Wednesday, May 30, 2012
The Following are excerpts from a recent Lexington Herald Leader Editorial "Editorial: Voters deserve more debates "12:00am on May 30, 2012; Modified: 1:43am on May 30, 2012 * * * "Still, [a candidate] . . . makes a valid point about needing more debates than voters have been getting in congressional races. "The TV studio debates Kentuckians have become accustomed to in congressional and statewide races do tend to be insular affairs with candidates fielding questions from members of the media whose jobs assure their neutrality. "And all too often, voters are denied even that opportunity to see opposing candidates strut their stuff on the same stage. "These days, political challengers, particularly those who lag in name recognition or fund-raising prowess, routinely propose as many debates as possible. The more debates, the more opportunities for incumbents to commit a gaffe. "Incumbents, who loathe sharing a stage and spotlight with a challenger, just as routinely agree to as few debates as possible — and only when they feel the heat, as [an incumbent candidate] . . . did in 2010 and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did in 2008. "Incumbents with substantial leads in the polls and in campaign pocketbooks may not agree to any at all. ". . . members of Kentucky's congressional delegation have taken passes on debates in elections gone by. "Voters deserve more respect than that shown by incumbents who dodge debates. "Anyone, challenger or incumbent seeking public office has a responsibility to stand up and be judged against his/her opponent. * * * "Multiple debates, including some in the kind of public forums where the risk of ambush for both candidates can be reduced to a minimum, would be preferable. "Voters deserve no less." Kenneth Stepp agrees with this opinion of the Lexington Herald Leader. Kenneth Stepp challenges the incumbent Fifth District of Kentucky Congressman Hal Rogers to thirty political debates, one in each of the thirty counties in the Fifth District of Kentucky. Let's give the voters a chance to vote on the issues.
DOD Identifies Army Casualties "The Department of Defense announced today the death of two Soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. "They died May 28 [Memorial Day], in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when their helicopter crashed. The Soldiers were assigned to the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, Ansbach-Katterbach, Germany. "Killed were: "Capt. John R. Brainard, 26, of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine; and Chief Warrant Officer Five John C. Pratt, 51, of Springfield, Va.; "For more information the media may contact U.S. Army Europe public affairs office at 49/622-157-3181." Kenneth Stepp salutes "Capt. John R. Brainard, 26, of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine; and Chief Warrant Officer Five John C. Pratt, 51, of Springfield, Va.; both killed in action in Afghanistan on Memorial Day.
Monday, May 28, 2012
Republican President Herbert Hoover stood for peace. Republican President Herbert Hoover stood for peace. He explained in his inaugural address: " "Those who have a true understanding of America know that we have no desire for territorial expansion, for economic or other domination of other peoples. Such purposes are repugnant to our ideals of human freedom. Our form of government is ill adapted to the responsibilities which inevitably follow permanent limitation of the independence of other peoples. Superficial observers seem to find no destiny for our abounding increase in population, in wealth and power except that of imperialism. They fail to see that the American people are engrossed in the building for themselves of a new economic system, a new social system, a new political system all of which are characterized by aspirations of freedom of opportunity and thereby are the negation of imperialism. They fail to realize that because of our abounding prosperity our youth are pressing more and more into our institutions of learning; that our people are seeking a larger vision through art, literature, science, and travel; that they are moving toward stronger moral and spiritual life—that from these things our sympathies are broadening beyond the bounds of our Nation and race toward their true expression in a real brotherhood of man. They fail to see that the idealism of America will lead it to no narrow or selfish channel, but inspire it to do its full share as a nation toward the advancement of civilization. It will do that not by mere declaration but by taking a practical part in supporting all useful international undertakings. We not only desire peace with the world, but to see peace maintained throughout the world. We wish to advance the reign of justice and reason toward the extinction of force. "The recent treaty for the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy sets an advanced standard in our conception of the relations of nations. Its acceptance should pave the way to greater limitation of armament, the offer of which we sincerely extend to the world. But its full realization also implies a greater and greater perfection in the instrumentalities for pacific settlement of controversies between nations. * * * "Our people have determined that we should make no political engagements such as membership in the League of Nations, which may commit us in advance as a nation to become involved in the settlements of controversies between other countries. They adhere to the belief that the independence of America from such obligations increases its ability and availability for service in all fields of human progress. * * * "It is impossible, my countrymen, to speak of peace without profound emotion. In thousands of homes in America, in millions of homes around the world, there are vacant chairs. It would be a shameful confession of our unworthiness if it should develop that we have abandoned the hope for which all these men died. Surely civilization is old enough, surely mankind is mature enough so that we ought in our own lifetime to find a way to permanent peace. Abroad, to west and east, are nations whose sons mingled their blood with the blood of our sons on the battlefields. Most of these nations have contributed to our race, to our culture, our knowledge, and our progress. From one of them we derive our very language and from many of them much of the genius of our institutions. Their desire for peace is as deep and sincere as our own. "Peace can be contributed to by respect for our ability in defense. Peace can be promoted by the limitation of arms and by the creation of the instrumentalities for peaceful settlement of controversies. But it will become a reality only through self-restraint and active effort in friendliness and helpfulness. I covet for this administration a record of having further contributed to advance the cause of peace." Herbert Hoover was a man of peace, and not a "wartime President". The Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Hal Rogers administration has American soldiers in 130 countries, attacked Iraq while it was at peace with its neighbors, has lost over 4,000 American military service personnel's lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, and maintains an American Army of occupation in Afghanistan. Yes, compared to President George W. Bush, President Herbert Hoover looks better and better. There are those today who would denounce the foreign policy of President Herbert Hoover as "extremist", "leftist", and "liberal". Do you want to stand with the morally bankrupt foreign policy of Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Hal Rogers in supporting the continued American military occupation of Afghanistan? Or would you prefer to stand with the foreign policy in the Middle East principles of Republican President Herbert Hoover and Democrat Kenneth Stepp? Herbert Hoover ended the American military occupations of the small Latin American countries maintained by his predecessors; Herbert Hoover was the type of President that ended American military occupations, not the type of President that invaded weaker countries and started military occupations. The principles of Herbert Hoover and of Kenneth Stepp require ending American military occupations of other nations. Let's bring the troops home. Let's end the American military occupation of Afghanistan by January 8, 2012. Vote for Kenneth Stepp for U.S. House of Representatives for the Kentucky Fifth District. Who Stands With Republican President Coolidge on Afghanistan? Who stands with the principles of Republican President Calvin Coolidge on Afghanistan? President Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Hal Rogers try to pin labels on themselves and on Kenneth Stepp. Who stands for the principles concerning American relations with Afghanistan, as stated by Republican President Calvin Coolidge? Let's look at the record. In his inaugural address, President Coolidge said: "We have never any wish to interfere in the political conditions of any other countries. Especially are we determined not to become implicated in the political controversies of the Old World. With a great deal of hesitation, we have responded to appeals for help to maintain order, protect life and property, and establish responsible government in some of the small countries of the Western Hemisphere. Our private citizens have advanced large sums of money to assist in the necessary financing and relief of the Old World. We have not failed, nor shall we fail to respond, whenever necessary to mitigate human suffering and assist in the rehabilitation of distressed nations. These, too, are requirements which must be met by reason of our vast powers and the place we hold in the world. * * * "It will be well not to be too much disturbed by the thought of either isolation or entanglement of pacifists and militarists. The physical configuration of the earth has separated us from all of the Old World, but the common brotherhood of man, the highest law of all our being, has united us by inseparable bonds with all humanity. Our country represents nothing but peaceful intentions toward all the earth, but it ought not to fail to maintain such a military force as comports with the dignity and security of a great people. It ought to be a balanced force, intensely