Thursday, April 26, 2012

I Hate The War

After "The VA hearing"  this morning, a number of e-mails came in asking why the topic wasn't included in the "Iraq snapshot"?  I didn't feel like revisiting it.  It made more sense to pick it up on Friday (which is what we usually do) because Elaine doesn't post on Thursday and beats herself up if she forgets on Friday to grab the links for the writing done at other sites.  So we generally skip Thursday and do it Friday. Check the archives.  And that's the reason for it.

But in all honesty, I just wasn't in the mood to deal again with the New York Times' nonsense.

They knew nothing about Wednesday's hearing so they padded it with attacks on Republicans.  Democrats and Republicans on the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees are trying very hard to all work together to try to take on the very big issues that veterans are facing.  Paul Ryan (House Rep) doesn't serve on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.  I have no idea why the paper felt the need to haul him in other than they didn't know a damn thing about the hearing but knew other editorial boards were weighing in and felt they better toss out something as well.

The hearing was about important issues.  There was no need to tack anything onto it.

The VA was at fault and that is: The VA was at fault again.

And the paper wanted to turn it into a partisan issue.

If there's a partisan issue there, it's not about the Republicans.  Barack appointed the VA Secretary.  Barack is supposed to oversee the VA.  Maybe less golfing and more elbow grease would mean a new scandal wasn't popping up every other week?

Now I didn't make the hearing about that when I covered it.  I tried to be very fair and very non-partisan.

But the Times, which didn't make any efforts to cover these issues decided they could again just play shout-out while focusing on partisanship.

There's really no room for that on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.  Daniel Akaka chaired it forever and a day and he didn't have the patience for that sort of bickering.  Everyone serving more than two years on the Committee today was exposed to Akaka's beliefs and practices of putting the issues first and working together.  Senators Patty Murray and Richard Burr  (Murray is the Committee Chair, Burr is the Ranking Member) work to set a professional and friendly tone for all the members on the Committee.

So I felt that not only were the issues disrespected by the catty little editorial the paper did, but I also felt that the work that the Committee has repeatedly done was disrespected as well.

There are hearings we attend where it's going to get nasty and you know it because those Committees have that reputation. 

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has a sterling reputation when it comes to working together (and when compared to other Committees).  And they repeatedly put aside differences to try to address the needs of veterans.  But some half-assed editorial can't do that?

And we keep hearing that the country is so split -- it's all the rage on local NPR programs this week across the country in fact, I've heard three different programs on this topic alone -- and how the country needs to come together.

If you feel that there's a problem -- I don't think the country's in any worse dialogue shape than usual -- don't blame the people, turn to nonsense like that New York Times editorial that shoved veterans and their issues aside, gave them scant attention, so that the editorial board could wage their war on Republicans.

They've got a whole paper to do that.  They've got two pages for op-ed six days a week and a whole section on Sunday. 

The VA needs to be held accountable but despite the fact that they were caught lying about wait times for veterans -- and as Senator Scott Brown noted, these are life and death issues, as Chair Patty Murray noted, when a veteran in need of treatment for PTSD, for example, asks for help, he or she shouldn't have to wait -- the paper was more interested in turning it into "Look at the House budget proposal."

Actually, that gives them too much credit.  The paper never takes serious looks at the budget.  It reduces it to what it hopes are pithy one liners.  It's shameful and disgusting and I just wasn't in the mood to make the snapshot about that.  Tomorrow, hopefully, we'll be able to finish the topic and do so without even noting the immature editorial.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last week, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4488. Tonight it's [PDF format warning] 4488.

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