CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O IS COMING UNDER CRITICISM FOR HIS WEDNESDAY TRIP TO DES MOINES WHICH HE INSISTS WAS OFFICIAL BUSINESS BUT WAS ACTUALLY MORE EFFORTS AT GETTING OUT THE VOTE.
IF IT WASN'T OFFICIAL BUSINESS, BARRY O WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SHOVE THE COSTS OFF TO THE TAX PAYERS. SAID SHE-HULK, "THEY'LL PAY FOR IT, THEY'LL TAKE IT, THEY'LL SHUT UP AND TAKE IT IF THEY KNOW WHAT'S GOOD FOR THEM OR ELSE I'LL TAKE ANOTHER PLEASURE TRIP TO SPAIN AT THEIR EXPENSE!"
IN OTHER NEWS THE QUEEN OF MEAN ARIANNA HUFFINGTON DECLARES, "LET THEM EAT TOKENS."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is currently taking questions at Duke University as I dictate this. He's grandstanded on the back of veterans and the military as he always does in that mincing manner he has. (Still crying over the death of PG, Bobby Gates?) We'll note his awful speech later in the snapshot but Gates got a little bit of a surprise when a 2006 Conscientious Objector stood up to ask a question.
The C.O. spoke of the demonization he received when he was going through the process and Gates grew visibly nervous and began shifting from foot-to-foot while his eyes darted wildly around the lecture hall at Duke's Bryant Center. "As a Christian," the CO expalined, "I'm concerned that I'm not able to respond to the denominational body I belong to when they deem certain wars unjust" as they did the Iraq War. He noted that, in contrast to the religious training and beliefs, soldiers are encouraged to "forfeit their moral agency to the officers" above them. And he wondered, "What your office might do to correct this tarnishment on our national integrity?"
By this point, Gates looked as if he was sucking on a lemon. War Hawks don't like being confronted. He began a snippy performance that seemed to prove true the rumors that he does a nasty camp Bette Davis impersonation. "I would say, first of all, this goes to the heart of my remarks tonight. In an all volunteer army, one does undertake a contractual obligation when enlisting. But there is certainly no obligation to re-enlist. And one should know -- anyone who has joined the military since 2002 has known -- that they are going into war with all of the moral challenges that can face people with -- So I think, ultimately, it has to be the choice of the invidivual."
Robert Gates is not a lawyer. He is a spinner. He's a damn good spinner if your goal is to advance illegal war or lies. If it's not, he's just a tired spinner who needs to create a job by retiring.
Volunteer army or not, the conscientious objector status is always recongized as a possibility or is Gates unaware that it remains on the books, has remained on the books since the draft ended, has remained on the books and has remained practiced for over thirty years? Is Gates so stupid that he doesn't know that?
(No, he's just a liar.)
As for 2002, the CO was specifically referring to the Iraq War. The Iraq War had not broken in 2002. All the lies Gates tells, it gets so hard for him to keep facts straight. The Iraq War started in March 2003. That's a fact. Equally true is that the administration lied repeatedly and the press went along with it. Finding out the truth about the Iraq War required real work. Lt Ehren Watada is one example of someone who had to do the work for themselves. In 2005, he was informed he would be deploying to Iraq in the summer of 2006. He began researching the war. He wanted to be able to answer any questions those serving under him might have. In researching the Iraq War, he discovered the realities including that it was an illegal war.
Lt Watada knew what Gates appears to have never learned: His pledge was to uphold the Constitution and he was required to refuse any illegal order. Is Gates unfamiliar with the Uniform Code of Military Justice? Gates does a vicious camp routine but he appears woefully short on the facts.
He also appears hostile to Christianity. Many Christian faiths are based on baptisms and on the Christian receiving the word of the God, a religious awakening. Gates appears completely ignorant of that fact. Anyone who joined before 2002 (or after) could very well have a religious awakening or a deepening of their religious beliefs -- those are core components and beliefs of Christian faith. Gates' bitchy little answer didn't recognize that reality.and showed extreme hostility to -- and prejudice against -- the Christian faith.
