Showing posts with label President Elect Obama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label President Elect Obama. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

President Elect Obama on the beach gives dangerous image

While it seems everyone was focused on the shape of President Elect Obama on the beach, it also seems to have not entered into their mind this picture comes with a dangerous image. If a photographer could shoot a picture without security protecting Obama, then what would have stopped someone with a gun instead? This really frightened me for him. How can people get that close in unprotected moments they are able to take a picture? Wouldn't you think he would have had a lot more protection that no one would be able to get that close? I'm really surprised the media is not more up in arms over this fact than the fact Obama is a celebrity. He happens to be a lot more than that. He's our next president for Heaven's sake!!! Where was the Secret Service that is supposed to be thinking of these things?

President Elect Obama on the beach
Celebrity in chief 2:55
Obama caught on camera in a bathing suit. Star coverage, or a new kind of news coverage? CNN's Joe Johns reports.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dem officials: Shinseki to be named VA secretary ?

UPDATE 12-07-08
Obama names Shinseki as choice for VA chief
President-elect Barack Obama announced today that retired Army Gen. Eric Shinseki is his pick to be secretary of Veterans Affairs. The nation needs "a 21st Century" Department of Veterans Affairs "that will better serve all who have answered our nation's call," he said at a news conference in Chicago. full story

Shinseki spoke his mind before Iraq was invaded about the need for a lot more troops. He was right.

After reading this part, I think he would be a good head for the VA. It shows how much he does care.

“I do not want to criticize while my soldiers are still bleeding and dying in Iraq.”

I'd still like to see Cleland on the job but Shinseki could end up being a wonderful choice.

UPDATE 10:00 p.m.
General Critical of Iraq War Is Pick for VA Chief
New York Times - United States
Published: December 6, 2008
CHICAGO — President-elect Barack Obama has chosen retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki to be secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department, elevating the former Army chief of staff, who was vilified by the Bush administration on the eve of the Iraq war for his warning that far more troops would be needed than the Pentagon had committed.
In his choice of General Shinseki, which Mr. Obama will announce here on Sunday, the president-elect would bring to his cabinet someone who symbolizes the break Mr. Obama seeks with the Bush era on national security. The selection was confirmed by two Democratic officials.

General Shinseki, testifying before Congress in February 2003, a month before the United States invaded Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime, said “several hundred thousand soldiers” would be needed to stabilize Iraq after an invasion. In words that came to be vindicated by events, the general anticipated “ethnic tensions that could lead to other problems,” adding, “and so it takes a significant ground force presence to maintain a safe and secure environment.”

The testimony angered Donald H. Rumsfeld, the defense secretary at the time, whose war plans called for far fewer troops. Mr. Rumsfeld’s deputy, Paul D. Wolfowitz, publicly rebuked General Shinseki’s comments as “wildly off the mark,” in part because Iraqis would welcome the Americans as liberators.

With the subsequent years in which Americans battled ethnic insurgents, and after President Bush agreed in January 2007 to a “surge” strategy of more troops, General Shinseki was effectively vindicated, and military officials, as well as activists and politicians, publicly saluted him. By then, however, General Shinseki had been marginalized on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and quietly retired from the Army.

When asked about General Shinseki’s early troop estimates in an interview to be broadcast Sunday on “Meet the Press” on NBC, Mr. Obama said, “He was right.”

At the same time, General Shinseki drew criticism for not having pressed more aggressively for more troops before the war. In an interview in Newsweek in early 2007, he said of the critiques, with characteristic brevity: “Probably that’s fair. Not my style.” In the past, he would say to his associates, “I do not want to criticize while my soldiers are still bleeding and dying in Iraq.”
click link above for more

Dem officials: Shinseki to be named VA secretary

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President-elect Barack Obama has chosen retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki to be the next Veterans Affairs secretary, turning to a former Army chief of staff once vilified by the Bush administration for questioning its Iraq war strategy.

The choice was first reported by The Associated Press.
click post title for more
linked from RawStory

But we had these other people and Max Cleland would have been a better choice considering the two biggest issues facing the troops with the VA is TBI and PTSD. Cleland understands PTSD, because he has it but above all he also knows what it's like to be misdiagnosed. He was treated for depression instead of PTSD.

Obama to Announce Pick for Veterans Affairs Tomorrow

Obama to Announce Pick for Veterans Affairs Tomorrow (Update1)

By Julianna Goldman

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- President-elect Barack Obama will announce his choice to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs tomorrow at a news conference in Chicago, according to a Democratic aide.

