A Veto-Proof GI Bill

Good news:

The Senate has overwhelmingly passed a new GI bill and billions in new domestic spending as part of the $165 billion Iraq war funding bill pending before Congress.

In two subsequent votes, the Senate passed the war funding portion of the bill, 70-26, and rejected an amendment that contained troop withdrawal language on a 34-63 vote.

The 75-22 vote on the GI bill and domestic spending marked a resounding victory for Senate Democrats as well as Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), who has battled to expand the educational benefits for soldiers who served in Iraq. The measure also included a 13 week extension of unemployment insurance, home heating assistance and other domestic spending add ons. President Bush has threatened to veto the bill, which will top $200 billion with the extra spending.

Our troops deserve it.

BTW- McMaverick didn’t vote. Instead of voting to fund a bill to spend the money we owe our troops, he decided to raise money for his own campaign in California. Because he is a straight shooter, you see.

*** Update ***

I should probably also point out to all the people on either side who claim they will sit out the election or vote for McCain if their side does not win that elections matter. This simply would not have happened without Jim Webb, and you need to remember what it took to get him elected, and the kind of crap the GOP threw at him and what he had to endure:

Attention Virginia. Sure, John Mark Karr’s Jim Webb’s supporters can hide behind the “it’s just fiction” defense. But you really want to do that? Do you really want to defend a guy with that sort of imagination?

Well, it’s time to wake up and realize the Democrats have nominated a dirty perv in Virginia. And you guys can send him to the Senate if you want. But I think I’d lock the doors and hide the kids if you did.

So, before you go vote, let’s look at the icky factor in voting for the dirty perv.

You all remember who John Mark Karr is, don’t you? And this is what they said about a guy like Jim Webb.

This is going to be an ugly, ugly election, and Obama is going to endure some serious nonsense, but it is worth it, as Sen. Webb’s bill shows us.






106 replies
  1. 1

    Did Obama and Clinton vote?

  2. 2
    PeterJ says:

    Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama spoke in favor of the bill and voted for it.

  3. 3

    Did Obama and Clinton vote?

    They both voted for it.

  4. 4
    Zifnab says:

    Did Obama and Clinton vote?

    Yes.

    A Veto-Proof GI Bill

    Three problems. 1) Bush can veto the bill, then “convince” 10 Senatorial friends that this bill will embolden the terrorists by sapping much needed Halliburton money from the federal budget. Republicans can then realize how fiscally irresponsible they’ve been and repent. 2) I don’t know if we’ve got a veto proof majority in the House. Boehner has, historically, been more asinine and thick-headed than his Senatorial counterpart. I could see him rallying the troops to protect the homeland from wasteful “pro-liberal” educations. 3) Signing statements and executive bullshit mean Bush can just choose not to release the funds. Or he can just spend the money how he pleases and tell Congress to piss off. What are they going to do? Impeach him?

    It’s a welcome victory, but it is a single victory in a long and bloody war.

  5. 5
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Boehner and his pals will vote against the bill. Remember their vote against the motherhood resolution? The rationalizations will likely be as lame as the ones they came up with for voting against motherhood. It would seem that the Republicans’ rebuilding of their brand consists of fucking up as many things as possible before they’re shown the door. The irony, is that this bill, or an even better one will be brought before the next Congress, passed, and signed into law by a Democratic president.

  6. 6
    Genine says:

    Hooray! I’m glad this happened. I can’t believe all the drama over giving the troops education and benefits, for pete’s sake! But, I’m glad both sides of the aisle came together on this. I hope no one tries anything funny.

    The mantra of some on the right seems to be “Support the troops! (But don’t actually give them the things they need)”

    That seems to be changing and its a good thing.

  7. 7
    Richard Bottoms says:

    More proof that it is never, ever in anyone’s interest to vote for a Republican for any office, for any reason. McMaverick talks big yang, but he is part and parcel of the fag bashing, anti-science, evil Republican party. Fuck the GOP and anyone who votes for them.

  8. 8
    rts says:

    It will be interesting this fall when VP nominee Webb goes hard after McCain on this issue noting that McCain couldn’t even bother to show up to defend the rights of soldiers. It will be hard to deflect when this is coming from Webb, ex-soldier, former Navy Secretary under Reagan.

    Also, even if the House Republicans come together in sufficient numbers to sustain the veto that can only work in the Democrats favor. They will have to explain why they do not support the troops and the right to higher education.

  9. 9
    Dug Jay says:

    In response to remarks made by the jerk from Illinois running for President, McCain released this statement:

    It is typical, but no less offensive that Senator Obama uses the Senate floor to take cheap shots at an opponent and easy advantage of an issue he has less than zero understanding of. … Unlike Senator Obama, my admiration, respect and deep gratitude for America’s veterans is something more than a convenient campaign pledge. I think I have earned the right to make that claim.

    …And I take a backseat to no one in my affection, respect and devotion to veterans. And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did.

    At long last, someone has started calling that turd from Illinois on his increasingly stupid bullshit.

