Insert Your Favorite Dalton Trumbo Quote Here

Why do veterans still keep supporting Republicans:

The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan measure aimed at easing healthcare delays for veterans by giving them more access to private care and allowing the Department of Veterans Affairs to open more clinics and hire more medical staff.

The 93-3 vote in the Democratic-led Senate followed unanimous passage on Tuesday in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives of a similar bill to address a crisis that has embarrassed the Obama administration and prompted Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to quit.

Lawmakers must now iron out differences between the House and Senate versions before voting on a final package that could be signed into law by President Barack Obama.

The Senate measure matches several provisions passed by the House to address a crisis unfolding in the run-up to November’s congressional elections.

The senators who authored the bill emphasized the need for urgency. It was crafted by Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, and Republican John McCain of Arizona, a state where 40 veterans are said to have died while waiting months for appointments at VA clinics in Phoenix.

“If there is a definition of emergency, I would say that this legislation fits,” McCain said. “We’ve got to get a good bill on the president’s desk next week,” Sanders said.

Before passing the bill, senators voted 75-19 to turn aside objections to its cost raised by Republican Jeff Sessions of Alabama. “I feel strongly we’ve got to do the right thing for our veterans. But I don’t think we should create a blank check, an unlimited entitlement program, now,” Sessions said.

One of the greatest tricks has been the framing of the word entitlement. These veterans are actually ENTITLED to these benefits, because we made promises to them. Just like senior citizens are ENTITLED to collect social security, because they paid into the system their entire lives. Just like people are ENTITLED to Medicare benefits because they have paid into the system their entire lives. They aren’t getting something they aren’t owed, they are just getting what they are ENTITLED to because of their explicit participation in the social contract.

But back to the point, this racist amoral scumbag is also a total hawk, and has never found a war for which he won’t write a blank check. But when it comes to taking care of the people he sends into hell. Well, fuck them.

61 replies
  1. 1
    redshirt says:

    My team = good
    Your team = bad

    Any questions?

    Click here: http://redshirtlament.blogspot.....ights.html

  2. 2
    Scott S. says:

    In a just world, Jess Sessions’ own constituents would drag him from his office and throw him down a well.

  3. 3
    KG says:

    Well if these soldiers didn’t have the audacity to actually survive war, and if military contractors didn’t have the audacity to actually supply goods that were sufficient to protect the lives of servicemen, this wouldn’t have been a problem.

    /Wingnut logic

  4. 4
    KG says:

    @redshirt: captain Picard day?

  5. 5
    WaterGirl says:

    I was hoping you would explain why veterans continue to support the republicans who continue to turn their backs on the veterans. I find it inexplicable, myself, and I am kind of hoping that someone would do some polling to find out what the actual statistics are on this.

  6. 6
    WaterGirl says:

    Who is Dalton Trumbo, and what does he have to do with this blog post from Cole?

  7. 7
    Baud says:


    I also had to look him up, although I still don’t grok the connection to this post.

  8. 8
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    I am Spartacus!

  9. 9

    @redshirt: Welcome back Redshirt, how have you been?

  10. 10
    Morzer says:


    Screenwriter of Spartacus, among other things.

  11. 11
    David Koch says:

    Why do veterans still keep supporting Republicans:

    because of the blahs.

  12. 12
    Joshua Norton says:

    GOP wants to send troops back into war so they can have more soldiers to disparage after they’re POWs and get sent home.

  13. 13
    raven says:

    Well, speaking for my generation of vets. Project 100,000 took that many a year that couldn’t meet minimum mental and physical standards. This program lasted from 66 to 69. Many of the other troops were drafted and if you were in school you were deferred. Now, I love my brother Nam Vets but there are a lot of bitter, not too bright guys who think they had their knees cut off by hippies when we could have won. I used all my educational benefits but I don’t think anyone owes me shit beyond that. Guys that were hit or otherwise damaged should be taken care of but most were not.

  14. 14
    mdblanche says:

    @KG: It’s for the children. He’s a role model.

