Showing posts with label government shutdown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label government shutdown. Show all posts

Friday, September 29, 2023

Bottom line on shutdown--we pay for the temper tantrums of a few

We're all angry members of Congress refused to do their jobs because they cannot get their own way and make demands on the majority of the other members. The minority don't care what they are doing to us, and frankly, they don't seem to care about anyone but themselves.

The bottom line on shutdown--we pay for the temper tantrums of a few!

Our troops won't be paid!
WASHINGTON —Military officials prepared Friday to cut pay for troops and civilians, and close offices and activities deemed not essential to national security as the deadline nears for the government shutdown that is expected to begin at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.

Troops will remain deployed to hotspots around the world, and civilians in critical chair-borne commands at the Pentagon and elsewhere will remain on job. But none will be paid unless an agreement on government spending or legislation authorizing military pay is reached.

President Joe Biden said Friday that the failure to pay troops would be a “disgrace.”

“We can’t be playing politics while our troops stand in the breach,” Biden said at the retirement ceremony for Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (USA Today)

Social Security and Medicare won't stop. 

Social Security is considered a mandatory program, and it isn't funded by the shorter-term appropriations bills passed by Congress and signed by the president. That means its operations and funding don't stop when the government shuts down.

That's important for a large proportion of Americans, as about 67 million people receive monthly Social Security benefits, according to the Social Security Administration. Those benefits go primarily to retirees but also to people with disabilities, as well as dependents of deceased beneficiaries.

Medicare and Veterans Affairs benefits also continue to be distributed during a shutdown. (NBC News)
Veteran health care is not impacted. VA Medical Centers, Outpatient Clinics, and Vet Centers will be open.
VA benefits will continue to be processed and delivered, including compensation, pension, education, and housing benefits.
Burials will continue at VA national cemeteries. Applications for headstones, markers, and burial benefits processing will continue.
The Board of Veterans’ Appeals will continue decisions on Veterans' cases.
VA Contact Centers (1-800-MyVA411) and the Veterans Crisis Line (Dial 988, Press 1) are open 24/7.
VA will not provide Veteran career counseling or transition assistance program activities.
The GI Bill Hotline will be closed.
VA benefits regional offices will be closed.
VA will cease public affairs and outreach to Veterans.
VA will not permanently place headstones or maintain the grounds at VA national cemeteries.
VA will not process applications for pre-need burials.
VA will not print new presidential memorial certificates.

For the rest of the services you receive, contact the provider. We have a home health aide who is a private contractor and she won't be paid, so we won't have her for however long this lasts. 

Friday, February 15, 2019

1,400 workers at Kennedy Space Center won't be paid?

Back pay for contractors left out of shutdown deal, affecting hundreds of NASA workers

Orlando Sentinel
Chabeli Herrera
February 14, 2019
“The rejection of federal contract worker back pay by the GOP leadership in this funding deal is outrageous and unfair,” said Robert Martinez Jr., president of the Machinists Union International. “We urge Republican and Democratic leadership to quickly pass legislation to secure back pay for the federal contract workers.”

Buddy Boylan, a propellant mechanic with AECOM, attends a union meeting for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 2061 in Cape Canaveral on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (Chabeli Herrera / Orlando Sentinel)
A provision that would have restored back pay following the government shutdown for federal contractors, including hundreds who work for NASA on the Space Coast, was left out of a funding deal that Congress reached this week.

The 35-day government shutdown, from Dec. 22 to Jan. 25, left an estimated 1,400 workers at Kennedy Space Center without work. Most of those employees were federal contractors, who work in tandem with civil servants as electricians, engineers, safety specialists and in other positions that involve spacecraft and rockets at the Cape.

After the end of the shutdown, President Donald Trump passed an agreement ensuring civil servants — whether they worked during the shutdown or not — would get back pay for the five weeks of lost paychecks. Government contractors, whose back pay is dependent on their individual contracts with government agencies, were not included in that agreement.

Across the nation, it’s estimated that about 800,000 civil servants and 1.2 million government contractors were impacted by the shutdown. During the government closure, many were forced to cut expenses, dip into their savings, use vacation time and visit food pantries to scrape by.
read more here

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Largest employer of veterans....shutdown jobs and paychecks

Stress Over Shutdown Hits Veterans Who Work For The Federal Government Hard

St. Louis PBS
Chad Davis
January 23, 2019

The federal government is the largest employer of veterans in the U.S. One-third of the federal government is made up of veterans.

