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I got a mailer and was on my way to throw it in the trash (recycling actually) when I made the mistake to look.

“Sean Barney wants to tax the rich to pay more in Social Security Benefits…. ‘

That is awesome!  It caught my attention..”Yay. ‘Bout time someone gets it… Maybe I was too hasty in writing him off… ”

(Because if you don’t know by now, you do live under a rock.. that rock could be one-sided news, I don’t know, but you DO live under a rock.)

All of society’s problems today are caused by less money being in the active economy because it is locked up in the vaults of the 1%…

Everything from schools, highways, hunger, poverty, crime, guns, abortion, religion, climate change, could be solved if we’d just move some of that money from the private economy, into the public one…

And Sean Barney is on the right path…. All our problems come from the huge amounts of money that USED TO BE ACTIVE IN OUR ECONOMY which now, are not there;…  money now lying dormant which could be better served if seniors were spending it to better their lives, and everyone else for that matter.

That a former Carper aide, and former Markell aide, now finally “GETS IT” was reassuring and gave me incredible hope for our future…

But Sean is not alone in the field. There are other candidates, one of which is Bryan Townsend.

Whereas Sean Barney is “getting it” now, Bryan Townsend “got it” 4 years ago.  To paraphrase someone else’s former campaign: we only send one, let’s send our best.

When we were battling the takeover of Wilmington’s schools, Bryan Townsend was there, at the meeting, not for himself, but to argue for our children.

When there was no hope to stop bad Sokolian policy from being railroaded through the General Assembly, Bryan Townsend was able to add passable amendments that put those policies under review.  A review that is right now, turning people’s minds against all the one-sided crap once fed to us about how bad all public schools were.

When there was no hope to stop the horrible Smarter Balanced Assessment from being our measuring device (actually there was and his name was Greg Lavelle but that is a story for another time),  Bryan was one of those arguing against it…

When we were deciding to allow marriage to include other than Men/Women, Bryan Townsend weed-killed the General Assembly by moving first to establish a ground floor of logic based on our national beliefs.  The weed-seeds of dissension, divisiveness, division, demolition, were never able to take root….

Immediately upon entering the General Assembly, Bryan Townsend exhibited that he’d gained knowledge of how to manipulate the Delaware’s power structure to get progress for real people initiated…

Markell could take lessons from him.  But then again, these two’s motives are completely opposite.  Markell pushes corporate policy meaning he needs to sneak his diabolical and damaging policies past us We The People, because when We find out what he’s done to us, it makes us angry. His modus operandi has been to say… “oops, fait accompli, sorry you’re too late”.  Bryan argues out loud and in public for how his policies better us all and the positive outcomes we can expect to achieve should we all get behind him and they get implemented.  He makes things happen by consensus, by convincing the opposition they will be better off; not quick sucker punches in the dark while they sleep.

So there may be nothing wrong with Sean Barney after all.   He may make a good Congressperson and carry progressive values into the Senate.  But we have seen over four years that there is someone better.

For all others it would be easy to follow a crowd and be lead to cheer-lead behind a enthusiastic leader, which Hillary supposes to be… WE can expect a majority of members in both Democratic majority of Congressional Houses to do that next session.  But, what we need is someone who is in advance of the mainstream, who is capable of creating and developing and not afraid of the hard work necessary to not just follow, but lead Congress forward into the unknown… For the unknown is what we face…

We only have one, and should send our best… Although all the candidates may be quality individuals and have many redeeming qualities, we can only pick one… Our best is beyond all doubt, highly visible to all, even those emerging out from under their rocks, our Bryan Townsend….

In my lifetime, covering backwards through Carney, Castle, and Carper, we have never put into the House anyone as qualified from the start as is Bryan Townsend…His track record is astounding.  There is no equal comparison in abilities between him or any of the other candidates.  Really, No comparison at all.  His stature is so far above the rest of the field, this endorsement is an easy one and needs no further discussion.

 

 

 

 

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There are myths, and there is reality.  Sometimes they coincide, but usually myths are invented to achieve a reality that otherwise would have such opposition, it would never occur.

Keystone is like that.

