let them eat sawdust and shite

i’m not going to cross-post this, so it’s just copy/paste; sorry.  i’ve collected a lot on the new fbi docs that the aclu got from their foia request, but this is really bothering me.  more nightmare by oligarchy.

andre damon at wsws.org writes about the committee to tweak cuts that were sequestered, and the different ‘sides’ and horror-stories for more SNAP cuts, pension cuts, pension payment increases v. the uber-horrors ahead for working people.  And:

“In addition to the cuts in food stamps, on January 1, the federal program that provides extended unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless is slated to expire, throwing millions more into poverty.

In addition to the these cuts, both the Republicans and the White House have repeatedly made clear over the past month that they are still looking to make a deal in the longer term for a “grand bargain” that would lower corporate taxes and slash hundreds of millions of dollars from Social Security and Medicare.”

Reuters parses the SNAP cuts affecting the bottom lines for grocery stores, and this dreck just appalled me:

“Fruits and vegetables, grain products, meats, and dairy products comprise almost 90 percent of the food that SNAP households buy, according to the CBPP.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the discount giant that has the largest grocery sales in America, might fare better, U.S. Chief Executive Bill Simon said when analysts asked this month about the upcoming reduction.

“When the benefits expanded, our market share actually went down,” said Simon, referring to 2009. “And so, our view is when price becomes more important … we’re more relevant.”

Grrrr.  and not just because some major percentage of Walmart employees don’t make anywhere near enough to *not* qualify for food stamps.  In addition:

“The 2009 stimulus bill increased food stamps by an average of 18 percent, or around $24 a person, and it gave an immediate jolt to the economy. Benefits are spent quickly, and according to Moody’s Analytics, in a weak economy every dollar increase in SNAP benefits generates about $1.70 in economic activity.

Most people who receive SNAP benefits live in households with very low income – about $8,800 a year on average in 2010, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

As of July, the most recent figures available, 47.6 million were receiving food stamps, up 1.7 percent on the year. Enrollment has been above 47 million for the past 12 months.


More food stamp cuts – likely focused on reducing the number of beneficiaries – are expected to be included in the new U.S. farm bill, now in its final stage of preparation.”

a number of articles i dug up on the subject seemed to try to feel for the poor, but often the examples they brought in were the ‘single mother with four children’, (hint, hint, clue, clue…: Welfare Queens.)  And yeah, i wish no one would have more than two children, but punishing the kids and babbies is just sick, again, given stuff like this:  yeah, 17 democrats are co-sponsors.  The New Democrat Party.  when ya’ve got Jeffrey Sachs supporting it, oy.

35 responses to “let them eat sawdust and shite

  1. why not cross post this?

    It’s really important, and well done.

    I was listening to Alex Jones, he’s not all wacky, he was mentioning talking to a bank guy that was home in austin to see his family, who said to Alex, that it appears there is no limit to how much people will tolerate. which of course he thought was good.

    I agree. look at what people in Africa the middle east, asia, South America, Central America. tolerate.

    I’ve been thinking for years that what’s being done, is fairly carefully planned process of seeing how much people will put up with.

  2. More (mortifyingly belated) DEMiserepubilkan $chlock Doctrine (apparently initiated nearly a Half CENTURY ago with the previous EXPIRATION of a precedent financial transaction tax under the solid DEM administration of ‘New Dealer’, “Great Society” turncoat LBJ In 1966?)! HERESY!! RECYCLE, InDeed!!!

  3. ah, i need to get it over it, mafr, but i get so irritated that the mods over yonder won’t left page, front page my stuff, but when they knock my posts off the rec’d list, it makes my stomach hurt after a bit. like a couple hours ago it was at the top of the list, and i clicked to see what was on the front page, looked at one post, then it was gone. happens all the time.

    last year a mod who got fired tweaked the vaunted ‘inviolate’ algorith’ to make sure that neither michael cavalan, alan amki or i could get on the list. it got to be a standard joke as folks began to see it, and would type RECOMMENDED in all caps.

