Archive for financial aid

Restore Your Faith In Panhandling



A smile leads to another smile. Happiness leads to more happiness, and satire leads to... more happiness. I was a bit skeptical when I started watching this video courtesy of College Humor, but it's subtlety and acute sense of what America has become and actually could evolve to is highly smile provoking. So if you've got two minutes, you can spend it wisely here with something that might make your day, of go worry and fixate about something you can't control and will be eating you up for the next few hours.

Enjoy, and just think, someday this could be you:


"I find it a bit ironic that their anti-government-spending governor is asking Washington for help..."


Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Look who needs the government

Re "Texas calls for aid as fires worsen," Sept. 7

It is with condolences for the Texas residents who have been devastated by the wildfires that I find it a bit ironic that their anti-government-spending governor is asking Washington for help, having had seven federal grants approved for the latest inferno. As the article points out, the state recently cut funding for volunteer fire departments by 75%. I wonder what the net gain will now be in calculating those savings.

Along with the slate of current GOP presidential hopefuls, Texas Gov. Rick Perry doesn't believe in government. Furthering their distrust of government is their debunking of scientific, factual data relative to climate change. I wonder: As they hear God talking to them, what's the message?

Dan Pellow


Well, how dare you? The Times actually writes that Perry appealed for federal assistance to help fight the fires raging in Texas. Everyone should know that Perry would never ask for federal assistance. That would make him the biggest hypocrite in the Republican race.

Rep. Michele Bachmann could explain that the federal payouts to her family farms were really to other family members, and her lobbying for federal money for a new bridge is, well, helpful.

To hear The Times tell it, Republicans are happy to denounce the government and use it for their benefit at the same time.

David Lynn
Agoura Hills


Cliff Notes: "Shame seems to have a very short shelf life in conservative America."



My dear friend and mentor, Cliff Schecter, now has a regular column; hence, because Cliff has given me permission to share his work with you, I’ll give you the latest edition of what I call Cliff Notes.

He skewers better than a chef at Smokey Joe’s BBQ. He has insights that rival those of our mutual friend, the hilarious Lizz Winstead. He’s sharper than the point on Sarah Palin’s pin head.

Here are a few excerpts from his latest, with permission. Please, please read the whole thing, because he has way more than I’ve included here:

Now, I’m no constitutional scholar - like, say, Michele Bachmann - but I remember something in that document about government’s responsibility for “the general welfare”, which I can only assume means that if the state you live in comes to resemble Waterworld there is probably a useful role for the government in helping you keep your head above water. [...]

Reagan and his ideological soulmates understood quite well that as Josef Stalin infamously said, while “the death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.”

In other words, if Americans realise that a single-payer healthcare system will help protect their parents and children from disease, then they’ll be for it. But if it can be something abstract that just helps those other people who are mere statistics at best, supplied by an amorphous “big government” with no human face, long tentacles and the ability to force you to drink fluorinated water or strictly require a pulse to purchase a firearm - well, then, it’s easy to hate.

And hate it they do. As long as it is government spending for you, and not them.

Because the truth is, with very few exceptions, conservative elected officials (of both parties) are hypocrites when it comes to spending money. [...]

Namely, when it helps [them]. [...] Similar examples abound among other GOP presidential candidates, congressional leadership and party officials, as shame seems to have a very short shelf life in conservative America.

Cliff Schecter is the President of Libertas, LLC, a progressive public relations firm, the author of the 2008 bestseller The Real McCain, and a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

Follow Cliff Schecter On Twitter: @CliffSchecter

Please read the whole piece here.


Michele Bachmann's had her share of government aid + got a "sense" from God to run for office


Michele Bachmann is a huge proponent of shrinkage.

No, no, not that kind (at least, not to my knowledge).  She has repeatedly clamored for a reduction in federal spending, and has relished feeding conservatives a steady diet of "small government" red meat. That would be the same kind of "small government" that aggressively assaults women's reproductive rights by intruding on the privacy of female patients and their doctors, stomping on a woman's legal right to choose, all while destroying what's left of their dignity. That "small government".

Of course, that didn't stop her from accepting a job as a tax collection attorney for the IRS.

Naturally, she couldn't possibly be responsible for anything she does, thinks, or says. Her god takes care of all that for her:

But what's this? Bachmann and her family have benefited personally from government aid? Oh do tell. Via the L.A. Times:

A counseling clinic run by her husband has received nearly $30,000 from the state of Minnesota in the last five years, money that in part came from the federal government. A family farm in Wisconsin, in which the congresswoman is a partner, received nearly $260,000 in federal farm subsidies.

And she has sought to keep federal money flowing to her constituents. After publicly criticizing the Obama administration's stimulus program, Bachmann requested stimulus funds to support projects in her district. Although she has been a fierce critic of earmarks — calling them "part of the root problem with Washington's spending addiction" — the congresswoman nonetheless argued recently that transportation projects should not be considered congressional pork. [...]

For now, Bachmann is declining to answer questions on the topic. Her congressional and campaign staff did not respond to numerous requests for comment.

Maybe her god will answer for her.

And how nice that she's taking Question Avoidance 101 classes from Sharron Angle and Sarah Palin (more of that in the video). Moving on:

"I don't need government to be successful," she proudly told Fox News host Bill O'Reilly in fall 2009...

Um, Michele? If you're running for the highest office in government, you kinda do.

Michele Bachmann: Hypocridiot-O'-The-Day.

More details here.