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  1. #1 Veterans group gives Congress low marks 
    Veterans group gives Congress low marks

    By Roxana Tiron - 10/20/10 06:00 AM ET

    An influential veterans group says a large number of lawmakers failed to help veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) Action Fund is releasing its congressional report card on veterans’ issues Wednesday. The organization gave as many as 154 lawmakers D’s and F’s, while only 20 House and Senate lawmakers scored an A+ for “exceptional” handling of veterans’ issues. Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), who is in a tough reelection race, is the only senator to earn the highest grade.

    By comparison, 150 lawmakers earned an A+ on IAVA’s previous report card, in 2008 for the 110th Congress. This year’s number represents a nearly 87 percent decline in top honors.

    IAVA’s report card is based on lawmakers’ votes and sponsorship of bills in support of the organization’s legislative priorities, which include disability reform, predictable veterans’ affairs budgets and veterans’ employment and education, as well as eliminating veterans’ homelessness, improving healthcare for female veterans and easing the benefit claims process.

    The veterans organization said the grades are based solely on IAVA’s legislative priorities and are blind to party and ideology.

    “The nonpartisan report card is a critical tool for holding these lawmakers accountable and showing America just how little Congress got done this year for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans,” Paul Rieckhoff, founder and executive director of the IAVA Action Fund, said in an e-mailed statement. “Heading into the midterm elections, it is important that every American knows who in Washington really supports Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, and who is just full of hot air.”

    Aside from Lincoln, House lawmakers earned the rest of the top distinctions. Reps. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.), John Boccieri (D-Ohio), Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Al Green (D-Texas), Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), Steve Kagen (D-Wis.), Dale Kildee (D-Mich.), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.), Betsy Markey (D-Colo.), Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.), Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Mark Schauer (D-Mich.), Tom Perriello (D-Va.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) are the other lawmakers who earned an A+.

    Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is the only politician in the upper chamber who outright failed IAVA’s scorecard, and for the second time in a row. DeMint is joined by several House lawmakers who also received an F, including Reps. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), Kay Granger (R-Texas), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), John Lewis (D-Ga.), Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), Steve King (R-Iowa), Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.).
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    Senior Member Arroyo_Doble's Avatar
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    Aside from Lincoln, House lawmakers earned the rest of the top distinctions. Reps. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.), John Boccieri (D-Ohio), Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Al Green (D-Texas), Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), Steve Kagen (D-Wis.), Dale Kildee (D-Mich.), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.), Betsy Markey (D-Colo.), Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.), Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Mark Schauer (D-Mich.), Tom Perriello (D-Va.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) are the other lawmakers who earned an A+.
    How embarrassing.
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    Hoekstra? That suprises me... The man was a very vocal supporter of the military, and it's people.

    Given how these rating have been handed out, I've gotta question this groups motives here. A cursory internet search doesn't show any partisan work by this group, but I know first hand the support that Hoekstra offers us.
    In most sports, cold-cocking an opposing player repeatedly in the face with a series of gigantic Slovakian uppercuts would get you a multi-game suspension without pay.

    In hockey, it means you have to sit in the penalty box for five minutes.
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    Senior Member Arroyo_Doble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djones520 View Post
    Hoekstra? That suprises me... The man was a very vocal supporter of the military, and it's people.
    You don't actually have to be supportive of veterans if you can simply convince people you are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arroyo_Doble View Post
    You don't actually have to be supportive of veterans if you can simply convince people you are.
    The man is my representative, and has sent me hand written letters thanking me for my service, something that wasn't looked for, or even expected.

    A man paying "lip service" doesn't do that. He is one of the more conservative members of the House, and considering how many republicans are on the "fail list" and how many Dems are on the "pro" list, I'd say that a lot of the votes there looking at has to do with bills that were loaded with pork and the Republicans opposed because of it.
    In most sports, cold-cocking an opposing player repeatedly in the face with a series of gigantic Slovakian uppercuts would get you a multi-game suspension without pay.

    In hockey, it means you have to sit in the penalty box for five minutes.
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    Zoomie djones520's Avatar
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    And as an aside, Operation Truth (which is what the IAVA was previously known as) has been accused of being nothing more then a democrat front group.

    And the founder has a blog on HuffPo as well.
    Last edited by djones520; 10-20-2010 at 11:16 AM.
    In most sports, cold-cocking an opposing player repeatedly in the face with a series of gigantic Slovakian uppercuts would get you a multi-game suspension without pay.

    In hockey, it means you have to sit in the penalty box for five minutes.
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    Senior Member Arroyo_Doble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djones520 View Post
    The man is my representative, and has sent me hand written letters thanking me for my service, something that wasn't looked for, or even expected.

    A man paying "lip service" doesn't do that. He is one of the more conservative members of the House, and considering how many republicans are on the "fail list" and how many Dems are on the "pro" list, I'd say that a lot of the votes there looking at has to do with bills that were loaded with pork and the Republicans opposed because of it.
    It could be simply budgetary disagreement. Since they are veteran advocates, they would necessarily wish to see spending priorities tilted in that direction.
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    Zoomie djones520's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arroyo_Doble View Post
    It could be simply budgetary disagreement. Since they are veteran advocates, they would necessarily wish to see spending priorities tilted in that direction.
    That is where I would put my money. Republicans have been trying to show a more fiscally responsible face, and they've been combatting pork heavy bills.
    In most sports, cold-cocking an opposing player repeatedly in the face with a series of gigantic Slovakian uppercuts would get you a multi-game suspension without pay.

    In hockey, it means you have to sit in the penalty box for five minutes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by djones520 View Post
    And as an aside, Operation Truth (which is what the IAVA was previously known as) has been accused of being nothing more then a democrat front group.

    And the founder has a blog on HuffPo as well.
    Sounds like a Democratic front group to me. A couple of years ago, Boxer, Pisslosi or one of her nutty friends in Congress said that the miltary did not need a raise; that they made enough money.
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