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From Harper's Index:

• Rank of “I don’t know” among the most common answers Republicans give when asked why black voters support Democrats: 1

• Rank of “government dependents” want “something for nothing”: 2

• Average number of square miles by which Arctic sea ice decreased each day this summer: 36,400

• Date on which it reached its lowest size on record: 9/16/2012

• Factor by which employee claims of wage and hour violations have increased in the past decade: 3.5

• Percentage of Americans in 1992 who believed gun laws should be stricter: 78

• Percentage who believe so today: 43

• Percentage change since 1988 in U.S. teen-pregnancy rates: –36


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2009Coburn Disses Veterans:

Throughout U.S. history, war veterans have been handy ornaments for many politicians to parade around with on national holidays, early on for the Fourth of July, later for Memorial Day, and later still for Armistice Day, which we now commemorate as Veterans Day. These politicos apparently think that they acquire some vicarious patriotism if they cuddle up to veterans on the dais two or three times a year.

But many of the same politicians have dishonored veterans during the rest of the year, routinely ignoring their needs. It doesn't matter whether these were amputees from the Civil War or the beleaguered Bonus Marchers of World War I, or the irradiated atomic test veterans of the Cold War, or the sufferers from post-traumatic stress disorder and the after-effects of Agents Orange in Vietnam, or those afflicted with Gulf War syndrome. With the exception of World War II, when Democrats invented the GI Bill in 1944, veterans have repeatedly gotten the shaft from a boatload of politicians who talk a good game when they've got red-white-and-blue bunting in the background and a national holiday audience to address but become forgetful when a vote for veterans' interests comes up in Congress.

We've heard plenty of flag-waving speeches from some of these hypocrites today. Smarm and treacle to a drumbeat.

I don't know if flag-waving Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma gave a speech with veterans as a backdrop today. What is known, as BarbinMD wrote earlier, is that he has a dismal record with veterans groups, Ds and Fs and rankings of 40% or worse from groups such as the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the Disabled Veterans of America and the Retired Enlisted Association. No surprise.

For weeks now, Senator Coburn has been using his "holding" privilege to block consideration of the Veterans Caregiver and Omnibus Health Benefits Act—S. 1963. The legislation would help severely wounded veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars. Coburn wants to fund it by diverting unused stimulus funds.



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