Cowardice In The Senate

Our Senators and Congressmen are elected representatives. They are voted in by the people they are supposed to represent. A certain amount of transparency is expected from them so that the voters can decide whether or not to reelect them. Unfortunately, some of our cowardly Senators have learned how to get around that transparency and avoid taking responsibility for the votes they cast in the Senate.

Just the News posted an article yesterday that reported the following:

The Senate Armed Services Committee approved a $740 billion 2021 defense authorization bill on Wednesday that establishes a commission that would make recommendations on renaming military bases named after Confederate leaders and implement the plan within three years from the date the bill becomes law.

According to the office of the committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Jack Reed, the committee passed an amendment by voice vote during a closed-door session that would create “a commission to study and provide recommendations” concerning the removal of “names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America.”

The amendment was passed by a voice vote so that no one would know who voted for it and who voted against it. No one is actually taking responsibility for the vote.

The article continues, illustrating the further lack of transparency:

The amendment was approved during a “secret level” markup session that concluded on Wednesday evening. The full text of the amendment, which was introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), has not been made available yet. Warren’s office was not available for comment. The office of Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.) also did not respond before publication.

Inhofe reportedly said on Thursday that he would seek to change the language of the amendment so that renaming the military bases would not be a congressional requirement.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) tweeted on Thursday that he opposed the amendment and “spoke against it” during the closed-door, full committee markup of the defense bill.

“Congress should not be mandating renaming of our bases and military installations,” he wrote.

The House Armed Services Committee has a hearing scheduled in July for the defense authorization bill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that Democratic leaders might include renaming military bases and removing Confederate statues from the Capitol as part of the defense bill or as standalone legislation.

The Civil War is a part of American history. There were many brave men who fought on both sides. All of the soldiers fighting for the Union were not fighting because they opposed slavery and all of the soldiers fighting for the Confederacy were not fighting because they supported slavery. There were multiple motives on both sides. Can we please get over ourselves and grow up?

The Law Of Unintended Consequences Strikes Again

Yesterday Byron York posted an article in the Washington Examiner about the coming increase in the minimum wage for federal contractors. The minimum wage for federal contractors will go from $7.25 and hour to $10.10 an hour. This will include fast food workers, laundry workers, and other low paying jobs on military bases. So what are the consequences?

The article reports:

In late March, the publication Military Times reported that three McDonald’s fast-food restaurants, plus one other lesser-known food outlet, will soon close at Navy bases, while other national-name chains have “asked to be released from their Army and Air Force Exchange Service contracts to operate fast-food restaurants at two other installations.”

…The administration is making it very expensive to do business on military bases, and not just because of the minimum wage. Under federal contracting law, some businesses operating on military installations must also pay their workers something called a health and welfare payment, which last year was $2.56 an hour but which the administration has now raised to $3.81 an hour.

In the past, fast-food employers did not have to pay the health and welfare payment, but last fall the Obama Labor Department ruled that they must. So add $3.81 per hour, per employee to the employers’ cost. And then add Obama’s $2.85 an hour increase in the minimum wage. Together, employers are looking at paying $6.66 more per hour, per employee. That’s a back-breaking burden. (Just for good measure, the administration also demanded such employers provide paid holidays and vacation time.)

These are the actions of an administration that does not understand or value our military and does not understand basic economic principles. The Obama Administration has already begun to make changes in the way the military exchanges are run that will change the savings our military get on food and clothing (see rightwinggranny.com). We need to elect leaders who value our military and take care of them.

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Keeping Politics Out Of Our Military

Unfortunately, we are a stage in our country where everything is political. I don’t know exactly how or when we got here or how to get our of here, but here is where we are. It was refreshing today on Fox News Sunday to hear Senator Kaine say that decisions about guns on military bases should be made by the military in order to avoid politics playing a part in the decision.

The Washington Times reported today:

“I trust the military leadership on this. I don’t live on a military base, and I don’t serve in the military,” the Virginia Democrat said on “Fox News Sunday.” “For those of us in Congress to say ‘here’s what they should do,’ I worry that it would be a little political rather than really about safety or security.”

The article also reported:

Rep. Steve Stockman, Texas Republican, is pushing “The Safe Military Bases Act,” which would allow base personnel to arm themselves.

Fellow Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, argued Sunday that, at the very least, senior military leadership on base ought to be able to carry weapons.

There are a few things to consider here. If senior military leadership had been armed, would the shooter have been brought down sooner? But there is something else to consider. Fort Hood is a gun-free zone. The shooter knew that when he opened fire he would be the only gunman in the room (at least for a short time). Had the shooter known that someone in the room might be armed, would he have taken the chance? The guards at the gate cannot reasonably be expected to search every vehicle or person who comes on base for a gun–the lines getting on to the base would be endless if that were attempted. Obviously, not everyone respects a gun-free zone, so I would suggest creating the possibility that someone in any given area of the base would be armed and prepared to shoot back in case of an attack. It is noteworthy that most of the mass killings we have seen have occurred in gun-free zones, where the killer knew that there would be no opposition. I think we need to create at least some potential opposition.

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More Ridiculousness

Hold on to your hat–the government is attempting to shut down God. The Daily Caller reported yesterday that the Priests who are in government service or are under contract to the military have been threatened with arrest if they celebrate Mass on Sunday.

The article reports:

“With the government shutdown, many [government service] and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide are not permitted to work – not even to volunteer,” wrote John Schlageter, the general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, in an op-ed this week. “During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.”

According to its website, the Archdiocese for the Military Services “provides the Catholic Church’s full range of pastoral ministries and spiritual services to those in the United States Armed Forces.”

The article points out that this ruling on the part of the Obama Administration is not in accordance with the First Amendment rights of the American military. This is not something the government of a free country should do.

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