Posts Tagged ‘Republican’
Farmer Fincher – in Congress – has collected million$ in subsidies – wants cuts in the food stamps program
A Tennessee congressman who supports billion of dollars in cuts to the food stamp program is one of the largest recipients of federal farm subsidies, according to new annual data released by a Washington environmental group.
Using Agriculture Department data, researchers at the Environmental Working Group found that Representative Stephen Fincher, a Republican and a farmer from Frog Jump, Tenn., collected nearly $3.5 million in subsidies from 1999 to 2012. The data is part of the research group’s online farm subsidy database from which the group issues a report each year.
In 2012 alone, the data shows, Mr. Fincher received about $70,000 in direct payments, money that is given to farmers and farmland owners, even if they do not grow crops. It is unclear how much Mr. Fincher received in crop insurance subsidies because the names of people receiving the subsidies are not public. The group said most of the agriculture subsidies go to the largest, most profitable farm operations in the country. These farmers have received $265 billion in direct payments and farm insurance subsidies since 1995, federal records show.
During debate on the farm bill in the House Agriculture Committee last week, Mr. Fincher was one of the biggest proponents of $20 billion in cuts to food stamps in the legislation. At times he quoted passages from the Bible in defending the cuts…
Scott Faber, vice president of government affairs at the Environmental Working Group, said that Mr. Fincher was being hypocritical. “Not only is he advocating deep cuts to other people’s money while he is getting subsidies, he also voted to increase the subsidies that he benefits from,” Mr. Faber said…
The most significant change in both the House and Senate bills is the end of direct payments, which cost taxpayers about $5 billion a year.
Both the House and Senate bills would use the savings from eliminating direct payments to increase financing for crop insurance, a federally subsidized program that pays 62 percent of the premiums for farmers and covers decreases in crop yields or revenue. About $1.3 billion a year is paid to 15 insurance companies to sell and process the policies…
Food stamps would receive a $4.1 billion cut in the Senate farm bill. An amendment by Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, to reverse the cuts by using money from the crop insurance program was soundly defeated after a passionate plea by Senator Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, who called crop insurance vital to farmers.
Someone in Washington, DC, please mail me a penny postcard when Congress decides to subsidize premiums to insure how I make my living.
Meanwhile, the sight, sound and smell of a hypocrite like Congressman Fincher is more than any American should have to bear. The aroma of fermenting pig manure is easier to take than a con artist who hustles the American taxpayer for subsidies – then whines about families trying to get by on food stamps like they’re some kind of danger to national freedom.
He should get an honest job.
The tornado that hit Oklahoma on Monday resulted in more than 20 deaths and is expected to cost the federal government untold billions of dollars in aid and recovery. But Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who has long objected to federal funds being spent on everything from veterans benefits to relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, is already insisting that any additional appropriations should be paid for with cuts elsewhere. “That’s always been his position [to offset disaster aid],” Coburn spokesman John Hart said. “He supported offsets to the bill funding the OKC bombing recovery effort.”
Indeed, during his time in Congress, Coburn has portrayed his efforts to rein in federal spending as a principled stance against accumulating larger deficits and passing debt to future generations. But Coburn hasn’t always opposed government spending that is not offset by budget cuts. The senator known as “Doctor No” has voted to fund the war in Iraq, the 2008 bank bail out, and even relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina…
By insisting that funding for tornado relief be offset by cuts elsewhere in the budget, Coburn is representing his ideological purity rather than the needs of his Oklahoma constituents.
People who care more for dollars than human beings are worth about as much to our society as fossilized pig excrement. Homeboys may be dumb enough to vote for them – but, they still don’t deserve greedy bastards like Coburn representing them in Congress.
Coburn and his ideology are a waste of space on the face of the Earth. He is a symptom of just how incompetent our 2-party system has gotten – when all that results from a choice of two is one more louse on the pimply butt that is the United States Congress.
May 7th, in an interview with Bloomberg Television, House Speaker John Boehner warned that the U.S. government must balance its budget. After all, he said:
We have spent more than what we have brought into this government for 55 of the last 60 years. There’s no business in America that could survive like this. No household in America that could do this. And this government can’t do this.
