Friday’s Mini-Report, 5.30.14

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* VA: “An internal Veterans Affairs audit handed to President Obama on Friday found widespread tampering with appointments scheduled by veterans seeking care. Sixty-four percent of VA facilities tampered with the desired appointment date of veterans, concluded the report, ‘signaling a systemic lack of integrity within some Veteran Health Administration facilities.’”
 
* Eric Shinseki’s farewell message to VA employees: “This morning, I resigned as secretary of Veterans Affairs. My personal and professional commitment and my loyalty to Veterans, their families, and our survivors was the driving force behind that decision. That loyalty has never wavered, and it will never wane.”
 
* Syria: “A United States citizen who blew himself up in a suicide attack in Syria on Sunday was of Middle Eastern descent and in his 20s, and grew up in Florida, two senior law enforcement officials said. The American authorities became aware of his presence in Syria in the past year.”
 
* Pakistan: “The Pakistani police said Friday that they had arrested four more people in connection with the death of Farzana Parveen, a pregnant woman fatally beaten by her family in a so-called honor killing that has stirred outrage in Pakistan and across the world.”
 
* Let them eat cake: “On Friday, the state civil rights commission affirmed last year’s ruling concluding that Phillips broke the law when he told Craig and Mullins he wouldn’t bake their wedding cake. Under the terms of the decision, Masterpiece Cakeshop will be temporarily supervised to ensure that the business does not discriminate against same-sex couples in the future.”
 
* Chili’s and Sonic became “the latest national chains to wade into the gun debate on Friday, announcing in apparently coordinated statements that firearms are no longer welcome in their restaurants.”
 
* More on gun policy: “In a small sign of bipartisanship in the wake of the Isla Vista, California shooting rampage that killed six people last week, moderate Republicans joined House Democrats Thursday night in passing an amendment to boost funding for the criminal background check system.”
 
* In related news, Ari Melber highlighted another important measure from the same bill: “The U.S. House voted Thursday to block the Obama administration’s plan to add staff to the Pardon Attorney’s office, a potential barrier to the Justice Department’s efforts to scale back some lengthy prison sentences handed down in the war on drugs.”
 
* So long, Sterling? “The NBA still wants to see some proof. The league said it was informed by Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling that an agreement was reached to sell the team for $2 billion to Steve Ballmer but the NBA awaited one small thing – paperwork.”
 
* President Obama hosts an event on sports and concussions: “The conference featured a panel discussion by experts and new financial commitments by the federal government and private sector to fund research into concussions. The pledges included a $10 million grant by Steve Tisch, co-owner of the New York Giants, to the UCLA School of Medicine’s neurosurgery department, to train pediatric neurologists specializing in sports concussions and research how to prevent, diagnose and treat the injuries among young athletes.”
 
* Read Jonathan Cohn on how the Affordable Care Act is “slashing those crazy COBRA premiums.” Then imagine how much worse off those Americans who rely on COBRA would be if congressional Republicans succeeded in destroying the reform law.
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Friday's Mini-Report, 5.30.14