10 things to know today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday:
AP Wire
May 27, 2014



Petro Poroshenko vows to guarantee the rights of residents in eastern Ukraine, home to many pro-Russia rebels.


Pope Francis announces he will host a group of sex abuse victims next month at the Vatican, and declares "zero tolerance" for clergy who would violate a child.


In Memorial Day remarks, President Obama made a reference to a widening scandal involving poor performance by the Department of Veterans Affairs.


But he said he fears that using force to try to free the nearly 300 schoolgirls kidnapped by terrorists could further endanger their lives.


Since killings such as the shootings in Goleta, Calif., that left seven dead are rare, scholars say there's no way to predict who will reach a breaking point and become violent.


The trains carry tens of thousands of barrels of crude from North Dakota oil fields, raising concerns after nine U.S. accidents in the past year.


That's what Thai coup leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha said in his first public appearance since the military takeover, warning against demonstrations.


Coast to coast, states are facing threats that their Medicaid costs will rise due to the federal health care law.


Now there are 26 states that either allow same-sex couples to wed, or where a judge has ruled they ought to be allowed.


Doris Buffet's Sunshine Lady Foundation weighs requests for assistance that her brother Warren receives to find people who have fallen on hard times.



3. Republican Medicaid refusal leaves over 250,000 veterans uninsured....
Republicans sure have a lot to say about our veterans and the country's need do support them, but when it comes time to act? They filibuster funding for an expansion of their healthcare program. They also leave 258,600 veterans uninsured. That's how many low-income veterans don't have access to health care through the Veteran's Administration and don't have access to Medicaid because their Republican lawmakers have refused to take the Obamacare expansion. http://www.dailykos.com/story/20...

8. Though 26 states decided against going along with an expansion of the Medicaid health insurance program for the poor under the Affordable Care Act, 17 of them have seen a boost in enrollment thanks to “increased outreach and awareness,” a new analysis indicates.

While 8 million people signed up for private coverage on government run marketplaces known as exchanges, several million more Americans signed up for Medicaid coverage under the President’s signature health legislation through the expanded Medicaid program. Despite the opportunity to increase Medicaid benefits at little cost to state taxpayers, there remain holdouts like those documented in the Avalere report. http://www.forbes.com/sites/bruc...


"That's how many low-income veterans don't have access to health care through the Veteran's Administration and don't have access to Medicaid because their Republican lawmakers have refused to take the Obamacare expansion."

That's simply false, if you look at the actual Pew Report instead of the leftists' at Kos who manipulate facts at will.

Many of the uninsured veterans could sign up for the VA but don't (maybe the scandalous failure of Obama to live up to his promises to fix the VA has something to do with their choice):

"The income limits for VA benefits are much less stringent than they are for Medicaid. A veteran with no dependents and an annual income of as much as $30,978 (the amount varies based on the cost of living in a particular area) is eligible. But conditions other than income—such as length of time since combat, service medals, and service-related injuries or illnesses—also affect eligibility for VA health benefits." http://www.pewstates.org/project...

Are you really saying that veterans below the federal poverty level don't qualify for Medicaid? The issue is number of veterans in states not agreeing to an upward re-definition of the poverty level under Obamacare and who are ineligible for VA insurance, not those who have chosen to not enroll in the VA. And anyway, these veterans still get health care by law, maybe not insurance.

The Lanny playbook continues: Recognizing the seriousness of the Obama VA scandals killing veterans to Obama and Democrats, but more importantly to government run health care like Obamacare, she picks an old topic like states who made a decision about expanding Obamacare, and attempts to blame Republicans to deflect attention on the latest Obama/Big Government failure. Nice Try, but the shiny objects are dull in comparison with the Obama failures and scandals they are meant to hide.

Harry Kovaire

"Con men understand that their job is not to use facts to convince skeptics but to use words to help the gullible to believe what they want to believe."

~ Thomas Sowell


Is Dr. Sowell related to Justice Thomas, by any chance?


Ah, racism perhaps? Those Black guys daring to challenge the liberal orthodoxy? What could ever drive you to make a comment like that, unless you view people by their race rather than their accomplishments?


Unlike some, I don't "see" black people. Disclosure: I graduated from a black university, and not only was I accepted unconditionally and made friends and had a great experience, I received a superb education.

So don't put the onus of racism onto me. No - my comment stems from having read some of Thomas' speeches and just now reading some articles by Dr. Sowell, and noting that they are very nearly interchangeable - the tone, the attitude, the insistence on being contrary to public opinion, the need to be confrontational - by two prominent black men.


