by Goldy, 07/27/2006, 11:25 AM

From The Hill:

The House GOP leadership is helping Republican lawmakers who have tough reelection battles by letting them take the lead on more legislation.

Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) was quick to congratulate freshman Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) yesterday after the House approved his bill to improve communications between emergency first responders.

It was obviously a hard fought, controversial bill, considering it passed 424-2. No wonder it took Reichert nearly two years to shepherd this important piece of legislation out of committee and to the floor. All that arm twisting takes time.

Anyway, I trust the local press to keep this bill in context.

“The House leadership is very cognizant of the members that need to boast about being effective,” one Republican lobbyist with business before the Financial Services Committee wrote in an e-mail. “Passing their bills is one way to prove that.”

That’s right, the House Republican leadership understands that Reichert needs to boast about being effective. Hmm. I wonder why?

70 Responses to “House GOP leadership props up Reichert”

1. Roger Rabbit spews:

45 (continued)

Now it’s a FACT the Republicans did all the things I described in #35. If soldiers vote for them anyway, that’s their business.

I donated $99 to http://www.operation-helmet.org/ to buy an upgrade kit for a soldier that might save the soldier’s life — because our Republican president, Republican secretary of defense, and Republican congress refuse to supply that equipment to our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. I shouldn’t have to do it, but our government won’t, so there you are.

Have you made a donation to Operation Helmet? No, and you won’t. Neither will any other wingnut troll on this board. You guys are all talk, no walk.

As a U.S. war veteran, I have no respect for vicarious warriors who have never been on a battlefield who exploit our soldiers to push their political agenda but are good for nothing where the pen meets the checkbook. Any questions?

You go up twelve notches in my esteem if you send a $99 check to Operation Helmet today. (Tomorrow is okay.) On a scale of 0 to 10, I’ll give you 12 points for that. And reconsider some of the things I said about you.

On the other hand, if you don’t, everything stands as is. Pleading poverty won’t cut it — anybody who can afford a computer and internet connection can dig up $99 — borrow it from your mom or pastor if you have to, but put your money where your mouth is … put up or shut up.

Any questions?

2. sgmmac spews:

Actually the pay raises in the military are much better under Republican leadership. Soldiers have always paid for their meals in hospitals, the reason is because they are paid for their meals (separate rations) while in the hospital. It’s tax free money as is their housing allowance, clothing allowance, combat pay, family separation pay, and hazardous duty pay – just to name a few……………..

Hopefully there will NEVER be another Jimmy Carter. That ugly peanut farmer did everything but eliminate the military. There were some massive cuts under Clinton too, but I liked him.

3. americafirst spews:

67,You’re God Damned right Bush is no Patton. I’ll pit Clinton’s war record in Kosovo against Bush’s in Iraq any day of the week. Dipshit. Clinton and Clark learned the war lessons of the passed and created military history. Never before has a nation been forced to surrender without boots on the ground. War plan executed flawlessly. Combat deaths ZERO. UN resolutions ZERO, UN objections NONE. Purely a demonstration of superiour LEADERSHIP on the world’s stage as the leader of the free world. Commentby GBS— 7/28/06@ 3:49 pm

Thanks for making my point; you feminized libs only want to fight if you can do it without getting your hands dirty. Clinton sucks up to the Saudis and blows some Serbs who can’t fight back to bits and you call it a great victory. Clinton, like most libs, was too cowardly to take on the Islamofascists.

4. fireman spews:

Roger,
I have done this same job for $8.00 (3 years ago, here in WA state) an hour with no bennies. Been there, Done that, Still voting Republican.

5. Roger Rabbit spews:

46

That’s your business, and if everyone else in your profession feels the same way, I’m ready to walk away from you. I’ve had it with low-paid workers who vote for cheap labor conservatives. They deserve what they voted for.

6. Roger Rabbit spews:

BUSHONOMICS IN ACTION

I see in today’s business news that airlines are raising fares, which has people flocking onto planes in droves. Raise prices, get more business.

How can this be? Simple. Borrowing trillions of dollars to flood the economy with tax-cut cash has resulted in more money chasing the same goods and services. People have tons of cash burning holes in their pockets, but there isn’t necessarily more stuff to buy with it. For example, there aren’t more plane seats — more travelers have more money to spend, that’s all. So, the increased demand drives up prices.

I’ll bet if you adjust the GDP figures for inflation, you’ll find the money supply is growing faster than real output of goods and services.

It’s called “induced inflation,” better known to the general public as “printing money.” And the only thing it accomplishes is to make your savings (and the cash in your wallet) worth less.

7. Roger Rabbit spews:

40

I’m sure there’s a strong element of truth in that. Just look at the traffic on Seattle streets; people are burning this cheap $3.25 gas while they can still get it for only $3.25.

8. americafirst spews:

28, GBS said: OK, I’ll post a challenge to the conservatives on this blog that for the last 6 months has yet to be answered honestly: Name the one thing that Bush and the Republicans have done exceedingly well over the last 6 years they’ve had control of government.

You incorrectly assume that Bush enjoys conservative support, but I suspect that most of us only supported him because he was better than Gore and Kerry; he certainly isn’t my idea of a conservative. But at least Bush has done one thing that may well save this nation if lib defeatists don’t undermine America’s will; he demonstrates at least some understanding of the fact that fanatic Islamofascists have to be killed before they can kill us, and the Bush administration has killed ten thousand times as many Islamofascists as Clinton.

