Monday, June 02, 2008

Money, money, money bags, There goes mingy Stingy

Email from Courage Campaign today:
Last Monday, at a Memorial Day event in the 26th Congressional District (just outside of Los Angeles), Rep. David Dreier -- chair of the California Republican Congressional Delegation -- said:

"What we say to honor those who serve will never be more than lip service if we don't ensure that our veterans are cared for when they return home."

Turns out, lip service is all Rep. Dreier has for our troops. On May 15, Mr. Dreier voted against the "21st Century GI Bill" -- a bill that would fully fund four years of college for our returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.

That GI bill overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives, 256-166. Then, on May 22, the Senate passed a similar version of the same bill, 75-22. This week, that Senate bill is being sent back to the full House for a new vote and, if passed, will then be sent to the President.

With the Senate version of the "21st Century GI Bill" coming to the House, Rep. Dreier has a new opportunity to stop paying lip service to veterans. You can tell Rep. Dreier that he owes more than words to the troops he and President Bush sent to war -- he owes them his vote. Please sign our petition to Rep. Dreier ASAP and we'll deliver your signatures to his San Dimas office after 12 p.m. on Thursday:

St. McCain also voted against this bill. He no longer has any national security or military support credibility. From VetVoice:
Yesterday delivered a petition with 30,000 signatures to the office of Senator John McCain. Through that petition, we asked him to support Senator Jim Webb's new GI Bill. And less than 24 hours later, we have an answer:
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, seemed to give a thumbs down to bipartisan legislation that would greatly expand educational benefits for members of the military returning from Iraq and Afghanistan under the GI Bill.
McCain indicated he would offer some sort of alternative to the legislation to address concerns that expanding the GI Bill could lead more members of the military to get out of the service.

Both Democratic presidential candidates - Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., - have signed on as co-sponsors, and the bill has gained bipartisan support from 54 senators on Capitol Hill in addition to Webb.

The reason for McCain's refusal to support the bill is about the most disturbing rationale one could imagine.
Officials in charge of Pentagon personnel worry that a more generous and expansive GI Bill would create an incentive for troops to get out of the military and go to college.
Right. God forbid.

Brian Buetler writing at The Nation has the true story of McCain's startling indifference to men and women wearing the uniform he once did. Elitism and privilege, Right-wing hypocrisy in hatred of spending money to help anyone else, who knows? And who cares? Read the whole thing, it's startling:
Times have changed since McCain needed veterans services so urgently. And for many of those thirty-five years, McCain, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, the candidate who talks the best talk on veterans issues, has demonstrated a tendency to work against veterans' interests, voting time after time against funding and in favor of privatizing services--in other words, of rolling back the VA's improvements by supporting some of the same policies that wrecked Walter Reed.

During a March 2005 Senate budget debate, McCain voted to kill an amendment that would have "increase[d] veterans medical care by $2.8 billion in 2006." That amendment lacked an assured funding stream, but lest one mistake this incident for a maverick's stance against budget-busting, there's more. Just a year later McCain voted against an amendment that would have "increase[d] Veterans medical services funding by $1.5 billion in FY 2007 to be paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes." Two days after it failed, he voted to kill "an assured stream of funding for veterans' health care that [would] take into account the annual changes in the veterans' population and inflation to be paid for by restoring the pre-2001 top rate for income over $1 million, closing corporate tax loopholes and delaying tax cuts for the wealthy." That amendment died quietly, forty-six to fifty-four.

In September 2006 McCain voted to table an amendment to a Defense appropriations bill that would have prevented the department from contracting out support services at Walter Reed. The amendment was indeed tabled--by a vote of fifty to forty-eight, the sort of margin a true veterans' senator might have been able to flip if he really cared about veterans' healthcare.

Straight-talk about McCain is that he's a hypocrite, even worse than Drier, who is just a closet-case self-loathing Republican stooge.

Bastards. Both of 'em.