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09:32 AM on 05/23/2008
Take note the next time you see these 22 Senators with the lapels on their suits adorned with the flag, Take note how often they refer to "our brave troops and their sacrifices". Check their military history to see not many ever served at all let alone during wartime. Yes these 22 "Bravehearts" all voted against the very troops they use for their own personal agendas by saying NAY to the GI BILL. Shouldn't we be ever so proud of them?

NAYs ---22
Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennett (R-UT)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lugar (R-IN)
McConnell (R-KY)
Sessions (R-AL)
Voinovich (R-OH)

Not Voting - 3
Coburn (R-OK) ?
Kennedy (D-MA) ILL
McCain (R-AZ) Raising campaign funds.
11:20 AM on 05/23/2008
People take note of your state senator if they are on this list and let them know how you feel about it! I am so glad oregon's is not.

Thank you deke33 for listing them.
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feo
huh?
12:38 PM on 05/23/2008
Not fair. Jim Bunning voted to give GI benefits to retired baseball players (provided they had at least one no-hitter during their career.
09:22 AM on 05/23/2008
Isn't it interesting that whenver it comes to social programs or support for the common person (or soldier) the Republicans become Fiscal Conservatives. When it comes to tax breaks for the wealthy, funding wars and corporate tax breaks Fiscal Conservatism is thrown out the window. They don't even pretend in Trickle Down anymore. The Repubs are there with pans, saucers and bowls to catch even those few measley drops.
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bacaja
09:19 AM on 05/23/2008
What is truly amazing here is how this sneaky ploy allowed 165 billion more
budget busting dollars to be allotted for 2 horrible wars, further sinking any
likely (good) domestic spending, and dooming the U.S. economy to further
inflation. And, nary a mention of this dollar busting fiasco in the news.
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Heyman
4th Resonable Cause
11:05 AM on 05/23/2008
Don't sweat the small stuff! The DOD has lost 2.1 TRILLION dollars in the last 8 years! I wonder where that went?
Oh...remember the cash money and AK 47's that got lost in Iraq? (I'm talking Billions in cash.)
Appalling? I'd say...
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ICanHasDemocracy
09:00 AM on 05/23/2008
And Paul, my cousin thanks you, my grand-uncle ( who is buried in The Gardens) and my father thank you ( may he rest in peace) for fighting for those without the voice to do so.
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Paul Rieckhoff
Founder, Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (I
12:34 PM on 05/23/2008
And I thank them for their service! We all should. Thanks for the support!
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ICanHasDemocracy
08:58 AM on 05/23/2008
John McCain DIDN't vote, but Obama and Hillary did. McCain voted against the bill previously.

Isn't McCains son serving? then again, he's got no worries cuz his stepmom will bankroll him. What a sugar momma!

what does that tell you. McCain doesn't think it important enough to have our soldiers be upstanding, productive mebers of society BECAUSE HE WANTS THEM TO WAGE WAR FOR 5 MORE YEARS!

Draft Henry Hager and all those NeoCon pantywaists who "have other priorities"
ProudNeoCon
helping people does not require government
10:03 AM on 05/23/2008
YOu are correct. McCain has 2 sons serving. I would say that this fact + his own service earned him a right to vote anyway he wants in military area...
11:00 AM on 05/23/2008
First of all, what war was Obama supposed to enlist for?
Second, some of my friends spent two years in the trenches in Viet Nam, risking it all every day while Crash McCain spent six years being tortured. Does that make their service less honorable?
And third, McCain is like Hilary, he changes his positions like the wind.

From Navy friends I heard the following:
McCain was a terrible pilot with more than just the one crash.
His landing on a carrier killed a deck crew
He 'helped' his captors(I never believed this)
Without his father's help he would have been just another guy in a white sailor suit.

And lastly, McCain has NO moral ground...he is kissing Neo Con ass because he wants to be prez so bad, he will make any sacrifice, including his previously believed principles.
11:14 AM on 05/23/2008
Sure he has the right to, but we also have the right to call him out for what looks to be a absurd postion on this issue.

I'm not in favor of the personal attacks, but you have to admit that a veteran voting against increasing veteran's benefits is a little odd. Sure it'll be expensive to implement, but at a projected 2.5 billion a year it is only as expensive as a week or so of operations in Iraq. That figure coupled with the historical example of the original GI Bill essentially paying for itself due to inreased wages earned by the bills beneficiaries leaves McCain standing on some shakey ground.

