Santorum: We Don’t Need Food Stamps Because Obesity Rates Are So High

I’m no longer shocked or dismayed from what the cretins on the far right have said in recent weeks.  I simply remind myself that they’re playing to their extreme right-wing base and both the base and the far right politicians are just way out there when it comes to their rhetoric and intent.

Think Progress

Speaking in Le Mars, Iowa on Monday, Rick Santorum promised to significantly reduce federal funding for food stamps, arguing that the nation’s increasing obesity rates render the program unnecessary:

Santorum told the group he would cut the food stamp program, describing it as one of the fastest growing programs in Washington, D.C.

Forty-eight million people are on food stamps in a country with 300-million people, said Santorum.

If hunger is a problem in America, then why do we have an obesity problem among the people who we say have a hunger program?” Santorum asked.

The cost of the food stamp program — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — has jumped because more Americans are out of work and wages are down, not because of obesity rates. Recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that nearly “70 percent households that relied on food stamps last year had no earned income,” although many households did benefit from Social Security benefits and other government programs. But a whopping 20 percent of households had no cash income at all last year.

Food prices have also gone up, adding additional costs. In fact, the food stamp program has been critical for reducing poverty and pumping money into local economies during the down economy, so cutting it now would not only take food out of peoples’ mouths (regardless of whether they are obese or not) and could slow down the recovery.

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Politico’s Best quotes of 2010




In a business where sound bites can be game-changers, there was no shortage of memorable lines in 2010 — both serious and not.

A single moment — scripted or otherwise — can alter the public’s perception of a politician and, therefore, that pol’s trajectory. (Try as he might, Rod Blagojevich will never escape his “I’ve got this thing and it’s f——ing golden” moment, in the same way that Mark Sanford will always be associated with the Appalachian Trail.)

Here’s POLITICO’s list of 2010’s best Politi-quotes that will shape our view of certain individuals well into 2011.

“And secondly, when is it ever a good idea to tie up a woman and ask her to kneel before a false idol, your god, that you call Aqua Buddha?” — Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway

“I’m not a witch.” — Delaware Senate hopeful Christine O’Donnell

“This is a big f——ing deal.” — Vice President Joe Biden

“But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, ‘They are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims,’ I get worried. I get nervous.” — Juan Williams, formerly of NPR 

“I was struggling with the fact that so many black people have lost their farmland, and here I was faced with having to help a white person save their land — so I didn’t give him the full force of what I could do. I did enough.” — Shirley Sherrod, then-Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture, in remarks made at an NAACP event

“The rent is too damn high.” — New York gubernatorial wannabe Jimmy McMillan

“Don’t Retreat, Instead — RELOAD!'” — Sarah Palin

 “Some of you look a little more Asian to me.” — Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle

 “Excuse me! This is a senators-only elevator!” — Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning “I’m exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for and deeply disappointed with where we are right now.” — Maryland resident Velma Hart

Racism Rears It’s Ugly Head On The Fifth Column

I Am Furious Yellow
Image via Wikipedia

In the year that this blog has been in existence, I must say, this is the first time I actually got a deep-seated racist comment from anyone before.  It sort of floored me at first, since it was so unexpected.

The post was a copy of Mario Piperni’s post:  Did Someone Say Lame Duck?  The commenter felt that Obama had nothing to do with the recent legislative victories and challenged me to prove that he did.  It went downhill from that point on.

However, when I re-read the comment, I became furious.

The entire exchange can be found here…

This is the part that I needed to address with the commenter. 

Not as far as I can see or that has been reported – with the obvious exception of the tax bill. He seems to have stayed out of it completely or almost completely.

If I’m wrong, cite a source or two to prove it. I’m hardly going to take you or anyone like you at your word without such proof. You and yours are, after all, genetically and sub-culturally inclined to support Obama without need for any proof beyond his race – as your previous racist posts have evidenced.

(Emphasis are mine)

Since this is my first encounter with this type of person on this blog, I may have gone a little “off the deep end”, but, well hey, I’ll be gentler next time around.  🙂

Republican House Rep. Steve King Calls Obama “Very, Very Urban”

“Figure this out, Madame Speaker, we have a very, very urban Senator, Barack Obama, who has decided he’s going to run for president, and what does he do? He introduces legislation to create a whole new Pigford claim.” ~ Rep. Steve King (R-IA)

WTF?  I know Rep. Steve King has been known to be certifiable, based on many of his comments, but does this cross the line between nutjob and totally whacked out? 

Granted, King used the term “very very urban…” in the context of a floor debate about the Pigford Case in which the USDA just recently settled a discrimination case against minority farmers.  However, King knows exactly what he is saying when he makes these alleged “gaffes”… 


Rep. Steve King of Iowa just can’t stop making racially charged statements. In June, he declared that President Obama “has a default mechanism in him that breaks down the side of race, on the side that favors the black person.” In July, he questioned a class action lawsuit brought by black farmers against the USDA, implying that what the farmers really wanted were reparations. Today, he turned his focus back to Obama, calling the President “very, very urban”—and we all know what he means by “urban.”

Some background: King was talking, again, about the Pigford case, the aforementioned class action suit. Here’s a breakdown of the case, courtesy of our own Tommy Christopher:

The Pigford case is a class action lawsuit that was brought by black farmers after the USDA admitted it had been discriminating against black farmers for years. In essence, Clinton Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman said, “Hey, all you black farmers out there, remember when we denied you that loan? It was because you’re black.”

Black farmers, naturally, were like, “Oh, well, that’s messed up. I could’ve saved/purchased my own farm with that loan. Pay me.”

Shirley Sherrod was the leader of a group of farmers called New Communities, Inc., who were collectively awarded $13 million for the loss of 6,000 acres of land due to USDA’s racial discrimination, and Sherrod was awarded $150,000, as was her husband Charles. Sherrod’s work on behalf of black farmers in this case is precisely why she was hired by Vilsack, to help “turn the corner” on decades of discriminatory practices.

Track A of the Pigford settlement was structured so that a fixed payment of $50,000 would be awarded to any black farmer who could prove that he:

* owned or leased, or attempted to own or lease, farm land, applied for a specific credit transaction at a USDA county office during the applicable period
* the loan was denied, provided late, approved for a lesser amount than requested, encumbered by restrictive conditions, or USDA failed to provide appropriate loan service, and such treatment was less favorable than that accorded specifically identified, similarly situated white farmers.
* the USDA’s treatment of the loan application led to economic damage.

Anyone who wanted to seek a larger amount would use “Track B,” which had an even stricter burden of proof.

King’s statement today began with the representative noting that “Bobby Scott of Virginia and others” introduced legislation aimed at increasing the federal government’s role in the Pigford settlement. As Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post notes, Scott is African-American.

King then took aim at Obama, complaining that as a senator, he favored African-American farmers. “Figure this out, Madame Speaker,” King said. “We have a very, very urban Senator, Barack Obama, who has decided he’s going to run for president, and what does he do? He introduces legislation to create a whole new Pigford claim.”

Yikes. It’s also pretty strange that King would choose to use this particular euphemism while describing actions Obama took to help rural farmers. See King’s statement in the video below, from C-SPAN.