Republican District Hurt By Budget Cuts

Last night’s Gubernatorial election in Virginia went about as expected, although the Republican challenger was a bit closer than projected. Looking at the voting acrss the State, the more populaous and prosperous areas voted overwhelmingly Democrat, while rural counties and the southwestern mountain are voted heavily Republican.

There are a lot of similarities between those areas and the area in this article in Kentucky. Poor white folks voting for their own misery… wonder when these folks are going to finally wake up and realize their Tea Party representatives don’t give a damn about their welfare.

Austerity deals harsh blow to already stricken land

Republican Congressman Hal Rogers brought so many federal dollars home to eastern Kentucky’s coal country, he was crowned “Prince of Pork.”

Now that spigot has been turned off, just when his district might actually need it the most.

Competition from natural gas, cheaper coal, and environmental regulations have hastened the demise of the mining industry here, already in decline. More than 6,200 eastern Kentucky miners have been laid off since July 2011. There are now fewer coal jobs here than in 1920, when the great-grandfathers of today’s miners wielded shovels and pick-axes.

But sequestration—a series of across-the-board spending cuts that many Tea Party Republicans have come to embrace—and other austerity measures have accelerated the economic free fall. Unemployment benefits to laid-off miners are shrinking; fewer meals are getting delivered to homebound seniors; and there’s less money to help workers retool for new jobs. Beginning Friday, food stamps will be cut by an average of $36 per month for a family of four.

It’s yet another blow to struggling Appalachian mining towns like Harlan, where the mayor estimates that 15% of the town’s residents have moved out in the past year, searching for work elsewhere.

Unsold guns are piling up in pawnshops. Even the local mortician is feeling the pinch: grieving relatives are downgrading from hardwood coffins to two-gauge steel, and ordering five baskets of flowers instead of twenty or thirty. “If I don’t sell to the coal people, I don’t sell,” one Harlan businessman explained.

Rogers has been one of the few Republicans to slam sequestration as devastating, unworkable, and unrealistic. Unless Congress decides otherwise, $109 billion in cuts will continue every year until 2021—a budget that Rogers must implement as chair of the House Appropriations Committee. But many of his Republicans colleagues have embraced the $85 billion in cuts this year as guaranteed spending cuts. It’s unlikely that budget negotiations that started this week in Congress will reverse all of them.

The incremental nature of sequestration —slow rolling, local, and scattered unevenly nationwide—has made the belt-tightening hard to measure and easy to dismiss since the cuts took effect in March. “The people that I’ve talked to seem to be doing well,” Missouri Rep. Billy Long said in April. “In fact, when I got out in restaurants here in town, people come up to me. They want to see more sequestration, not less.”

Even some Democrats believe the White House overhyped the cuts when it made dire predictions about their impact, some of which didn’t pan out. “I think they probably went over the top in terms of saying that the consequences were going to be horrible. The lines in the airports aren’t long, the world hasn’t changed overnight,” said former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.

But Harlan sees long lines. They are in the unemployment office, filled with out-of-work miners chasing any rumor of jobs left to be had. A TV in the waiting area explains how federal cuts have chipped away at the safety net most had hoped they would never need.

“Sequestration…What does that mean for you? Your Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits that begin on or after March 31, 2013 must be reduced 10.7% for each week of unemployment through September 2013.”

“Sequestration is a terrible way to do business. I’ve said it since day one. It slices the good with the bad, and removes the duty of Congress to ensure vital programs, like Head Start and various grant programs receive adequate support,” Rogers told MSNBC. “Couple those deep cuts with the rapid loss of coal mining jobs in eastern Kentucky and we’re now facing an economic superstorm.”

For Donnie Reeves, 40, each passing week of unemployment means less security. He lost his mining job in March, just weeks before his wife Tiffanie lost her job as a teaching assistant. “After December, it’s no more unemployment, no more nothing,” he said in August.

“I would have to work a minimum of three jobs, each 40 hours a week at minimum wage. That’s to keep the lights on. No groceries, no gas,” said Donnie, who made $70,000 in his best year.

Donnie spent the summer retraining for a factory job through an emergency federal program spared—this time—from sequestration’s axe. Tiffanie found a job helping unemployed Kentuckians like her husband find work.

But with two teenage kids and their hometown’s economy in tatters, the Reeves know that their future may lie outside Harlan, leaving behind a family rooted here for more than 120 years.