    someone finally fixed it, but for months that went on. i s’pose it’s a notch better than being banned, but it’s just not right. after that last kerfuffle that dw bartoo mentioned over yonder, i’began grabbing more of my old posts there to put on another site just in case. sorry to whinge, but i have to really want to post there to…post there. and right now, i don’t feel up to it, i reckon maybe the fbi one, but someone will cover this subject, won’t they?.

    i read part of a thread at naked capitalism yesterday in which yves was dissecting one of ian walsh’s posts: the 24 principles one. on the thread an argument brewed over whether Neoliberal economics had developed, or sprang fully formed out of zeus’s forehead. i didn’t read too long, so i don’t know which side one.

    i haven’t even followed any of the *finally finished* (for the eleventyeth time) cfta rules on derivatives, but congress seems to be in the throes of gutting even the crap dodd-frank bill: at least it’s more honest, in a way. the Free Market should be FREE to plunder any of the 99%’s remaining revenue streams. lemon socialism: they reap the rewards, we reap the losses. fucked up as hell.

    yeah, alex may not be altogether wacked, but does seem to ballast that end of the scale, or did when i used to watch some of his stuff.

    added: oopsie; it’s back on the list, but it won’t last long. the joke in our house is that we know when the mods either wake up in the mornin’, or come back to check on the site. :)

  4. yes, bruce: schlock doctrine ‘austerity’, and we become more and more Les Miserables. think of what’s being spent on the fascist security state, wars in 29 nations or more, ‘there’s always room for War-O!’

    “A family of three would lose $29 in benefits, enough to buy food for 16 meals at current “thrifty” rates, said Vollinger. That comes to $1.81 per meal,” and that’s just with *this round* of cuts.

    as arrow always says: “it doesn’t have to be this way”. guess it does, as long as these assholes hold the keys to the banks. and the fed. just checked at bloomberg: the dow’s at 15,615.50. well done!

    man, i need a song; what a crank i am! ya’d think i’ve been eatin’ crabapples all day.

  5. ” won’t they?.”

    probably not.

    hard to say, right now the priority is movies, Israeli oppression, and gay rights. they have one person posting on a few things a day, replacing dave dayen, but the new person, is levels below Dave. Dave leaving was a huge blow to that site. Fatster too. no offence to the new guy, it’s not the same.

    I did not know about this kerfuffle. I’m not surprised. honestly, that site is odd.

    I wouldn’t bother then. I don’t know why more of those people don’t come over here, that is annoying to me.

  6. although I certainly noticed that your posts, probably the best they get, seemed to be always on the back burner and disappearing.

    while some crank named “metatars” was always up in the recommended pushing fake science, with fake scientific mumbo jumbo palaver.

    sorry to hear about this.

    I’ve basically quit commenting there anyway.

  7. ah. the kerfuffle made sense once i saw all the invitees, almost all ‘culture’ stuff, and yes, heavy on movies. and music. the rout was after i asked a diarist wat her interest was in lauryn hill, whom i thought she was concern trolling about, kit, dakine, and even kevin g came in, moderated my comments as though i’d done anything more than ask questions. guess they thought the newbies were important to protect or something. lost a lot of repsepect for KG. i wouldn’t doubt they read here to see what i say, but i’m past caring. strange business model it is…

    but hell, i’m a blogger, and it’s good to get stuff out to a wider audience, even though i love this venue. i’ve invited lots of folks over, but not many come. thought some might in my absence from da lake, but not as far as comments showed, anyway. silly, vain woman. :)

    yes, most as the social wedge issues are covered, and even remembering your having indicated that you’re jewish, i do care about israeli oppression, but some folks are over the top, imo. i care about gay/transgender issues, but not to the point of having so many posts on the front page, and even then, garnering so few comments. and yes to missing dd, who’s gotten far more radical since he’s free-lancing now. odd, isn’t it?

    but the airport shooting in la, now that got the juice that should have gone into this subject, imo. it’s just like many ‘liberals’ who only care about the poor if they can use their treatment as ammo against their opponents, and almost always that’s: R’s, only sometimes D’s, who are the lesser evil. ha.

    yes, metamars; argh. and dave seaton and cmaukonen had extra rec’s added like the professional ones, and all the newbies, and i’m positive that canfield did that on the wa out the door, after he was fired from his job.

    please feel free to invite anyone you wish, or carry links out and about.