Obama’s pick will join him at the press conference scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Chicago time, to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, according to the aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Possible choices to lead the department include Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran who lost a 2006 bid for Congress and serves as director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs; former U.S. Senator Max Cleland of Georgia, a disabled Vietnam veteran who led veterans affairs under President Jimmy Carter; Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska; and Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, an Iraq War Veteran.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese planes attacked the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, leaving more than 2,400 servicemen dead and destroying most of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The surprise strike drew the U.S. into World War II.

Obama has moved quickly to fill out his Cabinet. He’s named New York Federal Reserve President Timothy Geithner as Treasury secretary, New York senator Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson as Commerce secretary. Defense Secretary Robert Gates will remain at the Pentagon, and Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano will head Homeland Security. Obama named former Justice Department official Eric Holder as attorney general.

Former South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle has accepted Obama’s offer to become Health and Human Services secretary, though the selection hasn’t been formally announced.

Obama said Nov. 26 he’s seeking a combination of “experience with fresh thinking” for his cabinet.

Cabinet secretaries are subject to Senate confirmation, once they are formally nominated, after Obama takes office on Jan. 20. Gates won’t have to undergo reconfirmation as defense chief.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julianna Goldman in Chicago at

Last Updated: December 6, 2008 14:56 EST

Paul Sullivan

Executive Director

Veterans for Common Sense

So which is it?

Friday, November 28, 2008

The New Team Max Cleland

The New Team Max Cleland
New York Times - United States

As he prepares to take office, President-elect Barack Obama is relying on a small team of advisers who will lead his transition operation and help choose the members of his administration. Following is part of a series of profiles of potential members of the administration.

Being considered for: Secretary of veterans affairs or senior defense post

Would bring to the job: A strong military background as a former Army captain in Vietnam, where he was gravely wounded and became a triple amputee, and federal experience in veterans affairs under President Jimmy Carter. Mr. Cleland is viewed by some people, particularly liberals, as a hero for his vocal condemnation of President Bush after an onslaught of negative Republican advertising helped cost him re-election to his Senate seat in 2002.

Is linked to Mr. Obama by: Early support for Mr. Obama’s Senate campaign in 2004, as well as for his presidential run. The relationship became awkward in July when Mr. Cleland was disinvited from an Obama fund-raiser because of his role as lobbyist, but an Obama spokesman said the campaign still had the “utmost respect” for Mr. Cleland.

Used to work as: Senator from Georgia, 1997-2003; Georgia secretary of state, 1982-1996; administrator of the United States Veterans Administration, the predecessor to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 1977-1981. Mr. Cleland was appointed to the Sept. 11 Commission but resigned after accusing the Bush administration of “Nixonian” efforts to conceal crucial evidence.

In his own words: “The Bible tells me that no greater love has a man than to lay down his life for his friends. ... There is no greater act of patriotism than that.” (Introduction of Senator John Kerry at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.)

click link for more

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful for the Montana National Guard and Major General Randy Mosley

I am thankful for President Elect Obama going to meet with Matt Kuntz and see the outstanding work being done there to help the Guardsmen with PTSD. Major General Mosley is also a hero in my book. Because of the suicide of Chris Dana, they are moving mountains out of the way and came up with their own program. Here are just a few of the stories on the work being done. Click the links if you want to read more.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obama promises to repeat Montana's National Guard PTSD work nation wide
Obama Pledges Nationwide Use of PTSD Program
Eric Newhouse
Great Falls Tribune
Aug 28, 2008August 28, 2008 - Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama promised Wednesday to expand Montana's pilot program to assess the mental health of combat vets nationwide, if elected.The Montana National Guard has developed a program to check its soldiers and airmen for signs of post-traumatic stress disorder every six months for the first two years after returning from combat, then once a year thereafter. The program exceeds national standards set by the U.S. Department of Defense.The pilot program was created in response to the suicide of former Army Spc. Chris Dana of Helena, who shot himself on March 4, 2007, days after being given a less-than-honorable discharge because he could no longer handle attending drills following a tour in Iraq."He (Obama) told me he understood why we need to have additional screenings for PTSD," said Matt Kuntz, Dana's stepbrother, who was among a small group invited to meet with Obama on Wednesday in Billings. "And he told me when he is elected president, he will implement Montana's pilot program nationwide."Kuntz, who recently gave up his job as a lawyer in Helena to advocate for the mentally ill and their families, said he was invited to brief Obama on how Montana had become a national model for assessing the mental health of its combat vets.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Matt Kuntz of Montana NAMI took up PTSD cause after death of stepbrother
Fighting for proper care - State NAMI head took up cause after losing stepbrother to PTSD, suicideBy MARTIN J. KIDSTON of the Helena Independent RecordHELENA - As a child, Matt Kuntz lost a friend to an eating disorder. When he entered Capital High School as a teen, he lost classmates to suicide.Mental illness had always been there; it was always something he'd seen. But it wasn't an issue Kuntz stopped to consider for very long.Then last spring, he watched helplessly as his stepbrother, Chris Dana, lost a battle with post-traumatic stress disorder and ended his life in suicide. That, Kuntz said, changed everything.More than 17 months into his unplanned but energetic campaign to improve mental health care in Montana, Kuntz is working to change the way mental illness is perceived by the public.

