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"The ones who call themselves Christians have no idea what that word actually means."

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hunger cliff food stamps

Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Millions to feel food stamp cuts," Nov. 2

Cutting the food stamp and other domestic programs is contradictory to the image that the United States wishes to present to its citizens and the world as a generous and caring nation.

This ideal image is further contradicted by the enormous spending on the defense budget and the military/industrial complex, far surpassing the defense budgets of all other countries.

Looking at the statistics rather than the label "United States," our country's spending priorities do not show a benign nation.

This disparity in spending priorities reminds me of the former Soviet Union, where domestic spending — providing enough food and decent housing for its citizens — took a back seat to the defense budget. This is a disastrous model to emulate.

The concept of "defense" needs to be enlarged to include defense against hunger, squalid living conditions and huge disparities in opportunity.

Gretchen Hays

Pacific Palisades

***

The Republicans in Congress evidently believe poor people are lazy moochers. They don't understand why the poor don't get better jobs, why they don't go back to school or why they aren't rich. Those Republicans fail to grasp the definitions of "conditions" and "circumstances."

And the ones who call themselves Christians have no idea what that word actually means.

It is a sign of a failed democracy when we spend so much on our many wars and our national security and surveillance states, and so little on the food-stamp recipients who have to struggle to survive.

Zareh Delanchian

Tujunga

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Hey GOP: How about doing something constructive and caring for a freakin' change?

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I've had it up to here with your bs

As I said in my previous post, Michael Hiltzik is on a roll these days, so much so that I'm sharing two of his L.A. Times columns in one day.

The first one involved debunking the Republican lies about the Affordable Care Act transforming America's workforce into part-timers. GOP: Wrong and wronger.

You know what else is wrong and wronger? The GOP depriving their fellow Americans of food. And by fellow Americans, I mean the ones who look and/or sound different from them.

Hiltzik starts his column by reminding us that Congress is debating whether the food stamp program will be cut by $4 billion a year (the House proposal) or only $400 million a year (the Senate plan). That's some choice, huh? Starved and starved-er. However....

Here's what you may not know: By its pure inaction, Congress is about to impose a cut in food stamp benefits that beats both. Next week, on Nov. 1, benefits will be cut by $5 billion for this fiscal year alone.

That number may be hard to grasp, but here's what it means on the ground. It means a loss of 21 meals a month for a family of four on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP (the formal name for food stamps). About 47 million Americans will be affected by the coming 15% reduction in benefits across the board. [...]

It bears repeating that the food stamp program provides the No. 1 opportunity for members of Congress to display their hypocritical side. We've documented... the spectacle of conservative lawmakers voting to slash benefits... while collecting millions of dollars in farm subsidies for themselves.

And those frauds don't care a bit about disadvantaged Americans-- many of the recipients are working families or individuals-- who can't make ends meet due to the inaction of guess who... wealthy, white Republican Congress members. How about creating jobs instead of more poverty and starvation, hmm GOP?

How about doing something constructive and caring for a freakin' change?

Via .ecobumperstickers.com

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"Only Difference Between a Skinhead Racist and GOP Member Cutting Food Stamps Is Three Inches of Hair"

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la cucaracha racism obamaVia Lalo Alcaraz

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

So last week the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to cut food stamps by about $40 billion over a few years.  That compares to a proposed $4 billion cut in the senate... Studies on Food Stamps have shown that up to $1.70 goes back into the economy through the food distribution change for every dollar spent.  [...]

But Food Stamps have been up there with Ronald Reagan's "welfare Mom in a pink Cadillac" stereotype for acceptable symbols of the white racist tribal identity edge of the social wing of the GOP.  This is the wing whose base prejudices are manipulated by the likes of the Koch Brothers' organizing groups to blame poor minorities for the increasing economic woes of the white working and middle class -- instead of where blame belongs on the upward distribution of money to the wealthiest in America. [...]

And what the GOP in the House wants to do is basically starve minorities because they are gaining too much voting power, and the GOP doesn't -- and hasn't -- ever wanted to split the wealth of America with the descendants of slaves or contemporary de facto slaves: Mexicans working in the US for barely survivable wages. [...]

[President Obama] has been hampered by the Grand Canyon of American politics: a very large percentage of white Americans are tribalists who don't want a black man in charge, and think blacks are somehow inferior to whites (the very whites who vote against their own economic interests: think Food Stamps, Medicare, Social Security and Veterans Benefits, for example).  In short, even if a black man offers a better financial deal to many whites, they will go with the white GOP leadership that is pickpocketing them purely due to white identity politics. [...]

The Root ran an article, "Poor White Cash: GOP and Food Stamps. Republicans have become so deluded that they're engaged in class warfare against their own loyal voters"[...]:

And of the 254 counties where the number of food stamp recipients doubled between 2007 and 2011, Republican candidate Mitt Romney won 213 in last year's presidential election. Bloomberg's John McCormick and Greg Giroux compiled research revealing that Kentucky's Owsley County -- which backed Romney with 81 percent of its vote -- had the largest proportion of food stamp recipients of all the communities where Romney won.  [...]

That translates to more than 80% of the counties in which food stamps doubled voting for Romney, the anti-47% moocher crusader. [...]

So, if you again think it is sensational to compare white Republicans (or Democrats, or independents) who avidly support candidates who vote to cut their own food supply because of racist stereotypes, then you should think again.

This is the battle of America now, whether racism is going to see a lot whites chewing off their own legs just to make sure a black president fails and minorities get their legs cut off too.

Please read the entire post here.

