Category Archives: Congress

Rees Lloyd: Send Vets to Congress–It Makes a Difference

The first of Rees Lloyd’s Caustic Commentaries

Wonder why America has been transformed from world leader to its present degraded state in the progressive liberal Era of Obama? Military. com reports: 

“Veterans In Congress Could Fall To The Lowest Level Since Word War II.” 

Photo: Aletia
Photo: Aletia

Veterans and other patriotic Americans are witnessing the devolutionary “transformation” of America sought by a progressive liberal President and Commander-in-Chief, Barack Hussein Obama, His Great Incompetence,  who never served a day in military service and who, confronted with war by Muslim terrorists and tyrants, has been “leading with his behind” from one feckless policy 

It is a “transformative” decline wrought by Obama in a period in which  patriotic veterans who were once numerous in House and Senate have been replaced by elitist non-veteram progressive liberals who consider themselves “citizens of the world,” as does Obama, himself. While paying rhetorical  “lip service” to “our veterans,” these elitist progressive liberals sneer privately and sometimes even publicly at  veterans and other American patriots — “clinging to their guns and religion,” as Obama infamously put it — and, indeed, smugly sneer at the very ideas of “patriotism” and of American exceptionalism in the 21st Century.

As the progressive liberal policies of Obama have been negatively transforming America, only 106 veterans are presently serving in the 535-member Congress. Now, Military. com points out that “[t]he number of veterans serving in Congress could fall to the lowest level since World War II depending on the results of [the Nov. 4] election.” 

The decrease in the number of veterans in Congress has been dramatic since the 1970’s. “During that time,” Military.com reports,”Congress was made up of many members who had served in any of three wars — World War II, Korea and Vietnam. There were 80 veterans in the [100-member] Senate from 1973 to 1975, and 347 in the [435-member] House from 1977 to 1978. The highest number of veterans recorded was during the 95th Congress in 1977-1978 during which 77 percent of the members had served in the military, according to the Pew Research Center.”

“Today, there are 18 veterans in the Senate and 88 veterans in the House of Representatives,” Military.com reports, “and there are fewer than 200 veteran candidates for Congress in the upcoming election.”

“What difference does it make,” if veterans and not progressive liberals are serving in Congress?” as might be asked by self-declared progressive liberal Hillary Clinton who seeks to follow Obama as President and Commander-in-Chief in 2016.

Military.com notes: “The declining number [of veterans in Congress] is significant as fierce debates in Congress continue over the size of the military, the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), mitigating sexual assault, and reducing military suicide rates.”

And what about the VA and its scandalous failure to properly provide to veterans the benefits veterans haveearned? Can any veteran, or any honest American, for that matter, doubt that it would have made a difference in acting swiftly and effectively to remedy  the appalling scandals of the Veterans Administration bureaucrats in the six years of the Obama regime if it had been veterans serving in House and Senate instead of progressive liberals sharing Obama’s progressive liberal agenda and priorities, which do not include veterans, as is proven by Obama’s deeds in office, not his occasional lip-service to veterans? 

It must be remembered that a central promise Obama made in campaigning for the Presidency in 2008 was that he would remedy the failures of the VA which he at that time acknowledged as scandalous.   Once elected, Obama not only did nothing to oversee the VA and remedy those bureaucratic wrongs, he pretended he didn’t even know about the VA’s failures until he read or heard about it from the news media in 2013, after his election to a second term in 2012.

The lip-service to “our veterans” of Obama, Harry Reid in the Senate and  Nancy Pelosi in the House, and the progressive liberals who elected them to leadership in Congress, are manifestly belied by their deeds, most inescapably in the VA scandals — which must be remedied as more and more veterans are coming home with the wounds of war. 

When they need veterans, they get veterans; when they don’t need veterans, they forget veterans,”   as has been sagely stated by former Vietnam  combat Marine Terry Tracy of Los Angeles, based on his almost twenty-years experience as former American Legion Department  of California Service Officer leading efforts to have America’s promises to its veterans for their military service actually performed and fulfilled, not rhetorically noted and forgotten.

More broadly, the difference it has made to have fewer veterans in House and Senate and more self-declared progressive liberals, is the difference between an America as the world’s leading and most powerful nation and an America in rapid decline. 

