Janet's Conner

This Blog tell the Truth and will never not tell the Truth. Impeach Bush

Monday, August 21, 2006

Politics: DO-NOTHING REPUBLICAN CONGRESS IGNORES PRIORITIES OF AMERICAN FAMILIES

THE REVIEWS ARE IN:

Do-Nothing Republican Congress Ignores Priorities of American Families

Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Miss.), Pathetic: Congress earns 'do-nothing' label

"On issues ranging from energy reform to reining in lobbyists to controlling immigration, Congress has failed to pass substantive legislation, despite one-party control." [8/6/06]

Baltimore Sin, A pathetic performance

"Led by Republicans divided among themselves, stained by scandal and fleeing the stigma of a flailing president, this Congress is heading shortly into its campaign summer recess with almost nothing to show for more than 19 months on the payroll. The first branch of Congress, as the Constitution defines it, has failed miserably to deal with such top concerns as the conflicts in Iraq and Lebanon, soaring gasoline prices and uncontrolled immigration. Nor have worries about health care, education, disappearing pensions or the growing gap between rich and poor gotten adequate attention. Congress hasn't even delivered on the ethics and process reforms promise with such piousness months ago when its vulnerability to corruption was exposed by an ongoing Justice Department probe...Instead of devoting itself to such substantive issues, Congress has spent an inordinate amount of time on symbolic trivialities: constitutional amendments to prevent gay marriage and flag-burning, a Pledge Protection Act to block federal courts from striking the 'under God' language, and other no-chance proposals simply aimed at currying favor with single-issue voters." [7/24/06]

San Diego Union-Tribune, Congress fails to address many major issues

"Immigration reform is the most high-profile issue Congress can't seem to come to grips with, but there are many others. And to prove how serious the House is about solving them, it has begun a five-week summer recess...Congress has barely begun to address issues related to the war in Iraq...Congress has also failed to send to the president 12 appropriations bills needed to fund the government for the fiscal year...Another issue that Congress did not see fit to address is health care reform." [8/4/06]

USA Today, So much to do, so little time...so Congress skips town

"As Congress settles into its month-long August break, it's hard to shake the feeling that the House and Senate haven't earned their time off. Instead of tending to basics and working out differences on divisive but vital issues such as immigration, members have spent much of the past several months in political posturing and time-wasting debates over non-essential issues...Republicans shoulder most of the blame for this do-little record, since they are in charge." [8/7/06]

New York Times, Earning that Congressional Raise

"Congress has just chopped a week off what already is a notoriously skimpy work calender so that lawmakers will have extra campaign time at home this fall. The Capitol will recess at the end of September, leaving a world of unfinished business. You'll be relieved to know, however, that among the House items already seen to was a pay increase---2% over the current base salary of $168,500." [7/13/06]

Miami Herald, Ethics reform: A promise unkept

"As Congress prepares to leave Washington for the traditional August recess, there is no better example of a critical issue that has not been resolved than the failure to enact meaningful lobbying and ethics reform. Deadlines have been missed, promises of reform have fallen flat, and there is nothing to show the electorate. When it comes to fixing the way it does business, Congress has been sadly incorrigible." [7/26/06]

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Just go home

"There are two ways of looking at this: The first is that we hired this bunch of yahoos to work for the people and there are still chores to do. On the other hand, it can also be argued that the sooner this bunch leaves Washington, D.C., the better." [7/28/06]

Herald-Leader (Lexington, KY), Less hot air in D.C.

"It's been a grueling summer for Congress, slaving over such urgent matters as the Pledge of Allegiance, flag desecration and gay marriage. Now our elected representatives are looking forward to a month off to campaign and grab some R&R." [8/4/06]

Politics: RHETORIC VS. REALITY



This morning, President Bush held a press conference.

At the press conference, in addition to his statements calling for staying the course in Iraq, the President also stated that, in the November Election, Republican candidates should run on the issues of fiscal responsibility and the strong economy.

Attached are:

- A "Rhetoric vs Reality" fact sheet comparing the President's rhetoric on fiscal responsibility and the economy with reality.

- Democratic Leader Pelosi's statement on the President's comments on Iraq.

RHETORIC VS. REALITY

GOP RHETORIC ON FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY:

President Bush, Press Conference, 8/21: At his press conference today, President Bush stated that, in the November election, Republican candidates should run on the issue of fiscal responsibility and decreasing the deficit.

REALITY:

* President Bush and the Republicans have run up the three largest budget deficits in history.

* President Bush has presided over the worst fiscal reversal in our nation's history---turning a $5.6 trillion 10-year surlpus into a $3.0 trillion 10-year deficit.

