Archive for the Virginia representatives Category

Don’t ask don’t tell that I have no clue: Jim Moran’s response to my letter

Posted in don't ask don't tell, Jim Moran, letter to jim moran, Opinion (Political), US politics, Virginia politics, Virginia representatives on April 1, 2010 by AN Security

No, this is not really one of those April fool’s Day jokes. Representative Jim Moran (D-VA) did send me an email today. Perhaps it is a joke but I wasn’t laughing. There is something about picking inconsistencies in people’s writing that always appeals to me and he did not disappoint. And yes, I did send Jim Moran a letter dated January 25 2010 that has gone unanswered until today, however just as I was about to give him a little credit (I was hoping for one of those go to hell letters) I got something completely different. My letter which I published in its entirety on this site entitled We are not the Taliban: A letter to Jim Moran, addressed in painful detail (to him maybe, I like my epic letters) why I am strongly against his support of bringing Riduan Isamuddin, (aka Hambali, the Bali Bomber) for trial in my home of residence of Alexandria, Virginia. I was clearly upset and wanted him to know I would not support trials for any enemy combatant on US soil. No answer. The story died as quickly as it surfaced in the media.

Until today.

Let me know if you can find a problem with this response and don’t be shy to post comments. I will be addressing his email shortly.

Dear Ms Leclerc,

Thank you for writing me concerning the repeal of the U.S. military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy (WTF?? I didn’t write you about the gay ban!).

I am a cosponsor of the “Military Readiness Enhancement Act” (H.R. 1283), and an advocate for replacing DADT with a policy of non-discrimination (You’d co-sponsor condoms for crickets if it were feasible). If enacted, this legislation would prevent a person’s sexual orientation from being used to prevent his or her service in our country’s armed forces. As you know, President Obama called for a repeal of this policy in his State of the Union address and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen expressed their support for repeal in recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Those who continue to support DADT argue that allowing openly gay and lesbian soldiers to serve next to straight soldiers would hurt unit cohesion. Recent studies by the Armed Forces and the experiences of other nations do not support this assertion. A report published in Joint Forces Quarterly late last year concluded that “there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that unit cohesion will be negatively affected if homosexuals serve openly.” A recent study by the Palm Center (Sure, why should anyone accept the conclusions of a left-biased organization. There must be other orgs capable of doing this research or have already done so but you’re not presenting that counterargument, right?) examined the experience of other countries that have repealed bans on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. (If Canada or the UK says jump you jump, right? Why would I care about what other countries are doing?) It found that none of the 25 nations that currently allow open service (including Canada, Great Britain, Israel, and Australia) experienced any negative impact on morale, recruitment, retention, readiness or overall combat effectiveness despite predictions of major disruptions prior to enactment.

The military spends, on average, between $22,000 and $43,000 to replace each person discharged under DADT. In 2006, the Blue Ribbon Commission(More looney left people. Smacks of the Star Chamber) from the University of California at Santa Barbara – which included former Department of Defense Secretary William Perry and other defense experts – estimated that the first decade of the policy cost the military $364 million. By now, those costs have likely reached at least a half billion dollars. DADT is a fiscal money pit. (Hey, how about you tell me how much it’s cost us to replace military personnel with life-long experience who were forced to retire since the 1990s at the end of the Gulf War? Before many were brought back from retirement, even medical retirement as trainers because most of our pool of knowledge had been dried! Look at the costs of adjusting their retirement pensions/retainer pay. Doesn’t that cost a lot?)

To date, DADT has resulted in the discharge of nearly 14,000 gay and lesbian soldiers, including engineers, linguists and other critical occupations. Each of these soldiers agreed to make the same sacrifices asked of any soldier, in turn wanting nothing more than to serve their nation honorably and honestly. Unfortunately, the current DADT policy makes this impossible. I believe our nation’s security will be best protected when all service members are allowed to serve without fear that their sexual orientation could become known and result in their discharge.

Late last year, I sent a letter signed by 95 of my House colleagues to Defense Secretary Gates requesting monthly updates on the number of service members discharged because of DADT. Through these routine disclosures, Congress and the American public would have consistent reminders of the careers ended and harm done to our national security because of DADT (And I thought harm done to our national security came from ignoring Afghanistan for a year – and McChrystal, badmouthing Bush – who’s been gone a while, dissing Israel when it needs us the most while sucking up to the Persians and shutting down the F-22 jet production and paring down the Navy’s fleet, silly me. Let me stop now before my eye twitches until I have a stroke). The Department of Defense finally released the 2009 discharge numbers on February 1st, revealing that 428 additional soldiers were fired because of their sexual orientation. I will continue to push for monthly disclosures going forward (How about you disclose other matters regarding funding for projects nobody needs within District 8?).

