutdown, held a 6-point lead in the Pew poll.
Monica Lewinsky Writes About Her Affair with President Clinton
Monica Lewinsky writes in Vanity Fair for the first time about her affair with President Clinton: “It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress.” She also says: “I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton. Let me say it again: I. Myself. Deeply. Regret. What. Happened.”
After 10 years of virtual silence (“So silent, in fact,” she writes, “that the buzz in some circles has been that the Clintons must have paid me off; why else would I have refrained from speaking out? I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth”), Lewinsky, 40, says it is time to stop “tiptoeing around my past—and other people’s futures. I am determined to have a different ending to my story. I’ve decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past. (What this will cost me, I will soon find out.)”
US journalists less satisfied see negative trend
American journalists have become increasingly dissatisfied with their work and see the industry moving in the wrong direction, a new survey shows.
The Indiana University survey, which follows up on research first conducted in 1971, found that as newsrooms are shrinking, journalists see themselves having less autonomy and that job satisfaction is on the decline.
US Army Testing Pilotless Black Hawk Helicopter
The U.S. Army is testing an unmanned Black Hawk helicopter that one day can deliver cargo and supplies to troops autonomously, according to LiveScience.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. built the helicopter, which completed its first test in March.
GOP Has 82% Chance of Winning Senate
Republicans have an 82 percent chance to pick up the six seats needed to regain control of the Senate in November, according to an election model developed for The Washington Post.
The model, developed by political scientist and “Monkey Cage” blog author John Sides, takes into account historical data as well as the current political landscape and makes state-by-state calculations. The conclusion: the numbers are on the GOP’s side.
“The main problem for Democrats is that it’s a midterm year — and the president’s party almost always loses seats in the midterm. Moreover, conditions make it difficult for Democrats to overcome this tendency: The economy is not growing that strongly and, partly as a consequence, President [Barack] Obama is not that popular,” the Post said.
Carney Destroys His Reputation With Benghazi Spin?
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has destroyed his reputation with comments he has made about the Benghazi terrorist attacks, Sen. John McCain said in a Fox News interview.
Carney has denied that official talking points given in 2012 to then-United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, which blamed a spontaneous protest for the Benghazi violence, were not exclusively designed to address the incident.
Dems Open Door to Participating in Benghazi Probe
House Democrats are opening the door to participating in a select committee investigation of Benghazi. They are insisting, however, that they are represented equally with Republicans.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says in a statement that the review can only be fair if it is bipartisan.
She says the panel should be divided between the Republican majority and Democratic minority. The California Democrat also says information must be shared between the parties.
Keeping union mitts off college sports
Negotiating pay for athletes would raise costs for their less-buff classmates
Northwestern University football players demand the right to form a union. Sports columnists advocate paying campus athletes in the name of fairness, given the million of dollars in revenue games generate for their universities. So does AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, on the lookout for potential new members.
Nonsense. The proposed solution would only intensify the problem.
There are approximately 2,900 four-year colleges and universities in the United States. Last year, 252 had “major” football programs, 126 of those in the potentially big-money football bowl subdivision. By National Collegiate Athletic Association rules, these programs could offer up to 85 scholarships each.
Margaret Sanger, racist eugenicist extraordinaire
The founder of Planned Parenthood would have considered many Americans unworthy of life
Recent articles have reported on an unearthed video from 1947 of Margaret Sanger demanding “no more babies” for 10 years in developing countries. A couple of years ago, Margaret Sanger was named one of Time magazine’s “20 Most Influential Americans of All Time.” Given her enduring influence, it’s worth considering what the woman who founded Planned Parenthood contributed to the eugenics movement.
Sanger shaped the eugenics movement in America and beyond in the 1930s and 1940s. Her views and those of her peers in the movement contributed to compulsory sterilization laws in 30 U.S. states that resulted in more than 60,000 sterilizations of vulnerable people, including people she considered “feeble-minded,” “idiots” and “morons.”