Saturday, October 12, 2013

#ILoveFall

This is the most wonderful time of the year for me. I love Fall when the weather cools enough for fire pits and fire places. Sweaters replace tank tops. Flip flops get put away and boots pulled out of storage. Football games, chili and scarves. Hay rides and pumpkin patches. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin butter, pumpkin bread. Pumpkins here. Pumpkins there. Pumpkins everywhere!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

End the Government Shutdown

The last government #shutdown happened in 1995. I had moved to Hawaii and was going to the beach every weekend. I was in my early, early 20s. I mean, I didn't know shit. I don't think I remember much of 1995. Fast forward to my (ahem) early 40s. When this #shutdown happened, I was in shock or rather in denial. I mean shutting the government down?! That's insane! Isn't it? I thought that Congress couldn't possibly allow this to go on for more than a few days. Then both sides dug their heels in. My heart broke over the stories of furloughed employees, the uncertainties families relying on government assistance were facing, the suspension of military death benefits. Now with the debt ceiling deadline just one week away, I'm starting to freak out. Feeling completely helpless and, frankly, just pissed off my husband and I sent President Obama, Senators Burr and Hagan, and Representative Holding a little note. I fashioned my letter after his. Mine goes a little like this:

"As your constituent, I want you to know how the federal shutdown affects
my family. I am the spouse of a Disabled Veteran who proudly served 12
years in the United States Army. If his body would allow it, he would
still be serving our country. Veterans' benefits are important to our
family.

In case you missed it, Secretary Shinseki laid out the government shutdown
effects on Veterans yesterday. Here is where you can find his statements:
http://www.va.gov/opa/speeches/2013/10_09_2013.asp

If the shutdown continues through late October, more than 3.8 million
Veterans will not receive their compensation. These include thousands of
Disabled Veterans who cannot afford to go without. For some, their
disability payments are their sole source of income. For our family, we
depend on my husband's monthly benefits to pay for our mortgage, utilities
and groceries -- basic human needs.

Please work together to end the shutdown with CLEAN appropriations AND
debt limit increase legislation. I understand the need to reduce spending
to manage our growing debt. However, the way it's being done by a small
faction of the Republican party that does not hold the best interest of
the majority of the American people is plain wrong. This tiring
self-inflicted budget crisis cycle which has become the norm weakens us as
a country and has caused more harm to poor and middle class families. We
elected you to fix the stalemate in Washington and if you can't get the
job done, I promise you my next vote will be for someone else.

Thank you for your time and service. Please advise me on what actions you
plan to take to end this shutdown so that not only Veterans' benefits will
be protected but also that government is restored fully to serve the
people of the United States."

Feel free to send a note to your representatives in Congress. I'm sure they are getting an earful, tons of emails and tweets. As they should.