I know black people so I'm not racist! Now that's about the most whitey thing I think you have ever said.

It appears Vlad hit a little close to home there!

Contrary to public opinion? Whose? Yours? Get over yourself Lan!

You see very much the color of their skin when you make a comparison comment like that! Geez, lib bias on display for all to see right there!


Sorry - not racist one iota. I don't feel it, but I recognize it in others. Not much else to add. And just between you and me, Vlad seldom if ever gets a "little close to home".

Hey Wing - have you read any speeches by Justice Thomas, or articles written by Dr. Sowell? If you have, and choose to reply to me based on your interpretation of their writing, then you would have a leg to stand on.

Otherwise, you're just trolling and attempting to defend your buddy, Vlad. God knows he needs all the defense he can get, however ineffective it might be.




FYI, not that it means much, but my first wife was a lovely black woman (she probably still is), and I can read dog whistles as well as anybody - Dr. Sowell, Clarence Thomas, not authentic black men, in the view of a white woman who went to a "Black University." Sounds suspiciously like "some of my best friends are black" talking the talk but not walking the walk.

And it's interesting to me that someone can blithely declare they are not racist, one iota. When you are walking in Detroit, and you see a gaggle of black youts in hoodies on your side of the street, do you walk (or run) to the other side of the street populated by Oriental students) or do you follow your non-racist instincts? (Check with Jesse Jackson before you respond).

Really Lanny, you are, in my view based on my particular experience, exposing yourself in a way that is not attractive. . . .


I would think that it would mean quite a lot, that you once were married to a lovely woman who happened to be black. This raises a myriad of questions I would love to ask, but of course, never would, but I will take a minute to fight back on the rest of your comment, as you seem driven to paint me into something I am not. I have a great many vices, don't give me one I don't deserve. And I don't have to justify my comment about the two men. It's as clear as day. They are two black men who have similar hard right viewpoints. Surely you aren't saying that a white woman can not express an opinion based on her readings of the two men, who happen to both be black?

I don't care what color of skin, if I'm walking down any city street and confront a group of youts in hoodies, I will walk (not run) to the other side of the street, or at the very least be very aware of any action I might have to take while passing. There has been a very strange man, dressed very oddly, walking lately in the same vicinity as I do. He's an older white man, and I am cautious when we pass. Do I hate him, fear him, want to hurt him, or crucify him? No. Do I perceive him as a possible threat? Yes. There is the potential for danger everywhere - why differentiate between races and colors of skin?

People who expose themselves as being cynical, self-absorbed, quick to stereotype, label, and create parameters, who criticize with a little too much zest, too much amusment, are ones I find unattractive. And what does this have to do with Veteran's Affairs?


You inserted the shiny object as usual...now try to run from it when getting corner! Spin all you want, we learned a lot from you tonight!


And just think - all this, and yet.....Harry Kovaire = crickets.......


Ask away - this was in majority black D.C. in the early 1970's, but if you are so curious I will answer any reasonable questions you may ask.

I suggest you read up on the liberal use of "dog whistles" and you would find your focusing on two highly educated, highly accomplished Black men would fit right into the Left wing meme - sorry if you didn't realize that but, you know, what's sauce for the goose . . . . I imagine it's difficult for you to explain how you are really different than what conservatives are accused of every day, since on the surface, your own words put you right in the middle of it.

I have no doubt you're not a racist (although the not one iota comment fits right into the "white privilege" meme); I'm just saying that maybe you can understand how your heartfelt comment about Dr. Sowell and Justice Thomas can be interpreted, according to liberal dogma, as dog whistles when conservatives make similar, heartfelt and sincere comments about minorities.

I can readily understand your concern about an oddly dressed elderly white man - he represents a group that statistically is responsible for mayhem, murder, and rape in the tri-cities area.


Hah! Well, he wears a long winter coat on even warm days, mutters to himself, never makes eye contact, hasn't shaved in years - and he's not elderly - maybe about your age!! Think I should be concerned?

You are generous to entertain a few questions. I guess I'm just nosy, after all! I'll try to ask with some degree of discernment.

Did you experience open prejudice from blacks and/or white folks in your community?

Did it effect either of you in terms of employment or advancement?

When you now advocate for young women to marry before having babies and to escape poverty, would you support a bi-racial marriage choice as providing the same stability and security? Does it matter if the woman is white, and man black?

