Tag Archives: Texas

10 things you need to know today: April 3, 2014

A soldier watches over media before a press conference about a shooting at Fort Hood Military Base in Texas.

A soldier watches over media before a press conference about a shooting at Fort Hood Military Base in Texas. (Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)


The Week

Another tragic shooting devastates Fort Hood, the U.S. secretly tried to build a “Cuban Twitter,” and more

1. Four dead and 16 injured in Fort Hood shooting
Four people, including the gunman, died in a shooting rampage at Ft. Hood Army base in Texas on Wednesday. Sixteen people — three of whom remain in critical condition — were also injured. Army officials say the shooting spree lasted 20 minutes before Specialist Ivan Lopez turned his privately owned weapon, a .45 caliber Smith and Wesson, on himself. An Iraq war veteran, Lopez was undergoing diagnosis for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at the time of the shooting. [CNN]


2. Egypt vows to pass anti-terrorism laws after bombings
Just a few hours after three explosions killed two people in Cairo, government officials in Egypt said the country would pass legislation aimed at confronting terrorism. The announcement was made by a high-level security committee that included the prime minister. Details on the new law were scant, but Egyptian cabinet members will have a chance to weigh in on the bill. [Reuters]


3. AP: U.S. built ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir political unrest
The United States government built a Twitter-like service in Cuba to stir political unrest and help uncap the country’s strict control of information, according to the Associated Press. The text messaging service, called ZunZuneo, started in 2010 and amassed a following of 40,000 Cubans, who had no idea it was “created by the U.S. government, or that American contractors were gathering their private data in the hope that it might be used for political purposes.” The Americans behind ZunZeneo hoped to inject political messages that would produce protests and create a “Cuban Spring.” ZunZuneo suddenly disappeared in mid-2012 when funding ran out. [Associated Press]


4. Ebola virus spreads in Guinea
An unprecedented Ebola epidemic continues to cause widespread panic in the West African country of Guinea, where foreign mining companies have shut down operations and pulled out international staff. More than 80 people have died and 134 have been infected by the hemorrhagic fever so far. Health officials say the lethal infectious disease has reached Guinea’s densely populated capital, Conakry, where more than two million people live. [Reuters]


5. Court denies Sandusky sex abuse appeal
Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach convicted of sexually abusing at least 10 boys, lost his appeal to have his 45-count conviction overturned. The Pennsylvania State Supreme Court rejected Sandusky’s claims that his lawyers weren’t given enough time to prepare, and that prosecutors improperly referenced his decision not to testify at his 2012 trial. The 70-year-old is serving a sentence of at least 30 years. [TIME]


6. Los Alamos restarts nuclear-waste shipments
With the peak of wildfire season nearly upon us, Los Alamos National Laboratory has started shipping nuclear waste to a commercial dump site in west Texas. The waste shipments had stopped in February after a truck fire and radiation leak shut down the federal government’s storage facility in southeastern New Mexico. [Fox News]


7. Mississippi passes ‘religious freedom bill’
Lawmakers in Mississippi passed a bill that would allow its citizens to dispute laws that they say are in direct conflict with their religious beliefs. Proponents argue that the bill is narrow in focus and won’t result in any discrimination, but detractors say the measure would make it easier to undermine anti-discrimination statutes. The bill would also add “In God we trust” to the state seal. [Los Angeles Times]


8. Putins finalize divorce after 30 years of marriage
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife, Lyudmila, are officially divorced. The pair was married for 30 years before deciding to call it quits last June. The Putins, who have two adult daughters, say the split is a mutual decision. [USA Today]


9. Washington state mudslide death toll climbs
Recovery workers scouring the wreckage left in the wake of the Washington state mudslide have been able to expand their search area now that the floodwaters have receded. The crews have uncovered more remains, bringing the official death toll up to 29. Twenty people are still missing. [The Guardian]


