Sunday, February 25, 2007

Dead on coverage once again!

Some have asked me about the greater number of posts on issues in national politics. Namely, Iraq and now the scandals that have ensued at one of the finest Army hospitals in the United States.

Out here in rural Central Minnesota, we worry about energy independence, education funding, property taxes, health care and many other issues. Unfortunately, Veterans issues are a bit further down the priorities of many out here.

I write about Veterans issues, Iraq, and these issues because they are deeply interconnected. When federal budget cuts fall in the areas we all support and understand, our state is forced to make decisions on whether they:

A. Pick up the slack.
B. Half ass it and let services degrade.
C. De-fund and watch vulnerable populations fall by the wayside.

Tax cuts for the rich, a war that taxes to middle class. Look at special education funding. Look at access to affordable and quality health care. Don't you think if we had not spent more than $500 billion in Iraq, we would be better off in many of these areas that concern us.

The "war" in Iraq is interconnected to what happens down in St. Paul.

Back now at my outpost in Wright County, I read some more great stuff on deadissue. Check this stuff out, Al is dead on once again!
I’ve been advising soldiers and marines for years now that their hope must not
be placed with a lawyer, but with their Congressman and Senator in DC.

Dead on right. Paul Wellstone fixed some stuff for me that Colonels and other soft skill MOS folk were messing up for months. One phone call and this shit got cleared up quickly.
The mold and holes in the ceiling are temporary, whereas the veteran with severe
brain damage, that the Army is insisting to be a pre-existing condition, is
being tricked into signing off on their 0% disability discharge with a severance
payment is permanent.

From the Army Times, courtesy of Al's great research.
The numbers of people approved for permanent or temporary disability retirement
in the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force have stayed relatively stable since
2001. But in the Army — in the midst of a war — the number of soldiers approved
for permanent disability retirement has plunged by more than two-thirds, from
642 in 2001 to 209 in 2005, according to a Government Accountability Office
report last year. That decline has come even as the war in Iraq has intensified
and the total number of soldiers wounded or injured there has soared above

Incredible! A decline in those approved for disability retirement from the Army during a time of war? No wonder VA claims are up by 1.2 million since 2003. The Department of Defense is outsourcing our disabled Veterans, making them fight two bureracracies for their benefits.

Oh this fires me up...

Keep checking our deadissue. It's got some great commentary on many of the issues near and dear to our hearts!

1 comment: said...

They are absolutely passing the buck here, and the VA system has never been equipped to handle it. Back a few years I wrote the following, after watching on CSPAN, Pat Murray (D-WA) highlighting the gap in VA funding, Republicans denying there was any gap at all, then a month after the budget is passed, a White House official 'discovers' there is a gap and allocates 5 billion after the fact.

The media coverage following this Post article has been typically off the mark. Even Olberman is missing the story directly beneath. Nobody is digging back into the Congressional record for floor debate on the underfunded VA budget.