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Obama, McCain Tussle Over Veterans Issues


Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) waves upon his arrival on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 22, 2008. (Associated Press)

By Jonathan Weisman
Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) insisted the Senate's overwhelming passage of his expansion of veterans education benefits had nothing to do with the presidential campaign.

"There is no politics," he said, after 25 Republicans broke not only with President Bush but with presumptive Republican nominee
John McCain (Ariz.) to give the measure a resounding win. "This is taking care of the people who have taken care of us."

But through the prism of the election, the politics were clear, present and vicious.

The Senate today took up and passed legislation to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and twin that money with billions in domestic priorities and a new G.I. Bill that promises returning veterans sufficient tuition assistance to attend the most expensive state universities in the nation. McCain skipped the vote in favor of campaigning in California, including attending a fundraiser sponsored by San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos. But his White House rivals, Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) were very much present.

"I respect Senator John McCain's service to our country," Obama said on the Senate floor. "But I can't understand why he would line up behind the president in opposition to this G.I. Bill. I can't believe why he believes it is too generous to our veterans."

McCain's comeback was withering, a lengthy statement questioning Obama's knowledge of veterans issues and his commitment to national security.

"I take a backseat to no one in my affection, respect and devotion to veterans. And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did," he said in the statement.

The issue is likely to reverberate for weeks. The House will take up the Senate-passed war funding bill after Memorial Day recess, then dare Bush to make good on his promised veto. McCain has shown no sign of backing away from his opposition to Webb's updated G.I. Bill, which he says is too costly and is so generous that it would lure soldiers and Marines away from an already stretched military. And he appears more than willing to challenge virtually every veterans organization on the issue, from the Republican-friend Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion to the more Democratic VoteVets.org.

"It is typical, but no less offensive that Senator Obama uses the Senate floor to take cheap shots at an opponent and easy advantage of an issue he has less than zero understanding of," he huffed.

But his opponents stand at the ready. The Democratic National Committee excoriated McCain for skipping the Senate vote, as did VoteVets, which is already airing an advertisement on the issue.

"We're certainly pleased that the G.I. Bill has passed and now will likely go to the president, but disappointed that Senator McCain put his own coffers ahead of this crucial debate, and chose not to vote," said Jon Soltz, an Iraq War veteran and VoteVets chairman. "Senator McCain knows how tough things are for those fighting in Iraq, and when they get home. All of us would love to spend time getting money and talking football. But, sometimes there are more important things to do in life."

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 22, 2008; 2:53 PM ET
 
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Comments

McSame is an insult to every VET!!!

A privileged son of a high rank military connected family BARELY makes it though the Academy, loses 5 aircraft and is shot down after 23 mission hours comes home - fools around until he finds a rich girlfriend, dumped the fat old one with the kids, marries the rich one with the MILLIONS, houses, a jet, all the beer you can drink, and enough chump change and family connections to finance his political ambitions - - - so WHO NEEDS A G.I. BILL??? Just get home and do "The McCain" . . . .

Need we add - in addition to his wife's income in excess of $6 Million a year('06), free med care, Senate Pension ($129,000 for over 20 year service) Military Retirement $58,000, Senate Salary $162,000, office funds allowance, lobbyist perks and trips, free flights and cheap lunches at the Senate Cafeteria . . he ALSO collects $28,000 from what he calls a "bankrupt" Social Security System. Yep, a real "man of the people"

Posted by: Jess Wonderin | May 24, 2008 3:48 AM | Report abuse

All this anger out of McCain is because he's scared he knows he going to lose in November against Obama. That's why many Republican's all along have been trying to choose their opponent... Hillary. All McCain can offer the people of America is more of this Bush living hell.

Posted by: Jim | May 23, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse


McCain's statement: "I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did."

Why, Senile McCain, has it occurred to you that Obama was addressing his surprise to the American public, rather than lecturing you personally? But I guess in McCain's world, he is the center of the universe, and the American public is just some alter ego for his grand self.

And how exactly is an expression of disbelief a "lecture"? I guess for McCain the English language is a difficult subject.

Posted by: Sage | May 23, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

McCain is totally out of touch with what american vets are going through these days.

If he is not with us, he is against us!

Posted by: Marshall | May 23, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Dear Fellow Americans,

Our Greatgrand Nation, the United States of America,
is facing and will face very critical, substantial
"Challenges" in the coming months, years, and decades.

It is imperative that we the people of the America
become interested, involved, and engaged in choosing
and voting for our next President.

The following criteria will guide and help us to a
right candidate. The candidate we choose must have
following characteristics:


1. A clear, candid " Vision and Mission" for our
Nations present and future.

2. A " Strong Character and significant
Integrity".

3. A sound and sustained "Presidential Temperament"
and " Judgment".

4. Less "Washington exposure" and "real
connectivity with the people and future
generation".

5. One who "Inspires us up" rather than
"Tears us Down or divides us".

6. One who is not based on sexism,
racism,regionalism,ageism, or any other ism and as
well as one who attempts to " bring us together ".

7. A foreign policy of mainly "USA Centric".

In my professional, political and personal opinion,
the only candidate that meets all the above
characteristics and has shown consistent
coolness, calmness, and connectedness { PRESIDENTIAL
TEMPERAMENT } is Senator Barack Obama.

As an independent registered voter since 1980, I voted
for Carter, voted for Reagan, voted for First Bush,
and second Bush in 2000 and in the process lost
interest in Washington politics to the point where i
stopped voting. Getting disinterested and disgusted in
our political process and stopping voting was a very
very bad decision in any circumstance, particularly
under present circumstances.

This time we can not afford to stay on the sidelines
and let "Washington" stay the same. We can not afford
to allow our Greatgrand Nation to become less than
what we are, what we were and what we can be.

We need to send a clear, careful and candid message to
the world and sometimes 24-hour partisan divisive
media, that We the American people will set the agenda
for our future. America and Americans will be back.

These partisan media outlets are trying and will try
their best to deprive, decieve,dupe, and derail us.
Let us stay involved, engaged, and express our opinion
freely and vote. Our Nation will get it right this
time
to protect, preserve, and promote our future.

Some of these partisan media and pundits are trying
their best to deny us a better future and continue
focusing on our weaknesses to generate a bitter future
for us and our Greatgrand Nation. Our nation's people
will see thru. Unfortunately our Greatgrand Nation's
people are persistently and constantly subjected to
this "Psychological Terrorism" without common people's
knowledge.

The common and regular people do not have time to see
thru and sort thru this psychological terrorism
perpetuated by some of these partisan media outlets.

I find it tragic, unfortunate, and sad [ They probably
do not care about our Greatgrand Nation ]as they claim
that they do it in the interest OF our Greatgrand
Nation.

We the Americans should not and will not to allow
some of these partisan media outlets to
psychologically
terrorize, traumatize and silence us this time nor
any other time in future.

I am sure that we will get it right this
time and elect Senator Obama as our next President.

Let us remember that our Greatgrand nation consists of
family, friends,fellowships, faith, funds,foundation,
fun, and future with fairness and freedom and without
fear, favor, or failure .

We can not afford to lose any of the above. Let us
stand up, be counted, save and rebuild our Greatgrand
Nation for centuries to come. I am sure our Greatgrand
nation andits diverse people. will reclaim, regain and
restore the global economic, social, moral, and power
status of USA.

God Bless our Great grand Nation and its diverse
people.

Our Greatgrand nation needs present and future
stability, security, safety,sustained progress and
restoration of our due status in this perilous Global
World at all levels.

Yours sincerely,

COL.[retd] A.M.Khajawall M.D.
Forensic Psychiatrist.
Disabled American Veteran.
Las Vegas Nevada.
Cell: 951-505-6975


Posted by: COL. [retd]A.M.Khajawall | May 23, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

North Star:

I served in combat during the Korean War (1950-53). Will you allow ME to comment?

Posted by: JakeD | May 23, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Nemesis2008 makes a great point about committees.

Senator Obama is a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. Senator McCain (like Hillary Rodham Clinton) is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. McCain is quick to spew rhetoric on military service, as his statement contains the history of his 20+ years in the U.S. Navy, along with the service of his father and grandfather. Does that make him best qualified to be President and Commander-in-Chief?

What have the Senators done to enact legislation that provides benefits to the constituents their committees serve?

Senator Obama authored a bill that provided more funding to provide housing to homeless veterans. [The bill was passed and signed by the President, so this is a tangible benefit.] Homeless veterans are not your generally 'sexy' citizens that candidates like to wave the flag in front of for campaign literature. (They are typically not big campaign donors either.)

And what has McCain done for members of the Armed Services? Well, he co-sponsored the bill with Burr (NC) and Graham (SC) to provide watered down GI Bill benefits.

So checking the legislative records of the senators at www.thomas.gov is a good exercise for those of us that would consider past experience/achievements a good indicator of future success, like the corporate world is prone to do when considering whom to promote to CEO.

To Rightie, who laments the lack of a good Presidential candidate, since the current choices are "Too old, too black, or too woman," you may just have to tough it out for a few years, or else find yourself another country to live in.

McCain would make a good statue, I think. But please, put it in Arizona and not in the hall of Presidents.

To Fahd, who thinks John McCain has a point that vet benefits are too expensive: Maybe he (or his buddies Graham or Burr or Inhofe) will author legislation to outsource our military jobs to China, since we could probably hire Chinese workers on the cheap and without benefits that are so expensive to us taxpayers.

To Neil who thinks 'the BI Bill will encourage soldiers to leave Iraq in droves,' you appear ignorant of both military service and Iraq. Do you think soldiers are just going to hang up their weapons and jump on an airplane and leave Iraq to check into a university? Get thee to a movie theater that is showing 'Stop Loss.'

And to those of you that think GI Bill education benefits should be different (better) for those veterans that have served more than one enlistment, have you completed your first enlistment yet?

[Submitted by a middle-aged white woman (with a U.S. Navy uniform in the closet) who recognizes that the person best qualified to be the 44th President of the United States of America may not be most representative of my gender, race, or military service.]