The tragedy of the Bush administration is that contrary to what you libs believe, Bush is a moderate except on right-to-life issues. He understands the need to use force but he fears to use the overwhelming force that is needed; and as Iraq shows he failed to learn the lesson from Vietnam that a determined enemy will adjust to the application of limited force and will willingly accept a war of attrition, in the expectation that America lacks the resolve to accept casualties over a prolonged period. You libs are living up to the enemy’s expectations so far.

The simple fact is that libs have so feminized this country that a fighter like Patton could never be elected President and a moderate is about the best we can expect for now. It will likely take a few more 911′s for America to wake up and realize that we are in a life or death war, and only then will we fight like WWII and not like Vietnam.

Bush is no Patton, but he beats the hell out of Clinton’s empty threats, which were never backed up with any significant military force and thus were ignored by countries like Afghanistan and Iran, which actively supported terrorists during Clinton’s administration. If Bush were a conservative he wouldn’t have stopped with Afghanistan but would have taken down Iran also.

9. proud leftist spews:

GBS at 28
I’ll bite. This administration has succeeded wildly in achieving a long-time GOP objective–that of getting the American people to believe government is the problem.

10. Roger Rabbit spews:

45

“Once again, the Libs know better right. Those that have never been in a fire, or been shot at, or had a HEP C Patient spit in their face, know better than those who have.” Commentby Anonymous— 7/27/06@ 4:45 pm

I may or may not know better, but I know what’s right: When you send soldiers to war, you send them with the best equipment money can buy, the best leradership you can provide them, and you support the troops and the missions by giving them the troops the commanders ask for and everything else they need which is in your power to provide. George W. Bush has failed all of those tests. I’m not saying you — whoever you are — don’t support the military; but it is clear to me that you support Bush either for other reasons, or from ignorance.

11. Roger Rabbit spews:

29

“Many of us are aren’t as stupid as you liberals would have the public believe we are.” Commentby fireman— 7/27/06@ 1:17 pm

Beg to differ.

12. Wg0TPAT95v spews:

kGz0lRetQIVD 4RrQ5H6b7p cFYkjg889pho

13. Anonymous spews:

“For the same reason soldiers vote for candidates who cut their combat pay, make them pay for their hospital meals when they’re wounded, and refuse to buy body armor or battle helmets for them – because they’ve swallowed the rightwing bullshit and are so caught up in the Ideology of Idiocy that they can’t see the nose on their face.”

Once again, the Libs know better right. Those that have never been in a fire, or been shot at, or had a HEP C Patient spit in their face, know better than those who have.

“Isn’t it funny how firemen who earn $60,000 a year because they have a strong union turn around and vote Republican because they don’t want to pay $60 a month for union dues.”

Are you a cop, firefighter or EMS worker? How the hell can you speak with any authority or any knoweledge? Why don’t you let the ones who actually do the work decide who is best for us, and quit telling us how stupid we are and how much smarter you think you are.

The problem with your party? You are all right, and everyone else is wrong. You know better than everyone and you are much smarter than those who have done it and proudly wear our t-shirts.

14. Roger Rabbit spews:

45 (continued)

Otherwise, you’re nothing but cheap talk. Nothing. Big fat zero.

15. Roger Rabbit spews:

So far, I’m the only poster on this board who has sent $99 to Operation Helmet. I don’t expect anything from the wingnut pretend-patriot blowhards, but I’d like to see some of my fellow liberals dig into their pockets and support the troops. Every time another liberal sends a check to O.H., we’re doing something the wingers won’t — we’re supporting the troops. They deserve our support. Those kids deserve to come home with their brains still inside the hat God designed for ‘em. I’ve done my part. No wingnut has done, or is going to do, their part — I say this with complete confidence, because I know exactly what wingnuts are really made of. To wit: Pure, unadulterated selfishness. We liberals spend plenty of other people’s money to help others; sometimes we have to spend our own. This is one of those times. Cher gave O.H. $150,000 of her own money; I’m not a rich Hollywood star, but I dug up $99 that I didn’t really have and sent it. Like I said, I expect absolutely nothing from the trollfucks who wear their fake patriotism on their sleeve and are good for nothing, but I want to see some of my liberal pals pony up for this cause.

16. GBS spews:

America 1st @ 63:

Are you fuckin’ joking me?

First of all, I assumed no such thing. Have you seen his poll numbers lately? However, he did enjoy the conservative base support in both elections, so your point is moot.

Second, the “tragedy of the Bush administration” is that he is NO moderate, he is an ultra-rightwing conservative. Period.

You’re God Damned right Bush is no Patton. I’ll pit Clinton’s war record in Kosovo against Bush’s in Iraq any day of the week. Dipshit. Clinton and Clark learned the war lessons of the passed and created military history. Never before has a nation been forced to surrender without boots on the ground. War plan executed flawlessly. Combat deaths ZERO. UN resolutions ZERO, UN objections NONE. Purely a demonstration of superiour LEADERSHIP on the world’s stage as the leader of the free world.

And, you stupid fuck wad, when Clinton was trying to do something about Al Qeada, the republican jack-offs in congress were too focused on trying to impeach him over lying about a fucking blow job. Remember your party’s mantra chant “No war for Monica” when Clinton ordered missle strikes against Afghanistan while bein impeached? Remember when Clinton was trying to strike at the terrorist we face today, YOU guys were saying he was using the media so the “tail was wagging the dog” trying to control the news cycles with PHONY military missions?