Spc. Chris Dana's story told to Obama by step brother
Stepbrother tells guardsman's story to Obama Helena soldier took his own life after tour of duty in IraqBy LAURA TODEOf The Gazette StaffMontana National Guard Spc. Chris Dana will never know the impact his life and ultimately his death may someday have on the lives of veterans nationwide.Dana took his life in March 2007, less than two years after returning from a tour in Iraq. His family believes he was a victim of post-traumatic stress disorder, brought on by his combat experience.Since Dana's death, his stepbrother Matt Kuntz has campaigned for more awareness of the costs of untreated post-traumatic stress syndrome in Iraq war veterans.Wednesday, he was invited to meet with Sen. Barack Obama to share the message he's been spreading statewide for more than a year. At a quiet picnic table at Riverfront Park, Obama sat across from Kuntz, his wife, Sandy, and their infant daughter, Fiona. click post title for more

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Montana National Guard Maj. Gen. Randy Mosley moving mountains
I think I have a crush on Maj. Gen. Randy Mosley of the Montana National Guard. I love to post about what he is doing on PTSD. Spc. Chris Dana's suicide caused massive changes instead of just talking about "doing something" and much of it is owed to Mosley. I think above all, the frustration that comes with the fact taking care of the troops and the citizen soldiers should have been a guarantee. With some of the best minds in this country when it comes to waging war, you'd think they'd be able to put that kind of brain power behind taking care of the wounded caused by war, but they didn't think of any of this. The warriors are the ones who have been paying for it simply because they survived. I know I've been proven wrong before when I found hope in what some commanders have said they would do only to find they have done nothing more than talk about it but this time, Mosley has earned it already.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Montana National Guard, Picking Up The Pieces
Picking up the Pieces (PDHRA)
This is the link to the video the Montana National Guard is showing. I've been posting about it for a couple of days now and it is very important that it not only be seen, but duplicated across the country.
Guard stresses PTSD symptoms at meetingsBy ERIC NEWHOUSE • Tribune Projects Editor • May 21, 2008
LEWISTOWN — Montana's National Guard expanded its PTSD outreach efforts this week, hosting a series of 20 public meetings in armories across the state.As part of its effort to familiarize the public — and veterans in particular — with post-traumatic stress disorder, it played a video produced at Fort Harrison entitled "Picking Up the Pieces." That had Tiffany Kolar wiping her eyes."It raised a lot of questions for me," Kolar said after Monday night's meeting. "I have a brother who served with the Idaho National Guard and who later committed suicide. Now I'm learning a lot about what must have been happening."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Trauma of hate

I've heard a lot of people saying that President Elect Obama is a Muslim, when he is a Christian, that he "is a friend of terrorists" when he is not. What troubles me more than average people thinking these lies are true and repeating them, is where the lies came from. They came from the McCain/Palin campaign and their supporters, but they also came from members of the clergy. When we think of the Sermon of the Mount and the words of Christ, we think of the Beatitudes and miss the rest of what He said. So let's clarify this right now.
All the following quotes come from BibleGateway.

The Fulfillment of the Law
17"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

When a member of clergy lies, it is one of the biggest sins of all.

21"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder,and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.

Here you read that Jesus put hatred right up there with murder. To hate someone is a sin. To hate someone because of the color of their skin is a sin. God created us in the image of Him and that image of Him is spirit, not flesh and bones. The color of a person's skin comes again from what God created and that was the ability of the body to adapt. No matter what a person's skin color is, they have the same hopes, dreams, gifts, heartache and joys as you do.

Love for Enemies
43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

How can any Christian say they belong to Christ if they go against everything He stood for? While these hate crimes are not all committed by people who are Christian, too many Christians support what they are doing. Even members of Christ's church! Don't they understand that the Bible is about how we are supposed to treat each other? That is what Christ came to teach us.

We all know what it's like to be hated without cause. We all know what it's like when someone lies about us and when we discover they lied to us. It is a betrayal and it's traumatic. What is even more traumatic is to be attacked or targeted because someone hated you for who you voted for, where you live, the color of your skin or because they believed a lie.

Hope came back into this nation when the majority said finally "the content of their character" mattered more than the color of someone's skin, the very way Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamt of. The others may never learn what it is like to experience that kind of pure heart that sees beyond color. These are miserable people who want to blame others for the ugliness in their own soul and the misery in their own mind instead of noticing exactly why they feel the way they do.