Donna Rogers hasn’t received a paycheck in weeks. An Army veteran who works at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) office in St. Louis, she’s among the 800,000 federal employees around the nation working without pay or on furlough.
The lack of a paycheck is weighing on her. The partial government shutdown is now the longest running in U.S. history, with no end in sight. “Being a single mom, bills are still due, period,” Rogers said. “So whether you have kids or no kids, you have teenagers, grown folks, whatever; I mean, bills are still coming through.”

Now veterans and their advocates are worried how financial instability is affecting this group of federal workers’ mental health, especially since many veterans consider the federal government an employer of last resort.

“Being unstable financially can cause a whole lot of more issues for our veterans,” Rogers said. “Not only we came to where some of us couldn’t get jobs once we got out the military, we have to be trained because nobody was accepting the jobs we did.”
read more here

Monday, January 21, 2019

Irony of national security shut down?

Shutdown, shut down our National Security providers

Under Homeland Security

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administers the nation’s lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values.

United States Coast Guard (USCG)

The United States Coast Guard is one of the five armed forces of the United States and the only military organization within the Department of Homeland Security. The Coast Guard protects the maritime economy and the environment, defends our maritime borders, and saves those in peril.

United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is one of the Department of Homeland Security’s largest and most complex components, with a priority mission of keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. It also has a responsibility for securing and facilitating trade and travel while enforcing hundreds of U.S. regulations, including immigration and drug laws.

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) leads the national effort to defend critical infrastructure against the threats of today, while working with partners across all levels of government and in the private sector to secure against the evolving risks of tomorrow.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) supports our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC)

The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center provides career-long training to law enforcement professionals to help them fulfill their responsibilities safely and proficiently.

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) promotes homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade, and immigration.

United States Secret Service (USSS)

The United States Secret Service (USSS) safeguards the nation's financial infrastructure and payment systems to preserve the integrity of the economy, and protects national leaders, visiting heads of state and government, designated sites, and National Special Security Events.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) protects the nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.

Management Directorate

The Management Directorate is responsible for budget, appropriations, expenditure of funds, accounting and finance; procurement; human resources and personnel; information technology systems; facilities, property, equipment, and other material resources; and identification and tracking of performance measurements relating to the responsibilities of the Department.

Science and Technology Directorate

The Science and Technology Directorate is the primary research and development arm of the Department. It provides federal, state and local officials with the technology and capabilities to protect the homeland.

Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office

The mission of the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Office is to counter attempts by terrorists or other threat actors to carry out an attack against the United States or its interests using a weapon of mass destruction.

Office of Intelligence and Analysis

The Office of Intelligence and Analysis equips the Homeland Security Enterprise with the timely intelligence and information it needs to keep the homeland safe, secure, and resilient.

Office of Operations Coordination

The Office of Operations Coordination provides information daily to the Secretary of Homeland Security, senior leaders, and the homeland security enterprise to enable decision-making; oversees the National Operations Center; and leads the Department’s Continuity of Operations and Government Programs to enable continuation of primary mission essential functions in the event of a degraded or crisis operating environment.
And then there are the other departments where workers have to go to work, without getting paid, and having to figure out how to get there with no gas. Top that off with having to worry about having a home to go back to and the suffering spreads.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Those who serve...paying beyond what is acceptable

Supreme Court rejects appeal over military burn pits

Published: January 14, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is rejecting appeals from military veterans who claim they suffer health problems because of open burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The justices on Monday left in place a federal appeals court ruling that more than 60 lawsuits over the burn pits could not go forward.

The lawsuits said military contractor KBR dumped tires, batteries, medical waste and other materials into open burn pits. The suits claimed the resulting smoke caused neurological problems, cancers and other health issues in more than 800 servicemembers. The complaints said at least 12 servicemembers died. #ExposedAndBetrayed
read more here

Commandant tells Coast Guard families: ‘You have not, and will not, be forgotten’

Published: January 14, 2019

Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz drew attention to ongoing missions around the globe and expressed his support for Coast Guard families as the service prepared for about 41,000 members to go without paychecks on Tuesday as part of the ongoing partial government shutdown.
A Coast Guard Cutter Munro crewmember embraces his children after the cutter returned home to Alameda, Calif., Dec. 24, 2018. MATTHEW MASASCHI/U.S. COAST GUARD

"While our Coast Guard workforce is deployed, there are loved ones at home reviewing family finances, researching how to get support, and weighing childcare options—they are holding down the fort," Schultz wrote on Sunday. "Please know that we are doing everything we can to support and advocate for you while your loved one stands the watch. You have not, and will not, be forgotten."
read more here

And then there is the latest news that the Congress is once again thinking about the term permanent and totally disabled should be followed up with "just kidding." They managed to cut the taxes on their wealthy friends, but now they want to cut the budgets of the disabled veterans who cannot afford to lose their compensation. Gee, wonder how much the heads of all the corporations get for their compensation after that sweetheart deal?

