TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — McCain, An American Hero — Again

Apparently area senators have never heard of Dwight D. Eisenhower. He warned about an out-of-control military complex … and Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven of North Dakota and Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota just voted for that.

The budget the Senate approved is a $700 billion defense policy bill. It’s only $37 billion more than the president had requested. Other than national news stories you might have seen on Facebook, who knew this action had taken place?

What open discussion took place in the Senate? Who weighed the military requests versus the military need? What discussion took place about other national priorities like infrastructure needs, health care and the rest?

It’s true that the bill must be studied more and considered by the House before anything can be sent to the president to sign. But what happened to open debate-public input and prioritizing requests?

A true American hero, Sen. John McCain, promoted the bill. Given his place in history, his position is understandable. The same does not hold true for our own senators, who would have been wise to engage in public debate and set priorities before any vote was held.

I don’t want to be misunderstood. I, too, want to support the military this country requires and deserves. Right now, we’re the most powerful nation on the planet. Right now, we have enough nuclear weapons to destroy this earth. Right now, we have enough offensive and defensive weapons to annihilate any adversary (without the use of nuclear arms). Right now, we have the most powerful air force and naval forces the world has ever seen. Right now, we can cause unimaginable harm through the use of drones and rocket science.

Do we need to overhaul and provide more maintenance to our existing military equipment? You bet we do. Upgrades and regular maintenance, according to reports, are failing miserably. That, however, is a problem of our own making. Again, it’s the prioritizing of our spending that is the problem.

We don’t have sufficient funds to approve all budget requests. But when the budget is studied and common sense is used, we can in fact address most needs adequately.

Ike was right. Military spending — given our current situation — need not be the No. 1 concern of Congress.

How about improving, upgrading and expanding our railroads? How about constructing, improving and maintaining our roads and bridges? How about improving our freight and passenger air fleets? And how about funding a health care act that can be approved and promoted by health-care providers?

Sen. McCain once again showed his patriotism and concern for the people over party. His no vote sounded the death knell to the GOP Death Care Act. This will result in improvement to the Affordable Care Act rather than its elimination. Common sense, regardless of party affiliation, should dictate that the ACA be amended and improved. The idea that the ACA should be eliminated without any replacement plan is an idea floated by fools.

That those opposed to the ACA (in reality, to anything President Obama did) had eight years to bitch, whine and complain about it but still have not produced a replacement shows that the booing folks weren’t thinking of people who need health care. The stupid party line appears to be that  “those who aren’t rich and can’t pay their own way should suffer.”

Of course, while denying coverage to those in need, some of the party people also want large tax cuts for the rich. They’re flat-out lying about how that would affect the average wage earner.

By the time this article appears, I suppose a few others in 45’s administration will have been fired or quit. The tide is turning. Some of the voters who blindly followed and even worse, believed the bull doodoo from 45 are abandoning ship. With all of the dexterity of a bull in a china shop, 45 is losing his base — not his hard-core base, perhaps, but the ones with functional brains.

Now if our North Dakota and Minnesota senators will turn the switch in their brains back to “on” when it comes to the military, we can go back to our usual political party bashing.

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Speaking of North Dakota! I have to wonder who Gov. Doug Burgum is representing. I lost all interest in him when he announced his support for 45, but it didn’t occur to me he would directly or indirectly, a la 45, use the office to obtain funding for his private companies.

Fargo has a commissioner, Tony Gehrig, who has been sounding the alarm on behalf of the citizens of Fargo. It’s falling on deaf commission ears. He has rightfully pointed out that the citizens are taking it in the shorts by the tax breaks given to Fargo area developers — tax breaks that benefit the developers but not the taxpaying citizens of Fargo.

Enough is enough. Developers want a tax break for the great project proposed for the First Bank site, which has now been postponed and extended for the second or third year. The whole idea of offering tax breaks was to induce construction now, but that has been changed to a tax break “whenever the developers want it.”

Not unlike our state and federal delegations, our local elected officials ought to remember they are supposed to represent the citizens of the area they serve. Those folks are not subservient to the corporate business interests.

Gehrig is an easy target for the politicians because he is a minority vote. In his case, though, the minority is a vote for the people. He’s usually right. Oh, that all elected officials would simply remember that they represent the people, not special interests!

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Now, on to my life. For three years, the motor on my pontoon at the lake was hosed. This year, all of my lake equipment has worked … and it is me who broke down. Well, now that all of my physical equipment has been repaired and is in good running order, the whole damned summer is gone.

As we prepare to close our cottage down and winterize everything, I have but one plea. Let just one year go by where my body and my equipment in town and at the lake stay healthy. God told me I have now paid the price for all the sins committed in my 78 years of life, so now it’s down to motors and worldly things. Amen.

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