modern, capable of defense by sea and land, beneath the surface and in the air. But it should be so conducted that all the world may see in it, not a menace, but an instrument of security and peace. * * * "America seeks no earthly empire built on blood and force. No ambition, no temptation, lures her to thought of foreign dominions. The legions which she sends forth are armed, not with the sword, but with the cross. The higher state to which she seeks the allegiance of all mankind is not of human, but of divine origin. She cherishes no purpose save to merit the favor of Almighty God." The America of Calvin Coolidge and of Kenneth Stepp "seeks no earthly empire built on blood and force. No ambition, no temptation, lures her to thought of foreign dominions. The legions which she sends forth are armed, not with the sword, but with the cross." The America of President Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and their rubber-stamp Hal Rogers is referred to as "the empire" by the President of Venezuela, has troops stationed in 130 nations, is engaged in a never-ending war--as recognized by the American Legion, and maintains an army of occupation in Afghanistan and the Middle East which has costed over 4,000 American servicemen's lives. Which of these two philosophies is your philosophy? Do you agree with the traditional American approach to foreign policy in Iraq of President Calvin Coolidge and Kenneth Stepp? Do you agree with "the empire" approach to foreign policy in Iraq of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Hal Rogers that has costed over 4,000 American armed forces servicemen's (and women's) lives in the Middle East? Concerning U.S. military occupation of Afghanistan, please stand with the policies of President Calvin Coolidge and Kenneth Stepp. Bring the troops home in 2013; elect Kenneth Stepp to the U.S. House, Kentucky Fifth District in November. Who Stands With Republican President Harding on Afghanistan? Who stands with Republican President Harding on Afghansitan? You have all heard President Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Hal Rogers try to pen labels upon themselves, and upon Kenneth Stepp. Let's look at the record. In his 1921 inaugural adress, Republican President Warren G. Harding spoke about foreign policy as follows concerning America's role in international affairs: The Chief Executive praised the "wisdom of the inherited policy of non- involvement in Old World affairs." Since the United States did not want to be "entangled," it "can be a party to no permanent military alliance," nor political or economic commitment impairing our national sovereignty. The American Republic, the speaker safely insisted, wanted no world "super government." Republican President Warren Harding would not have allowed United States troops to be sent to Iraq during peacetime. Republican President Warren Harding would have brought the troops home if he had found American troops in Afghanistan when he became President. Kenneth Stepp agrees with Warren Harding that the United States can be a party to no permanent military alliance nor political nor economic commitment impairing our national sovereignty, and a party to no world "super government". If you want a world "super government" trampling upon the United States Constitution and sending American troops to die in a never-ending war in the Middle East, then vote for the Republican rubber stamp Hal Rogers; but if you stand for the ideals of Kenneth Stepp and Republican President Warren Harding of "wisdom of the inherited policy of non- involvement in Old World affairs" (except for NATO, which Kenneth Stepp supports) then you will vote Democratic and vote for Kenneth Stepp, the Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, KY-05.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Campaign Report. On Saturday, May 26, 2012, Kenneth Stepp and members of my family Wilma, Carson, and Conrad went campaigning in the Kentucky Fifth District of Congress general election campaign to Pineville, Kentucky for the Mountain Laurel Festival. We all handed out Kenneth Stepp political campaign cards and talked with as many people at the Festival as we could. We walked along the crowded streets around the old Courthouse, up to the parking lot where rides were located by the Public Defenders Office, past the Public Defenders Office and back to the Old Courthouse where the band was playing in front of the Courthouse. There was a group of mimes there when we got there. Soon they left and a singer started singing some rock songs and some country songs. Wilma and I shared a Blooming Onion with ranch dressing. Carson had a funnel cake. Conrad had a funnel cake. After the campaigning, we all returned to Clay County. Kenneth Stepp
Kansas soldier dies in Afghanistan combat
Saturday, May 26, 2012
"President Barack Obama Honors Veterans During Memorial Day Weekend (VIDEO) 05/26/12 09:31 AM ET "President Obama says in his weekly radio and Internet address he will mark Monday's holiday with veterans and their families at Arlington National Cemetery and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. "WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is paying tribute to veterans during Memorial Day weekend, honoring those willing to sacrifice their lives for their country. "President Obama says in his weekly radio and Internet address he will mark Monday's holiday with veterans and their families at Arlington National Cemetery and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. "The president says the nation needs to honor veterans, including those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, by ensuring they have access to health care, higher education and jobs." Kenneth Stepp salutes all of America's Veterans--past, present, and future, and wishes America's Veterans the Best!
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
"Capt. Jesse A. Ozbat, 28, of, Prince George County, Va. was killed Sunday, May 20, 2012 in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit. "Capt. Jesse A. Ozbat, 28, of, Prince George County, Va. was killed Sunday, May 20, 2012 in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit. 1 "SPECIAL REPORT: Virginia's War DeadBy: Mark Bowes | Richmond Times-Dispatch "Published: May 23, 2012 Updated: May 23, 2012 - 12:00 AM "Post a Comment "PRINCE GEORGE, Va. -- "A Prince George County soldier killed over the weekend in Afghanistan was a 2006 graduate of Virginia State University, where he received an officer's commission through the Army Senior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program. "Capt. Jesse A. Ozbat, 28, died Sunday in Tarin Kowt of wounds suffered when a roadside bomb detonated near his unit, the Department of Defense said in a news release. He had been in Afghanistan for about a month. Also killed was 2nd Lt. Tobias C. Alexander, 30, of Lawton, Okla. "Both men were stationed at Fort Sill, Okla. Ozbat was assigned to Headquarters, Headquarters Battery, 214th Fires Brigade, while Alexander was assigned to 1st Battalion, 14th Field Artillery, 214th Fires Brigade, said Keith Pannell, a Fort Sill public affairs officer. "Although Ozbat was from Prince George, he was living with his wife in Elgin, Okla. — about 6 miles northeast of the army base — before his deployment to Afghanistan, Pannell said. It was his second deployment. He had earlier been sent overseas for 15 months in 2009, Pannell said. "In Afghanistan, Ozbat and Alexander were assigned to security force advisory teams responsible for training and mentoring Afghanistan's National Security Forces. Pannell said these units are critical in creating effective Afghan military and police forces and for the transition of responsibility to the Afghan government for the security of the country. "Pannell said Ozbat joined the Army in 2006 after graduating from Virginia State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in math. While at VSU, Ozbat received a military commission through the Trojan Warrior Battalion of the Army Senior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program, a VSU spokesman said. "It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of (Capt.) Jesse Ozbat, Class of 2006, who was killed in action in Afghanistan while serving his country," VSU said in a statement. "We send our prayers and condolences to his family, friends and colleagues."
Monday, May 21, 2012
Kentucky 4th Most Polluted State; Thank Hal Rogers! "July 21, 2011 "By David M. F. Schankula "Good news, Kentucky! "Our “Casey Anthony Dunking Booth” may have been shut down but fear not, we aren’t out of the national headlines just yet. The Natural Resources Defense Council named Kentucky the 4th Most Polluted State! "Kentucky ranks fourth-highest on the list of states with the most air pollution from coal and oil-fired power plants, an environmental group said Wednesday. "The three highest states were Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, according to an analysis of federal data by the Natural Resources Defense Council. "This is great news because it motivates our state leaders to step up their efforts to lead the Commonwealth to the number one position. Apparently they aren’t doing enough. "But they are trying. Just last week, Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-05) led the charge to rip funding from the EPA: "The Republican-led House Appropriations Committee has approved a restrictive spending bill for Fiscal Year 2012 that allows uranium mining on public lands adjacent to the Grand Canyon, prohibits funding for the U.S. EPA to set greenhouse gas standards, and exempts oil and utility companies from the Clean Air Act. "The EPA’s budget would be cut by $1.5 billion and the Interior Department would take a $715 million hit under the bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday. "House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, of Kentucky, said, “This bill sends a strong message that the EPA’s ‘legislation by regulation’ and commandeering of congressional authority is opposed by a strong bi-partisan contingent of lawmakers.” "Some may question Hal’s claim of “bipartisanship” . . ." * * * "Some might say . . . our ire should more correctly be directed at Hal Rogers… " This time elect Kenneth Stepp, a Democrat to the U.S. House, KY-05. It's time for a change!