  8. sorry to hear about all of that.

    I didn’t know about any of that.

    You’re right, I’m Jewish. I don’t like Israel taking Palestinian land. I hate their treatment of the Palestinians. the beaten child becomes an abusive parent.

    but I think the anti Jewish state of Israel crowd is excellent cover for anti semites. And anyone who thinks that Jews are safe from persecution anywhere other than Israel doesn’t know much Jewish history; and if you mention it a firedog lake they ignore it.

    I have no doubt who some people will be looking for if society collapses here.

    anyway, sorry about all of your crapola, People who go there know better than the owners I guess.

    I can post a youtube of highly skilled musicians playing in loud bars, with nobody listening if you want. lol, not talking about myself.

    this guy for instance

  9. lol! guess they take their chances going to a jazz bar. but yes, i remember it if not well, but…now and again. i got fairly good at making effective jests at drunk harassers, too.

    i thank you kindly for not concluding that i’m just another paranoid blogger with a gripe. also, the rest of this day has kicked my ass a bit, and i find i’m unable to address your comment more fully. for now, for tonight, please accept this brave song that means a lot to me (as a child with jewish god-parents who grew up on zionist and holocaust literature, voraciously consumed, and slow to be able to accept an effectively apartheid israel;

  10. thanks…

  11. i was reminded of the song with your line: ‘the beaten child becomes an abusive parent’. i know that a shiksa can’t appreciate the depth of your fears, mafr, but i hope and assume you’re wrong about who will be seen to blame when the next crash comes. unless, of course, some of the principals of the institutions to blame happen to be jewish. :)

    in the meme of ‘there will be demagogues’ after the crash or revolution, yes, i can see that any of the ‘other’ groups or affiliations could easily be targets, as muslims, blacks, browns, hippie dissenters, sometimes ‘wealthy gays’ and welfare queens are now.

    and yes to the irish blessing: may the wind be at all of our backs, and blow away the toxic clouds in the atmosphere so that we may head toward the light horizon.

  12. America’s Greatest Shame: Child Poverty Rises and Food Stamps Cut While Billionaires Boom: Why do we put up with such injustices?’ by Les Leopold at alternet.

  13. doesn’t matter who’s actually to blame, when people who already hate, just need an excuse.

    I don’t like to think about it much; but this history does not start with WW2. It’s much older than that. in 15th century Berlin for instance, they entered the walled city only through the same gate as livestock.

    as far as non apartheid Israel goes, I wish they’d get along too, but here’s what they face in the middle east

    “In November 1945, with the rise of Egyptian nationalism and the cultivation of anti-Western and anti-Jewish sentiment, riots erupted in Cairo. In the violence, 10 Jews were killed, 350 injured, and a synagogue, a Jewish hospital, and an old-age home were burned down.

    Numerous acts of violence against Egyptian Jews followed in the later years, including the 1948 bombings of Jewish areas, which killed 70 Jews and wounded nearly 200, while riots claimed many more lives. In 1949, a bombing in the Cairo Jewish quarter killed 34 and wounded 80. During the 1950s, the Jews of Egypt were subjected to political instability (property confiscated, etc) due to ongoing Israeli-Egyptian conflict and suffered sporadic violence, which eventually led to expulsion and flight of the community from Egypt.” wikipedia.

    this is pretty good
    you probably know this guy

  14. link to les leopold doesn’t work….

  15. (fixed the link; thanks for the heads-up)

    sigh, yes. i read the source except for the last chapter; by then the fat paperback’s pages had fallen apart from cramming the book open enough to read. painful, depressing, and informative. i think that’s why so many westerners are enamored of saladin’s rule, and his acceptance of jews, at least as some have recounted the story.

    and as i said, i don’t have the connection to it all that you do.

    no, i never knew lehrer except by report. very good satire, though.

    made me think of this:

  16. that’s pretty funny.

    by the way, I’ve heard that lots of times “but….you don’t look Jewish”

    sposed to be a compliment……I think.