When the truth is told, then it is truth but if you believe in a lie when the truth can easily be found, you are worse than a liar.

Hate crimes surge in US after Obama election: experts
Published: Wednesday November 19, 2008

An interracial couple in Pennsylvania who woke up to find the remains of a burnt cross in their front garden.

A California town which saw cars and garages vandalized with swastikas, racist epithets and slogans such as "Go Back to Africa."

Black effigies hung from nooses in an island community in Maine.

Students chanting "assassinate Obama" on a schoolbus in Idaho.

Barack Obama's historic election as America's first black president has led to a surge of racist incidents across the United States, hate-crime monitoring groups and analysts say.

Mark Potok, director of the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, said the final weeks of the US election campaign and its immediate aftermath had witnessed "hundreds and hundreds" of hate-related incidents.

"Since the closing weeks of the campaign, we've seen a real and significant, white backlash break out and I think it's getting worse," Potok told AFP.

Potok traced the onset of the incidents to around the time of election rallies by Republican vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin where shouts of "Kill Him!" were reportedly heard from sections of the crowd.

"But what we're seeing now is everything from cross burnings, to death threats, to Obama effigies hanging in nooses to ugly racial incidents in schoolyards around the country," Potok said.
click post title for more

Monday, November 17, 2008

Obama acts presidential even as he lays low

Obama acts presidential even as he lays low
Posted: 03:15 PM ET

President-elect Obama called California's governor and the mayor of Los Angeles to express concern about the wildfires raging in Southern California.
(CNN) – The man once referred to by a rival campaign as “the biggest celebrity in the world” has intentionally been keeping a very low profile in the awkward limbo period between Election Day and his inauguration on January 20.
But on Monday President-Elect Barack Obama stepped out a little and acted decidedly presidential in the middle of a disaster in California.
Obama called Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villraigosa “to express his concern over the wildfires and to receive an update on the situation,” according to a statement released by the Obama transition team Monday.
In the nearly two weeks since Election Day, Obama has taken great pains to make it clear that President Bush remains in charge of the country and its affairs until Obama’s swearing in two months. At his first press conference as president-elect, Obama stressed that the country only has one president at a time and, Obama did not participate in the recent economic summit of world leaders convened to discuss a coordinated response to the financial crisis that has roiled global securities and credit markets.
Update 3:15 p.m.: The Web site of President-elect Obama's presidential campaign,, was altered after Obama's calls to Gov. Schwarzenegger and Mayor Villaraigosa in order to encourage visitors to the site to donate to relief efforts for the victims of the Southern California wildfires. Click here to read a blog post on the Web site.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

President Elect Obama's last day as senator

Obama says thanks on last day as senator
President-elect Barack Obama said "a very affectionate thanks" to the people of Illinois in a letter published Sunday in newspapers across his home state. Several Illinois Democrats have been mentioned as possible Senate replacements for Obama. Gov. Rod Blagojevich is assembling a panel to look over likely candidates. full story

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

President Elect Obama and Tammy Duckworth place wreath in Chicago

Chicago Trib is blamed for the lack of people attending this. Read the comments on the below link. It appears that people are upset because the Trib didn't tell anyone about this before it happened.

President-elect Obama hugs Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs director Tammy Duckworth after laying a wreath at Soldier Field. (Tribune photo / Zbigniew Bzdak)

Obama honors veterans

Only a few dozen spectators were present this morning.
President-elect Barack Obama placed a wreath on a bronze memorial at Chicago's Soldier Field this morning to pay his respects on Veterans Day in what was expected to be his only public appearance of the day.

About 11 a.m., Obama was joined for the ceremony by Tammy Duckworth, the Illinois Veterans' Affairs director.

Wearing a dark overcoat and with Duckworth at his side, Obama picked up a wreath that was placed in front of the memorial and carried it a few feet forward, before setting it in front of the memorial.

Obama bowed his head for a moment, according to a media pool report of the stop. Then, he put his right hand at his forehead, saluted and walked away with Duckworth. Only a few dozen spectators were present on the cool morning visit.

--John McCormick and Rick Pearson, Chicago Breaking News Center
click link for more pictures and comments.

Monday, November 10, 2008

President Elect Obama sits in Oval Office for first time

Wouldn't you love to be a fly on that wall?

President Bush and President-elect Obama spoke in the Oval Office Monday. White House photo by Eric Draper
go here for more

Obama to take office amid deep public pessimism
On the day that President-elect Barack Obama visited the White House, a new national poll illustrates the daunting challenges he faces when it becomes his home next year. Only 16 percent of those questioned in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released today say things are going well in the country today. That's an all-time low. full story

Video: Obama arrives at White House

Video: Obama arrives at White House
Obama arrives at White House for first visit as president-elect
Published: Monday November 10, 2008
WASHINGTON (AFP) – Barack Obama arrived at the White House on Monday for his first visit as president-elect ahead of talks with President George W. Bush, who leaves office in January.