Posted by: North Star | May 23, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Deward Bowles:

You will have to explain a little better how pointing out that Senator Obama does not understand military affairs is a slap in the face of a completely different Senator (unless Webb said something like: "I've taught Barack everything I know" and, even then, it would still be more of a comment on the student)?

Posted by: JakeD | May 23, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

If Senator McCain is worried about troops being stretched too thin, there are two choices. Institute a draft so that the sons and daughters of the politicians that authorized the war have to join the brave soldiers fighting it, or give the Iraqis a timetable of our drawdown.

Holding troops hostage with no prospects is not the way to get out of his mistake.

And, for the record, Senator Obama was a young man in a nation at peace. Senator McCain should reserve his pot shots for men like Dick Cheney and his colleagues in the Republican Party, who refuse to serve in wars they advocate forcing other men to fight.

Posted by: arbite | May 23, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

"Maybe Bush shouldn't have attacked Obama from the floor of the Knesset. "

Well then, Obama shouldn't follow Bush's example. Even worse judgement from Obama,
don't you think?

Posted by: Billw | May 22, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

"I believe MaCain may have been irritated that Obama made his politically expedient remark from the Senate floor. Not real good judgement on Obama's part."

Maybe Bush shouldn't have attacked Obama from the floor of the Knesset.

Posted by: Oh yeah? | May 22, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Blackwater - owned by Republicans - and other mercenary companies have been tempting Special Forces out of the Army with huge salaries, effectively stealing their expensive training from the taxpayer, and the Republicans had no problem with that. But offer soldiers a better education and McBush goes ballistic.

Of course McBush is happier to have them become mercenaries, because they stay in Iraq even longer and if they die it doesn't get added to the 4,000+.

Posted by: Ross | May 22, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Someone just said:

"Wow, McCain is one angry-sounding guy. How was it a cheapshot to criticize him for not voting and not supporting this bill? "

I believe MaCain may have been irritated that Obama made his politically expedient remark from the Senate floor. Not real good judgement on Obama's part.


Posted by: Billw | May 22, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Wow, McCain is one angry-sounding guy. How was it a cheapshot to criticize him for not voting and not supporting this bill? Is it dirty politics to mention McCain's voting record now?

No wonder the media's always been so nice to McCain, since he's like a bear with a sore head when he's questioned or criticized. He needs to relax.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

The number one impediment to retention in the Army and Marines is not over-generous scholarship provisions, it's McCain's useless Iraq war with its endless, pointless, demoralizing deployments.

When can that end again? Have they found the WMD yet?

Posted by: kenonwenu | May 22, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Obama threw the first jab, and on the senate floor, no less. It was a cheap shot for political gain, and Obama got what he deserved.

Posted by: Billw | May 22, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey, McCain is taking a stand on principle here.

It's just not quite important enough a principle to justify missing a fundraiser by the owner of the Chargers to vote on.

Posted by: Gook | May 22, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I thought John Warner said it best when it described how the G.I. Bill enabled him to go to school and become who he is today.
So why is John McCain not supporting it?
I went to school in Connecticut and I have to say we have things good here. If you qualify as a War Era Veteran you basically get 50% off plus the G.I. Bill. However, it still stinks that students often have to wait 8-12 weeks for the money to come in each semester during which the credit card bills can get crazy. Rent does not wait. Books do not wait. Creditors do not wait. But most places do not have it as good as Connecticut. The G.I. Bill does not come close to paying for a private school and most places do not even cover the state school tuition. I know this comes as shock to a lot of people.
Basically, what this bill proposes to do is bring it in line with what it covered originally when Veterans like Sen. John Warner received it after WWII.
So why is John McCain not supporting it?
Well, from what I hear some of the Pentagon brass does not support it. (Okay, disclaimer I spent 8 years in as an enlisted guy. Three years undesignated onboard the USS George Washington, with two deployments to the Persian Gulf, and 5 years as Petty Officer. So I don't always trust the higher ups.)

So these are the arguments I'm hearing.
1) It will harm retention: Seriously, this is their problem? We need to attract more folks to the service. If we do that, and treat them right, then people will stay. McCain's proposal would give a boost to the G.I. Bill but only for those staying more than 12 years. I have HUGE issues with this. Basically what it is saying is that troops who do one 4 year tour (And have you thought about what one Army tour can be like? Most likely one or two deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan) have not done enough. Seriously?! And if you are like me you need to make up your mind before 10 years. You can retire at 20 years so if I had enlisted again I would have had 12 years and been an E-7 most likely, more than half way to retirement. So, I'm sorry, I thought I had served my country well and decided to start a family and take my experiences into the classroom as a teacher. But I guess according to those calculations it wasn't enough.
2) Cost: They say it will cost too much. Funny, we always have the money to start a war but not to pay for everything afterwards. I'm about to go off on a tangent here so I'll try to rein myself back in. History shows that for every dollar we put into the G.I. Bill we get back 7-12 dollars. In our global economy we need an educated workforce. Who better to be the leaders of tomorrow than the men and women that have worn the uniform. Don't skimp on our country's future.
3) I've seen it as SCSU where I was lucky enough to work with our VA rep as a work/study student while taking classes. Every semester we'd see guys and girls come in feeling a bit lost. Like they were the only older ones, the only ones that have been overseas and then they come in and have a place to go with others like them. We have eachother and we have something to work for. What better place to transition back to civilian society than an environment of higher learning?
There is enough that is hard and complicated about this process of getting out of the service. Don't make college be one of them.

So, today John McCain barked at Obama for daring to wonder why this patriotic American (Which Barack took greats pains to point out that the Senator is) is following the Bush line and not supporting the new G.I. bill. It shouldn't have become an issue. John McCain should be behind it. After all the government paid for his education at the Academy, right?
John McCain will always be a hero in my book for how he conducted himself as a POW. If I'm honest I could not say I would have been as strong as him. Which is what makes it so hard now. I do not know if he is a different politician than the one I thought he was in 2000 or did that election cycle change him somehow?
I can't presume to know what is in his head and in his heart. I do know I would really like to get the chance to sit down with him, off the record, with no media, and just ask him that one question.
Why?

Posted by: Rob | May 22, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Obama supports the troops, and McCain supports Bush.

Posted by: Kevin Morgan | May 22, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

McCain assails Obama for a lack of military service, but he is OK with W.'s lack of service as well as Cheney's record number of 'deferments.' Not to mention, Guliani not only had no time for the 9/11 Commission and also mis-handled the NYC Police Commissioner appointment as well as not providing NYC public safety officers adequate equipment (much like Rumsfeld and W. in the current war.) McCain is also AGAINST a much-needed revised G.I. Bill. He'd probably be against the original GI bill.

I cannot imagine him as President. Although, he was probably the most qualified amongst the three stooges or little rascals that ran in the GOP primary.

Posted by: crazy4glf | May 22, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Look at the lack of body armor in Iraq at the beginning of the war. Look at the scandal about the treatment of Iraq and Afghanistan wounded at Walter Reed Hospital. Look at the recent revelations about dilapidated army barracks. Republicans talk a lot about supporting our troops, but time and time again they let them down. The GI bill vote is just another example.

Posted by: Maggots | May 22, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Shame on Senator McCain for missing an important vote for the GI Bill. I'm totally disappointed for him saying one thing about supporting the troops, but doesn't even bother to show up to vote, instead he goes to a fund raiser to fatten up his own wallet.
Senator McCain is going to have to answer to every veterans group on why he won't support the troops with this bill.
And this no support for this bill only goes along with President Bush. What an administration this is. A president with questionable military service, and a coward of a vice-president who got 7 deferrments to get out of serving our nation.
This is the best the Reblicans got? No wonder they're going to get their butts trounced come this election.

Posted by: Chase | May 22, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

McCain for what matters is turning out to be a first class, cheap, hypocrite through and through republican. That cares less about the country as compared to his conservative republican perverse cause of inequality, rights only of his kind, his own self interest and self righteousness and that overzealous pig Hagee and his snake oil evangelical BS.

Posted by: winemaster2 | May 22, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

"Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform".....Right.! If Obama was a true patriot like George Bush, he would have had his daddy use his influence to get him in the Air National Guard so he would not have to leave the country during the Vietnam war, and could the desert in the final year of his enlistment to start his political career and then have his daddy erase the official records of this while he was president.

Posted by: smi2le | May 22, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

This bill several purposes. First, it allows Democrats to continue to say they support the troops but not the war. Secondly, it may help recruiting. These benefits are far more generous that the ones I received in the 80's.

Posted by: bill | May 22, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

How dare John McCain and Lindsey Graham insult our soldiers by insinuating they can be bought out of their commitment to serve this country!!!! We must have faith that those who are most personally committed to military service will remain in service AND we will reward them by keeping their housing and services to their families in top notch shape, unlike the GOP has up to now.

Posted by: tigman_2 | May 22, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

You know what this GI bill refusal is like? Taking out your whole fraternity out for a 7-course dinner on your parents' credit card, then deciding that you've spent too much, and stiffing the waiters with no tip.

Posted by: steve boyington | May 22, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

The McCain-Bush parallels continue. Too bad Johnny Come Lately didn't get all defensive and protective about spending money and protecting our troops when Republicans were planning on sending them to Iraq... for five or six or ten years.

Posted by: steve boyington | May 22, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Heroes do get shot down
Heroes do get captured
Heroes don't spill their guts and sing like a canary sending their comrades down the river.

John McCane (as in a walking implement for the elderly) is not my hero.

Posted by: JR | May 22, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

McCain, I was reading above, is getting testy about people serving their country in uniform. Back when McCain and I served, there was something called a draft. There was no such thing when Obama came along. There are many people spewing forth venom on this issue who have never served their country in uniform either. Personally, there is more to a person's character than whether or not he/she served in the military. Let me repeat from an earlier post, there is no military requirement for a person to serve as President.

Posted by: Earl C | May 22, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama is on the right side of this issue. McCain was AWOL.

McCain is also facing preacher problems. I said long ago after the Wright matter unfolded that many white preachers also spew forth their own form of hateful speech and odd-ball theology. I know. Like Obama, I do not change my church affiliation just because a preacher goes off the deep end occasionally. Believe it or not, there are plenty of "bitter" people out there also. Gas just hit $4 a gallon in my area. People earning minimum wage will not be able to afford to go to work soon.

