Janet's Conner

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

Friday, August 25, 2006

Iraq: "I CAN'T FACE KILLING CHILDREN IN IRAQ," SAID SUICIDE SOLDIER

A teenage soldier killed himself before his first tour of duty in Iraq because he was told he might have to shoot suspected child suicide bombers.

Daily Mail UK
August 25, 2006

Jason Chelsea, 19, who served with the Kings Lancaster Regiment, told his mother that senior officers warned him during special training that Iraqi insurgents used children as young as two as bombers.

The teenager, who has a two-year-old nephew, took an overdose of paracetamol while home on leave and died or liver failure five days later.

As he lay dying in St. James' Hospital, Leeds, he told his parents that he could not face returning to his barracks and then going to Iraq.

Jason, who served in Germany and Cyprus, had told friends that he was looking forward to going on active service for his country.

But his feelings changed dramatically after the warning about child bombers.

His mother Kerry, said last night: 'Jason said that during training for Iraq he was told the time may come when he would have to shoot a young child to save himself and his friends.

'But he has always been very close to his nephew, Cameron. He told me, "There's no way I could shoot a child like Cameron, whatever side he is on."

The family, from Wigan, are now calling for a review of pre-Iraq training given to British soldiers, and the Army has launched an inquiry.

Mrs. Chelsea said: 'I think that they need to think again about the training they are giving to these young soldiers before they go to Iraq.

'On the whole, the Army was good for Jason---but, like all mums, I didn't really want him to join.

'No mother wants their son put in a position where he could be killed.'

The Ministry of Defence said last night: 'We send our heartfelt sympathies to the family of Kingsman Chelsea.

Board of inquiry

'It is our intention to convene a board of inquiry which will examine the circumstances around his death.'

An inquest on Jason has been opened and adjourned.

Hurricane Katrina: DEMOCRATS RELEASE REPORT ON FAILED REPUBLICAN RESPONSE

One year after the Storm, Needs of Survivors Remain Unmet

Washington, D.C.---Today Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released "Broken Promises: The Republican Response to Katrina," a new report detailing the failed response in the almost one year since Hurricne Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast. One year after the hurricanes showed the American people that even so long after 9/11 their government was still not prepared to protect them, the report makes clear the disastrous effects incompetence and mismanagement continue to have on Gulf Coast residents. As the Bush Administration seeks to trumpet its "accomplishments" in the year since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, this report makes clear how much work remains to be done. A copy of the report is attached to this release.

Key findings include:

Thousands of families still waiting for FEMA trailers.

And estimated 11% of the $19B that had been spent by FEMA---or $2B---has been waste, fraud and abuse.

80% of Gulf Coast businesses with approved SBA disaster loans are still waiting to get their loans.

The Republican Congress didn't enact needed housing money for homeowners in Louisiana until June, 10 months after Katrina---and the money has still failed to reach these homeowners.

Only 3 of the 10 acute-care hospitals have re-opened; the only public hospital, Charity, has still not re-opened.

Only 56 of 128 public schools in New Orleans are enrolling students this fall.

"One year ago, Katrina and Rita taught the American people the terrible lesson that their government was not prepared to protect them," said Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid. "Unfortunately, one year after the hurricanes and five years after 9/11, Bush Republicans in Washington still have not taken that lesson to heart. After so much incompetence and failure that put too many Americans at risk, it is time for a new direction. Across the Gulf Coast, we need a real change from the failed promises of the last year to a new spirit of hope and recovery that will finally rebuild this vital region. Across America, we need a real change that will create the tough AND smart policies that will give the American people the real security they expect and deserve."

"In our Gulf Coast, the tens of thousands of Hurricane Katrina survivors are still engaged in an unparalleled struggle to rebuild their lives," said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

"Meanwhile, back in Washington, President Bush is holding a public relations blitz that the survivors of Katrina can ill afford. The response to Hurricane Katrina was disastrous---the Bush Administration failed to keep Americans safe. Chaos, confusion, and utter incompetence cannot continue. It is time for a new direction, where despair and destruction are replaced by hope and renewal."

Senator Reid will travel to Louisiana this week to tour St. Bernard Parish with Senator Mary Landrieu and local officials. Leader Pelosi will join 20 of her House Democratic colleagues to travel to the Gulf Coast next week.



Illinois Politics: UNINSURED CALL ON HASTERT FOR REFORM

Batavia---About a dozen people called upon House Speaker Dennis Hastert on Tuesday to work toward strengthening the health-care system to provide affordable health care to all.

SuburbanChicagoNews dot com
By: Angela Fornelli
August 23, 2006

The uninsured residents and health-care advocates stood outside Hastert's Batavia office and demanded the speaker "use the power of his office to bring real reform to health care that is inefficient, unaffordable and unfair," said William McNary, co-director of Citizen Action Illinois and president of U.S. Action.