“Tiff,” he told her last spring, when they were first considering the idea, “we’re giving up.”…

Welfare and “White Trash”

One of the favorite theories of the racial conservative set is that “Welfare destroyed the back community”. It is a popular “adage” reinforced by paid Uncle Toms like Larry Elder and Thomas Sowell. Unfortunately for white conservatives …There are a few Mack Truck size holes in that argument…

  1. The majority of people who receive “welfare: and have received welfare since the 1930’s (35-40 years before the Great Society opened up welfare to black folks) are white.
  2. The black poverty rate in 1960 was 60%. Today, it is at a stubborn 20% and has been pretty much since the end of Clinton. The “Great Society” and Liberal ideas like “Equal Opportunity” resulted in the largest migration from poverty of any group in this country’s history.What the Great Society did not do, despite billions in investment, by and large is to move the large groups of southern and Appalachian whites into productivity. Much of conservative racial hysteria, and conservative racial resentment against blacks, Hispanics, and immigrants comes from the fact that those groups are in some part at least – succeeding.
  3. The “Black Community” envisioned in conservative mindset is the inner city. The vast majority of black folks, and even the majority of black poor folks  don’t live there anymore.  Indeed, according to some studies over 80% of black folks in the US now live in suburban or rural communities.
  4. Lastly, if welfare destroyed the black community… Why exactly hasn’t it had the same effect on the white community?

Thomas Sowell’s least popular book among conservatives is “Black Rednecks and white Liberals“. The reason is, while doing his usual buckdance about the depravity of the black community – he opens the door to the same issues afflicting a portion of the white community… specifically In the infamous Red State Zone. His theory is that black folks learned dysfunctional behavior from dysfunctional white folks during slavery (AKA Rednecks). While going into great detail about what he theorizes happened to the “Black community”, he utterly ignores where that white “Redneck” community, which now comprise the most faithful conservative voters went.

Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher kinda lets that cat out of the bag yesterday with his tweet..

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) said on Twitter this week that he would like to “defund white trash” who take advantage of federal social programs.

Rohrabacher made the remark in a reply to a Twitter user who was complaining about immigration policy.

Ga_bree_lla @ga_bree_ella@ImmortalTech @danarohrabacher Its ok for lazywhitetrash 2live off food stamps but won’t legalize my ppl who actuall contributetothiscountry

Dana Rohrabacher ✔ @DanaRohrabacher@ga_bree_ella would defund white trash, but not our vets , seniors & other deserving Americans 2 provide benefits 2 those here illegally

House Republicans are seeking cuts to food stamps that would trim the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program‘s cost by roughly 5 percent over 10 years.

In June, Rohrabacher said that John Boehner (R-Ohio) should be removed from his position as House speaker if he brought immigration reform to a full vote without majority support from Republicans.

Charles Blow hit the nail on the head with the following article Please follow the link and read the rest) -

‘A Town Without Pity’

America was once the land of Lady Liberty, beckoning the world: “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!”

No more.

Today’s America — at least as measured by the actions and inactions of the pariahs who roam its halls of power and the people who put them there — is insular, cruel and uncaring.

In this America, people blame welfare for creating poverty rather than for mitigating the impact of it. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in June foundthat the No. 1 reason people gave for our continuing poverty crisis was: “Too much welfare that prevents initiative.”

In this America, the House can — as it did in July — pass a farm bill that left out the food stamp program at a time when a record number of Americans, nearly 48 million, are depending on the benefits.

In this America, a land of immigrants, comprehensive immigration reform can be stalled in The People’s Branch of government, and anti-reform mouthpieces like Ann Coulter and Pat Buchanan can warn that immigration reform will be the end of the country.

And in today’s America, poverty and homelessness can easily seep beneath the wall we erect in our minds to define it.

A December report by the United States Conference of Mayors that surveyed 25 cities found that all but 4 of them reported an increase in requests for emergency food aid since 2011, and three-fourths of them expected those requests to increase in 2013.

The report also found that 60 percent of the cities surveyed had seen an increase in homelessness, and the same percentage of cities expected homelessness to increase in 2013.

But poverty isn’t easily written off as an inner-city ailment. It has now become a suburban problem. A report this week by the Brookings Institution found that “during the 2000s, major metropolitan suburbs became home to the largest and fastest-growing poor population in America.”

Nor can economic insecurity be written off as a minorities-only issue. According to survey results published last month by The Associated Press:

“Nonwhites still have a higher risk of being economically insecure, at 90 percent. But compared with the official poverty rate, some of the biggest jumps under the newer measure are among whites, with more than 76 percent enduring periods of joblessness, life on welfare or near-poverty.”…

Who’s Your Daddy? About Black Folks and Charity

That Christian spirit… Don’t believe it?

Check this out.

Charitable Donations: Blacks Outpace Whites

Black Emplyees Influence Corporations to Give

Reuters is reporting today on a study showing that African American donors give higher percentages of their incomes to charity than their white counterparts, with nearly two-thirds of black households make charitable donations, worth a total of about $11 billion a year. And it’s not just a little more: that number means black donors turn over a full 25 percent more of their incomes than white donors annually, according to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors research.  The results have many wondering why more African Americans don’t self-identify as philanthropists.

