Archive for the ‘senate’ Category

It’s been a while.  Looking back, I see my last post was about this time in 2009.  I know I have a few readers, and some of you have stuck with me in that time, so I apologize for not maintaining the appearance of keeping up with current events.  The truth is, I was so swept up in those events that I had no time to comment on them.

I’ve been busy.  Took my tax return from 2008 and used the money to pack up and move across country to go back to college.  Because, you know, in America, 21 years of active duty military experience counts for shit these days.  “Support the Troops” is nothing more than a bumper sticker.

Thank God for the new G.I. Bill.  It’s what’s keeping me in school, and what’s keeping food on the table.

But enough about me, what about the country?  President Obama has had two years to clean up the mess the Republicans spent eight years creating, and so far he hasn’t done much.  Why aren’t things better?

Of course, I’m being sarcastic.  The Republicans didn’t spend just eight years creating this mess, they spent the better part of the past 30.  This disaster has its roots in the Reagan administration, when that half-wit went on his union-busting crime spree and began to dismantle the fabric of the American middle class.  The collapse of the housing market in 2007 was just the final stroke.  This mess has been thirty years in the making.  It’s gonna take a lot longer than that to clean it up.

Elephants leave huge piles of shit everywhere they go.

With the new year approaching, and a new crop of Republican country-wreckers about to take over Congress, I thought it was time to start blogging again.  Call it my late Christmas gift.  And to celebrate the momentous occasion, I’d like to give them another one.

No mercy.

That’s what they deserve most.  If conditions don’t improve right away, hammer the bastards.  Question their motives.  Question their abilities.  Question their right to lead.  And never, ever let up.  They got us into this mess, they’re in charge now, so give ’em both barrels.

And when they fail, don’t hesitate to pull the trigger.

Happy Fucking New Year, Republicans.  Good luck.

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.