***Hastert only uses the "power of his office" to hurt individuals who speak out against him or to make his family rich-er!

The event, hosted by Illinois for Health Care, was part of the National Health Care day of Action, in which people in 50 cities across 30 states participated. It comes at the forefront of mid-term elections and updated Census Bureau statistics on ths uninsured, to be released next week.

***Hastert's campaign supporters are pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies! Who do you think he's going to work for. The "people" who can't afford to fill his pockets? I DON'T THINK SO!!!!!

Current estimates shoe nearly 46 million Americns lack insurance, including 33,000 in Kane County, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

***And that's a richer part of the state!

Juanita Wells is one of them from Aurora. Wells, a member of the East Aurora School Board, said she lost her medical coverage after the company she worked for downsized and she lost her job. Her current job is at a small not-for-profit that does not offer health coverage for its employees, yet her salary is too high to qualify for state aid. And, at age 56, she is too young to qualify for Medicare.

"The United States must provide medical coverage for those that fall between the cracks," Wells said at the press conference Tuesday. "We all know it's much more costly to treat full-blown diseases."

Wells, who has survived cancer and also takes medications for high blood pressure and diabetes, said she sometimes goes without her blood pressure medication, which costs $160 a month, because she can't afford it.

"There are times I need to go to the doctor and I don'g go because I don't have the money to pay for a doctor's visit," she said.

Brad Hahn, spokesman for Hastert, said the congressman has been a leading voice for expanding access to quality health care.

***B.S.!

"This kind of stunt can be expected around campaign time, but they really should check their facts before they start printing T-shirts," Hahn said.

***If this was expected, then where in the hell was Hastert to speak for himself?

Hastert has been instrumental in forming the prescription drug benefit now availbale through Medicare and also led the effort to create tax-free health savings accounts, Hahn said. The speaker also has been a leading voice for malpractice reform and supports health plans that allow small businesses to pool together to purchase low-cost insurance, he said.

***Yeah! Isn't this the prescription drug benefit that is screwing all of the old people? They better stop cheerleading this guy on, because he has done nothing but hurt the elederly!

As part of the event, the organization placed chalklines of people on the sidewalk to dramatize that they will no longer "chalk-up" the health-care crisis to "Congress' misplaced priorities."

***The best thing for this organization to do is make sure that they get to the polls in November to vote this guy out! He doesn't deserve their support! At the same time, they can give the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies "what for" at the same time.


Iraq: MOST IN U.S. DOUBT LINK OF IRAQ TO TERRORISM FIGHT

A majority of Americans now see the war in Iraq as distinct from the fight against terrorism and nearly half believe that President George W. Bush has focused too much on Iraq to the exclusion of other threats, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

The New York Times
By: Carl Hulse and Marjorie Connelly
August 22, 2006

The finding marks the first time that more than 50% of those surveyed in the poll have seperated the war in Iraq from the broader anti-terror effort. It came despite the regular insistence of Bush and his Republican allies in Congress that the two are intertwined and should be seen as complementary elements of an overall strategy to prevent domestic terrorist attacks.

Should the trend hold, the increased skepticism could present a political obstacle for Bush and congressional Republicans, who are making their record on terrorism a central element of the midterm election campaign.

The hope that public support for strong action against terrorists will dilute some of the unrest with the Iraq war and the political appeal of Democratic calls for the withdrawal of American troops.

Public sentiment about the war remains negative, with the potential to erode Republican strength on national security. Fifty-three percent said going to war in the first place was a mistake, up from 48% in July, and 61% said events were going "somewhat or very badly" in the attempt to bring order and stability to raq.

***Why do you think that we haven't been seeing as much as we used to on T.V. about Iraq? Remember when Bush had all of the media embedded with the troops? What happened to all of that coverage? The more things got bad in Iraq, the less you seen it! When the Israeli/Hezbollah conflict started, Bush had all of the mainstream media in Lebanon. Why did he take so long to get involved with that dispute? It was taking away from the war in Iraq!

Bush recorded a gain of 4 percentage points in how the public views his handling of terrorism, rising to 55% approval from 51% the week before.

***That's because he "diverted" attention from Iraq!

The figure was his highest on the issue since last summer, and followed the arrests in Britain in the suspected plot to blow up U.S.-bound airliners.

***Which turned out to be half-assed reported. Why do you think all of this terrorism is being reported in the news? It happens every election season! This is a Rove tactic. There is breaking news everyday, ALL OF A SUDDEN! WAKE-UP PEOPLE. THOSE WHO BELIEVE ALL OF THIS CRAP DESERVE WHAT THEY GET!

