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May 10, 2008
G.I. wish I could go to collegeBy Greyhawk
Or "Doin' the Joes - Blue Doggy Style!!"
Continuing our coverage of the progress of the "new GI Bill" through congress.
“Some of us oppose creating a new entitlement program in an emergency spending bill, whether it’s butchers, bakers or candlestick-makers,” said Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), a founding member of the Blue Dog Coalition who serves on the House leadership team as a deputy whip.But have you ever heard of "Blue Dog Democrats" stopping a bill before this one? Probably not. Here's one explanation for that, from Travis Sharp "...the Military Policy Analyst at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.":
Blue Dogs' opposition to GI money in supp is inconsistentSpeaking of "$3 billion in drought assistance for farmers", meet Ken Cook:
Ken Cook is president of Environmental Working Group, a public interest research and advocacy organization known for its Farm Subsidy Database. The author of dozens of articles, opinion pieces and reports on agricultural, public health and environmental topics, "[Cook's] fingerprints can be found on nearly two decades of U.S. farm law"Ken says:
It seems that money spent on veterans is the first time some of these folks decided to just say no.
The GI Bill belongs in the emergency supplemental because it is a cost of war, and it's part of our promise to care for our troops. It's no different from bullets, body armor or bandages for the wounded. This bill has the support of more than half the House and half the Senate, and we expect to get past these procedural hurdles. At the end of the day, no patriotic American would understand if a member of Congress votes for a $100-plus billion dollar war bill and then nickel-and-dimes the troops who are fighting that war.But in addition to "fiscal responsibility", the Blue Dogs might have other "concerns"
Leadership faces more than the normal Caucus reluctance that has come to define consideration of the war supplemental, with Blue Dogs remaining a major obstacle to bringing the bill to the floor.Meanwhile, The American Legion takes a stand:
The leader of the nation’s preeminent veterans organization criticized Congress for delaying a needed GI Bill because of cost. Improvements to the current GI Bill, like its predecessors, will serve as the ultimate stimulus package for veterans, their families, and for the nation.And the Veterans of Foreign Wars followed up its earlier endorsement of the bill with a call to action
VFW Washington Weekly, May 9, 2008
They won't receive G.I. Bill benefits for it, but note how quickly an Army of Davids has come together on this issue. If it isn't obvious from the variety of links above, this bill has strong support from a wide variety of groups. Opposing it at this point is political suicide.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi assured voters that the bill would eventually pass:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that stalling tactics by Republicans might result in the measure not coming up until next week.Whoops - wrong quote - that was Wednesday, before her fellow Democrats stalled the vote. I'll try again.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said twice Sunday that Iraq “is a failure,” adding that President Bush’s troop surge has “not produced the desired effect.”Whoops - wrong again. That was Iraqi government inaction she was criticizing. One more try...
Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi says "she is confident the impasse with the rebel Democrats can be ironed out."
Got it that time.
And if you're interested in the actual text (surprisingly brief) of that Congressional Budget Office report on the cost of the bill, it's at this link (and also below).
May 8, 2008Update: Obama goes for Joe
Posted by Greyhawk / May 10, 2008 3:35 AM | Permalink
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
The Mudville Gazette is the on-line voice of an American warrior and his wife who stands by him. They prefer to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day they stand fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.
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