Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

Archive for July 17th, 2004

Posted by Mark on July 17, 2004

Bush and Veterans

What you will find just above this is an open letter, signed by 21 Medal of Honor winners.

For a fascinating, and patriotic look at how some of these men got their medals, visit Home of Heroes.com

If Kerry wants to wave his service and support of veterans, its important to hear what Veterans have to say about him. And what they have to say about Mr. Bush.

THE FACTS ON VETERANS

President Bush’s Record:

Annenberg Public Policy Center: Kerry’s Claims About Veterans Health Cuts Are Not True. The University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Center stated in a FactCheck, “[F]unding for veterans is going up twice as fast under Bush as it did under Clinton. And the number of veterans getting health benefits is going up 25% under Bush’s budgets. That’s hardly a cut. … FactCheck.org twice contacted the Kerry campaign asking how he justified his claim that the VA budget is being cut, but we’ve received no response.” (FactCheck.org Website, http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docid=144 , Accessed 2/18/04)

Increased VA Funding. The President’s FY 2005 budget proposes to increase funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs to $68 billion from the 2001 level of $48 billion. The President’s budget requests $29.5 billion for VA’s medical care for next year, more that 40 percent above the 2001 level. The past four straight VA budget increases have provided more than a 40 percent increase in VA health care alone since 2001– enabling a million more patients to receive treatment.

Increased Health Care Service to Veterans. In the past four years, President Bush’s budgets have allowed the VA to enroll 2.5 million more veterans for health care services, increase outpatient visits from 44 million to 54 million, increase the number of prescriptions filled from 86 million to 108 million and open 194 new community-based clinics available for veterans. The number of veterans registered for health benefits increased 18 percent under President Bush and will increase by almost 26 percent by October 2004. (“Funding For Veterans Up 27%, But Democrats Call It A Cut,” FactCheck.org Website, http://www.factcheck.org, Accessed 2/18/04)

Concurrent Receipt Of Benefits. President Bush has twice signed legislation effectively providing “concurrent receipt” of both military retired pay and VA disability compensation for combat-injured and highly-disabled veterans, reversing a century old law preventing concurrent receipt.

Cutting The Disability Claims Backlog. President Bush promised to reduce the disability claims backlog, and at his request, Congress has provided VA with the resources it needs to reduce claims. Claims backlogs have dropped from a high of 432,000 and are approaching the goal of 250,000 while the volume of claims decisions per month has increased from 40,000 to 68,000. The average length of time to process a veteran’s compensation claim has dropped from approximately 230 days to 160 days and the VA expects to meet its goal of 100 days this year.

Help For Homeless Veterans. As a result of the President’s 2003 budget, community grants were expanded to all 50 States and Washington, D.C. for the first time in history, ensuring that homeless veterans have access to housing, health care and shelter.

Additional Prescription Drug Coverage. Last year, President Bush took the unprecedented step of allowing veterans waiting for a medical appointment who already have a prescription from their private physician, to have those prescriptions filled by the VA. This is saving veterans hundreds of dollars in drug costs.

VA Expansion. The President is seeking to improve outpatient veteran’s health care services through the CARES improvements, which will result in the construction of two new medical centers in Orlando, Florida and Las Vegas, Nevada; over 100 major construction projects to revitalize and modernize VA medical centers in 37 states; creation of 156 new community-based outpatient clinics; potential creation of four new – and expansion of five existing – spinal cord injury centers; and opening up two new blind rehabilitation centers.

John Kerry’s Record:

Kerry Voted Against Last Year’s Supplemental Defense Funding, Which Included Extra $1.3 Billion For Veteran Health Care. Kerry voted against the fiscal 2004 supplemental package of $86.5 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Senate version included an additional $1.3 billion for veterans’ medical care.