It’s hard to think of better evidence for the sustainability of budget deficits than the fact that we have run them for 55 of the last 60 years. If our fiscal practices haven’t caught up to us after 60 years, when will they? Or does Boehner take a David Stockman-like position that the last several decades of American advancement have in fact been a ghastly failure?
Of course, budget deficits work because the government is different from a household. A government does not have a life cycle, does not ever expect to stop generating income to support itself, and, therefore, does not ever have to retire its debt. It must keep its debts at a manageable size relative to the economy, which the U.S. has done over that 60 year period. If the economy is growing over the long term, that means the government can run a deficit and grow the debt every year — sustainably…
Boehner’s position on short-term debt is confused, too. If the recent expansion of the public debt is a matter of overriding economic concern, why is Boehner so resolutely opposed to tax increases to pay it down? America’s economy has thrived under a variety of tax policies, including much higher top marginal tax rates than are in effect today. Shouldn’t Boehner be willing to accept tax increases, or perhaps even be eager for them, in order to fight the debt menace he cites?
Boehner doesn’t really care about the public debt, as he made clear when he repeatedly supported debt-expanding measures under a Republican president. What Boehner and House Republicans really want are excuses to cut federal spending, particularly on programs such as Medicaid and food stamps that support low-income Americans. But those cuts are unpopular, so Republicans frame fiscal debate to make such cuts appear necessary to avoid disaster. If you can’t borrow or tax more, and can’t cut old-age entitlements or the military, which command the majority of federal spending, you’re not left with many options but to soak the poor.
Soaking the poor is a policy option. It is not, as Boehner would have it, a policy necessity dictated by the inability of the federal government to borrow or tax sustainably. But if the debate instead becomes about tax and spending priorities — is it more important to provide universal health care or keep tax rates low on high earners — it shifts to turf unfavorable to Republicans. So they pretend.
Households often borrow for decades against large enough purchases. They’re called mortgages. But, like the room full of millionaire lawyers that is Congress – Boehner has never been especially concerned with anything he’s not been personally challenged with. Like the expenses of healthcare.
On one covert video, farm workers illegally burn the ankles of Tennessee walking horses with chemicals. Another captures workers in Wyoming punching and kicking pigs and flinging piglets into the air. And at one of the country’s largest egg suppliers, a video shows hens caged alongside rotting bird corpses, while workers burn and snap off the beaks of young chicks.
Each video — all shot in the last two years by undercover animal rights activists — drew a swift response: Federal prosecutors in Tennessee charged the horse trainer and other workers, who have pleaded guilty, with violating the Horse Protection Act…And the egg supplier, which operates in Iowa and other states, lost one of its biggest customers, McDonald’s, which said the video played a part in its decision.
But a dozen or so state legislatures have had a different reaction: They proposed or enacted bills that would make it illegal to covertly videotape livestock farms, or apply for a job at one without disclosing ties to animal rights groups. They have also drafted measures to require such videos to be given to the authorities almost immediately, which activists say would thwart any meaningful undercover investigation of large factory farms.
Some of the legislation appears inspired by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a business advocacy group with hundreds of state representatives from farm states as members. The group creates model bills, drafted by lobbyists and lawmakers, that in the past have included such things as “stand your ground” gun laws and tighter voter identification rules.
One of the group’s model bills, “The Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act,” prohibits filming or taking pictures on livestock farms to “defame the facility or its owner.” Violators would be placed on a “terrorist registry…”
Opponents have scored some recent victories, as a handful of bills have died, including those in New Mexico and New Hampshire. In Wyoming, the legislation stalled after loud opposition from animal rights advocates, including Bob Barker, former host of “The Price is Right.”
In Indiana, an expansive bill became one of the most controversial of the state legislative session, drawing heated opposition from labor groups and the state press association, which said the measure violated the First Amendment…
An employee who took a video on a livestock farm with his phone and gave it to someone else would “probably” run afoul of the proposed law, Greg Steuerwald, a Republican state representative, said. The bill will apply not just to farms, but to all employers, he added.