In other words folks...mostly cutting Vietnam veterans off at the knees!


In 2017, 4.5 million veterans with medical conditions or injuries that were incurred or that worsened during active-duty service received disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The amount of compensation such veterans receive depends on the severity of their disabilities (which are rated between zero and 100 percent in increments of 10), the number of their dependents, and other factors—but not on their income or civilian employment history.
In addition, VA may increase certain veterans' disability compensation to the 100 percent level, even though VA has not rated their service-connected disabilities at that level. To receive the supplement, termed an Individual Unemployability (IU) payment, disabled veterans must apply for the benefit and meet two criteria. First, veterans generally must be rated between 60 percent and 90 percent disabled. Second, VA must determine that veterans' disabilities prevent them from maintaining substantially gainful employment—for instance, if their employment earnings would keep them below the poverty threshold for one person. In 2017, for veterans who received the supplement, it boosted their monthly VA disability payment by an average of about $1,200. In September 2017, about 380,000 veterans received IU payments. Of those veterans, the Congressional Budget Office estimates, about 180,000 were age 67 or older. That age group has been the largest driver of growth in the program.
VA's regulations require that IU benefits be based on a veteran's inability to maintain substantially gainful employment because of the severity of a service-connected disability and not because of age, voluntary withdrawal from work, or other factors. About 48 percent of veterans receiving the IU supplement were 67 or older in September 2017, up from about 40 percent in September 2010. That rise is attributed largely to the aging of Vietnam War veterans.
But the tax cuts for the wealthy they managed to make permanent!

House passes GOP bill to make new tax cuts permanent

  • Republicans have sped legislation through the House to expand their massive new tax law, capping their session for the year as they rush out of town to face voters in the November elections.
  • The new bill would make permanent the individual and small-business tax cuts in the law.
  • It's the second tax-cut proposal that Republican leaders have pushed in less than a year.

Monday, January 14, 2019

125,000 veterans — have been furloughed or forced to work without pay

VA secretary slams union comments on government shutdown as politicizing veterans’ suicide

Military Times
By: Leo Shane III
2 hours ago

In a news interview last week, AFGE Local President Edward Canales said that if the shutdown doesn’t stop soon, “we are going to have fatalities, we’re going to have suicides.”

American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. speaks to federal employees gathered outside the AFL-CIO headquarters about the partial government shutdown on Jan. 4, 2019. On Monday, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie demanded an apology for the union suggesting that the ongoing shutdown could caused mental health distress for some veterans. (Jessie Bur/Staff)

WASHINGTON — Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie on Monday accused union officials of politicizing veterans mental health care by saying the ongoing government shutdown could cost some veterans their lives.

In a letter to the American Federation of Government Employees leadership, Wilkie demanded an apology for the “reckless comments” and asked for officials to “outline the steps you plan to take to ensure AFGE leaders demonstrate proper respect for our nation’s heroes.”

The move is the latest chapter in ongoing friction between federal workers’ unions and President Donald Trump’s administration, and the VA leadership specifically. In a response statement, AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. called the Trump administration “one of the worst on record for our country’s heroes” and pushed back on Wilkie’s accusations.

“Federal government employed veterans are hurting right now,” he said. “Regardless of their continued service to our country the President and his cabinet have left them out in the cold, forcing them to work without pay or subjecting veterans and their families to the uncertainty of not knowing when or where their next paycheck will come from.”

At the heart of the dispute is the decision of congressional Democrats and other Trump critics to invoke the impact of the ongoing government shutdown on veterans.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is fully funded for the year, meaning VA employees and veterans support programs are not affected by the ongoing partial shutdown. But about 800,000 employees from other departments — including more than 125,000 veterans — have been furloughed or forced to work without pay because of the ongoing budget dispute.