That difference is exemplified by the choice presented in the race in the 50th Congressional District in So. Cal (San Diego).  It is, ironically, a District which is heavily military, but, through apathy or otherwise,  has sent a progressive liberal to Congress for multiple terms. 

Thus, the 50th California Congressional District incumbent is a non-veteran,  certified progressive liberal who has lemming-like followed the failed polices of progressive liberal Barack Obama, and is guaranteed to continue to do so if re-elected. 

But she is  challenged this year not by another career politician making empty promises, but by a genuine combat veteran and proven patriot, Larry Wilske, a 30-year, now retired U.S. Navy SEAL.

Which one is likely to defend America and not aid-and-abet in America’s continuing decline and devolutionary “transformation” at home and internationally?  The certified  progressive-liberal politician, or the proven patriot protector of America, the veteran, the 30-year Navy SEAL, Larry Wilske?  

The same question is relevant in Congressional elections all across the country: Given the record of devolutionary “transformation” of America sought and wrought by Obama in the White House and his fellow progressive liberals in Congress, which candidate in the 2014 Congressional elections is likely to defend veterans, the American nation, and freedom — progressive liberal politicians, or veterans whose willingness to sacrifice to defend veterans, America, and freedom,  has been proven not by mouthing liberal platitudes, but by their military service?

It is an important question; and the answer on November 4 will most definitely make a difference.

(For more information on SEAL Larry Wilske see www.WilskeForCongress.com, and other proven patriotic combat veterans  endorsed by the Combat Veterans For Congress, with commentary by CVFC founder Capt. Joseph R. John (USN, ret.), see www.combatveteransforcongress.org.)

(Rees Lloyd, a veteran and longtime California civil rights attorney, is a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce.)

ObamaCare: BOOM. Failure to launch.

ObamaCare is unpopular, unaffordable and the roll out has been horrible. It’s a failure to launch.

The drop dead deadline to sign up for ObamaCare is/was/kinda/sorta today–until the Obama Administration moved it again, that is. This time the change–the 38th one since passage of the bill–is for an indefinite period of time. From the Wall Street Journal,

On Tuesday evening, the Health and Human Services Department announced that the six-month open enrollment period for ObamaCare insurance that began in October 2013 and was supposed to end on the last day of March would be extended indefinitely. As long as people self-attest and check a box that they had some difficulty signing up on with the 36 federal insurance exchanges, the deadline will no longer obtain.

If you  have no meaningful deadline there are no metrics by which the government is measured.  That’s why they keep moving the little suckers. The objective is to keep the program in a cloud of confusion till they either figure out how to fix it or you’re just so disgusted you demand the government  run the whole thing as a single payer system. 

According to the Wall Street Journal and the Galen Institute this is the 38th delay in the implementation of ObamaCare. I’ve included the list of delays below. Maybe Nancy Pelosi was talking about herself when  she said, “We have to pass the bill before you can find out what is, ah, in it.”

Sure, Mrs. Taft, we’ll build you a house but we can’t, ah, tell you what will look like until it is, ah, built. You’d trust somebody to do that, right?

Remember these–let’s see, what invective did the left hurl and the media mimic–‘crazy, racist, homophobic,Pelosi_victorious nutty people’ who implored, “Kill the bill!”?

They stood on the stairs leading to the capitol as Nancy Pelosi held her cartoonishly large gavel and, with house leadership, walked through the thousands of protesters. She mocked the people, laughing at them as she walked through. In fact, the photographer who took the photo nearby entitled it, “Pelosi Victorious.”

Those nutty people? Yeah, if they were so wrong why does the Obama Administration fall all over itself to hide the real deadlines and real fall out from the original bill?

