…please knock this kind of dumbshit off: Wonkette: Joe Miller Runs Screeching From Simple Question.
Unless you really want Miller to be Alaska’s next Senator
The Wonkette piece, for those of you who didn’t click on the link, is precisely the kind of gleeful piling on that directly lends credibility to conservative assertions of being hounded and pilloried in the “Lamestream” press. And it’s very, very likely to blow right up in liberal faces leaving them all looking like a cartoon Wiley Coyote covered in soot holding a blackened match to a charred fuse and stick of dynamite.
Miller has already dug himself a deep enough hole that even hard core Republicans are practicing their spelling of “Murkowski” like kids brushing up on their vocab before quiz day in language arts.
As I’ve repeatedly mentioned, I intend to vote for the Democrat. I’ve got his signs in my front yard. I’m certainly no fan of Lisa Murkowski, but I’d take her over Joe Miller. I disagree vehemently with Miller’s position on just about everything and I’d rather have Cannibal Hitler’s Head in a Pickle Jar than Miller’s Tea Party Bigotry and Paranoia for my senator. I’ve certainly gone out of my way to ridicule his obnoxious ass here on Stonekettle Station.
A lot of people seem to feel the same way – and the wind is blowing chill and away from Joe Miller at the moment, so much so that it appears both Scott McAdams, the democrat, and Lisa Murkowski, the write in sad sack, have a real shot at beating Miller.
But, and listen up Liberals, the one thing, the one thing, that could turn that around and damned quick is going after Miller The Veteran. Keep attacking Miller’s Army service and you’re going to turn him into a conservative martyr. Keep it up, and you’ll outrage enough folks who will then feel it is their patriotic duty to go vote for Miller just to spite you. The Wonkette article is precisely the kind of thing that Miller can point to and say, “See? Told you so.” It’s provably nothing but hyperbole and hysteria and it hands Miller and other Tea Party candidates the ammo they need to rally those undecided progressives.
The Wonkette article, linked to above, questioned Miller’s VA disability.
Now, I’m not saying it’s wrong to question a veteran, just because he’s a veteran, but in this case the article is the same kind of poorly researched character assassinating hysteria that the low brow Tea Party itself tends to engage in. It’s nothing but rabble rousing at the gutter level – the exact kind of crap both Miller and Sarah Palin routinely engage in.
As I may have mentioned, I detest Joe Miller – but as a veteran myself, I find the Wonkette article’s obvious insinuation offensive:
A West Point graduate who served in the first Gulf War, Miller boasts of his military record in his radio and teevee ads, yet refuses to discuss the nature or the degree of his service-connected disabilities; he receives monthly tax-free payments for life as compensation. If Miller is classified as 30% or more disabled, he receives additional payments for each of his nine dependents. This Veterans Administration benefits chart shows that Miller could conceivably be bringing in over $4,000 a month, tax free, depending on his disability rating.
Um, no. Not exactly.
1) There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to question Miller’s Army service. Records indicate that he was an adequate officer. Better than adequate. And he served in Iraq during the first Gulf War. He was awarded the Bronze Star – and, you know, they don’t hand those out for nothing. He received an honorable discharge. It pissed me off when Conservatives attacked John Kerry’s service record and discredited his service and decorations. The same applies here. It’s dishonorable and disgusting, Liberals, knock it off. It’s beneath you.
2) Miller is under no obligation to discuss private medical information or his degree of disability. Period. It’s none of your business and it has no bearing whatsoever on his candidacy. As I mentioned, I’m a disabled vet myself (one of those “30% or over” mentioned in the Wonkette article). Exactly what my disabilities are is none of your damned business. My medical history is private. So is Miller’s. So is yours – even if you decide to run for office. Maintaining the privacy of our medical records is one of the rights we veterans fought for.
