VA Priority 8 Horror Stories Wanted

From yesterday’s email inbox:

As you may have heard, one of the priorities of General Shinseki, when he takes over as head of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs is to re-open enrollment for VA care to those who were classified “Priority 8 Veterans” – veterans who didn’t have service connected injuries, or were rated with a zero-percent disability rating, and had an income over a certain level.

As the Military Times put it, “Priority 8 veterans were blocked from enrolling in the VA health care system in 2003 as a budget-cutting move to help ensure funding for veterans with service-connected disabilities.”

This was supposed to be a temporary move, but has stayed in place. One positive step happened last year when Congressman Chet Edwards fought for and got $375 million in the budget to expand enrollment for some Priority 8 veterans.

We’re fully supportive of the move to reopen VA services to veterans like these, but it will take some education in Congress about how the budget-cutting move affected the veterans community.

If you were classified as Priority 8, and denied VA care because of it (or know someone who was) please let us know. We would like to tell your story to Congress, so they know the negative effect of the policy, when General Shinseki comes to them to request lifting it.

Just send an email to me with your story, at

Thanks for all of your help, and Happy New Year!


Peter Granato
Iraq War Veteran
Vice Chairman,

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Tina Fey Did Say They Could…

Tina Fey doesn’t seem too impressed with the pajama media, most notably a couple of commenter’s over at the LA Times’ The Envelope whom haven’t been kind when describing to her performances in 30 Rock and on SNL. In fact she called them out during her Golden Globe acceptance speech last night.

I want to say thank you to the Hollywood Foreign Press. I’ll always love the Hollywood Foreign Press and have all the Hollywood Foreign Press action figures. Thank you, Will Arnett, for that joke. But I want you to really know how lucky I am to have the year I’ve had this year and, if you ever start to feel too good about yourself, they have this thing called the Internet! You can find a lot of people there who don’t like you! I’d like to address some of them now! BabsonLacrosse, you can suck it. DianeFan, you can suck it. Cougar Letter, you can really suck it ’cause you’ve been after me all year. And to my husband, Jeff, I love you. Thank you very much!

So what is a lowly blog commentor, in this case Cougar-Letter, to do when being called out? They respond via  blog comments of course.

Give me something to suck on…

Read more over at The Envelope.

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Checks And Balances?

Barack Obama pissed off many in the gay community when he chose noted homophobe Rick Warren to give the Inauguration invocation so is he now trying to make nice with his choice to give the invocation for Sunday’s event at the Lincoln Memorial?

The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, who was elected the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop in 2003, will deliver the invocation for Sunday’s kickoff inaugural event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the Presidential Inaugural Committee said.

I guess this is what is meant by the term “checks an balances“.

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New York Nanny

As an ex-smoker, I used to hate it when legislation was brought forward that would restrict where and when I could light up. It got to the point I was afraid to smoke anywhere as I was wondering from one moment to the next if my smoking was breaking some newly created law. The last straw which pushed me into quitting for good was when South Dakota decided to increase their tax revenues by excessively taxing a relatively small portion of the population with the added $1 per pack cigarette tax that took effect 2 years ago.

Now New York is looking to take that idea one step further by proposing an 18% sales tax on most non-diet type soda products, sort of a fat tax if you will.

Can taxing junk food solve the obesity crisis? This controversial idea has never been given a real-world tryout, but the combination of a budget busting fiscal crisis and a citizenry that keeps getting fatter is causing legislators and executives around the world to give a so-called “obesity tax” serious consideration. New York Governor David Paterson is the most serious of all, proposing in his 2009 state budget that an 18% sales tax be levied on non-diet soda and sugary juice drinks. Such a tax, he says, would raise $404 million in the fiscal year starting in April, and $539 million in the year after that—all to be earmarked for obesity-fighting public health programs.