"Tell Rep. Hal Rogers: Kentucky Deserves BetterAdd Your VoiceRSS "A project of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth to show that Kentuckians deserve good jobs, clean water and air, and safe and healthy families. We want adequate, honest, and transparent government. We aim to tell our decision-makers that this is the Kentucky we deserve. "Join us. Let Congressman Hal Rogers know that Kentucky deserves better than the harmful decisions he is making. "Click "Add Your Voice" above to join the conversation. Learn more at: www.kftc.org "Tell Rep. Hal Rogers: Kentucky Deserves Better "We are Kentuckians. We want some basic things for ourselves – good jobs, clean water and air, and safe and healthy families. We want adequate, honest, and transparent government. These basic things aren’t much, but they’re much more than Congressman Hal Rogers has delivered. "Policies that will shape our future are being debated in Congress, and Rep. Rogers has a powerful role in shaping those polices. Rogers represents Kentucky’s 5th District of eastern and south-central Kentucky. As the new chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Rogers is one of the most powerful politicians in Washington. Yet, his district and Kentucky as a whole rank at or near the bottom of the nation in many important quality of life indicators. "Over the last several weeks, he’s proposed policies that would make college less affordable, cut access to nutrition programs, reduce opportunities for energy efficiency jobs, and block safeguards for our water and air. His positions put many families further at risk, allow additional degradation of our land and water, and do nothing to improve the quality of life for Kentuckians. "Join us to deliver a message to Rep. Rogers that Kentuckians deserve better. "KFTC is planning a peaceful demonstration and rally at Congressman Rogers’ Somerset office on Friday, October 14 at 3:00 p.m. EDT to deliver the message that Kentuckians deserve better. Please join us to as we make our voices heard. Residents of Kentucky’s 5th district - and all Kentuckians - deserve a representative who will stand with us, not stand in our way. "Logistics "We recommend that anyone attending this rally should park near the Kmart on Rt 80 in Somerset at the Cumberland Square shopping plaza. Please arrive around 2:30 pm. Then we’ll walk together about .1 of a mile to the Congressman’s office on Clifty Drive. Afterwards we will head to a member’s house nearby for a debrief and soup bean dinner. Those of us heading to the KFTC Annual Meeting will then continue on to that nearby destination. "A few things to keep in mind: ◦If you have a green KFTC shirt, please wear it. ◦Bring an item to leave for Congressman Rogers that symbolizes something you value and that helps explain why we need and deserve better leadership. For example, you might bring jar of water, photos of your family, copies of your student loan bills, the classified jobs advertised in your local newspaper, or a copy of your electric bill. "Feel free to join us Thursday, Oct. 6 at 7:00 for a webinar about Rep. Rogers’ new role and how Kentuckians can work together to impact the national conversation. The link will take you to the registration." Yes, it's time to replace Hal Rogers with a Democrat in Congress. It's time to Elect Kenneth Stepp to the U.S. House, KY-05. It time for a change. Vote Stepp on May 22 and in November. KY-05 deserves better than Hal Rogers!
Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 12:15 PM PDT. By Karen Hedwig BackmanFollow . "Congressman Hal Rogers, 5th Congressional District of Kentucky, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, has introduced another temporary funding measure – known as a Continuing Resolution (CR) – to prevent a government shutdown for an additional week while cutting a total of $12 billion in discretionary spending. The measure also includes funding for the Department of Defense for the remainder of the current fiscal year. http://appropriations.house.gov/... "Republicans are once again playing their weekly shell game with the federal budget. Rogers has sneakily included full funding for the Defense Department for the rest of this fiscal year, through September, while hanging out to dry the rest of America. "This totally sucks a major one. Austerity and starvation for everyone but the big fat defense contractors." Kenneth Stepp believes in a strong America. Let's bring the troops home and strenghten America by giving Peace a chance. Vote for Peace! Vote for Stepp!
"Hal Rogers endorses Paul Ryan’s Austerity Budget Plan "March 21, 2012 By David M. F. Schankula "Paul Ryan, the reckless Republican budgeteer from Wisconsin, put out an austerity budget and Hal Rogers thinks it’s just dandy: "The Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday endorsed the spending level in the House GOP budget even though he said he wanted it to be higher. “It’s a workable number. We’ll make it work,” the chairman, Rep. Hal Rogers (Ky.), told The Hill. "The GOP unveiled a budget resolution on Tuesday that calls for a discretionary spending level of $1.028 trillion in fiscal 2013. That is $19 billion less than the $1.047 trillion spending cap that Republicans and Democrats agreed to as part of the debt-ceiling law known as the Budget Control Act last year. "The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, at Ryan’s own request, ran his budget through their fancy computers and found the Ryan budget, which Hal Rogers is advocating, would defund most of the federal government by 2050: "House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s new budget plan specifies a long-term spending path under which, by 2050, most of the federal government aside from Social Security, health care, and defense would cease to exist, according to figures in a Congressional Budget Office analysis released today. "The CBO report, prepared at Chairman Ryan’s request, shows that Ryan’s budget path would shrink federal expenditures for everything other than Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and interest payments to just 3¾ percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2050. "But don’t read that as good news for the health care programs. The Ryan/Rogers budget would raise Medicare’s enrollment age to 67, leaving 65 and 66 year old Americans without health coverage. And what’s more: "Equally stunning are CBO’s findings about the impacts of the Ryan plan on programs to enable Americans to secure health-care coverage. CBO finds that the Ryan plan would cut programs to help low- and middle-income people afford health insurance — Medicaid, CHIP, and the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies to help near-poor and moderate-income families afford insurance — by more than 75 percent by 2050, with the bulk of the cuts coming from Medicaid. Spending on these programs would be slashed from between 4¼ and 4½ percent of GDP in 2050 under current policies to just 1 percent of GDP. "Over 700,000 Kentuckians are currently on Medicaid. "Most of them, 422,100, are children. Which is good for Hal Rogers, because children can’t vote. Yet." Kenneth Stepp is in favor of Medicaide and expanding, not reducing it. Elect Kennth Stepp to the U.S. House KY-05 May 22 and in November 2012!
"Geoff Davis, Republican KY 55% Lewis, Ron, Republican KY, 50% Northup, Anne, Republican, KY 23% Rogers, Harold, Republican, KY 20% " Source: Citizens Against Government Waste website, scorecard figures for 2006, for members of Kentucky's Congressional Delegation.
"Earmark Puts $17,000 Pans on Army Craft "Chris Wilson for The New York Times "Phoenix Products, a drip pan maker, whose owners are donors to Representative Harold Rogers. "By ERIC LICHTBLAU "Published: May 18, 2012 "WASHINGTON — In the 1980s, the military had its infamous $800 toilet seat. Today, it has a $17,000 drip pan. "The Election 2012 App "A one-stop destination for the latest political news — from The Times and other top sources. Plus opinion, polls, campaign data and video. "Susan Walsh/Associated Press "Mr. Rogers "Thanks to a powerful Kentucky congressman who has steered tens of millions of federal dollars to his district, the Army has bought about $6.5 million worth of the “leakproof” drip pans in the last three years to catch transmission fluid on Black Hawk helicopters. And it might want more from the Kentucky company that makes the pans, even though a similar pan from another company costs a small fraction of the price: about $2,500. "The purchase shows the enduring power of earmarks, even though several scandals have prompted efforts in Congress to rein them in. And at a time when the Pentagon is facing billions of dollars in cutbacks — which include shrinking the Army, trimming back purchases of fighter jets and retiring warships — the eye-catching price tag for a small part has provoked sharp criticism. "The Kentucky company, Phoenix Products, got the job to produce the pans after Representative Harold Rogers, a Republican who is now the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, added an earmark to a 2009 spending bill. While the earmark came before restrictions were placed on such provisions for for-profit companies, its outlays have continued for the last three years. "The company’s owners are political contributors to the congressman, who has been called the “Prince of Pork” by The Lexington Herald-Leader for his history of delivering federal contracts to donors and others back home. "Military officials have said the pans work well, and Mr. Rogers defended them. “It’s important that Congress do what it can to provide our military with the best resources to ensure their safety and advance our missions abroad, while also saving taxpayer dollars wherever possible,” Mr. Rogers said in a statement. “These dripping pans help accomplish both of these goals.” "But Bob Skillen, the chief engineer at a small manufacturer called VX Aerospace, which has a plant in North Carolina, said he was shocked to see what the Army was spending for the Black Hawk drip pans. He designs drip pans that his company sells to the military for a different helicopter, the UH-46, for about $2,500 per pan, or about one-eighth the price that his Kentucky competitor charges. The pans attach beneath the roof of the helicopter to catch leaking transmission fluid before it can seep into the cabin. "“It’s not a supercomplex part,” said Mr. Skillen, an aerospace engineer who used to work for the Navy. “As a taxpayer, I’m just like, this isn’t right.” "He took his concerns to members of Congress, to military contracting officials and, finally, to a government watchdog group, the nonpartisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The group requested documents from the government under the Freedom of Information Act last year to learn more about the contract. "The Army turned over some information but said it did not have any specifications or designs for the drip pans that might explain the price. That was considered proprietary information held by Phoenix Products. "Melanie Sloan, who leads the Washington group, said she was troubled by the secrecy surrounding what seemed to be a routine parts order. “How is it possible that the government can’t say why it ended up with a drip pan that was this much money?” she asked in an interview. "A Congressional aide said that Mr. Rogers inserted the earmark after Army officials went to him with concerns about fluids that were leaking into the cabins of Black Hawks, splattering not only crew members but also wounded soldiers being airlifted to hospitals. “The Army came to the boss and said this is an issue,” said the aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in discussing internal communications. "The Army, however, said it was simply following a budget directive from Congress. Mr. Rogers’s earmark came before House members informally agreed to ban such provisions to for-profit companies. A version of this article appeared in print on May 19, 2012, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Earmark Puts $17,000 Pans On Army Craft. . . ." EVEN THE NEW YORK TIMES IS SLAMMING HAL ROGERS. EVEN IN NEW YORK CITY, SOME "PORK BARREL" DEALS ARE JUST UNPROFESSIONAL. KENNETH STEPP STANDS FOR ORDINARY PEOPLE--PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND ME. KENNETH STEPP HATES PAYOLA AND NO-BID CONTRACTS. THAT IS YOUR MONEY THAT IS BEING WASTED. KENNETH STEPP IS AGAINST GOVERNMENT WASTE. ELECT KENNETH STEPP TO THE U.S. HOUSE KY-05 MAY 22 AND IN NOVEMBER.
