Beltway Insider: Obama Criticized Over VA Scandal; Putin to Honor Ukraine Elections; Poroshenko Wins

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, facing escalating sanctions over the violations of territorial sovereignty, continued occupation and illegal annexation of neighboring Ukraine, announced he would honor the outcome of the May 25 Presidential elections. 

 

According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week dropped three percentage points to 42% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President increased four percentage points to 54%. 

President Criticized Over Expanding VA Scandal

President Barack Obama has come under mounting scrutiny as the Veteran Administration, the agency dedicated to providing medical benefits to Americas veterans, faces an expanding investigation into allegations of egregious violations which resulted in the deaths of war survivors across the country.

Reports have surfaced that at least 40 Veterans in five states, Virginia, Arizona, Georgia, Florida Iowa, have died while waiting for treatment. Twenty additional cases have surfaced from the Williams Jennings Bryan Dorn facility in Columbia, South Carolina.

 VA hospitals are fighting allegations of mistreatment, excessive waiting time for care resulting in death, and covering up the incidents with an accepted agency wide policy of corruption.

Questioned repeatedly and aggressively over these allegations, Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary, has unfortunately taken the defensive and instead of addressing the issues repeatedly responded with talking points reminiscent of Benghazi, listing the long records of service of those in question and how they have the confidence and highest levels of trust from the President.

Eric Shinseki, Veterans Affairs Secretary, has repeatedly come under fire from many House and Senate democrats who are calling for the resignation of the decorated retired four-star Army general who has headed the agency since appointed by Obama in 2009.

The federal government absorbs the cost of care for the more than 6.5million veterans,  currently receiving some type of medical treatment, from mild to catastrophic, as well as staff, supplies and facilities and has a requested 2015 operating budget of 64.8billion, which has steadily increased to ensure vets receive dignified care and treatment. As many as 285,000 Vets visits hospitals across the country every day.

"Should some of these allegations prove to be true, Secretary Shinseki has made clear that he would be outraged by that and angry by that, the President certainly would be and he would expect people to be held accountable.  That's why there's an investigation.  That's why there's a review," Carney said.

Mr. Richard Griffin, Acting Inspector General is currently investigating a total of 26 facilities.

Over the past month, since April 28, President Obama has not spoken on the issues surrounding the allegation at the Veterans Administration Agency.

President Obama has assigned his Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors to the VA in what is considered a fact finding mission.

"What I can tell you about Mr. Nabors is that he has been dispatched to the VA at the Secretary's suggestion -- a suggestion that was endorsed strongly by the President.  The President is focused on the review that Secretary Shinseki has announced and has launched of the allegations regarding waiting lists and disclosure of waiting lists and wait times when it comes to getting benefits and services," Carney said.

Arizona Senator John McCain, himself a Vietnam Veteran spending five years in the Hanoi Hilton, the most notorious Vietnamese Prisoner of War Camp said, "While allegations that employees at the Phoenix VA Health Care System (PVAHCS) have been 'cooking the books' are relatively new, the challenges that our veterans have been facing in receiving quality and timely care, are not."

House and Senate Republicans have yet to call for and oversight committee to in ensure all records are preserved

Putin to Honor Ukraine Election Outcome; Petro Poroshenko Declared Winner

Petro Poroshenko has been declared the overwhelming winner in elections held in the Ukraine as reported by The Organization For Security and Co-operation in Europe, (OCSE). The Billionaire Confectionery magnet gathered enough of the vote to avoid a runoff in the highly scrutinized elections.

Ukrainians, after three months of unrest, separatists' violence and soviet armored vehicles rolling through the streets, took to the polls today, in democratic elections that from all accounts have resulted in a democratic president shying away from Russia in favor of westernization and influence.

While election results are not officially verified global news agencies and The White House have announced a victory for the new Ukraine as they begin the push for finalization into the European Union and a clear move away from the soviet old guard.

"The United States looks forward to working with the next President, as well as the democratically elected parliament, to support Ukraine's efforts to enact important political and economic reforms. We also continue to support Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, condemn and reject Russia's occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea, and remain committed to working with Ukraine and other partners to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict," the president stated through a released press statement.

Ukrainian Elections, which are very different from Western elections, resemble most foreign elections where the ballot contains many potential candidates including in this case a Russian backed candidate. Porshenko was heavily favored throughout and the only question was if he could gather enough of the vote to avoid a runoff. 