  15. 15
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I just looked up Senate Republican leadership. Here’s the list:

    Minority (Republican) leadership
    Minority Leader: Mitch McConnell
    Assistant Minority Leader (Minority Whip): John Cornyn
    Conference Chairman: John Thune
    Conference Vice Chair: Roy Blunt
    Senatorial Committee Chair: Jerry Moran
    Policy Committee Chairman: John Barrasso
    Deputy Whips: Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, Mike Crapo, Saxby Chambliss, Rob Portman, David Vitter, Roger Wicker

    I am looking very hard for the name of Sen. John McCain. Not seeing it listed there.

    He’s the Ranking Member of a few subcommittees. That’s it. He hasn’t been a Presidential nominee since 2008. I honestly do not understand why he is taken at all seriously as a spokesman or representative of his party. I truly don’t.

  16. 16
    raven says:

    I just had to warn my sis in LA that the Airforce Base around the corner from her house is on lockdown because of some suspected bomb dude. Facebook rocks.

  17. 17
    raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Um, did you know he was a POW?

  18. 18
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Dalton Trumbo is one of my heroes. Here are a few representative quotes to get you started (any of which would probably fit pretty well on this or any other BJ thread).

  19. 19
    muddy says:

    @WaterGirl: I wonder if it has to do with the un-refuted Limbaugh on AFRTS (or whatever the modern acronym is)?

  20. 20
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Gosh, I never knew that. I’m so sorry, I take back every mean thing I ever said about him.

    But however did you learn that piece of information?

  21. 21
    David Koch says:

    But McCain said giving veterans benefits gives them incentive to leave the military, rather than re-enlist

    McCain’s argument is that if the government makes college more affordable for the troops, they might be inclined to leave the military, rather than re-enlist. Webb, who said McCain is “full of it,” has argued that a) the troops deserve better educational benefits; and b) it might help with military recruiting if people knew they could go to college after their service.

  22. 22
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Yikes. Hope your sister (and everyone) stays safe.

  23. 23
    mdblanche says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Clearly you are unaware of the importance of the subcommittee for Sunday mornings, the subcommittee for dealing with reporters with daddy issues, and the subcommittee for tire swings.

  24. 24
    bvernia says:

    For some reason, a lot of liberals have a problem with the word “entitlement.” It’s only objectionable in the sense that “liberal” has become objectionable – because a bunch of GOP nutbags use it as a pejorative. Fact is, “entitle” in various forms appears throughout the Social Security Act, and it’s well-intentioned. It means that the citizen claiming the law’s benefits doesn’t need to apologize or grovel for the government’s aid: he or she is entitled to it, under the law. It’s a good word, and we shouldn’t give it up.

  25. 25
    muddy says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I am reminded of it every time I scold myself for jerking my arms like Frankenstein’s monster as I do my ranting old loon impression. I know it’s wrong, but I can’t stop.

  26. 26
    Anne Laurie says:

    @WaterGirl: Dalton Trumbo got in severe trouble for being publicly cynical about (among other things) The Great American War Machine. Taking his queue from a long tradition:

  27. 27
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Clearly you are unaware of the importance of the subcommittee for Sunday mornings, the subcommittee for dealing with reporters with daddy issues, and the subcommittee for tire swings.

    Shorter: Siubhan, you ignorant slut.

  28. 28
    Baud says:


    I don’t think you’re ignorant.

  29. 29
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    LOL, I look forward to seeing that!

  30. 30
    SiubhanDuinne says:



  31. 31
    WaterGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Thank you! Now that I’ve seen the quotes, I get the reference. I particularly like this one:

    The chief internal enemies of any state are those public officials who betray the trust imposed upon them by the people.

    And this one, even though it’s non-political:

    A good businessman never makes a contract unless he’s sure he can carry it through, yet every fool on earth is perfectly willing to sign a marriage contract without considering whether he can live up to it or not.

  32. 32
    WaterGirl says:

    @muddy: Interesting idea.

    P.S. That just begs to be renamed FARTS.

  33. 33
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Do read “Johnny Got His Gun” some time. I admit I haven’t read it for years, but it is powerful. Must pull it out — I’m sure I own it.

  34. 34
    Charles Pierce says:

    My guess is that the Trumbo reference is to Johnny Got His Gun

  35. 35
    Morzer says:


    Well I assert, backed by my five FEMA Panzer divisions and the ACORN Special Education Brigades, that Siubhan is a wonderful woman of consummate erotic integrity.

  36. 36
    WaterGirl says:

    @Anne Laurie: There are a lot of worse things that can be said about a person. In fact, I think that’s high praise. Glad to know who he is.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    WaterGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: @Charles Pierce: Thank you.

