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April 26, 2008

Comments

M. Simon

We need a change of crooks in Congress.

Neo
THE US war in Iraq has strengthened its strategic position, especially in terms of key alliances, and the only way this could be reversed would be if it lost the will to continue the struggle and abandoned Iraq in defeat and disarray.

This is certainly different.

bgates

Among the key allies mentioned in Neo's link is South Korea. That was a dirt poor country on the other side of the world when America sent an army to defend it. One of the most popular American tv shows ever depicts that conflict as a hopeless, pointless waste of life fought between two equally unpleasant peasant dictatorships that Truman or MacArthur or Eisenhower could have stopped at any time if only they had more humanity. 25 years after the end of the show, millions still watch it on tv - only now, many of the tvs are made in South Korea, 13th largest economy in the world, and a key American ally.

Semanticleo

So what?

That story is far less egregious than this;

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=4652517&page=1

McCain opposes an increase in the GI Bill that would cost far less than 30 days in Iraq.

Iraq will cost (at $12 Billion per mo)
$13 Trillion, 688 Billion over the remaining
95 years McCain says we may have to stay in Iraq.

3 Billion versus $13.688 Trillion?

Naw, that would break the budget!

bgates

Cleo, you're assuming the annual cost stays constant. But if you figure Bush's uniquely poor decision making start to compound and the cost rises 700% a year, the whole war could end up costing closer to eleventy kafiddlion dollars.

SteveMG

Iraq will cost (at $12 Billion per mo)
$13 Trillion, 688 Billion over the remaining

You forgot to the include the cost of sugar plum fairies and the security for Peter Pan's brigade.

If you include that, it's eleventy gadzillion.


clarice

When you guys say eleventy are you repeating a TM typo? Is it really onety?

How much of the military cost evaporates if everyone has been re-deployed to Guam? Is it then NOTHING?

Semanticleo

Make light of the treatment of military if you wish. I had not thought of you folks as shallow in your extolling the value of our citizens in uniform.

Perhaps the support is only deserved during deployment. What use are they upon their return?

SteveMG

Clarice:
When you guys say eleventy are you repeating a TM typo? Is it really onety?

No, we're just teasing.

It's silly to extrapolate the costs today of military operations in Iraq over an entire century. For example, stationing 25,000 troops in a peaceful Iraq 10 years from now is far less expensive than funding operations of 150,000 today.

So, why use those numbers?

SteveMG

Make light of the treatment of military if you wish

We're making light of you using the costs of the war today over a full century and not the treatment of the military at home.

McCain clearly said that he could see us having troops stationed in Iraq over a century if they're not being shot at or engaged in military operations. E.g., Germany, Japan.

Why use the costs today of the operations when they'll have a completely different missions a decade from now?


Semanticleo

Steve;

Why do you keep asking that question?

Hint; McCain opposes the expansion of GI Bill. Compare/contrast the cost of same
with cost of Iraq. Surely you understood the first time.

boris

Hint; McCain opposes the expansion of GI Bill.

Hint: the target audience for that factoid doesn't care.

SteveMG

Why do you keep asking that question?

Because you're still using that misleading number. If you want to withdraw it, fine.

If you want to raise a serious question, use serious numbers.

Second, the story clearly states that McCain is opposed to this bill in its current version and not that he is against increasing benefits to the soldiers.

From the story:
McCain indicated he would offer some sort of alternative to the legislation to address concerns that expanding the GI Bill could lead more members of the military to get out of the service.

It doesn't make sense to draw legislation that has the unintended consequence of depleting our military.

Does it?

SteveMG

Hint; McCain opposes the expansion of GI Bill.

Bigger hint. No he's not.

He's against the current version of the bill.

Semanticleo

"There are too many people in the Pentagon who are seeing a good GI Bill as affecting retention rather than rewarding service," Webb said last week on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

"So we need to get at those--politics aside, we need to get at those issues to help our troops."

Defense officials have expressed concern about the price tag of Webb's measure AS THEY STRUGGLE TO PAY FOR TWO WARS and repair broken equipment.(there's yer sign-emphasis mine)

Webb put the cost of his bill at $2.5 billion to $4 billion a year. House backers of his measure said last week they hope to attach the measure to a war-spending bill that is expected to reach the House and Senate in coming weeks for a vote.

"It's truly a bipartisan effort and something that's long overdue," said Rep Peter King, R-N.Y. "We have to bring GI benefits into the 21st century."

