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As we're looking towards retirement in the next few years, we're also facing college expenses for two boys, the purchase of our first real home, and the desire to start a small business so that we can escape the rat race of government employment. Unfortunately, we don't think our military retirement will allow us to go 'home' - the Bay Area of Northern California costs more than we think we will be able to afford and we're looking at our options. So when Senator Diane Feinstein tried to justify these cuts as logical for 'working age' retirees, I had to laugh. Add commissary closures and projected cuts to health care (yikes!), I'm not sure where my family will best settle. Welcome to the uncertainties of military life, right?
This is a recent post of mine on Facebook. It was an answer to a question about financial security for military families and was joined by a litany of responses:
We've been moving every 9ish months for a few years. While the navy pays for the move, it still always sets us behind every time with deposits and incidentals and then the move-out fees we always seem to have.

We have slowly accrued more and more debt, especially with the military credit unions being liberal lenders, to the point that though we know he will make more money as a civilian contractor, we aren't sure we'll ever have the financial stability for him to get out. So we feel very stuck.

Right - unemployed or underemployed spouses have a huge lifetime impact on a family's nest egg. Not only the lost income during working years, but the lost Social Security payments later as well. Another reason military families depend more heavily on retirement than you might think.
Moving multiple times has made it to where I have 15 years experience in the medical field but still making a very slim salary. Now with having 2 children my pennies that I earn wont even cover day care costs so I will now have a huge gap in employment. I have yet to work where i would have any retirement plan due to I moved every few years. My employers would never pay for my continuing education credits for my certification because "I would not be there long enough for them to get their money back." We still own a house in another state because we would lose our shirts if we sold it for 40K less than it is worth.
Military spouses often must give up their careers and contributing income because of military PCS. Another thing to consider is that when my husband was deployed (10 times)... The ups and downs of parenthood fall to one. Another reason many spouses feel pressure to give up their career and stay home.
I was lucky enough to find a job with a retirement plan when we lived in Virginia, but it required 5 years to become vested. We PCS'ed after 4 years... Then they changed the rules for non vested retirements in that system so they would no longer accrue interest. That notice didn't make it to me due to our many moves until 7 more years had past with my paltry $5000 dollars sitting in an account paying no interest all that time.

We also sold low due to a PCS out of California, losing $30,000 in that deal. Each PCS we did meant at least a year of me not being employed, and not able to draw unemployment either. It also meant starting over at the bottom of the career ladder each time, restarting the wait until a job would match retirement savings, and paying for new work certifications in our new state. I know my civilian brother and sister have 4 times more than what I've been able to save for retirement, and forget saving for our 2 kids to go to college... That's a dream we've never been able to afford on my husband's enlisted salary.

I have spent hundreds of dollars sending care packages of basic necessities ~ toiletries, socks, etc. ~ to my Marine in Afghanistan. Just this morning I read in his latest message, "I feel so bad, because if you weren't sending me all these packages, we'd probably have your student loans paid off by now." Maybe, maybe not, but it's worth it to me to ensure that his basic needs are being met.
But reality is that most people have families and that means taking care of them. I have my MSW, along with two other college degrees and have not used them in over 5 years because of relocation, licensing costs and testing in 3 different states and cost of childcare verses income. I love being a stay at home mom but our income is restricted now to my husband's retirement pay (he retired in August) and a second job that he had to get to sustain our family.
When I moved to be with my husband, I had to take a huge pay cut in my new job. In three years of employment and with two raises, I never got back to the pay I had before moving. Now I am a stay-at-home ready to go back to work, but with a pcs in 2014, I will not be going back into the work force for another year. My hard earned degree from a well respected women's college is sadly just gathering dust.
These stories and more come at a time when Congress has decided to cut military retiree pensions in order to save money. Although many Representatives and Senators are reconsidering the cuts and will be offering up several different versions of bills to reinstate or partially reinstate the cuts, it's hard to tell what might happen. But even if the benefit is completely reinstated this time around, the truth is that the Pentagon will go after retirement pay again. Our elected officials are stuck between a rock and a hard place. The defense budget has to be trimmed and Congress refuses to cut many of the programs that the Pentagon wants gone because they hit a little too close to home.