  10. 10
    Zifnab says:

    You all remember who John Mark Karr is, don’t you?

    Hey, that’s the guy they paraded around on television for weeks! The guy who didn’t kill wasserface, the 5-year-old sex icon from Bolder, Colorado.

    I remember FOX News running special alert bulletins every time this man got up to take a pee. Remind me what happened to FOX’s ratings after about day 27 of that mindless bullshit?

    Btw, what ever happened to Anna Nicole Smith? Is she dead yet?

  11. 11
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did.

    On the other hand, if McCain’s draft-dodging buddy Bush vetoes the bill that aces – right?

    Fuck off.

  12. 12
    John Cole says:

    Unlike Senator Obama, my admiration, respect and deep gratitude for America’s veterans is something more than a convenient campaign pledge. I think I have earned the right to make that claim.

    Exactly!

    Everyone knows that what the troops REALLY REALLY want is McMaverick to put an “I Support Our Troops” bumpersticker on his motorcade, rather than benefits!

    Anyone who says otherwise just doesn’t know our troops!

    /wingnut

    You guys are so fucked this fall.

  13. 13
    Rick Massimo says:

    Of course McCain didn’t vote. What was he going to do – vote for it and piss off the lobbyists? Vote against it and piss off – well, everyone else?

  14. 14
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    McCain’s use of righteous indignation to cover his going AWOL on this vote is a nice preview of the campaign. “You can’t criticize me, I’m the straight-talking maverick John McCain.” That shtick will wear out in about five minutes.

  15. 15
    Mike S says:

    I like the quote from Redstate.org. I look in on them occasionally and always notice that they aren’t even adult enough to call people by their real names. They call us the Democrat party and now Call Obama “Barry.”

    If they’re that childish you’d think they would be toxic to the GOP. But since the GOP is the GOP not only are they not toxic, they are loved by them.

  16. 16
    Dug Jay says:

    You guys are so fucked this fall.

    With a conflicted and ignorant shithead person like Obama at the head of your ticket, Mr. Cole, I think you must have been looking in a mirror when you typed that.

  17. 17
    binzinerator says:

    It is typical, but no less offensive that Senator Obama George W. Bush uses the Senate Knesset floor to take cheap shots at an opponent and easy advantage of an issue he has less than zero understanding of.

    Fix’t to call that turd from Arizona on his increasingly stupid bullshit.

    And to call that turd JuggieDay on his continually stupid bullshit.

  18. 18
    ksmiami says:

    McCain really is losing it. John only published part of the old coot’s rambling response… He really is a pathetic old warrior reliving ancient battles

  19. 19
    Dug Jay says:

    binzinerator thinks it is ever so clever with it’s “editing.” Of course, that childish act was pretty tired when the second graders started using it years ago.

  20. 20
    phoebes in santa fe says:

    NO to Jim Webb as VP choice. We need him right where he is now, in the Senate.

    The $750.00 I donated to the Webb campaign in 2006 was the best money I’ve donated to any campaign yet. Most bang for the buck.

  21. 21
    Breezeblock says:

    I’m surprised Nutzo McCain didn’t demand that Sen. Obama remove himself from Nutzo’s lawn.

  22. 22

    Insane McCain was in California?

    Was there a birthday cake involved?

  23. 23
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    As a veteran, I applaud Webb’s bill. This is something that should have been addressed long ago.
    Note to Republicans: You shallow bunch of posturing, two-faced, mealy-mouthed, pseudo-patriotic douchebags. Just because these troops are volunteers doesn’t mean that they’re disposable. Just because you fucked up the war and can no longer retain your military people doesn’t necessitate that you make things so bad on the outside that the troops have to stay in.

  24. 24
    Gerald Curl says:

    If these returning GIs weren’t so lazy and incorrigible, they would foresake guvmint help and start looking for wealthy heiresses to marry.

  25. 25
    nightjar says:

    With a conflicted and ignorant shithead person like Obama at the head of your ticket, Mr. Cole, I think you must have been looking in a mirror when you typed that.

    This is what’s so great about this country. We even give morons like DJ a vote. But only one.

  26. 26
    PaulB says:

    Of course, that childish act was pretty tired when the second graders started using it years ago.

    ROFL…. Oh, the irony, coming from this particular poster.

    Dear heart, Obama is going to be able to nail McCain on this one. Unlike McCain’s empty rhetoric and backing of a plan that offered substantially less, Senator Webb, the Democratic Party, and its candidates offered a plan that offered full benefits for those who have served. Guess which plan veterans, and the voters, preferred?

  27. 27
    TheFountainHead says:

    Jonathan Last has an incredibly crass and dumb blog post over at the Weekly Standard comparing American Idol outcomes to the upcoming general election. He seems to have missed a crucial aspect of his analogy, and that is that the American Idol “election” is one in which anyone can vote ANY number of times.

  28. 28
    Ed Drone says:

    After that diatribe of self-serving BS, I think the new name for the GOP candidate is not “McCain,” “McPain,” and not even “McBush,” but

    McShame.

    John “W” McShame.