    I just looked that up in wikipedia. I had forgotten all about that book, and it seems that I was never aware of who wrote it.

  39. 39
    Ruckus says:

    I’m entitled to those benefits because I signed a contract to serve and they were part of that. I can not collect VA healthcare if I have the income to afford private insurance but without that I am eligible for them. Not every vet gets healthcare. But I enlisted, I did what I was asked and went where they sent me. I am entitled.

    I’m also entitled to SS because I’ve paid into it for 53 yrs (and continuing) as of this month.

    You’re damned right I’m entitled to those benefits. I earned them.

  40. 40
    Heliopause says:

    Just like people are ENTITLED

    Leaving that aside and assuming for argument that nobody is entitled to anything, what does it say about the richest society in the history of the universe that taking care of its elderly, infirm, and public servants is not a simple given? Even if they aren’t “entitled”? With every passing year I get closer to leaving this hypocritical fuckhole and moving to Iceland. Sure, the weather sucks there, you might get roasted by a volcano, but at least you don’t have to listen to these neocon and neoliberal fuckstains lying their goddamned heads off every five minutes.

  41. 41
    Belafon says:


    I get closer to leaving this hypocritical fuckhole and moving to Iceland. Sure, the weather sucks there, you might get roasted by a volcano

    I hear the pets make it worthwhile. OK, maybe that’s not Iceland.

  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:


    Thank you! I’m surprised it took so long for someone to finally name the book.

    The Wikipedia entry, for those who are unfamiliar with it. It is specifically about a (horribly) wounded veteran.

  43. 43
    mark says:

    one of my biggest thrills in life was sitting in the front row with my 2 sons watching “Trumbo” the off-Broadway play starring Tim Robbins and Paul Giamatti. This was not long after 9/11 and hearing Robbins deliver the scathing, beautifully righteous letter by Dalton Trumbo to the elementary school that was ostracizing his daughter. You have to hear it (another actor reads it in the recent doc Trumbo) as it should be enshrined in the Library of Congress…its that good. As we got up to walk down the aisle when the play was over, there 5 rows back, was Pete Seeger. Great night.

    Anyway, we get home and the next day my sons come outside to get me. Tim Robbins is in D.C. at the National Press Club going off about the same thing happening in Florida to his nephews (because Susan Sarandon and him are anti-war, you see). I thought, “now I see why he was so pissed off”.

    Anyway, thanks John for posting this about Senator Scumbag. It’s also long over due we call out the veterans and their relatives who vote for filth like Sessions and listen to chickenhawk cowards (re: the Iraq vets “they CHOSE to be there!” I get disturbing thoughts thinking about people like this) like Limbaugh on Armed Forces Radio for gadsakes

    btw, is there any doubt if a Democrat said what Sessions did, it would be on every news channel 24 hrs a day until he resigned, deservedly, in disgrace?.

  44. 44
    Mike in NC says:

    Sessions is one of the most odious maggots in the GOP Senate.

  45. 45
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Those of you who don’t know _Johnny Got His Gun_ might remember the Metallica song and video “One,” which is based on it and incorporates clips from the film.

  46. 46
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    These veterans are actually ENTITLED to these benefits, because we made promises to them.

    See, as a filthy foreigner, I think this is an interesting formulation. I understand the historical politics of making Social Security and Medicare appear to be a paying back of earlier payments (even though it isn’t really) and I understand the politics of offering people who join the armed forces every pinko commie benefit imaginable because RAH RAH MILITARY, but it’s all just a set of choices, and promises can be broken if the political will is there to break them.

    Clearly, Foghorn Leghorn Sessions regards “entitlement” to mean “T-bones and Cadillacs for Those People”. I think of it more in terms of a promise made by state to its citizens, and there ought to be more of them, and they ought to be made regardless of whether you sign up and wear a uniform.

  47. 47
    Linnaeus says:

    Republican Jeff Sessions

    Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. This can’t be pointed out enough.

  48. 48
    taylormattd says:

    @Scott S.: Yes.

  49. 49
    mark says:

    Trumbo quotes:

    Dishonesty in government is the business of every citizen. It is not enough to do your own job. There’s no particular virtue in that. Democracy isn’t a gift. It’s a responsibility.