10. Amazon wades into the television market
After years of dominating the online retail space, Amazon has now set its sights on a new goal: cornering the television market. The internet behemoth announced that it will be selling a device called Amazon Fire TV, which will allow users to watch Amazon’s video library on their TVs. The move puts the company in direct competition with Roku, Google, and Apple. [New York Times]


Filed under 10 things you need to know today

Ted Cruz ‘taking steps’ to renounce Canadian citizenship

Ted Cruz speaks to reporters (MSNBC)

This won’t help him win the necessary Republican primaries during the 2016 election season…

The Raw Story

Senator Ted Cruz has said that he is taking steps to renounce his mysterious Canadian citizenship – in a move he insists does not in any way indicate a run for the White House in 2016.

The junior senator from Texas, who made a name for himself as a driving force behind efforts to bring down the Affordable Care Act by way of a government shutdown, was surprised to learn earlier this year – after some digging by one of his home state newspapers – that he reportedly enjoys dual citizenship.

In an interview with the same organ, the Dallas Morning News, published on Sunday, Cruz announced he was hiring lawyers to help extricate him from his apparently unhelpful surplus nationality.

Cruz was born in the oil-rich region around Calgary, Alberta, to an American mother and a Cuban father. His mother’s nationality automatically made him an American citizen, regardless of the location of his birth or the citizenship of his father, who later became a naturalised American citizen. But his arrival into the world on Canadian soil also would have endowed him automatically with the nationality of that country, in accordance with Canadian law.

Cruz, 43, has always presented himself as purely American and was unaware of possibly holding dual citizenship until the Dallas Morning News presented the notion to him last August – a concept Cruz does not dispute “at this point”.

“I have retained counsel that is preparing the paperwork to renounce the citizenship,” he told the newspaper on Sunday.

According to the newspaper, Cruz and his parents were startled when it was revealed that he was a citizen of both countries. Cruz said he had been led to believe by his mother that it would have taken an affirmative act of claiming his Canadian citizenship, which the family had never done, to make it so.

Regardless of how many passports Cruz is entitled to hold, the simple fact that he qualifies as a “natural born American” because of his mother’s nationality is enough to equip him legally to become president of the United States. Cruz previously released his birth certificate to the Dallas Morning News, in an effort to hush speculation that he was not a genuine American and therefore would be ineligible to be president.

The rightwing “birther” movement still disputes that President Barack Obama is a natural-born American, despite the public presentation of his full birth certificate from his native state of Hawaii.

In the interview published on Sunday, Cruz shrugged off any suggestions that his move was the beginnings of a run for the White House in 2016. “My political perspective is focused on representing the state of Texas,” he said.

The topic of the senator’s nationality – and possibly his lofty political ambitions – reportedly came up last month, when he met with the larger-than-life real estate mogul Donald Trump, one of the most vocal skeptics regarding Obama’s nationality. Cruz admitted that his Canadian-ness was discussed, “though not in any significant respect”.

Cruz has begun making appearances in states that hold the early primaries and caucuses in the selection process for presidential candidates, as well as making moves to raise money for what could be a high-profile campaign.

Following his interview he released a further statement. “The Dallas Morning News says that I may technically have dual citizenship,” it said. “Assuming that is true I will renounce any Canadian citizenship. Nothing against Canada, but I’m an American by birth and as a US senator I believe I should be only an American.”

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2013


Filed under 2016 Race, Ted Cruz

Politicians’ 11 dumbest tweets of 2013

Sen. John McCain holds up his phone to prove he’s not playing poker during a meeting. Hopefully he wasn’t tweeting either. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Week

Twitter is one of the few places where the public can get an unadulterated dose of a politician’s true personality. That’s not always a good thing.

In a political world where elected officials’ every statement seems scripted and predictable, it’s almost inexplicable that PR staff and political consultants allow their bosses to run around with cell phones that can immediately blast their innermost musings to the world via social media. But they do. And we’re oh so glad.

