How the U.S. Senate and Obama Failed our Newly Rendered Gold Star Families

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This factual account written by Tommy Batboy is hard to read, especially because my own son is serving in the military.

Washington Park mounted police protect Washington D.C.'s War Memorials from veterans.

Washington Park mounted police protect Washington D.C.’s War Memorials from veterans.

Indiana’s Jackie Walorski co-sponsored a bill which was passed by congress so active duty soldiers are being paid; but, refusal by the Obama Administration and the U.S. Senate to even HOLD DISCUSSIONS with the U.S. House of Representatives, has caused unnecessary anguish to the family members of the four Army Rangers and a marine who died last Sunday night. THAT is unforgivable. As is what the Obama administration is doing to our WWII veterans who traveled long distances to see memorial tributes honoring their service. My father-in-law’s trip to Washington with Elkhart County’s VFW group was one of the proudest moments of his life.

To Jackie Walorski and her colleagues, thank you for working so hard to preserve benefits for military men and women and for our veterans. Hold fast, maintain your position and stand your ground.

These are historical times and I think, dangerous times. I feel the future of our nation and our freedom, for which many generations have made the ultimate sacrifice, depends upon the decisions our leaders make in these next upcoming weeks.

Courage, Ultimate Sacrifice and an Unpaid Debt

Not only these men but also their families have become casualties of war. Instead of our government making it easier, they are only making it harder on the families they swore to help.

Not only these men but also their families have become casualties of war. Instead of our government making it easier, they are making it harder on the families they swore to help.

By Tommy Batboy

Sunday night was not a good night for troops on the ground. A Marine was killed during a combat patrol. A platoon from 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment helicopter assaulted onto target. In the end, four died—two Rangers, two attachments. There were so many wounded by the command detonated IEDs and suicide bombers that the platoon was rendered combat ineffective. For those of you that have served, it was the nightmare you hope you’d never have to face: it was a massacre.

But because of what I can only describe as one of the grossest failings of our government during the current shut down (and that’s saying something, I know), the tragedy of Sunday night’s actions are just beginning.

According to sources inside of Special Operations Command, this morning there was a video teleconference. In the conference, liaison personnel who were already tasked with the almost impossible job of telling these families their son or daughter has been killed in action, now have to tell them something else: that their government has failed them and they will not be getting any governmental assistance until the government shutdown is over.

It is standard DOD policy to send families of our KIA $100,000 within 36 hours of the incident. This money is used to cover emergency flights to Dover AFB to meet the casket and start making funeral arrangements, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars when it’s all said and done. It’s to pay to fly non-immediate family to the funeral, to help with the cost of the takeout food that these families are about to live off of for the next week. It’s for hotels, rental cars, all the things that you need when you take an emergency trip.

These brave American’s caskets haven’t even made it back to the United States, and the government’s idea of “help” is to send these newly grieving families an IOU.

The government voted, overwhelmingly, to continue to pay and fund our armed forces. Yet, they are refusing to perform the most important responsibility of any leader. When things go horribly wrong: take care of the families of those we lose.

Inside the past 24 hours a mother had a man knock on her door and was told her son died half way around the world. Half a day later the same guy is about to knock on her door and tell her that she’s going to need to cash in her savings account until Washington “re-opens for business” as the political pundits have been saying all the past week.

Stop. Think about that for a second.

Five people just made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, to defend our way of life, dozens more are currently wounded—many fighting for their lives right now—and all our Commander-in-Chief and his minions are doing is tell them “we’ll help you when we are done making excuses about how much we’ve already failed, thanks.”

This is personal to me. I’m not going to try and pretend otherwise. I served overseas, like many of you. I deployed twice. I wrote the letters to my family in case I died. I had my will and my requests for how my funeral should have been run. But one of the things that I took comfort in was that as bad as all that would be—as much as I knew my Mom would cry and as much as I knew my family would grieve—I knew that my death wouldn’t be a financial hit. That my brothers in arms would be able to take government funds and make sure my family had what they needed.

For these five families, that is now a lie.

Read MORE HERE.
Resouces for Gold Star Families HERE.

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The 25 GOP Senators who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Harry Reid

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Out of the 46 GOP in the Senate, the following 25 Republicans stood shoulder to shoulder with Senator Harry Reid and President Obama to fund ObamaCare:

Alexander

Ayotte

Barrasso

Blunt

Boozman

Burr

Chambliss

Chiesa

DAN COATS

Coburn

Cochran

Collins

Corker

Cornyn

Graham

Hoeven

Isakson

Johanns

Johnson (WI)

Kirk

McCain

McConnell

Murkowski

Thune

Wicker

‘Monsanto Protection Act’ defeated in Senate, despite the House trying to SNEAK it through…AGAIN!

