Scum and Villainy in Congress

 

It was merely one week ago when Jimmy Kimmel used his opening monologue to tearfully share the story of his newborn’s heart defect and make a plea to all to support health care. In the days following, we say think pieces and musings about how Kimmel’s passionate plea would affect the outcome of the renewed ACA Repeal (and Replace but not really, who are they kidding?) bill.

We got that answer of course when the House voted to kill people. I’m positive that sounds overly dramatic to some people but it’s really not. Just yesterday someone on Twitter explained to me that no one is going to die from ACA repeal because it’s illegal for an ER to refuse anyone treatment. They do chemotherapy in emergency rooms now?
“Everyone will have access to healthcare” does not equal “Everyone will be able to get healthcare they can afford.”

In the day and even hours leading up to the repeal vote, every resistance organizer’s newsletter was urging everyone to pick up their phone and call their congressional rep. At this point, some of us are burnt out with phone calling when we know it isn’t going to do any good for our particular representative. You can tell when it’s doing good to call and when it’s not.

I mean, when your rep is someone like Tom Reed? Save your breath. His staff is wonderful and courteous, for what it’s worth. Reed himself is one of those congresspersons who held town halls with enormous turnout where his constituents told him very clearly not to vote “yes” to repeal ACA. There certainly wasn’t anyone at those town halls begging him to vote yes. You would literally hear conversations where Reed would say, “ACA is terrible and doesn’t work for many people” and have several people reply, “ACA saved my life” and Reed would be like, “I respect that we have a difference of opinion.” It became crystal clear to me that he was not listening and would not be acting on our behalf. The last correspondence I had with Rep Tom Reed was to tell him it would be my personal mission to make sure he doesn’t get reelected. I already started with my Mom. This was easy. All I had to do was tell her he was a Yankees fan. He will not get her vote for sure now.

Then this past weekend, after voting to repeal ACA, Tom Reed bravely held more town halls to try to defend his vote. People weren’t happy. He lied to a 14 year old diabetic boy about preexisting conditions. He also lied to a kidney donor.
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Those links are all videos so you can see this awful man in action.

So, if you didn’t call your Congressperson because that’s the same nonsense you have in your district, I get it.  You’ll get no reprimand from me. Moving forward, we’ll see what the Senate comes up with and resist accordingly.  Maybe they’ll be more persuaded by Kimmel’s plea and only put forth something that passes The Kimmel Test.

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The War on Poverty…the war on the hungry (and other recent news bits)

Poverty in the news .

One Wisconsin food stamp bill signed while a second remains stalled – That junk food bill Scott Walker introduced is flawed and therefore, faltering. with the new proposal that prohibits more than 15% of groceries brought with EBT from being spent on “unhealthy” food, there are far too many limitations on what can be purchased. The foods that qualify as healthy are only the foods that can be purchased with WIC, which is a limited list.

Georgia food stamp rolls grow

Over 15% of America was on Food Stamps in April 2013

Meanwhile…
Paul Ryan organized The War on Poverty: A Progress Report , in which he  stated that we are losing the war on poverty and need to know why…then called witnesses for the Republicans who made it obvious that they don’t know the first thing about poverty and probably shouldn’t be talking in the first place. University of Maryland professor Doug Besharov, director of the American Enterprise Institute’s Social and Individual Responsibility Project was there to talk about the incentives to get people out of poverty ….but he doesn’t even know what the minimum wage is in the country. The only Democratic witness was a nun, Sister Simone, who defended The Safety Net (welfare programs) and was asked questions about the morality of feeding people.

As David R Henson writes in The Shameful Neighbor: Food Stamps, Stereotypes and the War on the Hungry     “There is no war on poverty in this country. There is no war on hunger.Instead, there is a war on the poor and a war on the hungry.”

-In another article I read this week about poverty being at “shocking” levels, a Professor seemed to think that as the race ratio of poverty balances and more white folks become impoverished, the issue will receive mainstream attention and see solutions manifest. As Hensen points out, the poor are vilified as being lazy, good for nothing , failures and burdens on society that are shamed and ridiculed. I see this happen with poor people, period. The race balance isn’t going to change that.

NYC Mayoral Candidates Talk Food Stamps and School Lunches   I think if I was a New Yorker, I’d pay attention to this in the interest of not ending up with another Bloomberg.

Wal-Mart costs taxpayers about $900,000/year due to low wages – I don’t know if it’s practice anymore but at one point, Wal Mart would routinely urge employees to apply for medicaid and food stamps.

This is fairly true for every fast food and big box corporation. Detroit’s Moo Cluck Moo and Trader Joe’s  are great examples of the exception that should be looked at and emulated,
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