Military families are beginning to talk about how these cuts are going to hurt and how, in fact, they hurt not only those currently seeking to retire but those who will retire in the future. The military retiree pension helps keep quality folks serving for 20+ years and it does that in large part because it helps make up for the inability of a spouse to work and save money during the active duty member's career. A military pension is part of the glue that holds the entire system together.

Unfortunately, there aren't enough military families to make enough noise to make a difference (remember, only 1% serve). We have a small group of organizations that lobby in our name but the key word is small. They are nothing compared to the lobbying arm of defense contractors. While our voices our few, our message is strong and it is worth sharing via Facebook and Twitter and your personal blog. When you share our stories, there is a greater chance that other civilians will hear as well, civilians that have never had the opportunity to meet any of us. And if just some of you will speak out in our support, we have a much better chance of keeping the pension system in place.

So what can you do?

Share and like military pension stories on Facebook and Twitter. Recommends on DailyKos are wonderful, but the changes are happening outside our small space. Those likes and tweets make waves that we don't even yet begin to comprehend.

Call your Senators and your Representative and tell them to fix the cuts and to look for different ways to pay for 12+ years of war. The war has already been fought by these veterans - they shouldn't have to pay for it with their pensions as well.

Let the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission here your thoughts on the issue. You can make your public comment here. If you live in the San Antonio Area, you can attend public hearings on Monday, January 6 and Tuesday, January 7.

If you hear of a military family story you want more widely distributed, please let me know. If they aren't willing to write it, I can put pen to paper for them.

If progressives can get a hold of this issue, it might be possible to change the messaging that is already creeping into the 2014 election.

This is just a taste of the kinds of ads that will appear in 2014.

Originally posted to A Progressive Military Wife on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 09:37 AM PST.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement and Military Community Members of Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Is KeepYourPromise your site? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angelajean, Dragon5616, lineatus
  •  Some of these issues aren't unique to military (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angelajean, mimi, Dragon5616, Sunspots

    such as the fact that many women can't earn enough to outweigh the cost of day care, and that the "trailing spouse" (usually the wife) always has a hard time getting work in a new location that matches her (or his) qualifications. Both are just as true where the "primary wage earner" is in academia, professional work, etc. (And no one is rushing in with defined benefit pensions for any of those people, much less at age 40.) The two factors that are different are the frequent changes of residence, and of course when the active duty spouse is deployed overseas.

    So yes, this matters; but some of it matters to all working people, and there could be opportunities to find common ground and push for better conditions for all families, instead of just pressing for special treatment for military families.

    •  It does matter to more than military families. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dragon5616, jfdunphy, Sunspots, allenjo

      Maybe those spouses that can understand our predicament are willing to speak up for us as well. I'm certainly willing to speak out for them.

      •  Army times adds that cuts are being (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        angelajean

        made to the budgets for family support groups .... which was one of the bigger improvers of morale for reserve and national guard troops pressed into service for 18-21 months at at time, involving multiple moves during training up,deployment, and "re-entry."

        •  Yep. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jfdunphy, allenjo

          Family support groups were already on thin ice. The majority survive due to high volunteerism of military spouses. More cuts - more volunteers needed. Of course, what else is a milspouse who can't get a job going to do, right?

          •  True, but you feel very guilty (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            angelajean

            if you don't try to help in some way. It's almost impossible to describe the needs that are out there. Like when both parents are deployed, and the grandparents have to take care of the kids, and the kids start acting out in school, etc.  When cars break down, and the pay is hung up because of a change in the system, and there's a delay in getting the car fixed. And people are worried about losing their job as a result. Stuff like that. When the news reports spike about action in the area where your troop is deployed, and your troop has to be out of touch for a while for a valid tactical reason. Then news about the sequester, and you learn that companies shipping stuff for your troop have to slow down production, to stay within budget. Things like that.

