TPMDC Saturday Roundup

Obama: Government Help Veterans With PTSD Receive Benefits
In this weekend’s YouTube address, President Obama announced that the government would be making it easier for veterans to apply for benefits involving post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Well, I don’t think our troops on the battlefield should have to take notes to keep for a claims application. And I’ve met enough veterans to know that you don’t have to engage in a firefight to endure the trauma of war. So we’re changing the way things are done,” said Obama. “On Monday, the Department of Veterans Affairs, led by Secretary Eric Shinseki, will begin making it easier for a veteran with PTSD to get the benefits he or she needs. This is a long-overdue step that will help veterans not just of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, but generations of their brave predecessors who proudly served and sacrificed in all our wars. It’s a step that proves America will always be here for our veterans, just as they’ve been there for us. We won’t let them down. We take care of our own. And as long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, that’s what we’re going to keep doing. Thank you.”

Gingrey Promotes ‘America Speaking Out’
In this weekend’s Republican address, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) promoted the House GOP’s America Speaking Out project.

“We’re also taking America Speaking Out to your communities by holding town hall meetings in rooms just like this to get a real, face-to-face dialogue going about what we need to do to turn things around,” said Gingrey. “I hosted one such event earlier this week at a senior center in the town of Rome, Georgia, in my district. The conversation was spirited, the kind you’ve probably participated in yourself recently – with people asking why we are spending so much and getting so little in return, with folks pleading for the President to stop doubling down on policies that are hurting instead of helping.”

Biden: It Wasn’t My Idea To Send Anna Chapman Back To Russia
Vice President Joe Biden appeared on the Jay Leno show on Friday, saying that the United States got a good deal in its exchange with Russia of the ten recently arrested Russian spies for four American spies held in Russia. On a lighter topic, he said of the return of Anna Chapman to Russia: “Let me be clear. It was not my idea to send her back.” And he also added his idea for the exchange: “I thought they’d take Rush Limbaugh.”

Illegal Workers Swept From Jobs in ‘Silent Raids’
The New York Times reports: “The Obama administration has replaced immigration raids at factories and farms with a quieter enforcement strategy: sending federal agents to scour companies’ records for illegal immigrant workers. While the sweeps of the past commonly led to the deportation of such workers, the ‘silent raids,’ as employers call the audits, usually result in the workers being fired, but in many cases they are not deported. Over the past year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has conducted audits of employee files at more than 2,900 companies. The agency has levied a record $3 million in civil fines so far this year on businesses that hired unauthorized immigrants, according to official figures. Thousands of those workers have been fired, immigrant groups estimate.”

Murtha’s Campaign Committee Stays Active After His Death
Roll Call reports that the campaign committee of the late Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) has remained active, disbursing remaining funds from its account: “About $108,000 of the $192,000 the committee spent in the second quarter went toward refunds to individual donors and various political action committees. The committee reported about $60,000 in operating expenditures, $20,000 in charitable donations to the John P. Murtha Foundation that was set up by his family after his death in February and $4,000 in campaign contributions. Both of the committee’s campaign donations went to the campaign committee of Rep. Mark Critz (D), a former Murtha staffer who won the special election in May to replace the Congressman.”

2010 Midterms Will Be Most Expensive Ever At More Than $1 Billion
The Hill reports: “More than $1 billion has already been spent on the 2010 battle for Congress, which is expected to be the most expensive midterm election in history…’We fully expect this will be the most expensive midterm election ever in U.S. history,’ said Dave Levinthal, a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP). ‘Not only do we expect it to exceed the high water mark set in 2006, but this could very well obliterate that number when all is said and done.'”