Just six days after he beat Republican John McCain in the presidential election, Obama, accompanied by his wife Michelle, was greeted by Bush at the South Portico of the presidential mansion, after flying in from Chicago.
go here for more

Ex-servicemen hope president-elect focuses on military issues

This young boy, turned into the man I married. He came home in 1971 from Vietnam. I've been doing outreach work with veterans who have PTSD ever since the day we met 26 years ago.

While all veterans have my heart, the Vietnam Veterans have tugged at my soul. Understand that this is coming from someone who has dedicated her life to our veterans. I take all of this very seriously, spend countless hours researching history as well as what the politicians do and fail to do. The following defense of President Elect Obama does not come without facts that can be found by anyone willing to look for them. Most of the links are on this blog.

There is a comment in this article claiming that Obama has not done anything for veterans since he entered into the senate. This is a false claim and spun by the GOP. I've heard it all too often. The fact is when Obama had many options of choosing which committees to serve on, he wanted to serve on the Veterans Affairs Committee. Aside from his grandfather and uncle being veterans, his heart was with our veterans. Obama was advised that the Veteran's Affairs Committee was not a high profile committee but it was where he felt he was called to.

Up until the Democrats took control, albeit limited in the Senate, mountains have been moved for the sake of our veterans. From the largest budget increase in history for the VA, to programs gearing up to help veterans with PTSD and TBI, to all the advances in research, Veteran's Centers opening up and the GI Bill, Obama has been a big part of all of that. He did not do anything with the glare of the media focused on him but did so quietly believing it is the obligation of this nation to take care of our veterans. I have watched this man since the day he was elected to the senate and have read his speeches as well as interviews he's given. He is the real deal when it comes to our veterans and our nation as a whole. He has not paid lip service to our veterans in the past and will not in the future.

Most of the claims against him have come from people who also believed that McCain, as a veteran, had the interests of veterans in his own heart, yet he has only provided lip service to them. From the POW's returning from Iraq after the Gulf War, going to court to sue the Iraqi government, McCain was not fighting for them when Bush killed the law suit. McCain's voting record against veterans and what they need has been deplorable no matter what he or anyone in the GOP claim. The facts speak for themselves. There is a grand delusion that has been harming our veterans for too many years. Don't believe me. Instead look up their voting records for yourself and find out who has been providing lip service and nothing more from those who have done the work on behalf of veterans. If you have not been keeping informed of what the reality is, you will be astonished at how wrong you've been.

Vets hope Obama fulfills promises
Ex-servicemen hope president-elect focuses on military issues
Staff writer

Like many in the region, local veterans are hoping last week's election of Barack Obama as president will bring change for the country -- specifically, for the country's veterans and military men and women.

In the days between the presidential election and the Veterans Day holiday, area vets expressed their hopes for the new administration.

Bernard Williamson, of the Veterans of Foreign Wars McEvoy-Dempsey Post 10585 in Derby, said he hopes Obama will work on a few issues that Bush's administration hurt instead of helped.

"Bush's administration closed Veterans' Affairs hospitals, decreased veterans' benefits, and didn't help veterans wage-wise," said Williamson.

Williamson is also concerned about troops overseas, saying he hopes Obama will "do something for men and women in service right now."

Tim Kelly, 61, of the Connecticut branch of Disabled American Veterans, also is interested in seeing how the Obama administration handles decisions about veterans and the military. Like Williamson, Kelly hopes Obama doesn't cut funding for veterans.

And, as a Vietnam veteran, he is worried about how Obama will handle the war in Iraq. "I hope they don't just go in there and withdraw troops and waste 4,000 lives," said Kelly, referring to the men and women who have already died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

World War II combat veteran Joseph Minto, 87, has one simple hope for the Obama administration. "I hope he fulfills his promises,"

Minto said. "He promised everyone something, so I don't know if he will come through."

Some, like Kelly, said they can't predict what Obama will actually do for veterans. He said he doesn't know what to expect from Obama because he hasn't done anything to be judged on.

"We really don't know because he didn't do anything for us while in the Senate," Kelly said, adding, "there's a lot of lip service with the Democrats but they never do anything."

go here for more

Sunday, November 9, 2008

How will military greet Obama?

A few things to consider here. First is that Bush said he listened to the commanders, but he ignored anyone daring to disagree with him. That is a fact and many experienced, loyal, dedicated generals resigned instead of following callous orders that would cause unnecessary deaths. The other is to remember that while President Elect Obama does not have military experience, he does have something Bush never did. A great respect and heart for those who serve. It came from his own family. He's shown this when as soon as the became a Senator, Obama joined the Veterans Affairs Committee and fought for veterans to be taken care of. Just look up his record and his speeches to know exactly how he feels about the men and women serving this nation.