From Reuters:

But they don’t see themselves as big players in the charitable arena, and that presents an image problem, say experts like Judy Belk, a senior vice president for Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

“African Americans have been very uncomfortable with the title of philanthropist,” Belk said. “If you don’t see role models who look like you when people start talking about issues related to philanthropy, you start believing, ‘Hey, maybe I’m not a philanthropist.'”

Belk said she got so weary of hearing this that she helped produce a 12-minute video released in November, dubbed, “I Am A Philanthropist,” which features diverse faces, races and ethnicities of donors and grant-makers. .  .

The report cites black churches as a historically important repository of giving, but notes that other important causes are coming to the fore.

While religious giving was the largest charitable category overall, it leveled off in dollar terms in 2010, according to Giving USA, a Chicago-area foundation that publishes philanthropy data and trends. At the same time, contributions for the arts increased almost 6 percent, a trend that was consistent across all racial groups.

Pee on a Republian

Somehow I think having a bunch of drugged up looney tunes in Congress is a lot more dangerous than poor folks on Welfare…

Dems Fire Back At GOP Proposals To Drug Test Jobless: ‘You Pee In The Cup’

The past year has seen an unprecedented waveof Republican bills to drug test the poor and jobless. It also saw a smaller wave of Democratic bills that said in response, “No, you pee in the cup.”

One of the most recent retorts comes from Georgia, where last month Democratic state Rep. Scott Holcomb introduced a bill requiring members of the local legislature to prove they’re not Legislating Under the Influence. Holcomb told HuffPost he came up with the idea because he was struck by a bill from his Republican colleagues to drug test welfare applicants.

“I was really struck by how awful it was,” he said. “I wanted to bring some attention to it.”

Democrats in Florida, Ohio and Tennessee have done the same thing. Tennessee state representative G.A. Hardaway said his bill to test lawmakers was inspired by constituents annoyed with a Republican welfare-drug-testing bill. “They said to me, ‘how do we know y’all aren’t on drugs?'” Hardaway told local TV station WMC-TV. “I thought, well, you don’t.”

The trend started in Florida, the only place where the local government actually followed through with welfare drug testing — at least until a federal judge ruled it a flagrant violation of the Constitution‘s ban on unreasonable search and seizure four months after the policy took effect. During that brief period, a mere 2.5 percent of welfare applicants tested positive for drugs.

A spokesman for Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) told HuffPost in September that the governor would be willing to submit to testing himself. But when Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” presented him with a cup the following December, he declined to pee in it. Scott’s attorney general Pam Bondiplayed along and provided the Daily Show with a cup labeled “Pam Bondi” filled with a yellowish liquid. A Bondi spokeswoman confirmed to HuffPost that the liquid was, in fact, apple juice from the cafeteria.

State of Shame – North Carolina Sterilization Program

North Carolina was one of 26 states which involuntarily sterilized women. Most of those women were black and poor.

Like the Tuskegee Experiments, this one stands out as the medical establishment failing. When you hear the Tea Baggers of today talking about “welfare irresponsibility” – this is inevitably where that leads.

Victims speak out about North Carolina sterilization program, which targeted women, young girls and blacks

Elaine Riddick was 13 years old when she got pregnant after being raped by a neighbor in Winfall, N.C., in 1967.  The state ordered that immediately after giving birth, she should be sterilized.  Doctors cut and tied off her fallopian tubes.

“I have to carry these scars with me.  I have to live with this for the rest of my life,” she said.

Riddick was never told what was happening.  “Got to the hospital and they put me in a room and that’s all I remember, that’s all I remember,” she said.  “When I woke up, I woke up with bandages on my stomach.”

Riddick’s records reveal that a five-person state eugenics board in Raleigh had approved a recommendation that she be sterilized. The records label Riddick as “feebleminded” and “promiscuous.” They said her schoolwork was poor and that she “does not get along well with others.”

“I was raped by a perpetrator [who was never charged] and then I was raped by the state of North Carolina.  They took something from me both times,” she said.  “The state of North Carolina, they took something so dearly from me, something that was God given.”

It wouldn’t be until Riddick was 19, married and wanting more children, that she’d learn she was incapable of having any more babies. A doctor in New York where she was living at the time told her that she’d been sterilized.

“Butchered.  The doctor used that word…  I didn’t understand what she meant when she said I had been butchered,” Riddick said.

North Carolina was one of 31 states to have a government run eugenics program.  By the 1960s, tens of thousands of Americans were sterilized as a result of these programs.