* Since 2001, President Bush and the Republicans have had to increase the national debt limit four times so far---increasing it to $3 trillion.

* Under President Bush, the national debt is projected to double more than $11 trillion by the end of the decade---burdening our children and grandchildren for decades to come.

* President Bush's policies never achieve a balanced budget over the next 10 years---with a projected deficit of $485 billion in 2016 under realistic assumptions.

* President Bush has borrowed more money from foreign countries than the previous 42 U.S. Presidents combined.

GOP RHETORIC ON THE ECONOMY:

President Bush, Press Conference, 8/21: At his press conference, President Bush also stated, "I'd be running on the economy....I'd say, look at what the economy has done. It's strong."

REALITY:

* President Bush has the worst job creation record of any President since the Great Depression.

* The income of a typical American family has fallen every year of the Bush Presidency, and many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

* Under the Bush economy, at the same time that family incomes are at stagnant or falling, the costs facing average families are rising---from gas prices to health care to college tuition.

* Gas prices have reached the second highest level in history, doubling to nearly $3.00 a gallon ($2.93); and the price of oil is nearly $72 a barrel.

* Family health insurance costs have risen by to 70% (an average of $4,500 per family) since 2000.

* College tuition has risen by 57% at public universities and by 32% at private universities since 2000.


PELOSI STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT BUSH'S COMMENTS ON IRAQ

Washington, D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on President Bush's comments on Iraq at a news conference this morning at the White House:

"President Bush should have given more thought to the consequences of a failed state in Iraq before he launched his ill-advised invasion almost three and a half years ago. He did not have a plan for preventing chaos in Iraq when the war was started. The mounting death toll in Baghdad and elsewhere in the country is stark evidence that he does not have one today.

"Our troops have been fighting in Iraq longer than we fought in Europe in World War II. The President's promise to keep American forces in Iraq as long as he is in office is no substitute for an effective plan to complete the mission. 'Stay the course' has produced the situation President Bush now decries, and his repeated failure to offer a new direction provides no hope for a lessening of the sectarian violence that is the greatest threat to Iraq's future.

Democrats believe it's time for a new direction in Iraq, with responsible redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq that begins this year. Our soldiers in Iraq should transition to a more limited mission focused on counterterrorism, force protection of U.S. personnel, and training and logistical support of Iraqi security forces."

VA Issues: 70's LAW COSTS 61,000 MILITARY WIDOWS THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN SURVIVOR BENEFITS

As many as 61,000 military widows whose husbands died of causes relating to their military service lose out on thousands of dollars a year in survivor benefits because of a law that dates from the 1970's.

The New York Times
By: Lizette Alvarez
August 19, 2006

Widows and retirees have spent decades trying to persuade Congress to change the law, which hits hardest at the widows of lower-ranking service members and is referred to by many as the "widow's tax."

***That's because this Republican White House and Congress hate entitlements! Did they forget that "benefits" is one of the reasons that these veterans went to serve their country in the first place for? But yet, they'll give the upper 1%, what I like to call, entitlements for being "rich!"

The Senate passed such a change last year and again this year as part of the military authorization bill. But House Republican leaders oppose the change because of its steep price tag, nearly $9B over 10 years, Senate legislative aides from both parties say. A change was not in the military bill that passed the House, but lawmakers who support the change are hoping to make it part of the bill's final version, which is now being worked on by a bipartisan Congressional connittee.

***Leave it to Frist, that's why he needs to go. He's a lapdog for the Bush administration. As for the House! I don't know who Hastert is trying to impress. He's as phoney as they come and is another lapdog for the White House. He's only getting desperate to win his seat back. Never believe what Hastert says or does during an election year. The White has gotten everything that they wanted from Hastert since Bush took over the White House. Why is Hastert going to change now? HE'S NOT! Hastert thinks that just because the mainstream media says he's against something, that he won't allow it to happen. It makes it "appear" that Hastert might be working for "the people." Get this: HE'S NOT! NEVER HAS WORKED FOR "THE PEOPLE" AND HE "NEVER WILL." Until something is signed and it actually legislation, don't believe Hastert!

"My husband thought he was securing my future," said Edie Smith, a member of the Gold Star Wives, a group of military widows who are lobbying to change the law. "He didn't realize that his own disability would void the benefit he purchased for me."

A 1972 law created the Survivor Benefits Plan, a Department of Defense retirement income fund similar to a life insurance policy. The plan, in turn, pays benefits calculated according to a dead service member's rank and length of service.

