Thursday, December 18, 2014

"Phuck You Very Much"

The title of today's piece is a paraphrase of the message that soon-to-be-retired United States Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma - a living testament to the fact that one cannot spell the word "Jerkoff" without an "OK" - sent to this nation's veterans late Monday night.  Coburn blocked the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act , a piece of legislation that was unanimously passed through the House of Representatives (let that wash over your mind's eye for a moment) and was sponsored in the United States Senate by a bi-partisan group including Sen. McCain (R) from Arizona and Sen. Manchin (D) from West Virginia.  

Tom Coburn will not be in Washington, D.C. when the new session of Congress convenes in January, 2015.  At that time - without this obtuse asshat acting as an impediment - it is hoped that the Act - named for a 28-year-old highly decorated United States Marine who - after multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan - ended up taking his own life after a protracted struggle to get the proper treatment through the VA for his PTSD.  

The Act, a labor of love of the IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America) and the object of far-reaching, bi-partisan support in both halls of Congress, will have wide-reaching positive effects on this nation's veterans and the system upon which they rely and depend for assistance.  It will, that is, if it ever becomes law.  And thanks to Senator Coburn's actions on Monday night, it shall not become law in 2014. 

It has been reported in many places that twenty-two veterans a day commit suicide.  Twenty-two - the same number of players who square off on opposing sides of the scrimmage line on a football field. Except in the case of the veterans, the twenty-two who are out there today shall be replaced by twenty-two new members tomorrow.  In this setting, tragedy begets substitution. Again and again and again. 

Senator Coburn - who blocked the passage of the Clay Hunt Act, which is designed to assist those service members who stood in harm's way on this nation's behalf in Iraq and Afghanistan - voted "No" on three separate occasions between June, 2006 and December, 2007 on measures involving re-deploying our troops out of Iraq.   Apparently, he has no objection to men and women who wear the uniform of this country standing up for their fellow citizens.  His objection centers on us standing up for them when they return home.  


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