Archive for March 16th, 2014

by jhwygirl

I saw nothing in the news about this until I opened a cryptic email from the Governor’s office last week telling me how he took steps to stop the SNAP cuts brought on by the most recently approved Farm Bill.

Under the Farm Bill, more than 2,000 Montana households would see their nutrition assistance deeply slashed. These irresponsible cuts would force many Montana seniors and people with disabilities to choose between putting food on the table and paying for medications and other necessities. It would also cut $2 million of spending to Montana businesses.

These cuts were unacceptable, so yesterday I took action to stop them. Thanks to a common sense solution, we protected this important nutrition assistance for the most vulnerable Montanans and prevented the harm to Montana businesses.

What did Governor Bullock do? The Billings Gazette gives us the specifics. It really wasn’t much:

Gov. Steve Bullock authorized changes to the home heating assistance program for the poor on Wednesday.

For a mere $24,000 – by dropping food stamp assistance from $50 in heating assistance over 5 years to $21 in heating assistance over 5 years – Governor Bullock saves SNAP cuts for more than 2,000 struggling Montanans.

And in the process – it’s well known that for every $1 in food assistance, $1.70 is created in economic stimulus – Bullock preserved at least $3.4 million in economic stimulus here in Montana.

As an agriculture state? Where SNAP assistance can be spent at local food markets? Logic wold tell us that the dollar economic stimulus factor is even greater.

Of course, Bullock’s move sent Speaker of the House John Boehner into a tizzy.

I hope Boehner lost sleep. Lots of it.

I’m smiling – and I’ve no doubt the Governor’s conscience is clear.

Good move, Steve – good move.

by lizard

I think it’s really constructive to have the former Secretary of State and presumptive Democrat presidential frontrunner comparing Putin to Hitler.

Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday compared Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine to actions taken by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler outside Germany in the run-up to World War II.

Making her first extensive comments about the crisis in Ukraine, Clinton said at a private fundraiser in California that Putin’s campaign to provide Russian passports to those with Russian connections living outside his country’s borders is reminiscent of Hitler’s protection of ethnic Germans outside Germany, according to a report published overnight.

“Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the ’30s,” Clinton said Tuesday, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram. “All the Germans that were … the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they’re not being treated right. I must go and protect my people, and that’s what’s gotten everybody so nervous.”

What makes me nervous is a hunch that a good percentage of our political leadership are sociopaths, Hillary Clinton included. That’s the only explanation that makes sense of behavior like this:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh with a television news reporter moments after hearing deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had been killed.

“We came, we saw, he died,” she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi’s death by an aide in between formal interviews.

The sociopath who makes me the most nervous, though, is our current president, the willing executioner. The article is a Counterpunch piece by Michael Whitney, an economist I’ve been reading and appreciating for years. I know it will be easy for Democrat apologists to dismiss because Whitney quotes a comment from the blog Moon of Alabama—a blog I link to frequently here because it’s been, for me, one of the most important, effective counters to Western propaganda I’ve been able to find.

The best description of Obama I’ve ever read was in the comments section of a foreign policy blogsite called Moon of Alabama by a blogger named “bevin”. Here’s what he said:

“I think that Obama is completely empty of scruples…just a willing executioner. From the ruling class’s point of view he is the perfect figurehead because his mere appearance confuses and disarms so many. He seems to have spent his whole life trying to get chosen to play Judas. And that is all there is in his resume…

They present him as negligent, never responsible, never intentionally connected to an evil act, never drawn into the acts of duplicity by a conscious intent. This is the false image, the disinformation projected about who he is…

It strikes me that Obama is all those things. And that this is the core of the evil in him- that he is without conscience or principle, just an ordinary butcher going about his business, fulfilling the terms of his employment, doing what he was asked to do…

You see him as focused and intentional.

I see him as someone who will sign a stack of death warrants without reading them, or thinking about them again. Remember just after November 2008, waiting to take office, how the Israelis attacked Gaza, obviously to show him who is boss? Didn’t you sense that even they were surprised at the insouciance with which he watched those extraordinary massacres pass before his eyes?

He didn’t care. And he was, at last, relieved of the chore of pretending that he did care about such things.

That’s really what he likes about being President: he can relax while the killing goes on, he doesn’t need to pretend it bothers him, he doesn’t need to pass any kind of moral judgment.

Remember when he asked his step-father “Have you ever killed men?”

The reply he got was “Only men who were weak.”

He has adhered to that moral standard ever since.” (bevin, Moon of Alabama)

That perfectly summarizes the man; an empty gourd who never had any intention of fulfilling his promises, who has utter disdain for the fools that voted for him, and who finds it as easy to kill a man, his family and his kids, as to swat a fly on his forearm. As bevin notes Obama “is a pure confidence man and a sociopath.”

Who gives these sociopaths cover? Apologists who range from high-paid corporate shills to bloggers who shill for free. An example of the latter can be found at Intelligent Discontent, where the Polish Wolf explains why he “hesitates” to call neo-Nazis by their rightful name. The reasoning is (to use one of Don’s favorite words) astonishing:

Aren’t the protestors in Ukraine Nazis or neo-Nazis? It seems quite likely that some of them adhere to radical right-wing ideologies. It’s also clear that the deaths of protestors during the Euromaiden protests have greatly strengthened the hand of the most radical elements. However, even groups like Pravdiy Sektor or Svoboda, I would hesitate to describe as ‘neo-nazis’, if only because I know some very rational, cosmopolitan Ukrainians who believe that these parties are their best chance to gain national sovereignty.

I love the language PW employs here. A squishy phrase like “seems quite likely” is used to minimize the FACT that, yes, right-wing extremists now hold top-level positions within the new government (Reuters, not Counterpunch). And why support right-wing extremists? Because unnamed “rational, cosmopolitan” Ukrainians believe the ends justify the means.

We are quickly getting to the point of escalating tensions where one wrong move on either side could spark an overt military confrontation. If Putin is uncritically depicted as Hitler, the probable intention is to prepare the collective American psyche for the kind of military effort it took to stop Hitler: a world war.

This is not a good time for US foreign policy to be in the hands of sociopaths. Tens of thousands of Russians protested in Moscow against their country’s escalation. Where are American anti-war protesters?

Oh yeah, they basically threw in the towel after Obama got elected.

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