Although Putin declared he would honor results, Russian occupation of Crimea as well as eastern regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, has yet to end.

The United States as well as all global partners and allies have invested heavily to ensure the freedom of the Ukrainian people to elect leaders based on free will without intimidation and as the Ukraine moves forward, the OSCE, will monitor all elections and have played a role as negotiations for de-escalation and diplomatic solutions have been presented.

"International observers organized by the OSCE who will be able to make judgments about the conduct of the election and any efforts to undermine the election or delegitimize it.  The United States and the rest of our partners in the international community who have taken one side on this matter, and Russia, which has taken another side will make the judgment about how the elections proceed," Carey said.

Putin, even as Russia faced expulsion from the G8, refused to bow to global pressure which resulted to this day the cancellation of the June G8 summit in Sochi. It is unclear if he will be invited to attend the upcoming G7 Summit, rescheduled for Brussels, Belgium.

 Invitation is solely dependent on President Putin and in order to secure his upcoming actions must include removal of all Ukrainian occupation, the restoration of Crimea to pre-occupation troop levels and removal of all territorial threats along the Eastern Ukraine border, would come upon approval of all members of the G7.

President Obama has insisted throughout this global crisis a diplomatic solution exists and "this remains possible only if Russia pulls back its troops and does not take any steps to further violate Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty and reiterated that the United States has strongly opposed the actions that Russia has already taken to violate Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," the President said in a March 28, 2014 conference call with President Putin

President Putin, back when he also said or suggested that the so-called referenda should not be held on May 11, also said that the May 25 election might be a good step.  And we certainly agree with that, not just might be, but a necessary and important step  for the Ukrainian people because a successful implementation of that election would allow the Ukrainian people to freely express their will when it comes to choosing their leader, their president.  And we are very focused on ensuring, with our partners, that the election takes place," Said Carney.

Petro Porshenko

President elect Petro Porshenko, 48, clearly represents the new Ukraine. A candy and chocolate manufacturer his total net worth is enough at 1.3billion (US) to land him on the Forbes Billionaires list.

Serving as a Minister of Foreign Affairs (2009–2010), Minister of Economic Development and Trade Porshenko, also a Member of Parliament and Secretary of the NSDC, from 2007 to 2012 he headed the Council of Ukraine National Bank.

Poroshenko graduated in 1989with a degree in economics from the faculty of international relations and international law (later known as Institute of International Relations) of Kiev State University.

Memorial Day 2014

On what has become known as the traditional start of the summer season, Memorial Day is the designated holiday when America pays tribute to her fallen soldiers.

On this Memorial Day Presidential Obama has embarked on his fourth trip to Afghanistan where he will address troops still serving in the decade long war.

Arlington National Cemetery where the brave men and women who paid the ultimate price to ensure American's continue to enjoy freedoms will be honored by dedicated volunteers. A morning ceremony at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will honor those unknown Armed Forces who sacrificed all for country.

Across the country, in town and cities large and small, Memorial Day will be celebrated with bar-b-ques, parades, and traditional family gatherings.  America's heroes are honored with parades, silent prayers and ceremonies.

"As we stand with our veterans and military families this weekend, our commitment to uphold our nation's sacred trust with our veterans and ensure they get the benefits and opportunities they deserve and have earned," the President said in his weekly address.

China Terror On The Rise

Two vehicles driven by extremists drove into a crowded marketing in Urumqi, China in the Xinjing province throwing explosives into the crowd and detonating one the vehicles killing 31 and injuring more than 90.

The act reminiscent of Bagdad or other Middle East extremists' terror hotspots, brought immediate condemnation from world leaders as the Chinese government moved quickly and announced that all five suspects had died in the blasts.

 "The United States condemns the horrific terrorist attack in Urumqi, China today.  We are aware of reports that the attack resulted in the death of 31 citizens and the injury of 90 more. This is a despicable and outrageous act of violence against innocent civilians, and the United States resolutely opposes all forms of terrorism.  We offer our condolences and sympathies to the victims, their families, and all those affected by this attack," Carney said.

Chinese officials have blamed the attacks on separatists who have resorted to the use of violence as a way to express anger and hostility over the current plans of the Chinese government to commercialize the region encroaching on the traditions and freedoms.

 

For more information on President Barack Obama: www.whitehouse.gov

Sources: Whitehouse.org, Wikipedia.com, 

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