Archive for the ‘democrats’ Category

In case you missed it, here’s the text of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Memorial Day letter, as posted on the Huffington Post:

Today, as we honor America’s fallen soldiers, I ask you to join me in renewing our commitment to the men and women who have served our nation in the Armed Forces.

When I ran for Congress, I was clear about my opposition to the War in Iraq. But while I did not agree with President Bush ‘s policies, I worked hard in Congress to provide our servicemembers and returning veterans with the health care and educational opportunities they deserve.

Now I am renewing those efforts in the U.S. Senate. Last week I introduced legislation called PRO-VETS, to require the Veterans Administration to seek out and provide our returning heroes with information on the benefits they have earned. It will eliminate red-tape and bureaucratic bottlenecks, and require timely responses from the VA to all those who inquire about the benefits for which they are eligible.

I was shocked to find out the following statistics from my home state of New York:

  • While there are 237,302 veterans in New York City , 181,360 are not receiving VA health care benefits.
  • While there are 121,183 veterans in Western New York , 87,217 are not receiving VA health care benefits.
  • While there are 85,401 veterans in Central New York , 61,220 are not receiving VA health care benefits.
  • While there are 54,360 veterans in the Southern Tier , 39,277 are not receiving VA health care benefits.
  • While there are 92,549 veterans in the Capital Region , 71,571 are not receiving VA health care benefits.
  • While there are 46,762 veterans in the North Country , 35,085 are not receiving VA health care benefits.

My legislation would close the gap between what our veterans are eligible for and what they are receiving. As I say in the news piece below, this is about shifting the focus of the VA to become pro-active, not reactive.

While the US government provides our veterans with many benefits, I believe there is much more still to be done to fulfill our promise to those who risk their lives for our country.

  • We need to expand health benefits to include treatment of autism for children of retired and active duty servicemembers.
  • We need to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to allow our soldiers to serve openly and honestly, regardless of sexual orientation.
  • We need to expand access to healthcare for veterans and their families, including universal pre-natal care.
  • We need to provide incentives to businesses in order to expand the opportunities available to our veterans upon their return to civilian life.

In the meantime, it is my hope that my PRO-VETS bill, once passed and signed into law, will at least help veterans take advantage of the benefits that do exist. For me, this bill is my small way of saying thanks to our brave veterans for their service to our country. I encourage you all to join me in honoring our veterans and service personnel, not just today but every day. They and their families have earned our thanks and our support.

Damn right we have.  I’ve been a supporter of Ms. Gillibrand since before the election, and will continue to be one as long as she supports our troops, our veterans, and their families.  We need 99 more of her in the Senate.  If only the Republicans had half her patriotism.

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It’s been a long time since my last post, and I haven’t commented on the election results.  You may chastise me at will.

Basically, I’m pretty tired of politics.  Watching and commenting on the quadrennial whack-a-mole game we call electoral politics has been exhausting, frustrating, and finally exhilarating.  I’m tired and I’m taking a break from it.  Gonna write a novel, which I’ve been trying to do for the past ten years.

But first, a few belated shout-outs:

Barack Obama:  Congratulations, dude!  You’ve won – now the hard part.  Cleaning up the shit-storm the Bush crowd has created will be no easy task.  But from watching your cabinet post selections over the past two weeks I think you’ll be up to the job.  As of January 20th, you’ll be my president and everyone else’s president as well, and you’ll have my support.  Of course, I reserve the right to unreservedly chastise you if I think you’re screwing up, so watch yourself.  Fortunately, your predecessor set the bar so fucking low that you can’t help but succeed by comparison.  You’d really have to work hard to fail that badly.  Good luck.

John McCain:  Congratulations, dude!  You’ve lost – now the easy part.  You don’t have to eat the shit sandwich served up by your buddy George W.  Selecting Sarah Palin as your running mate was a feat of genius – it allowed you to throw the election without looking like you were throwing it.  And your last-minute appearance on SNL was brilliant.  Loved it – your wife never looked better.  Too bad I cant afford any of the McCain Fine Gold, though.  Would have made a nice gift.  Now you’ve got a choice to make – which home to retire to?  Eeenie, meenie, miney, moe… Good luck.

George Bush: Congratulations, dude!  Your epic disaster of a Presidency is almost over.  You managed to do more damage to the country and American presige, power and credibility in your eight too-long years than any previous leader in history.  Despite your best efforts, you did it without completely dismantling the Constitution, the rule of law, civil rights, morality and common decency.  Your incompetence, ineptitude, corruption and moral degeneracy will be remembered throughout history.  You will be forever remembered as the worst President in American history.  But take heart – you still have 60 days to really fuck things up royally.  I’m sure you won’t waste them.  After January 20th, the only decision you’ll have to make will be which books to include in your Presidential LIbrary.  I’m sure you can finish coloring them before then.  Good luck!  Now go to hell.

Sarah Palin: Congratulations, babe!  You managed to turn a sure Democratic victory into a Democratic landslide – thanks!  All I have to say now is “Palin 2012!”  Run, baby run!  Every time you open your mouth you remind us why we voted for Obama in the first place.  The thought of you in the White House sends cold chills down the spine of every thinking, intelligent person in the country.  So keep up the good work – we could use another landslide in 4 years.

America: Congratulations, my country!  We finally proved we’re ready to lead the world.  Good luck.

Peace out.  I don’t know when I’ll return again.