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by: Daisy Luther

 Despite thousands of protesters from all over the United States participating in demonstrations against Monsanto. House Republicans passed an extension of the provision on Friday. TODAY, the Senate REMOVED the controversial rider from the Continuing Resolution.

Despite thousands from all over the United States participating in demonstrations against Monsanto, House Republicans passed an extension of the provision on Friday. TODAY, the Senate REMOVED the controversial rider from the Continuing Resolution.

Finally, as the result of an enormous outcry, the Senate voted down the rider that was recently approved by the House of Representatives. The rider would have continued Big Biotech’s immunity against prosecution resulting from their toxic farming practices and questionable crops.

As of September 30th, the so-called Monsanto Protection Act will be dead. This is a major victory for anti-GMO activists as it is the first time that Congress has decided in favor of the constituents as opposed to companies like Monsanto, Sygenta, Bayer, and Dow.

“That provision will be gone,” said Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), confirming the change to POLITICO. The Center for Food Safety, a Washington-based non-profit, welcomed the decision as “a major victory for the food movement” and “sea change in a political climate that all too often allows corporate earmarks to slide through must-pass legislation.”

“Short-term appropriations bills are not an excuse for Congress to grandfather in bad policy,” said Colin O’Neil, director of government affairs for the Center. (source)

The Monsanto Protection Act was passed last spring as a rider sneakily put into place by Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri (Monsanto’s home base, incidentally.) It was passed by both the House and the Senate (see which Senators voted for it HERE) , and then signed into law in a final act of betrayal by President Barack Obama, despite public outcry that the rider made the biotech industry untouchable and not subject to legal action regardless of the damage caused.

The biotech rider “could override any court-mandated caution and could instead allow continued planting. Further, it forces USDA to approve permits for such continued planting immediately, putting industry completely in charge by allowing for a ‘back door approval’ mechanism,” the Center for Food Safety said earlier this month upon news the House was reviving the measure. (source)

As the rider is due to expire at the end of this month, a renewal of the policy was written in and passed by the House last week, slipped into an important bill related to the federal budget, the FY14 Continuing Resolution (CR) spending bill.

Monsanto and its allies have argued that what the company sought was no more than what some federal courts have done themselves in the past: Allow farmers to continue to use GMO seed –under environmental guidelines—while the court review continues.

Monsanto successfully expanded support among farm groups also interested in some such stewardship program. But the language itself was unusually strong in that it directed Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in no uncertain terms about how he should respond in future court cases impacting GMO seeds.

The secretary “shall, notwithstanding any other provision of law… immediately grant” temporary permits to continue using the seed at the request of a farmer or producer wanting such a stewardship program, the provision reads. And while Vilsack has been a big champion of the biotech industry, he was uncomfortable with what he saw as an effort to “pre-empt judicial review.”

“We have all known this rider’s days were numbered,” O’Neil told POLITICO. “But given the recent GMO contamination episodes of wheat and alfalfa in Oregon and Washington it is clear that our nation’s safeguards, in particular those of the federal courts, should not be under attack from policy riders like this.” (source)

This proves that by keeping a close watch on what our members of Congress are doing, and by holding them accountable in front of the public, we can affect changes. If we keep our momentum going, Big Biotech can be defeated.

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

What if the Government shuts down and nobody notices?

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“You’d be amazed how much government you never miss.” ~ Mitch Daniels

TO BOTH Republicans and Democrats, let me ask you this — exactly WHO GETS HURT IF THE GOVERNMENT IS SHUT DOWN?

What happens to the United States when the lights go out?

What happens to the United States when the lights go out?

I’ve lived through five government shutdowns. There were three shutdowns during Ronald Reagan’s presidency and two government shutdowns while Bill Clinton was president. And, if I hadn’t read about the events in the newspaper, I literally would have had no reason to be aware the shutdowns were going on.

My husband’s memory of the impact of those government shutdowns is the same as mine. He ‘heard that it was happening’, BUT, nothing in his life changed.

Just in case my husband and I are dunces who wouldn’t notice if an atomic bomb hit Goshen, so long as ‘our own house was left standing’, I decided to interview others.

SURELY, if government shutdowns were the huge catastrophes the media is leading us to believe they are — people would remember the horrors.

Here are the results of my survey…

“I remember something being said on the news about a shutdown,” said 80-year-old Ann, “but during that time my husband and I were looking for a vacation home in Arizona. We were pretty busy.”