SteveMG

There are too many people in the Pentagon who are seeing a good GI Bill as affecting retention rather than rewarding service," Webb said last week on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

For the last time, McCain is not against expanding the GI Bill.

McCain, McCain, McCain.

He is worried about the incentives in the current version of the bill that may lead to troops leaving the military.

For McCain, the issue is retention, not cost.

Semanticleo

Steve;

He's spouting Pentagon talking points.

After being discharged from the Navy, my dad had a full ride, including housing costs. He and my mom didn't live high on the hog, but they had enough to get by. Don't tell me the buying power of the dollar still has the clout it did in the 1950's.

"The GI Bill not only recognized our nation's moral duty for the enormous sacrifices of our World War II veterans, but it helped create America's middle class and spurred decades of economic growth for our country. Economists estimate that the original bill returned anywhere between $5 and $13 for every dollar we spent on it. But the original GI Bill has become woefully outdated, to the point where the average benefit doesn't even cover half the cost of an in-state student's education at a public college.

Our newest veterans are struggling. Jason Bensley, an Iraq war veteran from Southern California, receives $650 a month from the current GI Bill for his education. Bensley, who served in southern Iraq, Mosul and Diyala province, is in debt, trying to pay for college. "I wouldn't have the faintest idea why a member of Congress wouldn't want to support the GI Bill," he says. "Sen. McCain should know how hard it is for veterans to transition back into civilian life."

The White House has voiced concern on the bill, arguing that if returning troops are offered a good education, they will choose college over extending their service. This is as offensive as it is absurd.

First, it is morally reprehensible to fix the system so that civilian life is unappealing to service members, in an attempt to force them to re-up. Education assistance is not a handout, it is a sacred promise that we have made for generations in return for service."
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-clark10apr10,0,1791314.story

SteveMG

Semanticleo:
After being discharged from the Navy, my dad had a full ride, including housing costs. He and my mom didn't live high on the hog, but they had enough to get by. Don't tell me the buying power of the dollar still has the clout it did in the 1950's.

Both my parents served in the Marines (yep, my Mom too; that's where they met). My dad fought in Korea and Vietnam. Twenty-six years service. I'm aware that it's not exactly a lifestyle of the rich and famous.

To the point, if you can cite a statement by McCain that he's against the expansion due to costs, then you've proved your point.

You don't seriously believe that McCain doesn't care about the lives of the men and women in uniform? One can make lots of legitimate criticism against him; but this area isn't one of them.


RichatUF

Cleo-

It would be nice if the story were reported honestly.

from the article, "Figures compiled by Webb's office say the GI Bill covers about 11 percent of the more than $55,000 it costs to attend Georgetown Law School, buy books and live.": The basic GI Bill by law only covers tuition and fees (because of past problems with the program when the payments would go to the school). And the basic rate is $1100 for 36 months, so if someone is in school full time for 9 months of the year that would be $9900. This doesn't get into the buy up (which adds an extra 150/mth) nor the Navy College Fund, all of which can push up full time education benefits up above $2000 a month (also tax free).

If they really wanted to help the congress would just drop veterans education benefits from the income reporting requirements from the FASFA because most veterans (especially in graduate programs) can also make income from internships and other work.

qrstuv

Cleo:

Your desperation is showing.

Just thought you'd want to know.

Semanticleo

RichatUF;

Even community college tuition for full time is around $500 with another $5-800 for books.

considering the cost of living for 9 months and the remaining funds leaves about a grand per month. Can you live on that?

Semanticleo

cost per semester, that is.

Semanticleo

"You don't seriously believe that McCain doesn't care about the lives of the men and women in uniform?"

The elderly are often victims of con artists.

I'm curious how many here care.

Matthew Crandall

Hmm. So, the current G.I. Bill still pays half the cost of state tuition? $7800 a year (650 x 12, from the article), seems like a pretty nice deal for an All Volunteer Army. I seem to recall that the G.I. Bill was originally passed at the end of WW II, where something like several million troops had been drafted into the war? Maybe language should be added to the new G.I. bill extending benefits to all of the Blackwater employees who served in Iraq!

boris

Can you live on that?

I went through college on GI bill starting 1968. Never lived on GI bill. Never tried to. Always had a part time job and played in bands to make ends meet.

qrstuv

Everyone who thinks that if Reid were a Republican, the Times would have treated him just the same as they did, raise your hands.

Right.

RichatUF

SteveMG-

You don't seriously believe that McCain doesn't care about the lives of the men and women in uniform?