    Everybody now seems to be talking about democracy. I don’t understand this. As I think of it, democracy isn’t like a Sunday suit to be brought out and worn only for parades. It’s the kind of a life a decent man leads, it’s something to live for and to die for.

    I fought fire with oil.

    this one gets me….because he knew:

    I never considered the working class anything other than something to get out of.

  50. 50
    satby says:

    @Charles Pierce: What Pierce said, I’m sure it was a reference to Jonny Got His Gun, which was really required reading during the ‘Nam years.
    Trimble was also blacklisted during the McCarthy years.

  51. 51
    satby says:

    Gah kindle! Trumbo!

  52. 52
    Bill D. says:

    All the term “entitlements” means is that outlays under these programs are determined by the sum of all the individual eligibilities for benefits, rather than by an annual lump-sum appropriation from Congress. It’s budget wonkery, nothing more.

    Doesn’t matter whether it’s Social Security or SNAP, doesn’t matter whether you paid into it or not, entitlements are a budgetary category that stands in contrast to programs run on appropriations such as defense or highway construction. It’s a very useful distinction if you’re trying to understand or deal with government budgets.

    It’s sad that the term has been turned into some sort of fake insult to get people upset. If we got rid of the term we’d need to come up with another name to call the same thing.

  53. 53
    Bobby B. says:

    It’s well known if you say you’re “Entitled” a big gold crown pops up on your head like in the Imperial Margarine commercials

  54. 54
    Matt McIrvin says:

    I think the word game works because the adjective “entitled” has colloquially come to mean something like “feeling without good reason that one is owed special privileges.”

    So “entitlements” gets a connotation of something to which one is not legitmately entitled, but still feels that way.

  55. 55
    mclaren says:

    These veterans are actually ENTITLED to these benefits, because we made promises to them.

    Utterly totally completely 100% wrong.

    Read the contract you signed with the U.S. Army, Cole. The contract says very explicitly that you, the American citizen, are bound by the terms of the contract but the U.S. government is not.

    The U.S. government can legally abrogate any of the terms in the contract it signed with you. The U.S. government can force you to serve unlimited numbers of additional tours of duty after your volunteer enlistment period is up. The U.S. government can alter the terms of your service in any way it chooses, sending you to an entirely different assignment regardless of what the recruiters promised and regardless of what the terms of your enlistment agreement says. The U.S. government can alter the benefits its promised you, or revoke them entirely, whenever it desires.

    Like so many gullible ex-army vets, you don’t realize that signing up for today’s volunteer army is a deal with the devil. You are legally obligated to abide by the terms of your enlistement, but the U.S. government is not.

    The motto of the U.S. army toward its volunteers is: “I’ve altered the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.”

  56. 56
    gian says:


    since the voice of shaggy passed this week, it does sound like a Scooby doo villain
    maybe from the “a night of fright is no delight” episode that or “a haunted house hang up”

  57. 57
    gian says:


    shit next you’ll be telling us about “sovereign immunity”

  58. 58
    Chris T. says:

    Millions Trillions for defense war, but not one cent for tribute the warriors once they’re used up!” —Republicans

  59. 59
    NonyNony says:


    Cole is making a moral and ethical argument about how we as a country should be behaving given our ideals.

    You’re making a legalistic one based on what the country should be allowed to get away with given the wording on a contract.

    There is a difference. No matter what people on the Internet or in the business world believe.

  60. 60
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    The Jeff Sessions that is all in favor of spending more money on the already $40 billion missile defense system that doesn’t work? That Jeff Sessions is concerned about creating a new entitlement?

  61. 61
    keestadoll says:

    I don’t and will never get the disconnect when it comes to Veteran benefits. Republicans and even some blue dogs will howl all day long over welfare fraud and similar, but seriously, there’s AMPLE proof an armed services member SERVED. It’s all right there: the wing or service they were in, the length of time they served, their rank, record, photos, fingerprints, blood type, and so forth. I mean, I get how one may raise concerns over such things as SSI fraud because “SEE? See! There’s Johnny lifting hay when he has claimed a debilitating back injury!” but this is the deal: they get the VA bennies once they signed up to serve. How would one conceivably scam this? There are ample records–let them go to whatever the fuck all healthcare provider they want to go to and,Sessions, shut the fuck up.

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