In a news interview last week, AFGE Local President Edward Canales said that if the shutdown doesn’t stop soon, “we are going to have fatalities, we’re going to have suicides.”
read more here

Veterans in other news

Iraq Vet Jailed For Angry Voicemails Will Remain Locked Up

Starting just after Thanksgiving, Eric Benson began leaving voicemails on the work line for his private psychiatrist, demanding medication and treatment for his anxiety. The psychiatrist terminated Benson from his practice.

Food Stamp Programs to Remain Available Through February for Troops, Vets
In 2016, a total of more than 44 million low-income Americans received SNAP benefits, according to the Agriculture Department.The number of active-duty military households currently participating in SNAP has been difficult to track, but the most recent estimate by the Government Accounting Office in 2016 put the number at about 23,000.

‘Things are slipping’ as Coast Guard families brace for missed paychecks

Stars and Stripes 
“I have two teenagers and an 8-year-old. All I care about is just getting them fed and having gas to get to work so I can keep that paycheck,” said Murdock, 34. “It’s hard, because they know. The kids know about what’s going on. They ask for things and I have to tell them it’s too tight right now.”Petty Officer 1st Class Ron Murdock is one of roughly 41,000 Coast Guard members bracing for the partial government shutdown to continue through the weekend and to deny them paychecks on Tuesday.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

How did we go from "yes we can" to "because I said so"

This goes beyond politics as usual

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 12, 2019

Seriously wondering how did we go from "yes we can" to "because I said so" and far too many have no problem with that at all.

Politically I am an Independent Centrist. I agree with some things on both sides. I am tired of hearing all the claims that are simply not true. 

First, we need to open our eyes to the fact that just because someone said something, that does not mean it is true. This is for all my Republican friends because I care about you and if you have only received your information from Facebook, you are being deceived.
"Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind." 1 Peter 2
 Here are some things you may not know.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling. (Reuters)
“Somebody needs to remind Mr. Trump that the military is not his palace guards. They take an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. They also abide by the rules — not only of the uniform code of military justice, the UCMJ — but they also abide by the U.N. mandate against torture and the Geneva Convention protocols against torture.” Retired Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling March 2016 The Washington Post
This "wall" is not about our National Security but it is about the President's ego and Republican politicians unwilling to hold POTUS accountable for anything, while the other side wants to nail him on everything. 

Had our security actually mattered more than anything else, then these other providers of our security would not be paying the price.

Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the number of enforcement actions at the southwest border for the month of December.  Due to the lapse in funding, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is unable to publish the enforcement actions for December on its website. 
These are the Departments that are under Homeland Security. 

Component Agency Contacts

Below is contact information for different Department of Homeland Security components.
President Trump also seems willing to take funds from the Army Corp of Engineers.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approximately 37,000 dedicated Civilians and Soldiers delivering engineering services to customers in more than 130 countries worldwide.

With environmental sustainability as a guiding principle, our disciplined Corps team is working diligently to strengthen our Nation’s security by building and maintaining America’s infrastructure and providing military facilities where our servicemembers train, work and live. We are also researching and developing technology for our war fighters while protecting America’s interests abroad by using our engineering expertise to promote stability and improve quality of life.

We are energizing the economy by dredging America’s waterways to support the movement of critical commodities and providing recreation opportunities at our campgrounds, lakes and marinas.

And by devising hurricane and storm damage reduction infrastructure, we are reducing risks from disasters.

Our men and women are protecting and restoring the Nation’s environment including critical efforts in the Everglades, the Louisiana coast, and along many of our Nation’s major waterways. The Corps is also cleaning sites contaminated with hazardous, toxic or radioactive waste and material in an effort to sustain the environment.

Through deeds, not words, we are BUILDING STRONG.
This is the report from FOX News that should freak out everyone beyond what you just read.
The White House has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to "look at possible ways of funding border security," Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told Fox News on Thursday night, as the ongoing partial federal government shutdown over money for a border wall is less than two days away from becoming the longest in the nation's history. Separately, Fox News is told the White House directed the Corps to examine the February 2018 emergency supplemental, which included disaster relief for California, Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico, among other states, to see what unspent funds could be diverted to a border wall, according to a congressional aide familiar with the matter.
And this is what the funds were supposed to be for from the same article.
Approximately $13.9 billion is available from the congressionally approved February 2018 supplemental spending bill, intended to cover natural disasters, and much of the available money comes from flood control projects, Fox News is told. The Military Construction appropriations bill could provide additional funding in the event of an emergency declaration.
Here is a list of more things that have been cut during the shutdown.

