Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bail Out

The only difference between what the Fed did
and what Hugo Chávez is doing in Venezuela

is Chávez doesn't put taxpayer dollars at risk

when he takes over companies.

He just takes them

--Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY)

[The U.S. is becoming]
"The United Socialist State Republic of America

--Nouriel Roubini

Recent and projected bailouts have the Fed talking hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars to bail out arrogant, high-living affluent Republican denizens of the business world. This will be effected with tax dollars extracted from everyday working American taxpayers. You might call it the "trickle up effect."

Yet for as long as Ranger can recall, Congress agonizes over the Department of Veterans Affairs budget annually. It is always a hot potato issue, and they habitually delay funding and go into emergency situations. This ploy is used to keep the budget appearing as minimal as possible while seeming to cover all the bases.

Bush is negotiating a $700 billion government bailout for wayward financial vehicles. Compare that to the $92 billion for the DVA budget for 2009, $2 billion more than 2008. So the bailout would cover roughly seven years of VA funding, presuming needs remain at current levels.

Contrast that with the "emergency funds" which are always at the ready for the Iraq engagement, monies which always exceed the entire DVA annual budget. Now the same applies to the Wall Street bailout money. Somehow, the green always magically appears without any weeping or gnashing of the teeth. Well, at least we're not in a recession; at least that.

The money is always there, save when it is required for the average American who actually fights these stupid ass wars. The U.S. veteran: low man on the totem pole when it comes to the federal feed trough.

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Anonymous Serving Patriot said...

Thanks Ranger...

Is it too much to ask our Congresscritters to spend a few extra $ on veterans, national health care and repairing our social net? Given that we're gonna double down on the national mortgage, they should be spending a little of that on those that gave all to protect all of us...


Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 9:17:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Serving Patriot,
I'm generally a jaded person but your response reminds me that there are Patriots still roaming the land.In MOPH meetings we call one another Patriots and this is another place where real Americans congregate.The halls of Congress are filled with partisan players, on both sides of the aisle ,pretending to be one of us.It's too much for them because they do not understand the reality of our lives. jim

Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 9:28:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Labrys the Bitter said...

For far too long, it has been becoming "rule of the rich, for the rich, by the rich" and the rest of us exist "not to question why, but only to serve or die."

Yeah...I'm in a bad mood and playing fast and loose with quotes.

Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 10:42:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Jim: I would imagine that, in their dim way, they "understand". They just don't care; their obligations to their wealthy "patrons" (in the Roman sense, that is, the people from whom they get their wealth and prestige and from whom they receive their guidance) are such that they cannot be bothered with the cries of the capti censi suffering under the failure of this form of crony capitalism.

ISTM that the real question is: where the hell is all this cash going to come from? Taxes? Tariffs? Mothballing a carrier or five? Don't make me laugh - these are Republicans we're talking about. It'll come from where all the rest of the jack for this PWOT has come from: the Chinese, the Europeans and the Saudis, putting these entities that much further towards the levers of U.S. power.

And the sad fact is that the GOoPers will be cheering them on with rabid patriotic fervor. U! S! A! U! S! A!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 11:20:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous mike said...

My understanding was that the Dem led 110th Congress added a $6.6 billion plus-up on top of Bush's 2008 DVA budget. In a large part this was due to Publius's least favorite Senator (Hillary Clinton). VFW and Legion lobbyists also played a role. But it is interesting that they could not push it through the previous Republican led Congresses, probably because they are lobbyists without cash. Not sure on the 2009 budget. And yes, politics was a factor with Clinton, Granny Pelosi and other Dem leaders. I am OK with that - it is how the system works.

The ideal solution would be universal health care with priority care for wounded veterans.

Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 12:08:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous tw said...

Serving Patriot,

I agree with you but if they spent a few extra $ on veterans, national health care and repairinig our social net, that would be called socialism and we've been indoctrinated from the craddle to equate socialism with communism and BAD ! I know there are evils in the extremes of both capitalism and socialism but it sure would be nice to see a government here that actually used the money we give them to help their people instead of bringing out the big boggyman phrase, that's socialism. Great excuse for more capitalsitic plunder.

Ranger, your figures on the DVA budget scares me because we've yet to see the real cost of the wars on our returning vets. What we've seen so far isn't pretty but in time, the medical and social costs are going to be staggering.

Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 12:38:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

so, we give henry paulson a blank goddamned check for 700billion, why not just go totally fucking roman and name him "dictator par vida?"

in her excellent "shock doctrine" naomi kline points out that this kind of thing is actually the adgenda of these assholes.

they engineer the disaster, the same way a fireman sometimes goes nuts and starts fires...they rush in with all their "privatized" services, cleanup, new construction, all of it, and they clean up.

now, because of this newest round of bailouts (and the lehman brothers chair will still be getting his $17K per fucking hour checks), they will come to us and say "we don't have money for medicare, social security, highways, railways, bridges, ports, oh yeah, houston and galveston are going to fester and rot just like new orleans, we can't do stuff with the schools. . ."

thing is most of the responsible economists are saying that things on wall street will continue to worsen (and worsen with today as the baseline) for a year or two, and the mortgage meltdown probably has another three or four years to go before all the pretend money (and it ain't gold certificates they are going to pour onto the flames of the current debacle) manages to work its way through the system.

this is going to suck, it's going to suck out loud for a long time.


we're the greedy bastards who wrecked america

Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 3:08:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


The cost goes beyond staggering, both in human and dollar terms.

I find it difficult to believe that the gov't will honor its debt to the vets. I predict 2012 and beyond as dire straits for vets. HOPE I'M WRONG.


Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 3:10:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


Part of the problem began when Clinton allowed the DVA to create prioritized categories of veterans re. their health care. This was a divide-and-conquer move.

