Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Why Does the GOP Continue to Defund ACORN?

The ghost of James O'Keefe (no, he's not dead but one can dream) rears its ugly head after pretty much every House Appropriations Committee bill clears, that according to The Huffington Post's Zach Carter, who seems as confused as I am that the Republican led House likes to beat a dead horse, even after that horse is nothing more than rotting flesh and bone deteriorating into the dirt.
...language to bar ACORN from receiving any money made the final cut [in the Department of Defense Approprations bill]. Section 8097 of the bill reads, "None of the funds made available under this Act may be distributed to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) or its subsidiaries."  
ACORN cannot receive any funding from the U.S. government under any legislation, of course, because ACORN does not exist. Similarly, ACORN has no subsidiaries because ACORN does not exist.
GOP: Waiter, we'd like a ham and American cheese sandwich.

Waiter: I'm sorry, we are out of ham.

GOP: Oh, well in that case how about ham and swiss?

Waiter: Uh, again I'm sorry, we are out of ham.

GOP: Hmmm... okay, just a plain ham sandwich then.

Waiter: ...Still out of ham.

GOP: We're going to keep ordering ham, because we are douchebags.
A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) referred questions on the provision to House Appropriations Committee spokeswoman Jennifer Hing. "I don't believe our response has changed since the last time you asked this question," Hing told HuffPost. 
In June, the last time HuffPost asked Hing about ACORN defunding language, she replied, "These provisions are typically carried every year in appropriations bills." 
The time before that, in March, Hing called ACORN defunding language "a typical provision that is included in most appropriations bills." 
It seems that this is the only thing the current crop of House Republicans are good at - same goes for the thirty-something votes they've had to repeal Obamacare, which have failed every single time. And that's the point, isn't it? The ham sandwich douchebags can go back home and say they have repeatedly voted to defund ACORN every year and their mindless constituents will think it's just fucking awesome because they most likely don't know ACORN doesn't exist anymore.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

President Obama's Weekly Address - July 27, 2013

A Better Bargain for the Middle Class


"... over the past couple of years in particular, Washington has taken its eye off the ball. An endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals shift focus from what needs to be done. And as Washington prepares to enter another budget debate, the stakes could not be higher. The choices we make now will determine whether or not every American has a fighting chance in the 21st century. 
... I know there are members of both parties who understand what’s at stake, and I’m open to ideas from across the political spectrum, as long as they meet the test of strengthening the prospects of hard-working families. But repealing Obamacare, gutting critical investments in our future, threatening to default on the bills this country has already racked up, or shutting down the government just because I’m for keeping it open – none of those thing add up to an economic plan. None of that will take this country where it needs to go."

McBudget Smells Worse Than a Filet-O-Fish

$290 per week. That's what a 40 hour per week minimum wage worker earns. Before taxes. That's $15,080 per year, provided the worker didn't miss a day of work due to illness or perhaps a vacation. $15,080. Before taxes.

Yet for some reason, McDonald's decided it could "help" its employees by showing that with proper budgeting, yes, you can live on a minimum wage if you just plan appropriately. Only they pretty much proved just the opposite.

Here are some of the main criticisms of it:
  • It assumes the worker is working two jobs.
  • It surmises that health insurance costs $20 a month.
  • It doesn’t include child care, groceries, clothing or gas for the worker’s car.
  • Also, another, possibly earlier, version of the budget (seen here) proposed that heating would cost $0 a month.
And there you have it. By the second line of their sample budget, they've already assumed you are working TWO minimum wage jobs. Or about 70 hours per week; 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, to attain that $2,060 per month. BEFORE TAXES.

Now granted, as a Forbes.com article states, they don't take into account the federal assistance that a minimum wage worker can receive, such as food stamps, child tax credits if applicable and what they may receive in income tax refunds. But THAT is not the point of the McBudget. Nowhere in this fantasy budget does it add other income in those forms. Besides the fact that if it were left up to House Republicans in Congress, they would do away with those very tax credits.
...the same House Republicans who unanimously voted in March against raising the minimum wage  have also just passed a farm bill stripped of the traditional funding for food stamps and are likely to demand deep cuts in this program in a deal with the Senate. They’re also pushing a 24% cut in the IRS’ budget.   What’s IRS funding got to do with minimum wage workers? It could (among other things) harm the IRS’ ability to fight the ongoing epidemic of identity theft tax  fraud  and lead to further deterioration of  already poor taxpayer service.  Both developments are likely to have a disproportionate impact on EITC recipients, who already have to wait months for their checks if their identities are stolen and (as National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson has pointed out) are already, in too many cases, denied earned income tax credits they rightly deserve. In the real world, that’s a bigger threat to minimum wage worker’s finances than silly financial McPlanning advice.

