Saturday, September 8, 2012

Do US Troops distrust Obama?

Mr Obama speaks to the troops at Ft Bliss                         (c) Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

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[Daily Caller]

1st Armored Division shoulder patch

 On 31 August 2012, the Army troops of the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas were ordered out to be the audience for Mr Obama to deliver a campaign speech.  [Normally, the President makes such visits as the Commander-in-Chief [CinC] to thank the troops for their Service, and to assure them that he, as their ultimate Military commander, has their backs.

The First Armored Division was the first to see combat in WWII, and has served proudly and effectively in Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom.

The cheering and applause was conspicuous by its absence.  Dead silence greeted the CinC.

Unfortunately for the President, the troops may have remembered the following satire by John Semmens and Jon Stewart on one of Mr Obama's earlier proposals, when he sought to make Wounded Warriors use private insurance to pay for their long-term medical and health care resulting from their combat injuries. 

Volunteers accepting risk (c) RealityPod

"Nobody made these guys go to war. They had to have known and accepted the risks. Now they whine about bearing the costs of their choice? It doesn't compute... I thought these were people who were proud to sacrifice for their country, ...  I guess I underestimated the selfishness of some of my fellow Americans."

How do I get health benefits
if I can't get a job?
Mr Obama proposed
"... to require Veterans to use private health insurance to cover the estimated $540 million annual cost to the federal government for treatment of injuries to Military personnel received during their tours on Active Duty."

In essence, the Commander-in-Chief attempted to leave Veterans, many of whom would be unemployable -- at least temporarily -- to find private insurance to cover their injuries, which included amputations, severe head injuries, and PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder]. 

The probability of obtaining private insurance to cover what the industry calls a "Pre-Existing Condition" would be somewhat below zero.

The President was mocked and jeered by even the Left over this extraordinary breach of faith to our troops, and eventually backed off.

Illegal immigrants demonstrate their gratitude for benefits

At the same time he proposed forcing our combat Vets to pay for their injuries through private insurance, Mr Obama espoused providing free health care to illegal immigrants -- a concept he expects to be supported under ObamaCare and Medicaid

That translates to: 
"OK GI, you volunteered to serve your country and were severely injured, so pay for your own injuries.  I know you won't vote for me, but I can give health benefits to illegal aliens who I can enfranchise -- and they'll vote for me!" 

But the US Military is now running into still another obstacle imposed by their CinC -- who apparently recognizes he's not going to get the Military vote.

You get a Purple Heart, but no health care, and no vote

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is defying the 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment [MOVE] Act to ensure that every Military member stateside or deployed overseas can register to vote and to get absentee ballots.

The Pentagon Inspector General has asked Congress to waive the 2009 mandate, citing a military vote of only 53% in 2010; of course, Congress passed its legislation precisely because of the low turn-out, noting that many US troops were unable to obtain absentee ballots or to mail them in because of the absence of military Voter Assistance Offices.

The IG team investigating compliance with the legislation noted that many of the listed phone numbers for existing offices did not work, and the offices apparently did not exist.  Acting Director of the Federal Voter Assistance Program, Pam Mitchell, advised that the contact numbers have changed" but could supply no new numbers or evidence the offices did exist.

The DOD IG complained that setting up and staffing such an office network would would cost $15 - $20 million annually -- an amount not budgeted for such offices.  In reality, the function could be carried out by a Personnel clerk as an added-duty at virtually no cost whatsoever.

Senator Cornyn [TX-R] pressures Panetta
Senator Cornyn of Texas, along with five other Republican senators, wrote to Leon Panetta to complain about his defiance of the MOVE Act. 

We suspect Mr Panetta will stonewall the senators and delay responding, much less implementing for as long as possible to keep the troops from voting.  It's Chicago politics at its worst.

We doubt nothing short of holding Mr Panetta in Contempt of Congress will resolve this campaign maneuver by Mr Obama and the DNC.