See the Galen Institute’s list of ObamaCare changes (please see all their supporting documents at their website):

CHANGES BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION

1. Medicare Advantage patch: The administration ordered an advance draw on funds from a Medicare bonus program in order to provide extra payments to Medicare Advantage plans, in an effort to temporarily forestall cuts in benefits and therefore delay early exodus of MA plans from the program. (April 19, 2011)

2. Employee reporting: The administration, contrary to the Obamacare legislation, instituted a one-year delay of the requirement that employers must report to their employees on their W-2 forms the full cost of their employer-provided health insurance. (January 1, 2012)

3. Subsidies may flow through federal exchanges: The IRS issued a rule that allows premium assistance tax credits to be available in federal exchanges although the law only specified that they would be available “through an Exchange established by the State under Section 1311.” (May 23, 2012)

4. Closing the high-risk pool: The administration decided to halt enrollment in transitional federal high-risk pools created by the law, blocking coverage for an estimated 40,000 new applicants, citing a lack of funds. The administration had money from a fund under Secretary Sebelius’s control to extend the pools, but instead used the money to pay for advertising for Obamacare enrollment and other purposes. (February 15, 2013)

5. Doubling allowed deductibles: Because some group health plans use more than one benefits administrator, plans are allowed to apply separate patient cost-sharing limits for one year to different services, such as doctor/hospital and prescription drugs, allowing maximum out-of-pocket costs to be twice as high as the law intended. (February 20, 2013)

6. Small businesses on hold: The administration has said that the federal exchanges for small businesses will not be ready by the 2014 statutory deadline, and instead delayed until 2015 the provision of SHOP (Small-Employer Health Option Program) that requires the exchanges to offer a choice of qualified health plans. (March 11, 2013)

7. Delaying a low-income plan: The administration delayed implementation of the Basic Health Program until 2015. It would have provided more-affordable health coverage for certain low-income individuals not eligible for Medicaid. (March 22, 2013)

8. Employer-mandate delay: By an administrative action that’s contrary to statutory language in the ACA, the reporting requirements for employers were delayed by one year. (July 2, 2013)

9. Self-attestation: Because of the difficulty of verifying income after the employer-reporting requirement was delayed, the administration decided it would allow “self-attestation” of income by applicants for health insurance in the exchanges. This was later partially retracted after congressional and public outcry over the likelihood of fraud. (July 15, 2013)

10. Delaying the online SHOP exchange: The administration first delayed for a month and later for a year until November 2014 the launch of the online insurance marketplace for small businesses. The exchange was originally scheduled to launch on October 1, 2013. (September 26, 2013) (November 27, 2013)

11. Congressional opt-out: The administration decided to offer employer contributions to members of Congress and their staffs when they purchase insurance on the exchanges created by the ACA, a subsidy the law doesn’t provide. (September 30, 2013)

12. Delaying the individual mandate: The administration changed the deadline for the individual mandate, by declaring that customers who have purchased insurance by March 31, 2014 will avoid the tax penalty. Previously, they would have had to purchase a plan by mid-February. (October 23, 2013)

13. Insurance companies may offer canceled plans: The administration announced that insurance companies may reoffer plans that previous regulations forced them to cancel. (November 14, 2013)

14. Exempting unions from reinsurance fee: The administration gave unions an exemption from the reinsurance fee (one of ObamaCare’s many new taxes). To make up for this exemption, non-exempt plans will have to pay a higher fee, which will likely be passed onto consumers in the form of higher premiums and deductibles. (December 2, 2013)

15. Extending Preexisting Condition Insurance Plan: The administration extended the federal high risk pool until January 31, 2014 and again until March 15, 2014 to prevent a coverage gap for the most vulnerable. The plans were scheduled to expire on December 31, but were extended because it has been impossible for some to sign up for new coverage on healthcare.gov. (December 12, 2013) (January 14, 2014)

16. Expanding hardship waiver to those with canceled plans: The administration expanded the hardship waiver, which excludes people from the individual mandate and allows some to purchase catastrophic health insurance, to people who have had their plans canceled because of ObamaCare regulations. The administration later extended this waiver until October 1, 2016. (December 19, 2013) (March 5, 2014)

17. Equal employer coverage delayed: Tax officials will not be enforcing in 2014 the mandate requiring employers to offer equal coverage to all their employees. This provision of the law was supposed to go into effect in 2010, but IRS officials have “yet to issue regulations for employers to follow.” (January 18, 2014)

18. Employer-mandate delayed again: The administration delayed for an additional year provisions of the employer mandate, postponing enforcement of the requirement for medium-size employers until 2016 and relaxing some requirements for larger employers. Businesses with 100 or more employees must offer coverage to 70% of their full-time employees in 2015 and 95% in 2016 and beyond. (February 10, 2014)

