Darlene Love in her 2008 Christmas appearance on Letterman:
Off to a couple of stores to do some Christmas shopping. Hope I make it back alive!
Via Think Progress, it’s nice to hear the occasional congress critter who’s still speaking sense. And in this case, Chris Van Hollen couldn’t be more right. The Republicans will throw up any smokescreen they can to obscure the fact that they haven’t done a damn thing about “jobs, jobs, jobs!”:
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) rebuked House Republicans yesterday for suggesting the government require drug tests of individuals seeking unemployment insurance, calling such proposals “insulting” and a “red herring” in the unemployment crisis:
VAN HOLLEN: I think the drug testing thing is a red herring. The reality is that people are not out of work because they have substance abuse problems, people are out of work because there are four people looking for every job that’s available in America.
We’re willing to look at reforms, but the Republican rhetoric has been insulting to a whole lot of working Americans who lost their jobs through no fault of their own… I have to say, this Republican effort to kind of blame people who lost jobs through no fault of their own shows a total insensitivity to the stories that we’re hearing from districts around the country. Frankly I think the American people are hearing that tone and they’re not very appreciative, because they know that everybody, but for the grace of God, could also be in that position.
We have to get rid of every last one of these scumbag Republicans:
Congress reached a deal Thursday to avert a shutdown that would have begun at midnight tonight, and in doing so, Republicans found another low-income program to target, cutting funding for subsidies that help the poor stay warm during the winter by nearly 25 percent. At the same time, however, the Pentagon’s budget is getting a 1 percent boost, as the Associated Press noted:
Highlights of the $1 trillion-plus 2012 spending legislation in Congress:
—$518 billion for the Pentagon’s core budget, a 1 percent boost, excluding military operations overseas. […]
—$3.5 billion for low-income heating and utility subsidies, a cut of about 25 percent.
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has become increasingly vital for American families affected by the recession, and it is utilized more and more by military families. One of every five families using LIHEAP is a military family, a 156 percent increasefrom 2008. Congress, however, decided to cut that program to give a boost to a budget that already makes up 20 percent of the country’s total budget and has been spared in multiple spending agreements this year (the super committee trigger a notable exception).
Plenty of evidence exists that Congress should be focused on investing into programs that boost economic growth and job creation, rather than chasing fiscal austerity toward another recession. If it insists on cutting spending to deal with the deficit now, however, the least it could do is not take the knife to each and every program that helps the poor.