"Kentucky Congressman Forces Citizens to Waste $17,000 on Each Helicopter Drip Pan "Monday, May 21, 2012 "Prince of Pork" Hal Rogers "Why would the Department of Defense spend $17,000 for a helicopter drip pan when it could buy the same component for one-eighth the cost? Because a powerful congressman wants it this way. "The pricey drip pan, which catches leaky transmission fluid on Black Hawks, is manufactured by Phoenix Products at their plant in Maceo, Kentucky. That’s the same state that elected Representative Hal Rogers, the Republican in charge of the House Appropriations Committee. "It is Rogers who was responsible three years ago for authorizing the deal with Phoenix Products. Known as the “prince of pork,” Rogers has been adept at funneling federal tax dollars to his home state to the benefit of the drip pan manufacturer and other companies. He once secured hauled in $7.1 million of taxpayer money to upgrade a half-mile strip of the street where he lives. "There is a less expensive alternative to spending $17,000 on the pans. But it resides in a different state, North Carolina actually, where VX Aerospace produces a pan for another type of helicopter (UH-46) for $2,500 each. "The owner of Phoenix, Tom Wilson, and his wife, Peggy, who is president of the company, have donated to Rogers’ political committee, while Rogers has helped Phoenix snag more than $17 million worth of federal contracts since 2000. -Noel Brinkerhoff" Yeah, that's pretty clever, getting the government to pay $17,000 for a helicopter drip pan that it could buy from another supplier for $2,500. I remember when they ued to worry about $350.00 toilet seats when I was in the armed services. I never imagined we'd see the government blowing $17,000 on a $2,500 helicopter drip pan. My Dad once said that "people get the kind of government that they deserve." I suppose he would say that the average taxpayer deserves to be paying $17,000 each for $2,500 helicopter drip pans. Vote for Stepp and end the $17,000 helicopter drip pan waste.
"Army Purchases of $17,000 Pans Tied to Kentucky Lawmaker "By Stephanie Armour - May 19, 2012 2:47 PM ET "Representative Harold Rogers of Kentucky directed millions of dollars in business to Kentucky company Phoenix Products Co., one of his campaign contributors, for $17,000 leak-proof drip pans for U.S. Army helicopters when similar products can be bought for about $2,500, according to a competitor. "Robert Skillen, chief engineer at VX Aerospace Corp., a Leesburg, Virginia-based advanced composites manufacturing and design company, said an earmark Rogers added to a 2009 spending bill provided funding to buy the leak-proof pans for the Army from Phoenix Products in McKee, Kentucky. Skillen said his company sells drip pans for $2,471. “You think Hal Rogers cares they spent five times more than they’re worth? He just wants campaign money,” Skillen, who is at the Morganton, North Carolina, manufacturing facility, said in an interview. “He just wants campaign money. It’s spending taxpayer money for personal profit.” "Phoenix Products was selected in a competitive bidding process, said Jennifer Hing, a spokeswoman for Rogers, a Republican who is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. The Army has continued to award the bid to Phoenix in the years since the 2009 earmark, she said. “It’s important that Congress do what it can to provide our military with the best resources to ensure their safety and advance our missions abroad, while also saving taxpayer dollars wherever possible,” Rogers said in a statement to the New York Times, which first reported the story in today’s editions. “These dripping pans help accomplish both of these goals.” "Political Contributors "Phoenix Products didn’t return a phone message today left with a man who identified himself as a janitor at the company. U.S. Army spokesman James Hutton couldn’t provide an immediate comment. "The Army bought 374 drip pans from Phoenix at an average cost of $17,000, according to the article. In helicopters, a rotor runs to a shaft in the roof and the pans are underneath to contain fluid, much like a pan under a car engine, Skillen said. "The company’s owners are political contributors to Rogers, according to the Times story. Phoenix’s president, Thomas Wilson, and his wife Peggy, have given at least $600,000 since 2005 to a Washington lobbying firm and have been contributors to Rogers’ political committee, according to the Times. ‘Cronyism Network’ "Phoenix hired a lobbying firm that gave money to Rogers, according to Melanie Sloan, executive director of the nonpartisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "Skillen came to the group with his concerns and it began investigating, she said in an interview. The group filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the Army to learn more about the leak-proof pans and purchasing, she said. “It’s a cronyism network,” said Sloan. “He wanted to give money to the company and he got campaign contributions. This is why America is frustrated with earmarks.” "The Army has been criticized before for overspending. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. charged the Army $2,510.06 each for six helicopter parts it bought from the Defense Logistics Agency for $143.26 each, a mark-up of 1,652 percent according to a 2011 audit by the Defense Department’s inspector general. "To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Armour in Washington at sarmour@@bloomberg.net "To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Walcott at email@example.com" REMEMBER HAL ROGERS IS PHOENIX'S CRONY. KENNETH STEPP IS THE CRONY OF YOUR AND OTHER ORDINARY PEOPLE LIKE YOURSELF. IF IN CONGRESS, KENNETH STEPP WILL VOTE FOR WHAT'S BEST FOR ORDINARY PEOPLE, ORDINARY TAXPAYERS, AND ORDINARY SOLDIERS. ELECT DEMOCRAT KENNETH STEPP TO THE U.S. HOUSE MAY 22 AND IN NOVEMBER!
Saturday, May 19, 2012
"Local soldier killed in action " Posted: May 19, 2012 12:16 PM EDT Updated: May 19, 2012 12:21 PM EDT "By Laura McCallister, Multimedia Producer - email "By Dave Jordan, News Reporter - email "OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) - "An Overland Park family is coming together to remember a soldier killed in Afghanistan. Sgt. Mike Knapp was killed in the line of duty early Friday morning. He just became a father nine months ago. "Right after Knapp graduated from Shawnee Mission North, he went into the National Guard, served a few years, left briefly and then re-enlisted as a full-time soldier. He was supposed to be home in just three days before the tragedy happened. "The Mike Knapp his military colleagues knew was a 28-year-old Kansas native who loved being a soldier and serving his country. But Tom Brassfield paints a different picture of the Overland Park high school graduate – as a God-fearing traditionalist who asked him for his daughter's hand in marriage. ""Mike was the best son-in-law for my daughter and, when he asked to marry my daughter and I knew that he knew God, I said ‘yes,'" Brassfield said. "Knapp's wife, Abby, and their newborn daughter had recently moved back to Kansas from the Northwest as Knapp was serving his third tour of duty in Afghanistan. The family was anticipating a brief, but long-awaited, reunion when Knapp would return home for a two-week vacation but, Friday morning, his in-laws received the grim news that two servicemen were killed in Afghanistan. "Brassfield's wife heard a news report and then saw two military personnel walking up to the house. "She called me immediately and said ‘please come home quickly' and I just ran out the door," Brassfield said. "His daughter arrived shortly after. "She (Abby) came home with a 9-month-old baby and saw the government plates and immediately knew what it was and they just told us the best way they could that Mike had been killed in Afghanistan early this morning, May 18," Brassfield said. "As neighbors heard the news, they quickly displayed their flags, some stopping by to pay their respects. Right now, the family doesn't know the details of his death, other than the fact that it happened at military artillery on the Afghan border. "For now, they're focusing on the memories of Knapp and his ultimate sacrifice. "Our son-in-law served bravely and he did what he wanted to do for his country," Brassfield said. "Knapp's mother found out about his death just a few hours before 10 p.m. Friday. She was out of town and headed back to Kansas when she got the news. "Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)All rights reserved." Kenneth Stepp salutes Kansas soldier Sgt. Mike Knapp, who was killed in action in Afghanistan Friday!