Nancy J. Guyott, the president of the Indiana chapter of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., said she feared that the legislation would punish whistle-blowers.
Steadily, corporate farms, industrial bigwigs, ranging from meatpackers to gun manufacturers have used their clout in Congress to get laws passed which limits anyone, civilian or otherwise, from recording sleazy practices. They will now be charged as criminals rather than those abusing animals.
Senator Rob Portman became the most prominent Republican lawmaker to back gay rights when he reversed his opposition to same-sex marriage on Friday, two years after his son told him he was gay.
In a newspaper opinion piece on Friday, shortly before the Supreme Court is to hear arguments in two key cases on the issue, the Ohio senator said he now supports gay marriage.
“I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married,” Portman wrote in an op-ed piece in Ohio’s Columbus Dispatch.
“That isn’t how I’ve always felt. As a Congressman, and more recently as a Senator, I opposed marriage for same-sex couples. Then, something happened that led me to think through my position in a much deeper way.”
Portman’s 21-year-old son, Will, told the senator and his wife in February 2011 that he was gay and had been “since he could remember.”
It was the latest show of public support for gay rights. President Barack Obama announced last year that he approved of gay marriage, and in his inaugural speech in January, he equated gay rights with civil rights.
The Supreme Court hears oral arguments later this month in two cases related to gay marriage. One challenges the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. In a related case, the court will also hear arguments that question a California law, known as Proposition 8, banning gay marriage…
In his op-ed piece, Portman wrote of how he has “wrestled” with reconciling his Christian faith with the desire for his son to have the same opportunities as his siblings.
Which is why they’re called civil rights, folks.
It’s hard not to be critical of Portman waiting till he was personally affected by his son coming out – before examining all that he did afterwards. As someone in an elected position, someone charged with presenting informed leadership on issues affecting his constituents and the nation. OTOH, we can criticize damned near every one of the elected members of our government of paying overmuch heed to the needs of the lobbyists and check-writing punks that surround public office in this nation.
I’d say he’s different in that he did choose to get off his rusty-dusty and change a piece of his politics to match reality – instead of ideology. Not a common process in Congress even among the few folks I think worth supporting.
Looks and sounds like Florida’s governor Rick Scott with hair
Conservatives like to say that their position is all about economic freedom, and hence making government’s role in general, and government spending in particular, as small as possible. And no doubt there are individual conservatives who really have such idealistic motives.
When it comes to conservatives with actual power, however, there’s an alternative, more cynical view of their motivations — namely, that it’s all about comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted, about giving more to those who already have a lot. And if you want a strong piece of evidence in favor of that cynical view, look at the current state of play over Medicaid…
…In the end most states will probably go along with the expansion [of Medicaid] because of the huge financial incentives: the federal government will pay the full cost of the expansion for the first three years, and the additional spending will benefit hospitals and doctors as well as patients. Still, some of the states grudgingly allowing the federal government to help their neediest citizens are placing a condition on this aid, insisting that it must be run through private insurance companies. And that tells you a lot about what conservative politicians really want.
Don’t tell me about free markets. This is all about spending taxpayer money, and the question is whether that money should be spent directly to help people or run through a set of private middlemen.
And despite some feeble claims to the contrary, privatizing Medicaid will end up requiring more, not less, government spending, because there’s overwhelming evidence that Medicaid is much cheaper than private insurance. Partly this reflects lower administrative costs, because Medicaid neither advertises nor spends money trying to avoid covering people. But a lot of it reflects the government’s bargaining power, its ability to prevent price gouging by hospitals, drug companies and other parts of the medical-industrial complex…
But why would you insist on privatizing a health program that is already public, and that does a much better job than the private sector of controlling costs? The answer is pretty obvious: the flip side of higher taxpayer costs is higher medical-industry profits.
So ignore all the talk about too much government spending and too much aid to moochers who don’t deserve it. As long as the spending ends up lining the right pockets, and the undeserving beneficiaries of public largess are politically connected corporations, conservatives with actual power seem to like Big Government just fine.
