Tag Archives: Darrell Issa

The 50 Year War on Poverty: Where Are We Today?

16 Jan

LBJContinuing with my desire for an increased awareness around issues of poverty and class — which automatically addresses issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, and the many other intersections of identities — I thought it might be helpful to do some reflection since President Johnson initiated his War on Poverty 50 years ago.

As we reflect on issues of poverty and class (and all of the implications therein), it might be helpful to keep in mind that today over half of the members of the United States Congress are millionaires. Yes, leading the pack is our Republican Darrell (I Hate the Poor) Issa, with a net worth of approximately $464 million dollars. Of course, Republican Obstructionist Mitch McConnell also made the list of millionaires.  When those crafting policy are so far removed from the practical concerns of everyday people, it’s no wonder that they make so little effort to improve the lives of those people.

For years, polls have shown that the top priority for Americans is job creation. Congress has done virtually nothing. Instead, congressional Republicans have wasted money fighting the Affordable Care Act, a law that ensures that the poorest still have access to necessary health services. Trying to score Tea Points, they shut down the government, again disproportionately harming the poorest, both government employees and service users.

In a nation where the highest court has decided that corporations are people, it comes as no surprise that those conglomerate entities wield their power to collect more wealth. The result is an increasingly skewed distribution not just of wealth but of security. People who are scrambling for a basic living have precious little time to fight for their rights. That makes the recent fast food and Wal-Mart strikes even more impressive.

War on Poverty? It seems like poverty is winning, abetted by the authorities who should be bearing arms against it. How sad this makes me for the late President Johnson, who tried so hard to address issues of poverty by creating social programs that would help lift people out of poverty without judgement and shame.

Here we are now 50 years post Johnson’s initiatives according to the Pew Research Center:

Today, most poor Americans are in their prime working years In 2012, 57% of poor Americans were ages 18 to 64, versus 41.7% in 1959.

Far fewer elderly are poor: In 1966, 28.5% of Americans ages 65 and over were poor; by 2012 just 9.1% were. There were 1.2 million fewer elderly poor in 2012 than in 1966, despite the doubling of the total elderly population.

But childhood poverty persists: Poverty among children younger than 18 began dropping even before the War on Poverty. From 27.3% in 1959, childhood poverty fell to 23% in 1964 and to 14% by 1969. Since then, however, the childhood poverty rate has risen, fallen and, since the 2007-08 financial crisis, risen again.

Poverty is more evenly distributed, though still heaviest in the South: In 1969, 45.9% of poor Americans lived in the South, a region that accounted for 31% of the U.S. population at the time. At 17.9%, the South’s poverty rate was far above other regions. In 2012, the South was home to 37.3% of all Americans and 41.1% of the nation’s poor people; though the South’s poverty rate, 16.5%, was the highest among the four Census-designated regions, it was only 3.2 percentage points above the lowest (the Midwest).

Sadly, today we see our own version of the Hunger Games being played out.  The people with the most power have the most money and continue to strip benefits from those that need it the most.  Perhaps obliviousness is their greatest privilege.

The Elephant Who Cried “Scandal!”

21 May
That's supposed to be MY White House!

That’s supposed to be MY White House!

Poor President Obama. If you looked at the headlines or the Congressional calendar last week, it was his worst week ever, as his administration was bogged down in scandal after scandal. Or was it?

First, there was the ongoing attempt to politicize the attacks on the US Consulate in Benghazi. (Dick Cheney Wannabe) Rep. Darrell Issa (R – Nastyville) held more pointless hearings to get exactly the same information. There was some understandable confusion right after the attacks. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice repeated some partially incorrect CIA talking points to the media. The White House and State Department have been very forthcoming with all the information Congress demands. There are some real security lessons to learn, but the GOP would rather try to smear the very popular Hillary Clinton and attack the President. ABC’s Jon Karl screamed scandal as he revealed “new” White House emails. The only problem? They were old, incomplete emails — provided to Karl by Republicans.

Next, the mess at the IRS. A branch office (in Cincinnati) used the term “Tea Party” to analyze tax exempt applications for “social welfare” agencies. “Political targeting!” cried the GOP. Well, maybe. But since the dreadful Citizens United decision, the number of organizations trying to get such status has gone from under 700 to over 2400 a year. Republicans have slashed the IRS budget and refused to craft legislation that would give the agency guidelines for implementing Citizens United. One office made a poor decision, but NO APPLICANT WAS REFUSED THE STATUS — except for one liberal organization. It must be a scandal, though! (Curiously, although the record clearly shows that the White House learned about the problem about a month ago, long after the practice was stopped and an internal investigation launched, at least one person DID know about it way back in July — Rep. Darrell Issa.)