“I heard about the government being shut down,” said 80-something-year-old Al, “but it didn’t change my life in any way.”

A family member that has lived in Washington D.C. for several years said, “Once or twice a year D.C. gets clobbered with a winter storm. When that happens, the government issues an order for all ‘non-essential’ people to go home and the city empties out. The government is shut down — sometimes for a week at a time. And no one notices. I have always marveled at that migration and wondered: If these are ‘non-essential people’, then what are we paying them for?”

Which brings me back to the crux of the problem. Which is what Mitch Daniels said, ““You’d be amazed how much government you never miss.”” This especially becomes evident when 50% of government workers (described by the Obama administration as ‘nonessential’) can be furloughed and NOTHING changes for the majority of the country.

Republicans: you’ve been given a ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME chance to match policy with your BOLD RHETORIC. The House of Representatives is where spending originates. House Republicans HAVE BEEN HANDED control to delay, defund or repeal Obamacare in concert with SERIOUS SHRINKAGE of the size of the federal government. Assuming what’s likely true, that President Obama and the Senate won’t go along with GOP plans, a Republican House in control of spending will get to starve Obama’s signature legislation, and then with a government shutdown that decidedly does not mean a shutdown of the federal government (Social Security checks will go out, the military will be funded through IOUs, the IRS will for good or bad remain functional), a happy realization gets forced upon the citizenry, that life goes on RATHER SWIMMINGLY without the Leviathan running on all cylinders.

To quote Dale Carnegie: “The person who goes the farthest is the one who is WILLING TO DO AND DARE. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore.”

I’m going to be blunt, if the Republicans aren’t willing to do everything in their power to defund, delay, or repeal Obamacare — INCLUDING SHUTTING DOWN THE GOVERNMENT — voting Republican means no more than being a Bears’ fan instead of a Colts’ fan. You are voting for a ‘team name’ not for differences in basic ideology.

The Polls:

USA Today/Pew Poll: More Americans than ever, don’t want Obamacare

Rasmussen Reports: The majority of Americans favor a government shutdown to funding Obamacare.

Rasmussen, ABC/Washington Post, CNN/Opinion Research, Fox News, NBC/WSJ, and USA Today/Pew Research Polls: ALL show the majority of Americans DO NOT WANT Obamacare.

OVERWHELMINGLY — Indiana’s voters willing to risk government shutdown to derail ‘Obamacare’

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To understand why so many conservatives in Congress are willing to risk a government shutdown in their quest to cut spending and derail “Obamacare,” take a look at Indiana and the state’s crop of young Republicans in the U.S. House Representatives.

The voters in their home districts gave them a simple message at town hall meetings in August:“Stand up to President Barack Obama and block his health insurance reforms.”

Indiana constituents don’t support the health care law and are insisting their elected officials vote to defund it.

The efforts of Indiana’s House Republicans are certain to be rejected by Democrats. Obama has already issued a veto threat. So the ensuing fight will heighten the risk of a government shutdown or debt default which will unnerve financial markets.

That is a risk that many conservatives see as essential, with key parts of the law due to take effect in October.

______________________________________________________________________

“The American people want this law stopped one way or another,” Representative Marlin Stutzman of northeast Indiana told Reuters. “We are willing to hold out on this one.”  _______________________________________________________________

Republicans argue that the Affordable Care Act will cost jobs, reduce employee working hours and increase health premiums and are focused on the projected spending increase which would nudge the sprawling U.S. healthcare system to over $3 trillion in total spending for 2014, representing a cost of $9,697 for every man, woman and child, or 18.3 percent of the U.S. economy! (Source of information is Reuters. Click HERE to reference.)

Over the longer term, healthcare spending growth would accelerate to 6.5 percent by 2022, when the industry would hit the $5 trillion mark and represent 19.9 percent of gross domestic product.

Indiana’s Republicans are willing to make tough choices and to accept the accompanying risks.

These Republicans do not fit the Democratic caricature of conservative Tea Party novices who are holding the House hostage. Several have experience in Indiana state government, making tough budget choices under former Republican Governor Mitch Daniels.

Daniel’s success in turning around the state’s finances prompted speculation that Daniels might make a presidential bid in 2012, but he opted against running.

Under Mitch Daniels’ leadership, Indiana cut taxes and built up a surplus. Now it consistently ranks highest in the Midwest in business climate surveys, while neighbors Illinois and Michigan struggle financially. But Indiana’s unemployment rate, at 8.3 percent, is a full percentage point above the national average as its manufacturing base struggles to recover from the recession.