Yeah, that was you fucking idiots. NOT us LIBS. It was the leadership of the Republicans that failed us then and are failing us now.

Bob Kerrey – US Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor winner.
John Kerry – combat veteran

George W. Bush – let his pilot status lapse by failing to follow a direct order and get his flight physical done.

Dick Cheney – 5 deferments because, and I quote, “Had other priorities besides military service.”

Feminizing of America is being accomplished by the cowardice and criminal acts being conducted by conservatives.

So to summarize your point about the single best thing Bush and the Bush Republicans in congress have accomplised is to completely fuck up the War on Terror.

Nice.

Worst. President. Ever.

Next?

17. N in Seattle spews:

Back to Goldy’s point…

As he notes, Reichert’s legislative masterpiece passed the House by a 414-2 roll call vote. I suppose he might have asked for unanimous consent, but ole Dave couldn’t even manage that.

And who were the two Representatives unconvinced of the importance of Congressman Goodhair’s bill? Was it Baghdad Jim? Nutty Cynthia McKinney? Arch-lefty Dennis Kucinich? John Conyers? Minority Leader Pelosi?

Nope, none of the above. The two opponents were both Republicans, at least by label. Ron Paul (TX-14) is actually a libertarian, and Jeff Flake (AZ-6) is actually, well, a flake.

Clearly, it took immense legislative skill for Dave Reichert to wrestle this controversial measure through the House, to twist enough arms (even on the other side of the aisle) to permit his bill to squeak through by such a narrow margin. Congratulations to Dave on his evident expertise.

18. GBS spews:

All right Roger Rabbit, I ponied up for 2 helmets.

One for me and one for a no-load, bull shitting conservative who claims to support the troops while they support the worst Commander-In-Chief in our nation’s history.

19. Kbz27RSaOZ spews:

jvA3jVrVGmvG ZbRAfEP1LvIk aH5zXpPvNBx7

20. TSEuWEMC49 spews:

QHk8YErtDMzK0 MCtvTXhAb2AE6 G6GQbCTDlSZ

21. IfFoJjx6rs spews:

PJgCDyxsgRk aE63qTPXIVIN3Y eodt4ICiN7O673

22. Roger Rabbit spews:

42

You must be new here. Let me explain the posting rules for HorsesAss:

1. This is a liberal blog.
2. Anyone can post here.
3. There is no censorship.
4. As liberals, our job is to kick the living shit out of unpatriotic, America-hating, fascist trollfucks.
5. No mercy for rightwing traitors.
6. Our terms are unconditional surrender.

23. ArtFart spews:

Agreed about the airline biz. Back when I was doing lots of biz travel, it seemed more often than not that there’d be a “mechanical” whenever I was on a flight where there was enough room for them to offer me a decent seat.

I’m sure there’s more of same now…not to mention no food, baggage loaded by gang-bangers and pissed-off crew members who got screwed out of their retirement.

24. KsCuwj09zH spews:

UwzlhcWkNx3uE 9gGWSt1CpB JXzuZQxh5l

25. Roger Rabbit spews:

41

I’m well aware of how poorly PRIVATE SECTOR paramedics and ambulance drivers are paid. While big-city municipal firemen are well paid, the pay scales for comparable work in private companies defy comprehension. Why anyone would do those jobs for $10 or $12 an hour defies comprehension. My hat’s off to ‘em.

26. Roger Rabbit spews:

… But I think there’s an awful lot of people out there pulling down union wages who have completely forgotten what (and who) got those wages for them. They should take a good hard look at what non-union workers in private ambulance companies, nursing homes, etc. make — and then rethink who they’re supporting.

27. Roger Rabbit spews:

45

Been a soldier, been shot at. Yes, I used to think liberals were too smug, and too tone-deaf toward those who didn’t have the Ph.D.s, J.D.s, M.A.s, or speak and write perfect English. But six years of wingnutism have convinced me the Right really is as stupid and dangerous as we liberals believed you were. In addition, why should we be polite to people who call us “traitors” and say we should be killed? Why should we tolerate warmongers, torturers, liars, and thieves? You guys are the enemy — you’ve proven that by your deeds and words. America has other enemies, but the Far Right — not al Qaeda — is America’s most dangerous enemy. I feel you should be treated accordingly.

28. Roger Rabbit spews:

25

Sooo … I’m waiting … do you intend to share … ?

29. Roger Rabbit spews:

Man if my ticker seizes up, I sure hope the paramedic working on me ain’t some guy calling himself I-don’t-give-a-fuck.

30. Roger Rabbit spews:

29

“… why would we endorse candidates that don’t support us? …”
Commentby fireman— 7/27/06@ 1:17 pm

For the same reason soldiers vote for candidates who cut their combat pay, make them pay for their hospital meals when they’re wounded, and refuse to buy body armor or battle helmets for them — because they’ve swallowed the rightwing bullshit and are so caught up in the Ideology of Idiocy that they can’t see the nose on their face.

Now go ahead and refute anything Carville said about all those Republican votes AGAINST homeland security funding; go ahead and refute the UANIMOUS REPUBLICAN VOTE AGAINST MONEY FOR FIRST RESPONDER COMMUNCIATIONS EQUIPMENT, if you can.

Of course, you can’t, because what I’m saying is TRUE — Republicans consistently vote AGAINST homeland security. Democrats want 100% inspection of cargo containers entering our ports; Republicans refuse to pony up one fucking dime to increase inspection about the current rate of 1% – 2%.