"New York Times Focuses on Rogers’s Continued Pork Spending by Phillip M. Bailey on May 19, 2012 "Earmarks spearheaded by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., are catching serious scrutiny in a report by The New York Times for a small military part with a hefty price tag. "Observes have commented in the past on how Rogers is known as the “Prince of Pork”, which clashes with the GOP’s austerity movement. "Despite a ban on pork spending two years ago, the newspaper finds that Rogers has steered tens of millions of back to Kentucky company and the military has bought close to $6.5 million worth of the “leakproof” drip pans. From The New York Times: "The Kentucky company, Phoenix Products, got the job to produce the pans after Representative Harold Rogers, a Republican who is now the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, added an earmark to a 2009 spending bill. While the earmark came before restrictions were placed on such provisions for for-profit companies, its outlays have continued for the last three years. "A Congressional aide said that Mr. Rogers inserted the earmark after Army officials went to him with concerns about fluids that were leaking into the cabins of Black Hawks, splattering not only crew members but also wounded soldiers being airlifted to hospitals…The Army, however, said it was simply following a budget directive from Congress. Mr. Rogers’s earmark came before House members informally agreed to ban such provisions to for-profit companies. "Rogers has defended the earmarks as needed spending to ensure the safety of military personnel and advance U.S. missions abroad. Kenneth Stepp says if the drip pans are a benefit to the armed forces, then they should be sold through the usual competitive bidding process, and not through noncompetitive "earmarks". Elect a Democrat to congress KY-05 this November!
Friday, May 18, 2012
Monday, May 14, 2012
Candidate Biographical Information Kenneth Stepp Nickname: Ken State/Chamber/District of office sought: KY/H/5 Party: DEM CAMPAIGN CONTACT INFORMATION Campaign Address (physical address, city, state, ZIP): PO Box 1271 Manchester KY 40962 Campaign Phone: (606) 596-0360 Campaign Fax: (606) 596-0360 Campaign Website: www.steppforcongress.blogspot.com Campaign Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Campaign Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.): Campaign Manager: Kenneth Stepp Press Secretary: Kenneth Stepp CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION Current home residence (city, state): Manchester, Kentucky Birth date: 08-Sep-47 Birth place (city, state): Greenville, SC Marital status: M Spouse’s name: Wilma Number of children: two with Wilma Gender: M Race: W Religion: Christian Education: M.S. in Management, US Naval Postgraduate School, 1969-1970; J.D. in Law, University of Georgia, 1973-1976; B.S. in Industrial Management, Clemson University, 1964-1968. Military service – for each period of service, please include the following information (copy and paste for as many periods of service): U. S. Navy, 1968-1973, Lieutenant (junior grade), not in active combat. Occupation – for every full-time, paid job post college, please include the following information (copy and paste for as many jobs as the candidate has held): Attorney 1976 to present date; Attorney, Kenneth S. Stepp, PSC 2006-present date. Attorney, Law Offices of Carl A. Short II, 2004-2006. Attorney, Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy, Assistant Public Advocate, 2002-2004. Attorney, Kenneth S. Stepp, P.A., P.S.C. f/k/a Stepp & Travis, P.A., f/k/a Stepp, Travis & Nelson, P.A. 1984-2005 Attorney, Kenneth S. Stepp, Attorney at Law 1978-1983. Attorney, Hawkins, Fitt, Messner & Stepp, 1977-1978. Attorney, Law Offices of H. Norwood Pearce, 1976-1977. Student Intern, at Georgia Diagnostic Center, for Athens Legal Aid and Defender Society, 1976. United States Navy 1968-1973: Recruit at U.S. Naval Recruit Training Center, Orlando, Florida 1968-1969. Assistant Librarian, U.S. Naval Recruit Training Center, Orlando, Florida 1969. Officer Candidate, U.S. Naval Officer Candidate School, Newport, Rhode Island, 1969. Student, Immediate Graduate Education Program, Monterey, California 1969-1970. Gunnery Assistant, Second Division Officer,and JOOD, USS Blakely (Destroyer Escort 1072)1970-1072. Assistant Inner Range Officer (naval gunfire support), Culebra Island, Vieques Island, and Roosevelt Roads Puerto Rico, 1972-1973. Assistant Underwater Range Officer (submarines & torpedoes, St. Croix Island and Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, 1973. Political Positions – for every elected or appointed position and every unsuccessful run for office, please include the following information (copy and paste for as many positions as the candidate ran for or held): Candidate for US House, 2012, 2010, 2006,1988, 1986; Candidate for US Senate, 2008, Candidate for State Commissioner of Education 1990, Precinct Committeeman 1984 etc. Check out the candidates' backgrounds, then Vote for Kenneth Stepp for U.S. House, KY-05
Sunday, May 13, 2012
"Kentucky Voter Registration Up. "by: Hillbilly "Thu May 10, 2012 at 17:13:56 PM EDT "Kentucky Secretary Of State Press Release. See Press release after the fold. Hillbilly :: Kentucky Voter Registration Up. Republicans Make Gains On Democrats. More Kentuckians than ever will appear on the voter rolls in the May 22nd Primary Election, announces Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. The total number of registered voters – 2,980,009 – beats the previous record of 2,944,603, set during the 2011 General Election, by more than 35,000 voters. There has been an increase of more than 100,000 registered voters since the last Presidential Preference Primary, in 2008, at which time 2,857,231 citizens were registered. "The total number of registered voters has increased by 35,406, or 1.20%, since the 2011 General Election. In comparison, voter registration figures increased by a net of 32,062, or 1.11%, from the 2010 General Election to the 2011 Primary. Leading up to the 2008 Primary, registration totals increased by 16,333 voters, or 0.58%. "Grimes, the Commonwealth’s Chief Election Official, said, “I am excited to see that so many Kentuckians are exercising the right and fulfilling the responsibility to vote. I hope the increase in registration translates to greater turnout on Election Day. "Each of the political parties has seen an increase in registered voters since the November 2011 General Election. Democrats have grown their ranks by 0.48%, or 7,922 voters, from 1,639,005 to 1,646,927. Republicans have added 21,517 voters, growing 1.95% from 1,100,930 to 1,122,447. “Other” has increased by 5,967 voters, or 2.92%, from 204,668 to 210,635. "Consistent with recent years, the electorate is comprised of approximately 53% women and 47% men. Democrats now make up 55.27% of Kentucky voters, and 37.67% are Republicans. 7.07% of voters are identified as “Other.” For Democrats, the figures represent a decrease in percentage of voters since November 2011, with a change of -0.39%; Republicans and “Other” increased their relative representation by 0.28% and 0.12%, respectively. "Since the 2008 Primary Election, there has been a net increase of 122,778 total voters, or 4.30%. There are 17,082 more Democrats, for an increase of 1.05%; 82,009 more Republicans, for an increase of 7.88%; and 23,687 more “Other” voters, for an increase of 12.67%. Since May of 2008, the percentage of the electorate represented by each group has shifted -1.77% for Democrats, 1.26% for Republicans, and 0.53% for “Other.” "Grimes stressed the importance of following through with the next step: voting. “I am proud that Kentuckians have answered the call to register as voters, but now that the registration books are closed, I urge every eligible person to vote in the May 22 Primary.” You can download or listen to Grimes’ public service announcement encouraging voters to turn out for the election at sos.ky.gov. "Voters may access the Voter Information Center (VIC) on the State Board of Elections’ website to confirm their voter registration status, determine whether they are eligible to vote in the Primary, and locate their polling place. For complete registration statistics, additional election information, or to access the VIC, visit elect.ky.gov. " Now if we could only convince the Democratic Voters to vote for Democratic candidates in the General Election, we would have government by Democratic principles. Elect more Democrats! Stepp for U.S. House KY-05!