            •  Yep. Things like that. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jfdunphy

              It's true. We all help in any ways we can. I've taken training after training in how to be a family support volunteer. And then I began to wonder what would happen if family support could hire more of those volunteers? Wow, that program would be incredible, don't you think? But there is never enough money. And we end up losing many good volunteers to burnout. There is just so much to be done.

          •  Family support from the military - surely you (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            angelajean

            jest!!!!

            1.  When living in Japan, family contacted military to have mom informed of the death of a grandmother.  Military chaplin didn't notify us for a month after having received the news.

            2.  Dad was stationed in Ossan, Korea and sister had to have emergency surgery for appendix removal.  Military refused to notify, told us that we had to go through Red Cross.

            3.  When living in Italy, the base didn't have an eye doctor.  School teachers ended up putting lots of pressure on someone to have me sent to Naples to have my eyes checked.  The first time was told that I was making things up.  Second time finally got the glasses I needed the year earlier.

            4.  Had fever of 104.5 for 3 weeks the base hospital kept telling mom that it was normal for 10 year olds to have that high of a temp for that long.  It was Scarlet Fever and had morphed into Rheumatic Fever and it took the hospital boss to be somewhat dressed down my mom when he accidentally walked through the ER area and saw us sitting in the hallway for me to actually get treatment (which did involve a plane being ordered to the runway and wait for blood samples to be taken to a base that had the equipment to do the work - but then again when the hospital commanding officer says jump, you don't question).

            5.  The trunk of the car fell on my hand and should have shattered all 4 bones in the palm area of the hand.  Had xrays, not broken.  1.5 weeks later my hand was still going numb.  We were told that since the base hospital was down an Ortho doc, I couldn't be seen on base, cause a 'real' patient may come in... here's the paperwork to go off base (and that one was a quack - yeah, probably carpal tunnel, it'll go away..... 30 years later, I still have problems).

            Yep, the military surely does know how to support their families.....

  •  Not necessarily a good example. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angelajean
    Moving multiple times has made it to where I have 15 years experience in the medical field but still making a very slim salary. Now with having 2 children my pennies that I earn wont even cover day care costs so I will now have a huge gap in employment. I have yet to work where i would have any retirement plan due to I moved every few years. My employers would never pay for my continuing education credits for my certification because "I would not be there long enough for them to get their money back." *We still own a house in another state because we would lose our shirts if we sold it for 40K less than it is worth.*
    Emphasis mine.

    First, the bolded statement is a hardcore example of the Sunk Cost Fallacy.  It's never a good idea to request sympathy for things that are widely understood to be bad ideas.

    Second, the real estate market is well known to be illiquid.  There has long been a rule of thumb that anyone who might move in less than three years shouldn't even buy in the first place.  Transaction costs in real estate are huge.  Depending on exactly how multiple that "multiple" is, this person has questionable to spectacularly bad judgement.

    Whether or not I agree with you that Congress is doing a bad thing, this anecdote would not and does not convince me that this person has made the best of what they had.

    -7.75 -4.67

    "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

    There are no Christians in foxholes.

    by Odysseus on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 10:56:07 AM PST

    •  It's a constant debate among military families. (6+ / 0-)

      Do you buy or don't you buy?

      We were in a similar situation - bought a home in Utah. The benefits of buying are that our housing allowance gets invested rather than just spent on rent. When the economy was booming in many locations, military families could make money on homes. Unfortunately, our area didn't boom but busted. We rented our home for 8 years and then finally sold it for what we bought it for. We've never touched a home to buy since. Too scared to give it a go again. And, honestly, we've moved so often of late, it would have been a downright stupid idea.

      I can't blame those families that want to buy homes but might move and take the risk. The truth is that military life and owning a home are not a great combo. My recommendation is not to do it. But for those folks just hoping to make an investment that can pay back, I do understand. It's not like you can get rich of your military pay. And some people still just want to figure out a way to find that American Dream.

      •  just another thing that military has to give up... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jbsoul, angelajean
        The truth is that military life and owning a home are not a great combo
        However for the top brass that get those big mansions not a hardship. Or the mansions kept for the top brass to holiday in.

