As the Title suggests I am a vet, and proud of it, and proud of all those that wear the uniform of the United States of America. You name it we'll talk about it. Politics, sports and much more. However, I am also very interested in what is happening to this great country of ours, politically and socially...So SOUND OFF PRIVATE!!!

The Stars and Stripes

The Stars and Stripes
Respect Her, Defend Her, and Cherish what she stands for.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Road to Success in Iraq?

Well the die is cast. Today the Senate voted to pass the Ill-fated Appropriations Bill passed earlier by the House is now on its way to the President. The Bill providing $123 Billion in military funding and domestic programs aid, passed the Senate by a vote of 51 – 47 with two Republicans, Hagel (the senates new version of John Murtha) and Smith, jumping ship to vote with the Democrats. The Bill, which the President has stated repeatedly he would veto will more than likely return to the houses for the possible overturn vote. A vote that both houses know will not be able to sustain a two thirds majority in either house let alone together.

But does this relinquish the President of any responsibility? Not hardly. After four years of going it alone, with some of his supporters in the Congress, the war has been terribly mismanaged. Both on the ground and in the administration. Several generals that have served in Iraq since the action started and some of the retired generals have tried to explain it to the president that the troops can not win the battle alone, diplomacy must be a open avenue to pursue as well. With more and more scandals or so called scandals coming to light, things do not look well for the Bush Administration. However, be it understood that the Democrats are doing everything in their power to strip the President of any resemblance of power or authority with many wasteful committee hearings costing the Public millions. From the GSA scandals to the Justice Department scandals, much of what the democrat led committees are hunting are purely ghosts.

Now the question becomes what of the troops? What will their fate be if this funding does not reach them before the end of April? Sources say that they will no longer be able to provide maintenance on their vehicles and equipment, and funding for various ongoing projects. Will the newly arriving troops be provided the equipment and materials that they need? But even more than this, what message has the newly formed Department of Defense (the Congress) sent to the troops. Are they telling them that they no longer have confidence in them? Without hesitation, YES. Are they telling Gen Petraeous, whom was just recently given a unanimous vote by the Congress to take over the Iraqi battle, that they no longer have confidence in him to conduct the mission? Again, the answer is YES.

The leaders of both Houses, Pelosi and Reid, are pretty much floating the boat at this point. Both think that now the President must “negotiate” with them to get things done. To a certain extent that is true, but not necessarily a must. The Democrat led Congress are the ones that should have, at the beginning of all this, stepped forward and conducted meetings with the president as to what possible avenues were available, before they forced the Presidents hand. The President does not carry the power to provide funds for the troops, this falls to the Congress. Even though the funding was provided in the bill, there were unconstitutional strings tied to it. The founding fathers provided that the President to be the Commander and Chief of the military, not the Congress. The Congress has the power of the purse to either fund or not fund the war, but not dictate it. So the Bill, though providing funds, should have collapsed on itself. However, since the newly elected DOD has stepped up to the plate challenging the power of the President, they are to be held responsible.

My greatest concern is how many troops are going to suffer or die because the new DOD wants to play with their lives and jeopardize the outcome of the mission. There is plenty of blame to go around, both republicans and democrats should be ashamed of their conduct and inability to look at the long term effect of this war, for both winning and failing.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I am Moving...Find out where.

It has taken a while for me to wake up, but I think the time has come to make a break from certain ways that I have conducted myself and my ideology. Instead of looking at just the slants on the Democratic Party, I will look at both sides and speak my mind. First I will start with the Democratic Party, the now reigning majority.

It would seem that the Democratic Party, that recently won both houses of Congress and who ran on a more transparent legislature and bringing the war in Iraq to an “immediate” end, are already bucking their own promise to the people. They promised to bring the Congress back to a pay-as-you-go status to avoid furthering the deficit and placing payment on our children and grandchildren in the years down the road. Yet according to almost all of the bills that have been passed by this Congress they have gone in the opposite direction.

S.10, a bill to “Reinstate the pay-as-you-go requirement and reduce budget deficits by strengthening budget enforcement and fiscal responsibility”, has been read twice and placed into Committee on the Budget, but has yet to be brought to the floor for a vote. Is it the intent of the Democrats in Congress to wait until they have PORKED up every Bill that comes forward before they decide to vote on it? So it would appear.

Over the last few weeks alone the Democrats have placed more pork into bills than ever before. This pork, placed in emergency appropriations bills, totals out to more than $40 Billion dollars so far and there is probably more to come before it is all over with. This pork or amendments is not taken out of the operating expenses or general budget planned for this year, it will be taken on credit. Credit that our children and grandchildren will be paying for, for years to come. Is this the type of pay-as-you-go policy that they promised? I hope not.