In addition, widows of veterans who died of service-related causes receive monthly cash stipends from the Dept of Veterans Affairs. Known as the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation stipend, it is currently $1,033 plus $257 for each child.

But under the law, which placed restrictions on the plan that it created, the payment to widows enrolled in the Survivor Benefits Plan is reduced, dollar for dollar, by the amount of the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation stipened.

For example, a widow who would be entitled to $1,000 from the Survivor Benefits Plan and the $1,033 Dependency and Indemnity stipened receives $1,033, not $2,033.

***Leave it to the Republican Bush administration to find a way to take away from our military widows to find a way to keep giving money to the rich!

Widows whose husband paid into the plan are reimbursed their premiums, without interest, but the amount is taxed and does not make up for the losses from the plan.

***I hope that our troops' realize that the Bush administration is going to find a way to take away all of the benefits that they signed up in the first place for!

The D.O.D. opposes changing the law to allow both payments, arguing that survivors should not receive 2 seperate benefits from a single death.

UNBELIEVABLE!

But widows and their supporters say the Pentagon's opposition to a change in the law really stems from its cost, especially at a time of rising expenses for the war in Iraq.

They also argue that because service members paid into the Survivors Benefits Plan, its benefits should not be reduced.

"If you take one benefit from another, you don't leave the survivor with very much," said Col. Lee Lange, the deputy director of government relations for the influential Military Officers Association of America, which has made this issue a priority. "These are widows. Let them collect both."

Juan del Castillo, a retired Coast Guard commander who has been paying into the plan since 1972, accused the Pentagon of "stealing money from widows."

"They are financing their operation from money stolen from military widows," Mr. Castillo said. "They have been doing this since 1972."

Senator Bill Nelson (D-FLA), who has pushed for five years to change the law, said he has allies in the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Senator John W. Warner (R-VA), and the committee's ranking Democrat, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan. The $9B price tag needed to insure a full payout under both plans sounds expensive, Mr. Nelson said, but is less then the price of a single aircraft carrier.

***It doesn't matter how many allies you have. This Congress ad its committees are all Republican-run. And if the White House wants something, they "are" going to get it. That's why the Congress needs to be balanced out this election season. WE NEED TO STOP THE INSANITY COMING FROM THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION BEFORE HE TAKES US ALL TO OUR DEATHS!

"Widows and orphans are made as a result of war," he said. "They are victims of war. They are giving the ultimate sacrifice, and the nation has an obligation to care for them."

In the last 2 years, Congress has passed several bills to ease restriction in the Survivor Benefits Plan. It ended a reduction in benefits to widows who reached the age of 62. And in 2003, as more and more women were widowed because of the war in Iraq, Congress decided to allow those whose husbands died after Nov. 23, 2003, to receive money from both funds by designating surviving children of wives as beneficiaries. But that does not affect the vast number of the 61,000 widows whose husbands died before that date.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CALIF) does not support the change in this year's military authorization bill. But he has said Congress is doing right by the widows, Pointing out that last year it approved significant increases in life insurance payout and death benefits.

That "should have been done a long time ago," Mr. Hunter said.

***Another Hastert! You can't beleive anything he has to say either!

Veterans Issues: VA MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES QUESTIONED



As more veterans from Iraq and Afghanastan seek mental health treatment from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, lawmakers, advocates and even some VA experts have raised questions about whether returning troops will get what they need.

washingtonpost dot com
By: Donna St. George
August 20, 2006

So far, 63,767 of those veterans have gone to the VA offices with possible mental health problems, and 29,041 have received a preliminary diagnosis of PTSD.

VA officials say there are enough staff members and resources to treat them, but critics say the VA is straining to keep up. In a report that the VA gave to Congress in February noted a drop of nearly 20% in the number of visits with PTSD specialists per veterans from 1995 ro 2005.

"We are concerned that this....reflects a decrease in capacity at a time when VA needs to reach out" to veterans of Iraq and Afghanastan, the VA report said.

Antonette Zeiss, the department's deputy chief of mental health services, said the February report is being updated to reflect improvements. "We have resources to provide very good care to veterans across the country," she said.

The total number of veterans from all eras treated by the VA for PTSD jumped 30% from 2003 to 2005, according to VA figures. Zeiss noted that the new veterans represent a small portion of the VA's health-care caseload.

The VA has expanded its outreach with a program that aims to help returning veterans with stress disorders, officials said.

In addition, the VA recently completed the largest clinical trial ever of individual psychotherapy for PTSD in female veterans.