The kicker to this whole thing is the website address which carries this ridiculous budget: PracticalMoneySkills.com.

 Practical indeed.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Weiner Does It Again

Carlos Danger? Dude, Seriously?!

Anthony Weiner, former Congressman and current New York City Mayoral candidate, who has risen from the ashes like a phoenix to be a factor in the race after resigning from the House of Representatives in 2011 due to a sexting scandal, was found out in yet another cybersex peccadillo after his resignation. Yes, after.  ...C'MON, MAN!

In a news conference late Tuesday afternoon, Weiner read a statement apologizing for his behavior and he repeated, as he has done since he jumped into the New York City mayoral race in May, that he and his wife, Huma Abedin, are "moving forward."  ... 

Weiner opened the press conference saying, "As I have said in the past, these things that I did were wrong and hurtful to my wife and caused us to go through challenges in our marriage that extended past my resignation from Congress," adding, "I want to again say that I am very sorry to anyone who was on the receiving end of these messages and the disruption that this has caused."

Now look, I could care less about whatever Weiner does in his personal life, but at this point politically, it's not his obvious sexual addition that's the problem. It's the ease with which he lies about it. I personally don't care how Weiner spends his online time, but it damages his credibility - no one is going to believe what he has to say with this monkey on his back. The lying I mean - as far as I know there is no picture of Weiner with a monkey floating out in the intertubes.

So far, Weiner is not going to bow out of the race, and who knows if this is going to hurt his chances with the voters. After all, besides being a douchebag in his relationship with his wife, Weiner really hasn't done anything illegal. And if guys can get caught in a prostitution ring like Louisiana Senator David "Diaper Boy" Vitter and refuse to resign, or former South Carolina Governor Mark "Appalachian Trail" Sanford, who abandoned his post for days to be with his mistress in Argentina - ARGEN-FUCKING-TINA! - yet win a special election and be elected to Congress to represent the very people he betrayed as Governor, what's not to say that New York voters won't shrug their shoulders about the whole thing and say, "Who gives a shit?"

And I have to say, poor Huma Abedin. I'm sure she has her reasons for standing by her man, but it's got to be humiliating to be in her position. Maybe she always knew about his propensity for cybersex. I don't know - maybe the whole sexting thing is how they met in the first place and she's cool with it. But again, it's a personal matter - not illegal - and if they can work it out, good for them.

We'll find out soon enough if Weiner takes a hit in the polls and if he can bounce back. I was always a Weiner fan when he was in Congress fighting for the little guy and I still actually think he would make a good mayor, but for fuck's sake, he'd better start letting his writing staff come up with better online handles. Carlos Danger? Were Geraldo Hazard and Raúl Risk already taken? 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

On the Occasion of My Grandson's Seventeenth Birthaday

Posted by Desert Crone

I must warn you that this post is not focused on politics, which my posts usually are. Quite the contrary it is very personal; therefore, it may not interest you whatsoever. Furthermore, I'm ashamed to admit, it rambles, but I hope this post, like so many personal pieces often do, resonates with some readers at some level.

The funny thing about writing is sometimes it takes me on journey that surprises me because I often end up at a place I had no intention of going. And so it is with this post.  Originally, I was going to address the adage that "all too often people will vote against their own interests."  It was my grandson who enlightened me about the psychology behind this paradoxical behavior. He wasn't sharing any knowledge he had gleaned from a text book or a teacher; his knowledge was an insight gained from observation.

This post, or essay if you will, quickly took on a life of its own, and rather than try to divert its path or twist it painfully into something it was never meant to be, I went with it, not against it. I felt context, which would be in the form of background, was important; however, background soon gave way to biography. Before I realized it, I was describing the hopes and shattered dreams of so many Americans as well as the resolute spirit which creates survivors rather victims out of so many of us. This post is not only a tribute to my ex son-in-law but to all of those who have struggled just to provide the basic necessities for their families. But most of all, this post is a love letter to my grandson.