Chicago Sun-Times
Staff reports on all things politics - from City Hall to Springfield to Washington, D.C.

Recently in military Category

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Beware the "fiscal cliff."

That's the warning that's been sounded by politicians, the media, and taxpayers since summer, gaining full force the moment President Barack Obama won re-election. While the term has only recently become part of the national vernacular, the build-up to this pivotal economic decision has been building for many years. The Democrats have refused to cut spending entitlements and Obama wants to raise taxes on the top income brackets. The Republicans, led by conservative super-lobbyist Grover Norquist, refuse to raise taxes and are opposed to losing currently implemented tax breaks. Also at stake is the defense budget that Dems want to scale back with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ending while Republicans are pushing back on any additional defense cuts.

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney introduces his vice presidential running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, on Saturday at the USS Wisconsin exhibit in Norfolk, Va. (AP Photo/Virginian-Pilot, Amanda Lucier)

The backdrop of the USS Wisconsin used as the scene for the announcement of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate is perhaps an ironic choice for one reason of historic significance.

With Ryan's selection, neither presidential ticket has a military veteran running for president and vice president, the first time that's happened since 1932.

Ken Dilanian writes about the anomaly for Stars and Stripes and details the military non-history for all four candidates:

The military draft had long been abolished by the time Ryan and President Barack Obama turned 18.

Vice President Joe Biden was deemed medically ineligible in 1968 during the Vietnam War due to a history of asthma.

Romney received four draft deferments for being a college student and then for doing mission work in France for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

None of them volunteered for service.