  17. it’s just so sweet; i love it. much better, but like ‘i’m in love with a big blue frog’, i guess.

    i dunno, maybe it’s a compliment, but i’d think it’s just that a lot of folks expect certain features to be ‘jewish’, nose shapes, maybe hair types and colors. many never knew there were blonde jews, or italians, for that matter. but they buy into Blonde Jesus, for cripe’s sake.

    so…do they tell ya what you *do* look like? and you have me remembering a million woody allen lines about jews and being jewish. “See, max? he said ‘jew go to that party? not: did you go, but ‘jew’?”
    OT, one of my jewish fdl pen-pals said that woody was responsible for the ‘jewish guilt’ theme.

    Added: full disclosure: i resemble joel gray’s sweetie in the video, although my tiny nose lacks any character whatsoever.

  18. First of all, wendye, I personally love it if you favor your own site over fdl, great as the latter has been for a collecting of many different opinions on subjects of note. I think you have been more than generous there, and ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder.’ When you do appear, and we all gather around you, it feels good to get a riproaring comments thread with all the different points of view, and that should still be the case when and if you do get time to do both.

    I haven’t read either your whole essay here or comments so far yet, but I’m happy to see plenty of ongoing conversation before I add anything – just wanted to put that in up front as it will take me a pleasurable while to digest what’s come afore me.

  19. Okay, here’s my comment on your timely and important article, wendye:

    First up, I loved the gentleman, Michael J. Wilson, in your first video, and the Damon piece had the electrifying stat that this is the very first time a program to help people in the Food Stamps area has been cut – THE FIRST TIME!

    Then, the further information that this is all to bypass or tweak the sequester demand that military expenditure be drastically reduced – to me that sequester fiat was the first sensible thing Congress has done since before Glass Steagall was abandoned. And the lady speaking in your final video made the salient point that financial folderol USED TO BE REGULATED AND TAXED, which hurt the economy NOT ONE BIT.

    That “economy” frame got me a-thinking though (and that’s always dangerous.) The meme I am seeing, even from the good folk throughout, is that we need the financial tax to help the poor. Uh-uh. Leave the economy alone and that will help the poor; don’t shrink but expand benefits and the economy will expand. The economy has nothing to do with the 1% and their casino. What does have to do with that – and they should be inextricably linked – is the war machine! If they want guns, let them pay for it with THEIR taxes!

    We the poor don’t ask for guns, we don’t ask for drones, we don’t ask for empire. We ask for food, shelter, infrastructure – that’s what our taxes should go for – and we do get taxed as that last video showed. Our taxes must not be shunted into the war machine! That’s the bottom line. So, I wouldn’t ask the 1% to be funding our food stamp program – we the people are already doing that!

    I second mafr’s request that you take this all over to fdl – and feel free to use our ideas there to buttress that post – wouldn’t that be great? Then we all get recommended together, and perhaps some will want to take a gander at the original, the non-cliffnoted version! Hah!

  20. To mafr: I sympathize completely with your mixed feelings towards the problem of the Jewish state having seemingly adopted practices which their antecedents suffered so terribly under not so long ago – my piece ‘Into Light’ begins with the acknowledgement of an elder Jewish professor’s statement about ‘a little Plato and a little Bible’. He was speaking specifically about the Hebrew Bible, of which he was a classical scholar, though he made the matter ambiguous enough to include Christianity because he saw that there was even so a continuity within classical Christianity as well. He and my teacher were best friends, though each would keep to his own particular faith.

    These subtleties are hard to come to grips with online, but I do believe it is possible. And education, real education of a personal desire and need, is essential.

  21. good comments juliania…. thanks.

  22. it’s a bit more complicated than doing an end run around the sequester, juliania. it’s just that there’s another bipartisan committee to tweak those cuts for better or worse. and the farm bill will absolutely make more cuts: it’s the dept. of agriculture that administers snap, wic, and the commodiies program: shelf-stable faux cheese, i forget which all underwritten products (if it still exists).

    i wish i thought that the military decreases would come to pass, but there are just way too many places to hide expenditures. once nick turse (at tom dispatch) poured over a year’s budget, and found that the real numbers we almost twice what the ‘publicly shown’ budget was.