How will military greet Obama?
Sunday November 09, 2008, 7:22 AM

Barack Obama will enter the White House without any military experience and with a playbook that emphasizes diplomacy, behind a president who waged two wars and presided over some of the largest-ever defense budget increases.

So, how will President Obama be received at the Pentagon? Much depends on his first moves.

One of his senior security advisers, former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), said even though the president-elect has experience on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he’ll need a strong defense team that works together well.

“He will have to pay a lot of attention to a secretary of defense and the close advisers to the secretary,” Hamilton said. “The whole military, national security establishment will be watching that with care.”

And since the military is trained to follow orders, insiders say it is receptive to the change of command.

The military needs to be ready to offer its advice while scrupulously avoiding any attempt to shape the agenda, said a senior defense official familiar with the transition. “It is to everyone’s benefit to shorten the learning curve for whoever is coming in,” he said, especially because this is the first wartime transition since 1968.

Senior officers will be ready to follow the orders of Obama, who has not stirred any detectable negative response in the military command, said Dov Zakheim, who was Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon comptroller. And if they balk, one former senior officer pointed out, there are plenty of other officers to be promoted.

President Bush wasn’t shy about using the military, but his relationship with top military commanders was sometimes sour, particularly over issues related to the war in Iraq.

Early on, Bush deferred to Rumsfeld, his first defense secretary, who dumped Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki after he told Congress more troops were required for the invasion of Iraq. And while active-duty generals muted public criticism for the rest of Bush’s term, retired generals spoke out.

In 2004, retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni raised early concerns about the execution of the war. Then in 2006, six retired generals went public with their concerns.

Bush responded with a surge of forces, and extended officers’ tours of duty from 12 to 15 months for a force already strained by multiple, lengthy deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

In his book “The War Within,” Bob Woodward detailed how that decision was made over the objections of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
click post title for more

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Harsh Words About Obama? Never Mind Now

Good but will their supporters now understand that what they heard from all of these people was not true?

Harsh Words About Obama? Never Mind Now
Published: November 8, 2008
That whole anti-American, friend-to-the-terrorists thing about President-elect Barack Obama? Never mind.

Just a few weeks ago, at the height of the campaign, Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota told Chris Matthews of MSNBC that, when it came to Mr. Obama, “I’m very concerned that he may have anti-American views.”

But there she was on Wednesday, after narrowly escaping defeat because of those comments, saying she was “extremely grateful that we have an African-American who has won this year.” Ms. Bachmann, a Republican, called Mr. Obama’s victory, which included her state, “a tremendous signal we sent.”

And it was not too long ago that Senator John McCain’s running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, accused Mr. Obama of “palling around with terrorists.”

But she took an entirely different tone on Thursday, when she chastised reporters for asking her questions about her war with some staff members in the McCain campaign at such a heady time. “Barack Obama has been elected president,” Ms. Palin said. “Let us, let us — let him — be able to kind of savor this moment, one, and not let the pettiness of maybe internal workings of the campaign erode any of the recognition of this historic moment that we’re in. And God bless Barack Obama and his beautiful family.”
click post title for more
linked from RawStory

Tammy Duckworth: Service in Washington would be an honor

Duckworth: Service in Washington would be an honor
Chicago Tribune - United States
CHICAGO - Illinois' Veterans Affairs director said Friday she'd be honored to serve in the U.S. Senate if Gov. Rod Blagojevich taps her to fill Barack Obama's seat.

Tammy Duckworth also said she'd also be honored to take a post in President-elect Obama's administration. If he asks. And he hasn't.

Duckworth, 40, hasn't heard from either the governor or Obama, and said she was surprised several months ago when Blagojevich mentioned her as a contender.

A Purple Heart recipient, Duckworth lost both legs in a 2004 helicopter crash while serving as an Illinois Army National Guard pilot in Iraq. The Democrat ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2006 before being named to her current post.

The state has created $70 million in new veterans programs, including low-interest home loans, brain injury screening and a 24-hour hot line to help vets with battle-related stress. And Illinois gives employers a $600 tax credit for hiring veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I would be honored to be able to do that on a national level," Duckworth said after speaking at a conference in Chicago on legal and medical issues facing veterans.
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Friday, November 7, 2008

Mississippi students told not to say Obama's name after election

Mississippi students told not to say Obama's name
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Friday November 7, 2008

A controversy has erupted at a Mississippi junior high school over allegations that a bus driver and a coach threatened students with punishment for saying Barack Obama's name.

