I'm a Pundit Too

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thank You Veterans!

Last Thursday as the country watched in horror the extreme cowardice of Major Nidal Hassan at the Fort Hood Army Base, I was reminded of the sacrifice that the men and women of our armed forces make each and every day. Since our great country’s inception, men and women have put their lives on the line for the cause of freedom. More than 1,314,000 lives have been lost in the 233 years since our forefathers declared their independence from tyranny.

I have the honor of visiting Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center on a weekly basis to perform the duties of my job. As I walk the corridors of these hospitals, I see the men and women who have lost limbs in combat and I am humbled and inspired by them.

Veterans Day grew out of Armistice Day that commemorated the end of World War 1. In 1954 it became Veterans Day to honor all veterans from all wars. 22 years ago, I was standing at attention in Navy Boot Camp listening to our Company Commander vent her anger and frustration at some local radio personalities who failed to show the proper respect for the meaning of the holiday. Sadly, not much has changed in the past 20 years.

Today we observe Veterans Day and for many people, this is a day that they will not even realize is a holiday. They will probably wonder why the bank is closed at lunch or why their mail didn’t get delivered. To many it is merely a nuisance vice a sobering reminder of the honor, integrity, courage, and patriotism those veterans from every generation of our nation’s history have displayed.

The members of our armed services, both past and present, are a rare breed; they truly are the bravest and finest that our country has to offer. They deserve our admiration and respect. The United States of America is a great country because of our freedoms and we are free because of the sacrifices of our veterans. At the funerals of veterans, a flag is presented to the family of the fallen with the words, “On behalf of a grateful nation.” Those should be our words every day of the year to our veterans. Today I stand and salute the veterans from every branch of service that have come before me, and those who have dutifully followed after me. I humbly say, “On behalf of a grateful nation, thank you!”

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thousands Draw A Line On The Capitol Steps Over Health Care

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has decided to try to strong-arm through her plan to destroy our health care system, even in the face of overwhelming signals that she is fighting a losing battle. In the process she has continued her annoying little habit of breaking promises to the American people. She had promised to not hold a vote on the “health care reform” legislation without posting the final language of the bill online at least 72 hours prior to the vote. Apparently she is afraid that the final version of her 2000 page behemoth will further outrage the voting public.

The public has made their frustration and anger known all summer long, all the while congressional leaders have pretended to not hear them. The public outcry has prolonged the debate from something that the White House expected to be passed quickly and quietly by mid summer into an eternity for lawmakers. After the congressional switchboards were jammed with phone calls demanding that their elected representatives listen to them, the bureaucrats ignored their constituents. After millions of emails clogged the politicians’ inboxes, they sent out their canned responses claiming to represent their constituents. Tired of the unprecedented arrogance filling the Capitol Building, thousands of people showed up on the steps of the Capitol to hold a rally against the destruction of our health care system. After the rally they stood in line for hours to enter the Capitol to meet their elected representatives face to face. They wanted to ask one simple question, “Are you going to vote for this health care reform bill?” Several reports emerged showing the arrogance and superiority complex from which members of Congress are suffering. They could not spare even a few moments to “lower themselves” to the level of the common man.

It is most surprising that House leaders are pressing forward this week, of all weeks. Tuesday showed a dramatic reversal of the political leanings of the country. Democratic stronghold New Jersey saw their incumbent Governor Jon Corzine lose to Republican Chris Christie by 5 percentage points. New Jersey is a state that President Obama won easily by 20 points just one year ago. Virginia saw a political drubbing when Republican Bob McDonnell beat Democrat Creigh Deeds by 19 points. President Obama again won Virginia a year ago by 6 points. Right on cue, the White House downplayed the results saying that the outcomes had absolutely nothing to do with the President or his socialist agenda. The problem is that the President and his minions spent a lot of time and political capital in both states campaigning for both losers.

Whether or not the President or Ms. Pelosi are able to twist enough arms on Capitol Hill this weekend to pass their health care debacle is yet to be seen, but the damage has been done. The voting public has awakened to the fact that after the numerous bailouts already this year, the government now owns or controls 30% of our economy. They also see that if the power hungry bureaucrats are successful in destroying our health care, they will add another 18% of our economy. That will give them power over nearly half of our economy and they are just starting to erode our economical freedoms.

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