"Dana Milbank Opinion Writer "Our do-almost-nothing Congress "by Dana Milbank, Published: May 2 "If you were to stroll by the House chamber today — or tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that — you would arrive at the ideal time to see what the lawmakers do best: absolutely nothing. "It’s another recess week for our lazy leaders. Oh, sorry: “Constituent Work Week” is what they’re calling it these days, as if lawmakers were filling potholes and making calls to Social Security rather than raising campaign cash. "Dana Milbank "By the time the Republican-led House returns next week, members will have been working in Washington on just 41 of the first 127 days of 2012 — and that was the busy part of the year. They are planning to be on vacation — er, doing “constituent work” — 17 of the year’s remaining 34 weeks, and even when they are in town the typical workweek is three days. Good work if you can get it — but the behavior is doing quite a job on the rest of us. On those infrequent occasions the House is in session, the Senate, also enamored of recess, often isn’t, which helps explain why the two chambers can’t agree on much of anything. To call this 112th Congress a do-nothing Congress would be an insult — to the real Do-Nothing Congress of 1947-48. That Congress passed 908 laws. To date, this one has passed 106 public laws. Even if they triple that output in the rest of 2012 — not a terribly likely proposition — they will still bein last place going back at least 40 years. Doing nothing would arguably be preferable to what the House is actually doing. Lawmakers have staged 195 roll-call votes so far this year, which sounds like a lot until you realize that boils down to only about 60 pieces of legislation, including post-office namings. Among the 60: ●The Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act. ●The Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012. ●Legislation requiring the Treasury to mint coins commemorating the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Marshals Service. ●The World War II Memorial Prayer Act. ●The Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act. The few pieces of important legislation of this Congress, such as the payroll-tax break and the debt-limit increase, have been passed by the Republican majority under pressure and duress. Republican leaders claim that a heavy schedule means bigger government, but the lax schedule has been challenged by no less a conservative than firebrand freshman Allen West. This is not to suggest that the Democratic-controlled Senate is blameless. The Post’s Paul Kane went through Senate roll-call votes from this year and found that, of the 87 votes, the majority were on just three bills: 25 on the highway bill, 16 on the postal bill and 13 on an insider-trading bill. Sixteen others were on confirmations. But there is a crucial difference: While a simple majority in the House can pass pretty much anything without agreement of the minority, the Senate is traditionally where bills go to die. Because the Democrats lack a filibuster-proof majority, they can bring virtually nothing to a vote without the blessing of the Republicans. Even with that high hurdle, the Senate has been able to slog through a number of bills in recnt weeks: a long-term renewal of the surface transportation bill, renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, postal reform and a bill making it easier for companies to go public. The last of those passed the House, too, but the other three are awaiting action. Of those, the failure to pass a long-term highway bill is particularly glaring. House Speaker John Boehner announced in November that he was proceeding with the bill, but so far he has been able to pass only a short-term extension. The House also has yet to act on the China currency bill the Senate passed last fall. Instead, House Republicans have voted repeatedly on budgets that will never be followed and similarly doomed attempts at repealing Obama priorities. With such a lean agenda, filling even 41 days has been a challenge. House Republicans are now devoting full floor debates to bills such as H.R. 2087, “To remove restrictions from a parcel of land situated in the Atlantic District, Accomack County, Virginia.” That issue — allowing development on a 32-acre property — was so crucial to the Republic that lawmakers had five roll-call votes on the topic. They dressed it up and called it a “jobs bill” — but really it was another bill showing that House Republicans aren’t doing theirs. email@example.com It's time to send Hal Rogers and his gang of do-nothings back home. This time elect a Democrat to replace Hal Rogers. Stepp for the U.S. House Ky.-05!
"Arizona soldier killed in Afghanistan "Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. • By: Associated Press "YUMA, AZ - A 30-year-old soldier from Arizona has been killed while serving in Afghanistan. "Gov. Jan Brewer's office says U.S. Army 1st Lt. Alejo Thompson was killed Friday in Parwan Province. "Based at Fort Carson, Colorado, he was assigned to the A Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. "A native of Yuma, Thompson died of injuries sustained when his unit came under fire while on patrol. "Brewer issued a statement Sunday and asked that people hold Thompson's family in their hearts as they gather for Mother's Day. She acknowledged that many Arizona families are incomplete as mothers, fathers, sons and daughters continue to serve in far-off places. "Brewer has ordered flags to fly at half-staff from sunrise to sunset Monday in honor of Thompson. "The governor's office says funeral arrangements for Thompson are pending." Kenneth Stepp Salutes First Lieutenant Alejo Thompson. Lets honor our soldiers by bringing them home from the combat areas now!
From Wikipedia: Military budget and total US federal spending "World War II commenced a new era of permanency in the United States defense budget. With the advent of the Cold War, the United States began to maintain a standing army and a permanent state of readiness for war that permanently elevated national defense expenditures. At the conclusion of his second term, President Eisenhower, wrote: "Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea. Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations. This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together." Long an admirer of President Eisenhower, Kenneth Stepp agrees with President Eisenhower that "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex." Fiscal Year 2010 U.S. Federal Spending – Cash or Budget Basis The U.S. Department of Defense budget accounted in fiscal year 2010 for about 19% of the United States federal budgeted expenditures and 28% of estimated tax revenues. Including non-DOD expenditures, defense spending was approximately 28–38% of budgeted expenditures and 42–57% of estimated tax revenues. According to the Congressional Budget Office, defense spending grew 9% annually on average from fiscal year 2000–2009. Because of constitutional limitations, military funding is appropriated in a discretionary spending account. (Such accounts permit government planners to have more flexibility to change spending each year, as opposed to mandatory spending accounts that mandate spending on programs in accordance with the law, outside of the budgetary process.) In recent years, discretionary spending as a whole has amounted to about one-third of total federal outlays. Department of Defense spending's share of discretionary spending was 50.5% in 2003, and has risen to between 53% and 54% in recent years. For FY 2010, Department of Defense spending amounts to 4.7% of GDP. Because the U.S. GDP has risen over time, the military budget can rise in absolute terms while shrinking as a percentage of the GDP. For example, the Department of Defense budget is slated to be $664 billion in 2010 (including the cost of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan previously funded through supplementary budget legislation), higher than at any other point in American history, but still 1.1–1.4% lower as a percentage of GDP than the amount spent on defense during the peak of Cold-War military spending in the late 1980s. Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has called four percent an "absolute floor". This calculation does not take into account some other defense-related non-DOD spending, such as Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, and interest paid on debt incurred in past wars, which has increased even as a percentage of the national GDP. Comparison with other countries Military spending as a percentage of GDP The 2009 U.S. military budget accounts for approximately 40% of global arms spending. The 2012 budget is 3-4 times larger than the 240 billions of the military budget of China, and is more than the next twenty largest military spenders combined. The United States and its close allies are responsible for two-thirds to three-quarters of the world's military spending (of which, in turn, the U.S. is responsible for the majority). In 2005, the United States spent 4.06% of its GDP on its military (considering only basic Department of Defense budget spending), more than France's 2.6% and less than Saudi Arabia's 10%.information 2006. This is historically low for the United States since it peaked in 1944 at 37.8% of GDP (it reached the lowest point of 3.0% in 1999–2001). Even during the peak of the Vietnam War the percentage reached a high of 9.4% in 1968. Countries like Canada and Germany spend only 1.4% of GDP on their military. The Congress should have hearings to determine the level of threat to us. We should try and have SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) with Communist China, and see if we can reach some mutually agreed arms limitations with verification and with inspections. SALT talks worked in reducing mutual military spending with the Soviet Union in the 1970's, and it would work to reduce mutual military spending with Communist China in the 2010's. Although I abhor communism, Communist China and the United States have a community of interest in preventing an arms race, and in preventing or reducing the likelihood of a war caused by accident. Most of the next ten military powers after Communist China are friendly with the United States, and not a threat. Kenneth Stepp.
Friday, May 11, 2012
I am the best candidate in the Democratic Primary for the Fifth District Congressman for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, because I am the strongest advocate of ordinary people, working people, the working poor, the disabled, the elderly retired, women, and religious and racial minorities. As a Democrat, I support those programs that most benefit ordinary people. As a Democrat, I oppose those programs that benefit only rich investors, such as our continued wars in the Middle East. As a Kentuckian, I support traditional Kentucky values including right to life, family values, and the Second Amendment right to own firearms. I share the founding fathers' views on the separation of Church and State. I share the founding fathers' views that powerful large industrialized nations should not be using that military might to bully small and backward nations. My background as a Naval Officer, a lawyer, and a student of Industrial Management also make me the most qualified candidate, because it helps me to make good decisions.
