December 17, 2014


Lawmakers on both sides agreed on a bill which allots funds to help prevent veterans from committing suicide. It passed the house and had almost unanimous support in the Senate, yet Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn attempted to block the bill. Tom belongs to the Republican party, which is the more likely of the two parties to declare war, jump into war, lie about evidence which they claim must launch us into wars. Yet for some reason, Tom Coburn, who is leaving the Senate at the end of this year, wanted to block a popular bill helping veterans as his last "good deed" in office. Rachel Maddow is a great storyteller, and she sets up the clip of Coburn spouting complete gibberish beautifully. She plays it to the hilt when mocking him. And he is a mess, getting choked up and discussing his failure as a doctor who has lost military patients to suicide. While trying to stop a bill that would fund counseling for the veterans who commit suicide roughly 22 times a day. I don't think they commit it before they serve.

Storytellers are great, but what Rachel fails to do is offer any analysis of WHY Coburn made this nonsensical personal stand against veterans before leaving the Senate in shame with even his own party members slam him. He wants to make a statement about big government and not wanting to fund even help for veterans. The Republicans are very rah-rah-rah about military when they're sent off to wars that they've helped authorize. But after they return, not so much. Konda like their protectiveness of unborn children and "screw the kids" attitude if they might need assistance after they're born.

Or maybe Tom's getting a pay-off to pull such a disgraceful stunt. Maybe he has a lucrative new post-senate gig with a conservative think tank which wants no government at all, much less big government which funds soldiers' post-combat suicide counseling.

 Don't think it's only Republicans who disgrace themselves on their way out. Independent/Democrat Joe Lieberman tried to block Obamacare's passage before he left the senate to spend more time with his wife Hadassah, a senior lobbyist for the health care and pharmaceutical industries. Democratic Senator Ben Nelson was the 60th vote needed to pass Obamacare right before he left office. He was offered a sweet $100 million in Medicaid funds for his yes vote, but the offer attracted too much criticism. And they needed $300 million in relief funds for Louisiana for to secure Democrat Mary Landrieu's vote. Republicans called it the "Louisiana Purchase." Ben Nelson's proposed $100 million was named the "Cornhusker Kickback." These legal bribes are so openly known that they have nicknames! Mary's a catholic, so she held out her vote because Obamacare would help fund abortions. She's just left the Senate in disgrace after one of her last acts there  was to champion a bill for big oil which was proposed by the Republican opponent she just lost her seat to after 18 years in office.

This is why we hate Congress. They're often corrupt, unprincipled, have hidden agendas and can really sock it to the American people on the way out if they're paid well enough. This Maddow clips is one particularly crazy example of a GOP Senator in action melting down, but there are many others on both sides of the aisle. It's pretty astounding to watch Coburn in a sympathy rant for veterans while actively trying to screw them out of mental health funds.