If you vote Republican, you’re unpatriotic.

31. ArtFart spews:

39 It could also be that people are worried, either consciously or deep down inside, that as the price of everything goes up and our entire infrastructure continues to deteriorate, it won’t be long before there ain’t going to be any way they’ll be able to take that trip to see Aunt Martha in Peoria or frolic on the beach in Cabo, or whatever they’ve been thinking about going and doing. So… they’re off to do it while they still can.

32. ArtFart spews:

I did engineering for years in the medical biz…a decade for the cardiology dept. at the UW, and an equal time for Physio-control, so…”IGAF”, whoever the hell you vote for, my hat’s off to you. We need you guys out there.

33. Roger Rabbit spews:

Isn’t it funny how firemen who earn $60,000 a year because they have a strong union turn around and vote Republican because they don’t want to pay $60 a month for union dues.

34. Roger Rabbit spews:

Ya know, sometimes I think we should let these people get their way — let them tear up their union contracts and work for whatever the CHEAP LABOR CONSERVATIVES they vote for feel like paying them. Would serve ‘em right.

35. Robert spews:

#28

What is the one issue they’ve handled well?

Shirking Responsibility.

(No Right Winger could answer your challenge without “But Clinton got a BJ!” – the single worst thing a President has ever done)

36. Roger Rabbit spews:

32

It’s always been cheaper to fly than drive. Even when gas was $1.49, you couldn’t drive to Chicago for what it cost to fly there. My point is passenger loads are up despite higher ticket prices, which suggest people have plenty of (borrowed) money to spend.

37. Roger Rabbit spews:

Hey fireman — if you’re tired of union wages there’s plenty of Mexicans who will do your job for $11 an hour. That’s $2 an hour more than they make in construction.

38. John425 spews:

What a stupid thread! Howard Dean has his hand up Darcy Burnout’s ass and is using her like a sock puppet. Ames Lake Community Club- indeed!

39. LeftTurn spews:

Thank goodness it didn’t take RubberStampReichert as long to get this done as it did for him to catch the high school drop out who did the Green River murders.

40. Roger Rabbit spews:

Nooooow I understand why Republicans stalled funding to make it possible for first responders (police, fire, paramedics, etc.) to communicate with each for FOUR YEARS … they were keeping it in reserve for a tough re-election fight.

41. Roger Rabbit spews:

I wonder how many lives were lost in Katrina because Republicans voted against first responder and other homeland security funding?

42. Roger Rabbit spews:

GOP’S SORRY VOTING RECORD ON HOMELAND SECURITY

Note especially the entry for Feb. 14, 2003:

Nov. 14, 2001: Senate Democrats propose $15 billion for homeland security; the White House warns against “permanent spending on other projects that have nothing to do with stimulus and that will only expand the size of government.”

Dec. 4, 2001: Senate Appropriations Committee votes 29-0 in favor of $13.1 billion for homeland security; the next day, Bush threatens to veto it.

Dec. 6, 2001: Senate Republicans reduce homeland security funding by $4.6 billion.

Dec. 19, 2001: Under pressure from White House, House-Senate conferees eliminate another $200 million of funding for airport security, port security, nuclear facility security, and postal security.

June 7, 2002: Senate votes 71-22 for $8.3 billion of homeland security funding; the next day, Bush’s advisors recommend a veto.

July 19, 2002: Under White House pressure, homeland security funding is further reduced by cutting money for food security, cyber security, nuclear security, airport security, port security, drinking water security, coordination of police and fire radios, and lab testing to detect chem-bio weapons.

Aug. 13, 2002: Bush decides not to spend $2.5 billion appropriated for homeland security on the grounds of “fiscal responsibility.”

Jan. 16, 2003: White House reacts to Democratic efforts to increase homeland security funding by stating, “The Administration strongly opposes amendments to add new extraneous spending.” Later that day, Senate Republicans vote against funds for smallpox vaccine.

Jan. 23, 2003: Senate Republicans cut security funding for the FBI, FEMA, INS, TSA, Coast Guard, and National Nuclear Security Administration.

Feb. 3, 2003: Bush submits a 2004 budget cutting homeland security funding by nearly 2 percent.

Feb. 14, 2003: Senate Democrats request money for smallpox vaccine, police and fire radios, and public transportation security; no Republicans support it.

March 21-25, 2003: Republicans defeat 7 amendments to bolster homeland security.

April 2, 2003: Senate Republicans reject Democratic amendment to provide $1 billion for port security.

April 3, 2003: Republicans reject protection of commercial airliners from shoulder-fired missiles and four other pro-homeland security amendments.

June 2003: House Republicans reject Democratic proposal to raise $1 billion for homeland security by reducing tax cuts for 200,000 millionaires by an average of $5,000 each (from $88,000 to $83,000).

Source: James Carville, “Had Enough?” (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003), pp. 41-43.

“Although Bush took credit for creating the new Department of Homeland Security, he vigorously opposed the idea when Democrats first proposed it. He insisted that a presidential adviser with no accountability to the American people would be more effective than a new Cabinet member. White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said President Bush thought that a Department of Homeland Security was ‘just not necessary.’ Tom Ridge — then homeland security adviser — said that he would recommend that Bush veto legislation to create a Cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security.”