Eugenics was a scientific theory that grew in popularity during the 1920s.  Eugenicists believed that poverty, promiscuity and alcoholism were traits that were inherited.  To eliminate those society ills and improve society’s gene pool, proponents of the theory argued that those that exhibited the traits should be sterilized.  Some of America’s wealthiest businessmen of the time were eugenicists including Dr. Clarence Gamble of Proctor and Gamble and James Hanes of the hosiery fortune.  Hanes helped found the Human Betterment League which promoted the cause of eugenicists.

It began as a way to control welfare spending on poor white women and men, but over time, North Carolina shifted focus, targeting more women and more blacks than whites.  A third of the sterilizations performed in North Carolina were done on girls under the age of 18.  Some were as young as nine years old…


 

Judge Strikes Down Welfare Drug Testing in Florida

A Florida Republican law requiring all Welfare recipients to pass drug testing has been put on hold by a Federal Court. The law is unconstitutional, due to the fact that it violates personal protections against the government invading a citizen’s privacy without reasonable evidence of wrongdoing. Statistically, Republican legislators in the state are more likely to use drugs than welfare recipients.

So… In view of the legislators ability to royally screw everything up for everyone…

Why don’t they pass a law that all elected officials in the state are regularly tested?

Federal judge temporarily bars Florida’s welfare drug-test law

A federal judge has temporarily blocked a controversial Florida law requiring all welfare applicants to be drug-tested.

U.S. District Court Judge Mary Scriven issued a temporary injunction Monday evening against enforcement of the law’s “suspicionless drug testing” of adults seeking federal welfare.

The law went into effect July 1, but a single father and the American Civil Liberties Union contend in a lawsuit that the new law is unconstitutional and violates Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

“Perhaps no greater public interest exists than protecting a citizen’s rights under the Constitution,” the judge wrote, quoting a 1997 Hawaii case.

Under the law, the Florida Department of Children and Family Services requires the drug tests of adults applying to the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. The aid recipients are responsible for the cost of the screening, which they recoup in their assistance if they qualify.

Those who fail the required drug testing may designate another individual to receive the benefits on behalf of their children, but they do not receive a refund for cost of the test.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has championed the law, saying it provides “personal accountability.” He added it was “unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction.”

Florida is not the first state to pass such legislation. Michigan passed a similar law that was found to be unconstitutional by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003 for violating the Fourth Amendment…

The GOP-controlled legislature passed the bill, and Scott signed it into law in May 2011.

“The governor obviously disagrees with the decision and he will evaluate his options regarding when to appeal,” said his deputy press secretary Jackie Schutz.

Since campaigning for governor, Scott has said that the drug-testing of welfare recipients “will help to prevent misuse of Florida tax dollars” and make sure the money goes to the children.

“Research shows higher drug use among individuals receiving government assistance, and drug abuse also forces children into welfare assistance,” Scott said while signing the bill into law.

The ACLU said the state’s own study found that of the 2,000 people who took the state drug test, only a small percentage tested positive.

“It shows that a little bit more than 2% of the welfare applicants tested positive for drugs where it’s about 8½% in the general public,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida.

How Stupid is the New Right?

In the new Republican tradition of never letting the facts get in the way of a good rant – the new Congressional Republican Clown Show proposes to balance the budget…

By cutting a program…

The Real Target

that doesn’t exist anymore.

Blinded by the word “Welfare”, and in a wild rush for a chance to take a shot at the people they percieve as beneficiaries (Black mothers and children)…

They didn’t bother to check their facts (again).

Republican Study Committee Recommends Cutting Welfare Program That Already Expired

The Republican Study Committee on Mondayrecommended reducing the deficit by cutting a welfare program that lards the federal budget with $2.5 billion in wasteful spending every year.

The Committee, led by Rep. Tom Price (Ga.), called for cutting the $2.5 billion Emergency Fund created by the stimulus bill to help states subsidize jobs via the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, formerly known as welfare. Price has targeted the program as part of House Republicans’ “YouCut” initiative to reduce federal spending.

“The goal of welfare programs should be to help people get back on their feet as quickly as possible rather than simply expanding dependence on government,” Price said in a statement. “In addition to saving taxpayers $25 billion over the next 10 years, cutting the emergency fund from the President’s failed stimulus package will refocus temporary assistance on its rightful role.”

Problem is, the TANF Emergency Fund has already expired, along with the 240,000 jobs progressive economists say it created.

“Republicans claim to be serious about reducing the deficit but yet they roll out a proposal to eliminate a program that no longer exists,” said Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) in a statement. “What’s next — claiming savings for cutting New Deal work programs that were terminated over 70 years ago?

“The real question is when are Republicans going to abandon this sort of hollow rhetoric and get serious about the problems facing this country?”

A spokesman for the committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment from HuffPost.

 

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