I want to keep one McCain quote foremost in people's minds at this time. It shows McCain's outstanding ability to speak clearly on a very important issue.

"My friends, I will have an energy policy that we will be talking about which will eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East that will that will then prevent us that will prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East." Verbatim quote, John McCain, Denver, May 2, 2008.

Posted by: Earl C | May 22, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Generalissomo McCain puts political fund-raising ahead of his Senate duties, presumably because he feels the legislaton is too generous to our troops caught up in the Iraq War fiasco.

Worse yet, if McCain had been present in the Senate, he would have voted against the legislation on veterans. Since he is so ready to shoot off his mouth, let us see how he explains away this slap in the face to veterans.

Posted by: Forrest Gerard | May 22, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Here we go! John McCain is a thin-skinned, slightly crazed, hot-head who is widely despised on Capitol Hill. It won't be long now before he blows his cool and shows the rest of the country what those closest to him have known for a very long time. This man lacks the temperance to be Commander in Chief, no matter what his service in uniform entailed.

Posted by: Michael | May 22, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I hope McCain picks Romney to be his Vice President.

Because the evangelicals will stay home and not vote.

Mike Huckabee said 'Mormons are not Christians'.

And he's right. They're polygamists and child rapists.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I have been a supporter of Senator McCain for many years and still support him. However, on the issue of a new GI Bill of Rights I cannot agree with his position. We owe a duty to our vets to provide them the very best in health care and educational/career benefits. The question is funding priorities. It seem to me that our vets have a higher priority then pork barrel domestic projects and foreign aid to regimes who do not support the U.S. Yes, we are in rough economic times, but don't take it out on our vets. Change our spending priorities.

Posted by: Fred Levin | May 22, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Sen. McCain has his own GI Bill, marry a rich woman.

Posted by: Roger | May 22, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only way feeling like our government can't be trusted - even when it comes to supporting the very people that make their stupid war possible?

If I'm on the front lines - I'm putting my gun down and finding a commercial plane ticket to Canada.

Seriously, our leader has been AWOL since 2002.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Did we say 'troops'?

We meant 'Oil Companies'.

Sorry. It was a miscommunication. Like, 'Mission Accomplished'.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Heroes don't get shot down.

Heroes don't get captured.

Heroes don't poop their pants when interrogated.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

It amazes me on how the current administration said you don't support the troops if you are opposed to the war. Yet those same people that accuse you of not supporting the troops don't vote for the bill that would show and give support for our troops.

Support the TROOPS!!!!!! The Republicans and McCain are a joke. I have one bit of advice for them.

SUPPORT THE TROOPS!!!!!!

Posted by: BigD 9767 | May 22, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

So according to McCain's plan, I can finally afford to go to college after like 3 to 4 re-enlistments. So that'll make me like a 32 year old college freshmen?

Posted by: Jose | May 22, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Sen. McCain said this: "...And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did".

Sen. Obama is now 46 yrs. old. Should he have signed up for Grenada?

I wonder if McCain feels the same way about George Bush hiding in the Natl Guard and going awol while at it or Dick Cheney getting multiple deferrals during the Vietnam war?

McCain is a poseur who is milking a very dubious "hero" designation. You want heroes from Vietnam go to the monument in DC....and I dont mean it just because they died.

Posted by: Ohillary | May 22, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

John McCain had an affair with his first wife.

What makes people think he won't cheat on America's best interests for a much younger country?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

We should honor Sen. McCain for his military duty (as we should all Veterans) and even for his long service in the US Senate. Experience is irrelevant, however, if it is not accompanied by integrity and courage. For the uber-patriots in Washington who opposed the new GI bill, their vote is the height of hypocrisy; for the ones who ducked the vote, it is also the height of cowardice.

Posted by: Scott in NC | May 22, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

"And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did."

What, because you served and he didn't makes him less able to understand the needs of vets? Are you saying he's less of an American because he didn't serve when you VOLUNTARILY did? I guess we should make it mandatory that everyone serves, or else, right? I think you, McCain, have less understanding of the issue, are less patriotic, and are less of an American because you didn't die in Vietnam as others did, or you don't have a family steeped in military service as much as mine, or you don't have roots as an American going back to the Mayflower, or any other various reason--blah, blah, blah. I'm sick of vets such as you trying to elevate yourselves over your fellow citizens whom you decided to voluntarily honor and protect. Are you an honorable soldier, or just a whining puss?

A bit off topic, but remember people--Obama may seem to have more affinity for his African roots (and proudly, rightfully so), but let's not forget he's also half Caucasian. He's as much of a white man as black, and in the end, we're all human. It's hard to suppress our animal side, I know, but if you dare to presume the role of being a human being, try not to be a territorial, xenophobic, poo-throwing monkey, okay?

(Yes, that was for all you fearful racists)

Posted by: Somalia vet who doesn't presume to be better than his fellow citizens and humans | May 22, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

if crapping your pants under duress makes you a war hero then my 16-month old son deserves a purple heart too.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I am fortunate enough to know when a recruiter is feeding me a line of crap.

Having five brother and three uncles all of whom have been stiffed by the military.

The 'act now apologize later' policy in America has officially burned us for the last time.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

so McCain criticizes Obama for a lack of military duty
he did not volunteer to be a grunt but recieved a "legacy" appointment to the Naval Academy(remember "legacy" is nothing more than Affirmative Action for people with Connections; you think Bush got into Yale on the basis of his SAT scores)

Posted by: epicaan | May 22, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm tired of hearing about McCain's heroism. He was shot down and survived 4 days of torture before giving up. Hey, I don't blame him because he gave up and signed the North Vietnamese document villifying the USA. Intelligence told us that everyone breaks down. `Being not even a tiny bit herioc, I probably would have cracked on the first day. But Geez, McCain has made a career of his so-called heriocs... It's enough to gag a maggot...

BTW I flew with the 19th Air Commando's in Vietnam between 1965 and 1966, then in and out until 1971. I merely did my job with moments of shear terror. No big deal. But I've also been fortunate enough to have known some very brave men. Yet every time I refer to them, I don't first acknowledge how friggin' herioc they are... Lol, Hey, they'd probably gag, then punch me out!

Posted by: Charles Munn | May 22, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

There is a portion of McCain's statement that really bothers me, McCain has shown no sign of backing away from his opposition to Webb's updated G.I. Bill, which he says is too costly and is so generous that it would lure soldiers and Marines away from an already stretched military.

Is this man for real?

The current administration should be ashamed of how it has failed to provide proper services for military personnel period. That would include current combat personnel and discharged personnel.

I do not know how military people may feel, but it seems that being at home alive and in the presence of family and friends would be enough lure to get out of Iraq. Especially after multiple deployments.


Posted by: mswhyte | May 22, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

My husband and I just came from the bank where we opened three free checking accounts in our childrens names. They gave us three of those collapsable camping chairs and we went home and wrote three checks for $2000, and sent them to Obama's campaign.

God bless America.

Appalachia - pull your heads out of your ass. Voting for McCain will be the fastest way to start speaking Chinese when he starts a war with Iran, Russia, China, North Korea and Venezuela.

It will be us against the rest of the world if McCain wins and right now - it don't look like a fair fight.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

"Obama makes my stomach turn." / "He has never bothered to meet with the troops until he ran for President"

Barack Obama has been fighting for Veterans long before this campaign. In case you didn't know he is a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. So please do a little research before you blog.

Posted by: Nemesis 2008 | May 22, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

See Ash123, Reed here in the last comment or two below used the suffix "-ist" again! Did you see it? Reed envoked the word "social-ist". Oh, that's a good one! Apparently, if I understand Reed's use of the word, anyone who supports 'social' programs is a bad person, thus "social-ist" is a bad word! Boy, it's so fun to learn about the real meanings of the words of our English langauge froma all these nice people! Now I too will carry this negative connotation that you learned in 1950's for these -ist words the rest of my life!

Posted by: Good Job Reed! you used a suffix! as in "social-ist" | May 22, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ash123... I think you're onto something here about Obama being a Communist. Good work digging that one up. I'm busy looking for proof that Obama is a Alien UFO and a Sasquatch too (More about that in a later comment after I hear about it from some nut-whack website or Neo-Con radio talk show).

As well, do you know what? I just learned that there's possibly A WHOLE LOT OF THINGS Obama is hiding from us about who he is and what he stands for. In fact, did you know there's a whole list of words in the English language that end with the suffix "-ist" (oh, sorry Ash123, my bad, a 'suffix' is a big word that means a series of letters like "-ist" that is found at the end of a word).

You know, I think you'd be doing our country a great service if you looked all of these "-ist" words up in the dictionary and see how many apply to Obama. I definitely feel there's some kind of conspiracy going on in regards to these "-ist" words and Obama. Actually there's a whole slew of them that i think would uncover the truth about Obama's nefarious, evil, and secret hidden agenda.


Posted by: Go Ash123 Go! | May 22, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Sen. McCain could have at least given our soldiers the respect they deserve by voting, Yes or No. We ask a lot from our soldiers, and he couldn't take a break from his campaign and vote. That is not acceptable! If we can find billions of dollars for Iraqi, we can find the funding for our soldiers defending us and them.

I am very disappointed in Sen. McCain. He is not the man that I once respected and admired. He use to stand against the Bush Administration and the bipartisan divisions that plague this great Nation. Now he has become what he once fought against.

I applaud Senator McCain for serving this great Nation but is saying that we should discount Barack Obama (voting and calling him out in article) because he didn't serve? ....while McCain is supporting a failed Iraq policy from a President that didn't serve. Makes a lot of sense.

As we shouldn't use our race, gender, or religion for votes. McCain shouldn't use his serves for votes. McCain is not the man he use to be. I'm very disappointed!

Posted by: Nemesis 2008 | May 22, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

McCain is not hero...he simply followed his family history of joining the military (like thousands of others including myself); of being shot down (like thousands of others..some 2000 pilots); then being a POW.like 350 others...nothing in McCain's background define him as a hero...voting down the Veteran's educational benefit will deeply hurt his chances of garnishing a single active duty vote for the Presidency.

