On the statue of Liberty, poetess Emma Lazarus' words are engraved:
“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
These are the words that greeted immigrants since it was officially dedicated October 28, 1886. Just look at those words. Republicans, how can you forget the meaning? And it's not just immigrants who are the tired, poor, huddled masses. They're not the only ones who are homeless and tempest-tossed. Did you ever hear of U.S. MILITARY VETERANS?
For years, if you played a game of word association, when you heard the word Republican, the first word to come to mind -- military. Republicans never saw a war they didn't like, or prosper from. Yet to fight a war it takes soldiers. The GOP adores them while they're serving in uniform, but turn their backs when they've finish their tours of duty. They're discarded like a used, snot-filled tissue.
Nearly each and every day we hear about scores of them who end their own lives due to their inability to bear the pressures of daily living when once they endured the unspeakable horrors of war. Aged, infirm, homeless, mentally unbalanced, tired, poor, and hungry, these wounded warriors –these veterans of our armed forces– have more than earned each and every citizen’s unconditional love and support. But from their fellow citizens who make up the Republican Party, they have received nothing but empty platitudes, the back of a hand, and disdainful looks of contempt.
The Republicans are working fast and furiously, not for anything important, but for destruction of our fabric, the poor and middle class. The SNAP food stamp program is under attack, with the GOP trying to cut more and more money from this "assistance" program. Well, guess who's among those "freebie grabbers?" There's over 900,000 veterans who risk going hungry if the GOP’s draconian cuts to the SNAP (food stamp) program are allowed to go into effect.
For a party that should stand for something more than a void of ideas and hypocrisy, they should be ashamed of themselves. They hate immigrants for the harm they claim they're doing this country and the economy. GOP, you don't deserve to call yourselves Americans if that's how you feel.
The American way is to provide opportunities for individuals to earn and achieve while living in peace and free from undue oppression. We have a heart. We care for our neighbor. We believe in raising ourselves up with the carrot of hard work will pay off with success motivating us. But we also know that when our country calls upon us, we serve. We do our best. Some even make the greatest sacrifice, our lives.
You've made it so dying for your country is kinder than coming home and facing the shelter-less, un-cared for, invisible, starving life. The rich Republicans that run and dictate policy in Washington might be well served if they went along with the Tin Man to Oz and found a heart. There's a huge void where that ticker belongs.
Let's give a helping hand to those less fortunate. Those Iraq and Afghanistan returning veteran's who along with the others sadly qualify for help. They deserve and have earned better than an crumbling bridge to live under after giving their all for the war effort.
You caused these wars. Now you have to live up to your responsibilities to care for those who fought them -- the wounded, ill, or mentally challenged. Not everyone comes home a healthy hero, but all of them are heroes. They need to be treated that way.
So let's take a look at who's holding back their aid-- highest ranking House Republicans:
House Speaker Boehner, you served all of 8 WEEKS in the military
House Majority Leader Cantor, you served 0 WEEKS in the military
House Whip Kevin McCarthy you served 0 WEEKS in the military
Chairman of the House Republican Caucus, Cathy Rodgers, you served 0 WEEKS in the military
Republican Policy Committee Chairman James Lankford, you served 0 WEEKS in the military
So there you have the Republican House leadership. These are the people who need to understand military needs. From looking at their service records, they don't have the qualifications. And to see them pushing cuts to SNAP and the 900,000+ military men and women is shameful.
It's about time someone on the GOP side in the House, someone with experience, shakes things up and starts leading, not just flapping their gums for a hopeful re-election. Time to support all our destitute. Provide medical care, food and rehabilitation. Not taking42 votes on repealing the ACA and zero for helping our veterans.
The Statue of Liberty, when closed under the Republican government shutdown, wept. Lady Liberty was brought to tears, not over lack of funding for parks, but for all of her subjects which have served her so well. Boehner and Cantor, time to raise a large hanky, let Ms. Liberty blow her nose, dry her tears, and regain her pride once again. Stop your obstructionism.
Veterans: you made them. You broke the. Now fix them.
The latest farm bill which is headed to a vote includes a $40 Billion dollar cut to SNAP. the supplemental nutrition assistance program. This will directly effect 1 in 7 Americans -- men, women, children, seniors, military. No one who receives this food subsidy will be spared part or even all of their benefits.
Who's pushing for this? Guess!
To be fair there are some in the GOP party who want to vote down this bill. But their reason is frightening. They don't think that the cutting of $40 billion goes deep enough. They literally want to starve children and seniors to death. The less of them collecting, the better. They're just moochers gaming the system. They don't add anything to the GOP way of life, so get rid of them any way you can. After all, their crime is they're too young or too old to work. That's their fault.
The real ironic part of this farm bill are those who are pushing the hardest for it. It's not to help farmers. It's to help them, farm owners. Here's the rub, passing this bill puts money in their pockets while the needy starve.