On March 3rd, I held a press conference to call attention to the soldiers (You won’t even visit units returning from deployment, but you meet with some gay ex-service members, what’s the difference right?) who are directly impacted by this antiquated policy (Do I have to tell you who came up with this antiquated policy?). I was joined by three homosexual service members, two of whom were discharge under DADT and one who, throughout her decorated 30 year service, maintained a lingering fear that at any time she could be outed, ending her career. Unfortunately, often times lost among the statistics, the testimony of our military leaders, and the debate over the political implications of repeal, are the soldiers themselves – (Their service is really not the issue, it is sacrificing the integrity of the services to push social change that’s not needed. They already serve!) those who want nothing more than to serve their nation honorably and honestly. It is for those individuals that DADT is not just a discriminatory policy with a silly name, but a constant threat with severe consequences.

While I commend Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullen (Drones!), and the U.S. military for initiating a review of how to best implement a repeal of DADT and for the issuance of revised guidelines that tighten investigations and discharges under DADT, these developments should not stymie repeal itself. The DoD review will not provide any relevant information to help determine whether DADT should be repealed; for that purpose numerous studies (show me the independent studies, name them!) already exist, each one pointing in the direction of repeal. With the facts and the American public on our side, now is the time for Congress to finally honor the sacrifice of all of our service members by repealing DADT. Rest assured I will do all I can to support this effort.

Thank you again for contacting me about this important issue (Again, I’ve never written you about this. Do I have it correctly and whoever reads your mail can’t figure out what to send out?).

Sincerely,
James P. Moran

P.S. I invite you to visit my website at www.moran.house.gov that contains information on many topics of interest and allows you to sign up for the Moran e-News.

PM/bl

Oh yes indeed, I will visit…let me roll up my sleeves. I can play this game all day.

No Virginia, there is no Constitution: a letter to Senator Mark Warner

Posted in Angry Constituent Letters, James Webb, Jim Moran, mark warner, Virginia representatives on November 22, 2009 by AN Security

There can’t be a Constitution anymore. Nobody is listening.

This is my futile attempt to get the attention of three people:

Senator Jim Webb

Senator Mark Warner

and my least favorite

Representative Jim Moran (Alexandria – Lee District – is my town)

I fully understand that there is an overwhelming amount of mail and phone calls going into their local and District offices but the lack of response or ‘form letter’ formats that don’t address each individual’s complaints reflect that the government has gotten so far away from their base that we’re dealing with a shadow government. It is a sad reality that an elite few have usurped our freedoms and are enjoying the benefits while draining our resources and ability to take care of ourselves. Well, I will continute to write and call. To quote Obama, I don’t get tired and I don’t quit. After a short break I am restarting my writing campaign. There is no Constitution anymore…there can’t be…they’re not listening but we will make them listen one way or the other. I am encouraged with Bob McDonnell’s significant win for governor and hope that we are well on the way of – to use an Obamaism – ‘transform’ Virginia politics from within. It is time to rid the Commonwealth of these tax and spend monsters.

Maybe the fact that I do research topics and issues before writing anything to anyone was a factor in not receiving more targeted answers but considering their disdain for the American people I’d say I don’t have to fair to them either. Perhaps their staff can’t handle my ‘letters’. I get that a lot.

I am re-posting my letters to these three politicians to show you just how detached they are. Just wait until I engage Jim Moran…that should be a treat. I will be re-posting other letters as I get responses or no responses.

Dear Senator Warner,

I am writing to you regarding the current initiative to pass HR 3200 known as the health care bill, which you support. I would like to appeal to your love of the United States and its principles of freedom and liberty, of Virginia and your sense of duty to your constituents not to endorse this bill. I would like to outline my reasons for this request.

On your website you posted comments you made before the Senate on September 23, 2009 that if we don’t do something about health care it will explode our national debt when in this case inaction is precisely what is needed. Let’s focus on paying the debts owed first, not incurring new ones. Why are scores of Americans in such a dire financial situation? The government’s unscrupulous mismanagement of tax-payers’ money has provided a dreadful example to the American people, that we can spend and not pay our bills today; that someone in the future will  pay that debt. Well, tomorrow is today and we are drowning in national and personal debt. This situation was not created in a vacuum. The money does not come out of the blue and that someone else is the American tax payer.

The health care bill is not about healthcare

Health insurance is costly and the system is in grave peril now because of unbridled spending by our government in its quest to socialize everything in our lives. I see that nationalized medicine in itself is not even germane to the lack of health services, but of regulating what the American people do. The word ‘reform’ is anathema of things to come in that every time politicians invoke it there is usually some sort of critical agenda they want to push and it is something that usually the people are against.