19. Extending subsidies to non-exchange plans: The administration released a bulletin through CMS extending subsidies to individuals who purchased health insurance plans outside of the federal or state exchanges. The bulletin also requires retroactive coverage and subsidies for individuals from the date they applied on the marketplace rather than the date they actually enrolled in a plan. (February 27, 2014)

20. Non-compliant health plans get two year extension: The administration pushed back the deadline by two years that requires health insurers to cancel plans that are not compliant with ObamaCare’s mandates. These “illegal” plans may now be offered until 2017. This extension will prevent a wave cancellation notices from going out before the 2014 midterm elections. (March 5, 2014)

21. Delaying the sign-up deadline: The administration delayed until mid-April the March 31 deadline to sign up for insurance. Applicants simply need to check a box on their application to qualify for this extended sign-up period. (March 26, 2014)

CHANGES BY CONGRESS, SIGNED BY PRESIDENT OBAMA:

22. Military benefitsCongress clarified that plans provided by TRICARE, the military’s health-insurance program, constitutes minimal essential health-care coverage as required by the ACA; its benefits and plans wouldn’t normally meet ACA requirements. (April 26, 2010)

23. VA benefitsCongress also clarified that health care provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs constitutes minimum essential health-care coverage as required by the ACA. (May 27, 2010)

24. Drug-price clarificationCongress modified the definition of average manufacturer price (AMP) to include inhalation, infusion, implanted, or injectable drugs that are not generally dispensed through a retail pharmacy. (August 10, 2010)

25. Doc-fix taxCongress modified the amount of premium tax credits that individuals would have to repay if they are over-allotted, an action designed to help offset the costs of the postponement of cuts in Medicare physician payments called for in the ACA. (December 15, 2010)

26. Extending the adoption creditCongress extended the nonrefundable adoption tax credit, which happened to be included in the ACA, through tax year 2012. (December 17, 2010)

27. TRICARE for adult childrenCongress extended TRICARE coverage to dependent adult children up to age 26 when it had previously only covered those up to the age of 21 — though beneficiaries still have to pay premiums for them. (January 7, 2011)

28. 1099 repealedCongress repealed the paperwork (“1099”) mandate that would have required businesses to report to the IRS all of their transactions with vendors totaling $600 or more in a year. (April 14, 2011)

29. No free-choice vouchersCongress repealed a program, supported by Senator Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) that would have allowed “free-choice vouchers,” that the Hill warned “could lead young, healthy workers to opt out” of their employer plans, “driving up costs for everybody else.” The same law barred additional funds for the IRS to hire new agents to enforce the health-care law. (April 15, 2011)

30. No Medicaid for well-to-do seniors: Congress saved taxpayers $13 billion by changing how the eligibility for certain programs is calculated under Obamacare. Without the change, a couple earning as much as much as $64,000 would still have been able to qualify for Medicaid. (November 21, 2011)

31. CO-OPs, IPAB, IRS defundedCongress made further cuts to agencies implementing Obamacare. It trimmed another $400 million off the CO-OP program, cut another $305 million from the IRS to hamper its ability to enforce the law’s tax hikes and mandates, and rescinded $10 million in funding for the controversial Independent Payment Advisory Board. (December 23, 2011)

32. Slush-fund savingsCongress slashed another $11.6 billion from the Prevention and Public Health slush fund and $2.5 billion from Obamacare’s “Louisiana Purchase.” (February 22, 2012)

33. Less cash for Louisiana: One of the tricks used to get Obamacare through the Senate was the special “Louisiana Purchase” deal for the state’s Democratic senator, Mary Landrieu. Congress saved another $670 million by rescinding additional funds from this bargain. (July 6, 2012)

34. CLASS Act eliminated: Congress repealed the unsustainable CLASS (Community Living Assistance Services and Supports) program of government-subsidized long-term-care insurance, which even the Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee dubbed a “Ponzi scheme of the first order.” (January 2, 2013)

35. Cutting CO-OPsCongress cut $2.2 billion from the “Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan” (CO-OP), which some saw as a stealth public option, blocking creation of government-subsidized co-op insurance programs in about half the states. Early reports showed many co-ops, which had received federal loans, had run into serious financial trouble. (January 2, 2013)

36. Trimming the Medicare trust-fund transferCongress rescinded $200 million of the $500 million scheduled to be taken from the Medicare Part A and Part B trust funds and sent to the Community-Based Care Transition Program established and funded by the ACA. (March 26, 2013)

CHANGES BY THE SUPREME COURT:

37. Medicaid expansion made voluntary: The court ruled it had to be voluntary, rather than mandatory, for states to expand Medicaid eligibility to people with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, by ruling that the federal government couldn’t halt funds for existing state Medicaid programs if they chose not to expand the program.