        Just so many other ways to cut back on military expenditures, and there is so much waste, so much money unaccounted for. The luxury jets for the top brass - and for congress to take their taxpayers jaunts around the globe, even the military doctors that those in congress demand accompany them - less they stub a toe and have to have immmediate medical attention.

        For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan in a coffin to Dover, "God bless the cause for which they died."

        by allenjo on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 02:56:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd like to say that the top brass don't get those (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          allenjo

          places. But then I remember an assignment to Randolph AFB, TX. We got a tour of the top general's home. The kitchen was absolutely gorgeous. Found out that with each new general, so many tens of thousands of dollars are spent remodeling to make the home palatable. I get that they've served 30 years and more. But that floored me. I dealt with rats in my kitchen at Randolph. I didn't need tens of thousands of dollars for a new kitchen... I just needed them to take care of the rodent problem.

          •  We had a friend who was top brass in Marine corp (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            angelajean

            who lived in a few of those mansions, and holidayed in one on Hawaii every year, along with many other perks.

            I was married to a reservist JAG officer and accompanied him on his "active duty." There are many bases with those huge mansions for top brass. They were really beautiful and huge, the ones I have seen. And of course they have their "servants"

            If anyone should be flying in military luxury jets, it should be those going into and coming back from combat.

            It seems  it is always go after the little guys.

            That they did not start at the top in reducing costs for the military is the problem.

            For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan in a coffin to Dover, "God bless the cause for which they died."

            by allenjo on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 03:42:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  the ad you showed is devastating already (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dragon5616, allenjo

    ... how can you cut a pension for disabled veterans? Weird ideas. Sigh.

  •  Could you delete that second picture? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaNang65, Susan G in MN, ladybug53

    It targets a lot of progressive Democrats, as well as using the hashtags that are primarily used by Republicans to smear Democrats.

    It is also misleading. Those people did not vote on military matters alone. They voted for the budget deal to avoid another government shutdown. A lot of other people took hits, including long-term unemployed, food-stamp recipients, civilian government employees, etc. The Republicans insisted on all those cuts in order to preserve tax cuts and subsidies for the very wealthy.

    Military families can make common cause with others hurt by Republican policies, or they can be used to target progressive Democrats as shown in that second picture.

    I think your cause is better served by doing the former, and suggest you delete the second picture.

    "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.” ― John Kenneth Galbraith

    by Urban Owl on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 11:41:16 AM PST

    •  I won't. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Toymaker, allenjo, jbsoul

      It is out there and it's better we know about it than not.

      I'm a lone military wife and probably one of the few writing for a progressive website. I think it's more honest of me to bring you the bad with the good. And then to see what the community chooses to do about it. But I have yet to see any progressive viewpoints on this other than my own. But conservative websites are certainly writing a lot.

      We have an opportunity to embrace this issue as we do other labor issues but we're not. Or maybe I've missed a front page piece, another diary, or even an article from the left that you've caught on this subject?

      •  I have to admire your audacity, (0+ / 0-)

        if not your judgment, coming onto this site and posting a picture that calls for the defeat of seventeen Democratic Senators and one Republican Senator, of the few Republicans occasionally willing to break partisan ranks at that.

        I know that you don't want to agree with me about this, but you're carrying partisan water, and not the flavor generally accepted on DK.

        Just about anyone else I can think of would have gotten my HR on the tip jar for that.

        War beats down, and sows with salt, the hearts and minds of soldiers." Brecht

        by DaNang65 on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 12:40:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Better to ignore it then? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          allenjo

          And pretend that these aren't that ads that will run?

          Become ostriches with our heads in the sand?

          I placed the ad at the end of the article. I didn't run it at the top on purpose. If I meant to be an ass about it, I could have written a piece that was much worse than this.  I don't even condone the ad in the diary itself.

          When did we become such babies about this kind of stuff? I've seen plenty of Dems take heat for other stuff on this website but it isn't allowed when it's this? I'm asking too much when I come for progressive support for this cause?

          •  What that picture asks for is the electoral defeat (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Susan G in MN, ladybug53

            of seventeen Democratic Senators and one occasionally moderate Republican one. That's partisan! It doesn't belong here.

