Neighbor

A man is in court for murder and the judge says, ”You are charged with beating your wife to death with a hammer.”

Then a voice at the back of the court says, ”You bastard.”

The judge continues, ”You are also charged with beating your daughter to death with a hammer.”

Again the voice at the back of the court says, ”You bastard.”

The judge says, ”Now, we cannot have any more of these outbursts from you or I shall charge you with contempt! What is the problem?”

The man at the back of the court says, ”Fifteen years I lived next door to that bastard and everytime I asked to borrow a hammer he said he never had one!”

The Republican War on the Poor

When John Boehner spoke to the press said, “read my lips — we’re going to cut spending,” he didn’t mention the part about implementing those cuts on the backs of the poor and the disenfranchised, the American families who depend on food stamps to feed their children. He did say, however, “so be it” when asked about the prospect of more Americans losing their jobs. A prospect which will undoubtedly lead to more people depending on food stamps.

A hunger-relief group expressed deep concerns with a House GOP bill that would cap spending on food stamps, fearing it would target the least well-off and disproportionately harm children. Of course these are target groups of the Republican agenda. After all, they don’t contribute to campaign funds, nor give jobs to retired Republican members of Congress.

The bill, H.R. 1135, was introduced by Republican Reps. Jim Jordan (OH), Tim Scott (SC), Scott Garrett (NJ), Dan Burton (IN), and Louie Gohmert (TX). The aim of the bill, in part, is “to provide an overall spending limit on means-tested welfare programs.

44 million people participate in the food stamp program each month. The figure increased 62 percent between 2007 and 2009.

Doesn’t the fact that food stamps are already means-tested indicate that there is virtually no waste in the program and that all 44 million people on the program need it to survive?

As reported, 22 million of the 44 million people depending on food stamps are children. And according to the Associated Press, 90 percent of black children, and 30 percent of Hispanic children will be on food stamps at some point in their lifetime. Neither group is noted for voting Republican, and therefore are apparently expendable to the GOP.

A report issued by Moody’s in 2008 found that food stamps are the most economically stimulative federal program during times of high unemployment. Don’t we want to be stimulating the economy right now? Apparently not, if you’re a Republican or if you plan to vote for Republicans.

If they get their way, there may be a day in the future when the Christian Children’s Fund spokesperson, you know, the guy who resembles Santa Claus, begins touring American cities asking for your help to feed a hungry child right here in America instead of some third world country. There’ll be much to be proud of as an American when that day comes.

Teabaggers are Waning

A year ago it seemed easy for the teabaggers to draw a crowd of upset people, even though they usually inflated the size of those crowds, especially on Fox News. But the movement, if it can be called that since it was a top-down effort funded by rich right-wingers like the Koch brothers, doesn’t seem to have the drawing power it once had. Consider the recent teabagger convention held in Florida.

It was called the Save America Convention and it was held in Tampa this last weekend. The convention was tailored to appeal to teabaggers, featuring some 25 speakers, such as Congressman Ron Paul, former Congressmen Newt Gingrich and Tom Tancredo, and Fox News pundit Andrew Napolitano). It also had 13 musicians and performers who appeared for the entertainment of the crowd.

There was a major problem, however. There was no real crowd. About 300 people showed up in a hall rented to hold many times that number (see photo). They were obviously counting on a much bigger crowd than what they were able to draw. Maybe even more telling is the fact that out of the 300 attendees, only 137 bothered to vote in the Presidential preference straw poll, which was won by former Godfather’s Pizza head, Herman Cain. Has the teabagger “movement” run its course? Is it now fading into history to take its place beside the Luddites and the Know-Nothings, two other notable movements based in ignorance of pertinent facts and sensible policies?

We should all hope so. They have been more annoying than they have been truly powerful, and more about affectation than about real or necessary change.