The Pentagon is against the program because it will collapse retention rates and distort recruitment efforts just like what happened in the 1990's. The Webb version of the bill reads as if the payments would go to the school not the veteran (re-creating the prior problems with the VEAP-era program, which was cleaned up with the 1984 (or so) reforms; schools were grossly overcharging the tuition and fees part and in some cases short changing the veteran on living expenses [mostly through unused meal and dorm plans for vets living off campaus, iirc]). I'm still digging, but I think that some of the reforms also get into the length of service requirement (stay in longer get more money under the current system; stay in shorter, get more money under the reformed system).

SteveMG

RichatUF:
The Pentagon is against the program because it will collapse retention rates and distort recruitment efforts just like what happened in the 1990's.

Thanks.

What about the quote from the ABC story that 'Cleo linked that the Pentagon was worried about the costs?

The direct costs of the bill? Or the costs that would result due to loss of troops and the added burden of training replacements?

With all due respect to Cleo, she's really simplifying a complex issue.

Semanticleo

"The direct costs of the bill?"

All roads lead to Iraq.

But I'm repeating myself.

SteveMG

But I'm repeating myself.

With the same wrong results.

Can't change your mind and won't change the subject.

Again, you've presented no evidence that McCain is against the changes due to the costs.

BTW, you still believe the Administration/neocons were lying about that building in Syria that Israel bombed?

Just curious.....

RichatUF

Cleo-

Even community college tuition for full time is around $500 with another $5-800 for books

So for a full 30 hours in a CC program the students educational expenses tip the scales at $2600 and still leaving $7300 to make up the difference between work and living expenses. College is an expensive investment more so when you don't plan it out. This doesn't even cover the veteran student's scholarships, loans, additional benefits possible under the GI Bill program (or other VA programs), and personal savings during the veteran's enlistment.

The easiest reform that McCain could offer would be to change the FASFA income reporting requirement to exclude VA income (ie disablility payments, education payments, award stipends)-this would open up more need based awards of scholarships, grants, and loans to veterans. As for Webb's crusade for a better Gi Bill, as the article states, " U.S. taxpayers gave Webb a full ride tuition, housing and living expenses all covered under a different program in place for wounded veterans that was distinct from the GI Bill." Without a much better handle on what Mr. Flavin actually signed up for in his enlistment contract and how it changed with his graduation from OCS it is difficult to gauge his situation. However, the GI Bill's intent is for undergraduate school or technical training-it was never designed for graduate school, though it can be used for that purpose. It seems dishonest to me that the article yammers on about a student at one of the more expensive, private law schools in the country when there are thousands of students in undergraduate and technical programs without problems. It seems more of a solution in search of a problem than anything that will actually help anyone.

But I did manage to derail the thread off the article at hand and didn't get to bash Reid regarding his shady real estate transactions. Sorry everyone...

Semanticleo

"Sorry everyone..."

Not your fault. It's Maguire's insular posts which require apologia.

SteveMG

Not your fault. It's Maguire's insular posts which require apologia.

Tom's never required obedience or fealty to the topic/issues he posts about.

If he did, you'd be long gone from this site.


pagar

In over 50 years of military/military retiree status, I do not recall any bill written/Sponsored by leftists that would be the best solution for the military member/military retiree. When one considers the comments of the current leftist political leaders, concerning military operations, I can not imagine anyone believing the American leftists want a strong US military.

Here is a Google page entry on Sen Webb:

"MyDD :: MyDD Conversation with VA-Sen Candidate James Webb
This morning, spoke with former Secretary of the Navy James Webb, ..... Any sane person is anti military but pro soldier. the military in any civilized ...
www.mydd.com/story/2006/3/22/17243/0237 - 49k - Cached - Similar pages"
Link

IMO, "one can not be anti-military but pro soldier" Military equipment without trained and motivated soldiers is useless junk.

Blocking access to military recruiting is far more important to the American left. Why else are US colleges such as Harvard, still receiving funds from the US government and still trying to block ROTC and other recruiting.

Danube of Thought

"After being discharged from the Navy, my dad had a full ride, including housing costs."

I don't know when your dad got out of the Navy, but a "full ride, including housing benefits," is a new one on me. When I got out and entered law school in 1973, I simply got a monthly check that was quite modest (although I was very grateful for it). My particular tuition, and my housing costs, had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Danube of Thought

As for McCain, ask the troops whom they prefer as between him and Obama. I dare you.

bgates

Is it really onety?
Ha!
It's Maguire's insular posts which require apologia.
You're misusing every word over 2 syllables in that sentence.