            Why not make the argument for a concentrated effort for the electoral defeat of Paul Ryan, who insisted this had to go into the budget deal? He's the culprit, not the Senators who ate the shit sandwich he and Patty Murray served up.

            As pointed out above, a whole lot of folks lost their behinds to Ryan's poison pill for keeping the government open.

            War beats down, and sows with salt, the hearts and minds of soldiers." Brecht

            by DaNang65 on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 12:59:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Because I'm not making the argument to get rid (0+ / 0-)

              of anyone.

              I actually have tried to get people in the movement to focus on changing the law but they are making a beeline for election time. I wish I knew how to change the process... it's why I wrote this piece. You of all people should know that I'm not advocating, I'm educating. If you can't see that, then I guess I've really failed.

              •  I think the picture makes a good point (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                angelajean, benamery21

                I have no problem telling a senator I voted for "This requires explanation or I do not vote for you again."

                I tend to prefer Democrats to Republicans - hence why I'm here.  But I want the best Democrat on the ticket, not just  any person who calls himself one of us.

                I'm disappointed to see some of the names up there.  I also wonder how those seventeen names were chosen, given that it takes more than that to pass a budget.  Neither of those points make the image less effective.

                As another note, the feedback link seems to want people with direct ties to the military.  Mine aren't very close, so I'll resort to writing my representatives directly.

                •  Every senator up in 2014 who voted for this (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  angelajean

                  in the final bill is on that poster.  The other 4 of our seats up for re-election in 2014 are open seats.  All 55 of our senators voted for this.

                  "in the Senate the final 64-36 vote had all 55 members of the caucus (including our two independents) as well as 9 R's voting for, while 36 R's opposed.  All 100 senators are on the record on this one.  The 9 R votes were: Chambliss, Collins, Hatch, Hoeven, Isakson, R. Johnson, McCain, Murkowski, and Portman.  Only Collins is running in 2014.

                  There was one D-vote on the other side on the (54-46) motion to table.  Kay Hagan voted with every Republican.

                  On the 67-33 cloture vote:Every Democrat voted with 12 R's against 33 R's. Alexander, Blunt, and Flake voted for cloture but not passage."

                  Quoting myself (sorry) from the day it passed.  Our leadership agreed to pass this AND to give the R's cover.  Of course, we ALSO gave them plenty of votes in the House so that not all the R's had to vote for it there.

                  Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

                  by benamery21 on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 10:59:34 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  And that (the "beeline for election time") is part (0+ / 0-)

                and parcel of my continuing objection to this "movement," which as you know I've characterized elsewhere, if not so directly, as astroturf.

                I was absent the day they taught mindreading at school, so I can't reliably assert what anyone else's motives are/were, but if I were the best amoral political strategist the Koch's money could buy I couldn't have framed a more elegant strategy.

                It didn't help any that Senator Murray was all too willing to walk into the trap, to force good legislators to choose between the lesser of two evils, screwing military retirees or allowing the teahadists to continue repeatedly holding the American people hostage.

                I can only hope she was trapped.

                War beats down, and sows with salt, the hearts and minds of soldiers." Brecht

                by DaNang65 on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 03:22:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  If the Dems would come out and talk about the (0+ / 0-)

                  process, we would know, wouldn't we?

                  And if you would like to give me another group of people to work with to change this, I'll gladly take them. But I have to take the group that's out there and do my best to push the message in the direction I (we) want it to go. Have you seen any group other than KeepYourPromise? I would love to know about them.

      •  12/11-12/25, there were 67 (0+ / 0-)

        6diaries on military budget, including yours. This issue got at least as much  attention as anything in that budget bill. DKos has not ignored this issue or military families.

        I agree that the cuts that harm military families are bad and need to be fixed, along with food stamps, unemployment insurance, civilian employee cuts, etc. I appreciate that you are giving this part of the story attention, and hope you will continue to do so.

        But you posted, without caption or comment, a picture calling for defeat of Democratic Senators who are likely to be on your side.