Let me name a few congressmen(women) who are fighting tooth and nail for this bill to pass. And you want to know why? Check this out, courtesy of Buzz Feed:
During the food stamp debate, GOP Rep. Stephen Fincher, who received thousands in farm subsidies, responded to a Democratic Congressman during the debate over the cuts by quoting the bible, saying “the one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
Fincher himself has received his own large share of government money. From 1999 to 2012, Stephen & Lynn Fincher Farms received $3,483,824 in agriculture subsidies. Last year he took in $70,574 alone.
Seems Fincher's up on his bible babble, but what about people who live in glass houses should not throw stones? Not the bible, a Spanish proverb, but perhaps a bit more appropriate. Then there's:
Another Republican congresswoman who voted to make cuts to the food stamp program was Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri. Her farm received more than $800,000 in Department of Agriculture subsidies from 1995-2012.
Rep. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, whos farm received $3.4 million in subsidies from 1995-2012.
Rep. Marlin Stutzman, a Republican Rep. from Indiana also received his fair share of government subsidies. He personally took in nearly $200,000 for the farm he co-owns with his father.
This is not a full list, but just a sampling.
Now I said there's a way for Democrats to stop the cuts all together. From Mother Jones:
And as Boehner saw in June, winning House Democrats' votes for a bill that slashes food stamps by billions of dollars is a heavy lift—after all, if no farm bill passes, food stamps spending would remain at current levels. Why compromise when you can win by doing nothing at all? "It would make sense," emails a House Democratic aide, "for progressives to vote against [the farm bill].
Need a visual: Here you go.
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.
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.
About 4.2 million Californians are affected by the drop in benefits, including more than 1.1 million residents of Los Angeles County. And many local businesses will be hurt as well, because California's food stamp recipients will be spending $46million less per month in local stores.
"The impoverished are forced to eat junk if we want to eat," said 32-year-old Tabitha, a mother of a 2-year-old and a 7-year-old staying at a Culver City shelter, who asked that her last name not be used because she said she was embarrassed. "It's going to be difficult, as it already has been."
The cut was triggered by the expiration of stimulus spending Congress approved in the depths of the Great Recession. It is unlikely to be the last...
And in Wisconsin, via JSOnline:
More than one in seven Wisconsinites — including 379,000 children and 164,000 seniors — will see their monthly food stamp benefits fall in November as provisions from a 2009 economic stimulus law phase out.
I don't even know where to begin. I'm shaking mad, no exaggeration. And this is just in California and Wisconsin, for f's sake.
Not only are children's lives in danger-- as well as adults'-- but parents are feeling humiliated-- humiliated because they're working their asses off and can't afford food!-- as they barely scrape by, scared silly and worried about where their family's next meal is coming from.
Again, a good many of these families are WORKING families. That cannot be emphasized enough.
Plus, what all too many of these Americans are eating is junk that will simply kill them more slowly than not eating at all.
While all of this is going on, right in front of our eyes like a damned slo-mo train wreck, we're managing to further destroy a very, very sluggish economy that has been steadily, but slowly improving.
Thank you, Republicans. This is on you... and your unrelenting cruelty.
While Democrats keep trying to pass laws that would (hopefully) make things easier for many of us, the GOP is blocking their attempts at every turn, and has been since President Obama was elected.
That's the difference between the parties. One wants to help, one wants to destroy.
Are you seething yet? Well, buckle your seat belts gang, because you're in for a bumpy ride. This video, a must-watch, won't help:
Economist Jeffrey Sachs was on "All In with Chris Hayes" and nailed it. I mean, he really, really nailed it:
It is an agenda of cruelty beyond belief. ... But it's unbelievable what this country is coming to, which is actually taking -- literally, food from the hungriest children in this country. it is disgusting, there is no rationale for it.
It would be simple to fund this. In fact, simple to fund it from the richest people in this country who get tax breaks galore, often pay no taxes whatsoever, and the abuse of our spirit, our morality, is shocking, and this today is one of the worst things we've seen, period...
You'd probably get about $3 billion a year from the 40 people alone.
I have here...a piece of legislation submitted by Senator Levin, which is all of the worst tax phony loopholes for American companies, putting their money in the Caymans, this is $220 billion over ten years, it's not about raising tax or anything. It's about closing the most disgusting, egregious loopholes; we could feed our children decently without breaking a sweat...
The whole thing is a game for tax breaks at the top... And that, I think, a lot of people unfortunately don't see because that's all disguised. This isn't about taxing the middle class to pay for this. This about the taxes at the top that aren't paid. And we have our biggest companies putting money in Bermuda, putting money in the Cayman Islands. Earning profits and paying no taxes on them at all and lo and behold, we're told there's no money for the poorest people in the country.
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