For The Insiders, Ed Rogers writes: This was probably the worst week of the Obama presidency so far. President Obama’s foreign policy reboot failed, the economy is in the tank, the VA scandal is a growing cancer on the presidency, criticisms of the administration’s forthcoming gratuitous plan to raise everyone’s power bill via regulations that will essentially shut down coal-fired power plants have already emerged, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned this morning and just a short while ago solid but beleaguered White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said he is throwing in the towel. How could things get any worse for Obama and the Democrats?
“With all the debacles, calamities, failures, mistakes and plain old bad policies associated with this administration and the Democrats generally, it’s easy to get lured off-topic… Republicans should not take the bait…”
In terms of impact on the 2014 elections, Obama certainly seems to be doing his part for the Republicans. And as the old axiom goes, never interfere when the opposition is in the process of destroying themselves. Read the rest of this entry »
Memo to George E. Condon: if the president is ‘exhausted’, imagine how the rest of us feel?
For NationalJournal.com, George E. Condon Jr. writes: Day 1,956 of his presidency was not too kind to President Obama. Having to announce within a four-hour span that he had lost both an embattled Cabinet secretary and his chief spokesman, Obama looked Friday like a man gamely trying to get a stalled administration back on track.
“Only three of Obama’s original 16 Cabinet officers remain—Eric Holder at Justice, Tom Vilsack at Agriculture, and Arne Duncan at Education.”
He entered the week still stuck with low approval ratings and facing fierce criticism of his policies both at home and abroad. On Wednesday, he tried to chart a new course internationally with a West Point speech setting out a new foreign policy. On Thursday, he dealt with widespread criticism of the speech.
On Friday, he tried to dig himself out of a troubling Veterans Administration scandal by jettisoning VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, a man he thought was being unfairly blamed for the problems. Then he accepted the resignation of press secretary Jay Carney, the longtime public face of his White House. Read the rest of this entry »
“Elaborate theater, and all the scripts were written in advance.”
“How can the president say that the VA’s problems had not reached the White House, when the president himself says he’s been working on this for six years?”
“A few minutes ago, Sec. Shinseki offered me his own resignation. With considerable regret, I accepted.”
“To say, ‘We can’t know what happened unless there’s investigation or until it comes in,’ is simply untenable…”
While the Obama administration has largely been able to fend off criticism from many of its looming controversies, it won’t be able to do the same with the mismanagement at the Department of Veterans Affairs given the wide scope and various reports and anecdotes of the problem, Charles Krauthammer said on Friday’s Special Report. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Responding to Pressure from Punditfromanotherplanet, White House Holds Press Conference, Responds to V.A. ScandalPosted: May 21, 2014
THERE’S Bambi! Obama Press Conference: Any Misconduct at VA ‘Will Be Punished’
WASHINGTON (AP) — Matthew Daly and Julie Pace report: Seeking to head off a growing furor over veterans’ health care, President Barack Obama declared Wednesday that allegations of misconduct at VA hospitals are “dishonorable” and will be not be tolerated by his administration.
“I will not stand for it — not as commander in chief but also not as an American,” Obama said following an Oval Office meeting with embattled VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.
“We are going to fix whatever is wrong and so long as I have the privilege of serving as commander in chief…”
His administration is under mounting pressure from Capitol Hill to address troubling allegations of treatment delays and preventable deaths at VA hospitals. The VA Inspector General’s office said late Tuesday that 26 facilities are being investigated nationwide — up from 10 just last week — including a Phoenix hospital where 40 veterans allegedly died while waiting for treatment and staff there kept a secret list of patients waiting for appointments to hide delays in care.
“…I’m going to keep on fighting to deliver the care and the benefits and the opportunities that you and your families deserve, now and for decades to come.”
Shinseki, a retired Army four-star general, is facing calls for his resignation from some lawmakers. Obama spoke warmly of Shinseki Wednesday, saying the secretary had poured his heart and soul into his job, but said there would be accountability if the allegations of misconduct are proven to be true. Read the rest of this entry »
Charles Krauthammer said the Obama administration needs a “high-speed internal investigation” of the Veterans Affairs scandal. The investigation needs to involve the Justice Department “or it looks like another classic administration cover-up..”..(read more)