Keep in mind that these are people who dedicated their lives to providing our National Security and now, they are paying for what we have allowed the President to simply say he wants it done.

The question is, what are you going to do about any of this?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Shinseki explains why veterans are hurt by government shutdowns

Shinseki: Advance Funding Won't Solve VA Problems
by Bryant Jordan
Mar 13, 2014

Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki on Wednesday told a Senate panel that advance funding for all VA operations would not solve all the department problems in the event of another government shutdown.

Shinseki told lawmakers previously that he could not say whether advance funding – which the VA now gets for health care programs – would be a good idea. He told the House Veterans Affairs Committee last year the administration would have to look at the impact on other federal departments.

On Wednesday, he told the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee that advance funding has worked out for VA patients and employees and would seem “to make sense for our other accounts [operations].”

But then he indicated that advance funding probably would not help since other agencies that the VA must deal with do not have the same kind of protection.

“In the case of veteran benefits, we can’t process a claim within our own confines,” he said. “To process a claim, we have to go to Social Security to validate other disabilities, go to the IRS to validate ... threshold income requirements. We deal with [the Defense Department]. We deal with the Department of Education [for] the GI Bill, the Department of Labor on employability issues.”

“The best way for us to be meeting our full mission would be to have a budget for the federal government every year,” he said. “That would make all of our work much easier.”
read more here

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Government back to work and it is time to fix it

GOP, Boehner take shutdown hit in new CNN poll
By Paul Steinhauser, CNN Political Editor
updated 6:35 AM EDT, Mon October 21, 2013
Poll conducted after government shutdown shows small majority think GOP control of House is bad
Results are first time since GOP took control of House in 2010 that more oppose its control
More than six in 10 say Speaker of the House John Boehner should lose his job
Obama's approval numbers didn't take same hit that GOP's did after shutdown

Washington (CNN) -- Just more than half the public says that it's bad for the country that the GOP controls the House of Representatives, according to a new national poll conducted after the end of the partial government shutdown.

And the CNN/ORC International survey also indicates that more than six in 10 Americans say that Speaker of the House John Boehner should be replaced.

The poll was conducted Friday through Sunday, just after the end of the 16-day partial federal government shutdown that was caused in part by a push by House conservatives to try and dismantle the health care law, which is President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement.

According to the survey, 54% say it's a bad thing that the GOP controls the House, up 11 points from last December, soon after the 2012 elections when the Republicans kept control of the chamber. Only 38% say it's a good thing the GOP controls the House, a 13-point dive from the end of last year.
read more here
Government back to work and it is time to fix it
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 19, 2013

Now that the government is back to work and congress managed to actually work together to reopen it, there is no better time for them to fix what is not working. The only way to do that is for truth decay to end and honesty replace it. We've all had enough of politicians being more political than cooperative on both sides.

The first step is, get Paul Ryan off his seat in charge of the budget. Putting a man who believes that government is bad only lets him destroy it. There is a place for all voices and the Tea Party isn't all bad even though they have mostly bad ideas. They are partly right on government spending but instead of making sure money spent is on the right things that work, they want to just gut it.

Spend smarter and stop lying. Obama for all of his faults (and you've read most of them here) does not get to spend anything. Congress does. For them to complain about the deficit when they wrote the bills and passed the Continuing Appropriations Resolution for 2013 is what they were complaining about. Now since they couldn't put together a budget for 2014, we're looking at the same thing all over again. Frankly facing this in January all over again will not make a very good Christmas for any of us.

These are the members of the Budget Committee and they are responsible for the budget in the House.
Paul Ryan (WI-01), Chairman
Tom Price (GA-06), Vice-Chairman
Scott Garrett (NJ-05)
John Campbell (CA-45)
Ken Calvert (CA-42)
Tom Cole (OK-04)
Tom McClintock (CA-04)
James Lankford (OK-05)
Diane Black (TN-06)
Reid Ribble (WI-08)
Bill Flores (TX-17)
Todd Rokita (IN-04)
Rob Woodall (GA-07)
Marsha Blackburn (TN-07)
Alan Nunnelee (MS-01)
Scott Rigell (VA-02)
Vicky Hartzler (MO-04)
Jackie Walorski (IN-02)
Luke Messer (IN-06)
Tom Rice (SC-07)
Roger Williams (TX-25)
Sean Duffy (WI-07)