"American soldier killed by man wearing Afghan army uniform "Taliban takes credit for the attack in eastern Afghanistan "THE ASSOCIATED PRESS "Friday, May 11, 2012, 10:07 AM. "Musadeq Sadeq/AP "As the UN reports the humanitarian crisis in Afghanstan is worsening, Taliban attacks on NATO troops are becoming more frequent. KABUL, Afghanistan -- A man wearing an Afghan army uniform shot dead a U.S. service member in the east of the country, one of two NATO troops killed on Friday, military officials said. The Taliban took credit for the attack. "It was the 20th incident this year in which Afghan soldiers or insurgents disguised in military uniforms have turned their weapons on foreign troops. The incidents have raised the level of mistrust between the U.S.-led coalition and its Afghan partners and raised questions about the readiness of local forces to take over from NATO ahead of a 2014 deadline for the withdrawal of foreign combat troops. "An Afghan defense official said the incident took place in Kunar province in northeast Afghanistan. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. "NATO did not disclose the nationality of the trooper killed, but a senior U.S. defense official said the victim was an American service member. The coalition said an investigation was under way. "In a statement, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed the insurgent group was behind the attack. The Taliban regularly take credit for attacks in the country, even if they were not involved. "The insider threat in which Afghan soldiers or militants disguised in uniforms turn on NATO troops has existed for years but has grown more deadly. The 20 insider attacks so far this year have killed 13 soldiers, compared to 21 attacks last year that killed 35 coalition service members, according to a NATO tally. "That compares with 11 fatal attacks and 20 deaths in 2010. And in 2007 and 2008 there were a combined total of four attacks and four deaths. "The U.S.-led coalition routinely reports each time an American or other foreign soldier is killed by an Afghan in uniform, but the military is underreporting the number of overall attacks. The Associated Press reported last month that the coalition does not report attacks in which an Afghan wounds - or misses - his U.S. or allied target. It also doesn't report the wounding of troops who were attacked alongside those who were killed. "U.S. officials say that in most cases the rogue soldiers are motivated not by sympathy for the Taliban or on orders from the insurgents, but rather act as a result of personal grievances against the coalition. "NATO said a second service member died following an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan, but did not provide further details about the death. ... Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/american-soldier-killed-man-wearing-afghan-army-uniform-article-1.1076334#ixzz1uaPRX3SK" It's time to bring the American troops home. You cannot tell who are our friends, and who are our enemies. Our "allies" are killing off our people there. We need to let the Afghans fight their own civil war, and come home. Peace! PEACE! PEACE!
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
"Bragg soldier killed in Afghanistan The Associated Press Posted : Wednesday May 9, 2012 11:27:13 EDT "LEXINGTON, Ky. — A Kentucky soldier who was based at Fort Bragg, N.C., has been killed in Afghanistan. WTVQ-TV in Lexington reports 19-year-old Dustin Gross, who graduated from Montgomery County High School in Mount Sterling last year, was killed by a roadside bomb. Also killed in the May 7 attack were Sgt. Jacob M. Schwallie, 22, of Clarksville, Tenn., and Spc. Chase S. Marta, 24, of Chico, Calif. All of the men were assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. Gross’ family sent a statement to the station saying they are “very proud” of Gross but needed time to mourn his loss in private. The statement also expressed appreciation for the love and support the family has received since getting word of the death." Kenneth Stepp salutes Dustin Gross, 19; Sgt. Jacob M. Schwallie, 22; and Spc. Chase S. Marta, 24; all who gave their lives for the United States in the ongoing War in Afghanistan. The best we can do for our men and women in uniform in Afghanistan is to bring them home and end the American portion of that War.
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
"Washington Ex-Sen. Bill Bradley: Washington Paralysis Could Bring 'Another Meltdown' Tuesday, 08 May 2012 11:16 AM By Jim Meyers and John Bachman "Former U.S. senator and presidential candidate Bill Bradley tells Newsmax that “vicious political combat” is needed in Washington to deal with the “polarization and paralysis” gripping the legislative process. "The New Jersey Democrat also says the failure of both parties to deal with pressing issues could lead to the creation of a third congressional party to “jar” Democrats and Republicans into bipartisan action. "And he predicts that the United States could be headed for “another meltdown” if significant changes aren’t made regarding the financial industry. "Bradley was a star basketball player with Princeton University and the New York Knicks before he entered politics and won a Senate seat from New Jersey in 1978. He was re-elected twice, and ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2000. "Today Bradley is a partner at the investment bank Allen & Company. His new book is “We Can All Do Better.” "In the book Bradley outlines a program calling on the federal government to provide 30 percent of the cost of hiring new workers, which he says would create at least 7 million new jobs. "In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, Bradley explains: “With this proposal not one dollar of federal money would be spent that didn’t create a job. A company would hire someone and not fire anyone, and 30 percent — up to $25,000 — would be paid by the federal government for two years. It would be a $50 billion program. The result would be unemployment dropping dramatically.” "Asked if he has pitched his proposal to anyone in Washington and if they have been receptive, he responds: “Yes, I have pitched it to a number of people, and no, they have not been receptive.” "The reason for that resistance, he speculates, “might be a little bit of ‘not invented here.’” "He was also asked if the nation needs more fiscal restraint or more stimulus. “I think we need both,” Bradley declares. “The original stimulus wasn’t big enough. The issue is how do we stimulate good-paying jobs. I think there are a couple of things to consider. One is that nonfinancial corporations have $1.8 trillion on their books in either cash or other liquid assets. The question is how do you get them to spend part of that money on creating jobs in this country. "I suggest there are a number of things we need to do. One is to address the confidence level. We simply have to get agreement in November on a $3 trillion to $4 trillion deficit reduction package. My hope is that the package would not take effect for the next two years but there would be structural changes in entitlement programs and defense programs and taxes that would lead to long-term deficit reduction. “But deficit reduction isn’t enough. There are 66 million people in America living one paycheck away from economic crisis. The vast middle class has not moved forward. The reason corporations say they don’t hire is there is no demand, so you have to generate demand. "That’s why I suggest that we embark on a massive infrastructure effort that would have 50 high-priority items on it, like high-speed rail, a new air traffic control system, all of which would be the economic foundation for growth in America for the next 50 years. "Then you might get some of the money out of the corporate treasuries. If the corporations spent 30 percent of their $1.8 trillion on hiring people, that would result in an unemployment rate of 5 percent.” "The country needs these kinds of reforms or else “you’re going to have continued polarization and paralysis while the situation gets worse and worse in terms of middle-class families, in terms of investors looking at the long-term deficit, et cetera,” Bradley tells Newsmax. "Sometime in American politics, points of view have been irreconcilable. Right before the Civil War comes to mind. But usually it is decided through vicious political combat. It is bloodless but can be vicious. What happens then is either one side wins decisively and therefore can enact their program, or there has to be bipartisanship. “If neither the bipartisanship or the dominant victory take place, then that opens the way potentially for a third congressional party to enter the picture as sort of the can-do party. It is the party that lays out the tough positions and could win 20 to 25 seats. It then can be at the fulcrum of power in Congress and maybe jar each of the parties to take on their sacred cows and deal with the issues.” "Bradley commented on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which President Obama signed into law in July. The law, named for its sponsors, former Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., covers a vast array of financial institutions from small banks and thrifts to the insurance industry and giant Wall Street traders. "The law “made marginal changes but didn’t fundamentally change the system,” he says. “There’s too much of a possibility for banks to use depositors’ money to speculate. There’s too much leverage in the system. There is too much lack of regulation of derivatives. And unless these things are addressed we could have another meltdown. “A really good bank will be able to survive, but how many really good banks that guessed right on everything were there? “As I point out in the book, I think the financial crisis was the function of public policy mistakes” including the “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fiasco where we lent money to people who couldn’t afford to repay it, and the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates so low for so long,” Bradley adds. "He also criticized moneyed interests in Washington for “watering down” needed reforms. “Money has prevented things from happening. During Dodd-Frank consideration, $318 million was contributed to politicians in Washington by the financial industry, $145 million was contributed by the healthcare industry, $75 million by the energy industry. So it shouldn’t be any surprise that we have watered-down financial reform. "Unless we’re willing to do something about money in politics, we’re not going to have a political process that addresses the real concerns of the American people.” "Offering his take on Saturday’s election in France, in which socialist Francois Hollande defeated incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy, Bradley says: “The dynamic was that Hollande ran a better campaign and Sarkozy hadn’t delivered. "Hopefully Hollande will keep in mind [Francois] Mitterrand [the last socialist president of France], who went way left when he came in and then pulled back and stayed in the center. That’s where I hope Hollande will be.” "He adds that the election could ultimately have repercussions in the United States if it leads to the collapse of the euro: “If the euro crashed I think that would feed back to the United States in terms of worsening unemployment.” "Read more on Newsmax.com: Ex-Sen. Bill Bradley: Washington Paralysis Could Bring 'Another Meltdown'" Gridlock and Meltdown are more likely if Hal Rogers is re-elected, than if he is replaced by a Democrat. Elect More Democrats! Elect Stepp for Congress!
