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Message to Congress: Strip the pork but not the timeline

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Message Mary MacElveen
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I was hoping that the Thursday transcripts of Scarborough Country were up this morning in order to discuss the 122 Shiites that lost their lives yesterday in Iraq.  But, basically, Pat Buchanan stated that the Democrats should just give President Bush what he wants which means hand over the money and strip that bill of the language contained within it forcing him to adhere to a time line to bring our troops home.  The reason he gave is so that Democrats will not be seen as the bad-guys for not funding our troops.  Again, Pat thanks for your concern. He basically opined that they should allow Republicans and President Bush to own this war and make a case to the American people that change will only come when Bush leaves office in 2009.  Note to Pat Buchanan; that is not what the American people said in this past election.  I do not think our troops can wait till then and nor will the patience of Americans.  I do not think that the families of our troops can sustain this patience as he opens up his pie-hole.  While he opines away in some studio safe from road-side bombs our troops are being killed.  They are doing so as this president embroiled them in a bloody quagmire and they along with the American people are supposed to wait? One item that I do agree with which Buchanan brought up is the pork contained within that war appropriations bill. According to the Examiner this bill contains, “$14 billion for Hurricane Katrina aid and more than $4 billion for “emergency farm relief.” While I do not have a problem with helping those who still suffer to this day due to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, this was not the bill to attach those funds to.  This bill was only to be used as leverage to bring our troops home sooner rather than later.  It was the American people’s tool to force this president to bring our troops home. I would like to know whose bright idea it was to “included money for spinach growers, peanut storage and citrus farmers.” Yes, I suppose they too need money coming from the federal government, but not in this bill.  This bill was all about saving the lives of those who serve this country.  It is no wonder why some will look to Washington, D.C. namely the congress and just shake their heads in utter disbelief.  It is Washington, D.C. doing what it does best and that is pulling the wool over people’s eyes. If any language should be stripped from this bill it should be the pork barrel spending contained within it and not the time-line to bring our troops home.  The Examiner also reported, “Senate Appropriations Chairman Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., Monday defended the extra spending, describing it as “common sense and good economics.” He then went onto say, “Funding for the war is not the only critical need worthy of the supplemental spending,” Americans do want their needs attended to, but it should not be done when lives are being lost in Iraq.It is this statement coming from Byrd that I do have a problem with “The war “must not obliterate every other concern.” At this moment in time the war should take precedence especially when it comes to this one bill.  People do not want to hear of economics, but what they do want is the end of this blood-letting.Excuse me as I blow my stack once more as one reads that contained within this bill as reported by the Examiner, “The $100 million for the political party conventions — $50 million for the Democratic convention in Denver and $50 million for the Republican convention in St. Paul, Minn. — is included in a section described as “Katrina recovery, veterans’ care and for other purposes.” I do not think there is a negative adjective that can best describe one’s emotions as one reads that little fact.  Let the donors and candidates pay for these conventions and not the tax payer.  We constantly hear of the millions of dollars being raked in by presidential candidates of both parties.  Maybe the candidates should be paying for these conventions.  After all, it does not seem they are representing the American people as they travel to various corners of this country raising obscene amounts of money.  If one is not backing either a Republican or Democratic candidate; why should they be stuck with this bill?  In reading of these astronomical amounts being raised by many candidates of both parties, this was the first year that I said no any donation to be made to the presidential race on my income tax return.  Seeing how some candidates who are serving in our present day congress went along with including this pork, I rest my case.I would pose this question to Senator Byrd; are paying for these conventions critical and worthy to the economic well being of the American tax payer?  This is where politics becomes a filthy game and one that I suppose makes many want to take a hot shower.Congress should hang their heads in shame when funding conventions is linked to those left behind by Katrina, our veterans and the lives of our troops.  After all, at these conventions many Americans I suppose feel they are not invited.  I have heard it expressed by various pundits that these conventions are week-long infomercials.Back to Iraq, just suppose for one split second it was reported by the AP that 122 U.S. forces had lost their lives, the screams coming from the American people would be deafening.  Wouldn’t they?  We are seen by many within the Arab world as occupiers and congress just does not get that fact.  Even President Bush’s friends in Saudi Arabia recently blasted our occupation in Iraq. In reading, “U.S. military and its diplomats have voiced cautious optimism about the sweep that began Feb. 14 and emphasized that the full American surge force would not be in place until June.” Please tell that to the 122 Shiites that lost their lives yesterday.  Oh wait, they can’t hear you.I would like to ask President Bush’s Iraqi bloggers how life is getting better as one reads, “On Wednesday, Shiite militants and police went on a shooting rampage against Sunnis in the far northwestern city of Tal Afar, killing as many as 70 men execution-style. The killings were triggered by twin truck bombings there the previous day that killed 80 people and wounded 185.”This war is no longer about protecting Americans and I do not feel we can wait till 2009 to make things better as Pat Buchanan relayed on Scarborough Country.  But, both houses of congress must get this bill right and strip it of the pork and get our men in women in the armed services the hell out of dodge.  Right now, we still have ports and borders that are not secure, but we want to make Iraq secure?  Oh please help me understand that.I have heard various pundits cite that if this language is not stripped, it will anger the anti-war crowd and one gets the feeling that they are singling those who oppose this war as being un-American or un-patriotic.  One gets the feeling they are using that term in a negative way.  You will never hear them say, pro-war people, but they will use terms like those that support the president.  To the media, get honest for once in your life and say, pro-war people are for the incessant killings to continue.  Pro-war people are for our troops coming home in body bags and coffins.  Pro-war people are for those who will come home maimed for life as they recuperate at hospitals such as Walter Reed.  Pro-war people are for the murder of innocent men, women and children over in Iraq.  Doesn’t that make you sick?On an ending note in which I will NOT include the links, we have seen President Bush do a stand-up comic routine at the Correspondence Dinner and quite frankly as Americans and Iraqis continue to die; just how low will this president go?  This is not the time for humor as both Americans and Iraqis lose their lives on a day-to-day basis.  We have seen even his side-kick Karl Rove do the same as he danced.  To the both of them, if life is that good in Iraq especially in Baghdad, I do suppose there is an amateur hour open somewhere for the both of you to take your act on the road.  Now that trip I do think the American tax payer would not have a problem funding.Author’s Note:  Should you wish to email me concerning this article or others, please do so at     
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I am a writer who currently writes pieces for my own blog I have been published by, and I was a guest on the Jay Diamond Radio Show on WRKO in Boston and have (more...)
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