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Your Republican Government At Work…Or Not…


You know, I oughtn’t be surprised, considering Bill Frist declared yesterday Seersucker Thursday in the United States Senate and all.  But the Republicans in the Congress and in George Bush’s Administration have so mismanaged things that the electric bills aren’t getting paid for our military bases here at home.

"Um, hello?!?"

Yeah, you heard me correctly

Fort Sam Houston has received 1,300 utility service termination notices for delinquent bill payments, which officials blamed on a major budget shortfall.

CPS Energy warned commanders at the post to pay $4.2 million by Wednesday or risk losing power. The post is three months behind on its bills, but both Army and utility officials said the two parties were talking and no cutoff was imminent.

"Who would imagine us not paying our bill?" said Col. Wendy Martinson, Fort Sam Houston’s garrison commander. "I worry about it. I can’t sleep at night."

The post, which trains medics, faces a $26 million budget shortfall this year — a problem that officials said is symptomatic of the financial woes facing posts worldwide….

The House of Representatives spent ten hours debating a sham non-binding resolution designed for political purposes only regarding the war in Iraq. The Senate spent the day yesterday looking like the Good Humor Man gone bad.

Meanwhile, in the real world, our military doesn’t have the money it needs to run its bases here in the US of A. And Fort Sam Houston isn’t the only base having major budget shortfalls. It’s also happening at Fort Hood and elsewhere around the country.  And don’t even get me started on how our reserves and national guard are being treated, with equipment just being dumped in Iraq and not replaced and fire/flood/hurricane season upon us.

Someone tell me again how Republicans are strong on defense and support our troops. Here’s a thought: real support means you do your damn job, provide for basic needs, make certain that every man and woman in uniform has the equipment and training they need before they go into harm’s way — and that you provide for oversight and accountability because the safety and consideration of our troops outweighs party maneuvering. Period. In this case, the ends never, ever justifies a means that involves giving our troops the short shrift so you can play CYA for George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

Our troops deserve better. Our nation deserves better. And we deserve the whole truth — including the fact that Republicans aren’t up to the job of paying the bills for basic necessities like electricity for our military bases. Daddy party, my ass.

…And yes, Donald Rumsfeld is still SecDef.  Heckuva job, Shrub.

Had enough?  Get off your rear end and sign up to work for a Democratic candidate of your choice.  I will be — as will all the cool kids.  Americans, and our troops, deserve a helluva lot better than a Republican Rubber Stamp Congress.

(Hat tip to reader TheOtherWA for the tip.  And to Holden at First Draft for finding this.)

UPDATE:  The 30 Something Democrats are speaking on the floor of the House right now on C-Span1.  With the giant Rubber Stamp Republican Congress rubber stamp.  Well worth a watch, as always. 

PS — In case you are wondering, this is just the sort of topic that makes an excellent letter to the editor in your hometown newspaper or a good call into the local talk radio.  People really understand the basics of paying your bills and taking care of the folks in uniform.  And they understand the difference between paying Halliburton bazillions of dollars and shortchanging our military bases here at home.  (Hat tip to D. Mason for inspiration on this suggestion.  Please do think about sending something out on this today or making a call.  Every voice counts.)

UPDATE #2Sean-Paul has more on Ft. Sam Houston.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com