SDB Evening Reads for 061711: To Market, To Market to buy a fat pig…Posted: June 17, 2011 Filed under: Barack Obama, House of Representatives, just because, SDB Evening News Reads, Women's Rights | Tags: Farm Subsidies, Netroots, WIC 15 Comments
Funny, I have not thought about this children’s book for years. The 1997 version of To Market To Market, by Anne Miranda and Janet Stevens, was a favorite of my daughter and son, and I must admit… one of my favorites as well. It is an updated account of a children’s nursery rhyme from 1611, and possible dating back to a dictionary published in 1598.
I have no idea why this was running through my mind today. Maybe it is all the talk of pigs in blankets going on in the Casey Anthony trial…
Okay, it is Friday, and the weekend is almost here.
Today at the Netroots Nation convention White House Communications Director Dan Pfiffer whined about the lack of support the Democrat base has for Obama.
Pfeiffer defends W.H. record to Netroots – James Hohmann – POLITICO.com
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer told thousands of progressive activists at the Netroots Nation convention here that he understands why they are frustrated — but he said the administration is frustrated itself with progressive critics not showing more gratitude for Barack Obama’s accomplishments as president.
Maybe the progressives are not praising Obama because he is acting more like a Republican than a Democrat? Check this post out: “Is There a War on Women?” Obama White House Communications Director Dodges and Squirms | RH Reality Check
Daily Kos Associate Editor Kalli Joy Gray asked some pointed questions to Phiffer about the War on Women, and Obama’s lack of speaking out about the GOP’s attack against women.
Gray turned to Pfeiffer and said, “Now I;d like to ask you about a different kind of war, and this is one I am particularly concerned about…the war on women.” Gray continued:
We’re seeing an unprecedented number of attacks on women at the state and federal level, everything from contraception to health care to food stamps, drug-testing of women receiving welfare in Florida. Women in Congress including Nancy Pelosi are talking about the war on women. I want to know if the President agrees with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and new DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz that there is a war on women.
Pfeiffer punts. He acknowledges that “there is a sustained effort a the state and federal level to roll back progress we’ve made,” and goes on to cite the efforts to de-fund Planned Parenthood at the state and federal level.
Gray challenges him on what happened during health reform and asks again: “Is there a war on women.” Pfeiffer punts again, refuses to answer the question and then said “Let’s talk about health reform,” calling including strengthening the Hyde Amendment during health reform a “simple choice.”
Pfeiffer went on to state that Obama is just as concerned about “the same” things as Pelosi and Wasserman-Schultz…but to Gray’s inquiry as to why Obama has remained silent about it, Pfieffer pulls Obama’s stance on Planned Parenthood and on the Lilly Ledbetter act…
Gray says, “because you know in 2008 President Obama carried women by a 56 to 43 margin, and in 2010 Democratic women stayed home or voted Republican. Women in this country, Democratic women are the majority in the country and a majority of the party, we feel like we are under assault, frankly we are a little sick hearing about [Ledbetter].”
“Does the President think he can win without women?”
Pfeiffer: “Of course not.”
In other words, no answer on a concerted strategy to address the assault on women’s rights. Indeed, not even an analysis about the war on women from the White House. Nada.
Exactly, there is absolutely no plan to by the democratic party, the DINO President, NOW etc. to stop the War on Women.
On to another war the GOP is waging, that being the obvious attack on programs and assistance for the poor people that are in need. House Agriculture Committee Slashes Nutrition For Poor Kids, Keeps Agribusiness Subsidies | ThinkProgress
This is a telling moment in priorities:
The Republican-led House voted to slash domestic and international food aid Thursday while rejecting cuts to farm subsidies. A spending bill to fund the nation’s food and farm programs would cut the Women, Infants and Children program, which offers food aid and educational support for low-income mothers and their children, by $868 million, or 13 percent. An international food assistance program that provides emergency aid and agricultural development would drop by more than $450 million, one-third of the program’s budget. The legislation passed 217-203. […] In addition to making spending cuts, Republicans in the House used the legislation to express dissatisfaction with a number of Obama administration policies, including healthier eating initiatives championed by first lady Michelle Obama as part of her “Let’s Move” campaign.
Commentary outsourced to Alex Tabarrok who notes that “anyone who argues against making school meals healthier because it’s too expensive at the same time as they vote for keeping billions of dollars in farm subsidies is not concerned about expenses. What unites the bill is not ideology but protection of agribusiness.”
