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Tell It Like It Is


Still Playing Their Reindeer Games




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Thomas Segel is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.

September 2, 2011 | 1,471 views | 1 comment

Harlingen, Texas, September 2, 2011: There are times when I strongly feel most Americans need a brain transplant. If a politician makes a statement or a promise, we buy into it as if the Almighty had carved it into stone. For some reason when some Washington motor mouth babbles in a positive manner on a theme we hold near and dear to our hearts, our eyes glaze over and we grasp onto that particular pledge as if it were a great truth ready to unfold. We instantly forget these pledges of support and excuses for failure have been part of the political mantra since the first stone-age politico crawled up on a rock and grunted his initial campaign speech.

A perfect example of this can be seen in Deep South Texas where for decades veterans have been trying to convince the Department of Veterans Affairs they need a hospital. Since the dawning of VA medicine veterans with wide ranging disabilities were required to travel to San Antonio, more than 250 miles one way, to obtain hospital care. In recent years the establishment of VA clinics in the Rio Grande Valley has reduced the need for veterans to endure more than 500 miles of travel and an overnight hotel stay just to visit with a doctor. However, there is still a need for their own hospital, according to many senior citizen veterans and wounded warriors.

Just yesterday a group of them met with Congressman Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX), as they have repeatedly over multiple years. His justification for no further action taking place on expanding their outpatient clinic into a full service hospital was “Republicans are only interested in cutting funding.” He failed to mention that the Department of Veterans Affairs has an annual budget of about $70 billion for regular expenditures and another $50 to $60 billion in additional funding. One would think somewhere in all of that cash enough could be found to build a hospital for those who fought to keep this nation free.

In reality, Hinojosa is continuing with his silly reindeer games, insisting the GOP will not allow him to play in their sandbox. A strong reality is the Democrats still control the White House and the Senate. They controlled all three branches of government for the first half of the Obama Administration. They had eight years under Clinton. Added to all of this, since World War II there have been six Democrat presidents, plus multiple decades of Democrat controlled Congress. For almost all of that time, the men and women who served our country and resided south of San Antonio in the Lone Star State begged for a hospital. The Donkey brand was in power but did nothing.

An interesting aside to this hospital denial by repeated Democrat and Republican administrations is South Texas has always been as blue as its sky when it came to casting ballots. The Tip of Texas remains a Democrat stronghold today. Yet, with this reality in place no Democrat administration could ever find enough small change in the federal budget to build that VA hospital. Also, in the gamesmanship department, the GOP too was a no-show for the veterans.

Just this week we learned the Obama Administration gave more than $500 million to one of its favorite green energy companies that has already gone belly-up. It bought stock in motor companies, backed up Freddie and Fannie, helped the financial institutions, supported unions around the country and bought million dollar buses for a three-day drive. Still they insist it is the Republicans who are cutting funds just so Ruben Hinojosa’s constituents cannot get their hospital. Yes, everyone is still playing those reindeer games.

Semper Fidelis
 
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Elaine K.  
Floresville  
September 2, 2011 1:49pm
 
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