These days, Twitter is one of the few places where the public can get an unadulterated dose of a politician’s true personality. And they consistently deliver — often with tweets that stand as towering monuments to their own poor judgment.

Herewith, we present, Politicians’ Dumbest Tweets of 2013.

(Disclaimer: The reservoir of stupid political musings on Twitter by elected officials is broad and deep, so by necessity, this list has been limited to pols doing business in Washington, D.C.)

1. Rep. Raul R. Labrador (R-Idaho)

Moments after a worldwide television audience watched the two stars of the CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls tear off their waitress uniforms and gyrate on a stripper pole during a Superbowl ad, Rep. Raul Labrador’s Twitter followers were treated to this observation:

“Me likey Broke Girls.”

In Labrador’s defense, it was later reported that the tweet was mistakenly posted by an aide who thought he was posting it to his personal account. Still, if you’re handing over your Twitter account to someone who watches 2 Broke Girls, that’s a bad sign in the first place.

2. Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa)

When the Ohio State Buckeyes bounced the Iowa State Cyclones from the NCAA basketball tournament last March, Rep. Bruce Braley quickly jumped onto his Twitter account to vent his frustration. A bit too quickly, as it turns out.
“It’s official. Ohio State is the luckiest team in the tournament. #TrailOfTears”

The actual Trail of Tears, of course, refers to the forced relocation of tens of thousands of American Indians from their homeland — a shameful episode in American history that left thousands of innocents dead of exposure. Braley would later delete the tweet and say in an apology that he was referring to the “tears of Cyclone fans.”

3. Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas)

So, what’s the best thing about planet Earth? The best the firebrand conservative from Texas could come up with when considering the blessing of the planet last March was this:

“The best thing about the earth is if you poke holes in it oil and gas come out.”

To be honest, Stockman’s Twitter feed is a veritable goldmine of unfiltered musings about whatever happens to be crossing his mind at the moment. This one isn’t too hard to explain, given that his official House website brags that Stockman’s district “contains the highest number per capita of oil and gas refineries and downstream petrochemical plants in the world.”

4. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.)

Abraham Lincoln was born on April 12, 1809. And April 12 of this year, Rep. Clarke must have been racking her brain for something to tweet about. Well, how about something simple and factual about one of our nation’s most beloved former presidents? Can’t go wrong there, right?

Abraham #Lincoln was the 14th President of the United States.”

Okay, Rep. Clarke. First of all, nobody is interested in reading the answers to your fourth grader’s history test in their Twitter feed. Add a little value, okay? Second, if you are going to post simple statements of historical fact to Twitter — get the facts right. Lincoln was the 16th president.

5. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)

This fall, Secretary of State John Kerry, following a set of marathon meetings that pulled in major figures from some of the most powerful nations on the planet, announced that a preliminary deal had been reached to rein in Iran’s enrichment of uranium. Cornyn, who had frequently spoken out about the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran, had this to say in a November 23 tweet:

“Amazing what the WH will do to distract attention from O-care.”

Okay, we’ve long ago given up on the idea that politics stops at the water’s edge. But really? Do we need U.S. senators implying that some of our closest allies were hoodwinked into a major deal with Iran in order to provide cover for a botched health care rollout?

6. Valerie Jarrett (D)

Technically, White House advisor Valerie Jarrett was right when she posted the following in October:

“FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans. No change is required unless insurance companies change existing plans.”

But here’s a hint: If defending the accuracy of your statements requires a sentence that begins with the word “Technically,” you’re already in trouble. Jarrett neglected to mention that ObamaCare effectively made many existing health care plans illegal, which meant the insurers didn’t have much choice about changing plans. In the middle of a fight over whether the president had been honest with Americans when he told them “if you like your health plan, you can keep it,” disingenuous tweeting probably isn’t helpful.

7. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

The man who thought it would be great if Sarah Palin were one heartbeat away from the presidency should probably have had his cell phone taken away years ago. But McCain apparently still has his, and on February 4, when he heard that Iran’s then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad jokingly said he wanted to be the first Iranian in space, the senator got busy tweeting.

“So Ahmadinejad wants to be the first Iranian in space – wasn’t he just there last week?”

Seems pretty harmless, if a bit random, until you see that McCain linked the tweet to a news article headlined “Iran Launches Monkey into Space.” Did we mention that McCain is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee?

8. Republican National Committee

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks took a seat on a bus, and then refused to give it up when another woman told her to. Parks was black and the woman who wanted the seat was white, and the rest of the story is civil rights history. This year, the Republican National Committee honored the anniversary of Parks’ refusal on its Twitter feed with a picture of Parks and a quoted her saying, “You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.” The RNC added:

Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stand and her role in ending racism.”

The news that racism had ended came as a shock to the Twitter community. But rather than responding with joy and celebration, the Twitterverse heaped ridicule on the RNC in thousands of posts to the ironic hashtag #racismendedwhen.

9. Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.)

Everybody makes a typo sometimes, but what Rep. Vargas posted to his Twitter feed about an event he attended last fall was so cringe-inducingly awful it must have made him consider hiring a full-time copyeditor:

“Providing the open remarks at my briefing that brought awareness of the sexual exploration of our children”

The kicker here is that the tweet remained live on the congressman’s feed for eight weeks before someone decided it might be a good idea to erase it.

10. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)

The tweet coming out of the office of Iowan Steve King on June 13 sounded like a call for help:

“20 brazen self-professed illegal aliens have just invaded my DC office. Obama’s lawless order gives them de facto immunity from U.S. law.”

Anyone who rushed to King’s office to try to rescue the endangered congressman would have been justly puzzled on arrival to find that rather than a violent mob, his office was filled with high school students — many proudly wearing their graduation robes — who were seeking to speak with King about his stand on the immigration bill.

11. Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas)

Yes, Stockman again. You really can’t go to the well too often with an account as prolific as his. This one came out early this year, from his reelection account, and touted the wording of his new campaign bumper sticker:

“Our campaign bumper sticker: If babies had guns, they wouldn’t be aborted.”

Set aside the fact that doctors have been shot and killed for performing legal abortions for a moment and marvel at the sheer weirdness of the image Stockman is creating here. Is this really a dumb tweet, or is Stockman some sort of undercover performance artist, gleefully trolling the Twitterverse? It remains to be seen, but he’ll surely provide more material to judge by in 2014.



Filed under Politicians' Tweets

The 6 Most Outrageous Moments From The Guy Who Wants To Be The Next Senator From Texas

Steve Stockman in a mock-swearing in with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) | Credit: AP

This guy thinks he’ll be a senator in 2014.   He’s actually loopier than Carl Paladino, Ken Buck, Sue Lowden and Christine O’Donnell combined…

Think Progress

Tea party Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) will challenge sitting Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) in Texas’s Republican primary. Stockman, considered one of the most far-right Republicans in the House, filed his documents to run just before the 6 pm deadline Monday, surprising Republicans and Democrats alike.

Stockman has an interesting history. Shortly after graduating from college with a Bachelors’ degree, Stockman found himself unemployed and homeless and was once arrested on a drug charge. In an event he says turned his life around, Stockman became a born-again Christian, found work, joined the Young Conservatives of Texas, and made his first bid for Congress in 1990.

After two unsuccessful runs in 1990 and 1992, Stockman was elected to the House of Representatives in 1994. He served one term before leaving again, working for several conservative advocacy organizations, including the Leadership Institute and the Young Conservatives of Texas. He was eventually re-elected to Congress in 2012.

