The VA scandal has raised the issue of whether VA hospitals need fundamental reform. A question from Bill Kristol that left Tavis Smiley speechless suggests an idea long championed by conservatives could gain some traction.
Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, a conservative publication, and Smiley, a liberal pundit and talk show host, were on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" Sunday debating how to reform the Veterans Administration in light of the current scandal involving delayed care of veterans and forged documents.
"The VA needs to be fundamentally reformed. And one way it could be reformed is to, in fact, let people take a voucher and go to a hospital, the same hospitals we all go to, instead of having to go to the VA," Kristol said. more >>
CNN described President Barack Obama's announcement of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki's resignation "dramatic." I would call it a dramatic disgrace to our Veterans and another example of the president not holding his Cabinet Secretaries and other high level people in his administration accountable. The IRS's Lois Lerner, director of the Exempt Organizations Division, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius were allowed to resign amid scandals when they got good and ready.
Last week, Obama stood in the same White House briefing room and defended Shinseki, refusing to utter the word resignation. What changed in nine days? The Veterans Affairs scandal started stinking to high heaven. Congressional Democrats demanded Obama get rid of Shinseki and even the usually fawning liberal media criticized his failure to deal with the problem when reports of long patient wait times surfaced almost two months ago.
If "responsibility for things always rests ultimately with me, as the President and Commander-in-Chief," as Obama declared last week, why didn't he immediately call for Shinseki's resignation? Why wait, especially since as Senator and candidate in 2008, Obama was seized with the issue of improving access to care for veterans at the VA, which has been a decades long problem? more >>
"Wow, there's fraud, inefficiency and dishonesty at the VA hospitals?" said no one - except Democrats in D.C.
Not only did Obama feign surprise, other Democrats said they were "shocked" by the matter. It is yet to be determined if Nancy Pelosi was shocked by the allegations, since her face always looks shocked.
Once again, Obama said he only heard about this scandal through the media. Perhaps he was too busy not knowing about the IRS scandal, Benghazi, NSA spying, wiretapping of media opponents, the GSA, the ObamaCare website debacle and Secret Service hooker scandals. There seem to be no limits to what Obama does not know. He holds press conferences, not to tell us things, but to find out what is going on in his administration. He was briefed by Entertainment Tonight on the Kanye West/ Kim Kardashian marriage; he seems to be up to speed on that. more >>
A recently released study from researchers in Germany has concluded that a link exists between pornography usage and lower brain mass.
Published last week by JAMA Psychiatry, the cross-sectional study was conducted by Dr. Simone Kühn of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin and Dr. Jürgen Gallinat of University Clinic Hamburg-Eppendor in Hamburg.
The researchers surveyed 64 adult males in good health, who had varying levels of pornography consumption. more >>
Several Southern Baptist and secular organizations have filed a friend-of-the-court brief to support a legal challenge to the Obama administration's contraception mandate by the Southern Baptist Convention's insurance provider and evangelical ministries.
"Scripture and Southern Baptist belief prohibit not only direct and personal wrongdoing, but also the enabling, authorizing, incentivizing or aiding of another in doing what the Christian believes to be sin," states the brief filed by Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. and other Southern Baptist leaders.
The brief filed during this week urges the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver to uphold a lower court's temporary and preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the Department of Health and Human Services mandate, which requires employers to provide insurance coverage for some abortion drugs, sterilization and contraception. more >>
People seeking sex-reassignment surgeries may now be able to have the procedure covered by Medicare, following a groundbreaking decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services review board on Friday.
The ruling in question came in favor of 74-year-old Army veteran Denee Mallon, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, who was born as a man but now identifies as a woman, The Associated Press reported. The vet applied for genital reconstruction surgery two years ago through Medicare, the national social insurance program, but was denied because the program automatically excludes such surgeries.
"Sometimes I am asked aren't I too old to have surgery. My answer is how old is too old?" Mallon stated in an email before Friday's decision. "When people ask if I am too old, it feels like they are implying that it's a 'waste of money' to operate at my age. But I could have an active life ahead of me for another 20 years. And I want to spend those years in congruence and not distress." more >>