The experience at the state level has driven the Indiana Republicans in Congress to try to replicate the same formula in Washington.

Three members – Todd Rokita, Messer and Jackie Walorski – now serve on the House Budget Committee, a big presence for a state with only 6.5 million residents. Todd Young switched from that panel to the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. And Stutzman, another Budget Committee alumnus, saw his standing in the caucus rise after the House passed his plan to separate the $74 billion food stamp program from a long-stalled farm bill, a move aimed at shrinking the nutrition subsidies.

“I think we’ve been able to prove in this state, statistically, that balanced budgets create stable economies, create jobs, and there is a way out of the mess we’re in at the federal level,” said Walorski, who once described herself as a “pit bull” in the state capitol.

Freshman Representative Susan Brooks, a former U.S. attorney in Indiana, has local, state and federal government experience, most recently as general counsel for the state’s network of community colleges.

The group often repeats a Daniels mantra: “You’d be amazed at how much government you won’t miss.”

Three years after President Obama signed his signature health care overhaul, Americans are MORE negative toward it as they have ever been. Disapproval of the president on the issue has reached a new high. Here are findings from a USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll.

Three years after President Obama signed his signature health care overhaul, Americans are MORE negative toward it than they have ever been. Disapproval of the president on the issue has reached a new high. Here are findings from a USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll.

INDIANA VOTERS ARE WATCHING

The seven Indiana Republicans face little threat of losing their seats to Democrats in 2014 if they dig in on the budget and Obamacare. The congressional boundaries some of them helped redraw in 2011 concentrated the state’s two Democrats into central Indianapolis and the industrial northwest corner. The Republican districts are now largely carpeted in corn and soybeans, giving them a naturally conservative rural base.

“Indiana is an agrarian state. A bumper crop one year could be met with drought the next, so you better focus on long-term goals,” said Wendy Dant Chesser, president of One Southern Indiana, the Chamber of Commerce in New Albany, Indiana.

Instead, any threat is more likely to come from the right if they are too soft on spending. The influential conservative group Club for Growth, headed by former Indiana Republican congressman Chris Chocola, is watching their every vote.

Similar sentiments expressed in conservative Republican districts across the country have put members in no mood to compromise on the fiscal deadlines.

Rokita, a second-term congressman who boasts that his 2010 budget as Indiana secretary of state was at 1987 levels, said the Obamacare defunding vote was “a reasonable reflection of what my constituents wanted of me. I think we’re best when we’re bold,” he said. “I keep trying to preach that to our leadership.”

Opposition to ObamaCare — already wildly unpopular when it was passed — is becoming increasingly strong and widespread. In my opinion, it’s about time MORE politicians follow Indiana’s elected representative’s example and deeply consider WHO they SHOULD BE fighting for. (HINT TO LAWMAKERS: The WHO should NOT be your pharmaceutical and insurance political donors.)

Sources:
Red State
The Indiana Gazette
Rasmussen Reports
Reuters
Political Outcast

Don’t miss the Nappanee Apple Festival this weekend!

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The Nappanee Apple Festival is proud of their family-friendly atmosphere and Midwestern hospitality that attracted over 85,000 people in 2012.

The Nappanee Apple Festival is proud of their family-friendly atmosphere and Midwestern hospitality that attracted over 85,000 people in 2012.

The festival has begun! Come to Nappanee and check out all the crafts, commercial exhibits and enjoy some great food! Today, Mike Hemmelgarn, comedy juggler and ventriloquist is on the Martin’s Entertainment Stage from 11:30-12:30 p.m. and Billy Dee (variety music) is on the CenturyLink Stage from 11:30-12:30 p.m. Senior Bingo starts at 1:00 p.m. in the Martin’s Super Market stage and Silly Safaris has a live animal show on the CenturyLink stage from 1:00-2:30 p.m.

Joe Knapp, from Goshen, IN on a downtown Nappanee sidewalk is about to play "Stairway to Heaven" at my husband's request. There is so much going on in Nappanee today!

Joe Knapp, from Goshen, IN on a downtown Nappanee sidewalk is about to play “Stairway to Heaven” at my husband’s request. There is so much going on in Nappanee today! Join in on the fun!

The Nappanee Apple Festival also features Indiana’s largest 7 foot baked apple pie. We serve approximately 750 slices of pie and many people travel across the United States to savor their annual piece of this pie. Other activities include a variety of entertainment on two stages, 100 craft vendors, 60 commercial vendors, carnival rides, parade with signature military aircraft fly-over, scholarship queen pageant, corn hole tournament, apple baking contest, garden tractor pull, kids and adult pedal pull contests, wings and wheels show at airport, apple peeling contest, 5K road run and half-marathon and a pie-eating contest.