Here’s what you need to know about the new Senate candidate for Texas:

1. He threatened to impeach Obama after the Newtown shooting. In January of 2013, as the country was reeling from the Newtown massacre, Stockman warned that if Obama tried to pass any gun-related legislation, he would file articles for impeachment in the House. A few weeks later walked back that claim. But in October of this year, Stockman confirmed to the right-wing Daily Caller that he had ensured each member of the House had a copy of a book entitled, “Impeachable Offenses: The case for removing Barack Obama from office.” In an interview with the conspiracy-peddling World Net Daily, Stockman confirmed that he had lawyers looking to see if Obama had violated the constitution in regards to Obamacare.

2. He thinks climate change is a “fad.” Stockman has said that global warming is “the new fad thing that’s going through America and around the world.” As a climate change denier and a representative of one of the most oil-rich states, he’s also a huge advocate for fossil fuels. He once tweeted that “The best thing about the Earth is if you poke holes in it oil and gas come out.”

3. He joked that the Boston bomber escaped “after hearing Gore speak on global warming.” Stockman is known for his outrageous tweets. During the hunt for the Boston Marathon Bombers, Stockman tweeted, “Suspect thought he could escape in backyard boat after hearing Gore speak on global warming.” He later deleted the tweet. But many more of his controversial tweets remain live online, including a long mockery of one of his colleague’s outfits, and an image of what he calls “our campaign bumper sticker” that reads, “If babies had guns, they wouldn’t be aborted.”

4. He compared Obama to Saddam Hussein. A few months after the Sandy Hook shooting, Stockman raffled off an AR-15 — the exact type of weapon used by the gunman — to get people to sign up for his email list. Such raffles were later condemned by his fellow Republicans as “outrageous” and “insensitive.” Stockman also panned Obama for bringing children to his announcement that he would push for new gun legislation, saying it reminded him of Saddam Hussein using children as human shields during the Gulf War.

5. He mocks gay and transgender people. When Stockman ran for Congress back in the 1990s, his opponent ran a campaign advertisement hinting that Stockman was gay because he owned an art studio in an area known for nude modeling. Stockman responded by telling a reporter that the ad helped him get attention, and that he did like ceramics, “but don’t say that or they’ll think I’m a fag for sure.” Stockman’s record lives up to this derogatory language; when talking earlier this year about protections for transgendered people in the Violence Against Women Act, Stockman asked, “it’s called a women’s act, but then they have men dressed up as women, they count that. Change-gender, or whatever. How is that — how is that a woman?”

6. He believes food stamps are unnecessary. Over the summer, an aide in Stockman’s office took the so-called ‘food stamp challenge’ where he tried to eat on the budget of a supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) beneficiary for a week, as a way of proving food stamp cuts wouldn’t harm people. The aide argued that SNAP benefits are unneeded, and that the Democrats who were trying to show it was a hard budget to live on were “intentionally buying overpriced food and shopping at high-priced chains to make it appear the cuts go too far.” He then accused the poor who rely on food stamps of being too self-indulgent to eat healthy food. “Folks aren’t buying fast food instead of vegetables because of benefit limits,” he said, “they’re buying fast food because fast food tastes great and vegetables taste like vegetables.” Stockman voted against the farm bill because it did not make deep enough cuts to nutrition assistance.


Filed under 2014 Mid-Term Elections

When does lying about Obamacare become immoral and evil?

Daily Kos

Rick Perry is the governor of a state that has the highest percentage of uninsured. After the full implementation of Obamacare in 2014, many will remain uninsured because Texas Gov. Rick Perry is not accepting the Medicaid expansion to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Perry runs around Texas telling his constituents that it would bankrupt the state. He says this even though 100 percent of the cost of the expansion is paid for by the federal government for the first 3 years. Thereafter the states are responsible for only 10 percent.

Most of the states with the highest uninsured rates are the ones neither setting up exchanges nor accepting the Medicaid expansion to Obamacare. These states have chosen the status quo. Millions of American citizens that could qualify for healthcare insurance through the Medicaid expansion will be left in the cold.