The incidents became public when outraged parents called the studios of WAPT news in Pearl, Miss. Some said their children were threatened by a bus driver with being written up and taken to the principal's office, others that their children were told by a girls' basketball coach they would be suspended.
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Thursday, November 6, 2008

"Chicago is on top of the world"

Chicago is on top of the world
Nov 06, 2008
City walks on air after historic win
Feeling pride and seeing opportunity
By Bob Secter and Rick Pearson | Tribune reporters
November 6, 2008

The city walks on air after President-elect Barack Obama's historic win, feeling pride and seeing opportunity as officials consider what Obama's presidency may mean to Chicago now and for years to come.

Paid for by Mayor Richard Daley's campaign committee, new banners hang outside City Hall on Wednesday. (Jose M. Osorio/Tribune / November 5, 2008)

We split the atom, invented the skyscraper, reversed a river, linked a sprawling continent by rail and air, butchered the world's hogs, rose from the ashes of a historic blaze, rigged a World Series, raised graft to an art form and all but trademarked the political machine.

Yet Chicago, a city defined by superlatives and cunning, had never in its 175 years produced the ultimate American leader. Until now.

Wednesday was nothing short of a "pinch-me" moment in Barack Obama's adoptive hometown, the weather remarkably warm for November and the civic mood even warmer.

"Chicago is alive and refreshed," Charlie Hill, 34, said as he strolled through Grant Park, the site of Obama's victory rally just hours before. "I feel [his] presence in the city. Chicago is a winner as well."
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Will Military Bloggers Support President Obama As Much As Bush?

Was supporting Bush no matter what he did about supporting the President as Commander-in-Chief or was it about Bush being a Republican?

I remember all the rants coming from supposedly "Patriotic Americans" when the Commander-in-Chief was Bill Clinton and it was bash after bash claiming he couldn't do anything right. It wasn't just the bloggers doing it but it was the Republican party in general.

When it came to Bush becoming president, the bashing was done on the other side, but no one on that side seemed to have the right to claim they were on the side of the troops against the president the way the anti-Clinton folks were able to get away with.

So now the tide has turned yet again. Since the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, anyone speaking out on the facts or asking for accountability was viewed as being the enemy, refusing to support the president as Commander-in-Chief, called anti-American and anti-military. Will the Military Bloggers regard President Obama in the same way they viewed President Bush or President Clinton?

Sorry but I just don't trust most of them and here are the reasons.

Naturally I'm on the outside of the military bloggers. I'm not welcomed among them. I tried for a couple of years because of the videos I do and though that they would be happy to pass them on for the sake of the troops and our veterans. That didn't work. Either I received an email telling me that I would not be included in their groups or received no email response at all. You'd think that since the videos I do on PTSD are non-political and provide support for the troops and veterans, they would be pushing these videos so that more would be able to find them, but then you'd also have to expect that when it came to the troops and veterans, politics was taken out.

While some called me a hero when they discovered some of my videos, sooner or later they dropped promoting the videos then either totally disregarded me or slammed me. Thankfully it was more ignoring me than slamming me. That's the first reason.

The next is my blog. Again, either it was ignored or slammed because while I fully support the troops and veterans, the Military Bloggers didn't like what I had to say about Bush. That's the second reason.

The other reason is that while they claim that it had nothing to do with being a Republican or Democrat, the defense of Bush, no matter what he did or didn't do, didn't end. All they had to do was look at the facts. Right up until this year, Iraq was a mess and it was not until the end of the Bush presidency things began to turn around in Iraq. None of them wondered why this had not happened before? Iraq was invaded in March of 2003 and this is 2008! Over five years into an occupation with 4,191 dead in Iraq and 626 dead in Afghanistan, why weren't they asking for changes in what was being done before? When others did demand changes to secure Iraq and bring the troops home, change the focus back to Afghanistan, they were called anti-war. It didn't seem to bother any of them the changes did not come until this year considering last year was not only the highest death rate in Iraq but in Afghanistan as well.

When the reports came out about the way the wounded were being treated, or should I say ignored, none of them came out forcefully demanding the administration take action.

The list goes on. The response of the Military Bloggers will show if this was all about supporting the President as Commander-in-Chief or just supporting him as a Republican. So far most of the post I've read are against Obama. Let's see if the trend continues and then we'll know if this is about party or patriotism.

As for President Elect Obama, my side will hold him accountable the same way we did President Bush and Clinton. We will support him when he's right and "bash" him when he is wrong. We will, for the most part anyway. As for the troops and veterans, get ready to see what real support means because when it comes to them, they have a someone who is really on their side stepping in as Commander-in-Chief. He's proven that by what he's done since he entered the Senate. As for John McCain, well, his voting record has been against veterans but that didn't seem to bother most of the Military bloggers either. There are some who have been fair and balanced, but there are only a few I can think of.

