To Be Or Not To Be — Food?

September 23, 2013

134498_600Raining pretty steady this way-too-early Monday, continuing the storms across the northern California coast, but all just part of life’s scenario.

And life’s a gnarled bitch for a lot of folks. Rain falling everywhere — from Kenya, Pakistan, and parts in between, but the real shit is gearing up here in the good, old US of A — next week, a possible government shutdown, all triggered by the cruel, nasty tangled web of ugly from the GOP.

(Illustration found here).

An hypocritical, tasteless bunch. And speaking of taste, which requires some foodstuffs or some morsel of something put in the mouth to create a taste to begin with, but that’s just crazy — or not — but nothing is too far out there for the savagery of the current installment of the Republican party.

Just one example of this thug-approach is food stamps, or SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), which Republicans in the US House gutted nearly $40 billion last Thursday — they had already stripped it from the Farm Bill last July, causing way-humongous GOP asshole Pete Sessions to joyfully proclaim: “What we have carefully done is exclude some extraneous pieces.”
What did you say, shithead?
Dana Milbank at the Washington Post last summer:

Extraneous?
For almost 50 years, food stamps have been part of the annual farm bill, and the $80 billion spent on the program keeps tens of millions of Americans, about half of them children, from going hungry.
“Kids going to bed hungry at night in this nation is extraneous?” asked Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.).

Everything is irrelevant for Republicans, except maybe money. Not eating is just reward — ask Republican Congressman Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, and he will quote the Bible, especially the part of “…let him not eat.”
Cramer thinks if a person is on food stamps, he/she is unwilling to work, and that it’s also acceptable to allow people to die of starvation, in his own state.
Thus, Raw Story points out: Ironically, Cramer’s North Dakota district received $10.4 billion in agricultural subsidies from the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 2005 to 2012 — the single largest recipient of farm subsidies in the nation.
The twerp is not the only asshole in that particular shithouse — a whole list of these back-stabbing, money-grubbing GOPers in the House who cut food stamps, but at the exact same time, receive big/huge farm subsidies for themselves or their districts can be found here.
Just one for instance:

Rep. Marlin Stutzman, a Republican Rep. from Indiana also received his fair share of government subsidies.
He personally took in nearly $200,000 for the farm he co-owns with his father.
According to the New York Times Stutzman said Thursday the bill cutting food stamps by $39 billion over the next ten years “eliminates loopholes, ensures work requirements, and puts us on a fiscally responsible path.”

These people are mean and nasty — and bullshit-major hypocrites to boot.

Paul Krugman in his New York Times column this morning reflects on the food program, and the GOP:

The recent growth of SNAP has indeed been unusual, but then so have the times, in the worst possible way.
The Great Recession of 2007-9 was the worst slump since the Great Depression, and the recovery that followed has been very weak.
Multiple careful economic studies have shown that the economic downturn explains the great bulk of the increase in food stamp use.
And while the economic news has been generally bad, one piece of good news is that food stamps have at least mitigated the hardship, keeping millions of Americans out of poverty.

Still, is SNAP in general a good idea?
Or is it, as Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, puts it, an example of turning the safety net into “a hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency.”
One answer is, some hammock: last year, average food stamp benefits were $4.45 a day.
Also, about those “able-bodied people”: almost two-thirds of SNAP beneficiaries are children, the elderly or the disabled, and most of the rest are adults with children.
Beyond that, however, you might think that ensuring adequate nutrition for children, which is a large part of what SNAP does, actually makes it less, not more likely that those children will be poor and need public assistance when they grow up.
And that’s what the evidence shows.
The economists Hilary Hoynes and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach have studied the impact of the food stamp program in the 1960s and 1970s, when it was gradually rolled out across the country.
They found that children who received early assistance grew up, on average, to be healthier and more productive adults than those who didn’t — and they were also, it turns out, less likely to turn to the safety net for help.
SNAP, in short, is public policy at its best.
It not only helps those in need; it helps them help themselves.
And it has done yeoman work in the economic crisis, mitigating suffering and protecting jobs at a time when all too many policy makers seem determined to do the opposite.
So it tells you something that conservatives have singled out this of all programs for special ire.
Even some conservative pundits worry that the war on food stamps, especially combined with the vote to increase farm subsidies, is bad for the G.O.P., because it makes Republicans look like mean-spirited class warriors.
Indeed it does.
And that’s because they are.

The US is pretty much in peril because of this crazed approach to governing, or not governing. Nowadays, it’s hard to tell a crazy person from a Republican.
Natch: “It’s a terrible situation. No matter how much (Republicans) talk about how it was Obama’s idea … the whole idea was to create such awful consequences that no sane person would accept it. But these aren’t sane people.”

Gird thy loins, and chow down, I say.

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