A Debate on Substance

Let me start off by saying that I will support the Democratic nominee, whichever one of the two that it is.  The stakes are too high to let McCain bring in a 3rd term of the Bush era.  I don't want flames or trolling in the comment section, I want a debate of issues and policy.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Now, let me list the problems I have had with Hillary Clinton.

Please, I would appreciate it if her supporters could respond in a civil manner with substance.

I'm kicking this off with the first issue that made me learn towards Obama.

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Top Stories This Week on the Our Troops Newsladder

Here are the top stories this week related to our soldiers here and abroad, taken from the Our Troops Newsladder.

VoteVets.org founder Jon Soltz, in a short debate with HumanEvents.com's Ericka Anderson on MSNBC, provided a blueprint for dismantling right wing talking points on Iraq from someone who's been there. Click here to watch the clip and read analysis at DailyKos.

Alternet expanded on Veterans For America's report on the crisis at Fort Drum. Click to read Military Doctors Withholding Treatment from Soldiers with Mental Health Problems.

Brig. Gen. Belinda Pinckney, the Army's new Diversity Task Force Director called the issue of decreasing minority graduates, which decreases the number of minority youth who can join the Army a "silent epidemic."Click here to read.

Admiral William J. Fallon, the leader of the military's Central Command, announced that he would endorse a pause in troop reductions in Iraq this summer, but then seek to resume withdrawals to reduce stress on the military.

This announcement of a pause in reductions comes as Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey told a Senate panel that the Army is under serious strain from years of war-fighting and must reduce the length of combat tours as soon as possible, citing spikes in desertions, divorce rates and suicides.

Veterans of America is proud to sponsor the Our Troops Newsladder, a new tool to find the top news and articles in the progressive community by, about and for our troops.

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Top stories on the Our Troops Newsladder this week

Here are the top stories this week related to our soldiers here and abroad, taken from the Our Troops Newsladder.

Mike Mullen, the top ranking officer in the U.S. Military got an earful of tough questions when he visited with troops at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, ranging from inquiries about the gaping pay disparity between private contractors in Iraq and soliders stationed there to questions about Marines being issued older rifles than field officers.

The report from Veterans For America about the glaring lack of mental health resources available to the Army's most-deployed division, the 10th Mountain Division stationed in Fort Drum, continued to gather steam this week. Sen. Hillary Clinton responded to the crisis, saying "It is simply unacceptable that 10th Mountain Division soldiers who have recently returned from Iraq have to wait for up to two months for mental health care appointments. Not only has the Department of Defense failed to provide Fort Drum and other military installations with adequate mental health care resources, but there is also a persistent stigma within the military that discourages our servicemembers from seeking and receiving the mental health care that many of them need."

In Montana, incoming Veterans Affairs secretary James Peake heard the concerns, complaints, and questions from Veterans of wars past and present. The issue at hand is seemingly random rejections of claims, long wait-times for appointments, and 500 mile drives for care that our veterans living in rural America are constantly up against.

In Washington this week, the Army angered open-government advocates by shutting down public access to the largest online collection of its doctrinal publications. All of these documents have been approved for public released but were placed behind a password-protected firewall nonetheless.

Lastly, a survey of over 3,000 high-ranking military officers provided an alarmingly negative outlook on our military's future, due to multiple and long deployments of troops to Iraq and Afghanistan that has left our military stretched dangerously thin.

Veterans of America is proud to sponsor the Our Troops Newsladder, a new tool to find the top news and articles in the progressive community by, about and for our troops.

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Why the Military Refuses to Vote for Obama [UPDATE]

This past Saturday, I had dinner with some friends. Considering that these people have a track record of being democratic, and I tend to lean more towards the right, I avoided talking about politics at all costs. However, this did not last very long due to the fact that my friend asked me what my major is, which happens to be Political Communication. Consequently, the question, "So, who are you voting for?" comes up. To my surprise, my liberal friends had told me that they are voting for McCain. There two reasons were as follows:

1. If Hillary were to become President, they were going to move to London.
2. Members of the navy had sworn to them that they would not vote for Obama solely because he will not put his hand on his heart during the national anthem.

My first instinct was to judge-is that really enough reason to not vote for a candidate? According to her and members of the navy, it is. She was invited to a dinner at the Navy Base in San Diego, where she lives. During the dinner she spoke with a few prestigious members about Obama. They told her how they would never hire a Commander in Chief who doesn't put their hand over their heart during the pledge or national anthem, and they feel the same should apply to the president. Beyond any issue they stand for, a president needs to stand by his country first. The members of the navy may not support the war themselves, but they still put their hand over their hearts to support their country and show their patriotism. They feel that there is a loss of understanding between Obama and the war. The war is a an extremely sensitive subject, not just another issue to have a certain position on. Obama should have enough respect for the troops who are putting their lives in danger just based on the fact that they are Americans.

Perhaps Obama is taking too much of a blind eye to the current situation of this country, and as a result he is losing the faith of many potential voters.

"My grandfather taught me when I was 2. During the Pledge of Allegiance, you put your hand over your heart. During the national anthem, you sing." says the Senator himself.

Well, according to the flag code, when the flag is displayed during the national anthem, all members who are not in uniform should have their hand on their heart.

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Renewing American Leadership BY BARACK OBAMA july / august 2007

""Summary: After Iraq, we may be tempted to turn inward. That would be a mistake. The American moment is not over, but it must be seized anew. We must bring the war to a responsible end and then renew our leadership -- military, diplomatic, moral -- to confront new threats and capitalize on new opportunities. America cannot meet this century's challenges alone; the world cannot meet them without America.

Barack Obama is a Democratic Senator from Illinois and a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.""

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