Senior Chaplain Kathie Costos
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." - George Washington

Obama to expand size of military and veterans healthcare

During the campaign, there were a lot of false claims made about what Obama wanted to do. One of them was a claim made by the McCain supporters that Obama and the Democrats wanted to cut the military, but this was never true. While Obama does in fact want to cut the defense spending, he wants to do it by cutting out the waste in what the Department of Defense spends. He also wants to stop spending billions of dollars in Iraq when the Iraqi government has billions in reserves not being used for their own sake.

The other false claim told over and over again is that Obama would not take care of the veterans. The problem with this is that Obama has been on the Veterans Affairs Committee and has been focused on what the veterans need. The Democrats are not the enemy of veterans, but have been providing the hearings and changes for what the veterans need since they took control in 2006.

It's time for the military and veterans to set their minds at ease and stop believing in gossip. Learn the facts on line from Obama's site and know what he wants to do for them.

For Defense issues

For Veterans Issues

Barack Obama will restore our sacred trust with our nation's veterans:
Obama and Biden are committed to creating a 21st Century Department of Veterans' Affairs that provides the care and benefits our nation's veterans deserve.
Help returning service members:
Obama and Biden will improve the quality of health care for veterans, rebuild the VA's broken benefits system, and combat homelessness among veterans.
Improve mental health treatment:
Obama and Biden will improve mental health treatment for troops and veterans suffering from combat-related psychological injuries.

In this Section
A Sacred Trust
Help for Returning Service Members
Improved Mental Health Treatment

Obama wants to increase the size of the Army, Marine Corps and special operations forces, efforts already under way. He has called for greater emphasis on counterinsurgency missions — a move the military recognized as critical in the early years of the Iraq war, and began to implement.

Lolita C. Baldor


Obama wants to expand VA health care for veterans. Congress voted in 1996 to do that, but the agency has exercised its authority to suspend enrollments as needed. Obama has said that led to 1 million veterans being turned away, and he has promised to reverse the policy.

He also said he would improve screening and treatment for mental health conditions and traumatic brain injury; expand the number of housing vouchers and start a program to help veterans at risk of being homeless; add more rural veterans centers; create an electronic system to transfer medical records from the military; and improve preventative health options.

Kimberly Hefling
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama win also means PTSD work gets new hero

This is one of the biggest reasons I am so delighted that Senator Obama will be President Obama. In August, he visited the Montana National Guard because he heard about the great work they were doing on PTSD. He was so impressed that he promised to take their program nationally.

Up until now, PTSD has only recently become a hot topic. President Bush surrounded himself with people who either had no clue what PTSD was or denied it was real. This prevented years of research not being done and programs that could have been created sooner, to not even be dreamt of. Thousands of our veterans and troops, guardsmen and reservists died as a result, not by enemy hands but because of the enemy within them.

Military families and veteran families have a new hero coming to fight for them and I'm sure when you get to know exactly how much he does care, plans to act, you will feel the same way too. He's been on the Veterans Affairs Committee and has paid attention to all that is going on

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obama promises to repeat Montana's National Guard PTSD work nation wide
Obama Pledges Nationwide Use of PTSD Program
Eric Newhouse
Great Falls Tribune
Aug 28, 2008
August 28, 2008 - Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama promised Wednesday to expand Montana's pilot program to assess the mental health of combat vets nationwide, if elected.The Montana National Guard has developed a program to check its soldiers and airmen for signs of post-traumatic stress disorder every six months for the first two years after returning from combat, then once a year thereafter. The program exceeds national standards set by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The pilot program was created in response to the suicide of former Army Spc. Chris Dana of Helena, who shot himself on March 4, 2007, days after being given a less-than-honorable discharge because he could no longer handle attending drills following a tour in Iraq."He (Obama) told me he understood why we need to have additional screenings for PTSD," said Matt Kuntz, Dana's stepbrother, who was among a small group invited to meet with Obama on Wednesday in Billings. "And he told me when he is elected president, he will implement Montana's pilot program nationwide."

Kuntz, who recently gave up his job as a lawyer in Helena to advocate for the mentally ill and their families, said he was invited to brief Obama on how Montana had become a national model for assessing the mental health of its combat vets.

Besides the additional screenings, the Montana National Guard has developed crisis response teams that include a chaplain to investigate behavioral problems among its troops, and TriWest Healthcare pays to have four part-time counselors on hand to talk with soldiers and airmen during weekend drills.After the briefing, Obama spent about 20 minutes telling several hundred veterans and their families that, if elected as president, he will be committed to meeting their needs.

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Colin Powell wept at Obama victory

Powell wept at Obama victory 5:39
CNN's Hugh Riminton interviews former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who is asking all Americans to get behind Obama.