Finally, the Justice Department demanded hundreds of phone records from the AP. This is actually disappointing, fitting into the pattern of domestic spying and privacy infringements that have been part of the Holder DoJ for years. From drones to wiretaps, it’s a blemish on Obama’s potential legacy. Oh, but so far his administration, however foolishly, IS FOLLOWING THE LAW. A law shoved down Congress by a Republican president (Remember good old W?  If you want someone to blame for this law, then blame W, trampling rights as he lied his way into Iraq.). Oh, and the GOP actually likes spying on the press, so never mind, no real pressure here.

Bad news for the GOP: all their screaming and hearings aren’t getting much traction. Sure, the Sunday talk shows (aka the McCain hour–always a pleasure trip into insanity) and the newspaper headlines are parroting their points in the name of “objectivity.” The real impact though? Not so much.

A new Gallup shows the President’s favorables at 53-45, up 11 points from March. GOP ratings for the same period? Down 13, to the lowest since 1992. Maybe Republicans in Congress should focus on creating jobs and actually passing some bills for a change. Clearly, their obstructionist ways along with their “Get off my lawn” ranting is not working.

The Bullies in America’s Backyard

10 Apr

The Bullies in our Backyard

Since the GOP took control of the House in November, we have seen first-hand what a group of bullies looks like, be it the fake-and-bake tan of John Boehner, the frog-like “patriotic” face of Newt Gingrich, or the used car salesman face of Darrell Issa.

That Bully (GOP) Attack Plan:  First, the Republicans demand that the Bush tax cut be extended to wealthier Americans for two more years, at a cost of more than $60 billion. (I wonder who will help pay for these tax cuts?)

Second: Blackmail seems to work well for these folks: “Either slash close to 40 billion dollars from the budget or we will shut the Federal Government down.”  The close to 40 billion means CRUSHING social services to those that most need it, crushing Planned Parenthood and attacking women’s health (thus causing an increase on the over-burdened healthcare system), attempting to eliminate NPR (keep them stupid and keep them voting Republican).

Third: Listen to Paul Ryan and screw senior citizens by crushing Medicare and Food Stamps to give even more big tax cuts to the rich.

Fourth: Get rid of the bi-partisan health care plan passed before the midterm elections. Who cares about those that don’t have health insurance.  If they were not born wealthy then there must be something wrong with them.

Fifth: Let’s spend taxpayer money in this time of a budget crisis to defend discrimination and make sure those homos can’t have marriage equality–we all know marriage equality would make Republicans appear in droves to divorce court, that is the power we have as homos, bwhahahahaha!

Of course the list goes on and on and yet I see no new jobs, nor do I see anything that helps or protects the American people. Click here to see an article that talks about how the GOP is holding the nation hostage.

I Will Not Be Bothered With Facts or the Truth!

17 Feb

Racist America

I am growing exceedingly weary of the very insane population of Americans that are still going on and on about President Obama’s citizenship and religion, not the least of which smacks of blatant racism.  When I read that ‎51% of voters who say they are likely to cast ballots in a Republican primary next year believe President Obama was not born in the U.S., I was floored. Really? Really, there are that many STUPID people? This makes me want to cry. Are all of these people being educated by Michele Bachmann?  There are two articles I would like to point people to: The first is by Lex about Science and the second is by my husband about language. Of course, Speaker of the House John Boehner waste no time in trying to take control of women’s bodies, and says he is “after the truth for the American People,” but clearly encourages the LIES about our president. I am incensed that tax payer money is going to the likes of Boehner, Issa, and his cronies to LIE to the American public. Click here to see the full article. I grow quite tired of the GOP’s tactic of “If I say it over and over again, it must be true.” I also grow tired of the increasing racism in the United States.  Click here to see this horribly racist cartoon of Michelle Obama and President Obama. I am further disgusted with the House of Representatives for getting paid by tax dollars to waste our money by perpetuating lies about whether or not President Obama is a citizen and or Muslim. Not only does it waste our funds, but actively participates and encourages a racist culture. These same folks also enjoy Health Care Benefits–the same benefits they want to deny other Americans.  I will sign off of this article by saying: The Personal is Political–Words and Facts Have Meaning.

President Obama: Support for the LGBT Community

28 Jan

President Obama just nominated J. Paul Oetken, to be a federal judge.  Oetken would be the first openly gay Justice to serve on the federal bench.  Oetken served as a White House attorney and Justice Department attorney under President Clinton.  I’m just thrilled to see that within the darkness that is John Boehner and Darrell Issa, we see some light coming from our President, in his support of the LGBT community and demanding we be treated equally. Click here to see the full article. Can full equality be far behind?  I look forward to full equality in my lifetime.

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