Kerry Skipped Vote That Funded VA With $28.6 Billion For Fiscal 2004, Including $1 Billion To Expedite Processing Of VA Benefits Claims. Kerry skipped the vote on Fiscal 2004 Omnibus Appropriations, which included $28.6 billion for the VA. The amount was an increase of $2.9 billion over the previous year, and included $1 billion to “expedite claims processing at the Veterans Benefits Administration.” (U.S. House Committee On Appropriations, “House Passes FY04 Consolidated Appropriations,” Press Release, http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=342, 12/8/03)

Kerry Voted Against McCain Amendment To Require Equal Access To Health Care For All Veterans. Kerry was one of only 18 Senators to vote against the measure. (H.R. 3666, CQ Vote #268: Adopted 79-18: R 50-0; D 29-18, 9/4/96, Kerry Voted Nay)

Kerry Voted Against Last Year’s Supplemental Defense Funding, Which Included $1.3 Billion For Veteran Health Care. (S. 1689, CQ Vote #400: Passed 87-12: R 50-0; D 37-11; I 0-1, 10/17/03, Kerry Voted Nay)

In 2001, Kerry Voted Against Amendment That Would Have Increased Funding For Veterans’ Medical Care By $650 Million. (H.R. 2620, CQ Vote #263: Motion Rejected 25-75: R 8-41; D 16-34; I 1-0, 8/1/01, Kerry Voted Nay)

In 1999, Kerry Voted To Kill Amendment That Would Have Reallocated $210 Million For Veterans’ Medical Benefits And $10 Million For Construction Of Veterans’ Extended Care Facilities. (H.R. 2684, CQ Vote #286: Motion Agreed To 61-38: R 16-37; D 45-0; I 0-1, 9/22/99, Kerry Voted Yea)

Kerry Skipped Vote That Funded VA With $28.6 Billion For Fiscal 2004. (H.R. 2673, CQ Vote #3: Adopted 65-28: R 44-4; D 21-23; I 0-1, 1/22/04, Kerry Did Not Vote; U.S. House Committee On Appropriations, “House Passes FY04 Consolidated Appropriations,” Press Release, http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=342, 12/8/03)

Kerry Missed Two Votes In 2003 That Extended Military Health Coverage To National Guard, Reservists And Their Families If Called To Active Duty. (H.R.1588, CQ Vote #447: Adopted 95-3: R 51-0; D 44-2; I 0-1, 11/12/03, Kerry Did Not Vote; S.1050, CQ Vote #185: Adopted 85-10: R 39-10; D 45-0; I 1-0, 5/20/03, Kerry Did Not Vote)

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Posted by Mark on July 17, 2004

Bush/Cheney News
To the right, below the cartoon.

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Posted by Mark on July 17, 2004

Red or Blue Which Are You?
Hint: Mine came up saying I should get out of the sun, as I’m looking very Red. I’m sorta proud of that.
Set your screen resolution to 1024X78 to be able to take the whole quiz.

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Posted by Mark on July 17, 2004

Bush and Veterans
What you will find just above this is an open letter, signed by 21 Medal of Honor winners.
For a fascinating, and patriotic look at how some of these men got their medals, visit Home of Heroes.com
If Kerry wants to wave his service and support of veterans, its important to hear what Veterans have to say about him. And what they have to say about Mr. Bush.

