Thursday, September 5, 2013

Last Call For SNAP In Kentucky

Meanwhile, we do realize that Kentucky Republicans are screaming for cuts in SNAP benefits when Kentucky is one of the poorest states in the nation when it comes to food security, right?

One in six Kentucky households report having serious problems affording nutritious food, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The report released on Wednesday also reveals basic hunger needs in the statehave increased over the past decade even as lawmakers in Washington are proposing to dump millions of food stamp recipients.

Of the approximately 285,000 Kentucky households experiencing food insecurity, about 113,000 had at least one or more members living in the home forced to reduce their food intake. The agriculture department's report shows 15.6 percent lack adequate food choices, a five percent increase since 2003.

Many argue government help such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program combat those hunger issues. But food stamps face a possible $40 billion worth of cuts in Congress, which could eliminate benefits for up to 6 million Americans.

Jason Bailey is director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy. He says the cuts are coming at a time when many families are still struggling economically.

"It’s not like they’re also proposing to create 4 to 6 million jobs that these folks can get to provide enough income for them to pay for their food needs. It’s an incredibly cruel and counter-productive proposal at a time when unemployment is still high," he says.

Of course, Kentucky Republicans don't seem too interested in creating jobs.  In fact, government employee Sen. Rand Paul will tell you that neither jobs nor food are in the government interest to worry about.   In fact, plenty of red states are moving to do things like kick people off food stamps by reinstating work requirements during high unemployment.  They know people can't get jobs to feed their families, but screw them, take their food stamps because they're probably those people anyway and hell, they don't vote Republican, right?

To make a few omelets, you have to starve a few million Americans, right?

Bill Clinton Finally Makes The Case For Obamacare

With just weeks to go before exchanges open for enrollment on October 1, former President Bill Clinton joined the White House push as "Explainer-In-Chief" this week to help make President Obama's case to the American people to enroll in Obamacare.

"We've got to do this," Clinton said in a speech to several hundred health care professionals and doctors in Little Rock, Ark. "The studies show that we are No. 1 by a country mile in the percentage of our income that we devote to health care costs, and rank no better than 25th to 33rd in the health care outcomes we get. This is the country that pioneered innovation in every other area of our national life; you cannot make me believe that we have to tolerate this from now until the end of eternity."

At a crucial juncture a few weeks before the Oct. 1 opening of the law's health insurance marketplaces across the country, Clinton scolded Republicans who have voted to repeal the law more than 40 times, arguing that they have not offered "real alternatives."

"The benefits of reform can't be fully realized, and the problems certainly can't be solved unless both the supporters and the opponents of the original legislation work together to implement it and address the issues that arise whenever you change a system this complex," he said during Wednesday's address at the Clinton Presidential Library.

He made a good case, although such a full-throated defense of Obamacare should have been made in 2010 and 2011, Bill.  Joining the fight this late in the game is better than nothing, I suppose, but with the problem being communication and a confused public, we could have used you years ago.

The administration has a difficult task ahead in selling the public on the new law given its unpopularity and confusion about its effect. In a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, four in 10 people believed the law had been repealed or overturned - or were unsure about whether it remained in place. About 50 percent of those who responded said they didn't know how it would affect their families.

Considering the amount of lies the GOP has spread about Obamacare and the tens of millions spent on those lies by conservative groups, I'm not surprised at all.  That was the Republican plan all along: to kill Obamacare enrollment through confusion and indifference.

Glad you can lend a hand, Bill.  After four years of sitting on your ass, finally jumping in with a month to go is a great way to show your support for President Obama, right?

Read more here:

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Orange Julius Squeezed Out?

We've heard stories about John Boehner stepping down as House Speaker before, so I'll believe it when I see it.  Like it or not, he's too interested in self preservation to go without a fight.  The difference is this time, Boehner's former aides and compatriots are saying he no longer thinks the fight may be worth it.

All summer, rumors have been swirling around the Hill and K Street that the speaker has had enough and that 2014 would be his last year with the gavel. Then the message went out in July: Boehner (R-Ohio) is not leaving.

Boehner told his inner circle at dinner that there was no truth to the talk, and authorized his people to spread the word around town. A story appeared in Politico the next day, reaffirming Boehner's stated commitment to stay past 2014.

"These inside-the-Beltway parlor games take place every two years. The speaker has made clear publicly he intends to remain in his position in the next Congress," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told HuffPost.

But not everyone close to the 63-year-old speaker is so sure. "He has to say that. He can't not say that. The minute you say [you're leaving], you're done," said one former GOP leadership aide who is part of Boehner's circle. "Everybody around him thinks this is his last term."

Despite the effort by Boehner to tamp down speculation that he will depart the House after the 2014 midterms, multiple cooks in Boehner's kitchen cabinet think the Republican is still strongly considering making his exit just over a year from now.

"I'd be surprised if he did [stay]," said one former senior aide to Boehner, who, like many consulted for this article, spoke on condition of anonymity to protect their relationships. (HuffPost spoke to four top former Boehner aides, two current aides, five former leadership aides close to Boehner's inner circle, and a GOP operative on familiar terms with his circle.)

Again, Boehner may be forced out more than anything.  Yes, he helped get the House back for the GOP in 2010, but it's been disastrous for them since.  2012 was not a good year for them.  It it wasn't for the state gerrymandering, the GOP would have been in as much trouble as they were in 2006 and 2008.

Besides, it's gotten to the point where neither faction of the GOP can stand the guy anymore.  The McCain wing ignores him, and the Tea Party wing openly hates the guy.  But who would step in, Cantor?  He's blown it too.

Who would want the job, anyway?


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