We did it, my friends. Don't let the media lie to you: the Kentucky gubernatorial election was a great victory for progressives.
As I'm sure you're all aware, I've hated the Affordable Care Act since the day our spineless party proved incapable of implementing single-payer so many years ago. Our corporate-owned party sought to throw millions of Americans to the for-profit health insurance industry.
Consequently, I praise our unlikely progressive ally in Governor-elect Bevin. Though the corporate stooge Beshear constructed what many consider to be one of the great success stories of the Americans for Corporations Act, Bevin has promised to liberate Kentuckians from this tyranny by the thousands shortly into his tenure.
While this devastating blow to our corporate shill-in-chief's signature domestic legislation remains the primary victory of this election, a secondary achievement cannot be ignored.
Such a victory would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of our progressive allies to expose the corrupt DNC and its Prime Shillstress, DWS, for what they are. Together, we showed these corrupt, corporate masterswe wouldn't stand for their status quo puppet Conway or the health insurance industry.
Here's to more progressive victories in 2016!
Look, I'm deeply sorry some of you got your feelings hurt by proxy a few months ago, but just get over it.
I'm really tragically upset that some people sick of seeing their friends and family butchered used some harsh words and demanded to be taken seriously, but get over it.
I'm breaking down in tears that you're still having a sad over your candidate being inconvenienced a few months ago, but maybe you should take like him and get over it.
I'm curled up in bed sobbing that Clinton wasn't confronted the exact same way that Sanders was in Seattle, but get over it.
Sure, statistically, by the time I finish writing this, a black American will have been killed by community or police violence, but we'll get to that after we thoroughly address your months-old sads.
Just so you know, you're not fooling anybody.
The one who realized how much they were concerned about racial justice issues once the candidates started fighting over the African American vote.
The one who suddenly started being concerned about how badly the VA health system was broken when the other candidate said something wrong.
The one who now praises the activists you threw under the bus a few months ago.
The one who loves endorsements but despises advocates.
You're not fooling anybody.
Either care about our issues or don't, but don't think we don't see past the cynical electioneering.
The following is excerpted from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America's (IAVA) extensive 2015 policy agenda. There's a lot to be done, and so far, none of the candidates have sufficient policy proposals to address these issues.
1. Continue to Combat Suicide Among Troops and Veterans
When it comes to veteran and troop suicide there can be no missesthe stakes are too high and our national responsibility is too great. That anyone who has worn our uniform concludes that they have no support and no alternative but suicide is a national crisis and disgrace. For nearly a decade, IAVA and the veterans community have long called for immediate action by our nations leaders to end this crisis. In that time we have lost too many friends, but there has been some progressmost notably the passage of the IAVA-led Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act of 2015. But there is still much work to be done. There can be no rest until every veteran and every service member has access to the best mental health care. Working with community groups, Congress and the Administration must lean the full force of the federal government into this problem to better identify and support those in crisis and dramatically improve access to and the quality of mental health care.
2. Fully Recognize and Improve Services for Women Veterans
Nearly 280,000 women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the number of male veterans is expected to decline in the next five years, the women veteran population will increase, and women have taken on new roles and responsibilities throughout the services. Though the quality of care and services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for all veterans needs to dramatically improve, women veterans especially need to see an improvement in the VAs standard of care. Not only do women veterans encounter barriers to care and benefits, they do so in a culture that often does not accept them or fully recognize them as veterans. The VA has made some progress providing care, access and benefits for women veterans, but Congress and the VA must work to change the underlying culture and proactively identify and close gaps in care for women veterans.
3. Reform the VA for Todays Veterans
The VA scandal of 2014 brought to light problems that veterans of all generations face in trying to get their hard earned benefits and care from the VA: a negligent log jam of claims and overdue health care. Much of the crisis was preventable and predictable and it is surely fixable; however, it will require the use of new, innovative solutions. The new Secretaries at the VA and Department of Defense (DoD) must be given the resources, authority and space to succeedwhile being held accountable. State-of-the-art solutions, like IAVAs The Wait We Carry (www.thewaitwecarry.org), which aggregates individual veterans reports on their care, can be a model for veteran outreach and accountability. At the very least, funding and key structures at the VA must be protected from short-sighted cuts and political posturing. This must be the year we all work together to create a dynamic, responsive, veteran-centric system set to meet every veterans needs for decades to come. Our military is the worlds most advanced; our care for our veterans must be the same.