THE FACTS ON VETERANS
President Bush’s Record:
Annenberg Public Policy Center: Kerry’s Claims About Veterans Health Cuts Are Not True. The University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Center stated in a FactCheck, “[F]unding for veterans is going up twice as fast under Bush as it did under Clinton. And the number of veterans getting health benefits is going up 25% under Bush’s budgets. That’s hardly a cut. � FactCheck.org twice contacted the Kerry campaign asking how he justified his claim that the VA budget is being cut, but we’ve received no response.” (FactCheck.org Website, http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docid=144 , Accessed 2/18/04)
Increased VA Funding. The President’s FY 2005 budget proposes to increase funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs to $68 billion from the 2001 level of $48 billion. The President’s budget requests $29.5 billion for VA’s medical care for next year, more that 40 percent above the 2001 level. The past four straight VA budget increases have provided more than a 40 percent increase in VA health care alone since 2001– enabling a million more patients to receive treatment.
Increased Health Care Service to Veterans. In the past four years, President Bush’s budgets have allowed the VA to enroll 2.5 million more veterans for health care services, increase outpatient visits from 44 million to 54 million, increase the number of prescriptions filled from 86 million to 108 million and open 194 new community-based clinics available for veterans. The number of veterans registered for health benefits increased 18 percent under President Bush and will increase by almost 26 percent by October 2004. (“Funding For Veterans Up 27%, But Democrats Call It A Cut,” FactCheck.org Website, http://www.factcheck.org, Accessed 2/18/04)
Concurrent Receipt Of Benefits. President Bush has twice signed legislation effectively providing “concurrent receipt” of both military retired pay and VA disability compensation for combat-injured and highly-disabled veterans, reversing a century old law preventing concurrent receipt.
Cutting The Disability Claims Backlog. President Bush promised to reduce the disability claims backlog, and at his request, Congress has provided VA with the resources it needs to reduce claims. Claims backlogs have dropped from a high of 432,000 and are approaching the goal of 250,000 while the volume of claims decisions per month has increased from 40,000 to 68,000. The average length of time to process a veteran’s compensation claim has dropped from approximately 230 days to 160 days and the VA expects to meet its goal of 100 days this year.
Help For Homeless Veterans. As a result of the President’s 2003 budget, community grants were expanded to all 50 States and Washington, D.C. for the first time in history, ensuring that homeless veterans have access to housing, health care and shelter.
Additional Prescription Drug Coverage. Last year, President Bush took the unprecedented step of allowing veterans waiting for a medical appointment who already have a prescription from their private physician, to have those prescriptions filled by the VA. This is saving veterans hundreds of dollars in drug costs.
VA Expansion. The President is seeking to improve outpatient veteran’s health care services through the CARES improvements, which will result in the construction of two new medical centers in Orlando, Florida and Las Vegas, Nevada; over 100 major construction projects to revitalize and modernize VA medical centers in 37 states; creation of 156 new community-based outpatient clinics; potential creation of four new – and expansion of five existing – spinal cord injury centers; and opening up two new blind rehabilitation centers.
John Kerry’s Record:
Kerry Voted Against Last Year’s Supplemental Defense Funding, Which Included Extra $1.3 Billion For Veteran Health Care. Kerry voted against the fiscal 2004 supplemental package of $86.5 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Senate version included an additional $1.3 billion for veterans’ medical care.
Kerry Skipped Vote That Funded VA With $28.6 Billion For Fiscal 2004, Including $1 Billion To Expedite Processing Of VA Benefits Claims. Kerry skipped the vote on Fiscal 2004 Omnibus Appropriations, which included $28.6 billion for the VA. The amount was an increase of $2.9 billion over the previous year, and included $1 billion to “expedite claims processing at the Veterans Benefits Administration.” (U.S. House Committee On Appropriations, “House Passes FY04 Consolidated Appropriations,” Press Release, http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=342, 12/8/03)
Kerry Voted Against McCain Amendment To Require Equal Access To Health Care For All Veterans. Kerry was one of only 18 Senators to vote against the measure. (H.R. 3666, CQ Vote #268: Adopted 79-18: R 50-0; D 29-18, 9/4/96, Kerry Voted Nay)
Kerry Voted Against Last Year’s Supplemental Defense Funding, Which Included $1.3 Billion For Veteran Health Care. (S. 1689, CQ Vote #400: Passed 87-12: R 50-0; D 37-11; I 0-1, 10/17/03, Kerry Voted Nay)
In 2001, Kerry Voted Against Amendment That Would Have Increased Funding For Veterans’ Medical Care By $650 Million. (H.R. 2620, CQ Vote #263: Motion Rejected 25-75: R 8-41; D 16-34; I 1-0, 8/1/01, Kerry Voted Nay)
In 1999, Kerry Voted To Kill Amendment That Would Have Reallocated $210 Million For Veterans’ Medical Benefits And $10 Million For Construction Of Veterans’ Extended Care Facilities. (H.R. 2684, CQ Vote #286: Motion Agreed To 61-38: R 16-37; D 45-0; I 0-1, 9/22/99, Kerry Voted Yea)
Kerry Skipped Vote That Funded VA With $28.6 Billion For Fiscal 2004. (H.R. 2673, CQ Vote #3: Adopted 65-28: R 44-4; D 21-23; I 0-1, 1/22/04, Kerry Did Not Vote; U.S. House Committee On Appropriations, “House Passes FY04 Consolidated Appropriations,” Press Release, http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=342, 12/8/03)
Kerry Missed Two Votes In 2003 That Extended Military Health Coverage To National Guard, Reservists And Their Families If Called To Active Duty. (H.R.1588, CQ Vote #447: Adopted 95-3: R 51-0; D 44-2; I 0-1, 11/12/03, Kerry Did Not Vote; S.1050, CQ Vote #185: Adopted 85-10: R 39-10; D 45-0; I 1-0, 5/20/03, Kerry Did Not Vote)

