Richard Hilgemann of Aberdeen has organized an open letter of protest to Congresswoman Kristi Noem. Hilgemann and some fellow veterans are unhappy with her support for the Ryan-Murray budget deal:

We are very concerned by your recent vote for the Ryan budget. As veterans we don’t mind leading by example and can understand that the federal government has been bloated to disastrous proportions therefore programs need cutting. But we do not want to see our own left to die in the gutters while programs for non essential activities and non Americans are allowed to continue to grow. Senator Thune voted against cloture and the budget; which means he didn’t even want the bill brought up for a vote in the Senate and opposed it once brought up. We are used to being dropped off in some foreign land to fend for ourselves but we surely aren’t prepared to be abandoned in our own country [Richard Hilgemann, open letter to Rep. Kristi Noem, published by Ken Santema, SoDakLiberty, 2013.12.21].

Signing Hilgemann's accusation that Rep. Noem is leaving veterans to die in the gutter are Republican Reps. Dan Kaiser and Stace Nelson, showing a remarkable bit of open intra-party criticism for two GOP guys who might like to win another election. Also signing are veterans and conservative activists Dan Willard and my crazy cousin Aaron Heidelberger.

It's easy blog-pickins for me to point that we have conservative, anti-government Republicans complaining about a conservative budget for their preferred government programs. But their real enemy here isn't liberals; it's what Counterpunch calls the Party of Corporate America and its fealty to the military industrial complex that chews up veterans and everyone else for profit:

The budget deal just concluded fundamentally represents a continuation of deficit cutting for the rest of us, while letting defense corporations and spending off the sequester hook. The budget deal ‘narrowly defined’, at $63 billion restoration of sequester cuts, is misleading at best. While defense spending is restored in the budget deal, Republican and Democrat claims that domestic program spending is also restored is a cynical lie. The $31 billion in domestic spending does not include parallel cuts of $25 billion to unemployment benefits and an additional minimum of $8 billion to food stamps. And when the $26 billion in ‘fees’ are factored in—impacting retirees, vets, government workers, and consumers—the net effect is further spending reductions and continued austerity for the rest, while the Pentagon and corporate military contractors are now exempt [Jack Rasmus, "The Budget Deal of December 2013," Counterpunch, 2013.12.17].

Rich, Dan, Stace, I've been trying to tell you: the greatest threat to your liberty and mine is not big government; it's big corporations that co-opt the government.