    Ed

  29. 29
    Zifnab says:

    You guys are so fucked this fall.

    With a conflicted and ignorant shithead person like Obama at the head of your ticket, Mr. Cole, I think you must have been looking in a mirror when you typed that. I NO YO R BUTT WAT AM I!!!!11!!oneoneeleventyone!

    Fix’d

    Dug Jay is the spoofiest!

  30. 30
    PaulB says:

    From an article on this:

    Twenty-five Republicans voted for the bill, including every member up for re-election and a few fiscal conservatives. [emphasis added]

    And yet Dug Jay is just absolutely convinced that this is going to be a winner of an issue for McCain. Gee, I wonder what our dear little friend knows that these Republican Senators do not?

  31. 31
    Tsulagi says:

    Attention Virginia. Sure, Jim Webb’s supporters can hide behind the “it’s just fiction” defense. But you really want to do that? Do you really want to defend a guy with that sort of imagination?

    Ah yes, brilliant culture and patriot warrior Erick’s post about Jim Webb’s book, Fields of Fire. A book that continues to this day to be on the Marine Corps Commandant’s recommended reading list. But then, any sky-fairy based wingnut would know better than the Commandant what Marines should be reading. They see the big picture.

    Also, good to see Erick continues on his retard roll. No signs of slowing down evident in his post today about McCain shopping for VP picks. Erick has this sage advice for McCain that would make him a sure winner in November…

    Honestly, and this is where you guys decide I’m crazy, but I’m convinced I’m crazy like a fox, have I got a Veep pick for you, Senator McCain. Seriously.

    Yep, these are the guys who are convinced they’re brilliant. Awesome pick, Erick. Make sure McCain listens to you.

  32. 32
    Dug Jay says:

    Come on, Zifnab. How do you find time to post here when I’m told you spend most days trolling outside the schoolyards near your parent’s house?

  33. 33

    Shorter DugJay: I’m rubber, you’re glue. Whatever you say, bounces off of me, and sticks on you!(So there, Mr Cole. Take that, you naughty monkey.)

  34. 34
    Apsaras says:

    Please,

    As if anything will ever top the bear-bating sex with a girl in Scooter Libby’s book. (Though Bill-O’s revenge/sex fantasies in Those Who Trespass come close)

  35. 35

    Obama has pulled convincingly ahead (as in “well outside of the MoE” ahead)of McCain in (wait for it) Virginia.

    VIRGINIA.

    h/t Kos (my linkies won’t link, just go to DKos right now, it’s the lead story):

    SurveyUSA. 5/18-22. Likely voters. MoE 4.1% (4/11-13 results)

    McCain (R) 42 (52)
    Obama (D) 49 (44)

    That’s a 15-point swing in five weeks. You’re starting to see the Obama victory bounce, even if Clinton won’t finally admit she lost.

    And that’s with SUSA underpolling the black vote — 18 percent, when in 2004 blacks were 21 percent of the Virginia general election voter pool. Who thinks African American turnout will be lower in 2008?

    Also note that according to SUSA, women vote for Obama at a 54-38 clip, and Latinos (4 percent of the survey, 3 percent in 2004) select Obama at a healthy 64-32 clip.

  36. 36
    TR says:

    You guys are so fucked this fall.

    In particular, both Sen. Cornyn (R-Box Turtle) and Sen. McConnell (R-Douchebag) both voted against the bill. I think Mitch might be out of reach, but Cornyn only has a slim 4-point edge over Noriega, and he’s already locked horns with VoteVets.org over this issue. I hope they stick their boots up his ass all summer long.

  37. 37
    TR says:

    Come on, Zifnab. How do you find time to post here when I’m told you spend most days trolling outside the schoolyards near your parent’s house?

    Wow. That’s the best you’ve got?

  38. 38
    Dug Jay says:

    Wow. That’s the best you’ve got?

    It’s about the equal of the drivel coming out Zifnab and you other monkey farts.

  39. 39
    Apsaras says:

    It’s not like I don’t have any sympathy for John McCain and George Bush’s position. Why, just the other evening I was playing Stratego with my fellow warblogger friends, and my Spy jumped right out of my Cheeto-stained fingers. He said that he was tired after six straight games and demanded recompense!

    Imagine, the pieces on the board acting like they’re players.

  40. 40

    As a veteran, I applaud Webb’s bill. This is something that should have been addressed long ago.
    Note to Republicans: You shallow bunch of posturing, two-faced, mealy-mouthed, pseudo-patriotic douchebags. Just because these troops are volunteers doesn’t mean that they’re disposable. Just because you fucked up the war and can no longer retain your military people doesn’t necessitate that you make things so bad on the outside that the troops have to stay in.

    Agreed. Its about time this group of Vets gets its real and proper recognition. Fuck all the lapel pins and bumper stickers. Send them to school, make sure they have great healthcare, and a way to take care of their families when they can’t because of duty related injuries. And, don’t ever forget they answered the call. This really is a matter of national honor and paying our debt to those who serve.