4. Defend Veteran and Military Education Benefits
The Post-9/11 GI Bill has sent more than one million veterans to school. It has helped these veterans in their transition home but it has also trained Americas next greatest generation to lead in tech startups, Fortune 500 corporations, nonprofits and at every level of government across the country. Though wildly successful, the New GI Bill has been exploited by predators in the for-profit school sector who take advantage of veterans benefits and often leave veterans stuck with unnecessary debt and a subpar education. Congress must close loopholes that reward these bad actors for exploiting veterans and strengthen regulations that help veterans choose the best educational programs to meet their career goals.
This isn't a political football. This is life or death for us.
We're doomed in 2016 if Clinton is nominated because she doesn't inspire anyone, but those damn Clinton supporters won't listen to reason because they're too emotional.
The Republicans have admitted it's a fraud.
The hack in charge of the investigation just got caught lying about this latest "bombshell."
Oh, and Sanders himself has said enough with the damn emails.
What else do you need?
Enough of the goddamned deployments.
Washington needs to get off its collective ass and fix the goddamn VA health system and start taking the suicide, sexual assault, PTSD, and traumatic brain injury epidemics seriously before they get one more goddamned year in that war.
As leaders of the nations largest veterans organizations, with more than 5 million active members, we vehemently disagree with your dangerous proposal to eliminate the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system for Americas veterans. Eliminating the VA health care system considering all that it has done in the past and all that it could be in the future would inevitably endanger the health and well-being of millions of wounded, injured and ill veterans, an outcome that we cannot allow to occur.
Dr. Carson, do you really think that veterans would be better off today had VA not existed, or that they would be better cared for in the future in a world without a national VA system dedicated to their unique and often complex needs?
Furthermore, your suggestion that giving veterans health savings accounts in lieu of access to a VA health care system would effectively diminish our nations sacred obligation to care for him who shall have borne the battle It would put the onus on the veteran for finding their own health care providers, navigating through the private market-based system, determining whether it meets the standard of care they require, and dealing with the consequences if it goes awry. To suggest that disabled veterans could be sent out into the private economy with a health savings account card overlooks the fact that civilian health care providers have waiting lists of their own, that private practices often limit the number of government plan patients they accept due to low reimbursement rates, and presupposes that civilian doctors have the necessary skillsets and training to meet the unique health needs of military veterans.
Dr. Carson, as one of our nations preeminent medical practitioners, you are well positioned to work with us to promote needed reforms at the VA, reforms that will ensure this country keeps its promises to Americas veterans. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and open a dialogue about the benefits of a national health care system focused exclusively on veterans. Americas veterans have earned the right to a VA system that provides veteran-centric, high quality, accessible health care. We invite you to join with us in an effort to strengthen and reform the VA, not destroy it.
Garry Augustine, Executive Director, Washington Headquarters, DAV
Robert E. Wallace, Executive Director, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
Verna L. Jones, Executive Director, The American Legion
Homer S. Townsend, Jr., Executive Director, Paralyzed Veterans of America
Stewart M. Hickey, National Executive Director, AMVETS
Robert Puskar, National Commander, Military Order of the Purple Heart
Paul J. Rieckhoff, Executive Director, IAVA
VADM Norbert R. Ryan, Jr., USN (Ret), President, Military Officers Association of America
He had gone to Afghanistan at 19 as a machine-gunner in the Marine Corps. In the 18 months since leaving the military, he had grown long hair and a bushy mustache. It was 2012. He was working part time in a store selling baseball caps and going to community college while living with his parents in the suburbs of Phoenix. He rarely mentioned the war to friends and family, and he never mentioned his nightmares.
He thought he was getting used to suicides in his old infantry unit, but the latest one had hit him like a brick: Joshua Markel, a mentor from his fire team, who had seemed unshakable. In Afghanistan, Corporal Markel volunteered for extra patrols and joked during firefights. Back home Mr. Markel appeared solid: a job with a sheriffs office, a new truck, a wife and time to hunt deer with his father. But that week, while watching football on TV with friends, he had wordlessly gone into his room, picked up a pistol and killed himself. He was 25.
Still reeling from the news, Mr. Bojorquez surveyed the old baseball posters on the walls of his childhood bedroom and the sun-bleached body armor hanging on his bedpost. Then he took a long pull from the bottle.
The Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment saw some of the worst fighting in Afghanistan in 2012, and of the 1200 Marines sent there, 13 have since taken their own lives.
It's an epidemic.