3) VA Disability does not mean what you think it means, or what Bill Scannell implied it does in the Wonkette post. Disability is awarded for service connected medical issues. Service connected. Not necessarily combat connected. Let me repeat that, service connected. Because what we do is very, very physical, military folks often end up with permanent medical problems as a result of their jobs. Take me, I will share a bit with you (even though it’s none of your business), I’m hard of hearing, significantly so on the right side. It has to do with my specialty. I spent a lot of time next to things that blow up, or in headphones listening to things I can’t talk about. As a result, my hearing is damaged. Significantly damaged. A percentage of my VA disability was awarded because of that. I have permanent and significant damage to my left shoulder, a result of boarding operation gone bad. I walk with a limp most of the time. I’m in pretty much constant pain. The American public got their pound of flesh from me, and they can damned well pay for it. Miller was a Tanker, which puts significant stress on the body. Any permanent damage incurred on active duty entitles him to VA disability. That’s the deal. That’s the deal we made with our country when we signed up. Don’t like it? Don’t think it’s fair? Think we’re getting something for nothing? You go do it for a while and see if you still feel that way. No? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
4) He’s not getting a $4000 dollar check each month. That’s complete bullshit. And Scannell damned well knows it. Look how the line is phrased, “…could conceivably be….” Nice strawman there, Bill. Here’s how it works, a portion of your income is deducted from your pre-tax pay, and returned to you tax free. The rest of your income is taxed the same as always. Except under very special circumstance, such as 100% disability for combat related injuries, you’re not getting any supplemental pay from the VA or anybody else. All you get, for being over 30%, is a portion of your income left untaxed. That “$4000 a month, tax free” is a big fat red herring. Miller is not getting an extra check from the government. Reality is, if Miller’s has a very high disability rating, say like 70% or greater (unlikely, just looking at him), up to $4000 of his reportable income per month could be untaxed by the federal government. That is very unlikely – hell, even John McCain isn’t considered that disabled. That kind of disability rating is normally awarded to those guys who, you know, are missing a couple of limbs or eyes or a chunk of their brain or worse.
5) They don’t just hand out disability. When you leave active duty and transfer to the tender mercies of the Veteran’s Administration, you undergo a thorough screening process. First your medical records are scanned in detail. Then you get a very, very thorough physical exam from a doctor that specializes in VA disability exams – i.e. his job is to keep you from getting any VA disability whatsoever. He is not your friend. Think you can fake him out? Maybe, but he sees a dozen Vets just like you every week. Good luck. You’re scanned, x-rayed, probed, prodded, quizzed, and palpitated. Your blood is tested nine ways from Sunday for things the average civilian can’t even spell (most civilians aren’t exposed to asbestos and explosives and toxic chemicals and experimental medicines and whatever the fuck it was soaked into the sand of Iraq that gave us all Gulf War syndrome). Every injury you ever had on active duty is examined. Every broken bone. Every sprain. Every X-ray. Every inoculation – like those goddamn NAPP tablets they gave us in the first Gulf War, the experimental drugs, the non-FDA approved drugs, that were supposed to protect us from nerve gas, except it turns out that they caused permanent nerve damage, so sorry. Every drop zone or deployment theater is checked against known problem areas – places that are infested with malaria for example. Whether or not you were in combat. All of that information is evaluated and then goes before a board of doctors for final disposition and determination of your disability. It takes about six months for somebody like me (whose medical record came in two volumes both thicker than the average phone book). Again, think you can fake them out? Go ahead, give it a try – all you have to do is go serve in the military for a couple of years first. I’ll wait. Let me know how it works out for you.
6) Finally, all veterans have some kind of disability rating – unless they elect for some reason not to go through the VA process. Most are 10% or so. Maybe 20%. That rating entitles them to certain benefits, such as vocational rehabilitation. Employment search assistance. Educational benefits. A bit of medical care (but no dental). A cookie and a cup of crappy coffee in the VA lobby. These are all things that were part of our contract for signing up in the first place, this is what the American people promised us for defending their goddamned ungrateful asses. This is most likely the level of disability that Joe Miller ended up at.
Again, you’re more than welcome to spend a couple years on active duty, go to war, earn a Bronze Star, and see how it works out for you. Let me know if you think you’re getting over compensated.
When conservatives blast the “liberal” media for creating falsehoods and for having an anti-conservative bias, this kind of bullshit is precisely the thing that lends their paranoia credence.
Miller’s own words and position and documented performance as a state employee speak loudly about his unfitness to lead either Alaska or America.
Making stuff up is unnecessary, counter productive, and clouds the real issues.
Seriously, knock it off already.