Do you think the racial component of this marriage had a stronger than normal effect on shaping your current political views, and how you view government, in general?

Do you think that society has evolved to accept/tolerate these types of marriages, and is this a good thing?

I suppose I should take a crash course on liberal dogma and language arts, given that for years I considered myself first a conservative, and then moderate Republican, and now am told by you I've actually been a liberal all along. It gets so confusing, trying to fit oneself into the label.


From the description, the young man you are concerned about is most likely a liberal professor in a local institution of higher learning.

1. My wife experienced more grief from the majority black population in the Emerging People's Republic of the District of Columbia than I did from whites. We were often made to feel uncomfortable when together in public, but again more from people of color.

2. Not in the long term that I'm aware of, although I believe it was a factor in decisions made by white school administrators where I was teaching.

3. My advocating young women to marry before having babies is not new found - it was part of my advice to students of both sexes 40 years ago. Considering the polarization of the races today, I think a bi-racial marriage would not provide stability and security but of course there are many variables, especially wealth, class and location. I can't answer the question about the color of the respective partners - I can only draw on my experience from long ago.

4. No - at the time I was teaching and going out with my future wife I was very comfortable living and working in a virtually completely black environment. I was the only white person in the school in which I taught and the only white person in the neighborhood where I lived. That comfort level stood me in good stead later in life when I was making employment decisions, working with employment discrimination cases, and working in an agency that had a significant number of blue collar positions, many occupied by minorities. I would say my experiences also make it easier for me not to be troubled by criticizing individual black people or some of the pathologies of the current lifestyles of parts of the black community - I don't get guilted.

5. I think, generally speaking, that we have several societies - white, black, hispanic, upper class, middle class, lower class, urban, suburban, rural and the inner city. I believe some of those societies are more accepting of mixed marriages than others, and in my view, the inner city is the least accepting.

Can't help you on the last paragraph - I just calls em as I sees em.


Thanks for the interesting answers. I am sorry your wife experienced more prejudice from her community than you did. Oddly, upon reflection, I suppose I did as well, as I recall negative responses from my white neighbors and friends when I told them I was attending a black college (certainly not equating this with a biracial marriage in importance, tho). Maybe it's the female component. Brings to mind a funny story: Graduation day, and I was a white face with long blonde hair in a sea of black students, queuing up to accept our diplomas. The nice, genteel elderly black lady sitting next to my all-white family, strikes up a conversation and sweetly asks, "Now which one is your daughter?"

Just one more question?

The president angered some African-American activists in 2009 with his unwillingness to offer policies specifically designed to tackle black unemployment, saying "my general approach is that if the economy is strong, that it will lift all boats".

What do you think about Obama's 2014 Thy Brother's Keeper initiative - where he says, " Today, he struck a different tone saying that young black and hispanic men "had the odds stacked against them in unique ways that require unique solutions".

He insisted that the fate of young men of colour was an issue not just for minority communities but for the whole country. "Cycles of hopelessness breed violence and mistrust and our country is a little less than what we know it can be," he said.

The president announced the launch of the My Brother's Keeper initiative, a $200 million network of private companies, faith groups and designed to help "young men of colour who are having a particularly tough time".

Mr Obama said the project was "not some big new government programme" and would only work with the support of families. "Nothing keeps a young man out of trouble like a father who takes an active role in his son's life," he said." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/...

Just more socialist/commie/liberal rhetoric designed to destroy America and American families? Just more attempts to make lazy black people dependent on government? Makes sense, based on your experiences?


I don't know enough about the program to comment, but since everything Obama does seems to revolve around gaining ground from a political perspective and/or cementing his place in history, I have significant doubts about it.

If he was serious, how could he ignore the issue for 6 years, all the while engaging in class warfare and racial divisiveness? How could he continue to demonize large corporations, intrude on religious freedoms, and then turn around and depend on those same institutions for money and support? It sounds to me like he is taking a page from the Jesse Jackson / Al Sharpton manual for extortion on the basis of race. How could he continue to implement policies that hurt the Black community? How could he and Michelle fail to regularly preach, from the first days of his Presidency, abstinence, graduating from high school, and working as the basic steps for moving from poverty?

Sorry, but with everything he had done and failed to do, I think this is about the midterm elections and keeping Black folks on the Democrat plantation - I hope he proves me wrong - we shall see.

Harry Kovaire

With regard to your last paragraph, I would skip the additional classes. It seems you have been educated to capacity.