Posted by: LTC US Army | May 22, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

"Obama makes my stomach turn."

I see. But not War Criminal Bush, Cheney, or McCain.

Quite the set of values you have there. Try not to have kids.

Posted by: SteveCO | May 22, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

"Mr. McCain is most correct and again most courageous by far than some other cheapshot politicians."

Courageous? Remember, this political lightweight and Bush butt kisser was in California collecting money for his campaign.

Only a gutless coward would hide from the veterans he represents rather than go on record with his "nay" vote.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Obama makes my stomach turn. He has absolutely no regard for the men and women who serve in the military. He is only voting for this bill b/c it is politically expedient. He has never bothered to meet with the troops until he ran for President and even then only did a "roundtable" for MTV. How dare he presume to chastise a true military hero on how to treat the troops? McCain's bill is a much more logical and reasonable bill then Webb's b/c it will better enable military retention.

Posted by: military wife | May 22, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

One party showed up to vote for veterans, one party was too busy campaigning. Considering most of his qualifications consist of him being a veteran and a 'war hero', for McSame not to show up is pretty shameful.

Posted by: Chris | May 22, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Is there some kind of Mafia-like silence among journalists as to whether or not Clinton and/or Obama actually voted for this bill? It can be inferred that Obama perhaps did, or that he at least supported the GI Bill section, but there is complete silence on Clinton's vote. The Post's article made no mention of voting either, except that by stating that McCain was absent,it can be inferred that he did not vote for it.

Posted by: George Robertson | May 22, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

The socialist mentality in America bought by the media controlled democrats will not even question this G.I. bill and how good it really is. Wouldn't it be very much better to pay the G.I.'s a fair wage in the first place for their great service?(Of course not because enlistments would increase and this is what Mr. McCain wants and the democrats fear) Then Vet's could use that money for their own business including education, instead of governmemt programs giving another dole. This bill would of course weaken our military by cutting re-enlistment(Which Mr. Obama wants and most conservatives fear.) Do not forget that while Mr. McCain was hung by ropes and tortured, Mr. T. Kennedy was helping the liberal democrat demonstrators to throw things and call our troops baby killers ad nauseum. Mr. Kerry and Mr. Obama no doubt are identical with Mr. Kennedy.(and nothing personal about his brain tumor) Politics is driving this bad bill in an election year and of course Mr. McCain is most correct and again most courageous by far than some other cheapshot politicians.

Posted by: Reed | May 22, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

GREAT JOB SENATOR WEBB!! Maybe you can now get the U.S. Senate to outlaw the piss poor president that we currently have. Bush and Cheney have grown rich while in office and the rest of us have fallen closer and closer to the poverty level.

Posted by: Mike Steele | May 22, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

My father's generation was given tuition, money for books, and a small stipend. One can argue our country never made a better investment than the one made following WWII. I would ask Senator McCain what the benefits were when he served? I know the benefits today barely cover a portion of the tuition to a community college. My 2nd youngest son is in the Marine Reserves, so I have some direct knowledge of this issue. A small portion of those who enlist re-enlist as it is. Is this the way Senator McCain repays those who are on their 3rd or 4th tour of duty? Or is his support limited to empty rhetoric and yellow ribbons? Of course Senator McCain never got a check that didn't come from the federal government. Rafael's thinking needs a version of spell check.

Posted by: George M. Goodburn | May 22, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Why are all white people racist. They always trying to keep the black man down. When Obama gets in the white house there will be changes and white people will regret.

Posted by: Shaniqua | May 22, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I am a Vietnam Veteran and my son is an Iraq veteran and there is no excuse for Senator McCain not supporting the Jim Webb GI BIll. Going cheap on supporting those we put in harms way for no good reason is immoral period. to not support it because we want the same troops to go back in time and time again and not take care of themselves by getting an education is also immoral. Jim Webb is a highly decorated Vietnam veteran as is Senator Warner and they not only line up here but also authored the bill. As a veteran please tell your congressmen you support the Webb GI Bill. Thank you.

If you have any doubts why this is right then just go to your local Veterans hospital and take a look at what is happening there.

AIRBORNE

Posted by: Raul Pedraza | May 22, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

McCain didn't deign
Now he's all aflame
Who should be ashamed?

Posted by: cbday | May 22, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA JUST TOUCH MORE MACRAZY'S BOTTONS AND HE'LL LOSE COMPLETELY HIS BEARINGS.

Posted by: VIDAL | May 22, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

McCain just denounced the support of John Hagee. Ahhhh...but did he also reject him?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

obama "present"

"hey, which way did i vote?"

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line: McBush opposed the bill but did nothing to try to improve it.

Then he showed his contempt for America's armed forces by skipping the vote.

Apparently, it's only McBush's military service that counts.

Everyone else's is worthless.

Posted by: pali2500 | May 22, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Neil...
Not everyone wants to make a career out of the military, but the majority want to serve their country for one hitch. I think Sens. Webb and Hagel (also Sen. Warner) said there is only about 75% reenlist at present, so the retention argument really isn't a good one. In fact, I would think upgrading benefits would attract more enlistments, don't you?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Rafael said:Barack Hussein Obama is black! Oh my God I am a racist now for saying that!
If I was to say McCain is like Hitler people would give me a standing ovation!
That kind of thinking is stupid and if Barack Hussein Obama wins in November this is the kind of thinking that will be welcome in America! I am concerned about Obama winning not because he is black but, because he is unexpirienced and he talks about change when all the people supporting him are the ones that need to go for Washington to change. Example: Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Pelosi, Edwards, Richardson, arent' this the regular Washington people that we want change from? funny how they are all helping Obama! CHANGE MY A*S!!! Is more of the same!
___________________________________________Well, when you can use proper English, when you can make an argument not based on race or just based on who people know, then maybe people will listen to you. Until then, keep your bias off the blogs.


Posted by: | May 22, 2008 5:24 PM
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

You are a Republican who cannot spell or make coherent sentences

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I like "JW" for veep ... Jeremiah Wright ...for the first time we will get to the bottom of all the conspiracies and even admit that there are UFOs ... we will call a spade a spade ... and an illegal alien will refer to our planetary visitors and not illegal immigrants from south of our borders.

Posted by: VP | May 22, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I do not support Mccain or his double-speak but he is a War Hero. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got shot down but he stayed there to protect his fellow servicemen by enduring a lot of abuse. He made a serious error in judgement today but he did pay a debt to this country

Posted by: Mccain speaks twice | May 22, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Rafael said:Barack Hussein Obama is black! Oh my God I am a racist now for saying that!
If I was to say McCain is like Hitler people would give me a standing ovation!
That kind of thinking is stupid and if Barack Hussein Obama wins in November this is the kind of thinking that will be welcome in America! I am concerned about Obama winning not because he is black but, because he is unexpirienced and he talks about change when all the people supporting him are the ones that need to go for Washington to change. Example: Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Pelosi, Edwards, Richardson, arent' this the regular Washington people that we want change from? funny how they are all helping Obama! CHANGE MY A*S!!! Is more of the same!
___________________________________________Well, when you can use proper English, when you can make an argument not based on race or just based on who people know, then maybe people will listen to you. Until then, keep your bias off the blogs.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Can we get one thing straight here? John McCain is Not, repeat NOT a war hero. To be one, you first have to do something heroic. All McCain did was get shot down -- in the wrong place, at the wrong time, in the wrong war -- one that NEVER, NEVER should have been fought.

Heroes are people like Rick Rescorla and Irena Sendler, and all those brave police and firefighters in NYC nearly seven years ago who died trying to do the right thing. McCain, by comparison, is a nobody. No one has the right to belittle his suffering, but his confinement does NOT make him a hero.

The only difference between McCain and the rest of us duped as young men by a dishonest government into fighting in that god-forsaken war is that it took him longer to get home than it did most of the rest of us.

Let's not forget that 58-thousand-plus young men came home in coffins -- and no one to this day can explain in one simple sentence what they died for.

Posted by: loulor | May 22, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"He says he was a professor at U of Chicago, so we will believe him. He was therefor part of a university system that FORBIDS ROTC on campus."

Who gives a crap, you petty mind. Obama didn't come up with the policy, even if you'renot lying.

WHO CARES?

I care more about Bush Clone McCain being in California to gather money rather than vote on something he has such a BIG DAMN MOUTH about. He's got a lot to answer for right there, tho we all *know* the answer.

Posted by: SteveCO | May 22, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Were all the racist trolls posing as black Obama supporters in this comments section hired by the McCain campaign, or are these just your garden-variety racists?

Posted by: Nordstom | May 22, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Kam and Karen,

OMG! Please! Are you two out of your minds? Do you have any idea why tuition costs are so much? It's not the colleges nor acedemia! Its the Bush administration and the GOP that cut back Stafford loans and grants for everyone that can't afford the money to goto school so only the wealthy and privledge can afford a higher education! You are not only barking up the wrong tree you're in the wrong forest!!!

Posted by: sanity check, ohio | May 22, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

McCain ought to keep his mouth shut, the cowardly hypocrite. He ducked a vote that would have been been damaging to him (vote against and lose the vet vote; vote in favor and lose Bush donors' money); he went to a fundraiser instead. And he has the nerve to attack Obama -- who was present for the vote!

As for the racist crowd on this post, go get a life.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

So, Senator McCain it is just fine when Blackwater uses obscene wages to induce experienced soldiers to leave the service, but it is somehow wrong to reward our veterans with a college education because they might leave the military to go to school.

Posted by: James | May 22, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

McCain ought to keep his mouth shut, the cowardly hypocrite. He ducked a vote that would have been been damaging to him (vote against and lose the vet vote; vote in favor and lose Bush donors' money); he went to a fundraiser instead. And he has the nerve to attack Obama -- who was present for the vote!

What a pathetic wuss!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

McCain ought to keep his mouth shut, the cowardly hypocrite. He ducked a vote that would have been been damaging to him (vote against and lose the vet vote; vote in favor and lose Bush donors' money); he went to a fundraiser instead. And he has the nerve to attack Obama -- who was present for the vote!

