Friday, February 26, 2021
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Rich teeth, poor teeth- addressing the clearest indicator of economic class...

By Kellen Squire Just after my daughter graduated from fourth grade, we took her to the dentist for her bi-annual checkup. After a series of...

Bill Moyers: “Invisible Americans Get the Silent Treatment”

It's just astonishing to us how long this campaign has gone on with no discussion of what's happening to poor people. Official Washington continues to see poverty with tunnel vision - "out of sight, out of mind."

So begins this post by Bill Moyers, whose title is included in the title of this post.

Too often poor people are forgotten in our politics.

It is appropriate to read the words of Moyers on this topic on this day, which would be the 104th birthday of his mentor, Prsident Lyndon Baines Johnson, vastly underrated as a President, whose Great Society programs did as much to alleviate poverty and discrimination in this country as did any other President, being matched only by the New Deal of FDR (which unfortunately did not address discrimination).

The Michele Bachmann Anti-Poverty “Plan”

You have heard the declarations of how Michele Bachmann wants the government to shut down.  She took an oath to uphold the Constitution, but wants to shut down the government she took that oath to steward on behalf of us all.  

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

"...Discharge the duties of my office."  That does not include purposely shutting down the government.  It does not stack up well with (say, a President who has bent over so far backwards to appease GOPhers like her it's ridiculous) efforts to keep the government running.  It is his job to keep the government running, but it is ALSO hers.  She has not contributed one iota of good faith to keep the government open. But she is off on an ego-driven, craven (see below) campaign for President?

She wants NO increase in taxes on the wealthy (or no revoking of such things a farm credits for non-farmers like her).  Her "family farm" and her husband's business feed at the federal trough. She currently lives on the taxpayer dime.  She even thinks she should live at the citizens' House.  Ironically, she lectures President Obama that he should get a "real job"!?!?!?  With no sense of irony, she seeks the very same (I guess non-real) job? Yet, except for those programs feeding her, she wants no programs whatsoever that help the rest of America, unless they are church-affiliated schools and "faith-based" community service groups. With Bachmann, it is just not OK for you or me to have medical care, public education, Social Security or anything else. The poor and the hungry need not apply. And, so it is no surprise that her anti-poverty plan is as heartless and pro-corporate as she is.  Here it is, the long awaited Michele Bachmann antipoverty "plan":

(The "plan" is below the fold.)

On Those Who Use Their Free Speech Rights To Stifle Others’...

Our own President Obama had told us to "make him" make the change he promised. So why do fellow Dems try to silence the effort toward REAL change, change that is substantially different from a Bush-wacked economy?  These are difficult times. A post over at DU said that being poor sucks and we are all far more likely to experience it than most people realize. Indeed, even the insured and the supposedly secure, are all one significant catastrophic injury or illness away from disaster, or one wrongful foreclosure away from homelessness.  Most personal bankruptcies occur because of loss of a job and skyrocketing health care bills. We've learned that the so-called American dream isn't, unless you are a large corporation or in the top 2%. Americans, especially Republicans, still do not get that the odds are against them ever getting upward mobility. Indeed, all the economic data shows that mobility is downward. Now Republicans are fighting anything that raises taxes on those making a half million dollars or more.  And Dems have already bargained away much hope of a just budget reduction bill.  Not that that was our biggest problem. Restore jobs and you can shrink the deficit. Stop throwing unneeded tax preferences to corporations (essentially gifts to executives, who are most likely to benefit from them) and they will still be profitable. Reign in economy-busting fraud on Wall Street with real reform, and you help far more than the deficit reduction bill.  Yet our president does not always use his bully pulpit to best advantage.  

And so some columnists, progressive pundits, and bloggers set forth to emotionally portray the unjustness of it all, to defend most of America against a Congress (and at times, the WH) that has lost touch. Some of us clearly care more about this mounting injustice than others.  Some of us are disproportionately more affected than others. But the hope is we all have enough of a conscience and enough empathy to protest loudly and often, if our fellow citizens are hurting.  Amidst this backdrop, then, some progressives have been yelling loudly. Indeed, our President told us to hold him accountable, remember?  

Then come the pretend Obama defenders, who hide behind the president to run rough shod over anyone who questions the president at all. Their paternalism demeans the president, though. It is as if they are saying he will wither if anyone argues vigorously for the causes we believe in.  It's not so. One  individual, and a couple of other commenters here, are the self-appointed thought and speech police. All of us front pagers and most others here, worked and donated to elect our President.  (I doubt the silencers did a fraction as much as the more active among BV bloggers.) It is inconceivable that we would not vote for him again. Despite the growing despair of some of us, all of us have said as much.  But the verbal attacks over imagined betrayals still unfold. Why?