"U.S. Marine killed by Afghan soldier May 07, 2012|By Chris Blake, Associated Press "KABUL, Afghanistan - An Afghan soldier killed one U.S. Marine and wounded another before being shot to death in return fire Sunday in southern Afghanistan, the latest in a series of attacks against foreigners blamed on government forces within their own ranks. "Nearly 20 such attacks this year have raised the level of mistrust between the U.S.-led coalition and their Afghan partners as NATO gears up to hand over security to local forces ahead of a 2014 deadline for the withdrawal of combat troops. "In another sign of deteriorating security, the United States is considering abandoning plans for a consulate in the country's north because the building chosen was deemed too dangerous to occupy. The United States spent $80 million on the project despite glaring security deficiencies in the former hotel, according to a copy of a document drafted by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. "Those problems - including shoddy construction that would lead to a "catastrophic failure" of the building in a car bomb attack - were overlooked and waivers to strict State Department building rules were granted as officials rushed to open the consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif as a sign of America's long-term commitment to Afghanistan, the diplomatic memo shows. "While Mazar-i-Sharif was considered relatively safe when the project was approved in 2009, the memo said, a number of incidents in the city indicate that is no longer the case, including an attack last April on a nearby U.N. compound in which a mob stormed the facility and killed seven foreigners - three workers and their guards. "U.S. Embassy spokesman Gavin Sundwall declined to comment on the report, saying only that "the security situation has evolved in Afghanistan and any decisions we make are driven by our responsibility to ensure the safety of our personnel." "Also Sunday, a NATO service member was killed by a bomb in eastern Afghanistan, the alliance said, raising to 139 the number of foreign troops deaths so far this year. "The heads of the House and Senate intelligence committees claimed Sunday that the Taliban has actually grown stronger since 33,000 more U.S. troops were deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. "Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, and Rep. Mike Rogers, a Republican, offered the pessimistic report on CNN's State of the Union after a fact-finding trip to the region where they met with President Hamid Karzai. "When asked if the Taliban's capabilities have been degraded, Feinstein said: "I think we'd both say that what we've found is that the Taliban is stronger." "More than 1,800 U.S. troops have been killed in the decade-long war. About 90,000 service members remain deployed, down from a peak of more than 100,000 last year. "Rogers said that he and Feinstein agree the first step should be for the U.S. to designate the Haqqani group a terrorist network and "take aggressive steps" to disrupt their operations. He said that group is responsible for nearly 500 U.S. deaths and continues to operate outposts along the Afghan-Pakistani border." We are getting gunned down by our 'allies'. How many must die before our leadership realizes that it is time to bring the American troops home from Afghanistan. Not waiting a hundred years like John McCain wanted. Not waiting until 2024. Now! Now! Bring the troops home now!
Saturday, May 05, 2012
SEE KENNETH S. STEPP LIVE ON KET-1 TELEVISION MONDAY NIGHT MAY 7, 2012 AT APPROX 8:00 P.M.
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Soldier killed in Afghanistan had ties in Asheville, mountains 10:11 AM, May. 1, 2012 | Comments Brandon Eggleston, with his wife Karen, joined the Army in 2006 and was serving his third deployment when he died in Afghanistan. / Special to the Citizen-Times Military deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan 2011 • Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Terry L. Varnadore II, 29, of Mills River, died April 23, 2011, in Kapisa province in Afghanistan, during a crash landing of the helicopter he was co-piloting. The cause is under investigation. • U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Michael Joseph Dutcher, 21, of Asheville, was killed in action Sept. 15, 2011, in Helmond Province, Afghanistan. He was a member of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, stationed in Camp Pendleton, Calif. • U.S. Army Spc. Patrick Lay, 21, with ties to Fletcher, was killed Aug. 12, 2011, during enemy action in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan. He was an infantryman assigned to the Army’s elite 10th Mountain Division, based in Fort Drum, N.Y. 2010 • Sgt. Donald “Rocky” Edgerton, 33, of Murphy, died July 10, 2010, near Char Dara, Afghanistan, when he stepped on a land mine. He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y. • Army Pfc. Christian “Kade” Michael Warriner, 19, of Mills River, died Nov. 14, 2010, in Kunar province in Afghanistan. He was one of five soldiers killed when insurgents attacked their unit with small-arms fire. Warriner was assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) of Fort Campbell, Ky. 2009 • Lance Cpl. Jessie Adam Cassada, 19, of Hendersonville, died Jan. 6, 2009, in Afghanistan while laying down covering fire with a machine gun so his men could escape a firefight. 2008 • Pfc. Cody Eggleston, 21, a native of Eugene, Ore., and the husband of Brevard resident Karie Alford Eggleston, suffered fatal injuries Oct. 16, 2008, in Iraq and died eight days later. • Sgt. Thomas Ray, 40, was assigned to the 105th Military Police Battalion in Asheville but volunteered to go with the 1132nd Military Police Company when it mobilized for Iraq. He was killed March 22, 2008, along with two other soldiers, when a roadside bomb blew up their vehicle near Baghdad. 2007 • Staff Sgt. Charlie Bagwell, 28, of Lake Toxaway, was one of five 82nd Airborne Division soldiers killed May 30, 2007, when their Chinook helicopter was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade in southern Afghanistan. • Sgt. Joshua L. Morley, 22, a Hendersonville native and sniper team leader with the 82nd Airborne Division, was killed Aug. 26, 2007, in Samarra, Iraq, when insurgents attacked with small arms and hand grenades. 2006 • Sgt. Kevin Akins, 29, of Burnsville, and Staff Sgt. Joe Ray, 29, of Asheville, died March 12, 2006, in an improvised explosive devise attack in Afghanistan. • Chief Warrant Officer Mitch Carver, 31, of Asheville, an Army pilot, died Jan. 13, 2006, in Iraq when his OH-58 Kiowa helicopter was shot down. • Sgt. Kenny Hess, 26, was killed April 11, 2006, in Rawah, Iraq, after a suicide bomber detonated explosives near his patrol. 2005 • Sgt. Leonard W. Adams, of Mooresville, a supply sergeant with the Asheville-based 105th Military Police Battalion, died in January 2005 of an apparent heart attack. • Army Sgt. William Scott Kinzer Jr., of Weaverville, died Jan. 26, 2005, in Ad Duluiyah, Iraq, after a rocket-propelled grenade hit his patrol with the 1st Infantry Division. • Staff Sgt. Michael “Mike” Parrott, 49, a native of Canton, died Nov. 10, 2005, in Iraq, as he patrolled an Iraqi highway. He was a member of the 28th Infantry of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, stationed at Camp Habbaniyah, near Ramadi in Iraq. 2003 • Staff Sgt. Bobby Franklin, a member of the 210th Military Police Company based in Franklin, died in August 2003 after a bomb exploded near his vehicle in Baghdad, Iraq. • Pfc. Joey Whitener, of McDowell County, was among 17 soldiers killed in November 2003 when two helicopters crashed in Mosul, Iraq. He was with the 101st Airborne Division. "While Staff Sgt. Brandon Eggleston hailed from the central North Carolina town of Eden, he left a deep impression here in the mountains. Eggleston, 29, a member of the Army’s elite Special Forces, died Thursday in Afghanistan after the vehicle he was in encountered an improvised explosive device. Stationed at Fort Bragg, Eggleston graduated from Western Carolina University in 2005 and was an assistant wrestling coach at Reynolds High School for two seasons. “Brandon was a stand-up guy,” said Jeff Foster, the head wrestling coach at Owen High School who was formerly the head coach at Reynolds. “For a couple of years he, was a substitute teacher at Reynolds and helped me with the wrestling team. He had a good, positive attitude about life, and he was out there searching for something positive.” Eggleston, who leaves behind a wife and two young daughters, joined the Army in 2006 and was serving his third deployment. Foster wasn’t surprised that Eggleston gravitated to Special Forces and excelled in one of the more grueling branches of the armed forces. “I trained with him quite a bit — we used to run together and work out,” Foster said. “With Special Forces, it’s not just physically but emotionally and mentally challenging.” Fairview resident Chet McKee, whose sons wrestled for Foster and Eggleston at Reynolds, said Eggleston’s life “revolved around wrestling.” Eggleston excelled at the sport at Morehead High School. “The kids just loved him at the school,” McKee said. “He had a lot of natural leadership abilities. He flirted with the idea of the joining the Highway Patrol, then he decided to go into the Army. He was a natural for Special Forces — an overachieving kind of guy. He said it was the hardest thing he’d ever done, and he was a real doer.” Eggleston’s father-in-law said the family would travel to Dover Air Force Base this weekend to retrieve his body. Funeral arrangements have not been set. Eggleston was assigned to 4th Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg. Also killed in the attack was Sgt. Dick A. Lee Jr., 31, of Orange Park, Fla., who was assigned to 95th Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command in Sembach, Germany. The Associated Press contributed to this report." Kenneth Stepp salutes Staff Sgt. Brandon Eggleston and the many other men from the mountsins killed in the Middle East. Let's bring home our troops alive. Kenneth Stepp!