Everyone is pretty much agreeing now that the bonus system has lead to people in the VA falsifying wait time logs. That is something I can fully agree, as it's something I have witnesses first hand in the private sector. But is Obama and Shinseki really to blame for this? The bonus rates and conditions are actually set by Congress, so it was Congress that created a system to incentivize lying. So while Republicans (and some Democrats) are busy pointing the finger, they need to also point the finger at themselves.
The Washington Times is out with another piece that they think exposes a huge Obama scandal, but in fact it shows a systematic failure that has spanned two administrations of both parties. In this piece the Times talks about the Obama transition team being told of 3 Inspector General reports, dating back to 2005, showing the VA was cooking the books on wait times. So why didn't Bush address the problem in that 4 year (that we know of) span? At a minimum they could have got the ball rolling and Obama could have picked it up when he took over. Instead, the Bush administration flat out ignored the problem for almost a whole term. And why wasn't the House exercising their duty of oversight during this time? I think our at least veterans deserve that. Finger pointing must go to everyone in Washington. Any attempts to blame one President or party only is a show that they don't give a damn about our veterans, except for when they can use them as a political tool.
Josh Marshall points to a GOP passage in the new agricultural bill that would strip funding for low-income school lunches during the summer months, except for kids in "rural areas". Somehow I read that as "we'll pay for school lunches for areas that are predominately white" and it shows just how despicable today's Republican Party really is.
A couple of weeks ago conservative author Dinesh D'Souza was on Real Time with Bill Maher and told Bill that he was "mounting a vigorous defense" against the charges he broke campaign finance laws. Today we find out what that vigorous defense really is - pleading guilty. Now we wait and see what kind of sentence he will get.
People are getting fed up with the rich not playing by the same set of rules as the rest of us when it comes to criminal justice. The latest episode in outrage comes from Washington, where a man convicted of his 7th DUI escapes any jail time. The judge actually said Shaun Goodman was too important a business man to jail. So what would happen to his business if he became suddenly ill and unable to attend to the day to day business?
A teabagger blogger from Mississippi has been arrested and charged with "exploitation of a vulnerable adult" for sneaking into a nursing home where Sen. Thad Cochran's ill wife is staying to take pictures. Clayton Thomas Kelly, the 28 year old blogger, is a strong supporter of Chris McDaniel, the tea party primary opponent of Cochran's. I don't care what ideology you are, or who you support, actions like this are deplorable and now questions are rising if McDaniel's campaign knew about it.
Terrorism is defined as "the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims." With a new report out in Mother Jones talking about gun enthusiasts threatening women with rape for wanting stricter gun control, it seems that their actions fit perfectly into this definition.
The inside the beltway thinking is that this year's congressional election could be a repeat of 2010, when Republicans won by huge numbers. However, a new Gallup Poll could blow a hole in that theory. It finds the favorability rating of Democrats at 44, which doesn't seem that high, but is 10 points higher than the favorability for the GOP. Compare that to 2010, when the GOP averaged a deficit of only 2% in the same poll and it's hard to see 2010 repeating itself, especially if the Democrats can find something to motivate the base with and get them out to vote.
SeaWorld has seen a 13% decrease in attendance this spring over last spring. Could it be people don't want to see an animal torture show masquerading as entertainment, as Blackfish exposed to us? One can only hope.
Doctor's at the Mayo Clinic have re-engineered the measles virus to hunt out cancer cells and cause them to "explode". The treatment worked on a 50 year old cancer patient, wiping out all her tumors. This is what those of us in the real world call science, and it truly is an amazing thing.
Darrell Issa, as well as other Republican committee chairs in the House that have already investigated Benghazi are apparently opposed to the select committee. Why would some of the biggest instigators of Obama witchhunts oppose these? Because they fear something might actually be found that they never could.
The GOP economic recipe used to be based on the notion that the more money the top earners and corporations have, the more money the people have through trickle-down. Well that hasn't worked out so well. Now we got possible 2016 GOP contender, Jeb Bush, saying that people should get off welfare and just get married to combat poverty. Apparenttly Jeb has a problem with reality, just like the rest of his party. I was thinking about this solution of Jeb's and realized I know more married couples on government assistance than non-married.
Sure 8 million people have signed up and leaders like Obama and Pelosi (and non-leaders, like me) are pushing Democrats to run on Obamacare, but 8 million signups doesn't mean they are happy with Obamacare. Ok, I agree with that. A lot of Democrats also aren't happy with it. But you know what Americans are even less happy with? The idea of going back to the old system, where people could get kicked off of insurance after years of payments just for getting sick. When only 20% of Americans want to go back to that, then I can say the level of happiness with Obamacare greatly surpasses that of the system people like Byron York supports - a failed system that killed people.