April 8, 2011

Friday Randomness And Giveaway Winner

For the next month or so, there will be a winner announced every day, usually as part of an existing blog post, so be sure and check back every day to see if you're a winner!

Wow, did that sound canned or what?

Okay, okay, I've got other stuff to talk about, but let's get to the exciting part: The Around the World in 80 Frames giveaway winner!

Used random.org and used the total number of comments at the bottom of the post.

And lucky number 47 was......

Yay! Please leave me a comment with your email or just with a reply-to address set and I'll hook you up with our giveaway sponsor!

Thanks to everyone who entered. Remember to check back every day for new giveaways and new winners!
In other news.....

I got an email this morning that absolutely infuriated me. My grandma (whose age I won't release, because she's a lady, but let's just say she's past retirement age) wrote me and said that if the government shut down and we needed cash, they could help out.

This absolutely ticks me off. Not that my grandma is a good Christian woman who looks out for her family. But it just seems immoral that my grandma would feel the need to offer to subsidize her grandchildren because the government can't get its act together.

No, sorry, I'm not going to have a post without talking about the shut-down.

And neither should you.

This is about more than just missing a paycheck, even though that's very important. This is about being responsible citizens and holding our elected officials accountable for their actions, as well as informing and educating out friends and neighbors.

Remember "walk toward the fire"? Well guys, if you haven't noticed yet, there's a fire.

I know we're all conditioned as milspouses to be, at best, politically apathetic. In fact, the spouse group for our post posted a status yesterday basically saying, "Instead of getting mad and upset at the government, let's be thankful for what the government has done for us up to this point."

All they needed to add was, "like good little serfs."

No. That's the problem. That was my biggest concern about SoldierMan joining the Army. I don't like being dependent on the government for anything. "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." Which is why we have a savings account built up and invest in a private retirement account apart from the military/government. (Which is a topic for a-whole-nother post.)

Granted, none of us can actually vote on the extension bill, but we all can and should make our voices heard, not (only) as milspouses, but as American citizens. We have a responsibility to keep our country healthy. And the main part of that is responsible fiscal policy.

There seems to be the need to clarify some things with regard to the extension bill, the one that would protect troop pay through the end of the fiscal year, regardless of a shutdown. Yes, such legislation has been proposed, but it is being held up.

I mentioned to some other people that we can use twitter to contact both Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) and the President (@BarackObama) to tell them to allow the bill to move through. Some well-intentioned person said, "Remember, this is both a Republican and Democrat issue!"

The technically-correct response to this is: "Hooey."

The more complete response is this:

Who drafted guidance modifying exemption protecting military pay during a shutdown? Democrat President Barack Obama. (The only person in the country with the authority to do so)

Who authored and proposed the extension bill negating that guidance and protecting military families? Republican Congressmen Jack Kingston and Louie Gohmert.

Who has been staunchly behind it ever since it was proposed? Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner.

Who has blocked it from being voted on in the Senate? Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (even though a majority of Senators said they would vote to pass the bill if given the chance).

Who said he would veto it even if it passed bicamerally? Democrat President Barack Obama.

And why? Because not passing the extension bill allows Democrats to put pressure on the Republicans to abandon any real financial reform to pass a budget "so the military can get paid." Think I'm overstating? Then you haven't been paying attention this week.

Don't let anyone try to tell you this (military pay being stopped) is a two-party issue. It's not. The lines have been drawn very clearly by the players involved.

To complete the discussion, we need to take a moment to talk about "policy riders."
Some people will tell you this budget is being held up by Republican "policy riders." First of all, that's a made-up term that has no fiscal or monetary definition. In effect, any item in a budget is a "policy rider" because anything that is funded by the government is the result of policy. The DoE, EPA, FDA, AFT...any government agency or subsidized business like Planned Parenthood or NPR, all of these were chosen to be funded based on policy, or ideology.

For people to claim that the budget agreement is being held up by "Republican policy riders" is...well....a lie. At best, it's just ignorant. There are liberal "policy riders" sucking money we don't have out of the budget, and conservative "policy riders" trying to defund those money-sucks, like Planned Parenthood and NPR, both of whom are completely self-sustainable through private donations and marketing and do not need federal funds to operate.
Reid has explicitly stated that the extension bill will not be heard as long as abortion funding is in question (that is, as long as "Republican policy riders" defunding PP in Washington DC are in the overall budget).

(And no, this isn't about "women's health." Planned Parenthood does not perform mammograms or cancer screenings beyond manual breast exams - unlike what Reid is now trying to claim. They are not medically, legally authorized to do so. There aren't even mammogram machines in Planned Parenthood clinics. This is about the abortion lobby, pure and simple.)

That's what's holding this up. And the best part is, there's nothing about Planned Parenthood or abortion funding in the extension bill. Nothing. But that's why Harry Reid said he won't even allow the extension bill - not the budget, the "Protect Military Pay Act" - to be voted on in the Senate. Er, what?

Yes, this is a battle of ideologies. After all, the reason we have more than one political party in the country is because we are made up of different ideologies. But for one side to say, "We're going to hold military pay hostage unless you agree to fund our ideological causes" and then say it's solely the other side's ideology holding up the budget negotiations is false.

We are witnessing politics at its worst and the only way they can get away with it is if we say nothing.

Continue the discussion. Spread information. Walk toward the fire.
There are only hours left to enter the MyThirtyOne and Righteous Indignation giveaways! Don't miss out, and be sure to pass along the chance to your fellow BBs and tweeters!
I lost another puppy battle yesterday.

I had said, from the beginning, no puppies on the bed. At all. Ever.

And at first, that was easy to enforce, because they had to be lifted onto the bed.

Now, though, their 4-month-old 40 lb selves can jump on the bed from a dead stand. And yesterday evening, when SoldierMan was taking a nap, they decided to join him.


I think I've officially resigned every part of my house to these dogs. This one in particular doesn't really thrill me, but do you know how hard it is to stop 80 combined pounds of mammal in midair? And it hurts, too.

While they were hanging out, they noticed the puppies in the dresser mirror.

They were not fans. Even Achilles' "big boy bark" came out. They literally sat there and tried to stare down and bark down their reflections for a half an hour. And now, anytime they are in the room, they are sure to "keep an eye" on those strange dogs in the mirror. It's hilarious.


  1. First off my puppy doesn't like seeing herself in the mirror either! She just sits and barks or whines at herself it the cutest thing ever though.
    Second. Thank you for writing about the Shutdown, and the No Military pay. If I could write that well I would be writing too. I just can't seem to get past the being scared to calmly write something that means something!

  2. preach it, girl! you're all over it and thanks for encouraging everyone to take a stand!

  3. Oh goodness, yay, so excited!!! I can be found at itsadogtagwifelife@gmail.com

  4. Your political posts are so good! So well expressed and so many important things expressed clearly that are made fuzzy in the news!

  5. You go girl!! I wasn't even aware of this but its absolutely unacceptable! Best of luck to you and your soldier man.

  6. Just found your blog while surfing around this morning. Wow! You said it and then some.
    So glad to find you and looking forward to perusing your blog more and reading more about your military journey.
    I'm a Chaplain's wife and we've been in almost 9 years now. It's been a ride, too. :-)
    Thanks for your insights.


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