Make no mistake, the governors of these states have choices. They could take the 3 year Medicaid expansion at 100 percent and then opt out in year 4 if they really thought their state would get bankrupted. Their citizens could have at least 3 years’ worth of preventative care, coverage for their children, and much more. They could make the poor and the working poor in their states healthier.

Opposition to Obamacare has characteristics of an addiction. One knows intrinsically when one is doing wrong or doing something detrimental. However, the cravings make one disregard reality and acquiesce to the drug. What is the drug? The drug is hate for all things Obama.

Politics is a blood sport. Politicians and parties attempt to get an advantage at every turn. That is okay as long as it does not materially or deliberately affect the overall well-being of the constituent.

There are many stories detailing the plight of the poor whose only recourse is the emergency room. They get to the emergency rooms only to be stabilized and not really diagnosed in detail. Generally, not until it is too late do they get care at a point when it is most expensive and deadly. One of the most gut-wrenching stories was detailed by a Galveston, Texas, medical student where she literally watched a patient die over a few months. The patient died not because they could not help his cancer, but because he was uninsured.

There are so many real stories out there that every politician opposing Obamacare has access to. They instead promote stories that are generally debunked soon after they are released to the public. They choose to continue promoting stories they know are debunked.

More on these Obamacare lies below the fold.


Filed under Affordable Care Act, Obamacare

Evening Blog Roundup – 12-4-2013

Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC following Palin comment. [MSNBC]

ISO: The best political books of 2013

GOP Rep.: Nuke Iran If War Is Necessary

Newtown 911 calls: Shooting heard in background

Supreme Court dismisses challenge to Obamacare mandate

Martin Bashir Resigns From MSNBC Following Palin Comment

GOP Candidate Spoofs Van Damme’s ‘Epic Split’ in Anti-Obamacare Ad

Texas School Board Opts For Textbooks With Evolution And Climate Change

Conservative group ALEC pushes stealth tax on homeowners who install solar panels

Texas principal bans Hispanic students from speaking Spanish to ‘prevent disruptions’

House Republicans hold hearing to decide how often they can say ‘impeachment’ before looking crazy



Filed under Evening News Wrap-up

Wednesday Blog Roundup 11-20-2013

Harry Reid is set to go nuclear

President Romney? Voters say yes in new poll

Florida congressman charged with cocaine possession

Supreme Court decides not to block Texas’ abortion law

Koch Brothers’ Group Uses Health Care Law to Attack Democrats

Virginia Political Figure Stabbed as Son Takes Own Life, Police Say

If You’re a Millennial, Black, or Latino, Good Luck Voting Quickly in 2016

Bobby Jindal is right: Republicans aren’t ready to win back the White House.

McDonald’s Advice To Underpaid Employees: Sell Your Christmas Presents For Cash

Republicans Have Pushed Him Too Far and Now Harry Reid Is Ready to Go Nuclear



Filed under Blog Roundup

40 Armed Gun Advocates Intimidate Mothers Against Gun Violence In A Restaurant Parking Lot

open carry texas moms demand action gun HTTPS://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/MOMSDEMANDACTION

This epitomizes the term Tea Party Bullies. For those who might question say there’s a nexus between this group with the Tea Party, here’s why

Think Progress

On Saturday, nearly 40 armed men, women, and children waited outside a Dallas, Texas area restaurant to protest a membership meeting for the state chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a gun safety advocacy group formed in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

According to a spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action (MDA), the moms were inside the Blue Mesa Grill when members of Open Carry Texas (OCT) — an open carry advocacy group — “pull[ed] up in the parking lot and start[ed] getting guns out of their trunks.” The group then waited in the parking lot for the four MDA members to come out. The spokeswoman said that the restaurant manager did not want to call 911, for fear of “inciting a riot” and waited for the gun advocates to leave. The group moved to a nearby Hooters after approximately two hours.

