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June 30, 2008

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a Straight Talking Maverick War Hero doesn't need to bother with the truth since the press doesn't care one way of the other: everything McCain says is golden.

I understand the folks at the New York Times, MSNBC and Fox News are working up a story on this gross distortion as we speak.

Headline... Flip Flop of Courage

Didn't you get the memo? Today is "trash Wes Clark for telling the truth" day, which means that saying anything that might cast McCain as something other than the most mavericky maverick who ever mavericked is not allowed on the television.

What difference does it make? The old coot can say anything he wants, and Obama 's not going to challenge it.

But, if anyone dare utter political blasphemy like getting shot down in a fighter jet doesn't qualify you to be president, then Obama will be rejecting and denouncing all over the place.

The Webb bill was very popular. Even if only with the most dysfunctional senate in history. With proper packaging it may actually attract some of the poorest young men and women into the "all volunteer army". The wealthy will most likely opt to defer the military and attend Harvard or Yale. They may even become lawyers or senators. I guess the point was the flip flop, not the impact of the legislation, or the logic of opposition. We certainly can't have our candidates flip flopping.

I guess the point was the flip flop, not the impact of the legislation, or the logic of opposition. We certainly can't have our candidates flip flopping.

I think you missed the point.

You seem to be suggesting that McCain was right to oppose the bill because it sought to attract only the poorest Americans to serve, while the wealthy would skip such commitments and attend Harvard or Yale - becomeing lawyers or senators.

So what was John McCain proposing to do in order to change that dynamic? I missed it. Was he proposing mandatory service for this nation's wealthy?

No?

This is what I say: we should be doing more for our soldiers than we are doing. Period. If that, in effect, attracts more people to enlist, so be it. If it attracts a disproportionate amount of poorer people, that is an unfortunate side effect.

But unless someone is proposing mandatory service in order to counteract that imbalance, I see no point in keeping benefits to a minimum for fear of reinforcing a dynamic that is already largely in place regardless.

As per cleek, everything McCain says is golden/
I think we can all agree those reporter kids ’n’ elders do love them their golden showers, technically speaking.

And I simply can’t understand all the wrathful complaining. The man is utterly consistent and principled in his policies. Really, they can be boiled down to two: (1) Forbid anything at all that will cost the taxpayer money, except for (2), promise any initiative that will bring huge profits to his many close (lobbyist) friends.
What is your problem?

Did McCain's version of the bill also include those provisions?

George Washington could not tell a lie. Bill Clinton could not tell the truth. John McCain cannot tell the difference.

With proper packaging it may actually attract some of the poorest young men and women into the "all volunteer army". The wealthy will most likely opt to defer the military and attend Harvard or Yale.

Jesus, I'm sick of this tired myth. The average military recruit today is better educated, more intelligent, and comes from a more affluent family than the average civilian. That "poorest young men and women" nonsense hasn't described the US military since Vietnam, if it even did then.

College tuition has inflated to the point that it's difficult now for upper-middle-class families to pay for state university attendance. 99% of the military is middle class just like 99% of the rest of the country and the $600-$1000 a month benefit they get now doesn't go nearly as far as it did just a few years ago. A separating serviceman today with a couple of enlistments behind him could easily be looking at tuition costs that doubled in just the eight years he served.

If you don't mind sharing "the logic of opposition" I'd love to hear it. I can't see the reasoning behind deciding servicemen should be getting less in real, inflation-adjusted benefits today than they have for most of past 60 years.

Fair enough for certain, Sean, though since your middle class is obviously unlike the one presently shrinking, thanks of course in some small part to tuition escalation, your throwaway statistics don’t do much for me.

And if poor people are enabled to go to college, that sounds just superfine to me. Almost like, as Sean says, the way it used to be in the old days.

But good everlovin’ grief, McCain puts the Snake to shame. Slagging Obama like that is over the Moon for twistedness.

Come to think of it, the old days is usually thought of as a conservative agenda, but the old days in question, after the Second War, provided more benefits to the private citizen if He was white and less to the corporations than it does now.
How does that work?

---I can't see the reasoning behind deciding servicemen should be getting less in real, inflation-adjusted benefits today than they have for most of past 60 years.

There are 9.3 trillion reasons. It's called the national debt. Soldiers receive a modest but reasonable salary. There are no draftees and volunteers know what the benefits are prior to enlistment. They agreed to the terms and signed a contract to that effect. I served in the US Army in a combat zone and my opinion is based on first hand experience. Still, it is just my opinion. You are entitled to yours.

Oh, well, if you're a budget hawk I can sort of see where you're coming from. I tend toward the conservative on the budget myself. Opposing these kind of benefits aren't even on my list of priorities though, but as you say, opinions certainly differ.

I haven't seen anything on it anywhere but I suspect that the taxes from the average ex-soldier's lifetime of increased wages more than pay back the GI Bill benefit recieved. At the very least they have to partially pay it back. I wouldn't be surprised at all if it turned out to be a good economic investment for the rest of us to help educate any demonstrably disciplined and motivated people, but Lord knows how you'd go about proving something like that one way or the other.

Indy,

The problem with that is that McCain favors Bush's budge busting tax cuts that are strongly tilted in favor of the wealthiest Americans.

So McCain is all for extending lavish benefits to wealthy heirs and heiresses (Paris Hilton, ie) but not to our soldiers.

Your opinion on this may vary, but I'd just as soon reinstate the estate tax (which only applied on multi-million dollar estates after all) and increase benefits for our soldiers.

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