ABC News reports that Senator Obama raised $66 Million in August, shattering even his own previous records.

The McCain campaign raised $47 Million.

Referring to the McCain-Palin coattailing of Obama’s “Change” theme, Senator Obama said this recently at a campaign rally:

“John McCain says he’s about change, too – except for economic policy, health care policy, tax policy, education policy, foreign policy and Karl Rove-style politics,” Mr. Obama said. “That’s not change. That’s just calling the same thing something different. You can put lipstick on a pig – it’s still a pig.”

Predictably, the McCain campaign jumped all over it, claiming it was a direct insult to Gov. Palin.  Apparently, the expression, which predates most of our grandparents, referred to her because she mentioned lipstick last week in her speech.

How fucking desperate can you get?  This is on the same level as Cindy McCain’s assertion that Palin has “foreign policy experience” because she lives next door to Russia.

Desperate, sad, pathetic.

The Republicans should have a lot more respect for community organizers than they showed on Wednesday evening.  After all, C.O.’s throughout history have been far more politically effective acting as change agents than governors have.

Community Organizers get things done when their local and state governments fail to do them, or insist on ignoring the problems.  I made this bumper sticker after reading the quote on Mudflats, one of the best Democrat blogs around.

The wonderful thing about it is, you can make it fit with any combination you want!  For example, if you want to push the civil rights angle, use Martin Luther King and George Wallace.

This is getting fun!

Well, my fellow Democrats, we’ve had a good run of it.  We made history, nominating a black man as our candidate for the first time in American history (and hopefully not the last), and likewise for the first time in history a woman had a real shot at the Presidency.  We stand poised to unseat the most hated, most divisive and most corrupt administration in history.  But I fear all these gains and progress are about to be undone.

John McCain’s recent nomination of Sarah Palin as his running mate has brought out the worst in some of us.  Rumors have been flying, some based in fact, other pure nonsense.  Some are outright lies worthy only of print in the National Enquirer.  And worst of all, some in the liberal blogosphere have begun going after Mrs. Palin’s children.  One story accusing her of “covering up” her daughter’s pregnancy by pretending to be pregnant herself was reported on the Daily Kos.  As the story goes, Mrs. Palin’s youngest child, who has Down’s Syndrome, is not really hers but eldest daughter Bristol’s.  No actual facts have thus far been provided to substantiate the rumor, and the story has since been removed.  Others have not shown such discretion.

This is a dangerous game, and one we can’t win.  If politics is war by other means, then the children of the candidates are innocent bystanders.  They did not ask to be involved in this war, and should not be targeted even by the independent partisans of the candidates.  The sins of the parents must not be visited upon the children.

Going after the children of the candidates will gain us nothing; worse, it might even cost us the election.  Am I being alarmist?  I don’t think so.  My friends, what you need to remember is that when you follow these “leads” and breathlessly report lies and innuendo as though they are fact, you are doing exactly what the Republicans expect you to do.  You are, in fact, playing their game.  And that’s a game we can’t win.

First of all, they’re much better at this than we are.  This is like wrestling with a pig – you both get dirty and the pig likes it.  Don’t be a pig.

Second, it allows them to sieze the moral high ground and say “look – those horrible people are attacking her children.  What monsters they are!”  Voters expect partisans to go after the other side’s candidate, but attacking their children is beyond the pale.  We already have the moral high ground, with Bush’s record of mismanagement, malfeasance, economic disaster and military catastrophe.  We already have the moral high ground on most of the major issues of the day – economics, the environment, and veterans’ issues.  Now is not the time to behave like the immature children they think we are.

I know, some of you are thinking that if the situation were reversed, they would spare us no mercy.  So much better the reason not to do it.  We must rise above that.  We must be better than that if we expect to win.

Stick with the facts.  Attack the candidates’ positions, but leave the children alone.  Always remember that what you do reflects on the candidate, and as tempting as it may be to blog National Enquirer-style bullshit, it will not help Obama get elected in November.

Stick to the substance.  There’s so much more of it, we don’t need to make up crap in order to win.  Leave the lies, innuendo and rumor mongering to the Republicans and their cronies.

One wonders what the neocon Republicrites will do with this little factoid.  According to a recent analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, troops deployed overseas, especially those deployed to the war zones, have been donating heavily to anti-war candidates.  Barack Obama currently has a 6-to-1 lead over rival John Sidney McCain, with Ron Paul trailing a close second.  Combined, Obama and Paul lead McCain by 10 to 1 over McCain.

And Hillary Clinton?  Not even in the top five.  She lags a very distant 7th, with less than 1/3 of McCain’s contributions.

So, back to the original question.  Neocon wack-jobs and chickenhawks like Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh have been falsely claiming criticim of the war means being anti-American or “not supporting the troops”.  So, what to make of this?  The troops apparently don’t support themselves!

The answer is quite simple, really.  After the way the Republicans have lied to, failed, used, abused, and betrayed the military they claim to support, how can they expect them to support McCain in the upcoming election?

How can the McCain expect any support from the troops, when he’s promised them nothing but blood, war and death for years to come?  Here’s a news flash for all you “support the troops by keeping them in hell” hypocrites:  they train to fight, but most don’t want to.  War is the last thing a warrior wants to do.  He does it because he’s trained for it and because he trusts that his leaders will make the right decisions.

The Republicans have repeatedly failed the troops and betrayed them.  And now it’s payback time.