RTFA. There are a few more Krugman illustrations and examples at hand to clarify any questions you may have. Serious economists have no problem differentiating between the level of informed self-interest for useful entrepreneurship – and unlimited greed, lust for money and power generally surrounded by a stinking cloud of lies about creating wealth for all.
The more crooked your economics, the bigger the lies have to be to provide cover for political flunkies, ideological puppets.
Former Sen. Pete Domenici has disclosed that he fathered a secret child in the 1970s with the 24-year-old daughter of one of his Senate colleagues – a startling revelation for a politician with a reputation as an upstanding family man.
Domenici and Michelle Laxalt sent statements to the Albuquerque Journal that announced the relationship for the first time and identified their son as Nevada attorney Adam Paul Laxalt. They said they decided to go public with their decades-old secret because they believed someone was about to release the information in an attempt to smear Domenici.
I’m not quite certain how a true story about a hypocrite and liar is a “smear”?
Domenici was the longest-serving senator in New Mexico history when he retired in 2008 after six terms. He was known for his unflagging support of the state’s national laboratories and military installations, and he became a power broker for his work on the federal budget and energy policy.
Domenici voted for the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton in 1998 after his affair with Monica Lewinsky, but his floor statement focused on the fact that Clinton had lied under oath…But in the same speech, he cited the value of “truthfulness” and how it’s the first pillar of good character.
Reached at his home in Washington on Wednesday, Domenici said he had nothing more to say. Domenici and his wife have been married more than 50 years and have eight children…
In 2008, Domenici was reprimanded by the Senate ethics committee for his involvement in a scandal over the Bush administration’s firing of eight U.S. attorneys.
At the time, Laxalt defended Domenici’s integrity on CNN, calling him an honorable man who was supporting “no fewer than eight children.”
Domenici’s history as an advocate for war and armaments named him locally as the Senator from Kirtland [Air Force Base]. His political career got its first national bump when as head of Albuquerque’s City Commission he had the national guard called out to attack students who occupied the University of New Mexico in opposition to the VietNam war.
Being a very public hypocrite about family and sex just comes naturally to some politicians.
If a Republican legislator in New Mexico gets her way, women who have abortions after being raped could face jail time for “tampering with evidence.”
State Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R-Carlsbad) introduced a bill yesterday that requires rape victims to see their pregnancies through during the course of their sexual assault trial, or be charged with third-degree felony evidence tampering.
Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.
The dimwit Republican who introduced this piece of crap legislation has changed her story a couple of times over the course of the day as it finally sank into her brain that normal human beings were outraged. By this evening’s news cycle, she was trying to claim that someone in the legislature printing office must have misprinted her bill. She will withdraw it – “correct it” – and reintroduce it, tomorrow.
Just another link in the chain that Republicans would fasten to the ankles of every American woman – if we let them.
Tennessee suspends gun permit of nutball who said he’d “be glad to fire the first shot” in a civil war over gun control
Tennessee has suspended the handgun carry permit of a firearms trainer who said he’d “be glad to fire the first shot” in a civil war over gun control.
James Yeager, chief executive officer of Tactical Response in Camden, Tenn., said in a video posted Wednesday, “Vice President Biden is asking the president to bypass Congress and use executive privilege — executive order — to ban assault rifles … to impose stricter gun control.
“I’m telling you that if that happens it’s going to spark a civil war and I’ll be glad to fire the first shot,” he said. “I’m not putting up with it. You shouldn’t put up with it. And I need all you patriots to start thinking about what you’re going to do. Load your dam mags, make sure your rifle is clean, pack a backpack with some food in it and get ready to fight…”
“The number one priority for our department is to ensure the public’s safety,” Tennessee Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said. “Mr. Yeager’s comments were irresponsible, dangerous, and deserved our immediate attention.”
The department said Yeager is not a Department of Safety and Homeland Security certified instructor, and Tactical Response also is not certified, The (Nashville) Tennessean reported.
Yeager should run for Congress. Tennessee Tea Party buffoons would register and vote as often as needed to get him into office. If he’s halfway articulate he can get a show on Fox Noise and last at least as long as whatsername from Alaska.