Chris Van Hollen (MD-08), Ranking Member
Allyson Schwartz (PA-13)
John Yarmuth (KY-03)
Bill Pascrell (NJ-08)
Tim Ryan (OH-17)
Gwen Moore (WI-04)
Kathy Castor (FL-11)
Jim McDermott (WA-07)
Barbara Lee (CA-13)
David Cicilline (RI-01)
Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08)
Mark Pocan (WI-02)
Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01)
Jared Huffman (CA-02)
Tony Cardenas (CA-29)
Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)

For the Senate these are the members of the Budget Committee
Chairman Patty Murray Washington
Democratic Committee Members
Senator Ron Wyden Oregon
Senator Bill Nelson Florida
Senator Debbie Stabenow Michigan
Senator Bernie Sanders Vermont
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse Rhode Island
Senator Mark R. Warner Virginia
Senator Jeff Merkley Oregon
Senator Chris Coons Delaware
Senator Tammy Baldwin Wisconsin
Senator Tim Kaine Virginia
Senator Angus King Maine

Senator Jeff Sessions Alabama
Republican Committee Members
Senator Charles Grassley Iowa
Senator Mike Enzi Wyoming
Senator Mike Crapo Idaho
Senator Lindsey Graham South Carolina
Senator Rob Portman Ohio
Senator Pat Toomey Pennsylvania
Senator Ron Johnson Wisconsin
Senator Kelly Ayotte New Hampshire
Senator Roger Wicker Mississippi

Everyone seems to agree the government spends to much but it takes too long for us to get through what reporters feel like telling us. If they are really serious about government spending money then Tea Party Republicans on any of these committees should keep the public informed on what money is being spent on. The shenanigans need to stop. While they are right that the government wastes money, they are not right on pushing for the government to stop doing everything.

We need to stop being so lazy that we never bother to find out what we can about what is really going on.

Too many times I have had conversations with veterans when they were shocked to discover what is going on because it was reported on in another part of the country. We can't trust the national news to let us know, so subscribe to Wounded Times and make sure you stay informed. I track the news reports the national news should have done a long time ago.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Washington suffering from truth decay

Washington suffering from truth decay
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 18, 2013

Ever since the congress decided that they knew what we wanted better than we did, this country has been one huge mess. One crisis after another has left most of us wondering "What the hell are they talking about?" when we hear them say things that make no sense at all.

After the stunt at the WWII Memorial with Ted Cruz pretending he gives a damn about veterans after causing the shutdown, that pretty much proved they have no shame. Is it they really believe what they say or is it they are just used to living in fantasy land and pretending to be something they are not?

Cruz said "Our veterans should be above politics." So why is he there after he pushed to have the government shutdown and then voted to keep it closed? Did he really think he could pull a sham and open the memorials while leaving veterans shut out of everything else they care about? Did he think about the veterans who do not use the VA and need healthcare coverage? Did he think about how there are a lot of veterans working for the departments he just shutdown? Did he think of anything but himself?

"Social Security is a welfare transfer system." Paul Ryan said that in 2005 when no one knew who he was.

Did he care veterans get social security too? So do their widows and orphans. He didn't think about them any more than Mitt Romney did when they wanted to privatize the VA.
Then there is this.
“The Romney 59-point plan, the word ‘veteran’ is not mentioned once,” he said, referring to the GOP nominee’s plan for economic recovery. “The Ryan Budget, no mention of veterans. Mitt Romney’s website — he’s been running for president for at least five years, so he’s not new to the game, or the Internet — Mitt Romney’s website didn’t even mention veterans until about a month ago. It’s been online for at least a year. Consistent.”

Biden mocked Romney’s explanation for omitting any reference to the war in Afghanistan or to veterans in his convention speech, a criticism he noted was first leveled by conservative author and Fox News Channel contributor Bill Kristol.

Asked by Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier why his was the first GOP acceptance speech since 1952 not to mention an ongoing war, Romney replied, “When you give a speech, you don’t go through a laundry list. You talk about the things you think are important, and I described in my speech my commitment to a strong military, unlike the president’s decision to cut our military.”

Maybe they think they can get away with it because reporters never really question them on anything. Face it. Most of us are not very well informed. That was proven when reporters went out and asked people what they thought about Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act, as if they were two different things.
Ill-informed citizens

Unfortunately, public ignorance is hardly specific to ObamaCare, nor is it merely the stuff of Jay Leno's "Jaywalking" interviews, in which he finds people who think that America declared our independence from Greece and that Winston Churchill was the commander of the Revolutionary Army.