BUSH'S OVERALL STANDING WAS NEVERTHELESS UNCHANGED FROM THE WEEK BEFORE, RESTING AT 36% APPROVAL TO 57% DISAPPROVAL---FAR BELOW THE LEVEL HIS FELLOW REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS WOULD LIKE TO SEE AS THEY GO BEFORE THE VOTERS IN NOVEMBER.

***Can you imagine what his disapproval rating would be if his Israeli allies didn't go into Lebanon? Come on, this attack wasn't supposed to happen until October! Why did they do it now?

VA Issues: AMERICAN LEGION SURVEY SHOWS VA IS DRASTICALLY UNDERFUNDED

Congress has consistently underfunded the VA. Insufficient staffing leads to long waiting lists.

El Paso Times
By: Chris Roberts
via: V A Watchdog dot Org
August 25, 2006

Problems identified in an American Legion survey of Veterans Affairs medical centers three years ago were caused mainly by a lack of money and the most recent survey shows little has changed, according to an El Paso resident who was on the national panel that administers the survey.

Insufficient staffing leads to long waiting lists for clinics, pharmacies and specialty care, said retired Lt. Col. John McKinney, from El Paso, who surveyed 26 VA medical care facilities for the 2006 report. The report, due to be published this month, is provided to VA officials and to every member of Congress.

This year's report, as has been the case in the three previous ones, calls for a fundamental change in the way the VA medical centers are funded. To ensure enough money is available for basic needs at the beginning of the budget cycle, it promotes an approach called "mandatory funding."

Congress has consistently underfunded VA to the extent that it doesn't have enough money to take care of the demand for medical care it knows it will have, McKinney said, much less any unanticipated demands.

"Year after year, veterans' health care funding falls well short of the funding required to maintain even the most routine health care services," said U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX). "Veterans in El Paso and across the country have earned and deserve more than this. Creating a dedicated funding stream for veterans' health care through mandatory funding would help the VA solve those and other problems currently plaguing the Veterans Health Administration."

Reyes is a co-sponsor of the Assured Funding for Veterans Health Care Act of 2005, which is now in the House Veterans' Affairs Committee.

In previous surveys, the American Legion had evaluated all the VA's major medical facilities, about 165 total.

"This year we're virtually starting over," McKinney said.

McKinney said the medical center staff have been very open and cooperative. This being an election year and with soldiers returning home from combat in Iraq and Afghanastan, some lawmakers also have expressed an increased interest in the survey, asking to get the report delivered as soon as it is availbale, he said.

***It should not take an election year to catch the interests of our representatives in Washington. Right there, tells you that this is half-heartedly being done. Shouldn't they "Support Our Troops" all of the time? They claim that they do!

McKinney, who has had the opportunity to observe VA operations in El Paso and around the nation, said El Paso VA services are among the best he has seen. The problems here, including a waiting list for dental care, mirror those around the nation. Other problems observed nationally, such as a lack of money for mental health services, do not seem to be a problem in El Paso, he said.

Troops returning from the recent conflicts are displacing older veterans, he said, overloading understaffed medical centers, increasing wait times and creating the need for travel to other centers or expensive local referrals. Some hospitals, he said, have one doctor for 1,200 patients. And when veterans are referred outside the region, they pick up most of the travel costs, he said.

THE VA UNDERESTIMATED THE NUMBER OF TROOPS IN CURRENT CONFLICTS THAT WOULD SEEK HELP FOR POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER, McKinney said, and war reporting in the media appears to be dredging up old and painful memories for some of the older vets.

"The VA has seen a significant increase in first-time Vietnam veterans," McKinney said, adding that the number of troops estimated to seek help for PTSD in 2006 already has been exceeded, with eight months to go in the fiscal year.

Although veterans in some regions must wait as long as a year to receive dental care, the El Paso VA recently hired another dentist and expects that there will be no waiting list by the end of September, said Ray Perdue, executive assistant to the director of the El Paso VA Health Care system, which includes a clinic in Las Cruces, N.M.

Another part of the problem is that the VA often can't attract specialists because they can't match pay available in the community. A "Physicians Pay" bill that passed two years ago could help by linking VA salaries to those in the local community, but few pay scales have been established, he said.

***This is the problem with Bush's VA Budget. All that you have been hearing from Bush and the Republicans is about how Bush is the first president to have given the VA record amounts of money. And the people are believing this crap! All kinds of bills can be passed to help our veterans, but the thing is, BUSH WON'T FUND THEM. HIS VA BUDGET WAS NOTHING BUT A BUNCH OF NUMBERS THAT LOOK GOOD AND SOUND GOOD. But if people would take the time out to sit down and do the figures, they'd see that Bush and the Republicans have DONE NOTHING FOR THE VA! THESE NUMBERS ARE ALL PHONEY NUMBERS. "THE PEOPLE" AREN'T TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THAT BUSH DIDN'T GIVE THE VA ANYTHING FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS AND THEN WILL START TAKING BACK SOME OF THE MONEY IN FUTURE YEARS. GET WITH IT PEOPLE! BUSH'S NUMBERS ARE AS PHONEY AS HE IS!