Source: Democratic National Committee Newsletter, Jan. 29, 2003: http://www.democrats.org/news/200301290004.html

“While the Department of Homeland Security has issued new warnings of terrorist hijackings on commercial airlines this summer, Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee voted just last week against a Democratic amendment to add $50 million in funding to prevent the Transportation Security Administration from cutting the number of air marshals. The vote came during the Committee’s mark-up of the 2003 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill, which funds the TSA’s air marshal program.”

Source: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee press release, July 31, 2003: http://216.25.5.15/press/newsreleases/2003-07-31.html

“Senate Republicans once again blocked a vote on homeland security legislation solely because it preserved collective beginning rights and civil service protections for the 170,000 federal workers who would make up the new department.Sixty votes are needed to end debate and bring the measure to a floor vote, the move failed by a 52-45 count, with almost solid GOP opposition. President Bush has threatened to veto any measure that does not give him unlimited power over the workers and Senate Republicans also rejected a bipartisan bill that gave Bush most of what he sought.”

Source: International Association of Machinists, Oct. 8, 2002: http://www.iamaw.org/publications/imail/imail_10_08_2002.htm

43. Roger Rabbit spews:

Feb. 14, 2003: Senate Democrats request money for smallpox vaccine, police and fire radios, and public transportation security; no Republicans support it.

Let me reiterate: “NO REPUBLICANS SUPPORT IT.” It appears they were saving it for RubberStampReichert’s hour of need.

44. Roger Rabbit spews:

So whyyyyyy are Republicans suddenly supporting funds for first responder communications when NOT A SINGLE REPUBLICAN voted for it on Feb. 14, 2003? What changed?

I’ll tell you what changed … this is an election year and Republican liars want voters to think they supported first responders all along … when the TRUTH is the GOP voted AGAINST first responders — down to the last GOP congressman.

Not ONE SINGLE REPUBLICAN voted for this 2 1/2 years ago. Shame, shame, shame.

45. Roger Rabbit spews:

Bush Links Hezbollah To Iran

… which raises this interesting question: Is Israel’s attack on Hezbollah a setup? Did Bush bribe the Israelis to start a war in Lebanon to give Bush an excuse to attack Syria and/or Iran?

46. Roger Rabbit spews:

47

“There were some massive (defense) cuts under Clinton too, but I liked him.” Commentby sgmmac— 7/27/06@ 5:15 pm

Mac, I know you’re somewhat open-minded, and capable of listening to reason. So I’m going to give you some things to think about.

When the Cold War ended in 1991, everyone expected defense spending to be cut, freeing up money for domestic needs. Although this hope largely turned out to be a chimera, the nation did embark on cutting defense spending in the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse. These cuts began under the administration of George H.W. Bush, and continued into the early years of the Clinton Administration. But the resumption of rising defense outlays began years under Clinton, years before George W. Bush came along, and Dubya went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq with a military that had been modernized and upgraded by Clinton.

In reading the chart below, keep in mind the federal fiscal years runs from October 1 to September 30, and the first budget written by George W. Bush did not take effect until late 2002, too late to affect military manpower levels, equipment procurement, or weaponry for Bush’s March 2003 invasion of Iraq. Also note that while defense spending grew under Bush’s first three budgets, it has declined under his two most recent budgets.

Defense spending ($millions)

1989 – 304,034
1990 – 300,141
1991 – 319,704
1992 – 302,602
1993 – 292,430
1994 – 282,266
1995 – 273,562
1996 – 265,961
1997 – 271,674
1998 – 270,248
1999 – 275,463
2000 – 294,965
2001 – 306,068
2002 – 348,945
2003 – 404,946
2004 – 451,597
2005 – 448,197
2006 – 434,617

http://www.factcheck.org/article139.html

As is obvious from this chart, there is no correlation between which party occupies the White House and whether defense spending goes up or down. Rightwing claims that Democrats always cut defense are untrue — and oversimplify the realities of defense spending, which are driven less by which party is in power than by a complex set of factors that include the Pentagon’s long-range planning, the level of international tensions, and the fact large weapons procurements are planned years in advance and spread over many budget cycles.

Clinton recognized the need to modernize the military, and as noted above, Bush went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq with a modern and well equipped military — thanks to Clinton. In the Gulf War, it took three days to designate an airstrike target and deliver ordnance, and 90% of the bombs were “dumb.” In Afghanistan and Iraq, it takes 19 minutes and 90% of the ordnance is “smart.” Clinton, not George H.W. Bush or George W. Bush, is responsible for these improvements in our forces’ fighting ability.

As Dick Cheney told the Southern Center for International Studies in 2000, “A commander in chief leads the military built by those who came before him. There is little that he or his defense secretary can do to improve the force they have to deploy. It is all the work of previous administrations.”

As I’ve posted several times in these comment threads in the last couple days, Bush and the GOP have an abysmal record on homeland security funding. But it goes beyond that; no less an authority than the Army Times, in a July 2, 2003 editorial, sharply criticized George W. Bush and the Republican congress on defense spending:

“Editorial: Nothing but lip service

“In recent months, President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress have missed no opportunity to heap richly deserved praise on the military. But talk is cheap — and getting cheaper by the day, judging from the nickel-and-dime treatment the troops are getting lately.

“For example, the White House griped that various pay-and-benefits incentives added to the 2004 defense budget by Congress are wasteful and unnecessary — including a modest proposal to double the $6,000 gratuity paid to families of troops who die on active duty. …

“Similarly, the administration announced that on Oct. 1 it wants to roll back recent modest increases in monthly imminent-danger pay (from $225 to $150) and family-separation allowance (from $250 to $100) for troops getting shot at in combat zones.