McCain is a revolting piece of garbage!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Sam Nunn or Michael Bloomsberg for veep

Joe Biden is not a bad choice either ... always liked his solution to partitioning Iraq ... yet share the natural resources.

Not sure about 12% John Edwards - Like the idea od Senotor Hagel the Republican better.

Posted by: JakeA | May 22, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I need a job!

Posted by: George_DWI_Bush | May 22, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Neil

So a "one" term senator like Webb who has been Secretary of the Navy under Reagan does not have a clue in your opinion?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Webb

Once again your comments and logic are "absurd".

Posted by: Deward Bowles | May 22, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I adore and respect the troops so much I can't even bother to show up to vote for such an important bill which, god forbid, may actually do something to "support the troops".

Yours truly,

WcCain

Posted by: dan | May 22, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Keep talking Sen. McCain, please. Every time this guy opens his mouth he reduces his chances of getting anywhere near the White House. This is NOT a winning issue for him. On the one hand, he talks about his concern that our military is over stretched. But where was his concern about our over stretched military when he was talking about being in Iraq for 100 years? So, rather than recognizing the need to start reducing our presence in Iraq, or alternatively, having the guts to say we need to implement a draft if he's convinced we need to stay in Iraq, he'd prefer to reduce the options of those who have already served so that they will serve again, and again, and again. And then has the temerity to act as if he knows best because he "wore the uniform," while conveniently ignoring the fact that Webb, who sponsored the bill in the first place, also wore the uniform. Please keep talking McCain. Please.

Posted by: view from the couch | May 22, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

This person needs a job. This individual seeks an executive position. He will be available in January 2009, and is willing to relocate.


RESUME
McCentury McSame (McCain)

GEORGE W. BUSH
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20520

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:
Law Enforcement:
I was arrested in Kennebunkport , Maine , in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol. I pled guilty, paid a fine, and had my driver's license suspended for 30 days. My Texas driving record has been "lost" and is not available.

Military:
I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL. I refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug use. By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty in Vietnam.

College:
I graduated from Yale University with a low C average. I was a cheerleader.

PAST WORK EXPERIENCE:
I ran for U.S. Congress and lost.
I began my career in the oil business in Midland Texas , in 1975. I bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas . The company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock.
I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money.
With the help of my father and our friends in the oil industry (including Enron CEO Ken Lay), I was elected governor of Texas .

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS GOVERNOR OF TEXAS :
I changed Texas pollution laws to favor power and oil companies, making Texas the most polluted state in the Union . During my tenure, Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most smog-ridden city in America .
I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of billions in borrowed money.
I set the record for the most executions by any governor in American history.
With the help of my brother, the governor of Florida , and my father's appointments to the Supreme Court, I became President of the United States , after losing by over 500,000 votes.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS PRESIDENT:
I am the first President in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record.
I invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one billion dollars per week.
I spent the U.S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury.
I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history.
I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period.
I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.
I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the U.S. stock market. In my first year in office, over 2 million Americans lost their jobs and that trend continues.
I'm proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in U.S. history. My "poorest millionaire," Condoleezza Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker named after her.
I set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips by a U.S. President.
I am the all-time U.S. and world record -holder for receiving the most corporate campaign donations.
My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends, Kenneth Lay, presided over the largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in U.S. history, Enron.
My political party used Enron private jets and corporate attorneys to assure my success with the U.S. Supreme Court during my election decision.
I have protected my friends at Enron and Halliburton against investigation or prosecution. More time and money was spent investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair than has been spent investigating one of the biggest corporate rip-offs in history. I presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S. history and refused to intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed.
I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history.
I changed the U.S. policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.
I appointed more convicted criminals to my administration than any President in U.S. history.
I created the Ministry of Homeland Security, the largest bureaucracy in the history of the United States Government.
I've broken more international treaties than any President in U.S. history.
I am the first President in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove the U.S. from the Human Rights Commission.
I withdrew the U.S. from the World Court of Law.
I refused to allow inspector's access to U.S. "prisoners of war" detainees and thereby have refused to abide by the Geneva Convention.
I am the first President in history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 U.S. election).
I set the record for fewest numbers of press conferences of any President since the advent of television.
I set the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one-year period. After taking off the entire month of August, I presided over the worst security failure in U.S. history.
I garnered the most sympathy ever for the U .S. after the World Trade Center attacks and less than a year later made the U.S. the most hated country in the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world history.
I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously protest me in public venues (15 million people), shattering the record for protests against any person in the history of mankind.
I am the first President in U.S. history to order an unprovoked, pre-emptive attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation. I did so against the will of the United Nations, the majority of U.S. Citizens and the world community.
I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in duty benefits for active duty troops and their families in wartime.
In my State of the Union Address, I lied about our reasons for attacking Iraq and then blamed the lies on our British friends.
I am the first President in history to have a majority of Europeans (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and security.
I am supporting development of a nuclear "Tactical Bunker Buster," a WMD.
I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice.
RECORDS AND REFERENCES:
All records of my tenure as governor of Texas are now in my father's library, sealed and unavailable for public view.
All records of SEC investigations into my insider trading and my bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.
All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-President, attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review. I specified that my sealed documents will not be available for 50 years.

Posted by: IBMWorst | May 22, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Gator-ron, I agree with the families with servicemen statement. I'm one of those, and I absolutely love and admire the the strength and capabilities, but what I have a problem with is our members being mistakenly used by our higher government and a president not having the gall to own up to it and attempt to reverse it. I think they should be able to trust that whatever president that we have, will be very careful and cautious not to call them unless they are seriously needed! 9/11 was a calling, and we went to Iraq for nearly eight years and counting, focusing on Saddam..............I didn't get distracted, and from the start I felt it, that something wasn't right but I couldn't say what it was. Now we know.

Posted by: Obama2008 | May 22, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Neil - Well said...it's too bad that most people prefer to respond to a sound byte rather than do their own informed investigation of the facts. The truth is that McCain could have taken the easy road and caved in to what he knew to be a flawed program. Instead, he held to the course that he believed best. That is the difference between a man and a boy. And for all of you out there only operating with a single brain cell...keep on keepin' on...it's fun to watch parrots being trained.

Posted by: LW | May 22, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

If McCain wants to criticize Obama for his vote, he should show up. Skipping the vote was pure politics.

Posted by: sferris | May 22, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a slick brother with all them moves.

Posted by: Tyrone | May 22, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

For those Clinton supporters, who like Chelsea, and are considering voting for McCain:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lonnee-hamilton/hillary-clinton-remember_b_102995.html

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I do not support John McCain in this election, but I actually think that he took a principled stand on this issue. Obviously, we can't simply quit funding the war without a planned exit, so the war funding portion of the bill had to pass.

Moreover, McCain is a fiscal conservative, and KNOWS that we have a budget that we cannot sustain. These benefits are very expensive and we don't have the money to pay for them right now. He took a principled stand that was unpopular -- gotta give him that.

Posted by: Fahd | May 22, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Another example of why McCain means a third term for Bush. What I really do not understand is why families with servicemen would not be anti-McCain.

I do not see why we should encourage service people to risk their lives to fight an ill conceived war that has been poorly managed. I think that trapping men and women in the service is involuntary servitude.

Neil 3:05 you should show your patriotism by joining not by trying to force others to stay instead of you. You are ungrateful for their service.

Posted by: Gator-ron | May 22, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Yes, "an ill-advised war" that 81% of the American people could not wait to get into. You can never take the horror of combat away once you have been in it no matter how much time has passed it is always crystal clear. There is nothing the GI Bill can do about that. Maybe the best thing is not to send young men and woman of to war like it was a sporting event.

Posted by: classof68 | May 22, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Obama does have a HUGE endowment.

The Repukes are afraid of it.

Except Chimpy. He's licking his lips.

Posted by: Tom3 | May 22, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Joyce and Deward Bowles -- if you or Webb have a different "retention rate" study, please let me know. Until then, I'll stick with the Senator who at least has completed one term.

Posted by: Neil | May 22, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm a property owner.

Any Repuke who comes on to my property with a gun will get a face full of buckshot.

We have the Make My Day law in Colorado.

We PROTECT property owners here.

Not like those Commie Repukes in Florida.

Posted by: Tom3 | May 22, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Politics are dirty. I don't like the black and white statements made by both parties. Obama says this; McCain says that. At the end of the day, 25 Republican Senators voted with the Democrats. That should mean something to McCain supporters. It should tell them that Senator McCain is willing to take a pass on voting to prove his own political point. You may like his plan, but it had no chance of passing. Plus, if he wasn't running for President, don't you think he would have cast a vote? And what would that vote have been? Because so many Republicans voted with the majority, you've got to question the motive of the other 25. Was the non-vote worth it for Mr McCain? Seems to me he chose to allow himself to be against the majority of his own party.

Posted by: Adirondacker | May 22, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I here my brother Obama has many fine endowmnts.

Posted by: Shawanda | May 22, 2008 4:51 PM
==========================================

Feel free to use the names Taliq, Lisha, and Devon...since you are pretending to be black...

You Moron

Posted by: Mccain speaks twice | May 22, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Give is Jeb Bush ... He is the best

Posted by: Whatwewant | May 22, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse


White people is ignorant cause they don't want a black man in the whtie house. But that's all right cause I know Obama will when.

Posted by: Latasha | May 22, 2008 4:44 PM

---------------------------

Despite what you hear in the media, one of the reasons that Obama is winning the nomination - is because there are significant numbers of "white people", who do support him.

So, as a "white person" I would appreciate it, if you not paint us all with the same brush.

Obama '08

Posted by: wolf | May 22, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Just another example of Republican's inability to address issues, but always to respond with personal attacks in an attempt to destroy anyone who disagrees with them.

Posted by: L.Kurt Engelhart | May 22, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I here my brother Obama has many fine endowmnts.

Posted by: Shawanda | May 22, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

For a commie, Obama sure runs his campaign like a business. A successful one.

Hillary and McLame are both in the red. And McLame is violating campaign finance laws. He could go to jail for that.