The biggest area of specialty shortage in the VA in neurosurgeons, McKinney said.

"Their salaries are high and the VA can't match them," he said, adding that there are waiting lists for audiology and cardiology care as well, some of which are particularly acute in certain geographic areas.

Perdue said the El Paso VA can refer patients who need neurosurgery to Beaumont Army Medical Center, which is next door. Although the VA pays for the treatment, it doesn't pay the neurosurgeon's salary, which is a relatively unique situation, he said.

The El Paso VA recently hired a second cardiologist and is looking for an audiologist, he said, adding that there is no waiting list for any of those services.

Because of the consistent problems nationally, McKinney said all the veterans service organizations are supporting a change in the way VA is funded. Instead of funding it as a discretionary expense, which means VA starts every year at zero and then must show a need for money, it should be mandatory, which starts with a baseline of known expenses and goes up with anticipated needs.

"It needs to be funded for the need it knows it's going to have and the realistic increases we're going to see coming out of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom," McKinney said.

But McKinney points out that everybody is competing for the same, limited amounts of money.

"Nobody is ever going to be comletely satisfied," McKinney said. "You do the best you can with what you've got."

***Did you know that the VA could be completely funded if Bush didn't give that upper 1% all of those tax breaks? The upper 1% consists of only 7-8,000 families. How many veterans have families out there? More than 7-8,000!!!!!!!!



Military Action Issue: ARMY STUDIES ACCURACY OF CASUALTY REPORTS



Review includes losses in Afghanastan, Iraq

San Francisco, California (AP)---The Army has begun a review of casualty reports on American soldiers killed in Afghanastan, Iraq and elsewhere since 2001, a response to complaints that it has not always given families accurate information.

CNN dot com
August 24, 2006

The review covers hundreds of casualties in the campaigns in Afghanastan and Iraq, two senior military officials said. It also includes Americans soldiers killed in neighboring countries in support of the two operations.

In coming weeks, the Army will issue a directive formalizing the review, according to two military officials. One spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because officers at the highest levels of the Army are sill making minor changes. The other described the initiative in memos obtained by The Associated Press.

The review follows high-profile mistakes in informing families of the circumstances of soldiers' deaths.

The best-known is that of Cpl. Pat Tillman, the one-time NFL star who quit football to join the U.S. Army Rangers and was killed by friendly fire in Afghanastan in April 2004. Tillman's family was originally told he had been killed by enemy fire.

Veterans Issues: VETERAN APPEALS ARMY'S DISABILITY RULING



Head injury not severe enough to keep military benefits

fayettevillenc dot come
By: Kevin Mauer
Staff Writer
August 25, 2006

A former 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper wounded in Iraq is appealing an Army ruling that determined his head injury was not severe enough to keep his military benefits.

Cpl. Richard Twohig was injured in May 2003 when he was thrown off an armored personnel carrier and landed on his head.

Twohig, at the time a team sergeant in the 1st Battalion of the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, was diagnosed with post-concussive syndrome with intractable headaches and a mood disorder.

He suffers from intense headaches at last once a week. The pain is so severe he spends 12 to 14 hours in bed with the shades drawn, he said.

His short-term memory also constantly fails him, forcing him to have simple questions repeated.

The Army determined that Twohig was less than 30% diasbled. In order to maintain his Defense Department benefits, he had to meet the 30% level.

"I'm not doing well," Twohig said last week in a phone interview from his home in Tennessee.

He is living near relatives with his two children. He has health care through the Dept. of VA, but his children---2-year-old Damon and 5-year-old Elizabeth---are without medical benefits.

Twohig is unable to work and was counting on the Army to provide him and his family with medical benefits.

"I just felt like I was shafted. Things really haven't gotten better since the accident," he said.

The Physical Evaluation Board at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington ruled in March 2005 that Twohig did not present any objective information to prove that the headaches were a result of the accident.

The Physical Evaluation Board could not be reached for comment.

Twohig was awarded 10% disability, half of what he was awarded in his informal review.

His lawyer, Mark Waple of Fayetteville, is appealing the board's ruling to the Army Board of Correction of Military Records. The appeal was filed in July and a decision is expected by the end of the year.

Waple argues that Physical Evaluation Board did not make its ruling based on the "preponderance of evidence," which is required by law.

***This story and many others like it are very common with this "untraditional" Bush Administration. They claim to support our troops, then go and do things like this to them. They have become throw aways.

It is time to Support Our Troops! This November, we must throw away the majority in Washington which just so happens to be the Republicans!