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Posted by Mark on July 17, 2004

Perspectives: Victor Davis Hanson

Whom to Blame?

History’s Verdict

The summers of 1944 and 2004.

About

this time 60 years ago, six weeks after the Normandy beach landings,

Americans were dying in droves in France. We think of the 76-day

Normandy campaign of summer and autumn 1944 as an astounding American

success — and indeed it was, as Anglo-American forces cleared much of

France of its Nazi occupiers in less than three months. But the outcome

was not at all preordained, and more often was the stuff of great

tragedy. Blunders were daily occurrences — resulting in 2,500 Allied

casualties a day. In any average three-day period, more were killed,

wounded, or missing than there have been in over a year in Iraq.

Pre-invasion

intelligence — despite ULTRA and a variety of brilliant analysts who

had done so well to facilitate our amphibious landings — had no idea of

what war in the hedgerows would be like. How can you spend months

spying out everything from beach sand to tidal currents and not invest

a second into investigating the nature of the tank terrain a few miles

from the beach? The horrific result was that the Allies were utterly

unprepared for the disaster to come — and died by the thousands in the

bocage of June and July.

Everything went wrong in the days after

June 6, and 60 years later the carnage should still make us weep. The

army soon learned that their light Sherman tanks were no match for Nazi

Panthers and Tigers. Hundreds of their “Ronson-lighters” — crews and

all — went up in smoke. Indeed, 60 percent of all lost Shermans were

torched by single shots from enemy Panzers. In contrast, only one in

three of the Americans’ salvos even penetrated German armor.

Prewar

America had the know-how to build big, well-armored tanks, with diesel

engines, wide tracks, and low silhouettes. Yet General George Marshall

had deliberately chosen lighter, cheaper designs — the idea being that

thousands of mass-produced, easily maintained 32-ton Shermans could run

over enemy infantry before encountering a rarer, superior 43-ton

Panther or 56-ton Tiger. Should he have been removed for such naiveté,

which led to thousands of American dead? Whom to blame?

Similar

blunders ensured that Americans had inferior anti-tank weapons, machine

guns, and mortars when they met the seasoned Wehrmacht. On the Normandy

battlefield itself, on at least three occasions, faulty communications,

tactical breakdowns, bad intelligence, and simple operational laxity

resulted in Americans blown apart by their own heavy bombers as they

were trying to facilitate breakouts. Almost as many Allied soldiers

were casualties in a collective few hours of misplaced bombing than all

those killed so far in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Generals Eisenhower

and Bradley probably miscalculated German intentions at Argentan, and

thus allowed thousands of veteran Germans to escape the Falaise Gap in

August. Tens of thousands of these reprieved Panzers would regroup to

kill thousands more Americans later that year. Whom to blame?

The

subsequent Battle of the Bulge was a result of a colossal American

intelligence failure. Somehow 250,000 Nazis, right under the noses of

the Americans, were able to mount a counteroffensive with absolute

surprise. For all of our own failure to account for the missing WMD, so

far an enemy army of 250,000 has not, as it once did in December 1945,

assembled unnoticed a few miles from our theater base camps. Whom to

blame?

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