    there may be different jet fighters that receive less funding at the time, and sometimes base closures actually do happen. but i think that stuff’s pretty rare in fact. the whingeing from the military seems to be all about crocodile tears. that’s why: “there’s always room for War-O”.

    for instance, where will they hide the huge number of mercenaries that stay in afghanistan to fight ‘terrorism’? or fund all the bullshit ngo’s that will remain for fun and profit? oxfam issued a scarthing report several years ago about that fine setup.

    i’m also just cranky enough to endorse the robin hood tax, but only as a fix to bring in revenue that never should have left our pockets in any event. my dream wish would be for some brave soul to call for reparations for the 99% from the 2008 meltdown. no one has gone to jail under obomba; loads did under bush. so i’ll say this is just asking for crumbs, not even a meal. fifty cents per hundred dollars in trades: it’s nothing. nothing!

    i appreciate your request to take this over yonder; i’m just not up to it now, and it certainly just isn’t a matter of time, although answering comments can be very time-consuming. :) i just peeked at the published posts lists, and there are a number of recent ones there that i only posted here.

    this just came on my realplayer. and oh: i have a spare set of speakers; i’ll check them out…

  23. i just clicked in to naked capitalism to grab a link from the other day for a friend, and yves had the robin hood tax video. she was appalled at the branding, a point which i’d meant to make: it ain’t stealing, and she explains the need for the tax to offset fluctuations a bit.

    but one thing i didn’t realize is that it wouldn’t cover the high-speed trading transactions, which is where some of the major change is made. it seems some hedge traders have not only developed some sweet algorithmic software to answer trades in micro-seconds, but they can jimmy things so fast that (it’s said) that trades, including illegal ones (insider info) can scarcely be found. now that may be a dodge against the idea of prosecuting hedgers, i dunno. but she makes a lot of good points in scanning it.

    and she mentioned calling it a ‘wall street casino tax’ and it would be more to the point, imo.

  24. I believe the lovely Lauren (of Bogey and Bacall fame ) is Jewish.
    i haven’t read all here but some skimming. I followed an fdl linkee to here, and I love that place and the folks but they do indeed remind me of my “brick and morter” family who I have to tune out occasionally and ignore some outragious behavior and infighting. I don’t pride myself on this lack of courage but it keeps me sane (sort of) and I DO totally appreciate others struggling against various injustices.
    REC’D!! :)

  25. lol! and welcome, sharonMI; lovely to see you here. yes, some times i sure do need a break; the place is so factionalized, and at a time we should all arguably being pulling together instead. love your analogizing it to your ‘bricks and mortar’ family, too. hope you come back often. we are small, but we are MIGHTY!

    didn’t know about bacall, but you’ve reminded me of this great song adam sandler sang on snl some time ago. too fun:

  26. i can’t embed it, but i always loved this robert smigel claymations production: ‘christmas time is for the jews’. i love darlene love, too, so…


    wow; it keeps rolling to other snl sketches. hope they do ‘dick in a box’.

  27. Not sure what you mean by ‘a little more complicated’ there, wendy – are you disagreeing with the Damon piece?

    “Instead, the conference committee will focus on tweaking or replacing the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester, which contain scheduled cuts to military spending that both parties would like to remove or reduce.”

    Assuredly the sequester items have never and will never come to pass in the hasty “adjustments” we have seen happening as the time has come – I’m under no illusions. But it should have. I was only saying what should be in the best of all possible worlds.

    Your last video says it all – what is taxed is the elements of daily life we all rely on. And those taxes ought to be spent socially. What is not taxed is the faux roulette wheel financial houdini stuff that makes nothing but is sucking the air out of mainstreet. War makes nothing also; it only destroys. I just lumped those together and said, factually I think, “Put the nonsense economy together with nonsense expenditures and put real life together with real economy if you want the latter to thrive.

    A bit tongue in cheek, I admit, since the scales are already lopsided and what was mainstreet is no longer, but that’s where the income tax comes into play. My imaginary scenario deals with the so-called ‘robin hood’ tax, a reductio ad absurdum if you like. Abolish both houses and a plague on them, my not so subtle subliminal message, and I’ll grant you a fools errand, but that’s just me.

