The Augusta Chronicle, Georgia, on Hillary Clinton:
Conventional wisdom suggests women voters overwhelmingly will support Hillary Clinton in her presumptive presidential bid in 2016.
But should they?
That's a question all voters need to ask themselves before marching in lockstep to a Clinton candidacy. More to the point: What, exactly, has she done during her many years as a national figure to demonstrate strong and capable leadership?
Start with her role as first lady, where she failed early on to sell the far left's dream of universal health care and spent the rest of her husband's presidency on the arm of history.
Yes, her tenure as secretary of state made her America's top diplomat and gave her a taste of foreign policy experience. The four-year assignment no doubt will feature prominently in her upcoming memoirs and presidential campaign.
But what did she do?
The "accomplishments" Clinton is most remembered for actually are horrible failures of policy: her negligence in the deadly Benghazi attacks, and her refusal to place the African Islamist group Boko Haram on the terrorist group watch list.
Based on what is known about the Benghazi scandal and cover-up, Clinton's leadership was abysmal - an assessment unlikely to be improved by revelations from the latest congressional inquiry.
Then there's Boko Haram, the radical Islamist group currently receiving international attention for its heinous abduction and threatened sale of several hundred Nigerian schoolgirls. Clinton could have dealt the organization a major blow by placing it on the terrorist watch list.
Instead of displaying fortitude and esprit de corps for abused women and girls, Clinton chose to emulate the administration's dodgy, lead-from-behind strategy that has weakened America's relations with allies and emboldened its enemies on the world stage.
Finally, women should question the legitimacy of Clinton's feminist street cred.
This is the woman who, after all, not only protected her husband's philandering for decades, but lashed out at his most high-profile victim, a then-22-year-old Monica Lewinsky, as "a narcissistic loony toon."
In 2016, America will need a chief executive to pull it from the morass wrought by eight years of muddled Obama policies.
That's a tall order. And Hillary Clinton falls woefully short.
Albany (Georgia) Herald on veterans' welfare:
The talk is ratcheting up on issues with the delivery of medical services to U.S. military veterans, but what is needed is swift corrective action. Lives are at stake.
While the VA budget has seen increases in its budget even in lean times, whether those have been enough to cover the costs of serving Americans who have served in war, including more than a decade in Afghanistan and Iraq, is debatable. There has been grumbling over the years, but the revelation that a Phoenix, Ariz., VA office was cooking its books like a numbers man hiding from the IRS — records for public consumption that blatantly lied about how quickly veterans were being cared for — has finally brought the issue to a head, particularly the assertion that dozens of veterans died while waiting long months to receive medical care.
What we're hearing now is a lot of pledges to investigate and an increasing chorus for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to step down or be fired.
President Barack Obama on Wednesday had promised to do just that.
"If these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable, it is disgraceful, and I will not tolerate it, period," Obama said after meeting at the White House with Shinseki and Rob Nabors, Obama's aide who is reviewing the allegations about the Phoenix VA office. ". "When I hear allegations of misconduct, any misconduct, whether it's allegations of VA staff covering up long wait times or cooking the books, I will not stand for it, not as commander in chief, but also not as an American."
He also indicated that if the allegations are substantiated, Shinseki will voluntarily leave his post. While that resignation might be deserved and may satisfy some critics, the issue goes deeper than who is sitting atop the VA food chain. The issue that must be explored both thoroughly and quickly is whether America's veterans are getting quality care with the shortest waiting times possible.