Yup, go ahead and cut funding for WIC but keep all those farm subsidies funded…remember the people who get farm subsidies:
According to this Huffington Post link…
The Environmental Working Group has determined that at least 23 representatives and senators or their family members applied for farm subsidy payments between 1995 and 2009.
Seventeen of the named recipients were Republicans and six were Democrats. In total, the GOP took in more than $5.3 million, compared to only $489,856 for Democrats.
The biggest beneficiaries of farm subsidies in the current Congress have been:
· Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tennessee) $3,368,843
· Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Missouri) $469,292
· Rep. Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota) $443,748
· Sen. John Tester (D-Montana) $442,303
· Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa) $330,046
Fincher, a self-described Tea Party patriot, who lists his occupation as “farmer” and “gospel singer” in the Congressional Directory, did not directly say whether he would continue to take subsidies, when asked by ABC News.
Here are some links to the EWG database that is referenced to above:
United States Congressional District Rankings for || EWG Farm Subsidy Database
Okay, and lastly Anthony Weiner was offered a job today from Larry Flynt, perhaps this is the kind of “bounce back” Obama was talking about? Hustler Publisher Offers Weiner a Job – Truthdig
Flynt offered to move Weiner and his family to Beverly Hills, where Flynt Management Group is located, match his previous medical benefits and pay him 20% more than he made in Congress. The particulars of the job offered are unclear, but Flynt praised Weiner for his “intensity and perseverance,” claiming he would be a “valuable asset” to the corporation.
Valuable asset? Would that be Weiner’s package?
I’ll end with this funny video, which makes an excellent point…
Hope this embed works…
Rash of Penis Photos – The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – 06/07/11 – Video Clip | Comedy Central
Kristen Schaal says the male urge to share visual penis information has been the driving force behind centuries of technological innovation.
The best part of the clip is at the end…where Kristen describes the kind of penis a woman would be interested in seeing..be sure to take a look at it.
That is it for me this Friday, what news are you talking about today?
Who are the Real Welfare Queens?*Posted: March 31, 2010 Filed under: U.S. Economy, Voter Ignorance | Tags: Buffalo Commons, Farm Subsidies, Federal Spending, Federal Subsidies, Pioneer Woman, Valentine Nebraska Comments Off on Who are the Real Welfare Queens?*
*Well, one of them is Michelle Bachmann.
Having lived in the middle of the country all of my life in the biggest cities in large states with geographically huge rural areas, I’m more than aware of the urban v. rural dilemma of where you raise taxes and where you spend them. All of these states are also bright red for the most part. Iowa and Minnesota occasionally go blue these days.
One of the biggest disparities always comes with distribution of highway taxes. In Nebraska, as example a huge amount of tax dollars for taxes are raised by Lincoln and Omaha, but the majority of the highway dollars are spent on maintaining and building roads to almost no where. Visiting Cherry County Nebraska is a trip to nowhere. It’s a beautiful part of the state, it’s the state’s biggest county. It’s basically the Nebraska outback and there are more cows and buffalo than people. According to Wiki, Cherry County ‘had a population of 6,148 at the 2000 census“.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 6,010 square miles (15,565 km²). 5,961 square miles (15,438 km²) of it is land and 49 square miles (127 km²) of it (0.82%) is water. It is by far the largest county in land area in Nebraska and larger than the states of Connecticut, Delaware, or Rhode Island.
My friends from other countries–especially from Europe–or friends from the NE do not really understand the idea of starting a drive on the east side of a state and taking all day to get to the other. A drive across states like North or South Dakota, Montana or Wyoming is where you get the real feel of the term the American Outback. Even on the interstate, you see more antelope and cows then you ever see people. You can actually go miles before you get even get a rest stop. It’s that vast.
So, I was born in the town that is home to the Pioneer Woman Museum. That’s the little town of Ponca City, Oklahoma. My great grandmother’s maiden name was Chisholm. Yes, that Chisholm. I come from a long line of Pioneer women. I went to the same University as Willa Cather and I celebrated the centennial of Nebraska in 4th grade by spending some time with our school in a mock up of a pioneer school. We wore bloomers and long dresses and bonnets. We sat our benches and wrote on our own little chalk boards. I have to admit, the first set of books I read all the way through was the Little House on the Prairie series. My father’s side of the family is a wonderful blend of German and Irish immigrants and Native Americans. Yes, My Antonia is one of my favorite books. It’s about the Great Nebraskan Outbook. I remember the uproar when the Poppers presented their “Buffalo Commons” idea. It was a major controversy.