But veterans advocates in some areas say they hear complaints of staff shortages and long waits to get care. Rep. Michael Michaud (D-MAINE), a member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, cited the case of an Iraq veteran who gets 30 minutes of treatment a month for PTSD. "That's not enough," Michaud said.

"By and large, what we're hearing is that the services aren't like they should be," said Paul Reickhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanastan Veterans of America.

There is no single course of treatment for PTSD because cases can be very different, said Ira Katz, a mental health official for the VA; services include one-on-one counseling, group therapy and medication.

In West Haven, Conn., Laurie Harkness said the community-based VA mental health clinic she directs has no wait. "We get people in right away," she said.

But in Portland, Ore., Larry Scott, editor of VA Watchdog dot org, said mental health clinics there "have just been decimated," with fewer staff members to treat a growing number of veterans.

Shad Meshad, president of the National Veterans Foundation, said the newest returning troops face a more complete trauma. They are "just young bombs like we were 30 to 35 years ago," he said, but now "you have PTSD layered by multiple tours of duty."

You can't believe anything that comes out of the mouths of those people from the VA. They belong to the Bush administration and the only thing they know how to do is doctor up the paperwork! This administration is so unlike any other, well at least from this country! Although they do resemble one from another on, if you know what I mean.

They are consistently lying about everything. But they "always" get caught in their lies when they contradict themselves! And when they get caught at it, the claim they never said it.

Bottom line is: Our veterans get treated like garbage, yet the Bush administration claim their Support for the Troops. They have done nothing but exploit them, and have taken more and more away from them. They deserve better than this. Aren't they the ones fighting Bush's battles? Someone has always carried Bush through his entire life. I bet you he never finished a fight without someone finishing it for him. Come this November, let him fight his own battles! Don't let the Republicans in Congress carry him anymore! They need to be voted out.

The Republicans have been witching and complaining about how the President has done this and that and make promises not to support him. But I'll be damned, that everytime they vote in Congress, they "continue" to vote for his "untraditional" legislation!

Like I said, let him start fighting his own battles come this November. If he doesn't have the Republicans supporting him in Congress, then all of his "untraditional" agenda won't be able to get passed the Democrats. Maybe then, he'll finally go back to Crawford and stay there! How in the hell can a President go on vacation when he is causing all of this terrorism across the globe? ARROGANCE, THAT'S HOW!



Mideast Crisis: THE PRESIDENT'S OBSESSION--HAVE ISRAEL PLANT WMD AT IRAQ BORDER IN SYRIAN TERRITORY?

Has The President Cracked Up?

Leading circles within the U.S. today are gravely concerned with an apparent, serious disturbance of President George W. Bush, Jr's current state of mental health. His obsession with the prospect that a reluctant Israeli government's lauching of the current war against Lebanon might have provided the Republican Party ticket a much-desired "October Surprise" for the coming November general election, has gone glassy-eyed.

Sane leading figures of both Democratic and Republican party pedigrees, are more or less concerned by the danger to civilization generally, and also the U.S. in particular, in the glassy stare they see in the President's eyes.

In a report published this past January, the favored option for Republican Party victory in the coming November mid-term elections depended upon the U.S. ability to induce Israel to plant WMD then in possession of Israel (probably in Negev desert locations) at the Iraq border, preferably in Syrian territory. So far, the current Israeli invasion of Lebanon has all the relevant hallmarks of an operation to accomplish precisely that result. (Or have they completed that task, resulting in the cease-fire agreement?)

All the schemes put on the table, for neutralizing the spread of the mounting asymmetric warfare in Lebanese territory, were assured strategic failures at the outset. The only way out was an enforced Israeli withdrawal from all Lebanese territory, and an enforced movement to a general Middle East peace based on drawing in all of the relevant prospective partners from the region, in a commitment to implementation of an equitable general two-state solution for the respective sovereign states of Israel and Palestine. No other solution exists; even that solution was not available, until the U.S. government commited itself unequivocably to that policy.

It was not necesarry to demand agreement to all details of a settlement in advance. Nonetheless, an agreement to begin immediate implementation of an enforced peaceful solution was required, and to do this in no way which impairs the human rights of any of the persons of the respective parties.

The President of the U.S. must accept this option. We are lurching at the edge of not only the worst global monetary-financial-economic crisis in modern history, but the enflamed precondtitions for the spread of what must tend to become a global asymmetric, also nuclear-armed form of World War III. WE MUST NOT FAIL THIS TIME, AS THE WORLD FAILED AT MUNICH 1938.

THE PRESIDENT MUST GIVE UP HIS GLASSY-EYED OBSESSION.

EIR
August 3, 2006