A Harris Poll for the American Bar Association in 2005 found that 22% of respondents thought the three branches of government were "Republican, Democrat and Independent." Two-thirds of Americans couldn't name a single sitting Supreme Court justice in 2003, and fewer than 1% could name all nine. In 1987, about half of Americans thought Karl Marx's dictum "from each according to his ability to each according to his needs" was in the U.S. Constitution. In 1964, only 38% of the American people were certain the Soviet Union wasn't in NATO.

Regardless of partisan agendas, this is a huge problem, but we don't hear much about it because one of the drawbacks of democracy is that politicians will never insult the customers. Worse, virtually all the conventional wisdom, not to mention academic and media gasbaggery, is that the biggest problem with our political system is that not enough Americans are participating, even though it's a good bet that if you don't know anything about politics or current events, you're less likely to vote.

That is how they get away with it! Too many people just don't pay attention.

This is the man the GOP put in charge of the budget of this country.
What his value system is and his belief system is based on? Really? But you wouldn't have heard that when he was running with Romney. You sure didn't hear that when he had already put together budgets that cut the elderly, poor, needy, disabled, veterans and everyone else. You sure didn't hear that when he had to explain why the Senate wouldn't even hold a vote on his budget. Why? Because he never had to explain what was in it. So listen to what he said out of his own mouth and know that the Senate has been protecting the rest of us from him and the rest of the members of congress who wanted to keep the government shut down.

When you hear a politician proudly talk about voting against ending the shutdown know they were defending this and not us. Know that they must agree with Ryan or they would have demanded he did a budget that could have passed the senate. In January when we face all this all over again because these yahoos can't do their jobs, remember we were warned what they were going to do and why they were going to do it.

Bad news for some Republican politicians in Florida

The Orlando Sentinel has up a poll of if we will vote for our representatives or not after the shutdown. The answer is, hell no!
With all the squabbling in Washington, will you re-elect your current representatives and senators?
Not sure yet(26%)

Tampa Bay has up how they all voted.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cutting Social Security for Defense?

I sent out a Tweet a little while ago that putting Paul Ryan in charge of the budget was like putting an exterminator in charge of an ant farm. Dumb idea.

I want to apologize to exterminators. At least they work hard for a living.

I wanted to be happy today since last night was the first good night I had in 16 days. Wondering what to do if the yahoos in Washington couldn't flush their ego and to the right thing was really hard to take. After all, we had to fight for my husband's claim to be approved for 6 years. No, not the last six years but back in the 90's when it was a mess before.

That is the problem with congress. They never really manage to fix things for good. People complain about the backlog but never seem to remember that we've been here before, heard a lot of promises and things seemed ok for a while only to end up out of control yet again. You can look up some of the history of this from Wounded Times under VA Claims. Paul Ryan wanted to gut the VA among other things, so that left a really bad taste in our mouths when we kept reading reports on veterans suffering all over the country all over again.

Anyway,,,,What the hell were they thinking? Did they think it was a good idea to put someone from the Tea Party in charge of the budget for the country? If you are a veteran on top of being in the older generation, you'll love this one.  It just got dumber.

Harry Reid Says Hiking Defense Spending For Social Security Cuts Is A 'Stupid Trade'
Posted: 10/17/2013

WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has no interest in a budget deal that trades sequestration relief for entitlement cuts, believing that future spending reductions scheduled to hit the Pentagon give Democrats the upper hand. Instead, the Nevada Democrat told The Huffington Post on Thursday, any large-scale debt-reduction deal must include increased revenue in exchange for changes to mandatory spending programs.

The government funding and debt limit bill signed Wednesday night sets a Dec. 13 deadline for budget negotiators to report back to Congress. If no deal is struck, Congress will have until Jan. 15 to approve continued government funding or face another shutdown.
read more here

While you were sleeping government reopened

Marco Rubio Rewrites Government Shutdown History
Huffington Post
Zach Carter
Posted: 10/20/2013

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Sunday attempted to distance himself from the government shutdown strategy he and other potential GOP presidential candidates in the Senate pursued for much of the summer, arguing that blame for the shutdown rests with President Barack Obama.

"I was never in favor of shutting down the government or of defunding the government. I was in favor of voting to fund the government fully," Rubio said on "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace. "The only thing I didn't want to see is us wasting any more money on Obamacare, which is already a disaster."

Rubio, along with Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), led the Senate-side GOP push for the government shutdown strategy. Over the summer, Rubio refused to back any funding package for the federal government that would allow the health care law to go into effect. Absent a funding bill, the government would be forced to shut down.