38. The individual mandate made a tax: The court determined that violating the mandate that Americans must purchase government-approved health insurance would only result in individuals’ paying a “tax,” making it, legally speaking, optional for people to comply.

This list was originally published HERE on Galen.org and has been published on National Review Online. It was updated to 29 changes on December 10, 2013.

 

Rees Lloyd: Tribute to an American hero: Jeremiah Denton, R.I.P.

America has lost one of its greatest native sons, Rear Admiral Jeremiah A. Denton, who epitomized all that is good and great in the American patriotic character as a warrior, statesman and humanitarian. 

jeremiah denton plaque

He was an  extraordinary American patriot  who lived his life in service to God and Country.

Adm. Denton, one of America’s greatest military heroes, died on March 28, 2014. But his example of undaunted courage in combat  and in almost  eight torture-filled years as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam, will live through the ages as a testament to what can be accomplished  through love of family, love of country, and unconquerable faith in God.

It was his faith in God that Adm. Denton attested enabled him to survive the unspeakable torture he and other American POW’s endured for resisting demands of their communist captors to denounce and repudiate their country.

JEREMIAH DENTON POWThat the communists were in fact torturing American POW’s in violation of the Geneva Accords was first definitively exposed and confirmed by POW Jeremiah Denton in a now famous act that almost cost him his life.  In May, 1966, when the communists attempted to use him for propaganda purposes through a Japanese television documentary intended to show communist benevolence to the POW’s, Denton blinked repeatedly as if the bright light bothered his eyes. In fact, he was blinking “T-O-R-T-U-R-E in Morse Code.  After the broadcast, when the communists realized that Denton Jeremiah-Denton-Blinking-Morse-Codehad duped them, he was tortured so horrendously that he was near death—and actually wished to die to end it.

He  powerfully exposed war crime torture by the communists in the now classic book he authored, entitled:  When Hell Was In Session. It is a book  which ought to be read in  every American schoolroom, and every American home. (A new edition, with an epilogue containing Adm. Denton’s thoughts  on the current American condition, has been published by WND Books.)

It was Adm. Denton’s service in defense of American freedom in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, including  during his long captivity as a POW from July 18, 1965, to Feb. 13, 1975, some four (4) years of which was in solitary confinement due to his leadership of resisting POW’s, which led him to be universally respected by his fellow POW’s, and to be hailed by former President Ronald Reagan as “a great hero.” 

jeremiah denton when hell was in sessionWhat Adm. Denton  did as a warrior, and how he was respected as a leader by POW’s who resisted their communist torturers,  is confirmed and  illuminated by author Alvin Townley in his just published epic account of POW’s courage and sacrifice: “DEFIANT: The POWs Who Endured Vietnam’s Most Infamous Prison, The Women Who Fought For Them, And The One Who Never Returned.

When finally released on Feb. 13, 1975, Denton was chosen to speak for his fellow POW’s when they stepped off the plane at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. The heartfelt simplicity of Denton’s words are a reflection of his modesty, his essential goodness, his soul:  “We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our county under difficult circumstances. We are profoundly grateful to our commander in chief and to our nation for this day,” Denton said, then added with emotion: “God bless America.”

Under difficult circumstances? Never has there been a greater understatement. To begin to appreciate how excruciatingly “difficult” the circumstances of our POW’s were under the communists, read Denton’s “When Hell Was In Session,” first published in 1975; or Alvin Townley’s “DEFIANT,” published in 2014, confirming Denton’s account and detailing just how “difficult,” how horrendous, were those “difficult circumstances,” for American POW’s, and for their families back home.

