Obama is making the announcement right now. The GOP and some Democrats have now gotten their blood, so let's see what happens with getting a new secretary confirmed. It's going to take a lot to fix the mess created by George Bush.
An amendment by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) that restricts the DEA from raiding medical marijuana operations in states where it's legal passed the house by 219-189 yesterday. 170 of those nay votes came from the right, showing that the GOP is still much aligned with prohibition of marijuana, even if it's something supported by a sovereign state. Perhaps if tilt the House more to the left, then we can have a future where marijuana is as legal as cigarettes and create an economic boom, along with a serious reduction in our prison population.
Coming to a Congress near you - GOP Ultimate Smackdown! In this corner we have the Tea Party and in this corner, we have John Boehner and his friends (or friend?). Who will come out the victor? Will it be the jazzy driving, funny hat wearing Tea Party crowd, or the man in orange? Only time will tell, but this will certainly be the fight to watch!
The other day countless veterans groups, including the VFW, were upset over Republican Senator and Tea Party Hero, Richard Burr (R-NC) when he got on the groups for not calling for the resignation of Eric Shinseki. Burr, a man who loves cheering for war, yet is too much of a coward to have even served in our military, has heard the calls of outrage and decided to double down in his attack against our nation's heroes.
Now I'll admit that I am not a veteran, but I have nothing but respect for those that served our nation. This scandal is an outrage, but for Republicans, including Burr, to act like this is something brand new is a flat out lie. Veterans have been outraged over these wait times for years. The only reason Republicans care about this now is because it gives them political fight for November. After that they will go back to considering out veterans nothing but government freeloaders. The veterans realize this and the GOP is now upset that their actual intentions are so transparent. This whole game of using our veterans as political pawns could actually end up backfiring on the GOP this fall.
Texas Gun nuts are up in arms (ok - pun intended) because Sonic and Chili's have refused to serve them. In a video obtained by Mother Jones one Texas gunaholic, seen with his toddler, defends his decision to eat with his people killing machine because it's "not safe to be here". So shouldn't Texas' child welfare department question the father as to why he decided it was fine to take his child to an area that is so unsafe, just to have an artery hardening meal? After all, the father flat out admitted he did just that.
With more companies collecting online data about you, storing it and selling it to advertisers, creditors and future employers, the FTC has said it is time for transparency and regulation over the practice. But will Congress, who is paid for by the users of this data, take action? So far one attempt by Sen. Jay Rockefeller has fallen flat in the Senate and past actions by the GOP leads me to beleive the House will have nothing to do with this either. That inaction basically turns us into a nation by the people, for the corporations.
Kynect, the healthcare exchange in Kentucky set up as part of the Affordable Care Act, has been widely successful and popular in the bluegrass state. So how does Mitch McConnell address that while being one of the leaders of the party of repeal? Simple, he flat out lies about it, saying that the system is in no way connected to Obamacare. And when he is called out on that lie, he just doubles down even more.
Tomorrow night the Republican Leadership Conference starts and one of the people scheduled to talk on opening night is non-other than Phil Robertson, the homophobic, racist star of Duck Dynasty. Apparently this is the outreach the GOP has said they need.
The welfare Rancher that insists the government shouldn't charge him for profitable use of federal land has decided he just don't like the GOP anymore, so to show his ire with them has decided to register as an Independent.
Republicans have been calling for the resignation of Eric Shinseki non-stop since the news broke that people in some VA hospitals were forging wait time lists, a problem that has spanned decades and really grew under the Bush administration, but was ignored. While there should be outrage over this, and should have been even when we had a Republican President, we can't lose sight of what provoked this problem. Our VA system is overtaxed and under budgeted, especially given the influx of new patients from two wars in the past decade. Yet it's the GOP that constantly blocks any further increases VA funding. And instead of trying to remedy the problem of the system being broken, instead they are using this scandal in a purely political sense - to get the head of a Obama cabinet member. The GOPS actions are even so egregious that now you got the largest veterans group in the country blasting them, the VFW.
Apparently Darrell Issa wasn't thinking when he decided to leak a still classified State Department memo that suggests that even as the Benghazi attacks were still underway, the administration was emailing YouTube over the anti-Islamic video that they said sparked the attack. So either the administration has been telling the truth about what they felt the reasons were for the attack, or they have hired Ms. Cleo to provide her fortune telling services that the GOP would attack the YouTube claim. I tend to believe the later on that one.
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.