“Then there’s military tax relief — or the lack thereof. As Bush and Republican leaders in Congress preach the mantra of tax cuts, they can’t seem to find time to make progress on minor tax provisions that would be a boon to military homeowners, reservists who travel long distances for training and parents deployed to combat zones, among others. …

“The chintz even extends to basic pay. While Bush’s proposed 2004 defense budget would continue higher targeted raises for some ranks, he also proposed capping raises for E-1s, E-2s and O-1s at 2 percent, well below the average raise of 4.1 percent. …

“All of which brings us to the latest indignity — Bush’s $9.2 billion military construction request for 2004, which was set a full $1.5 billion below this year’s budget … Bush’s tax cuts have left little elbow room in the 2004 federal budget … and the squeeze is on across the board. The result: Not only has the House Appropriations military construction panel accepted Bush’s proposed $1.5 billion cut, it voted to reduce construction spending by an additional $41 million next year.

“Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, took a stab at restoring $1 billion of the $1.5 billion cut in Bush’s construction budget. He proposed to cover that cost by trimming recent tax cuts for the roughly 200,000 Americans who earn more than $1 million a year. … The Republican majority on the construction appropriations panel quickly shot Obey down. And so the outlook for making progress … on crumbling military housing and other facilities is bleak at best. …

“It adds up to a troubling pattern … Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas … puts it this way: ‘American military men and women don’t deserve to be saluted with our words and insulted by our actions.’ …”

(This editorial is quoted under the Fair Use Doctrine and may be read in full, along with copyright information, at http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292259-1989240.php)

So you see, Mac, support for the military — in the ways that count — is not the partisan issue that Republican propagandists try to portray it as, in their bid for military votes. Overall military spending depends on strategic, more than political, factors. Clinton initially cut defense spending, but eventually spent more on it. Dubya initially spent more on defense, but eventually cut it. It’s not black-and-white, you’re for us or against us, depending on whether you’re Republican or Democrat.

Now, Mac, can you get past the spin and deal with reality? It’s true the military competes with domestic programs for limited tax dollars. The nation needs both. What use is a strong defense if a nation can’t (or won’t) feed its own hungry citizens? We need cruise missiles and stealth planes, but we also need food stamps, child care, and education. We need military pay improvements, but we also need port and border security. There’s never enough money for everything, so our leaders must make tough decisions, which generally reflect what the nation collectively wants. The military also is a special interest group that lobbies for what it wants like every other group that wants government money, and it doesn’t always get all of what it wants. but nobody else ever does. That’s reality.

If you can get past the partisan demonizing, it’s a fact that Democrats, over the years, have supported the military and served in it. Obviously, Republicans serve in it too — not many of the current high-and-mightys of the Republican Party have served, but plenty of ordinary rank-and-file Republicans who have neither the wealth nor the inclination to buy special exemptions for themselves have served bravely and proudly. So do plenty of Democrats. It’s too bad the military — and the people who serve in it — have become fodder for the partisan conflicts dividing our nation. We Democrats didn’t ask for this. We’re not the ones who did the demonizing or dividing.

I’ve been a Democrat, more or less, and off and on, for the last forty years. Put it this way, I was never a Republican over that time, although I occasionally voted for Republicans on an individual basis. For example, I voted for Dole, partly because he’s a war hero. And even though I’m a Democrat and hate war, I’ve personally supported our military — and the people who serve in it — in large and small ways. First and foremost, by serving in it during wartime and pulling combat duty; I didn’t have to do that, I could have legally avoided military service back in ’68 when I enlisted, because I can’t pass a military physical and was offered a 4-F, and it took some doing to talk the Army into accepting me. No other service branch would have me with my physical limitations, but back in ’68 the Army was desperate and let me enlist, and I did it not because I thought the war in Vietnam was a good idea, but because I did not want to be a privileged character. I’ve always explained it to my family and friends this way: I never thought I was too good to go to Vietnam; to the contrary, I wanted to believe I was good enough to serve with the guys who were there. I’ve always been proud that I did it; and I’ve always been proud of what they did in that war, and to have served with them, although I’m not proud of what certain Vietnam veterans did when they got involved in rightwing politics and lost both their sense and moral compass. Not being able to meet minimum physical requirements for military duty, I served twice; once as “Regular Army” in Vietnam (Mac, you will know what the means) (I had an “RA,” not “US,” serial number, and any Vietnam veteran reading this will know what THAT means), and later, in the reserves (I didn’t have to do that, either; I had already fulfilled the military obligation I would have had under law if I hadn’t been a 4-F).

Most recently, I supported the military by sending $99 of my own money to http://www.operation-helmet.org/. I couldn’t really afford it, but I couldn’t not do it. You, Mac, will understand what I mean. I’m disappointed that no one else on this board has joined me in supporting our soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq in this way. I didn’t expect any of the wingnuts to, but I did hope some of my fellow liberals would join me in opening our wallets to possibly save an American soldier from a more serious injury or death.

Mac — are you willing to be the second poster on this board to support our troops with a contribution to Operation Helmet? If you do it, I’ll personally be very grateful. Thank you.

47. IDGAF spews:

Sez delussional Roger..”Nooooow I understand why Republicans stalled funding to make it possible for first responders (police, fire, paramedics, etc.) to communicate with each for FOUR YEARS … they were keeping it in reserve for a tough re-election fight.