You want to see some real Commies? The Repukes in the Florida Legislature just passed a law that takes away property rights of company-owned parking lots.

Some nutcase employee can bring their gun to work in the parking lot and the Repukes say the employer cannot stop them.

Even if the employer OWNS the parking lot.

Repukes are COMMIES. They want to take away our property rights.

Fortunately employers are taking this to a Federal court to get it thrown out as unconstitutional.

Repukes are COMMIES and this is proof.

Posted by: Tom3 | May 22, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Webb also served as asst secretary of defense and secretary of the navy. So, I think his credentials on retention are much more credible than Sen. McCain's.

Posted by: Joyce | May 22, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I just hope that grandpa McBush is not going to be next president of United States.

Posted by: Jarda1 | May 22, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Just another issue that McCain (aka McBush) is on the wrong side of. I'm going to start keeping tracking from now on of the issues that most Americans seem to support and those McCain is against.

1) New G.I. Bill-Americans for, McCain against
2) Draw down troops out of Iraq-Americans for, McCain against
3) Invest in green technology to create jobs and energy independence-Americans for, McCain against
4) Affordable health care, Americans for, McCain against.
5) More diplomacy in regards to Iran, Americans for, McCain against.

Five is enough for now...more to come

Posted by: AJ | May 22, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

This is further proof that McLame is NOT a maverick and will NOT be for "Change".

McLame is Four More Years of failed Chimpy policies.

And he hates our troops.

Posted by: Tom3 | May 22, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

White people is ignorant cause they don't want a black man in the whtie house. But that's all right cause I know Obama will when.

Posted by: Latasha | May 22, 2008 4:44 PM
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

And you must be ignorant to think that a black person would right something so ignorant and post it under a fake name...to help Obama?

STOP WITH THE DISTRACTIONS

Posted by: Mccain speaks twice | May 22, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Neil

Ohh, I see so you want to deny them benefits because you want them to stay in the military right?

The Webb bill would boost enlistment in the military dramatically.

http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,163440,00.html

I will quote Webb himself, your argument is "absurd".

You only want to pretend to support the troops and pretend to be a patriot, like the flag pin on your chest with "made in China" on the back.

Posted by: Deward Bowles | May 22, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Ash123...what's with the communist scare...
THE COLD WAR IS OVER.
NOW IT'S THE OIL WARS.

Posted by: Joyce | May 22, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

IT's surprising that his campaign managers let him, or did themselves, put out such a rabid screed.

Like painting a red circle around a pimple.

Posted by: zit | May 22, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

White people is ignorant cause they don't want a black man in the whtie house. But that's all right cause I know Obama will when.

Posted by: Latasha | May 22, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Guys - please read this article ..

News conference on Obama's communist ties

www.usasurvival.org/ck05.14.08.html

Posted by: Ash123 | May 22, 2008 4:41 PM
+=========================================

No more distracting Garbage. Our country has too many problems.

GET A LIFE!!!

Posted by: Mccain speaks twice | May 22, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Guys - please read this article ..

News conference on Obama's communist ties

www.usasurvival.org/ck05.14.08.html

Posted by: Ash123 | May 22, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't disagree that our veterans deserve benefits, but I also don't agree that reducing retention rates by 16% is the right thing either. McCain's version of this bill sounds like a much better idea to me.

Posted by: Neil | May 22, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

We veterans have long needed a Congressional advocate who takes our needs seriously instead of spouting empty promises that never get fulfilled.

Now it looks like we have someone at last who will fill this bill. In fact we have 2 champions plus a strong supporting cast: Jim Webb and Barack Obama and about 3 quarters of the Senate.

But the new GI Bill is only a first step even though it is a big one.

Posted by: Old white veteran | May 22, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Why is everything about giving more money to colleges and unversities? $40,000 tuition -- for what???

Obama opens himself to many issues by pretending to care about veterans. He says he was a professor at U of Chicago, so we will believe him. He was therefor part of a university system that FORBIDS ROTC on campus. Military people were and are harassed on that campus. The law school FORBID JAG from recruiting from its law school, until the Supreme Court FORCED them to if they still wanted millions in federal funding (to fund Obama's wife's tripling of a salary after his earmark).

So, Barack Obama, where was your outrage?

Posted by: Karen | May 22, 2008 4:36 PM
=========================================

So Karen...where was Mccain when this important vote was taken...

CAMPAIGNING

The straight talk express is driven by a crooked politician

Posted by: Mccain speaks twice | May 22, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Adirondacker -- will you agree that Sen. Webb was LYING then when he said "There is no politics"?

Neil, I already said I believe this is political. I also believe that politics are a way of life, and we need to cut through choosing sides, and see what's at the heart of the issue. I try to ask, "What's the right thing to do?" I think that's tough for people; and I think most people would agree that our veterans deserve some type of benefit they can look forward to after their tour is complete. You may disagree, but I think it's the right thing to do.

Posted by: Adirondacker | May 22, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

McCain said: But, as he (Obama) always does, he prefers impugning the motives of his opponent, and exploiting a thoughtful difference of opinion to advance his own ambitions.

Perhaps the junior senator from Illinois learned that from you, McCain. You are showing yourself to be the true hypocrite you have been all along behind the mask of Mr. Ethics you wore all these years.

Posted by: str8talk | May 22, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Why is everything about giving more money to colleges and unversities? $40,000 tuition -- for what???

Obama opens himself to many issues by pretending to care about veterans. He says he was a professor at U of Chicago, so we will believe him. He was therefor part of a university system that FORBIDS ROTC on campus. Military people were and are harassed on that campus. The law school FORBID JAG from recruiting from its law school, until the Supreme Court FORCED them to if they still wanted millions in federal funding (to fund Obama's wife's tripling of a salary after his earmark).

So, Barack Obama, where was your outrage?

Posted by: Karen | May 22, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse


IS IT TRUE that McCain, Mr. War, didn't even bother to vote?

That's breathtaking.

Posted by: Selma | May 22, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama's Record
Record of Advocacy: As a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Obama passed legislation to improve care and slash red tape for our wounded warriors recovering at places like Walter Reed. He passed laws to help homeless veterans and offered an innovative solution to prevent at-risk veterans from falling into homelessness. Obama led a bipartisan effort in the Senate to try to halt the military's unfair practice of discharging service members for having a service-connected psychological injury. He fought for fair treatment of Illinois veterans' claims and forced the VA to conduct an unprecedented outreach campaign to disabled veterans with lower than-average benefits. Obama passed legislation to stop a VA review of closed PTSD cases that could have led to a reduction in veterans' benefits. He passed an amendment to ensure that all service members returning from Iraq are properly screened for traumatic brain injuries. He introduced legislation to direct the VA and Pentagon to fix disjointed records systems and improve outreach to members of the National Guard and Reserves.

Posted by: Joyce | May 22, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

FULL Statement By John McCain On Senator Barack Obama And Benefits For Our Veterans

"Perhaps, if Senator Obama would take the time and trouble to understand this issue he would learn to debate an honest disagreement respectfully. But, as he always does, he prefers impugning the motives of his opponent, and exploiting a thoughtful difference of opinion to advance his own ambitions. If that is how he would behave as President, the country would regret his election." - John McCain

ARLINGTON, VA -- U.S. Senator John McCain issued the following statement on Senator Barack Obama's remarks concerning veterans benefits:

"It is typical, but no less offensive that Senator Obama uses the Senate floor to take cheap shots at an opponent and easy advantage of an issue he has less than zero understanding of. Let me say first in response to Senator Obama, running for President is different than serving as President. The office comes with responsibilities so serious that the occupant can't always take the politically easy route without hurting the country he is sworn to defend. Unlike Senator Obama, my admiration, respect and deep gratitude for America's veterans is something more than a convenient campaign pledge. I think I have earned the right to make that claim.

"When I was five years old, a car pulled up in front of our house in New London, Connecticut, and a Navy officer rolled down the window, and shouted at my father that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. My father immediately left for the submarine base where he was stationed. I rarely saw him again for four years. My grandfather, who commanded the fast carrier task force under Admiral Halsey, came home from the war exhausted from the burdens he had borne, and died the next day. I grew up in the Navy; served for twenty-two years as a naval officer; and, like Senator Webb, personally experienced the terrible costs war imposes on the veteran. The friendships I formed in war remain among the closest relationships in my life. The Navy is still the world I know best and love most. In Vietnam, where I formed the closest friendships of my life, some of those friends never came home to the country they loved so well.

"But I am running for the office of Commander-in-Chief. That is the highest privilege in this country, and it imposes the greatest responsibilities. It would be easier politically for me to have joined Senator Webb in offering his legislation. More importantly, I feel just as he does, that we owe veterans the respect and generosity of a great nation because no matter how generously we show our gratitude it will never compensate them fully for all the sacrifices they have borne on our behalf.

"Senators Graham, Burr and I have offered legislation that would provide veterans with a substantial increase in educational benefits. The bill we have sponsored would increase monthly education benefits to $1500; eliminate the $1200 enrollment fee; and offer a $1000 annually for books and supplies. Importantly, we would allow veterans to transfer those benefits to their spouses or dependent children or use a part of them to pay down existing student loans. We also increase benefits to the Guard and Reserve, and even more generously to those who serve in the Selected Reserve.

"I know that my friend and fellow veteran, Senator Jim Webb, an honorable man who takes his responsibility to veterans very seriously, has offered legislation with very generous benefits. I respect and admire his position, and I would never suggest that he has anything other than the best of intentions to honor the service of deserving veterans. Both Senator Webb and I are united in our deep appreciation for the men and women who risk their lives so that the rest of us may be secure in our freedom. And I take a backseat to no one in my affection, respect and devotion to veterans. And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did.

"The most important difference between our two approaches is that Senator Webb offers veterans who served one enlistment the same benefits as those offered veterans who have re-enlisted several times. Our bill has a sliding scale that offers generous benefits to all veterans, but increases those benefits according to the veteran's length of service. I think it is important to do that because, otherwise, we will encourage more people to leave the military after they have completed one enlistment. At a time when the United States military is fighting in two wars, and as we finally are beginning the long overdue and very urgent necessity of increasing the size of the Army and Marine Corps, one study estimates that Senator Webb's bill will reduce retention rates by 16%.

