We've never met and we most likely never will meet. I voted for you (because Hilary was not an option, in the name of full disclosure) just a few weeks before my son was born. I waddled my very pregnant ass into my assigned polling destination (thankfully less than 2 blocks from my home) and was quickly in and out, even nicely greeted by members of both parties thanking me and my unborn child for voting that day.
Today, I regret not spending more time researching the other people I voted for that day. Seems the Senators and House Representatives have more power than you do these days. It's especially embarrassing to me, since I have a degree in Political Science....I know better! Sadly the pregnancy, exhaustion of being so close to due, so overwhelmed with not knowing where my husband's next duty station would be, if I (myself) was going to be deployed within a year of my son's birth...and many other unknowns outweighed common sense and I forgot my education. Woe is me these days.
I understand your desire to have a successful bi-partisan term. I know you toted "Change" as your campaign promise, and having been in Congress, you no doubt believed with the right methods it'd be possible. However, it seems you wanted that so much you forgot you are NOT a member of Congress anymore. You, sir, are the "Leader of the Free World" the President of the United States, but you're busy playing pattycake with the Republicans of Congress when there have been times you needed to step up and use your authority.
As the wife of a sailor, living overseas for the past 2.5 years, I can say I have been disgusted to see the military be used as a pawn,a bargaining chip and the blame for the current budget deficit.Twice this year, military service members were in jeopardy of not getting a paycheck due to federal government shut down. Was your paycheck in jeopardy, sir? Were the members of the Senate and House of Representatives in jeopardy?
I find it disturbing that I can see headlines on yahoo! news, that Congress is asking for a raise because "$174,000 isn't enough to live on". What about all the unemployed men and women across America currently who can't get a job at all? What about the service members who work long hours, with no paid overtime, away from family for months at a time (at sea, in the desert, or any other number of places the military needs them to be), who signed up for the job and are then told by the government "you make too much...you cost us too much money....you have too many benefits...you're retirement package is too good". When do we get to tell Congress "You make too much. You cost US too much. You embarrass US!"? and when can we be heard? Congress can raise their own salaries AND control the rest of the national budget?!?! So while their cutting funds to nationally funded programs, the Department of Defense budget and other funding, they still get a raise??
In 1989, Congress passed an amendment allowing for the automatic raises, unless lawmakers specifically voted to reject it. Which Congress did, until 2000.
(It's called a cost of living raise. And while Congress makes money from the cost of living being increased, most Americans do as well though not nearly as much as Congress does and we certainly do NOT get to vote on it ourselves.)
If you worked at a company, and you went to your boss, who showed that you had 13% approval rating, would YOU feel justified in demanding a raise? Apparently Congress does. The country just lost its triple A credit rating recently, but I guess that's also the military's fault for being involved in such a costly "war". It has nothing to do with the previous administration rushing in to the Middle East and spending billions of dollars and flooding the military with new members to support those actions.
I'm off subject here.
The moral of my story here is: You are not going to please anyone this late in the game, but you need to start being true to something and bending to every whimsy of Congress is not going to get you re-elected. PLEASE start showing your strong hand! STOP allowing the military to be the pawn in the game of politics. You know what happens if the retirement plan changes? You have an entire military force of immature, inexperienced people with only a very few in it for the long haul because they love what they do. The 20 year retirement pension plan is what keeps those in for 12 years going the final 8 years! It's the light at the end of the tunnel. But now, changing that, you take away the incentive. People will join, do one 4-6 year term in service and get out with the GI Bill to help with college or use the skills they learned in the military to help get a job in the civilian sectors.
It's a dangerous future for our country to play roulette with the military like this. I'm not sure you've noticed, but we're kind of involved in this silly little conflict with some people who really just do NOT like us and would really like nothing more than to harm us and ruin the country and if the military is weak...well we're kind of making their job super easy. Just an FYI, because I'm not so sure you're advisors are advising you of this.
Once again, I want to thank you (my blog readers, not you Mr. President as I'm sure you do not read my blog or care to read my blog....because it's not a crime suspense novel, but those are cool too) for reading my endless rant of political nonsense.
I'll have a fun blog every soon...I promise!