Monday’s Mini-Report, 6.9.14

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Surprise development in Virginia: “Amid a firestorm of criticism regarding his resignation from the Virginia Senate, Democrat Phillip P. Puckett is withdrawing his name from consideration for a job with the state tobacco commission, according to two people with knowledge of the decision.”
 
* The latest mass shooting: “A Las Vegas couple who shot to death two police officers, a civilian and themselves – after telling a neighbor they were headed to an ‘underground world’ – had an anti-government, anti-police ideology with militia and white supremacist overtones, authorities said Monday.”
 
* Also note: “Investigators believe ex-con Jerad Miller and his wife, Amanda, acted alone during Sunday’s blood-thirsty rampage, but they are investigating possible links between the pair and militants who converged on rancher Cliven Bundy’s property during his armed standoff with federal rangers.”
 
* VA: “A Veterans Affairs audit of its troubled hospitals and clinics has identified 100,000 veterans facing long waits for health care, and clerks across the system report having been instructed to falsify dates in scheduling records. The findings, reported by the VA on Monday, indicate widespread confusion across the system charged with caring for the nation’s veterans.”
 
* More VA: “The CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, who was approached by the White House about heading the Department of Veterans Affairs, has withdrawn his name from consideration. Delos ‘Toby’ Cosgrove said in a statement Saturday that he was ‘humbled and honored’ to have been asked about the post but has decided to stay at the Cleveland Clinic.”
 
* Pakistani Taliban: “On Sunday night, 10 militant fighters, disguised as government security forces and armed with rocket launchers and suicide vests, stormed the Karachi airport. They came with food, water and ammunition, in apparent preparation for a long siege, but also with big ambitions: perhaps to hijack a commercial airliner, government officials said on Monday, or to blow up an oil depot, or to destroy airplanes on the tarmac.”
 
* Iran: “With nuclear talks stalled and a deadline approaching, a delegation of top U.S. officials will confer with Iranian counterparts at a hastily organized two-day meeting in Geneva next week, officials announced early Saturday.”
 
* Kosovo: “At least two, possibly three people were killed Friday in a massive explosion at a coal-fired power plant in Kosovo, a plant that the World Bank has deemed the worst polluter in Europe, according to multiple media reports.”
 
* Terrific piece from Annie Lowrey: “Arkansas accepted the Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act. Texas did not. That makes Texarkana perhaps the starkest example of how President Obama’s health care law is altering the economic geography of the country. The poor living in the Arkansas half of town won access to a government benefit worth thousands of dollars annually, yet nothing changed for those on the Texas side of the state line.”
 
* Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), the ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said yesterday, in reference to the Bergdahl prisoner swap, “It’s kind of puzzling as to why [Obama administration officials] did not let us know in advance that this was going to happen.” Really? Because it doesn’t seem puzzling at all in light of what Chambliss said last week.
 
* Welcome back, senator: “Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) returned to work in Washington Monday after having emergency heart surgery in April…. Boozman, 63, underwent emergency heart surgery on April 22 to correct an acute aortic dissection. Former U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke died from the same condition.”
 
* Like clockwork: “Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is alleging that a shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada that left two police officers and another victim dead was ‘absolutely staged’ by the federal government.”
 
* The Post’s editors really should have a conversation: “Fox News contributor and Washington Post columnist George Will derided efforts on college campuses to combat the sexual assault epidemic as a ploy to ‘make victimhood a coveted status that confers privilege.’”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Monday's Mini-Report, 6.9.14