To beef up their chances of passing bills in the house and in the senate, the Majority has placed every choke hold on their members thinkable to make sure that these bills pass. The so called “Blue Dog” Democrats, those that want to have a controlled spending government and the OUT OF IRAQ caucus members were bribed or threatened into placing yea votes on the recent appropriations bill so it would pass. Less than a dozen true “Blue Dog and Out of Iraq” members voted as they said they would, against the bill. Why not let them vote as their constituents voted for them. For this going against the grain, you can rest assured that there will be reprisals from the majority leaders later on down the road.

Yes, they voted on a more transparent legislature (S.1, passed January 22, 2007) but have yet to successfully conduct themselves as such, with behind closed doors amendments being placed into resolutions and not allowing debate or further amendments to be placed into the resolutions is a definite transparency of legislature. Don’t get me wrong, the Republicans were just as bad, but they didn’t run on that platform. The present Majority did, and they are failing miserably at it.

The agenda of the Democratic Party is becoming more and more relevant. Theirs is not to bring the country back together; but it is to place a much larger divide onto it. Power is a dangerous thing, and the Democrats have yet to learn how to use it wisely. It is true that they are in control, for now. But that control may be short lived if they continue to go against their own promises. If you were elected on ending the war, stop the funding and bring the troops home NOW. If not, don’t stand in their way of declaring victory at the days end. You don’t know what victory is, leave that up to the troops and their commanders.

The Republicans found out the hard way when they lost the last election because they thought they were too powerful to be replaced. They thought wrong, and are now paying the price for it. It is a dramatic shift when the majority of Americans find that the Democrats could be more “security minded” than republicans. A shift that everyone, but the Republicans, seemed to identify. They too have bogged down the democratic process that our nation was founded upon.

If this seems that I am “ragging” on both parties, you are right. I have been a life long Republican, voting straight party line ticket in major elections. That will now come to an end. Don’t clap to quickly Democrats; I am not joining your ranks either. I will, from this point on, consider myself a “no party” party. I will do what everyone should do, vote with my own mind and make my own decisions. It might be Republican on one issue or seat, and Democrat on another, and Independent on another. I will weigh each measure as it comes up and I will diligently research each candidate and issue, without playing off of the talking heads points from both parties. I think that it is time for all Americans to take back their rights and vote as you see fit. Neither party in office at this time is worth their weight in cow patties. I am not jumping ship because the Republicans lost the election, but for the simple fact that they have gone too far off center for me to support anymore. Neither party at this point in time has the balls to stand up to follow through with their promises, or their principals.


If they aren’t keeping their promises, vote them out. To hell with the power struggle, to hell with the back stabbers and to hell with the aisle jumpers. If you are elected on a platform, have the guts to stand on that platform and see it through. Another thing that I think should be voted on and passed into law is, TERM LIMITATIONS. Senators and should serve no more than two terms. If they can’t get it done in twelve years, screw them. Representatives should serve no more than three terms since they are elected every two years. Maybe this would help clean out the trash in Washington that seems to accumulate because so many members have been there so long.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Covering what you want to know?

The Media coverage of the ongoing “scandal” in the Justice Department with AG Gonzalez has been almost non-stop over the last few weeks, with members from both sides of the aisle calling for his resignation. According to a PEW RESEARCH POLL taken during the week of March 12th and released on March 21, only 8% of the public displayed any interest in the stories. However, the media gave this particular “scandal” more coverage than Iraq, Walter Reed, and the Stock Market combined. The media presented 16% of their news coverage to the Justice Investigation, and only 11% to Iraq, 4% to Walter Reed, and 9% to the 2008 Election Campaign.

However, while the media was focused on the US attorneys the public was more interested in Iraq (23%), Walter Reed (17%), and the 2008 Campaign (9%). Basically what this poll says is that the news media is trying to create the news by playing certain parts of it more often than other news. As the old saying goes, “If you say it long enough and loud enough people will take note”, falls well short in this recent poll. Americans are not that interested in the goings on of the US Attorneys.

Pew also points out that the attorney “scandal” only places 7th in scandals past and present in Washington D.C. It placed behind such notable scandals as Congressional Check Bouncing -36% (Apr 92), Scooter Libby-24% (Nov 05), Ethnic Charges against Newt Gingrich- 23% (91), Whitewater-22% (94), etc. So, where was the news media in their presentation of what most Americans consider pertinent news? They definitely were not in contact with what America wanted? This is just another indicator as to the agenda of the MSM and their push to bring more to the story than is there, at least in the eyes of the public.