Friday, October 27, 2006
You call this supporting the troops?
Out here in the conservative suburbs of Chicago you see a lot of signs that read something like "Support Our Troops, Vote Republican", as if the two were one and the same. But actually, according to a recent report, a lot of soldiers are so deeply in debt to payday advance lenders that they can't be sent overseas because they're considered a security risk. And it was the Republican congress that voted to remove the caps on payday lending rates in order to please corporate lobbyists whose money they rely on to fund their campaigns.

But even without unscrupulous lenders, it's no wonder our noble soldiers are so deeply in debt - depending on their years of service, the average enlisted man only makes between $1300 and $4100/month! These are men and women who are laying their lives on the line day by day for our country, whom our leaders sent to fight a war that we provoked based on false premises, and we can't even pay them a living wage?! You call this "supporting the troops"? Why aren't all the conservative voters with yellow ribbons on the backs of their cars demanding that their conservative legislators actually pay our soliders what they deserve?

In a similar vein, there is a referendum on the ballot in our county this year to impose a .02% property tax increase to fund Veterans Services. Now I'm all for supporting our veterans and making sure their medical needs are met when they get home, but I have to wonder why it's necessary for local governments to pay for this kind of thing out of their own pocket. These are federal troops sent to fight at the orders of our national leaders. So why isn't the federal government taking care of them when they get home from duty? Why is it necessary for local governmets to pick up the bill? Again, they call this "supporting the troops"?

This is one of the reasons I'm voting for Democrat John Laesch this year in my congressional district. He is a Navy Veteran with a brother still fighting over in Iraq. He understands what it really means to "support the troops", and has a workable plan for bringing them home from Iraq once and for all without simply abandoning our responsibility to rebuild what we've destroyed over there before we go. (Click the video below to hear from John Laesch about his perspective on the war.)

And, if a Democratic majority succeeds in taking over Congress, Nancy Pelosi, the likely new Speaker of the House, has pledged to break the link between lobbyists (like the payday lenders) and legislation within the first 100 hours of the new Congress. That's a good thing on many levels, not least of which for our troops. I'm not a partisan voter by principle, but I wish the Democrats luck this year. After 12 years of a Republican majority that has led to an exploding national debt, disgraceful and unnecessary foreign wars, tax cuts for the super-rich paired with funding cuts for education and services to the poor, as well as constant attacks on our civil liberties, we desperately need a change in Washington.


posted by Mike Clawson at 5:35 PM | Permalink |


At 10/27/2006 09:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous


At 10/28/2006 12:26:00 AM, Blogger Mike Clawson

And your point is... that John waves his arms when he's explaining a point? Sure, that makes him a "crazy liberal" alright. 'Cuz of course no Republican would ever use hand motions when their giving a public speech... sheesh.

BTW, we don't appreciate anonymous posts at this blog. Identify yourself or be deleted.


At 10/29/2006 10:29:00 PM, Anonymous John

I agree that the war in Iraq is not going well. Some things need to be changed so we can get the upper hand and turn over the security of the country back to the citizens so we can get out of there.

I'm not going to criticize you for voting for a democrat because we should all be able to vote according to our beliefs, but no matter how bad the war, or how messed up the reasons were for going to war, I just can't seem to get myself to vote democrat.

I long to be a parent someday, but for reasons God has chosen for me to wait. He may have it not to happen at all, but when I think about the millions of babies that never were able to have life all I can think about is the democratic party and their pro choice stance.


At 10/30/2006 12:03:00 AM, Blogger Mike Clawson


Do you really think the Republicans are actually doing anything at all to reduce the real number of abortions? They talk the talk, but they don't walk the walk. They just manipulate the pro-life crowd with false promises that they never deliver on.

And if you are heartbroken about all the unborn babies that have died. What about the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians that have died because of the policies of a supposedly "pro-life" president? Vote pro-life if that's really the only issue that is important to you at all, but at least be consistent. You can't claim to be pro-life and yet also support pre-emptive wars.

Bottom line, there is no truly pro-life party in this country. It's always the choice between the lesser of two evils.

Thanks for sharing your opinions.



At 10/30/2006 03:21:00 PM, Anonymous John


I never said I support "pre-emptive wars". Please don't put words in my mouth. What’s done is done and we’re there in Iraq now. It would be a disaster to leave now. We just need a different approach to fix what’s wrong there as the current leadership is lacking. During WWII several generals were fired before we finally got it right and got things done in Germany. I think changes like this need to be done. Some heads have to fly.

As far as abortion goes I think President Bush has done about all he can do.

1. He Stopped Embryonic Stem Cell research. There is more successful studies in adult stem cell research that there has been in embryonic stem cell research. Destroying embryos for their stem cells is killing the unborn.

2. He Stopped Partial Birth Abortion. Then we have some stupid little judge that says it’s unconstitutional so it halts that whole process.

It’s amazing the most powerful man in the word still has his hands tied by all this bureaucracy. The Republican Party just has some higher ground on moral issues than the Democratic Party does. Abortion happens to be one of them.

Anyway, I appreciate your blog. I like the article on the Green Party. Unfortunately they don’t get a lot of the spotlight.




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