M. Simon

Make light of the treatment of military if you wish. I had not thought of you folks as shallow in your extolling the value of our citizens in uniform.

Well sm-leo. Those of us who love the Military and believe they are doing a wonderful job in helping the Iraqis provide security for themselves often make lite of the services.

I'm Navy myself and I can assure you the AF is full of pussys and the only the truly stupid would sink their own ship (submarine service). The Marines are full of jarheads and who would be stupid enough to join a service where you have to hump a 100 pound load around the boonies all day in 120 deg heat?

And you know the squids make fun of the skimmers too.

But when we come across specimens like yourself, we unite for the good of the services.

You know, I didn't join up for the benefits. I actually wanted to serve my country and expected it to cost me not provide dividends. Other than what I learned in the service schools.

RichatUF

The Times are getting started-first it is McCain's "crooked" real-estate friends, now it is his campaign's use of his wife's corporate jet. Got a chuckle out of this bit:

The senator was able to fly so inexpensively because the law specifically exempts aircraft owned by a candidate or his family or by a privately held company they control. The Federal Election Commission adopted rules in December to close the loophole — rules that would have required substantial payments by candidates using family-owned planes — but the agency soon lost the requisite number of commissioners needed to complete the rule making.

I looked around the story and it doesn't say whose fault it is that the FEC doesn't have the requsite number of commissioners.

clarice

HEH--and then there's the irony of CFR itself. What a crock.

Danube of Thought

And of course, viewed through the very strange prism of the New York Times, the very innocuous and sensible provision is itself a "loophole."

For the uninitiated, "loopholes" are provisions in the law which, without regard to whether they make for sound policy, are ones that the New York Times doesn't like. In most instances, this is because they inure to the benefit of people whom the New York Times doesn't like. If you are searching for a neutral principle that any such loophole violates, you will search in vain.

Jane

I don't know when your dad got out of the Navy, but a "full ride, including housing benefits," is a new one on me.

DOT,

Perhaps you should sue, as clearly you were discriminated against.

Ann

Did anyone watch the White House Correspondents' Dinner?
I just caught some of it and noticed President Bush had a fag pin on his lapel. I don't think he always wears one. Think he was sticking it to the press and ...?

Cheney looked very handsome, but Laura Bush looked like something smelled bad. I guess she was too close to the NY Times guys.

RichatUF

Ann-

I just caught some of it and noticed President Bush had a fag pin on his lapel. I don't think he always wears one.

YIKES!!! I hope he doesn't, wouldn't want that to come out!

vnjagvet

You have no idea how Semantic's concern for the military touches me.

At least I hope you don't.

Ann

LOL, Rich

President Bush was funny, cute and I am going to miss him and Cheney.

Oh, and Pamela Anderson was there. WooHoo!!

SunnyDay

HEH--and then there's the irony of CFR itself. What a crock.
*********************************

My latest solicitation from the RNC specifically refers to CFR as the reason we have to donate to them. I thought it was really really stupid to put that in a fund-raising letter that starts out "we want you back, we need you blahblahblah."

I actually wrote out an answer, but I threw it in the trash instead of sending it back to them. Without a check.

If I had gotten the letter last weekend I probably would have sent a check - bad timing with the insults, senator. :P

Rickter

Rich, Senate Dems. have a 'hold' on the FEC nominees. Obama has his hands in this and Dingy Harry does'nt even know one of their names! Click on my name for link.

Ann

SunnyDay,

I hear you. Send checks directly to the candidates you like and send the RNC envelope back empty or with your letter, so they have to pay for the postage. :P

Ann

The Times MoDo goes after Hill and Obama today:
Desperately Seeking Street Cred

Here is the catty, LOL part:
"The Nixonian Hillary has a ravenous hunger that Obama lacks. Literally — at a birthday party in Philly for her photographer, she was devouring the chips and dip with two hands — and viscerally."

M. Simon

Actually it is Bush's fault the CFR board doesn't have a full compliment. Bush has included in the list some guy the Ds totally will not approve of and Bush will only submit the board members (4 out of 6) as a package.

So Bush in collusion with Congress has gutted the CFR.

Sweet.

Jane

Bush had a fag pin

That explains the brokeback Mountain references.

Semanticleo

vnjagoff;

Bugger off.

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