As for labels, your clever "Uncle Tom" comment now qualifies you for RACIST - but that's a gimme with your political orientation.


"Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me".
Childhood taunt.

Pray tell - what exactly is my political orientation again???

Harry Kovaire

Orientation requires a point of reference.

It depends if your are coming from, or returning to, the rabbit hole.

Stick and stones will never get a reply from you, but words always will.


Klever Korvaire is a better monicker! Although I kind of think Clairvoyant Covaire has a nice ring to it too!


You ARE being influenced by Mystic Michael. Common sense applied brilliantly does that to people.


“It’s amazing how much panic one honest [wo]man can spread among a multitude of hypocrites. ”
― Thomas Sowell

You are sounding increasingly panicked, Harry.

Harry Kovaire

Our avid commenter named Lani.
Would search every nook and last cranny,
for a post she demurred
to get the last word;
A skill which was truly uncanny.


Harry asked, "Why must I deal with Lani's taxemic travesty?"
Vexed, he attempted to exhaust her humanity.
When those attempts failed,
He took a toke and inhaled,

And accepted his fate into perpetuity.

Harry Kovaire

Your comment speaks for itself.


What a mess of hyperbole. Other than the difference in website titles, the information we both provided is the same.

Read my link, Vlad. There are many reasons why thousands of veterans across the country do not either qualify for VA care, or do not have access to VA hospitals and clinics in their area. some did not get honorable discharges, and now do not qualify. Medicaid Expansion would have been of great benefit to many vets not able to access VA care, if not for their Governors denying them by not accepting Medicaid Expansion programs.

You might consider it an "old topic", but I'm sure those vets who are suffering do not. The flap about waiting lists and subsequent lists of "deaths" is unraveling, as there does not seem to be any evidence that all of the deaths had to do with being on a waiting list. Some on the lists are patients with chronic old age problems. And, yes, some vets, through flukes in the law, do not have access to VA care, but do not qualify for Medicaid - but would qualify in the Medicaid Expansion programs. Let's not berate Obama for a "scandal" when in fact, the Republican Governors who have refused care to thousands of veteran constituents are just as much to blame for insufficient health care as under-staffed VA hospitals.

Let's instead look at some of the recent strides in Veteran Affairs:

1. Legislation passed in 2010 has begun to shrink the massive claims backlog wof returning Iraq/Afghanistan veterans - even through expanding the claims to accept PTSD and Agent Orange claims.

2. The same years ushered in help for chronic vet homelessness, cutting the number of homeless vets by 24% since 2010.

I'm not trying to "hide" anything - just point out the facts. Unlike you who simply can't get past your obsessive fixation on your president.


Read the Pew survey you quoted - the numbers don't match with the Kos figures you happily repeated. The VA bureaucrats lying about waiting times did cause deaths including suicides - you can't run away from that. This should not be a partisan political football but Obama made it that by campaigning against Bush and the Republicans and promising to fix it - and he didn't even come close.

You still cite statistics that are irrelevant to the specific horrors that vets have faced under Obama - I HATE making vet health care a political pawn, but that's what you and your friends have done - the facts are there - why not fix it instead of trying to deflect criticism of Obama and protecting the Senate Democrats that in turn are protecting the incompetent and grasping bureaucrats?


The topic is broader than the current media/Republican-created "scandal". How many times must I repeat: VA inadequacies have been targeted and reported on since the 1990's. Very little was done throughout the Bush administration. Obama inherited a very compromised VA system, but has managed to push through some legislation that addressed some of the many serious problems met by massive numbers of returning vets, coupled with the aging of older vets needing more VA hospital health care. It is a problem that, again, is complicated by not only these stated factors, but by poor management of VA hospitals in many states - much of it going on for many, many years, much of it during Republican rule.

And then there is the recent blocking of the Veterans Bill in the Senate that would have funded the building of a few dozen more clinics across the country, as well as helping to bring in more doctors and technicians - something very much needed as evidenced by these waiting lists - because the US "can't afford it".

It should be noted that out of 85 million VA medical appointments every year, these lists, thus far, encompass about 1,400-1,600 individuals.

Stating that I am making a political football out of suffering vets - knowing what you do of me - to deflect criticism of Obama is about as cynical of a comment you have directed at me. And to make matters worse, you then take on the tone of the gallant martyr, disturbed to no end by the very thought of doing so.

As for you - are you suggesting Republicans are NOT using this situation in a partisan, political smear campaign to deflect public criticism off themselves, and that they have nothing to do with the current state of affairs?



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