  41. 41
    Adam says:

    Wow. DJ’s histrionics notwithstanding, McCain fucking lost it with that press release. He goes fucking nuts about Obama “demagogueing” the troops before admitting that yes, he supports benefits too —

    In fact he has a bill that supports benefits; the difference being that it scales benefits to time served. And he argues that this is because soldiers will… wait for it… desert their posts to get in on that sweet education action back home. Way to show faith in the troops? I guess? I guess “demagogueing” them is OK when you’re implicitly talking shit about them?

    But then he doesn’t even bother to show up and vote on the bill, like 98 of his colleagues, because he was campaigning in California? Was his wife’s plane being used for something else?

    WTFingF?

  42. 42
    Zifnab says:

    Come on, Zifnab. How do you find time to post here when I’m told you spend most days trolling outside the schoolyards near your parent’s house?

    Kids? I’m more into billy goats.

    It’s about the equal of the drivel coming out Zifnab and you other monkey farts.

    Too [good] it [isn’t!] Opposite Day, Dug Jay. And besides [you] are rubber and [I] am glue!

    (psst! Dug Jay kisses caterpillars and likes to wear his mom’s shoes. Let’s not talk to him during recess.)

  43. 43

    Sorry, Dugster. With Virginia, the Cradle of the Confederacy, preferring Obama to McCain (and Cali confirming that preference), it’s McCain that’s done:

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyo.....239/520483
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyo.....243/520455

    You might as well prepare yourself for hearing this come next January 20:

    “I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear…”

    “I,

  44. 44
    Zifnab says:

    Wow. DJ’s histrionics notwithstanding, McCain fucking lost it with that press release. He goes fucking nuts about Obama “demagogueing” the troops before admitting that yes, he supports benefits too—
    In fact he has a bill that supports benefits; the difference being that it scales benefits to time served. And he argues that this is because soldiers will… wait for it… desert their posts to get in on that sweet education action back home. Way to show faith in the troops? I guess? I guess “demagogueing” them is OK when you’re implicitly talking shit about them?

    But then he doesn’t even bother to show up and vote on the bill, like 98 of his colleagues, because he was campaigning in California? Was his wife’s plane being used for something else?

    WTFingF?

    It’s cause he’s a “Straight Talker”.

    Seriously, where is the John McCain of yesteryear? I wish I could get 2000 John McCain to run against 2008 John McCain. 2008 John McCain would be up for a total verbal smack down.

  45. 45
    SnarkyShark says:

    I think the military is starting to get pissed at Republicans. When that turd from Kansas tried to ban Playboy for the military, I think they hit a tipping point.

    That pissed me off, and I am not even getting shot at.

  46. 46
    nightjar says:

    It’s about the equal of the drivel coming out Zifnab and you other monkey farts

    “Monkey Farts” Literary flair from the pea-brain gallery.

  47. 47
    Adam says:

    Seriously, where is the John McCain of yesteryear? I wish I could get 2000 John McCain to run against 2008 John McCain. 2008 John McCain would be up for a total verbal smack down.

    But would you feel differently about 2000 John McCain if you knew that he had an illegitimate black child?

  48. 48
    Dr. Squid says:

    Since when did the GOP get the right to rail against perverts?

    Maybe the guy at redstate should look in his own closet for them. He might find them filming Sam Graves’ next ad.

  49. 49
    Dug Jay says:

    McCain still has the lead in Virginia, per the latest numbers here.

    And the WaPo numbers set for release either tomorrow or Sunday, have McCain up by an even wider margin.

  50. 50
    Cyrus says:

    Seriously, where is the John McCain of yesteryear? I wish I could get 2000 John McCain to run against 2008 John McCain. 2008 John McCain would be up for a total verbal smack down.

    Maybe, but I’m sure the 2008 John McCain could find a lot of common ground with the 1989 John McCain.

  51. 51
    Dr. Squid says:

    Dug Jay Says: SLAP!

    I see the closet cases are already here.

  52. 52
    Dug Jay says:

    The latest Gallup poll numbers are terrible for Obama. Against McCain, he is losing white women by 9 points and white men by a far wider margin. Obama is looking more and more like toast, just as Hillary has been saying.

  53. 53
    The Other Steve says:

    I don’t understand McCain’s rants. If he supports the veterans, why does he claim his excuse for voting no is a fear that they might leave the service and obtain an education and a new job?

    That’s just bizarre.

  54. 54
    The Other Steve says:

    The latest Gallup poll numbers are terrible for Obama. Against McCain, he is losing white women by 9 points and white men by a far wider margin. Obama is looking more and more like toast, just as Hillary has been saying.

    Last I checked I’m white.

  55. 55
    Adam says:

    Oh, I also liked the part where McCain lectured Obama about how running for President is different from being the President.

    Well no shit, John — and how many Presidential terms have you served? (Hint: it’s not 2013 yet.) Last I checked, only 1 of the 3 candidates still nominally running has ever actually lived in the White House, and she voted for Webb’s bill, too. (Of course, you didn’t mention her.)

    So what the fuck are you talking about, Senator McCain?