1. Such a system has existed in Seattle/King County/and the majority of the State of Washington for years thanks to early efforts by Reichert. What areas in the USA that do not have it as yet, face HUGE engineering issues with trunked 800mHz systems.
2. Seattle/King County Firefighters-Paramedics and Police support Reichert (especially on the Eastside!) and will assist in his re-election campaign.

Prediction from a Paramedic: Reichert will win by landslide over Burner and my collegues and I will do everything to see that it happens.

48. Roger Rabbit spews:

I also see in today’s news that threats against federal judges and court employees are soaring — up over 60% in the last two years.

I wonder if rightwing judge-bashing — e.g., Ann Coulter saying things like liberal Supreme Court Justices should be killed — has anything to do with it?

Ya think?

49. IDGAF spews:

Yet once again Roger does his best cut and paste about something he hasn’t the slightest clue about. Typical mindless lib.

50. Roger Rabbit spews:

So why hasn’t Coulter been disbarred? She’s an officer of the court, and the ethics of her profession require her to respect the authority and person of judges. That’s not optional or discretionary — if I stood on a soapbox in front of the Temple of Justice in Olympia and yelled into a megaphone that “the judges who voted to uphold Washington’s ‘defense of marriage act’ should all be killed,” how long do you think I would remain a licensed attorney in this state? So … I repeat … why hasn’t Coulter been disbarred?

For that matter, why hasn’t she been KILLED?

As Coulter is not a judge (not yet, anyway, although a federal judgeship for Coulter probably is on the Bush secret agenda somewhere — maybe he’ll appoint her a secret judge of a secret tribunal conducting secret trials of suspected subversives under a secret law passed by GOP congressmen in secret behind locked doors), I can say that.

But HEY, I’m just KIDDING!!!

51. Roger Rabbit spews:

9

Do you DENY that congressional Republicans consistently voted AGAINST homeland security funding — including money for equipment to allow first responders to communicate with each other — for several years in the aftermath of 9-11?

If you do, you’re a liar, because it’s a fact.

Do you DENY there is an ACUTE NEED to invest in such equipment because first responders in many cases CAN’T communicate directly with each other?

If you do, you’re a liar, because it’s a fact.

You may indeed be a paramedic, but the fact you’re a paramedic doesn’t change the FACT that Republicans voted AGAINST communications equipment for first responders. Until now, in an election year, with their House majority on the line.

Now they want voters to believe they’re “solving” the problem. That’s bullshit. The “problem” would have been solved years ago if Republicans hadn’t REFUSED to fund emergency response. Giving tax cuts to billionaires was more important on their agenda.

52. Robert spews:

Unfunded Mandate!!!
Unfunded Mandate!!!
Unfunded Mandate!!!
Unfunded Mandate!!!

Boy, where have we heard that before? :-)

BTW – the two NAYS were Republicans Flake (real name) and Paul.

53. Roger Rabbit spews:

9

And you support these scumbags? You’re a paramedic, and you vote for politicians who refuse to provide communications equipment to firemen and paramedics, and refuse to buy vehicle armor and safer battle helmets for our combat troops in Afghanistan and Iraq?

Shame on you.

54. Roger Rabbit spews:

Man, if my ticker freezes up, I hope they don’t send IDGAF to revive me — because if they do, I’m gonna be a DEAD BUNNY!!!

“Hello … 9-1-1 operator … I need Medic One but DON’T SEND IDGAF!!! I don’t need no idiot REPUBLICAN pounding on my chest!!!”

IDGAF will probably miss my breastbone by two feet and screw up my knee instead.

55. Roger Rabbit spews:

14

Those two must not have gotten Rove’s memo. There’s always somebody who doesn’t get the word.

56. Roger Rabbit spews:

16

If they send IDGAF, I’m not only gonna be a dead bunny, I’m gonna be a kneecapped bunny.

57. Roger Rabbit spews:

11

You got something against cut-and-paste? That’s a remarkable complaint coming from a wingnut, since wingnuts never do anything but cut-and-paste stuff they know nothing about.

Okay, Mr. Expert, why don’t you educate us about WHY Republicans have been voting against homeland security funding, including communications equipment for first responders, for the last five years? Is there an explanation for that, besides the fact Democrats were for improving homeland security?

58. Roger Rabbit spews:

Hey IDGAF, can you prove that any of Carville’s statements about how the GOP voted on homeland security funding bills are wrong?

59. Roger Rabbit spews:

Besides, I didn’t cut-and-paste that. I had to retype it from his book, because I don’t have a scanner down here in my hole.

60. Roger Rabbit spews:

21

That was a lot of work.

61. Roger Rabbit spews:

klake is a nazi

62. Roger Rabbit spews:

wow! this thread has been up only a few minutes and already has two dozen comments!! That’s more than the pathetic little competing blog gets in a month, and there’s no content over there — it’s all cut-and-paste filler.

63. IDGAF spews:

Roger, Roger, Roger…Yet once again, the only thing that is BS is both your understanding of the issue and your political point of view. There is very good reason why America’s “first responders” Police/Fire/EMS overwhelmingly support Republican efforts on our behalf and no amount of screams of “Liar” from a washed up, paper pushing lawyer from DSHS (The State of Washingtons most dysfunctional agency)will change that FACT.

64. GBS spews:

IDGAF, IDGAF, IDGAF, tsk, tsk, tsk.

