The Daily Fix: Veterans Affairs Chief Asked to Account for Failures, Gays Were Driven From Jobs, and the NFL’s Bone-Crushing Tactics

All the news that’s fit to fix on Wednesday, May 21.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki addresses reporters after testifying before a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on VA health care on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on May 15. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

May 21, 2014· 1 MIN READ
Shaya Tayefe Mohajer is TakePart's News Editor.

President Barack Obama demanded answers to allegations of misconduct at hospitals for America's military veterans by calling Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki to the carpet at the Oval Office on Wednesday.

Most agree our nation's military deserves the finest medical care for their service and sacrifice, but a scandal is brewing over reports that "government workers falsified data or created secret waiting lists to hide the long delays veterans faced before seeing doctors," The New York Times reported.

On Tuesday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., called on the FBI to investigate the rising number of misconduct reports and pursue criminal charges. Republicans are critical of the president, and the matter threatens to turn into political football.

In 2008, Obama campaigned on the issue, promising to fix "the broken bureaucracy" of the VA, and now he's sending Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors to Phoenix to assess the hospital where the most infuriating reports began. Nabors is also embedding with workers at the Veterans Affairs headquarters in Washington.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says part of the backlog is due to a flood of new soldiers seeking care, and the massive backlog of disability claims was "exacerbated for the right reasons by this administration because we committed to veterans who suffer from illnesses associated with exposure to Agent Orange."

In other news...

  • A Fighting Chance: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., told ProPublica about her new book, which dissects America's problem of crippling student debt and how it's harming our economy and saddling students with $1.2 trillion in debt—more than all credit debt combined.
  • Gays Driven From Jobs: A cache of secret documents reveals that during the Johnson administration, federal workers were instructed to fire homosexual civil servants through an FBI program called Sex Deviate. (via The New York Times)
  • Mubarak Convicted: Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has been sentenced to three years in prison for "plundering the state treasury of millions of dollars," the Los Angeles Times reported.
  • Russia's Massive Deal With China: For $400 billion, China signed a deal to buy Russian natural gas and have it distributed to the booming Asian nation through a pipeline. (via The Associated Press)
  • Pollution in China: China has adopted legislation to save the environment from severe air, water, and soil pollution. (via The New York Times)
  • NFL's Lies: Former players are now accusing the league of not telling them about broken bones, leading athletes to take risky narcotics to continue playing through pain from injuries sustained during games. (via Time)

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