In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

President Obama has accepted the resignation of Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki following revelations of what Shinseki described as "an 'indefensible' lack of integrity among some senior leaders of the VA health-care system," which resulted in "systemic" problems including Veterans Administration officials having "falsified records to hide the amount of time veterans had to wait for medical appointments."

[Content Note: Guns] The House of Representatives has passed "a small appropriation that will improve the accuracy of the national database used to conduct background checks prior to many gun sales. It's a modest step forward, given significant loopholes in the federal background system which allow many felons to evade background checks altogether—Congress has not yet addressed these loopholes. Nevertheless, this appropriation is a significant victory for supporters of gun regulation during an era when the National Rifle Association appears to have a veto power over legislation."

[CN: Guns; violence] Meanwhile, Joni Ernst, a Republican Senate candidate from Iowa referred to Elliot Rodger's killing spree as an "unfortunate accident" in the middle of defending gun rights: "[W]hat happened in that shooting and that stabbing is an absolute tragedy. However, I remain firm in my commitment to the Second Amendment. I have been endorsed by the NRA in this race, and again, just because of a horrible, horrible tragedy, I don't believe we should be infringing upon people's Second Amendment rights." Asked about her political ad that "contains violent imagery pointing a gun directly at the viewer and vowing to quote 'shoot [her opponents] down,'" and whether she'd change the ad, she said, "I would not—no. This unfortunate accident happened after the ad."

[CN: Violence; police brutality. Images of injury at link.] Nineteen-month-old toddler Bounkham Phonesavanh was severely injured during a police raid, when a SWAT team raided the family's home in the middle of the night and used a stun grenade, which "landed in his playpen and exploded on his pillow right in his face." Police say "they bought drugs from the house, and came back with a no-knock warrant to arrest a man known to have drugs and weapons. 'There was no clothes, no toys, nothing to indicate that there was children present in the home. If there had been then we'd have done something different,' [Cornelia police Chief Rick Darby] said." I don't even know where to begin.

Heads-up: "Ford Motor Co. is recalling 1.4 million SUVs and other cars in North America to fix steering, rust and floor mat problems." If you have a 2008-2011 Ford Escape or Mercury Mariner small SUV, a 2011-2013 Ford Explorer SUV, a 2010-2014 Taurus sedan, or a 2006-2011 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Lincoln Zephyr, or Lincoln MKZ, check out the details of the recall at the link.

Former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer will reportedly purchase the LA Clippers from Donald Sterling for $2 billion.


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