There is no such thing as unavailable health care. There are a variety of options available in our country, in health care providers, technology, and treatments to rival those in other developed countries. I understand that the private industry, the ones who spend billions in research and development in the science and medical fields need to recover their costs but I don’t believe that they are the main culprit. Why are American ingenuity and enterprise being targeted as the root of our problems? For that matter, why is the American tax-payer being forced to relinquish control and mastery of his/her destiny to a government that cannot even balance a budget, let alone maintain oversight of where federal money is allocated? Clearly, the health care bill is one of the many phases in the Obama administration’s push to ‘remake our country’ and, with that, many of our other liberties will fall, and that is precisely why this bill must not pass.

We need to stop and focus on the real problem; which is overspending and over-regulation of private insurance companies (actually, it’s persecution of legitimate businesses providing needed services and products to the public, who also create jobs for our communities) and the initiative to take away the citizen’s right to choice.

Before long direct government oversight of healthcare will permeate the course of the law and basically assign a value system to human life in order for the government to control and hand out what it thinks people need.

Look at the current plan to spend even more money we don’t have to issue payments of $250 to Social Security recipients instead of giving them a cost of living increase. This is nothing more than a ruse to make senior citizens believe they are being included in the process while frankly they are being systematically excluded. The current administration believes that Americans who do not believe this is progress are nothing but an obstacle. What progress? The language of the bill implies that medical care is ‘scarce’ or unavailable and that is the reason for the higher costs which is not true. Is this something you really want to support? I wonder just who will be more worthy of government medical care than others. This bill is all about dismantling the private sector and implementing dependency on the government for services. Why? Once the industry is gone there will be no jobs attached to it that will generate revenue and help our economy grow. Why vote for that?

Illegal immigration hurts Virginians

The illegal immigrant health care coverage section of the bill is ambiguous and leaves many gaps where non-citizens can take advantage of publicly-funded programs and services; not to say that they do not already benefit, but the bill will enable these people, now in the millions, to benefit at our expense. In accordance with your immigration voting record, illegal aliens appear to have a higher status than legal citizens. Your voting record shows that you are not supportive of private industry’s creation of jobs, protecting our borders and defending our sovereignty. As it is, illegal aliens receive benefits in healthcare that are not currently accounted for because of immigration measures you voted against prevent the Commonwealth from verifying a person’s identity prior to receiving medical services. Other than offering emergency and life saving measures to undocumented people, the funding trail should end there. I would be hard-pressed to believe that these individuals make significant financial contributions to merit receiving extensive medical care funded by working Americans.

There is no room for a generalized, nationalized coverage policy or program because health care is designed to provide what the individual needs and wants; what works for one person or a family does not work for another. Some people need more assistance than others and there are many forms of obtaining that help. For those with less means hospitals and clinics have been granting services for little or no cost for as long as I can remember, all paid for by the citizens of the United States. Critics of our health system continuously try to make irrelevant comparisons of other country’s systems in order to sell the idea of change. We are not like the Europeans or the Japanese. It does not matter what others do but what is correct for Americans. If our system is so terrible then why do many of our elite medical centers and physicians offer life-saving treatments to people from overseas, sometimes at no cost? The United States is probably the most compassionate nation in the world, yet you want to take that away from Americans and spread our wealth and prosperity to everyone else thinking we lack equality. This is very disturbing. Which brings me to my next grievance; the funding of ACORN.

The funding of NGOs (Non-governmental organizations)

 This is the crux of the housing crisis (the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 comes to mind) and all of the other issues we are dealing with today, which Congress wants to solve with this ridiculous piece of legislation. ACORN must not be funded, and I do not mean temporarily but permanently. It is clear to me that this organization is only one of many which are abusing the trust of the people and are not being monitored for the proper and ethical disbursement of funds. Why should I and the rest of America believe that Washington will control its spending and get us out of this insane debt? We do not trust the system. Please do not vote to further sustain ACORN.

 I still believe that the majority of Americans know socialized health care is not something we’ve asked for or want, and that a minority stands to gain an unfair advantage which in the end will collapse our economic system because there will be no other way to generate revenue to support it. The government has never been able to create jobs or sustainable industries before and I do not see how that can be accomplished in such a hurry now. If we allow private industry to run health care again we will have real options. Don’t worry if that does not work; if coverage from one carrier isn’t to our satisfaction, we will cancel that policy and buy insurance from a competitor that will suit our needs. The same goes for electing government officials who are tasked with representing their constituency; whether you get to serve us is up to us and if your level of representation is not what I and others want, we still have the choice to vote for someone else who will.