MDA later released a statement calling OCT “gun bullies” who “disagree[d] with our goal of changing America’s gun laws and policies to protect our children and families.” The statement added that the members and restaurant customers were “terrified by what appeared to be an armed ambush.” A member of OCT responded by tweeting, “I guess I’m a #gunbullies #Comeandtakeit.”

This is not the first time that gun advocates have rallied at MDA events. In March, a group of armed men crashed a MDA gun-control rally in Indianapolis. Other gun advocate groups will hold rallies this upcoming December 14th, the anniversary date of the Sandy Hook shooting.

Licensed gun owners are allowed to carry concealed weapons, but Texas is one of six states that prohibits open carry of firearms. Attorney General Greg Abbott, a likely Republican successor for Gov. Rick Perry (R), has vowed to permit concealed handgun owners to display their firearms in public. Four GOP contenders for lieutenant governor similarly hope to put in place open carry laws if elected.

From Face Book:

“So exactly what does this Second Amendment “well-regulated militia” think they are protecting? The restaurant, from four unarmed women? Their only possible reason for being there is for intimidation — they’re saying, “Don’t exercise YOUR right to free speech, because I might shoot you for it.”
Comment on MAG FaceBook page.



Filed under Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense

The Coming Food Stamp Cut Will Hit 900,000 Veterans


In addition to the millions of poor families and seniors, our servicemen are affected by the forthcoming food stamp cuts authorized by Congress as well.  

Think Progress

Benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, will automatically drop come Friday thanks to the loss of additional funds from the 2009 stimulus bill. That cut will hitabout 900,000 of the country’s veterans, according to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

“Nationwide, in any given month, a total of 900,000 veterans nationwide lived in households that relied on SNAP to provide food for their families in 2011,” CBPP writes. The number varies state to state, with over 100,000 veterans in households that rely on the benefits in Florida and Texas each.

The coming cut will range from $36 a month for a family of four to $11 a month for a single person. Food stamps will average less than $1.40 per person per meal next year with the cut. Benefits were already sparse, at just $133 a month on average.

Veterans can face a lot of challenges finding work when they return from service. While overall the unemployment rate for veterans is 6.5 percent, those who have served since 2001 to the present have an unemployment rate of 9.7 percent. Nearly one in 10 veterans with disabilities were without employment in 2010. They are also disproportionately likely to live in poverty and to be homeless. In 2010, nearly a million veterans ages 18 to 64 had experienced poverty over the past year. As of 2011, nearly one in seven homeless adults was a veteran and more than four in ten homeless veterans were without shelter. They are therefore heavily impacted by cuts to the social safety net.

The automatic reduction in food stamps won’t likely be the last cut, however. House and Senate lawmakers are set to negotiate this week over a bill to continue funding the program, and House Republicans want to cut it by $40 billion, while Senate Democrats have proposed cutting it by $4 billion. If Republicans get their way, as many as 6 million people could be dropped from SNAP.


Filed under Poverty

GOP’s 2014 – 2016 Agenda

Mario Piperni

I have no doubt that the actual chalkboard at a GOP strategy session looks much like the one depicted above. It is clear enough to anyone that’s been following the right’s clown show that Republicans have no desire to govern for the next three years. It’s all about obstructing and dismantling and what they can’t get done at the federal level, they’ll try to implement at the state level. They’ve already accomplished much with voter suppression and anti-choice laws in red states…but here’s a bit of good news breaking out of Texas.

A federal judge in Texas on Monday blocked an important part of the state’s restrictive new abortion law, which would have required doctors performing the procedure to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

The decision, one day before the provision was to take effect, prevented a major disruption of the abortion clinics in Texas. It was a victory for abortion rights groups and clinics that said the measure served no medical purpose and could force as many as one-third of the state’s 36 abortion clinics to close.

Nice but you know that this is going to end up in the Supreme Court soon enough. The crazy people refuse to take no for an answer.


1 Comment

Filed under GOP Agenda