There they go again...
Wednesday the Senate, usually the more adult of our two legislative houses, failed to pass actual bipartisan ***gasp*** legislation that would have granted an already funded Job Corps to our 220 thousand unemployed veterans during a time when a veteran is committing suicide every 80 minutes in the United States. I do not know how they could ignore that statistic and leave our veterans hanging, too many of them quite literally. As a family member of someone who committed suicide this statistic saddens me. As a veteran who has contemplated suicide, this dismissal of veterans, as usual, by republicans in congress, frightens and angers me.
Democrats were so committed to passing this bill that they offered to allow republicans to add literally anything they wanted to this precious, life-saving legislation to make it "passable" for them, and boy-howdy, did they! The republicans had a big old PORK-FEST with what started out as good, clean, lean legislation, but the Dems ground their teeth and bore it for the sake of our vets.
Then in what may be the most treacherous move since the U.S. lost our AAA credit rating for the first time in history over GOP intransigence (and in my opinion an even larger one because of the service of the human beings attached to it) the same "champions" of the bill who initially worked for its passage not only voted against it, but abused the power of the filibuster to defeat it, for nothing more important than party politics.
Four men's actions were particularly craven regarding the Job Corps for Veterans bill, for which there is no "do over. It's dead. No second chances. Someone else will have to start the whole lengthy process all over again in the new (hopefully more SANE) congress.
These are the four men who spat on our current vets in a way far more damaging than any Vietnam-era stories:
John Boozman, [R] Arkansas http://www.boozman.senate.
Mike Johanns, [R] Nebraska http://www.johanns.
Richard Burr, [R] North Carolina http://burr.senate.gov/
Pat Toomey, [R] Pennsylvania http://www.toomey.senate.gov/
This is one of the dirtiest of all the ugly tricks from the republican tea bag collection. It goes like this. Write and/or co-sponsor legislation (in order to take credit for it while on the campaign trail) then double back and vote against that same legislation, and in the case of the current job bill for vets, take it one sinister twisted step farther and use the filibuster to triple back and block it.
I think...at least I hope this time it's going to go against them. Even our ridiculous excuse for news has made it pretty clear to anyone paying attention that for President Obama's entire administration the laser-assisted aim of the theocratic tea party has been to make the president look bad at any and all costs.
This time, on this particular bill, a lot of people on both sides are extremely angry, because even though approximately 1% of us serve at any one time, most of us have family, and families for the most part pay attention to these things. I don't think they're going to get away with "crop dusting" this one and pointing the finger the other way. The blame here is very clear. It wasn't Democrats filibustering or adding pork.
It is 100% apparent to any thinking human that just over six weeks prior to the election the republicans in the Senate have followed form and thrown our veterans under the bus because they dare not do anything this close to the election that might make President Obama look good...especially not something that was HIS idea. For the GOP tea-baggers it's just politics as usual.
They are so "pro-life" when it comes to a raped woman that they fully expect her to give up her life for having "sex" even without consent (because make no mistake, it's all about punishing female sexuality) and give birth even if it's sure to cause her DEATH but when it comes to caring for anyone from any point after they have taken their first independent breath it's all over, even if they have lost a limb or the use of a good part of their brain for their country! There is nothing pro-life in that!
If you support using and abusing our veterans this way, by all means vote for republicans this coming election. Reward them for playing with the lives of our finest men and women who have already given so much for our country. Be just like Mitt Romney and write them off and turn your back on them and let them fend for themselves. They're just the "little people" right? Some of them even get food stamps for their children. They need to take some personal responsibility, for Jesus Christ of Later Days Saints sakes! Right? WRONG!
Sure, according to Mitt, vets just need to pull themselves up by however many bootstraps they have left (if any) with whatever digits remain on whatever arms remain on their bodies (if any) with whatever coordination their possibly damaged brains may be able to muster (if any) and get a job! Oh wait...there AREN'T ANY because employers often don't quite "get" former military skill sets and job descriptions and bosses may even be a little afraid, given our wonderful sensation-seeking media have made all veterans sound like ticking time bombs rather than the ultra-responsible, hard working, forward thinking, motivated men and women most of us are.
You know, if Mitt and his one percent club could have carried their own damned water in this campaign the unethical slugs that inhabit seats in our congress might have been able to vote YES on that Veterans Job Corps Bill that would have introduced employers to VETERANS WHO DESERVE TO HAVE WHAT JOBS "THOSE PEOPLE" HAVEN'T YET MOVED TO CHINA!
Good ol' Thurston Howell Romney gets a real chuckle out of that one, especially when he talks about the women he saw locked in, twelve to a room, at gunpoint, when he visited over there while officially still working for Bain.
America's veterans have voluntarily taken on a tremendous burden in war time. They are risking life and limb in two wars of choice, started and maintained in large part for the purpose of profiteering by the military-industrial complex...wars which have destabilized the entire middle east to the point of literal explosion. Now to add insult to injury they have dangled the promise of a jobs bill, HOPE OF WORK, something as simple as that, in front of these men and women, then snatched it away for something as craven as political expediency. If you let them get away with it, or heaven forbid, vote more like them in to the House OR Senate...well, that is between you, your mirror and your Maker.
Meanwhile, another three veterans have killed themselves while I labored past my own military-related disability to piece this blog post together. The four men above don't care about those dead veterans or any other.