There was your big chance to use facts and logic to rebut Roger Rabbit’s points and all you can do is spew crap?

C’moooooooooonnn. At the very least demonstrate with citations where America’s First Responders “overwhelmingly support Republicans.”

We’re waiting.

65. For the Clueless spews:

“Hello … 9-1-1 operator … I need Medic One but DON’T SEND IDGAF!!! I don’t need no idiot REPUBLICAN pounding on my chest!!!”

Slight correction: ID(IOT)GAF.

IDGAF means “I don’t give a fuck” – what a fitting handle to a pseudo “first responder”.

66. GBS spews:

OK, I’ll post a challenge to the conservatives on this blog that for the last 6 months has yet to be answered honestly: Name the one thing that Bush and the Republicans have done exceedingly well over the last 6 years they’ve had control of government.

What’s the ONE thing?

Afghanistan?
Osma bin Laden?
Iraq?
Middle East peace process?
Economy?
National Security?
North Korea?
Iran?
Homeland Security?
Controlling the national debt?
Lowering the federal defecit?
Trade deficits?
Cost of gas?
Social Security?
Outing undercover CIA agents?
Criminal activity?

What?? What is the one issue they’ve handled well?

That’s pretty generous to lower the bar to “one” agenda item.

67. fireman spews:

Once again, the mindless Libs believe that they know better than the ones on the front lines. Want proof and facts? Reichert was endorsed by the statewide firefighters and Cops association as well as individual firefighter and cop unions. Maybe, just maybe, the actual firefighters, cops and medics know a little more about our issues than all of you. Again, why would we endorse candidates that don’t support us? Many of us are aren’t as stupid as you liberals would have the public believe we are.

68. JDB spews:

As I posted yesterday:

The right is seeing their entire empire crumble. Take this local example courtesy of Wonkette:

Majority Leader John Boehner is back in The Hill today, anchoring a story about less-experienced Republican House members scurrying to pass some legislation before the election. If you’re Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), say, it’s a boost to say you passed a law to “improve communications between emergency first responders” before you head back to a district of Michael Steele-minded voters. But does Boehner get why they’re in a rush? He sounds a lot like Kevin Bacon trying to stop the bedlam of everyone in town fleeing Delta House’s monstrous float. “ALL IS WELL!”

“Everybody wants their bill up this week,” the majority leader said during his weekly off-camera press briefing yesterday. “It is as if we were never coming back.”

Yeah. As if.

http://www.wonkette.com/politics/midterms/hey-wheres-everybody-going-189989.php

69. ArtFart spews:

OK….let’s accept that Reichert worked for better communications and a lot of things that helped him and his people out–back in the deep and misty past when that was his job.

Now, his job, as he no doubt sees it, is to fall in step with the GOP Congressional leadership, be a team player and do what he’s told. Not that this in and of itself is particularly unusual. Just about every frosh Senator or Rep ends up doing the same thing. Learing how Congress works from the inside is no doubt pretty much like trying to drink from a fire hose, and it’s about all anyone can do to get up that learning curve without consistently looking like an idiot.

The problem in this case, in this unique turning point in our history, is that a frosh Republican doing the above becomes an instrument of a malevolent cadre of charlatans who are intent of destroying America as we know it, selling the scraps and pocketing the proceeds. Sherrif Dave has fallen into the trap of serving them, and betraying the very principles that he so admirably followed until two years ago.

70. rhp6033 spews:

Rabbit at 8;

I agree that Bush’s economic tax policy is inflationary. He cuts taxes for his wealthy buddies without making the politically unpopular spending cuts necessary to balance the reduced budget. Instead, he uses borrowed money, which will probably result in budget deficits over the next decade, at least. The thing which really burns me is that the Republicans will predictably try to take advantage of the political cost Democrats will have to pay when they get control of Congress and have to raise taxes and cut spending once again.

But airfares may not be the best example of this at work. The legacy carriers (Delta, United, Northwest, et al) have needed to run at 80% plus occupancy levels in order to break even on flights, something that hasn’t happened reliably in quite some time. That’s why many of them are either in bankruptcy, recently out of a Chapt. 11 reorganization, or about to enter one. The low-cost carriers (Southwest, etc.) can make money on a much lower occupancy level – 50% to 60%.

But one of the reasons the low-cost carriers can do this is that they are skimming the “cream” off the top of the routes, leaving the legacy carriers to the other routes. Also, the low-cost carriers are using only one airplane type (example: Boeing 737), which reduces their costs, but leaves them unable to service longer routes.

So what’s different this summer? Fuel prices have risen. A gas station’s prices will quickly reflect a general increase in the price of gasoline. Airlines cannot react so fast – they need to see if the price increase will be a stable one, and then they can only increase their fares to the same extent their competitors do. Consumers can take advantage of the temporary price discrepency by choosing to fly rather than to drive.

But more importantly, the airlines are reducing their scheduled flights. The higher fuel prices have pushed the occupancy load required to break even on legacy airlines to close to 95%. The airlines cannot afford to fly except with an aircraft that is full, or almost full. So they’ve been trimming their schedules and routes, leaving fewer seats available for picking at a low cost.

Sometimes they will use tactics which are not particularly ethical – cancelling flights for “mechanical” reasons just because the ticket sales have not materialized as they had hoped.

The immediate impact: It’s getting very difficult to book a flight using your frequent flyer milage, and economy-class seats are getting more rare.