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I may not be a man wanting to buy a small business, or even wanting to approach Barack Obama or for that matter even John McCain and ask a "gotcha question" as  Samuel J Wurzelbacher did in Toledo about 2 weeks ago, and became the focus of Presidential debate #3 who is now whining about the media attention he is receiving  

Joe Wurzelbacher, a plumber from Holland, Ohio, told Mike Huckabee on his Fox News talk show Saturday that he is upset by the attention and has been unable to work with reporters crowded on his front lawn.The media's worried about whether I've paid my taxes, they're worried about any number of silly things that have nothing to do with America," Wurzelbacher told the former Republican presidential hopeful on his show, "Huckabee."
Wurzelbacher said he felt terrible after reading some of the criticism of himself posted online.
"I felt about that small," he said. "I mean I really did."

Well if Joe had not thrust himself into this mess with a question that he knew did not even apply to him, since he has not made any attempt to even buy the business he has worked at for the past few years, I read somewhere that the subject came up when he was first hired, years ago, since then he has done nothing to further his education, save a down payment, etc, needed to pursue his financial "dream" I guess he thinks the "plumbing fairy" is going to come by one night and drop the licenses and training certificates the county licensing boards require.

Considering the last debate spent about 1/3 of it's time centered around the plumbers problems, I hope the nations plumbers feel connected to the next President, and I hope John McCain keeps his promise to Joe and gives him that special 8 house contract he alluded to at the Al Smith dinner on October 18th, or was that an inside joke?

What I and a few million other disabled veterans missed was any discussion by our "best friend" John McCain (you can't question him about his veterans support) about our future. We kept our side of the bargain when we enlisted or were drafted, we went to our assigned duty stations where we were either hurt, or maimed or became permanently disabled, in the line of duty.

We don't get pay raises, here is the recommendations of the Veterans Disability Benefits Commission report submitted to President Bush and Congress in 2007

Recommendation 7.6 Chapter 7, Section III.2
Congress should increase the compensation rates up to 25 percent
as an interim and baseline future benefit for loss of quality of life,
pending development and implementation of a quality-of-life
measure in the Rating Schedule. In particular, the measure should
take into account the quality of life and other non-work-related
effects of severe disabilities on veterans and family members.
Recommendation 7.8 Chapter 7, Section III.2
Congress should consider increasing special monthly
compensation, where appropriate, to address the more profound
impact on quality of life of the disabilities subject to special monthly
compensation. Congress should also review ancillary benefits to
determine where additional benefits could improve disabled
veterans’ quality of life.
Recommendation 7.12 Chapter 7, Section VI
VA and DoD should realign the disability evaluation process so that
the services determine fitness for duty, and service members who
are found unfit are referred to VA for disability rating. All conditions
that are identified as part of a single, comprehensive medical
examination should be rated and compensated.

This comes from the final report of the VDBC found here

This report was done over a two year period, it was released about the time the Walter Reed fiasco hit the news, so the recommendations were slid to the side, because it was not what the Bush Administration wanted. They expected a report that would allow them to rip apart the benefits disabled veterans already get, the commission was stacked with republican appointees, and was expected to issue a report favorable to reducing benefits and costs. The report was NOT what President Bush wanted.

Then because of Walter Reed, they created the Dole/Shalala Commission which gave them more of what was along President Bush's thinking  more benefits for the new Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and less benefits for Vietnam and Korean War and WW2 and peacetime military veterans. They wanted to create a two tier system which Senator Dole indicated it was okay to treat older veterans worse than newer veterans.

All of the veterans organizations screamed bloody murder as they should have. There has been no action on  either groups recommendations.

My name is Mike I am one of 3 million disabled veterans and I have yet to hear from John McCain or Barack Obama on how they intend to make my families life better or my fellow disabled veterans.

From my blog here are some of the facts we do know

Veterans groups give McCain failing grades.: - On October 7, 2008, the non-partisan Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) gave McCain a grade of "D" for his poor voting record on veteran's issues, including McCain's votes against additional body armor for troops in combat and additional funding for PTSD and TBI screening and treatment. The grade makes McCain one of only four Senators to fall on IAVA’s "D List" — and marks a repeat performance for him – he received a "D" for his congressional voting record in 2007 as well. On the other hand, Obama received a "B." Obama was acknowledged for his early support of the G.I. Bill and for working across party lines to bring both sides of the aisle together on it, according to IAVA’s founder and executive director Paul Rieckhoff. Joe Biden also received a "B".

The non-partisan Disabled American Veterans gave McCain a 20 percent rating for his voting record on veteran's issues; as a contrast they gave Obama a rating of 80 percent.
(The scores from IAVA and Disabled Veterans of America join those of other groups who have criticized McCain’s abysmal record on veteran's issues. The Vietnam Veterans of America noted McCain has voted against us in 15 key votes.)

McCain voted against increased funding for veteran's health care.: Although McCain told voters at a campaign rally that improving health care for veterans was his top domestic priority, he voted against increasing funding for it in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Since arriving in the US Senate in 1987, McCain has voted at least 28 times against ensuring important benefits for America's veterans, including providing adequate health care.

McCain voted for an appropriations bill that under-funded the Departments of Veteran's Affairs and Housing and Urban Development by $8.9 billion.

McCain opposed $500 million for counseling services for veterans with mental disorders: McCain voted against an amendment to appropriate $500 million annually from 2006-2010 for counseling, mental health and rehabilitation services for veterans diagnosed with mental illness, post traumatic stress disorder or substance abuse.

McCain did not vote on the GI Bill that will provide better educational opportunities to veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, paying full tuition at in-state schools and living expenses for those who have served at least three years since the 9/11 attacks, and is on record saying he was opposed to it.

McCain voted against requiring mandatory minimum downtime between tours of duty for troops serving in Iraq.

McCain echoed Bush and Cheney's talking points that the US would only be in Iraq for a short time. McCain: "It's clear that the end is very much in sight . . . It won't be long . . . it'll be a fairly short period of time." (ABC-TV, 4/9/03)

McCain was unaware of previous Sunni-Shia violence before the Iraq War.: "There's not a history of clashes that are violent between Sunnis and Shias. So I think they can probably get along." (MSNBC-TV, Hardball, 4/23/03) go here.

McCain said it's "not too important" when U.S. troops leave Iraq. This exchange occurred on NBC TV's Today Show in June 2008 with Matt Lauer.

Given the records of Barack Obama and John McCain I am pretty confident that disabled veterans will get a more reasonable shake from a President Obama, than they ever would from a President McCain, despite his proclaimed love and support of veterans, Senator McCain has a history of voting against financial aid for them, the record is there despite his very vocal refusal to discuss his voting record on veterans issues.

His claims that no one can question his record on veterans because he is a POW falls on deaf ears of real disabled veterans, he is a one man wrecking crew on disabled veterans, and I doubt he would help them if he was to occupy the White House.

Senator McCain to hell with your "Joe the Plumber"  what about "Mike the disabled vet"?

Originally posted to testvet6778 on Sun Oct 19, 2008 at 08:42 PM PDT.

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