"Most worrying to me, is that by hurting retention we will reduce the numbers of men and women who we train to become the backbone of all the services, the noncommissioned officer. In my life, I have learned more from noncommissioned officers I have known and served with than anyone else outside my family. And in combat, no one is more important to their soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen, and to the officers who command them, than the sergeant and petty officer. They are very hard to replace. Encouraging people not to choose to become noncommissioned officers would hurt the military and our country very badly. As I said, the office of President, which I am seeking, is a great honor, indeed, but it imposes serious responsibilities. How faithfully the President discharges those responsibilities will determine whether he or she deserves the honor. I can only tell you I intend to deserve the honor if I am fo rtunate to receive it, even if it means I must take politically unpopular positions at times and disagree with people for whom I have the highest respect and affection.

"Perhaps, if Senator Obama would take the time and trouble to understand this issue he would learn to debate an honest disagreement respectfully. But, as he always does, he prefers impugning the motives of his opponent, and exploiting a thoughtful difference of opinion to advance his own ambitions. If that is how he would behave as President, the country would regret his election."

Posted by: Neil | May 22, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Not exactly true, KAM. Tuition Assistance - although touted to be 100% in all branches - only pays $250 per semester credit and $166.67 per quarter credit. That leaves most airmen, marines, sailors, and soldiers to pay out-of-pocket for all but community college-level coursework.

And, logistically speaking, it is often extremely difficult for these military members to continue their education while deployed.

-----

While on active duty, the military pays for them to attend college.

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 22, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

That was too easy. Hey Obama, wanna really get him ranting? Say how you can't understand why McCain would be so dead set against using diplomacy with Iran when Gen. Petraeus is, and that you just don't know why Sen. McCain would call Petraeus an appeaser.

Posted by: steve boyington | May 22, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

McCain just proves he's representing nothing but a 3rd Bush term.

A veteran against veteran benefits? I suppose that having enough money that he doesn't need the VA has made him blind to the hardships today's veterans endure.

Pathetic and disgusting. With any luck armed forces radio and other outlets will be sure to point out McBush's stance.

Posted by: corbetto | May 22, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

For all of Senator McCain's understanding of the impact of war on American soldiers, which is a given since he was one himself, his anti-stance on the Webb GI Bill does not compute.

And for all of Senator McCain's "experience" as related to foreign affairs and how to fight a war, let us be clear that his serving in our armed services did not a general or military strategist make.

Posted by: Caryl S. Foster | May 22, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I am with McCain. Why would any GI need the GI Bill? They can just get home and go to school with money from their wife's trust fund. Shameless liberals trying to help these unneeding maggot soldiers.

Posted by: steve boyington | May 22, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Funny, McCain didnt care enough to do anything more than quietly object when his GOP buddies challenged Sen. Kerry's military credentials but now he is bashing Obama because he chose to go to school and get a real job and not join the military?? Not everyone has an Admiral daddy who can get them into Annapolis Sen McCain.

Posted by: Aaron | May 22, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DWayne | May 22, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

McCain has sadly sold his soul on this issue, and it shames to think how much he has self destructed his reputation as a maverick, straight talker, and hero (he is that). He once was a man who would speak his own mind; but to win votes he has become a turncoat to his own self-image.

Posted by: Adirondacker | May 22, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I take a backseat to no one in my affection, respect and devotion to veterans. And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did,"

Yes, we see how committed you are to those man and women in uniform, by your absence regarding this important piece of legislation. I wore the uniform, US NAVY. That gives me the right to call you, disingenuous.

Posted by: tydicea | May 22, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about Senators Obama and Clinton, but the Democrats tried several times to raise the soldiers pay more than Bush Allowed.
They did force the Republicans to abort their attempt to cut the death benefit to a few 100 dollars from 100k.

Posted by: Muddy | May 22, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Fuji....that video was more fake than an MTV 'Laguna Beach' episode.

Posted by: Playa | May 22, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand Senator McCain's thinking. It seems to me that by approving the new GI Bill more men and women who are bright enough to get accepted into college, but cannot afford it, would volunteer to join the military, thereby increasing the intelligence of our soldiers. Currently the military has lowered their recruitment standards so much that many of our military personnel do not have a high school diploma or either have criminal records that previously would not have been acceptable before the Iraq war, or else have documented "behavioral" issues. What caliber of soldier to we want representing our country abroad? Am I missing something here?

Posted by: Lyyka | May 22, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I think it is absolutely within the rights of the houses to tack on things they believe need funding to a bill they know George cannot afford to veto. Not many, if any, served with more valor than Webb. McCain is schmoozing with yet more of the people who have bought our government. He deserves to be dressed down. The people have had enough of government that works for the few. Time for a chsnge.

Posted by: ROB | May 22, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

So, Senator Mc Cain. does your contempt for anyone who has not served in the armed forces extend to "I had other priorities" Cheney who garnered 5 deferments to keep him from serving. And how about Bush who could not be bothered to take his flight physical thus preventing him from serving overseas as a combat pilot.

Posted by: Bill Gillette | May 22, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

O'Bama is black
Hillary is a woman
McCain is old
They are all liberal ... but, O'Bama is the most conservative of them all (not voting record).

We need a better choice in candidates

Posted by: Ouch!! | May 22, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

By not even taking the time to show up for this vote "McCain is insane" showed his contempt for the men and women of our armed forces.

Posted by: DWayne | May 22, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Yep, McCain - we know, we know, we know - you were a prisoner of war. I also know that the Vietnam POW's were the only vets that got a hero's welcome. The rest of the Vietnam vets were spat upon for their service. So, no - we don't want to make the same mistake again with our returning veterans, by punishing them for the mistakes of the administration. And yes - we want to give them the respect they deserve for serving their country. (And you don't have to be a veteran to believe that, you little jerk!)

Posted by: Joyce | May 22, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

So, Senator Mc Cain. does your contempt for anyone who has not served in the armed forces extend to "I had other priorities" Cheney who garnered 5 deferments to keep him from serving. And how about Bush who could not be bothered to take his flight physical thus preventing him from serving overseas as a combat pilot.

Posted by: Bill Gillette | May 22, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

John,

I served 8 years active duty in the US Navy and as far as I'm concerned you can take the American flag and shove it.

Posted by: Brian | May 22, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

VERY Presidential, John. Very Presidential.

Posted by: steve boyington | May 22, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

The solution to the lack of troops is the reinstatement of the draft. But, no one wants to talk about that. The guys who got us in this situation either took every deferment offered or joined the air national guard. Shame on you McCain for wanting to limit these kids futures.

Posted by: J from Atlanta. | May 22, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

This article is highly misleading. McCain is not against increasing benefits for veterans. He favors an alternative version of the plan that is very similar but increases benefits with the number of re-enlistments, whereas the Webb version gives everyone the same benefits. Of course, it's more fun to not mention this to make the fight look bigger.

Posted by: Rightie | May 22, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

John McCain has known anger management issues. The question is: do you want someone with this problem having having his thumb on the nuclear option.

Posted by: byeh | May 22, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

It's time to stop calling McShame a war hero and tell it like it is....McCain was an incompetent pilot who got shot and betrayed his fellow soldiers to get preferential treatment from his Vietcong captors. Do you honestly think McSame would be alive if he defied them? He came back to the U.S. and began to spread lies that he was tortured and he was a war hero. In fact, McCain has shown that he is willing to say anything to anyone to get his way.

Posted by: Playa

-- You know there is videotape of McCain in the POW camp, right? You know the Cong beat him because he REFUSED preferential treatment and wouldn't accept early release ... the Cong wanted him to for PR purposes because of his father.

You DO know that, don't you?

Posted by: Fuji | May 22, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

PeterPamZ -- even stop-loss has its "breaking point".

Posted by: Neil | May 22, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Adirondacker -- will you agree that Sen. Webb was LYING then when he said "There is no politics"?

Posted by: Neil | May 22, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

McShame's against pork barrel spending and govt handouts unless they go to his wealthy land developer friends and washington lobbyists.

Posted by: Playa | May 22, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is an ugly, nasty man with

a horrid temper. Several of his closest GOP

Senate colleagues have said so and doubted that he is a good choice for president.

McCain show more f his stuff today, and it wasn't pretty. Certainly not the stuff of
a president of the United States who will have to deal with international leaders who might just...

might just critize him!!!

Posted by: Raisa | May 22, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Slowly McCain morphs into Bush. he even has Rove working for him.
He will do anything to get elected.
He promises to be an even weaker president than Bush.

Posted by: Bob | May 22, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse


"SUPPORT THE TROOPS!"

...oh, but only when that means sending more of them to die for lies. If they come back alive or injured, f*ck 'em, right McCain?

Posted by: sequoia | May 22, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Neil,
"this GI bill would encourage soldiers to leave Iraq in droves"... While this isn't a bad outcome, it's irrelevant if McCain does get in... he'll just stop-loss the troops and keep him there!

Posted by: PeterPamZ | May 22, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Go Webb!!! I'm with you 100% !!! Thank you fellow Republicans!!! McCain is still out of touch with needs of the people. We're SO QUICK to send them to harms way, but we don't want to give them what is due for their sacrifice. Where is the patriotism to taking care of our significant people? It's beyond saluting the flag that's for sure. Salute the flag, fix our veterans living quarters (because right now they are poor), and fight like mad to give them the benefits they deserve, and the care that many need. Most of all, bring them home ASAP!!

Dems White House '08

Posted by: Obama2008 | May 22, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

So, a 18 yr old that graduates high school and goes into the service for 4 yrs now gets a 100% college scholarship to any university in the country? No matter what his/her role in the service? Shouldn't the these school benefits somehow be tied to your job classification/role in the service. I don't think a person who was in the service and never left CONUS should get the same school benefits as a someone who was in a combat zone for the same length of enlistment. I don't believe the even the VFW has sucy a thing for membership. I don't know if it has changed but to become a member of the VFW, at one time you had to have served in a combat zone for 30 days in order to join the VFW.