In the spirit of the celebration, you will find crates of fresh apples dotting the downtown sidewalks and more than 25 food vendors including many local non-profit organizations serving all your favorites. There will be plenty of your favorite fresh apple products like apple pie, apple fritters, apple dumplings, apple turnovers, apple fry pies, apple bread, applesauce, apple cider and apple butter to enjoy during the festival or to take home to enjoy later.

The Nappanee Chamber of Commerce invites you to experience a truly unique hometown festival. After the fun and entertainment, you’ll be sure to mark your calendar to return for next year’s festival!

Click HERE for a schedule of events.

Did YOUR members of Congress sign the “Defund ObamaCare” letter? Find out here…

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The Continuing Resolution (CR) that allows funding for the federal government expires what are you in foron September 30th. It must be renewed in order for the doors to stay open in Washington. The CR is the best chance we will get to withdraw funds from ObamaCare. This can be done by attaching bills by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) or Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA) to the CR, which will totally defund ObamaCare.

But for the Cruz/Graves effort to have teeth, Republicans in both chambers of Congress must all be committed to absolutely refusing to vote for any spending bill that contains funding for ObamaCare.  Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) are leading the charge to get their colleagues to commit to this approach, by putting their signatures to a letter affirming that they will refuse to vote for a CR that contains ObamaCare funding.

Support for the Cruz/Graves bills is absolutely meaningless without ALSO SIGNING THE LEE/MEADOWS LETTER. Harry Reid and his Democrats will have no incentive to compromise unless they know the Republicans are willing to take a hard stance – even allowing the government to be shut down, if necessary – in order to stop the catastrophically unworkable and unaffordable health care law from taking effect this January.

Unless you want Obamacare, it is ESSENTIAL that you call Congress Members that are posturing a  lot, but actually doing NOTHING to PREVENT Obamacare from going into effect. TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

Don’t put off calling your elected representative because you think your voice doesn’t matter. The onslaught of calls over Syria, probably more than ANYTHING ELSE, stopped Obama from taking us into a war that could have led us into another Middle East quagmire or worse.

Click HERE to READ MORE and to see where your Congress members REALLY stand on Obamacare. (SPOILER: BOTH Jackie Walorski AND Marlin Stutzman not only signed Meadows’ letter, they co-sponsored Graves’ bill — kudos to Jackie and Marlin. As for our Senators, ahem!)

If you want Obamacare gone or at least delayed…

Contact Senator Dan Coats: (202) 224-5623
Contact Senator Joe Donnelly: (202) 224-4814

Jackie Walorski’s Staff Coming to YOUR Community in Sept.

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Jackie's upcoming office hours in YOUR community.

Jackie’s staff will be in YOUR community soon to assist constituents with casework, official business, needs or concerns.

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski’s staff will be holding upcoming office hours to assist constituents with casework and official business.

Whatever your concern, having a member of our elected lawmaker’s staff is a convenience residents of Indiana’s District 2, should use. My husband and I met with a member of Jackie’s staff when he was in Syracuse. The staff member was courteous and helpful and my problem was resolved before the week was out.

Residents who cannot attend the listed office hours are encouraged to contact (574) 204-2645 to schedule an appointment.

Congresswoman Walorski’s Rochester District Office, located at 709 Main Street, is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM EST.  Please stop by or call 574-780-1330 to schedule an appointment.

Wednesday, September 11th
LaPorte Mayor’s Office
County Council Chambers
801 Michigan Ave.
La Porte, IN 46350
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM CST

Monday, September 30th
Starke County Courthouse
Commissioner’s Office, first floor
53 East Washington Street
Knox, Indiana
8:00 AM – 11:00 AM CST

Winamac Municipal Utility Complex
623 West 11th Street
Winamac, Indiana
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST

Wednesday, September 25th
Syracuse Town Hall
310 N Huntington Street
Syracuse, Indiana
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Plymouth Council Chamber
124 N Michigan Street
Plymouth, Indiana
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Thursday, September 26th
Rochester District Office
709 Main Street
Rochester, Indiana
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM EST

Friday, September 27th
Wabash City Hall (2nd floor Small Conference Room)
202 S Wabash Street
Wabash, Indiana
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST

Board of Works Room (2nd floor)
35 S Broadway
Peru, Indiana
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST