From this morning, that's Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The So-Called Presidential Debate". And the faux debates kicked off tonight.
We'll have two more 'presidential' ones and one 'vice president' one.
But I'm blogging tonight about the House-Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing we attended today.
And this is an impressions type piece that I tend to do. First, is the American Legion important in the veterans community?
I asked a member that at today's hearing. I was told they represent close to 3 million veterans and are a few years short of 100 years old.
So I would say that's pretty important.
Why would I ask?
When a House and a Senate hold a joint hearing, I would expect more than five people to be present.
It was Senator Richard Lugar (who isn't on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee but knows the commander of the American Legion and was present to introduce him). It was Senator Mark Begich of Alaska and Senator John Boozman. From the House, you had US House Rep Michael Michaud. And the only leadership from either the House Veterans Affairs Committee or the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee was US House Rep Jeff Miller who chairs the House Veterans Affairs Committee.
He made a point to reassure the people present that all members of both committees would be briefed on the testimony.
Boozman said that the military vote was the most important and needed to be the most protected to which I say, "Screw you, this is a democracy. Every vote matters."
And from that, you'll get that I'm not someone who falls over myself to show respect or 'respect' to institutions. So I hope that makes it clear that when I'm offended based on protocol, something really offensive has taken place.
I really felt that a lot more people should have been present and that it was insulting to the American Legion (whom I don't worship) that only 4 members of the two committees bothered to show for the presentation.
They were asked to make a presentation to the Committees so that the Committees could figure out what to do about various problems.
You invite someone to make a presentation, you need to be present.
If I try real hard to be fair, okay, the House has an excuse. They're all up for re-election. But only a third of the Senate is. And other than Scott Brown (Mass.) and Bill Nelson (Fla.), is any senator in a tight race?
Incumbents almost always get re-elected.
So I felt bad for the American Legion, even with Chair Jeff Miller assuring them that everyone would be aware of the presentation -- he also noted that it was being webcast live and apparently some members of Committees may catch it that way.
The American Legion presented some issues. I didn't get a sense that they had a way to solve the problems. But not because they couldn't think of ways to improve things but because they have repeatedly made suggestions and the VA pretends to listen but continues doing the exact same thing.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"