  56. 56
    Zifnab says:

    McCain still has the lead in Virginia, per the latest numbers here.

    And the WaPo numbers set for release either tomorrow or Sunday, have McCain up by an even wider margin.

    Why hasn’t Dug Jay mentioned SUSA poll number yet?

    Of course, its important to remember that poll numbers never ever change, except when they are better for McCain. McCain is beating Obama by, like, 10 points in Texas! And Florida!

    GOP RESURGENCE! SOUTH = RISING AGAIN!

  57. 57
    Punchy says:

    Cant wait to see the signing statement on this one, eviscerating the college bennys….

  58. 58
    fuddmain says:

    The latest Gallup poll numbers are terrible for Obama. Against McCain, he is losing white women by 9 points and white men by a far wider margin. Obama is looking more and more like toast, just as Hillary has been saying.

    Did you actually read the whole thing.

    It is important to note that Obama runs about as well vs. McCain as Clinton does, and both Democrats currently maintain a slight advantage over McCain in general-election trial heats. So any weaker relative performance for Obama vs. McCain among a demographic group (such as white women or lower-educated voters) is made up for by a stronger relative performance among another group (such as blacks or higher-educated voters).

  59. 59
    Dug Jay says:

    TOS says that he’s white, and apparently a supporter of Obama. Like the other white males here and on other fringe left-wing blogs, those are about the only white males Obama will get in Novemeber. According to Gallup out yesterday, McCain leads Obama by 21 points among white males, 57% to 36%. He’s going down BIG TIME, and taking others further down the ticket with him. It’s going to be McGovern redux.

  60. 60
    Gus says:

    Obama is looking more and more like toast, just as Hillary has been saying.

    p.luk, is that you?

  61. 61
    Dug Jay says:

    p.luk, is that you?

    Damn, guess I was a little too over-the-top.

  62. 62
    jake says:

    The loveliest thing about the attempt to paint Webb as a pervert was the fact that the story had trouble getting any coverage.

    The media was obsessed with some chap named Mark Foley at the time.

  63. 63
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I don’t want to brag that I helped get Jim Webb elected but there is something much more important that we did when we put him in the Senate. We ended the political career of the dumbest and meanest man this side of George Bush. Who do you think would be coasting to the GOP nomination right now if George Felix Allen had won reelection to the Senate?

    That’s why these things matter dammit.

  64. 64
    libarbarian says:

    According to Gallup out yesterday, McCain leads Obama by 21 points among white males, 57% to 36%. He’s going down BIG TIME, and taking others further down the ticket with him. It’s going to be McGovern redux.

    Perhaps, but we’ll see.

    Arguing about predictions is stupid. Especially since most people whose predictions turn out to be wrong never re-evaluate the assumptions that lead to their error. I think you are probably amongst them.

  65. 65
    The Other Steve says:

    TOS says that he’s white, and apparently a supporter of Obama. Like the other white males here and on other fringe left-wing blogs, those are about the only white males Obama will get in Novemeber.

    November has but two e’s.

  66. 66
    jrg says:

    Check out the Nays for the House vote on the GI Bill (Democrats in roman; Republicans in italic). Republican thinking on the subject:

    1) What’s the point, if you’re not going to take their advice, anyway?

    2) There is a correlation between a high level of education and voting Democratic.

    3) It provides further disincentive to getting blown up.

    4) The cost of the GI bill is the same as staying in Iraq 3 more months longer than we need to. Even the Hippies don’t want that.

    5) Lots of jobless, battle-hardened men create police and prison-guard employment opportunities.

  67. 67
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Dug Jay

    Where do you get these fuckers, JC? You are like a freak magnet.

  68. 68
    jake says:

    That’s why these things matter dammit.

    Yep, and that’s why he should stay in the Senate. He strikes me as someone who’d be bored to death if he were VP anyway.

  69. 69
    Jen says:

    Obama is looking more and more like toast,

    Racist.

  70. 70

    While we engage in the futile exercise of devining the predictive value of polls conducted in May to foretell the outcome of the GE, why don’t we engage in another useful exercise. Let’s prognosticate the winner of next year’s Super Bowl.

    Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! That was fun!

  71. 71
    Jen says:

    Dug Jay is from Mr. Spooffoo’s Spoofalicious Spoofatorium.

  72. 72
    Blue Raven says:

    Last I checked I’m white.

    Yeah, same here… ranging from glow-in-the-dark Irish legs to Roman-in-the-woodpile summer-tan arms and strong hints of Basque raccoon eyes. My body encompasses the whole of European genetic heritage (pre-Hunnish invasions and Jewish diaspora) in one bundle. And I voted Obama. Gasp! I’m a race traitor!

  73. 73
    The Other Steve says:

    The minor league Saint Paul Saints are going to be handing our Larry Craig bobble-foot dolls at their game this weekend.

    link here

  74. 74
    Zifnab says:

    While we engage in the futile exercise of devining the predictive value of polls conducted in May to foretell the outcome of the GE, why don’t we engage in another useful exercise. Let’s prognosticate the winner of next year’s Super Bowl.

    Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! That was fun!

    I had my money on the Patriots last year, as that seemed a safe bet. Clearly not safe enough. *sigh*

    I always see polls about boring demographics. Who do whites favor most? Who do working men favor most? Who does the elderly support? Who fucking cares?

    This is the age of useless trivia and baseless allegations of patriotism or the lack there of. I want some numbers I can really smear a man with. Let’s get some poll numbers from:

    Rapists
    The Amish
    People With Nose Rings
    Hannah Montana Fans
    Members of the ACLU
    Members of the KKK
    Former Members of the ACLU that went on to join the KKK
    The French
    Illegal Immigrants
    Those Who Are Balding, At Least Once Divorced, And Suffer From Clinically Diagnosed Anger Management Issues
    Members of Louis Farrakhan’s Nation Of Islam
    Everyone Who Ever Voted For Allen Keyes
    Camel Jockeys
    Gitmo Detainees
    60-year-olds in Florida With Arthritis and Vision Problems
    NAMBLA

    Anyone can poll “College Educated Urban Men Over 50”. But that’s not nearly as flashy or as ratings catching as these hard-hitting numbers.

  75. 75
    Jen says:

    Those Who Are Balding, At Least Once Divorced, And Suffer From Clinically Diagnosed Anger Management Issues

    Isn’t this the same group as College Educated Urban Men Over 50?

  76. 76
    Wilfred says:

    Our troops deserve it

    I don’t agree with that anymore. The guys that were caught in the service when the war started and those that enlisted when we were all still lost in the fog of BushSpeak ok, I can see that. But this is a war for empire, and anyone who enlisted 2 or 3 years ago up to yesterday knows the same things we do and deserves what they get – not some reward for occupying another country. If you want to be a mercenary for Empire, you should take your specie like a Roman.

    Pay them in Iraqi oil. They’re dying for it anyway, and at 133 bucks a barrel it’s worth more than an unemployment check. I’m not joking – 10 barrels for every month in country. They can get Cheney to trade it for them.

  77. 77
    qwerty42 says:

    Webb was interviewed yesterday on Fresh Air. The interview is about 40 mins, but the issue of retention came up. Webb’s argument was that most of Marines and Army serve only one hitch then move on (obviously I’d want to see the numbers, but they should not be hard to find). He felt the Services were doing a lot in terms of retention already. This was for those (and it includes Guard – whose extensive services had not been considered when he was at DoD) who had put themselves forward when their country needed them. Webb has pushed this and has made a convincing case on both sides. The opposition to it seems misguided at best. A really interesting interview, found the link via Sully yesterday.

  78. 78
    nightjar says:

    Some pretty important news.

    Via Think Progress Wonk Room

    This could also represent the final nail in the coffin of the neoconservative fantasy of establishing an enduring military presence in Iraq, from which to project U.S. power throughout the region. The article notes that the shift in Sistani’s position “underlines possible opposition to any agreement by Baghdad to allow a long-term U.S. military foothold in Iraq — part of a deal that is currently under negotiation and could be signed as early as July”:

    Al-Sistani’s distaste for the U.S. presence is no secret. In his public fatwas on his Web site, he blames Washington for many of Iraq’s woes.[…]

    “(Al-Sistani) rejects the American presence,” [a Sistani representative] told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment to media. “He believes they (the Americans) will at the end pay a heavy price for the damage they inflicted on Iraq.”

  79. 79
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    But this is a war for empire, and anyone who enlisted 2 or 3 years ago up to yesterday knows the same things we do and deserves what they get – not some reward for occupying another country. If you want to be a mercenary for Empire, you should take your specie like a Roman.

    That’s bullshit. You’re judging people’s motives without knowing them and you’re attributing to them the same perspective on the war that we have here. They served, they deserve the benefits. Some of them certainly know the score, others joined because the military was the only job available, others because they thought that it was the patriotic thing to do. Don’t you want them to get an education so that they can make the fine moral distinctions coupled with the broad generalizations that you do?

  80. 80
    Adam says:

    Don’t you want them to get an education so that they can make the fine moral distinctions coupled with the broad generalizations that you do?

    Jeez, Dennis, weren’t you listening to McCain? Those ungrateful youngsters are going to go AWOL if you just start giving away educations like that.

    I’m glad we have the OMG Imperialism voice here so we can get the whole spectrum of troop-hating crazy, myself. I felt like McCain’s little rant was sort of lacking something.

  81. 81
    nightjar says:

    That’s bullshit. You’re judging people’s motives without knowing them and you’re attributing to them the same perspective on the war that we have here

    I agree, many of the kids join not out of a desire to fight in Iraq (I would say few do) but a way out of dire social and economic situations they were born into. Let’s not start blaming the soldiers for the war Wilfred.

  82. 82
    Lynn Lightfoot says:

    I recommend that no comments from Dug Jay should be published. If the comments here are not moderated (and thus it is difficult to keep DJ’s comments out), then can other commenters train themselves to refrain from responding to any of his comments? Please?