With our current economic and societal woes, is taxing everything deemed bad for us going to be the fix du jour? The cigarette tax passed because the majority of folks didn’t smoke and sort of backfired as taxes collected actually decreased when smokers either quit like I did or went to other sources to buy their cigarettes. What will happen when the government gets around to increasing the taxes on something that affects a few more folks?

Keep an eye on New York, we just might find out.

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Wikipedia Follies And The NFL

Just about everybody other than South Dakota’s Lee Breard knows that Wikipedia has issues with the facts at times but who knew that it could also be a way for sports fans to vent their frustrations?

Last night the Arizona Cardinals surprised just about everyone when they beat the Carolina Panthers and shortly thereafter, Panther fans took out their Wikipedia editor hats and had a little fun with Panther QB Jake Delhomme’s Wikipedia page.

Some of the finer edits:

On January 10, 2015, against the Arizona Cardinals, Delhomme threw for a career high sixty seven (67) interceptions in the NFC Divisional Playoffs, and cost the Panthers a run to the Superbowl, unless a presidential veto is used to overturn the match result.


Delhomme was born to Jerry & Marcia Delhomme, both [[Cajun]]s: the last name translates to “asshat”.


”Jake Christopher Delhomme”’ ({{pronEng|Duh-LOAM}}) (born [[January 10]], [[1975]] in [[Breaux Bridge, Louisiana]]) is an [[American football]] [[quarterback]] for the [[Carolina Panthers]] of the [[National Football League]] and is well on his way to breaking several records including most interceptions in a single playoff games…he sucks like John Casey. He was originally signed by the [[New Orleans Saints]] as an [[undrafted free agent]] in 1997. He played [[college football]] at [[University of Louisiana at Lafayette|Louisiana-Lafayette]], then known as Southwestern Louisiana.

So Carolina fans do you feel better? At least you can take solace in one thing, you aren’t Browns fans…

(h/t – Louis Gray)

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Time For Another Coulter Book Tour…And Voting Controversy

Let me just preface this by saying that seeing Ann Coulter being interviewed and listening to that woman talk makes fingernails across the chalkboard sound like a Mozart symphony so when I hear she has another “book” coming out, I get the ear plugs and blindfold ready. With that said, it appears something else happens each time Coulter goes on a book tour. More allegations appear that makes one wonder if the so-called political commentator has mastered that whole voting thing.

A few years back when Coulter was making headlines by calling 9/11 widows “harpies and witches”, she became embroiled in a voting controversy where questions were raised about improperly using an address that she didn’t live at in Florida to absentee vote. She was eventually “cleared” of those charges but new allegations have surfaced that apparently show she might have had issues remembering where she lived as much a 4 years earlier.

Coulter, who was investigated and cleared in 2006 for allegedly filing a false registration in Florida, used to be registered in Connecticut. The 47-year-old author voted there in 2002 and 2004 via absentee ballot, claiming her parents’ New Canaan home as her residence.

But property records indicate she was actually living in New York City. In 2003, the landlord of an E. 82nd St. apartment building sued her for allegedly failing to pay $11,028 in rent. That same year, she bought a $1.49 million condo on the upper East Side.

Is figuring out where you are supposed to vote really that hard?

Read the whole story here but be warned that there is a photo that could burn your eyes if you aren’t careful.

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The Wait Is Almost Over

If like me, you were wondering when what many consider the best “worst” movie of all time would finally make it to DVD, your wait is almost over. March 10th is the date that the 1986 Marvel Comics based cult classic Howard the Duck comes out on DVD.

How can you go wrong with a talking duck from outerspace who gets pulled to Cleveland by a laser experiment gone awry along with early big screen performances from Tim Robbins and Lea Thompson all wrapped in a movie produced by Lucasfilm?

Pre-order your copy today at Amazon as I am sure they will sell like hot-cakes…

Okay, probably not.

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Happy New Year!

For those out there lucky enough to not have to work today (unlike me), here’s hoping you enjoy your New Years holiday with lots of friends, family, food, and football.

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