...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005
      ( 3:37 PM )
Now You See It; Now You Don't

Our President took some time out of his busy Bamboozlepalooza Social Security Tour of Desperation today to don his snazzy military/sporty jacket and thank the troops at Fort Hood for their service and sacrifice to the country. How nice. How thoughtful and supportive of him.

"Whether you are coming or going, you're making an enormous difference for the security of our nation and for the peace of our world," Bush told them. "I want to thank you for extending freedom to millions, and I want to thank you for making America proud."

Meanwhile, back in Washington and almost simultaneously, his party's leaders in Congress beat down a proposal to use some of the additional money he's asking for Iraq and Afghanistan to be spent on VA Hospitals.

The first debate came Tuesday over a proposal by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., to provide an additional $1.98 billion for veteran's care. She said VA hospitals are underfunded and overcrowded.

"There's a train wreck coming," Murray warned.

Republicans denied the VA had such serious problems. They noted the Bush administration said the additional funding wasn't needed and that it had enough money to cope with emergencies.

Murray's proposal was defeated in a 54-46 vote, mostly along party lines.

Instead, they'd rather spend some of this extra money on making sure states don't give driver's licenses to illegal workers. Hmmm. Way to support the troops, Mr. President. Republicans: leading the way for veterans.

UPDATE: Voice of a Vet notes that vets now can apply for tax-free combat related compensation - but they have to go after it to get it, and most don't know it's available.

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