Those families, including Denton’s beloved wife Jane, (who predeceased him several years ago) and  their seven children, did not know for years even if their loved ones were alive or dead. The so-called “Best And Brightest” Ivy League liberals of Lyndon Johnson’s Democrat regime urged them not to protest against treatment of the POW’s so as not to provoke the communists to even more atrocities. Meanwhile,  the media ignored the issue of the treatment of the POW’s  and printed and broadcast endless reports of Jane Fonda, John Kerry, and other progressive liberals  praising the communists and denouncing  the U.S. and American warriors as “war criminals.” (Alvin Townley  in “DEFIANT” tells the story of  the rebellion of the wives and families against the “gag order” and their creation of a successful  campaign to awaken the world to the torture of American Pow’s.) 

Jeremiah Denton contends that it was love of family, country, and most importantly, his faith in God that saved his life, and sanity, as a POW.  While he was an heroic American warrior, he was, after his release and return to freedom,  also a statesman of vision. He was the first Republican to be elected to the U.S. Senate from the State of Alabama. He was a humanitarian to the end of his days through his Admiral Denton Legacy Initiatives (formerly, the Admiral Jeremiah Denton Foundation) whose good works will continue even with his passing. (See, www.AdmiralDenton.org,).

JEREMIAH+DENTONThese aspects of Adm. Denton’s life as an exemplary warrior, statesman, and humanitarian are reported in more detail in a very moving personal tribute to Adm. Denton by Joseph Farah, founder and CEO of WND.com, and in WND’s detailed obituary byArt Moore. (See [Farah] (http://www.wnd.com/2014/03/jeremiah-denton-my-friend-my-hero/) and [Moore] http://www.wnd.com/2014/03/war-hero-former-sen-jeremiah-denton-dies-at-89/)

I consider it one of the blessings of my life to have had the honor to have been able to work with Adm. Denton, in a small way, considering the multitude of good works in which he was involved. But it had a very large impact on me. Jeremiah Denton was not only a great man, but a good one, and history has shown that it is more rare than common that great  men are also good men. 

In 2006, I had the honor of working with Adm. Denton and another great and good man, Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady, USA (ret.), Medal of Honor (Vietnam). I was the “go-between” in the drafting and crafting of what went to Congress as the Joint Statement Of Rear Admiral Jeremiah A. Denton (USN, ret.) and Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady (USA, ret), In Support Of Passage Of The Veterans Memorials, Boy Scouts, Public Seals And Other Public Expressions Of Religion Act (“PERA”).

PERA was sponsored by former-Congressman John Hostettler of Indiana (8th Dis.), and The American Legion as  citizen sponsor. PERA would rescind the authority of judges to award taxpayer-paid attorney fees to the ACLU, or anyone else, in Establishment of Religion Clause litigation attacks on public expression of religion or symbols with a religious aspect, most often the Cross. That would allow defendant public bodies not to surrender to the ACLU’s secular-cleansing demands to destroy Crosses or ban the Ten Commandments or other public expressions of religion for fear of precious taxpayer funds being diverted to pay ACLU fees, often in the hundreds of thousands of dollars by which ACLU profits at tax-payer expense

The American Legion hand-delivered the Joint Statement of Adm. Denton and Gen. Brady to every member of the House and Senate the day before the House vote. To the shock of many, PERA passed the House overwhelmingly. Many credited Adm. Denton and Gen. Brady for persuading Representatives to  vote for the PERA Bill. Unfortunately, however, Arlen Specter, then-Republican Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman (later Democrat candidate for the Senate),  blocked PERA from being voted on before the November 2006 elections. The Democrats took control of Congress and have refused since then to bring PERA up for a hearing or vote.

After that work in 2006, I had the opportunity to work with Adm. Denton, who was also chair of the advisory board of The Thomas More Law Center [www.thomasmore.org]. These efforts included the fight against the ACLU to save the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial Cross (ACLU surrendered in 2012 after ten years of litigation) and to save the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial Cross (now in the 24th year of litigation by the secular extremists of the ACLU). thomas more law center

What I am most thankful for is having been able to initiate and participate in the establishment by The American Legion Department of California, and Thomas More Law Center,  of a plaque in honor of Adm. Denton at the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial on National POW/MIA Day 2008.

jeremiah denton plaqueThis granite plaque erected by his comrade wartime veterans of The American Legion to honor Rear Admiral Jeremiah A. Denton, Jr., shall stand for generations, beneath the Cross honoring veterans at Mt. Soledad, allowing future  Americans to learn of his exemplary life lived in service to God   and Country, a life to be emulated if we are to remainfree, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

four chaplains plaque mt soledad
The plaque to commemorate The Four Chaplains before it was placed at Mt. Soledad. Photo by Victoria Taft

  “The Four Chaplains proved their faith with ultimate sacrifice – not in a flash of combatant action – but with peaceful discernment, humble devotion and extraordinary valor. They lived this life knowing God’s real presence and eternal promise.  Blessed with men of this caliber, our nation must do the same.”

