Conservative Republicans have turned the farm bill — normally a bipartisan grotesquerie of agribusiness subsidies and excess — from legislation to identity politics. They wanted to make a statement, even though they knew it couldn’t survive the Senate or the White House veto. They passed it anyway — without one Democratic vote — to proclaim this is who we are.
Who are they? They just passed a farm bill that included about $195 billion in subsidies to “farmers” (read: agribusiness) over 10 years, while eliminating food stamps and nutrition programs from the bill as “extraneous.”
Forty-seven million Americans receive food stamps. Nearly half are children under 18; nearly 10 percent are impoverished seniors. Food stamps are often the difference between hunger and survival. Republicans famously seem intent on being a party of white sanctuary, writing off all people of color, yet more whites receive food stamps (over one-third of all recipients) than blacks or Hispanics.
This is how they choose to be identified. They will bring the government to a halt to defend against any tax hikes on millionaires, or to fend off the closing of corporate tax shelters. They will vote in lockstep to take the sequester cuts entirely out of domestic programs — education, clean water, pre-school — in order to protect a Pentagon budget that remains the biggest source of waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government.
And they will lavish subsidies on agribusiness while throwing children and seniors off the bus. Having stripped food stamps out of the farm bill entirely, they did not even have the common decency to pass any kind of food stamp provision separately. They haven’t gotten around to getting a “consensus” on that.
This wasn’t intended as legislation. It was intended as a declaration of identity. This is who they are. Think about that.
Re: Republicans Nix Food Stamps: This Is Who They Are
Re: Big Lie: America Doesn’t Have #1 Richest Middle-Class in the World… We’re Ranked 27th!
“America is the richest country on Earth. We have the most millionaires, the most billionaires and our wealthiest citizens have garnered more of the planet’s riches than any other group in the world. We even have hedge fund managers who make in one hour as much as the average family makes in 21 years!
This opulence is supposed to trickle down to the rest of us, improving the lives of everyday Americans. At least that’s what free-market cheerleaders repeatedly promise us.
Unfortunately, it’s a lie, one of the biggest ever perpetrated on the American people.
Our middle class is falling further and further behind in comparison to the rest of the world. We keep hearing that America is number one. Well, when it comes to middle-class wealth, we’re number 27.”
Re: Elizabeth Warren Opposing Obama Trade Nominee Michael Froman
WASHINGTON — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said Wednesday that she will vote against President Obama’s top international trade nominee Michael Froman, over his refusal to make negotiations over a major trade agreement more transparent to the public.
“I am voting against Mr. Froman’s nomination later today because I believe we need a new direction from the Trade Representative — A direction that prioritizes transparency and public debate,” Warren said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “The American people have the right to know more about the negotiations that will have dramatic impact on the future of the American economy. And that will have a dramatic impact on our working men and women, on the environment, on the Internet.”
Warren has been pressing the Obama administration to release more information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade agreement with 10 other nations that has been in the works for about three years. Members of Congress have been given only limited access to negotiation documents, which the administration has labeled classified, barring them from discussing the specific terms of the deal with outside experts or their constituents.
The only public information on the agreements has come from leaks. Consumer advocates, public health experts and environmentalists have decried a Trans-Pacific document leaked in the summer of 2012 that would allow corporations to directly challenge government laws and regulations in international courts. Similar language was included in the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement, and has been used by major corporations to challenge Canadian regulations against fracking, pesticides and offshore oil drilling.