"On this issue we’re willing to fight no matter what the consequences, politically or otherwise [are]. If that issue is not Obamacare, I can’t understand what issue it would be," Rubio told conservative talk radio host Mark Levin in August. "You cannot say you are against Obamacare if you are willing to vote for a law that funds it."
read more here
Done deal: Obama signs debt bill into law
By Carrie Dann
Political Reporter
NBC News
October 17, 2013
That works out to a $24 billion bite out of the American economy, a number that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi cited on the House floor before the vote.

After weeks of stalemate that shuttered the government for 16 days and brought the nation within hours of a key deadline to renew its borrowing authority, the standoff is finally over.

President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill to re-open the government and extend the debt ceiling – just hours after the House and Senate passed the measure with broad bipartisan support.

Obama said the measure would immediately restart federal programs that had been put on hold during the funding lapse.

“We will begin reopening our government immediately,” he said in remarks before the House passed the bill. “And we can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty and unease from our businesses and the American people.”
read more here

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Politicians baffle with pure BS

Politicians baffle with pure BS
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 16, 2013

Up until 2007 I was a news junkie and that was a huge problem. I watched all of the national news stations but gave up my addiction when I had enough of watching CSPAN's coverage of the Congress. It was like a faucet dripping on my head for hours. I have total respect for the cameramen on that assignment. Anyway, the good thing about CSPAN is they do pay attention and leave videos up forever. Not that they are watched very much. These videos come in handy when I need to refresh my memory especially in times like the last 16 days when I've been screaming at the TV set as politician after politician talked about what the American people want and not too many were offering any apologizes for what they did to us.

As of today it looks as if they might finally have a deal on what they should have taken care of three years ago. Passing a real budget! Not the wicked pisser budget Paul Ryan kept shoving on the Senate without ever explaining how he could justify any of it, but a real one that would get passed by the majority of both houses. How he ended up on that committee when he came right out and agreed with the Tea Party wanting to take down what the government did just goes to show the party is a mess. After all, Obama, just like all other Presidents had to do one to set the agenda considering they were elected by the majority of the voters nation wide and congress was supposed to just tweak it to fit what they thought was right. But hey, they just proved they do whatever they want. This was all just an exercise in how politicians can't dazzle us with their brilliance but manage to baffle with masterful bullshit.

Start with President Obama. They say when we're playing checkers, he's playing chess and most of the time, he's proven them right. He just did but reporters missed it. While the other politicians were fighting over everything else, no one noticed that he didn't do what he should have done three years ago when the House was turned over to Republicans and their number one job according to Senator Mitch McConnell said with pride their number one job was to make Obama a one term President. While reporters missed that would mean they wouldn't mind destroying the country in the process, they just let him and the other Republicans talk. They also left us suffering.

Three years ago, Obama should have been screaming for a budget to get done. After all, it isn't as if he is camera shy. He should have gotten his network of communication specialists geared up to let everyone know this was not getting done. Why didn't he? Why didn't he start screaming about the budget before sequestration? Why didn't he remind people what we were heading for since he had already been down this road before in 2011 when the US credit rating tanked the last time the GOP tried to pull this off?

On the Affordable Care Act he should have told congress that if they didn't like the bill then they should fix it to make sure it worked considering they have been on record talking about the need for the American people to have affordable healthcare for years. (Yep, good old CSPAN) Senator Bill Roth R-Delaware Finance Committee Chairman "Well-being of all families, the need to provide them with the most meaningful tax relief possible. To do it in a way that families can meet their individual needs." Increases access to healthcare! Back in 1999. Even John Boehner was talking about it along with the need for an up or down vote when the Democrats controlled the House.

And the poor GOP so hell bent on ending Obamacare when their supports love Affordable Care Act kind of proves the point that this is all pure BS.

What cracks me up the most is the fact that they are not talking about apologizing to the American people they just put through hell, they are talking about doing it all over again in a few months. Do we really want to go through this all over again?

Like with most things reporters are all over the story now but in a week or so they will find something else to report on and forget all over this until it comes up again and none of them will remind any of us how things got so bad.

CSPAN will be there covering all of it but maybe they should think of hiring a great graphic arts major and a music genius to make it more interesting to listen to the speeches given on the way this country is actually being run. Lately the Daily Show has been a better ob reporting on the news than news stations so maybe they can get some advice from Jon Stewart.