I first read Adm. Denton’s  “When Hell Was In Session” back in 1997. The horrors of the torture  he endured, how he fought back despite  those horrible tortures, often wishing for death to end the pain, and how, somehow, he remained human through it all, was and is awe inspiring.  But, what struck me most of all was  the love this man expressed for our country, and for us, in the gentle words of the dedication of his book. From that day to this, those words of Jeremiah A. Denton have been taped to my desk, as they say so much about who and what Jeremiah Denton was, heroic yet humble, great yet good, a warrior, statesman, and humanitarian, who, after enduring as a POW the worst inhumanity of which humans are capable, would dedicate his book in these words:

“To those who strive make this one nation under God, who are willing to protect her,who thank God for such great beauty as she has developed and who patiently tolerate her imperfections.”

Those words of Jeremiah A. Denton, from his heart, touched mine. He was, indeed, a great man who is also good man. I thank God for him, and for the opportunity to have known him.

May the God Jeremiah A. Denton, warrior, statesman, and humanitarian,  so faithfully served in war and in peace, bless and keep him; and may the nation he so faithfully served, and whose freedom he preserved, never forget him.

(Rees Lloyd is a longtime California civil rights attorney, a veterans activist, and a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce.)

Al Gore uses internet invention* to announce the anniversary of another first

algoreGlobal warming, smart meter, tobacco and Al GoreZeera mega mogul, Al Gore, has used his invention of the internet* to announce the anniversary of another one of his firsts: The first member of congress to nationally broadcast a speech from the house chamber.

Gore made the announcement via Twitter with a hashtag of #tbt (truth be told) with the odd verbiage, “A bit early for #tbt…” I don’t even know what that means except maybe he’s hedging in case someone discovers his claim is as reliable as his claim to have invented the internet* or that he isn’t milking global warming for a buck, that the oceans will rise by six meters, Hurricane Katrina was man made or than Antarctica is melting. It actually appears that Tip O’Neill spoke before Gore, but what are a few words when we’re talking HISTORY!

Gore sent out a link to the speech that harkens back to when he was just a tobacco trust fund baby,

*
http://youtu.be/RDxnFaM8sIo

Greg Walden to introduce law to force Feds to listen to locals.

How far out of phase are the politics of Washington, DC when you have to pass a law to force the Feds to listen to locals? How far away are we from the sovereign state when the Feds have more say on local issues than do the LOCALS? 

Congressman Greg Walden of Oregon says he’ll do just that. He announced it on Twitter:


The environmentalists, EPA and US Forestry have more say about what happens in Oregon forests than do the locals. It’s a travesty. 

What’s So Bad About "You Lie?"

As Democrats pull their usual shenanigans today over SC Republican Joe Wilson’s outburst last evening, it is almost comical how soon they forget their own disrespect in 2005 & 2009.

One man bursting out with “You Lie,” and apologizing is somehow so much worse than nearly the entire Democrat Party booing the President and have yet to apologize.

Wilson shouldn’t have apologized.

Democrats should be held to the same standards they dish out.

After all, Republicans have free speech also.

Don’t forget, Democrats. You set the tone.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

What’s So Bad About "You Lie?"

As Democrats pull their usual shenanigans today over SC Republican Joe Wilson’s outburst last evening, it is almost comical how soon they forget their own disrespect in 2005 & 2009.

One man bursting out with “You Lie,” and apologizing is somehow so much worse than nearly the entire Democrat Party booing the President and have yet to apologize.

Wilson shouldn’t have apologized.

Democrats should be held to the same standards they dish out.

After all, Republicans have free speech also.

Don’t forget, Democrats. You set the tone.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com