I can also understand the "loss of troops" argument, but that's speculative at best and doesn't take into consideration the increased appeal of joining the service that the benefits create. So in theory the amount of people coming in might end up equal to the amount coming in.
08:59 AM on 05/23/2008
Why do Republicans hate our troops so much?
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whiskeytangofoxtrot451
08:35 AM on 05/23/2008
But I'm sure McCain was wearing a flag pin at the fundraiser, so you know he supports our troops!
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elbzee
Fear is the mind-killer
08:18 AM on 05/23/2008
There's little that gives me more satisfaction than watching a liar's nose rubbed in his own hypocrisy. I believe we'll have that delightful pleasure soon. Bush especially, but McCain is a special treat! I hope Obama grinds his nose off his face with the demonstration of support he's given. Maverick my ass!
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chosenson
You can't handle the truth!
03:03 PM on 05/23/2008
I AGREE WITH YOU WHOLEHEARTEDLY. And I think that from now on, Obama needs to stop prefacing his comments to John McCain with any reference to him being a war hero. McCain no longer deserves it! He voted to put America's sons and daughters in harm's way, then turns around and spits in their faces by opposing the GI Bill.

McCain is not McSame, he is McWorse. At least Georgie did not pretend to be something he's not!
08:14 AM on 05/23/2008
Full disclosure--Panama, Desert Storm and OIF vet, retired in 2007. Paid in and used a bit of my MGIB.

I think this is something long overdue, and I hope all the provisions--especially the ability to transfer benefits to children--make it through.

However, the bill is missing one key part. It needs a provision that explicitly excludes GI Bill benefits from the Former Military Spouses Protection Act. If not, there is the distinct chance that veterans will lose their benefits to their divorced ex-spouses in court, much like is happening to many (and I mean MANY) vets today. If the benefits are considered a "divisible asset" by state courts, that means it is quite likely that we will be setting up our men and women in uniform for even more problems when they go through a divorce (and the divorce rates are skyrocketing for the military).

We need to make sure our servicemen and women are adequately protected from what could be court-sponsored theft of benefits by less than loyal spouses when they come back home (and I'm speaking from experience here...)
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MsLiz
burned out attorney, flaming liberal
10:18 AM on 05/23/2008
I am glad to see you acknowledged your conflict of interest in that you are a divorced spouse. My background is in Family Law, not the military, and next week I will have been married 25 years.

Is it not the case that spouses of career military members relocate when ordered to do so, restablish homes and relationships and help kids adjust, do community and volunteer work, and promote the military spouse's career? Or have I watched The Right Stuff too many times? I don't see why a military retirement should be treated differently than a factory pension or civil service retirement benefit.

A judge can consider adultery and general jerkiness in deciding how to divide marital assets, though I acknowledge some judges are so burned out they just want to get the parties out of the courtroom ASAP.

And BTW, if it is court ordered, it is not theft. Theft is illegal.
12:39 PM on 05/23/2008
As a former military spouse, and currently a military member I understand what you're saying and it's mostly right. Being a military spouse requires a TON of sacrifice and hard work, and that should be recognized.

HOWEVER, I agree with bobmac31 that there's nothing more devastating than coming home to a cheating/untrustworthy spouse after spending ANY amount of time serving away from your home and country. While my husband and his unit were deployed, I watched several other wives throw parties and literally CELEBRATE their "freedom" from their husbands. It's absolutely disgusting, and they seemed to justify it by saying that they deserve to have a little fun for all the crap they have to go through.

I'm not saying this is ALL military spouses... The majority of them (including me) are appalled at this kind of behavior, but it does happen, and spouses who do this or things like it DO NOT DESERVE to have the hard earned benefits of their military member spouse handed over to them. It's unnecessarily cruel.

For the record, I am still married to my husband of 9 years, an AF veteran. I'm currently serving in the AF, and am getting ready to re-enlist. And I'm a Democrat.
08:07 AM on 05/23/2008
There : http://tinyurl.com/3kfzck .

It's the list grouped by position.
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elbzee
Fear is the mind-killer
10:36 AM on 05/23/2008
Wow, look at all the friggin Rs voting NAY. I'd suggest that the DNC take out a full page ad in every major paper in the country listing those bastards. The headlines should read HOW REPUBLICANS SUPPORT THE TROOPS! (Pictures would help too!)

While I can imagine there are items that could be tweaked, I can't imagine a good reason to wait on this bill. Pass it, and then pass the amendments that are deemed necessary. These people who I bet (I'll venture to bet the house, car, and kids) voted FOR the war every goddamn time they had a chance.
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TN60
I Hope You'll Dance
07:44 AM on 05/23/2008
Two questions:

1. How many of these many "nays" (all republican) are running for reelection this year and where do I send my money to their opponents?

