Tag Archives: Veterans

Five Problems Bigger Than the National Debt

I am so tired of hearing politicians talk about the “DEFICIT” like it was the biggest threat to America since communism or some other previous excuse not to deal with real problems…

This is an entirely manufactured “crisis” and the “Conservatives” are trying to use it to kill programs they have always hated  anyway- like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and VA Benefits.  They are also using it as an excuse to cut federal jobs.

For example, I called the Veteran’s Administration 12 times today trying to check direct depositing my Mother’s benefits from my Father’s service.  I wasn’t allowed to do it on the web because it is a Custodial situation.  Each time I got a message telling me they could not take my call because of high call volumes and to call back later.  It took 2 years to get the benefit application approved due to “staffing” issues- and then only with Congressional help…..Hire some people, goddammit!

This is madness….

Anyway….

I’ve had my say on this many times.  We do not have any deficit problem that can’t be solved by higher employment, growth and investment in much-needed infrastructure projects.  The GOP and their Democratic enablers are only making the situation worse by not addressing these core issues responsibly and intelligently.

Someone needs to break the DC bubble and it sounds like maybe, just maybe, there may be some sensibility leaking into the Capitol.

But they still have a long ways to go and need to start by not listening to the Tea Party fools and their Billionaire sponsors or the Corporate chieftains.  Of course ending corporate welfare, such as subsidies to the oil companies, and making the wealthy pay their fair share by closing tax loopholes would also help…

I’ll keep hoping they will hear Paul Krugman’s voice calling from the wilderness.  Meaning outside of DC and it’s suburbs…

From Yahoo Finance:

With even top Republicans such as Eric Cantor beginning to question the political wisdom of waging perpetual warfare over the deficit, it’s possible that Washington may slowly turn its attention to other, more pressing matters.What could be more urgent than deficit reduction? you may ask.My answer: Almost everything.If deficit reduction was ever urgent, it no longer is. We’ve already accomplished most of the deficit-reduction required in this decade, nearly enough to stabilize our debt, but at a great cost to current economic growth. We’ve sacrificed with high unemployment, tepid growth and underinvestment in public goods.Not to mention our inability to get anything else done while we bicker about deficits.The $16 trillion debt sounds like a terrible thing, but no one has been able to show how this high level of debt has had any negative impact on the economy or on the people so far. Has anyone come around looking for your share of it?Interest rates are very low, so the public debt isn’t crowding out private investment. The burden from interest payments is extremely low, less than half what it was when Ronald Reagan was exploding the federal budget back in the 1980s. We survived.

MORE:   Five problems bigger than the national debt – Yahoo! Finance.

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Happy Veterans Day: This Year It’s a Little Different

Many thank to ALL our veterans.  We honor you today and every day.

This Veterans Day is a little different.  For the first time, we can openly recognize and thank our Gay and Lesbian Veterans who have served so long, so well and in silence.

A special Thank You to you and to those brave soldiers, such as a man I’m proud to call my friend, Col. Andy Leonard, who fought so long and hard to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  They fought to allow all vets to be recognized not just for what they do, but to do so without fear that who they are might end their service.

Now we can truly thank all the Vets as they proudly stand openly and together.

Here is a blogpost from the Human Rights Campaign with another Vet’s story:

The following post is from Retired Marine Staff Sergeant Eric Alva:

Today is Veterans Day.  It’s a day to honor all those who have served their country – our country.  Whether they saw combat, or served during times of peace, all who have worn the uniform of any of the five branches of the U.S. Military, are heroes in my eyes.  I salute them.

This year, Veterans Day is a little different.  The honor the uniform commands has always been there, even when we were forced to serve in silence, but this year openly gay veterans like me are holding our heads a little higher because this is the first Veterans Day without the stain of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on our nation.

Last month I was proud to attend the HRC National Dinner.  I’ve attended the dinner the past several years, but this was the first year I wore my uniform to the gala.  I wasn’t alone.  Hundreds of veterans were there that night, some in uniform, others not.  But what struck me the most was not the sheer number of service members and veterans at the Washington Convention Center, but the look in all of their eyes.  That night we knew two things: our nation had changed, and we were part of that change.

Today, on Veterans Day, the love I have for my country is as strong as it’s ever been.  I am proud that I fought for my country, and that fight includes fighting to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  People who are willing to fight and die for their country are rare.  We should not be denied the opportunity to serve, we should be encouraged.  I’m thankful we now are.

Happy Veterans Day.  God bless the United States of America.

Eric Alva was the first American service member wounded in Operation Iraqi Freedom, when he triggered a landmine just three hours into the conflict, losing his right leg.  He served as HRC’s spokesperson in our efforts to repeal DADT.  He stood behind President Obama as he signed DADT repeal into law.

via Guest Post: This Year Veterans Day is a Little Different | Backstory Blog | Human Rights Campaign.

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Congress Blocks Ceremony For Frank Buckles, Last Surviving WWI Veteran

Not only are Congressional Republicans evil, they’re just plain tacky….

This isn’t just honoring one man.  It’s recognition of history and the passing of a generation…

WASHINGTON — West Virginia’s two Democratic senators blamed House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday after their hopes of having the remains of World War I veteran Frank Buckles honored in the Capitol Rotunda were dashed, at least for now.

Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin III both released statements saying the Ohio Republican had blocked the Capitol honor. Asked if that were true, Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said the speaker and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., would seek Defense Department permission for a ceremony for Buckles at Arlington National Cemetery.

Buckles died Sunday on his farm in Charles Town, W.Va., at the age of 110. He had been the last surviving American veteran of World War I.

The episode turned what West Virginia lawmakers had hoped would be easy approval for the rare honor for Buckles into a finger-pointing dispute with partisan overtones.

It was unclear late Thursday how the disagreement would end. Asked whether Boehner would be supportive if the Senate approved a resolution allowing Buckles’ remains to lie in the Rotunda, Steel said, “We’ll see what the Senate does.”

The honor requires a congressional resolution or the approval of congressional leaders, according to the office of the architect of the Capitol.

The bodies of prominent citizens have been displayed in the Rotunda on 30 occasions, starting in 1852 with Henry Clay, a Kentucky senator and congressman. Others include President Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, unknown soldiers from America’s wars and civil rights hero Rosa Parks.

via Congress Blocks Ceremony For Frank Buckles, Last Surviving WWI Veteran.

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