Category Archives: News

Embattled VA secretary says he’s not quitting over travel abuses

AP:Embattled VA secretary says he’s not quitting over travel abuses

By Associated Press
February 21, 2018 | 1:36am

WASHINGTON — Campaigning to keep his job, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said Tuesday he had no intention of quitting despite blistering findings of travel abuses connected to his 11-day trip to Europe. He issued an extraordinary warning to VA staff rebelling against him: Get back in line or get out.

Speaking after a Tuesday meeting at the White House, Shulkin told The Associated Press that White House chief of staff John Kelly affirmed he still had the trust of President Donald Trump. Reports have swirled in recent days of White House officials looking to oust Shulkin for not hewing more closely to the Trump agenda as well as VA press officials refusing to serve him.

Shulkin, a former VA undersecretary of health in the Obama administration, denied he was straying off course. A VA inspector general report last week found that Shulkin had improperly accepted Wimbledon tennis tickets and his staff lied that he was getting an award in order to justify his wife accompanying him at taxpayer expense on an 11-day European trip in July that mixed business and sightseeing.

“There is no doubt I am the secretary,” he said.

Indicating that changes may be in store at the VA, Shulkin added: “Anyone that is not able to get on board with that is not going to be able to remain at VA.”

Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a briefing Tuesday that she had no reason to believe Shulkin’s job was in danger. “If somebody no longer has the confidence of the president you guys will know,” she said.

Their statements come as several major veterans organizations have rallied behind Shulkin, citing concerns over his Europe travel but declaring him the best person to lead the VA at a time of major change. The department is seeking to expand private care options for veterans at government expense, a Trump campaign priority that has raised some concerns among veterans groups of undue “privatization.”

“While we were disappointed to learn of the recent issue with the secretary’s travel, we believe that the current controversy surrounding Shulkin is part of a larger effort to remove him and install others who would take steps to privatize the services provided to our nation’s heroes by the VA,” said American Legion National Commander Denise H. Rohan in a statement.

Addressing the travel controversy, Shulkin said he should have paid closer attention to travel policies rather than rely on staff who he said insisted that his wife would be able to fly commercial airfare for the 11-day trip to Denmark and Britain in July without any problems. The VA inspector general determined that Shulkin’s top aide, Vivieca Wright Simpson, actually had doctored emails to falsely represent that Shulkin was being honored in Denmark to justify the free travel. Wright Simpson retired from her post last Friday in the wake of the IG report.

At least one lawmaker, Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., has called on Shulkin to resign over the improprieties; other lawmakers have suggested he should do more to explain himself and acknowledge fault.

On Tuesday, Shulkin stressed he regretted that the incident had become a distraction to Trump’s agenda and said he would pay more attention to VA’s travel policies in the future.

“I am extraordinarily busy,” Shulkin said. “I wished I asked more questions.” Pledging to put aside the “distractions,” he said he would continue pushing forward with bipartisan legislation in Congress and had called a VA leadership department meeting on Tuesday to reiterate that people who “hijack” the VA agenda won’t be tolerated.

Medicare.gov for help

check for more at Medicare.gov

This is pretty important to get to people with Medicare, their families and friends or adult kids who help parents with Medicare:

Have just gotten word about the newest Medicare scam.

Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself, family and friends throughout the US:

Starting in April, Medicare will start a year long project to replace all current Medicare cards for beneficiaries to convert to alphanumeric ID numbers. Currently the ID number is your social security number.

First of all the new Medicare card will come to you in the mail.

You don’t need to request it or do anything. It will show up.

WHAT’S THE SCAM?

Somebody SUPPOSEDLY from "MEDICARE " will call to tell you you are getting a new Medicare card. But until it comes you will need a temporary card. Fee for the card is between $5-50 dollars. They want personal information, bank account or credit card so they can process your temporary card.

THINGS TO REMEMBER

Medicare will never call you unless you ask them to.

Medicare does all communications by mail unless you ask them to call.

Ditto for anybody saying they "work with Medicare to make sure you get everything you are entitled to" . Scammer alert

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THIS ONE?

First of all spread the word. Feel free to share these notes.

Use your answering machine to screen calls or just don’t even answer a number you don’t recognize.

If it has happened to you or your friends or loved ones and personal info had been given out (happens considerably more often than you think so don’t feel bad or stupid ) immediately take action to protect yourself against identity theft.

Washburn Rural AFJROTC defeats Arizona American Legion

Washburn Rural AFJROTC defeated Arizona American Legion 822 to 593 in the National Air Rifle New Shooter League. With the win, Washburn Rural AFJROTC is in thirtieth place with a 1 – 2 record. Washburn Rural AFJROTC was led by Philip Miller who shot a 226. The remaining contributing members were Chris Beeson, Christian Ahlf, and Ashton Cooper. Washburn Rural AFJROTC is from Topeka, KS, and is coached by MSgt Wayne Long.

Arizona American Legion dropped to 0 – 4 on the season. They are currently in thirty-ninth place. Shooting their highest team score of the season Arizona American Legion was led by Anton Bichler who shot a 231. The remaining contributing members were Jared Stenbak, Chandler Boyd, and . Arizona American Legion is from Glendale, AZ, and is coached by Dan Palmer.

Next up Washburn Rural AFJROTC will compete against West Virginia Junior Marksmanship of Fayette County from Montgomery, WV. West Virginia Junior Marksmanship of Fayette County currently has a 1 – 2 record. Arizona American Legion will compete against Joliet Central AJROTC from Joliet, IL. Joliet Central AJROTC currently has a 0 – 3 record.

These two teams are competing in the National Air Rifle "New Shooter" League. Sponsored by the Orion Scoring System, the league is a national team league exclusive to athletes in their first year of competition. Teams are from high schools and junior rifle clubs throughout the United States. Over 10 weeks each team competes in 8 games. Each week, each team is paired with another team with a near equal win-loss record. The winner of the league is the team with the best win loss record.

In each game the teams compete in what is known as a Three-Position Air Rifle match. The match is modeled after Olympic Rifle competitions but adapted to high school age athletes. Each athlete will shoots 10 shots in three different shooting positions, prone, standing, and kneeling. Each shot is worth a maximum of 10 points. The sum of points scored in the 30 shots is the athlete’s total. The team score is comprised of the best four athletes from each team.

For more information on the league, including complete standings, visit http://www.orionscoringsystem.com/AirRifleNewShooterLeague

Box Score: http://www.orionresults.com/team/GamePage.aspx?MatchID=1.1.791315912.1

Washburn Rural AFJROTC team page: http://www.orionresults.com/team/LeagueTeam.aspx?TeamID=748
Arizona American Legion team page: http://www.orionresults.com/team/LeagueTeam.aspx?TeamID=762

12 – 18 Feb 2018