2. How many of these great "SUPPORTERS OF OUR TROOPS" meme were wearing their flag pins yesterday. ?

Seems only fair since that has become our criteria for patriotism from the right wing nuts.
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MsLiz
burned out attorney, flaming liberal
10:23 AM on 05/23/2008
Jeff Sessions of Alabama voted nay, and he is up for re-election. I don't know who will oppose him, as the primary is June 3.
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trishinpitt
No, your micro-bio is empty!
10:57 AM on 05/23/2008
Good ol' Mitch McConnell is up for re-election. There's a movement here in Kentucky to "Ditch Mitch".
02:01 PM on 05/23/2008
As well there should be......I mean how could a guy whose state has 2 big army bases in it (Ft. Knox and Ft. Campbell) vote against ANYTHING that would be detrimental to the armed forces? Dump the bum I say !!!
07:28 AM on 05/23/2008
The problem with this bill is that it continues to fund the war in Iraq. Until we deal with that issue then dressing up such funding negates the good funding such as in this bill to offer more educational benefits for our soldiers.
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whiskeytangofoxtrot451
08:28 AM on 05/23/2008
It's not a funding bill for the Iraq war. If it was, Bush would be telling us that the democrats support the "terrists" if they don't vote for it instead of threatening to veto it.

This is a bill to provide the same benefits to our returinging veterans that WW II vets got.
10:30 AM on 05/23/2008
Have you READ the bill? There are 7 versions. The first article in the last one to be approved is titled: Policy Regarding Operations in Iraq. It wasn't there before. What do Iraq Operations have to do with the GI Bill? If House of Senate members want to curtail the Iraq funding , fine. It should be done in the light of day and with debate, not as a back-handed amendment to an existing bill.

To attach it to this bill is a political stunt. If Bush disapproves it, he will look like he doesn't 'Support The Troops' - like so many of the comments in this section. Speaking before understanding what is really going on with the crooked politicians in Washington

There is a lot of money for Construction, housing, benefits, and the like. ALL great things that the Government should approve. Did you know there is $200 Million in there for NATO?? Specifically investigation for Missile Defense. What the heck does NATO have to do with GI benefits??

This is just another sham by Congress painted as Supporting the Troops. Approve the benefits for the Military and get rid of all the other crap , pet projects, and political fodder. \\

Reading the legislation before making unfounded and inaccurate statements is always a good thing.
10:36 AM on 05/23/2008
In fairness to Leon if I recall correctly, this "new" GI Bill is being bundled as part of a larger war funding bill.

My understanding is this was done to give it the best chance to pass the veto, as the president would not only have to veto a bill that has received overwhelming support, but a bill that would provide the money he needs to continue the effort.

As much as I want this war to end as soon as safely possible, a dramatic cut in funding would only serve to harm the troops already over there by denying them the funds to sustain themselves. Sure, it would force them to come home eventually, but they would be running out of resources while they were over there waiting to get on the ride back.

Then again I could be wrong about the whole bundling bit, in which case you can just ignore this post heh.
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CheneysACoward
07:13 AM on 05/23/2008
McBush...No excuse. Don't even try.
As a Vietnam vet I stand 100% behind this . The really sad thing is that 22 voted against it. All of them "flag wavers" none of them served in The Military. A "Silver Spoon Draft Dodger as President and an outright Draft Dodger as V.P Everyone of them love to send others to fight ...sick MF's
05:13 AM on 05/23/2008
There's no shorter route to getting me REALLY steamed than some idiot babbling "Support the troops!....Support the troops!" (when what they really mean is: "support the POLICY").......and when it comes time to stand up for said troops AFTER they return home, they either suddenly decide we can't AFFORD thigs like adequate medical and rehabilitative care for our kids (bad enough) or they are quite simply cravenly, cowardly, silent or, worst of all ABSENT when it comes time to fund REAL support for the troops.

This one really has me scratching my head. Like most Americans, I have great respect for Sen. McCains personal story.

As a matter of pure tactical politics, doesn't he realize how AWFUL this looks?
Further, doesn't he realize that using the issue to merely attack Obama makes him look like not much more than a garden variety off-the-rack two-faced Republican?

If he has issues with the bill I, at least would give him a fair hearing.
"Maverick"John McCain without the "straight talk" and the willingness to do the right thing in SPITE of the prevailing Republican view is nothing at all.

Speaking of issues with the bill, while I would never advise blindly following ANY political leader........IF Jim Webb, Chuck Hagel, AND Paul Rieckhoff all support it, you can bet it's the right thing to do for our vets.

Great piece, as always, Paul and thanks for always "Supporting the Troops" in the REAL sense. Regards...............................................tm
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Mort
Once I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.
03:27 AM on 05/23/2008
While the bill is good, it doesn't come close to what we really need to do. We are hopelessly indebted to our veterans
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MsLiz
burned out attorney, flaming liberal
10:30 AM on 05/23/2008
It is a start.