The Buffalo Commons is a conceptual proposal to create a vast nature preserve by returning 139,000 square miles (360,000 km2) of the drier portion of the Great Plains to native prairie, and by reintroducing the buffalo, or American Bison, that once grazed the shortgrass prairie. The proposal would affect ten Western U.S. states (Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas).
Some of the Buffalo Commons idea has evolved naturally. Ted Turner actually owns a lot of the Nebraskan outback and has turned his land into Buffalo Ranches. He’s done this in several Western States including Montana. In the 80s, I worked as a consultant to the State’s Department of Economic Development and as a consultant to many small towns trying to keep the only industry in the county. I consulted with chicken slaughtering plants, plants making parts of bombs, plants making parts for cars, plants making taco chips, and all kinds of things. With that much territory and that few people, it’s hard to get a tax base to support roads, schools, government, parks, libraries, and all the things that folks on the east and west coast take for granted. When you come from pioneer stock or the Native American tribes in the region, you really do relish a sense of self reliance in a very big land. Yet, like many of the myths of the Old West, the New West is a lot more swagger than reality. Native American tribes may do it on their own, but the sons and daughters of pioneers have their own special welfare state going.
However, that sense of rugged independence is belied by the facts. Ah, yes, we’ve finally gotten to the purpose of all my romanticizing of childhood on the edge of nowhere that I really would’ve traded for Manhattan. We subsidize the Prairie Dream hugely. They don’t like to admit it in the list of states proposed as locations for a great huge nature preserve, but they are welfare queens.
Jeff Frankel took a lot of numbers and came up with the graph and results in Red States, Blue States and the Distribution of Federal Spending. I’ve never lived in a state that has paid more in federal taxes than it receives. That’s the big lie in this part of the country. We need the very blue states that most of the folks despise. We’ve talked about this before, but Frankel’s Weblog has the numbers.
The accompanying chart contains 50 data points, one for each state. The data are from 2005, the most recent year available. One axis ranks states by the ratio of income received by that state from the federal government, per dollar of tax revenue paid to the federal government. Personally, I think the “red state / blue state” distinction is overdone. But to capture the widely felt tension between the heartland and the coastal urban centers, I have put on the other axis the ratio of votes for the Republican candidate versus the Democratic candidate in the most recent presidential election.
It will come as a surprise to some, but not to others, that there is a fairly strong statistical relationship, but that the direction is the opposite from what you would think if you were listening to rhetoric from Republican conservatives: The red states (those that vote Republican) generally receive more subsidies from the federal government than they pay in taxes; in other words they are further to the right in the graph. It is the other way around with the blue states (those that vote Democratic).
One reason is that the red states on average have lower population; thus their two Senators give them higher per capita representation in Washington than the blue states get, which translates into more federal handouts. The top ten feeders at the federal trough in 2005 were: New Mexico, Mississippi, Alaska, Louisiana, West Virginia, North Dakota, Alabama, South Dakota, Kentucky and Virginia. (Sarah Palin’s home state of Alaska ranks number one if measured in terms of federal spending per capita. Alabama Senator Shelby evidently gets goodies for his state, ranked 7, by indiscriminately holding up votes on administration appointments.) The top ten milk cows were: New Jersey, Nevada, Connecticut, Minnesota, Illinois, Delaware, California, New York, and Colorado.
Perhaps in determining how the federal government redistributes income across states one should view its role more expansively than is captured in the budget numbers. In the western states there are federal water projects that subsidize water for farmers, artificially low grazing fees for ranchers, and leases for hard rock mining and oil drilling on federal lands that have historically charged artificially low prices. Perhaps the biggest federal redistribution program of all is massive agricultural subsidies. The four congressional districts that receive the most in farm subsidies are all represented by “conservative” Republicans, located in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, and Texas. (Michele Bachmann’s family farm apparently received $250,000 in such farm payments between 1995 and 2006.)
The most commonly ignored area of geographical redistribution is the federal government’s permanent policy of “universal service” in postal delivery, phone service and other utilities (electricity; perhaps now broadband…). Universal service means subsidizing those who choose to live in remote places like Alaska, where the cost of supplying these services is much higher than in the coastal cities. Perhaps they should move…
It’s nice to see that some one is setting the record straight. The transfer of taxpayer wealth is going to places that aren’t the memes of either the tea party, the Republican Party, screamers like Glenn Beck, or fuzzy thinkers like Michelle Bachmann. The true welfare state recipients are the ones that scream the loudest about the welfare state. This hardly fits in with their message of doing it without the help of big government.