  83. 83

    November has but two e’s.

    Dug Jay is right. Obama’s not winning any votes in Novemeber. He’s going to win the Presidential election in November, but in the Novemeber imaginary-month election he’s toast.

  84. 84

    I recommend that no comments from Dug Jay should be published. If the comments here are not moderated (and thus it is difficult to keep DJ’s comments out), then can other commenters train themselves to refrain from responding to any of his comments? Please?

    I like pie!

  85. 85
    Wilfred says:

    I agree, many of the kids join not out of a desire to fight in Iraq (I would say few do) but a way out of dire social and economic situations they were born into. Let’s not start blaming the soldiers for the war Wilfred.

    I ran away to join the Army when I was 18 because my people were working poor, so I know all about the reasons that some people serve. The clothes they gave me at Fort Dix were more and better than anything I had ever had in my life, and so was the food. I also went to university on the old G.I. bill – $323 a month for 45 months, so I asked myself if I was a hypocrite before speaking.

    We’re not a country of Empire and we shouldn’t be. I don’t have much sympathy for people who serve the ends of Empire. Nowadays I save my feelings for people who want to put an end to the economic system that compels young people to serve the interests of a class that starves or kills them in some senseless war.

  86. 86
    Adam says:

    I like pie!

    Pie appeaser!

  87. 87
    dslak says:

    Nowadays I save my feelings for people who want to put an end to the economic system that compels young people to serve the interests of a class that starves or kills them in some senseless war.

    But no sympathy for those young fuckers who get compelled, eh?

  88. 88
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    I ran away to join the Army when I was 18 because my people were working poor, so I know all about the reasons that some people serve.

    Then why do you want to throw people away for doing just what you did, many of them for the same reasons that you did it? Loosen up, you turned out all right. I’m confident that most of todays troops will too, to the best of their abilities.

  89. 89

    We’re not a country of Empire and we shouldn’t be. I don’t have much sympathy for people who serve the ends of Empire. Nowadays I save my feelings for people who want to put an end to the economic system that compels young people to serve the interests of a class that starves or kills them in some senseless war.

    My sister has a friend serving in Iraq who’s a Marxist. Does she count?

    A job’s a job. You have no accurate means of ascribing motives to all people who could have taken this particular job for any number of reasons. For all you know, some people are over there because they were outraged by Abu Ghraib and wanted to see that our occupying forces committed fewer atrocities. In the media blackout prevailing over there, that’s probably the only way one could.

    Anyway, someone who enlisted yesterday might reason that by the time they get ready to deploy they’ll probably be serving under President Obama.

  90. 90

    Pie appeaser!

    Anyone who doesn’t like pie is objectively pro-Saddam.

  91. 91
    nightjar says:

    We’re not a country of Empire and we shouldn’t be. I don’t have much sympathy for people who serve the ends of Empire. Nowadays I save my feelings for people who want to put an end to the economic system that compels young people to serve the interests of a class that starves or kills them in some senseless war.

    In general, I don’t disagree with this. And if we don’t change our ways, it’s one short step to a full on Oligarchy, and shortly after the way of the Romans. Although I’m eternally optimistic we will change course and get it right.

    I was drafted into the Army, but I refuse to hold responsible for the war 18 yo’s that joined. I’m a little surprised you do, given your history, but that’s your perogative. Maybe you should rethink that hypocrite thing.

  92. 92
    Adam says:

    We’re not a country of Empire and we shouldn’t be. I don’t have much sympathy for people who serve the ends of Empire. Nowadays I save my feelings for people who want to put an end to the economic system that compels young people to serve the interests of a class that starves or kills them in some senseless war.

    But you’re still overgeneralizing, and projecting your current beliefs (which you even admit weren’t the reasons you enlisted) onto all soldiers currently serving. I know many people who’ve signed up for good reasons, even recently, and I expect you do, too.

    We’re not talking about allocating more money to Blackwater here, or even raising soldiers’ pay — we’re talking about whether or not we should provide an education to kids getting shot at when they come home. It seems pretty unfair to deny that by way of second-guessing the motives of every soldier who’s currently serving. That’s a pretty weak argument.

    Also, since these aren’t new benefits, it’s not reasonable to claim that they could have had any bearing on the soldiers’ initial reasons for signing up, and by your own metrics it’s a better option than what McCain’s proposing, which is incentivizing soldiers to stay in the military longer. The “Empire” criticism might have some salience in other situations, but it’s not really relevant when we’re talking about veteran’s benefits.

  93. 93
    b. hussein canuckistani says:

    The more people you have with better educations, the better off your country will be. I’d support a free college education for firemen, oil workers, cowboys, waitresses.. hell, anyone who can get through high school. In the long run, a well educated workforce is good for the economy, the state of politics, social mobility, or in short, everything the republicans oppose.