In a functioning government, Gates would be called to the carpet and told to issue an apology. That won't happen which will further lead to the suspicion among some Americans that defending religious freedoms only matters to the White House when the religion is Muslim. I'm not saying it's right, I'm not saying it's fair. I'm saying you're an idiot if you're ignoring the public perception of the White House -- demonstrated in multiple polls -- at this late date . And to allow your Secretary of Defense to launch what many Christians will see as an attack on the Christian faith and to not call it out will deepen the perception that some religions enjoy a "most favored nation" status at the White House.
"Some of the witnesses testifying before the Subcommittee may recall that we previously held a Federal Contract Compliance hearing on May 14, 2009," Subcommittee Chair Stephanie Herseth Sandlin declared this afternoon at the House VA's Economic Opportunity Subcommittee hearing. "In that hearing we received testimony from stakeholders highlihgting several concerns. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs lack the resources to enforce federal laws, the Vets 100 List was not available for public viewing and job listings -- as required by VEVRAA [Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act] -- were not available or easily accessible to veterans seeking employment. Unfortunately, the written testimonies we received for today's hearing express the same sentiments -- such as limited outreach by contracters and a failure to post announcements in the appropriate job listing services."
Herseth Sandlin was chairing a hearing on Federal Contractor Compliance and the two departments most responsible for contracting with regards to veterans are the Defense Department and Veterans Affairs but DoD was 'too busy' to appear before the Subcomittee today. Ranking Member John Boozman noted in his opening remarks "what appears less clear is the government's committment to enforcing the law."
DoD elected to skip the meeting today at a time when veterans unemployment is a serious issue. The full House Veterans Affairs Committee met this morning for a legislative hearing and US House Rep Cliff Stearns explained of his HR 3685, "Unemployment is at a record high today and unemployment in our veteran community is higher than at any time I can remember." This week Laura Clarizio (Examiner) noted of the weekly unemployment data that last week saw "[n]ewly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled42,633, an increase of 537 from the prior week." Yesterday on PRI's The Takeaway, John Hockenberry and Celeste Headlee were joined by Stand Down's Dr. Casi Crockett and financial contributor Beth Kobliner to discuss the issue of veterans employment. Excerpt:
Beth Kobliner: If you look last year for unemployment for post-9/11 vets, then the general population or the non-vets. The rate was 10.2% for post-9/11 vets versus 9% for non-veterans. But the real story is when you look at young veterans, 18 to 24-year-olds. They have seen last year unemployment at 21% compared to 16% for non-veteran peers. So really, it's clear that the the job prospects for veterans are certainly no better than non-vets and, for young [veterans], they're much worse.
This is a pressing issue. And DoD chose to ignore the hearing. And yet, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, the head of the Defense Dept, had the nerve to call out Americans for what he saw as "apathy." Gates spoke this afternoon at Duke Unveristy's West Campus. (Pentagon Channel streamed the speech live.) Completing his speech, Gates reached for a water bottle and proceeded to chug it. You'd probably be parched if you too had trashed Americans. Americans are apathetic, only 1% of them are serving Gates stated, and serving in the military is something the American people see as a task for "other people to do." Really? Well first of all, Gates clearly sees testifying to Congress as something "other people to do" since his lazy and inept ass couldn't send a single representative to the economic hearing today. And his grandstanding on the backs of veterans is rather weak since he and the DoD have done little to nothing to improve the employment rate for veterans. As for whether or not Americans are meeting challenges, the Iraq War is an illegal war. Bush administration hold over Gates has blood on both hands -- once for the last administration, once for the current. He needs to stop grandstanding, he actually needs to leave because he's doing such a poor job. If there's any apathy he's experiencing, it's the apathy that allowed him to remain Secretary of Defense when Bush was replaced with Barack.
21% is the unemployment rate for veterans aged 18 to 24 and Gates wants to offer quotes from letters John Quincy Adams wrote to his son -- yeah, like that'll put bread on the table. Gates needs to answer as to why DoD refused to send a representative to today's hearing.
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