Gung Ho (means: work together) America
“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
– Mark Twain
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) issued its 2008 Congressional Report Card, and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) issued percentage ratings, on how U.S. Senators and Representatives voted regarding issues of direct importance to disabled veterans and recent combat veterans (and their families). Perhaps, like me, you are interested in how the legislators who represent you in Washington, D.C. and the two Senators who ran last year for President, were rated by the IAVA and the DAV.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) issued report cards last year to every U.S. Senator and Representative.
Over half of all U.S. Senators got an “A” report card from IAVA. Senator Herb Kohl (WI) received an “A”.
Senators Russ Feingold (WI) and Barack Obama (IL) received “B” report cards.
Out of 100 U.S. Senators, IAVA issued only four “D” or “F” report cards.
Senator John McCain (AZ), son of an admiral, was one of those four.
Not one Republican Representative from Wisconsin received an “A” from IAVA.
Every Democratic Representative from Wisconsin received an “A” from IAVA.
F.J. Sensenbrenner got the lowest report card issued last year to any Representative from Wisconsin.
Disabled American Veterans (DAV) gave only five U.S. Senators a 100 percent rating on their “key votes” for the 2nd session of the 109th Congress. All five 100 percent ratings were earned by Democratic Senators. All ratings 50 percent and lower were earned by Republican Senators.
Senators Barack Obama, Russ Feingold, and Herb Kohl each got 80 percent ratings.
John McCain was one of only three Senators to earn a 20% rating. No one got lower than 20%.
214 (out of 435 total) members of the U.S. House of Representatives during the 109th Congress received 100% ratings from the Disabled American Veterans. Only 13 Republican Representatives in the entire country were among those 214 legislators who were rated 100 percent by Disabled American Veterans.
All Democratic Representatives from Wisconsin in both the 109th and 110th Congress received 100% ratings from the DAV and were re-elected in both 2006 and 2008.
No Republican Representatives from Wisconsin in the 109th Congress received a 100% rating.
Three Wisconsin Republicans (Sensenbrenner, Ryan, and Petri) received a 75% rating from DAV and were re-elected in 2006.
One Wisconsin Republican (Green) received a 66% rating and was not re-elected in 2006.
All Wisconsin Representatives (both Democratic and Republican) in the 110th Congress received a 100% rating from DAV.
All Wisconsin Representatives (five Democrats and 3 Republicans) were re-elected in 2008. Learn and survive, I guess.
Here is the DAV StandUp4Vets rating of all US Senators and Members of Congress.
Find how your Representative and Senators rated by selecting at the bottom of the “Key Votes” page.
Disclaimer: I do not represent or speak for IAVA or DAV. I have never been a member of either of the two current major political parties. I suggest that you visit the web sites of DAV (www.dav.org) and IAVA (www.iava.org) to learn more about these fine organizations, and the issues they assess as being of importance to veterans and their families. My summary above extracted simple facts that focused on Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation and the two major party ‘08 Presidential candidates, from the studies and legislative tracking undertaken by those veterans organizations.
Here’s a clue – the IAVA and DAV studies of legislative action were objective, and did not include counting lapel pins, photo ops, the opinions of popular talk show hosts, a popularity poll, or the quantity of cheap PR platitudes issued by the politicians. Across the entire country, some Democrats scored high and some scored low. Similarly, some Republicans scored high and some scored low. But you’d best not assume who scored high and who scored low based on whether they are a Republican or a Democrat. See the issues the DAV and the IAVA tracked, and how your Representative and Senators rated by going to the web sites above.
You may be surprised – even startled and disbelieving. One Marine vet (a factory worker all his working life) who I spoke with at a local American Legion Hall in Wisconsin read the above summary with a gathering frown, pronounced it “a pack of lies”, and actually set fire to the paper itself with his cigarette lighter. Another time and place, a Navy vet, obviously unfamiliar with both the Disabled American Veterans and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, declared that they must be anti-war organizations. On the other hand, another vet I gave an earlier version of the paper to, later removed the sign he had posted in his front yard that declared, “Veterans for McCain”. (I had suggested that he place the letter “A” before the letter “V”, and remove the letter “s” from the word “veterans”.) And two American combat infantry veterans helped me hand out copies of this leaflet. The most disappointing and disturbing reaction I encountered was from persons who said they weren’t veterans and said they weren’t interested in issues important to veterans.
Some people will hear the truth and consider good evidence.
Some won’t. Some don’t care.
Myths can only be dispelled, and propaganda disarmed, if we are willing and able to recognize truth.
Only truth (not lies) can help us attain and maintain freedom and government that is of, by, and for the people.
And freedom (as well as government of, by, and for the people) isn’t free. We have to work and fight for it.
INDEPENDENT – A CHOICE for A CHANGE