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GOP hypocrisy and apathy are only surpassed by their cruelty. "Watch out for that karma."

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karma police

Those who need federal assistance in order to be able to put food in their stomachs depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (aka SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program). Recipients are trying to stay alive, doing what they can to avoid starvation, but Republicans portray them as lazy, fraudulent moochers who hang out at their luxurious swimming pools nibbling on gourmet cans of Spaghetti-Os, laughing all the way to the grocery store on their extravagant $6.00 a day allowance.

The Los Angeles Times letters to the editor this week largely opposed the Republican-controlled House's vote to cut 4 million Americans from SNAP. A few of those letters are below.

And just to keep the Republicans Are Self-Serving, Hypocritical Douchebags theme going, there's this via TPM:

Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) on Friday responded to a constituent opposed to drastically cutting food stamps for the young, elderly and poor by citing a Biblical quote: "If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat."

Once again, we have a religious "pro-lifer" (please follow that link) hypocritically denying a life-saving program that would keep children, the elderly, entire families, and the working poor, you know, alive. What would Jesus say?

right to life my ass pro life

chart food stamps working people

Here are some of the responses calling out the GOP's appalling legislation:

Altadena, CA resident J.H. Benson:

"House Republicans are badly in need of a moral compass. Their hypocrisy is only surpassed by their cruelty.

"The GOP says that the 4 million Americans who will be kicked off SNAP are capable of helping themselves. I hope that our very capable farmers aren't being subsidized while this assistance to the poor is deemed too expensive."

Long Beach, CA resident Matthew Black:

"The GOP has truly hit a new low. After increasing annual defense spending by more than $300 billion since 2001, spending $2 trillion on unnecessary wars and passing $1.7 trillion in tax cuts between 2001 and 2003 that primarily went to the wealthiest Americans, Republicans need to save $40 billion on food stamps.

"Way to go. Why do I feel I'm reading a Charles Dickens novel?

"And for those who might reply that Democrats should put their money where their mouths are, this week I donated another $250 to a local food bank. I contribute 5% of my disposable income to food banks."

Frances Terrell Lippman of Sherman Oaks, CA:

"I guess those Scrooge-like, coldhearted House Republicans thought of an early holiday surprise. How generous of them to think it would be appropriate just to remind people who are hungry and struggling that it would get a little more impossible for them to feed their families. Their apathy is only exceeded by their cruelty.

"Being hungry and homeless in America is this country's greatest shame, and yet our so-called leaders in Washington couldn't care less and only serve to exacerbate this terrible and fixable situation. Watch out for that karma."

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Poll-itics: Hispanic voters favor *gasp!* government involvement to solve problems

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Gallup fills us in on how those evil Hispanic voters support evil Big Guvmint, giving evil dictator President Obama another huge advantage over Willard Romney. Looks like some Americans appreciate things like Medicare, roads, stop lights, Medicaid, Social Security, police officers, fire fighters, teachers, consumer advocacy, emergency assistance, etc.

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Sally Kohn: Government Helps You -- Whether You Like It Or Not

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I’ve gotten to know someone recently, someone who I’ve posted about here before. Her name is Sally Kohn, and I suggest you keep your eyes open for her work. She’s an up-and-comer, is more and more visible on the Tee Vee Machine, is a wonderful commentator, a nice person, sharp as a tack, and should– and probably will– have her own show.

Please click over to her latest post. Here’s a tease:

How’d you get to work today? Did you drive on a road dug and paved by the private company you work for? Or maybe you took a bus or train that your employer personally invested in?

Over 90% of American school children attend public schools. Over 89% of Americans get the water in their homes from public water systems. One-in-ten households get electricity from public power plants, and those households are disproportionately located in rural, hard-to-serve communities that lack the incentives for private investment. Plus, recall that originally, even most private electrical grids were public investments --- before they were sold into private hands. Plus don’t forget about the police and firefighters and search and rescue teams that hopefully you don’t need everyday but fortunately are there when you do need them. [...]

An all-powerful government is not the solution. But slashing government in order to provide more and more resources to big business and the super-rich who our government already bailed out and who are now reaping historic profits but still aren’t creating jobs --- that’s not a solution, either.

Public schools, utilities, etc. are a very good thing. On the other hand, the GOP can be a public nuisance.

Please read the rest here.

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Now on "most-wanted" posters for all to see: Health care fugitives accused of fraud

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This is a great idea, a necessity in fact, and long overdue:

Health care fraud once was a faceless crime. Now it has a mug shot, even a smile.

Medicare and Medicaid scams cost taxpayers more than $60 billion a year, but bank holdups are more likely to get greater attention.

The government wants the public's help in trying to catch more than 170 fugitives wanted for fraud, so it's developed a new health care most-wanted list, with its own website. Most are dour; some sport smiles.

Here's one despicable example. The article goes into detail about others:

Topping the list are Miami brothers Carlos, Luis and Jose Benitez. Owners of a string of medical clinics, they allegedly scammed Medicare out of $119 million by billing for costly HIV drugs that patients never received or did not need. Authorities say they bought hotels, helicopters and boats before fleeing to Cuba.

Nice, huh? Way to care about your fellow man, guys.

Roy said he hopes this newest list will raise awareness about the importance of combatting health care fraud. Medicare and Medicaid, which provide care for about 100 million people in the U.S., are in serious financial trouble and can't afford to be hemorrhaging tens of billions a year because of fraud.

I'm sure that suits many members of the GOP/tea party just fine since they don't want Medicare and Medicaid around much longer anyway. Can the government put their smiling faces up on wanted posters, too?

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