    Quite obviously our masters are hellbent to ignore these equations but we the people should at least be getting it right.

  28. just a couple points: this snap reduction is because the rise in snap allocations were done in obomba’s stimulus package, and it’s expired now. like unemployment compensation, it’s spent fast, and has a return value to the economy of something like #1.30 for every dollar spent. yes, the next cuts will be the ‘tweaked sequester’ ones that amount to a grand bargain, and then there will be the snap and other programs in the ag bill.

    at least that’s how i read the various articles i read. sadly, leaving the economy alone might be better than what you mean, but obviously a true prescription would be massive jobs programs, returning stolen pension and 401-K funds, college loan resets by half (a trillion dollars outstanding in those loans, jiggered loan rates allowed by the G *after* the fact), i dunno, you see my drift.

    it’s been a few days since i watched the videos, but the man who said that these cuts weren’t necessary ‘at least for now’ was a mouse too timid. he should have known what sort of firebrand denouncement of the reductions were about, imo. but…that’s just my opinion. i keep thinking about the putative left: “if the bad guys don’t get ya, the good guys will”. (buffy sainte marie)

    yes, massive reductions in the military budget would be good for us, as would massive reductions spent by the security state. read a piece this a.m claiming the nsa budget is a billion this year: hooey, but then factor in the *other* nine federal security agencies, and sooner or later those billions add up to some real money. :)

  29. HI SharonMI!

  30. Good evening,

    Yes, hello SharonMI from across the big pond. Talking about surprise, I was just over attempting to keep up with Book Salon and concerning factions, I noticed Teddy was back in yesterday’s session. My recollections are so bad, but was it Kelly and Teddy in a FDL dust-up not too far back. I don’t remember the details, likely best forgotten, but turgid at the time.

    Watching Yves Smith and Dean Baker (TPP) on Moyers, taking a quiet evening. All the best to everyone in the coming week.

  31. big lake michigan pond? yes, teddy and kelly eviscerated one of my favorite posts. the flame war was vast, and i regretted it deeply. just fetchedit outta giggle cache. 228 comments, almost none of them on my hippie philosophical ideas. it was called simply ‘we are‘, and i loved it.

    in fact, i’ve been trying hard to do a post on domestic surveillance and aclu foia-ed docs, and some dhs things, but i’ve been trying to mesh together some lakota, mi’kmaq news with russell brand’s new statesman piece. just cannae find the hook to meld it together.

    tp had a major fight with tbogg, and didn’t post for a time, and that was after jane had cut him loose. yes, that’s probably best forgotten, but i have trouble doing it. rc had remarked that they’re gone, and i’m still standing, but dunno for how long. odd that i’m persona non grata there so often.

    yes, i saw at yve’s house that she had been on moyers; i will try to watch. she tried to brush up on the tpp for the appearance. ;)

    love to you, monsieur garlique.

  32. the music anchoring the post is simply sublime, imo:

  33. thanks nonquixote.

  34. We finished a small meal, pesto/pasta and garden tomatoes, still have a bunch under some newspaper ripening. First hard frost last night with a blanket of ice crystals sparkling this morning.

    Love the tune you put up, wendy. On the come-back, I was melancholy and contemplative through the week, made a couple small wreaths for a couple family headstones. Remembering Richard DeBerry started me off with a quiet but in no way morose general reassessment of the last year, goals met or not, directions taken, things hopefully understood better. However, feeling a change of mood setting in this week already. ;-)


  35. i have never recovered from seeing that the first time, nonquixote. can’t help whistling to my theme song/s. damn, it’s literally spit-take funny every time. ‘life’s a piece of shiT, when you look at iT’ is said rather often in our house.

    otoh, mr. wd just took me out for a look at the stars. not a deep-sky night, and i increasing can only see some stars and constellations with averted vision (there must be a major metaphor in there, eh?)

    wrong roads…i can sorta get. goals? not so much; i’ve always been a one foot in front of the other process by intuition sort of person, i reckon. not my business to say, but you seem to clearly on the good road, if less traveled, and garlicky….

    tomorrow i will say a sorta recipe on the open thread. i pissed away my day and never wrote a damned thing…again. waiting is.

    good night; dream well.

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