The fraternal organizations should not have to lobby for our benefits. This shows the sad state of our political system. I would prefer the veterans budget no longer be discretionary.

Universal health care would be ideal, the question is, where will the money come from? 49 millions of our fellows -- more than one in 5 Americans -- lack coverage. This is an abominable situation for a civil society.

As for wounded veterans, I don't think we should pay taxes, since we gave at the office.


Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 3:17:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


Go sit in the corner until you make an attitude adjustment. Sit there and do not move.


Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 3:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Ghost Dansing said...

you're right...... i really love you guys......

Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 3:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


We love you, too! [Spaghetti Westerns dovetail nicely with our perverted worldview :)]

Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 3:52:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Arkhamite said...

ranger against war's tax exemption for wounded vets would encourage more poor people to join the military in hopes of earning a tax free lifetime.

Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 5:54:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


There is only a tax exemption for "service-connected veterans" who are 100% disabled. Service connection does not necessarily mean you were wounded. This is a Florida law, and the only one I'm familiar with.

The rules may be different elsewhere. In FL, Disabled veterans rated less than 100% disabled get a Homestead exemption deduction. That is their only tax break that I am aware of.

Service connection does not necessarily mean you were wounded.

Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 7:39:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous mike said...

I'll drink to the tax exemption for wia vets. Don't you have some kind of pull with Obama's military advisors. Push it.

But I am still thinking that a prioritization of VA medical service for those that are badly wounded would not be a bad thing. My bandaid wound was taken care of while still in the service. After hospitalization and recuperation I continued in uniform for another 12 years. Why should I get the same priority on medical treatments as a GI who is missing an arm or a leg or multiples? Why should my neighbor down the street with diabetes that appears unrelated to his stateside service 50 years ago get the same priority on med treatments from VA as one of the Atomic vets or an Agent Orange case or someone with an immune system disorder from GWS????

I don't see that as divide and conquer but am willing to listen and learn. I have no direct personal experience with VA med care as TriCare has served me well. But the guys in my local VFW post have been complaining a lot more in the last seven years than they did in the previous eight. I would love to hear more history on Clinton's changes. I believe the DVA under Clinton was ten times better than under Bush.

Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 7:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


I can't lay the blame on either party: both parties treat veteran's issues dismally. During Clinton's years there was less pressure due to fewer wounded and disabled returnees. I don't believe anyone anticipated the number of casualties from the current engagements.

I think severely wounded veterans should have the same access to health care as non-wounded veterans. There was nothing in either of our enlistment contracts that stated we would be prioritized. Veterans always get short-shrifted after they are used by a grateful nation.

Does Tri-care force you into priority categories?

Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 8:19:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I highly recommend folks take a look at these sites for additional excellent commentary on Wall Street and recent gov't actions : The Automatic Earth; Mish's Global Economic Trend Anlysis; and Winter Watch.


Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 8:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Peter of Lone Tree said...

Army Times:
3rd Infantry’s 1st BCT trains for a new dwell-time mission. Helping ‘people at home’ may become a permanent part of the active Army

"... they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.

"Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.

"But this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.

"After 1st BCT finishes its dwell-time mission, expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one."

More at the link.

Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 9:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous CTuttle said...

Peter, don't you just love the way this Maladministration finds silly notions like the Geneva Conventions, and, in the case of that article you cite, Posse Comitatus, 'Quaint'...?

Monday, September 22, 2008 at 2:42:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


I've read your link and my comment is, isn't this what the National Guard is supposed to do?
Why are we reinventing the wheel?

Is there any credible intel that realistically indicates that any terror group possesses the capability to attack the US with WMD? The question is: What is the real purpose for putting combat units in this mode? Why is the citizenry and /or Congress not opposing this action?

Ranger posits that an all volunteer, professional military is more likely to fire on US citizens than is a draftee force. Why else have a professional force at the President's beck and call?


Monday, September 22, 2008 at 10:27:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Peter of Lone Tree said...

Why are we reinventing the wheel?....
The question is: What is the real purpose for putting combat units in this mode? Why is the citizenry and /or Congress not opposing this action?
Ranger posits that an all volunteer, professional military is more likely to fire on US citizens than is a draftee force. Why else have a professional force at the President's beck and call?

Perhaps having a force "more likely to fire on US citizens" is the whole point.
As far as the Congress is concerned it's quite likely the subject was discussed in secret session 6 months ago and for reference to that session I recommend the Dark Wraith's post entitled March 13, 2008.
Are you folks familiar with Rex 84: FEMA's Blueprint for Martial Law in America?

Monday, September 22, 2008 at 6:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Dark Wraith is a brilliant thinker. these suggestions are most disturbing.

Monday, September 22, 2008 at 9:54:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Serving Patriot said...


you ask Is there any credible intel that realistically indicates that any terror group possesses the capability to attack the US with WMD?

the short answer is NO. The longer answer is maybe someday if we keep screwing around with places like Pakistan.

A better question is what is the likelyhood of a homegrown WMD attack? Maybe from some disillusioned and/or violent agitator (usually called environmentalists by our government)? Probably much better than from an outsider! Tim McViegh comes to mind.

But even a violent domestic terrorist with WMD? Well, besides the anthrax (that might have come from USAMARIID) and Aum Shinryko - a WMD (at least nuke WMD) terrorist event seems far off.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 6:57:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


Intent and capability is the basis of all terrorism counteraction. Our government surely is confusing the two issues.

Another homegrown threat: Ted Kaczinski comes to mind, but he never did as much damage as the Wall Street financiers. Nor did Carlos the Jackal nor OBL. In his heyday, Kaddafi never caused the damage that the Bush administration has wrought.

The threat is manufactured to distract us from the real issues. Terrorism keeps our eye off the ball.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 7:03:00 PM GMT-5  

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