Hopefully, just because they are veterans doesn't mean that they no longer have to meet the entrance qualifications to the schools they apply to.

Posted by: Alan | May 22, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

xxx correction xxx

The 4:05 pm. post above should have read

"The John mcCains of the world..."

not, obviously not the article's author.

Posted by: tired of it | May 22, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

"We're certainly pleased that the GI Bill has passed and now will likely go to the president, but disappointed that Senator McCain put his own coffers ahead of this crucial debate, and chose not to vote," said Jon Soltz, an Iraq War veteran and VoteVets chairman. "

OK McCain,
You refuse, as usual, to respond to critiques from your opponents by dismissing them as unqualified to make them. How about you respond with substance to Jon Soltz, whom you can not dismiss as quickly as Obama?

Posted by: Stewie Griffen | May 22, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Questioning McCain is against veterans' benefits is now "offensive" and a "cheap shot"?

McCain should relax before he bursts a carotid artery or something.

If McCain cares so deeply about this, why didn't he vote? Why did he skip the vote for a "fundraiser sponsored by San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos"?

Posted by: bourassa | May 22, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Karen doesn't know the difference between a scholarship, grant, or loan. Where are the freebies? Most of these students are saddled with more loans than grants. Many scholarships don't even pay full tuition.

Posted by: John Young | May 22, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I agree that it wouldn't align very well with WEBB's goal of downscaling our commitment in Iraq . . .

Posted by: Neil | May 22, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

OK, get this...McCain says Obama doesn't have the right to criticize him for non-support of the GI Bill because he "did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform."
Well then, McCain, let's hear from BOOTS-ON-THE-GROUND Vietnam veteran Senator Webb....
http://youtube.com/watch?v=thF8KwZ-htA

and let's also hear from some Iraq vets
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcDMD0B7r88

Posted by: Joyce | May 22, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

It's time to stop calling McShame a war hero and tell it like it is....McCain was an incompetent pilot who got shot and betrayed his fellow soldiers to get preferential treatment from his Vietcong captors. Do you honestly think McSame would be alive if he defied them? He came back to the U.S. and began to spread lies that he was tortured and he was a war hero. In fact, McCain has shown that he is willing to say anything to anyone to get his way.

Posted by: Playa | May 22, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Would Webb, Clinton, Obama, and all of the Democrats who voted for this bill instead agree to raise the combat pay for our brave men and women to stay in Iraq?

---

I should hope not! Given a choice between throwing more money down the Iraq toilet and offering people an education, I think it's pretty obvious that 75% of the Senate today went with the American people's call on that one.

Posted by: fredo | May 22, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse


Yes, the Johathan Weismans of this world don't want ANY

money spent on American soldiers EXCEPT for fighting wars that Israel wants.

Maybe bombs for Iran, or more arms for Israel. BUT NO more taxpayers money to reward our boys returning home.

Speaking of vicious.

Posted by: tired of it | May 22, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"Would Webb, Clinton, Obama, and all of the Democrats who voted for this bill instead agree to raise the combat pay for our brave men and women to stay in Iraq?"

Maybe, but that wouldn't do much to help those who have already served. Unless we want to now talk about a back-pay bonus or some such thing... And this wouldn't align very well with the goal of downscaling our commitment in Iraq.

No, better to give our veterans an incentive to build on thier experience with a strong education benefit. Isn't that more of a Republican philosophy anyway? Helping people help themselves?

Posted by: Pro Education | May 22, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Of course the response from Senator McCain - that he's not going to listen to some Liberal who never served in Uniform on issues of veterans' benefits - completely ignores that the GI Bill currently under consideration was written by Jim Webb, who has unimpeachable military credentials.

Righteous indignation is going to wear thin as Senator McCain's reaction to Senator Obama over the coming months... but if he and/or his advisers think this is going to effectively settle issues in swing voters' minds in the GOP's favor, more power to them.

Republicans just don't get it; merely appealing to "the base" isn't going to retain the White House.

Senator McCain is going to lose in November.

Posted by: Sean Kirk | May 22, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

McCaine is shameless. He needs the learn that his free pass is long expired. He has been lionized and rewarded enough for being shot down and tortured.
He needs to stop deriding anyone who has not been in the military, because the military is
not superior to any other calling. And it should be a reflection of us as a nation, although it is not.
McCaine needs to watch is sanctimonious behavior--another sign that posttraumaticstressdisorder is a clear possibility in health picture. I don't expect his psychiatric records to be released, though.
But he is a nut case, if you know what I mean.

Posted by: Gorgonzola | May 22, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

McCain is great at dodging the topic.

"I take a backseat to no one in my affection, respect and devotion to veterans. And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did."

Posted by: Shane | May 22, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

KAM...quit listening to Glenn Beck. He's a former drunk who knows nothing. The more he can keep you guys ignorant the better for him. The elite schools are increasing tuition because it's very expensive to attract top quality talent to teach.

Posted by: Playa | May 22, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

So the Mc Cain idea is don't let these kids think they can have any other life but killing in foreign lands? If the war was worth fighting they would stay and more would be signing up. Keep this war going by limiting the hope and prospects of our soldiers...great idea.

Posted by: rev orion | May 22, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

'"I take a backseat to no one in my affection, respect and devotion to veterans. And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did," he said in the statement.'

Was McCain's uniform bulletproof?

Cos he sure does hide behind it a lot.

Posted by: Ken O | May 22, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Yes, this is political admittedly. But in the end, is it right? If it helps the men and women who fought for our country during such a trying conflict, with no discernible goals, then so be it. Shame on Mr. McCain for letting this anger him, and shame on the poor treatment our Iraq veterans have received by this Administration up to this point.

Posted by: Adirondacker | May 22, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

McBush's logic does not make any sense to me. Is this what being a "maverick" is all about? Well then I don't like it!!.

Our veterans truly earned this benefit and MORE, (1) particularly in the wake of the lies and deceit that sent many to Iraq in the first place, and (2) especially when considering the LARGE number of vets that have been wounded and permanently maimed in these two conflicts.

Posted by: Thanks Sen. Webb | May 22, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

As I have found out after being married to the military for 21 years, the people who run the show are the senior enlisted. They are truly the heart and soul of the US military. While on active duty, the military pays for them to attend college.

I wish Obama and Webb were fighting colleges and universities for the ridiculous cost of attending these bastions of liberalism. Why not attack Big Academia as they attacked Big Oil? Why is Obama's school, U of Chicago, raising tuition 9.3% this year? are they trying to top OPEC? Let us go after the big endowments and the discrimination in these taxpayer subsidized dumping ground of the "can't do" called colleges and universities.

Posted by: KAM | May 22, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Sorry McSame....but most vets coming from Iraq don't get to ditch their wives for cheating multimillionaire beer heiress like you and solve their monetary problems. They need this bill.

Posted by: Playa | May 22, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"Ghetto kids?" Stay classy, Karen.

Posted by: reasonableman1 | May 22, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I like to watch crazed, angry McCain. His logic is that his decisions are okay because he served.

Posted by: steve boyington | May 22, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The truth is that soldiers and marines leaving the service would be eligible for full scholarship based on no income. Why are the democrats always thinking of ways for US taxpayers to give more money to academia, when the tuition increases are 3 times the rate of inflation? Why aren't public college and universities, so quick to offer freebies to illegal aliens and ghetto kids, so unwilling to give full scholarships to members of the US military?

Posted by: Karen | May 22, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

The difference, Deward, being that the U.S. did not need combat troops after WWII. Would you be in favor of using this money to raise combat pay across the board instead?

Posted by: Neil | May 22, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

McCain's GI bill he tried to sneak into an unrelated bill a few weeks ago was nothing more than a continuation of Bush policy.

To suggest that Senator Obama does not understand the military affairs is a slap in the face Webb, all the congressmen who supported the Webb bill and every veteran returning from the war in Afganistan and Iraq. The Webb bill is roughly the same GI bill for WWII veterans.

It is shocking how those who say they support the troops turn their back on them when the troops need them after they serve.

Posted by: Deward Bowles | May 22, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

It's shameful to suggest that by giving vets better benefits, it will only cause them to leave the military. After 2,3 or more deployments, WHY shouldn't they want to get out. As the mom of a vet from this ill-advised war, I applaud the idea of giving veterans more benefits. A lot of them are very young and these benefits will give them a leg up on getting an education and starting a non-military career. I also agree with Neil, combat pay definetly needs to be raised.

Posted by: bklvr | May 22, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"I am concerned about Obama winning not because he is black but, because he is unexpirienced and he talks about change when all the people supporting him are the ones that need to go for Washington to change. Example: Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Pelosi, Edwards, Richardson, arent' this the regular Washington people that we want change from? funny how they are all helping Obama! CHANGE MY A*S!!! Is more of the same!"
Posted by: Rafael VA

Your reasoning is as defective as your spelling. Who is anyone elected president going to deal with? Congress and the Senate. The point is to change the dynamic, not the people. The same individuals who lived as colonials under one regime became revolutionaries and brought about the United States, under a different regime. But I give you too much credit for comprehension. Maybe you'd get it if I wrote in defective English.

Posted by: edwcorey | May 22, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Barack Hussein Obama is black! Oh my God I am a racist now for saying that!

If I was to say McCain is like Hitler people would give me a standing ovation!

That kind of thinking is stupid and if Barack Hussein Obama wins in November this is the kind of thinking that will be welcome in America! I am concerned about Obama winning not because he is black but, because he is unexpirienced and he talks about change when all the people supporting him are the ones that need to go for Washington to change. Example: Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Pelosi, Edwards, Richardson, arent' this the regular Washington people that we want change from? funny how they are all helping Obama! CHANGE MY A*S!!! Is more of the same!

Posted by: Rafael VA | May 22, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Just like Webb tried to do an end-run against the war last year with his failed troop deployment plan, this GI bill would encourage soldiers to leave Iraq in droves. If you don't have the balls to de-fund the war straight up, at least admit that to the American people. Would Webb, Clinton, Obama, and all of the Democrats who voted for this bill instead agree to raise the combat pay for our brave men and women to stay in Iraq?

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2007/09/gates-would-urg.html

Posted by: Neil | May 22, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

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