  94. 94
    Cain says:

    Also, since these aren’t new benefits, it’s not reasonable to claim that they could have had any bearing on the soldiers’ initial reasons for signing up, and by your own metrics it’s a better option than what McCain’s proposing, which is incentivizing soldiers to stay in the military longer. The “Empire” criticism might have some salience in other situations, but it’s not really relevant when we’re talking about veteran’s benefits.

    An excellent nuanced response as opposed to saying you just hate the troops or some other nonsense that usually comes from right wing sites.

    Well said.

    cain

  95. 95

    The more people you have with better educations, the better off your country will be. I’d support a free college education for firemen, oil workers, cowboys, waitresses.. hell, anyone who can get through high school. In the long run, a well educated workforce is good for the economy, the state of politics, social mobility, or in short, everything the republicans oppose.

    Keep the men illiterate, keep the women barefoot and pregnant. A docile peasantry is prerequisite to the aristocracy these Republican brigands envision.

  96. 96
    Wilfred says:

    When I went in the Army it was not unknown to meet guys who couldn’t read or write. I had left school without graduating when I was 17 to go to work and got caught up in the recession of 1973-74 when things were pretty bad.

    Is anyone seriously asserting that the standards for the Army in 2000-2005 were the same as when they started the volunteer Army? Don’t over-generalize current day economic necessities. A lot of guys go into the Army because it’s better than what they can get in civilian life, not because it was the ONLY thing available, as it was for many of us.

    We’re not talking about allocating more money to Blackwater here, or even raising soldiers’ pay—we’re talking about whether or not we should provide an education to kids getting shot at when they come home. It seems pretty unfair to deny that by way of second-guessing the motives of every soldier who’s currently serving. That’s a pretty weak argument.

    I don’t agree. Nobody knows a man’s intentions except for himself, which is why I’m not interested in it. I never suggested why people do what they do, only that they are participating in the illegal occupation of another country, and I don’t care what they think about it, frankly.

    Again, if someone thinks the war is illegal but asserts that they have no choice but to enlist and go because of an unjust economic system that compels them to do something against their conscience then THAT’s the man I feel for and who I think can do better for himself by repudiating a system that makes him into mercenary. I don’t give a shit about the rest of them or their motivation. The war is a crime, what does that make its practitioners?

    As for this accursed war

  97. 97

    Again, if someone thinks the war is illegal but asserts that they have no choice but to enlist and go because of an unjust economic system that compels them to do something against their conscience then THAT’s the man I feel for and who I think can do better for himself by repudiating a system that makes him into mercenary. I don’t give a shit about the rest of them or their motivation. The war is a crime, what does that make its practitioners?

    So, only those who convert to Marxism before or during their stint in the military get to go to college once they get out?

    What would David Horowitz say?

  98. 98

    What would David Horowitz say?

    Not that I really give a shit, mind you.

    Quoting wingnuts is like filling in a Mad Lib. We all know what he’d say. Something along the lines of, “Academia’s run by Commies.” Only this time, he’d be right. LOL

  99. 99
    Wilfred says:

    So, only those who convert to Marxism before or during their stint in the military get to go to college once they get out?

    Yes, that’s exactly it.

  100. 100

    Yes, that’s exactly it.

    The Romans used to decimate armies for shit like that. Don’t put it past these neocons. Wouldn’t take much, just a march to Tehran.

  101. 101
    KRK says:

    The Other Steve Says:

    The minor league Saint Paul Saints are going to be handing our Larry Craig bobble-foot dolls at their game this weekend.

    Glad to know the SP Saints are as awesome as ever.

  102. 102
    Church Lady says:

    While I don’t have a problem with increasing the educational benefits available under the GI Bill, as the current benefits haven’t kept up with tuition inflation, this new bill might be just a little too generous.

    I admit to not being up on every little nook and cranny of the new bill, but I’m not sure that three years of military service, which I understand this bill doesn’t separate combat vs. non-combat service, is a fair trade off for four years of full tuition at the rate of the most expensive public school within that state, room and board, books and a living stipend.

    I think that, at a minimum, for every year of the education benefits outlined in the bill just passed, a full year of military service should be required. This requirement should not apply to those injured in the line of duty. Anyone discharged due to injury in the line of duty should receive full benefits, no matter the length of service.

  103. 103
    Silver Owl says:

    Church Lady, we don’t pay them enough for getting limbs blown off, dead nor mentally fucked up. Not mention they don’t have the same freedoms you do.

    In fact compared to civilian pay they don’t get shit. It’s why most don’t stay in.

    I’d say paying for education is the least the American publican can do since it takes so goddamn long for us to get up off our fucking lazy asses have their backs.

  104. 104
    TenguPhule says:

    Instead of voting to fund a bill to spend the money we owe our troops, he decided to raise money for his own campaign in California.

    Fuckstain needs his hookers.

  105. 105
    Birdzilla says:

    At least they removed the side bill to allow amnesty for illegals but those liberals will try again

  106. 106

    Why should these crybaby kids get any benefits at all?

    The real heroes who won WW2 fought a real war, these kids
    cant win theirs?, need to have their hands held?

    They shouldn’t get medical benefits if they’re hurt, they
    shouldn’t even be paid.

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