 I hear so much talk about high cost of things while there is too much spending happening. This is done very publicly. This is the end of our innocent lack of vigilance and I for one expect some positive changes to take place soon. I am using some sources from the news to illustrate that many of us are paying attention and tracking what is actually going on. We are paying close attention. My request, as is that of scores of Americans, is that whatever partisan endeavors are at work in Washington be subordinate to the will of the people. Help us restore faith in our elected officials to fulfill their duty by not voting for this bill.

Spakovsky, Hans A. von, 50 Examples of government waste, The Heritage Foundation online, http://www.heritage.org/Research/Budget/bg2324.cfm

 Alexander, David, Obama asks Congress to back new payments to elderly, Sweetness & Light online, http://sweetness-light.com/archive/obama-to-buy-senior-support-for-250

 Persad, Govind, Wertheimer, Art & Emmanuel, Ezequiel, Principles of allocation of scarce medical interventions, Lancet, 2009 http://www.factcheck.org/UploadedFiles/emanuel_lancet.pdf

 Obama’s Health rationer-in-chief, The Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203706604574374463280098676.html

Cenziper, Debbie, Staggering need, striking neglect

The nation’s worst-hit city awards millions for care and shelter without ensuring it gets to those it’s meant to help

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/17/AR2009101701984.html?hpid=skybox

Hill, Patrice, Easy-money mortgages still provided, by the feds, The Washington Times online, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/oct/19/feds-help-feed-new-market-for-easy-mortgages/?feat=home_cube_position1#

    UPDATE: SENATOR WARNER’S RESPONSE

The condescending attitude of our elected officials until I got this response. Not only am I not informed I am also confused. That’s the problem with Tea Party types. I just don’t get tyranny and treachery. You be the judge.

Dear Ms. Leclerc,

 Thank you for contacting me about reforming our nation’s health care system.  I appreciate hearing from you on such an important issue. Over the past few months, I have traveled around Virginia to hear from people all over the Commonwealth on the issue of health care.  Since June, my office has been contacted over 100,000 times by constituents on both sides of the debate.  Hearing from constituents is a vital part of my job as a United States Senator and I hope you will continue to share your opinions with me as the health care debate takes shape. 

  A fundamental principle that must guide us through this debate is the fact that our current health care system is financially unsustainable.  While many are concerned about our Federal deficit, most do not realize that the primary cause of our deficit is the increasing per-person costs of Medicare and Medicaid; by 2017, Medicare will be insolvent.  Additionally, American business is weakened by the current costs of health care.  Per capita health care costs in the United States are double that of virtually every other developed nation in the world, leaving American business at a disadvantage and unable to compete in a global economy.  American families also suffer from the rising costs of health care: within the next decade, premiums will consume 40 percent of an average American family’s income.  To do nothing about the current state of our health care system would mean exploding our national debt, hobbling American business and crippling family budgets.

  Although I do not support a government-run single-payer health care system, I believe we need comprehensive reform to achieve a competitive, cost-effective, and efficient system.  This effort should be primarily focused on ensuring that all Americans can get adequate health coverage, and the coverage must be cost-effective and based upon data-driven medical standards.  We must ensure that competition remains among health care providers because it is precisely that competition that drives innovation and cost reduction in the industry.

  The health care reform debate in the Senate has intensified over the last few weeks, with the Finance Committee passing its version of the bill.  Senator Baucus’s bill has shown that it is in fact possible to insure more people while also decreasing the deficit and lowering the cost of health care spending in the long term.  The Senate is now working on merging this version of the bill with a version produced by the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP); it is this merged bill that will be considered by the full Senate in the coming weeks. Although I do not sit on those Committees, I am actively engaged in discussions with my fellow Senators to make improvements to the bill that will focus on reforming our payment system, increasing transparency in the system, improving prevention and wellness, and strengthening health information technology.

 I have taken the liberty of attaching answers to some frequently asked health care related questions.  I also update my website regularly and encourage you to visit www.warner.senate.gov/healthcare, specifically the “Resources and Information about Health Reform” section, for additional information.  Unfortunately the health care debate has resulted in a lot of myths and misinformation about the various bills being considered.  Nonpartisan websites such as www.factcheck.org or www.politifact.org can be helpful in explaining specific provisions and clearing up confusion about this complex issue. 

        Thanks again for contacting me.  As we move forward, I will continue to seek out the advice and opinions of all Virginians in order to help shape an improved health care system that will be in all of our best interests.

Sincerely,
MARK R. WARNER
United States Senator