Veterans with PTSD Facing Benefits Debate

It was only a matter of time. The VA is in a war over benefits for the increasing numbers of veterans getting compensation for PTSD, according to a report today in WaPo . That number, 215,871, increased seven times as fast as other disabilities, causing an increase of 150% from 1999. In addition to the new Afghanistan and Iraq vets applying, some from the Gulf War and Viet Nam wars are now more aware of the disorder and are coming forward for treatment. The increase is threatening to expose another, more volatile problem. Continue reading

Bush Base Comes Home-And It’s Not Enough

The Baltimore Sun reported about an Associated Press-Ipsos Poll about Bush’s job approval rating has risen from 37% in November to 42%. Before anyone starts panicking lets not forget that 57% still disapprove of the overall job Bush is doing overall, still higher than in most other polls through this year and throughout his first term. The Baltimore Sun also reports that “Those disapproving totaled 55 percent on the economy, 58 percent on Iraq, both down slightly from November. The rise in Bush’s popularity appears to be the result of an increase in his numbers in the West and Northeast. It’s true that over the last month Bush’s approval rating in the West has climbed from 34% to 42% and … Continue reading

Excellent News from Out West-But Why the Sniping Against Urban Democrats?

First the good news, courtesy of the NY Times: “Look at these numbers,” said Gov. Brian Schweitzer, pointing to the annual Montana State University survey showing him with a job approval rating of 69 percent – 27 points higher than President Bush in Montana and 21 points above the Republican senator, Conrad Burns, who is up for re-election next year. “People seem to like what we’re doing.” “Across the vast inland sea of Republican red, in states like Kansas, Wyoming, Oklahoma and Arizona, other Democratic governors are soaring at the same high level of approval in the polls.” So Democrats can win in rural red states in the West. Now for the sniping: “It’s only when I get lumped in … Continue reading

Remembering Pearl Harbor – December 7, 1945 Vs. September 11, 2005: Infamous Comparisons

EDITOR’S NOTE: In commemorating Pearl Harbor Day, L.A. area writer Ed Rampell “compares where America stood four years after both the Pearl Harbor and 9/11 sneak attacks.” In his email submitting this post Ed says, “As a historian who co-wrote a book about Pearl Harbor, I have some unusual insights into these tragedies and uncovered some startling juxtapositions between then (1945) and now (2005).” December 7, 1945 Vs. September 11, 2005: Infamous Comparisons By Ed Rampell December 7th marks the 60th anniversary of Imperial Japan’s 1941 sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, which has often been likened to the 9/11 terrorist strikes. This past Sept. 11th was the fourth anniversary of Al-Qaeda’s airborne assaults on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, which … Continue reading

If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out of the Kitchen

“If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out of the Kitchen” — this quote has often been attributed to Harry Truman. Perhaps Democrats should be saying the same to Dennis Hasert. To make a long story short, Kerry turned the heat up on Hasert and Hasert didn’t like it. I don’t know about Hasert personally, but I’ve seen enough of Rove, Bush, Cheney, Chambliss, Lott and Co. to finally say it: These Republicans aren’t conservatives, they’re bullies. To paraphrase Richard Nixon, they’re not conservatives, the same thugs that have always terrorized the good people.” This is not the conservatism of Robert Taft, Ronald Reagan, or even Barry Goldwater. These are the bullies of the Joe McCarthy era updated for the … Continue reading

Review, Al Franken’s “The Truth (with jokes)”

Franken’s new book is not only a great read (as the writer of the foreward says, the book delivers on it’s title and subtitle) it is a concise and complete review of the Bush Administration’s unbelievable record. Several of us, and Bill Moyers, have said that the American public has reached a teachable moment. This is your textbook for those lessons. Continue reading

Three Cheers for the State of Illinois on Healthcare for Kids

During the 2004 campaign, John Kerry and other Democrats called it a national scandal that so many of this nation’s children were without health insurance. On Tuesday, the state of Illinois showed it was not only in agreement with Kerry/Edwards, but unlike our “esteemed” Congress in Washington, Illinois was determined to actually do something about it. As the New York Times reports: “Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich signed a measure on Tuesday intended to allow all children in Illinois, including those in working-class and middle-class families, to obtain health insurance. National experts on health care said the new law, which will offer discounts on premiums for those who qualify, was the broadest plan to insure children by any state.