        All I have asked is that you remove Republican propaganda from your post. If you want to keep it, add an edit that gives your view of it. As it is, it looks like you agree with it.

        "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.” ― John Kenneth Galbraith

        by Urban Owl on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 01:11:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Would love to know your search terms. (0+ / 0-)

          I can find the diary by aznavy - we published the same day and I referred to his piece in one of my own. But I seem to be missing the others you're referring too. I would love to read and share them.

          •  Sorry, I was out IRL (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            angelajean

            I searched using military budget, with dates limited to 12/11-12/25, bracketing the day the budget passed.

            I did not read them all to check how many were about cuts to military families, but from the titles, at least some were. It's just not true that nobody on DK noticed, much less that nobody cares.

            "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.” ― John Kenneth Galbraith

            by Urban Owl on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 09:42:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree that a lot of people here care. (0+ / 0-)

              I just want more to care... call me greedy :)

              I get in the dumps with this kind of action, to tell you the truth. Military folks don't, for the most part, understand politics, nor do they work a mean political action. Trying to get them to even sign a petition can be like pulling teeth.

              And the folks that normally are great at political action, especially those that help with other military issues - like sexual assault or the repeal of DADT - are not as drawn to this kind of stuff. It's the defense budget, for heaven's sake. I have a long history with this because of my Dad and his health care. My emotions are overly caught up in the action. When I write for other people - like when Ashley Broadway tried to join the Spouses Club at Fort Bragg and was refused because she is a lesbian, I can write more objectively. This kind of stuff it's hard to be objective... it's our economic future I'm watching go down the drain.

              I'll search on military budget and see who else was writing but my guess the vast majority of the pieces won't be about military retirees. My normal optimism meter is turned off this time. But thanks for getting back to me.

              •  Alliances matter (0+ / 0-)

                Military retires need to make common cause with all government workers and others whose retirement is being trashed. For example, Detroit city retires get an average of less than $20k per year now, before the cuts, but nobody cares, because it's just greedy union workers in a dysfunctional city.

                Federal civilian retirees just took the COLA hit also, with current workers having to contribute more and work longer, but nobody cares about them, they're just "bureaucrats."

                If military families focus only on their own, they might win, but it misses an opportunity to join with others in the middle class who have also paid their dues and are suffering. It looks like they only care about their own and are fine with all the other cuts. The Food Stamp cuts and the UI cuts are throwing people into desparate circumstances; it's not just moving down the scale a bit.

                And targeting Democratic Senators will not help.

                "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.” ― John Kenneth Galbraith

                by Urban Owl on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 08:22:10 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  BTW - those hashtags... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jbsoul

      the first is #KeepYourPromise. It was started by military families when we first caught wind that Congress was making these cuts.

      Neither it nor #NeverForget need to be Republican or right wing. Feel free to use them all you like. Don't let Republicans own words that they have no right to own.

      •  Thanks for the diary angelajean and for your (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        angelajean, jbsoul

        dedication.

        That we have a Pentagon that cannot pass an audit of all the mega billions it spends, nor has congress thus far even required it to, makes these cuts to the troops all the more horrific.

        Rep Barbara Lee keeps fighting for that but few in congress back her, sadly.

        For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan in a coffin to Dover, "God bless the cause for which they died."

        by allenjo on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 02:47:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  How about we ask every candidate to sign a pledge (0+ / 0-)

    to vote to restore federal and military pensions?

    Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

    by benamery21 on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 10:44:20 PM PST

    •  I hope this is fixed before the 2014 elections. (0+ / 0-)

      I hope we can get some progressives on board... some of those folks in the controversial ad above. Some of them are working on it already, the question is only if they're working on real possibilities. Getting anything to pass this Congress is difficult. Getting them to rewrite something they already passed? Wow. That will be a miracle.

      •  Unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

        I think the chances of that are very low.  The day before it passed I asked a Marine wife I know to call a couple Senators.  She hadn't heard about it, despite having a deployed husband with more than 16 years in, living on a large base, having a politically connected mother, and being management at the same utility I am (with large numbers of ex-Navy personnel).

        Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

        by benamery21 on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 05:38:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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