The myth is that Keystone will lower oil for us at the pump, and create jobs in the construction industry. If those were true then the bill would have a much easier time passing… They aren’t.  The truth is that the Koch’s own a large part of the tar sands in Alberta and must have that pipeline to move that oil southward to their refineries.  Otherwise if the pipeline goes east or west, other billionaire’s refineries will get the profit, not the Koch’s.

The oil is for import only.  Not domestic consumption.  There is no benefit to the USA to transport Canadian oil across America to refine it near Houston, and send it overseas in tankers.  At best, we would have 10 more people monitoring the flow of oil, provided technical advances do not replace even them.  There is a good likelihood they will.

As for jobs-building the pipeline, it appears that perhaps 2,500-3,000, most of them non-union and therefore low wages, would be the short term benefit…  I believe Senator Mitch McConnell estimated 40,000 jobs.  However Kinder Morgan which is building a bigger, better pipeline than the Keystone in question, is only swelling its job estimates to 4500, the equivalent number EDIS hires in Wilmington to build one single building, or Reybold hires to build one apartment complex in a former cornfield.

This is paltry.  We create 250,000 new private sector jobs a month… 2500 + or –  won’t make a dent anywhere.

The negatives are far more severe.  First it would transfer the worst type of oil through America… Whereas an oil well is environmentally non-intrusive, a tar sands operation creates an environmental hell.

Tar Baby

Photo courtesy of KQED

Far more worse than any train wreck to which Rick Jensen was alluding. Secondly, this pipeline crosses an aquifer that supplies the central US with almost all of its water.  Were oil to seep, that water though plentiful, would be useless as ocean water for any agriculture purposes…  No farming from North Dakota to Oklahoma. The bread basket of America, simply gone.

Proponents say pipelines are safe… they point to tankers on highways and trains that derail. However they go completely out of their way, even banning reporters from the town on Keystone I that had oil come up out of the ground and take over that town.  It’s water supply is undrinkable.

???????????????????????????????

If this already happened on Keystone I, it is a safe bet to assume it will certainly happen somewhere along the 1000 miles where the pipeline crosses America’s most important aquifer.

Tar leak Arkansas

Courtesy of The Star

We have so far completely put a dent in any argument stating that Keystone is important for America’s survival.

Now we shall show you why it is currently a hot topic and is being rushed through a Republican Congress over all cognizant objections.

it is not a random occurrence that Sen. Mitch McConnell went to the Koch’s summit, promised a load of goods, got campaign money, and upon arriving as Majority Leader, made Senate Bill #1 the passage of Keystone.   The Koch’s funded 44,000 ads in 2014. 

The following map shows why.  From this it is clear the pipeline has no other purpose than to get Koch oils sands down to existing Koch refineries.

koch props

Courtesy of Google Maps. 

Koch operates crude oil gathering systems and pipelines across North America. Its Flint Hills Resources subsidiary owns refineries in Alaska, Minnesota, and Texas that process more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil daily. The company owns a 3% stake in the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, 4,000 miles of oil and products pipelines in the US, and an 80,000 barrels-per day refinery in Rotterdam. In addition, Koch Industries has held multiple leases on the polluting tar sands of Alberta, Canada since the 1990s and the Koch Pipeline Company operates the pipelines that carry tar sands crude from Canada into Minnesota and Wisconsin where Koch’s Flint Hill Resources owns oil refineries.

So it is clear as this debate goes forward.  There is no advantage for America to build this pipeline.   In fact there is a huge disadvantage if the slightest thing goes wrong.  Yet there is a great advantage to the Koch Brothers who funded a large number of congressional races with both dark and legal money.  In this time and age, it appears that if you spend enough to get in who you want, then they do exactly what you originally asked them to

The People be damned.

You may have awakened this morning to news that the bill to curb the NSA failed to win its filibuster margin of 60 and proceed forward…

Do not be dissuaded. This is probably a good thing.  It was watered down considerably to get enough Republican votes to pass.

The good news, is that without renewal, in the next Republican Congress, it will expire if nothing is done to re-pass it.  And everyone knows, it is far easier for Republicans to vote “no” against weakening our defense against terrorism, than it is to vote “yes” to putting every American’s deepest private thoughts and spoken words on speaker phone.

The parts of the reauthorized Patriot Act which were interpreted to allow for the mass surveillance revealed by Snowden last year, expire midnight of June 1st of next year, if no action to reauthorize them is taken….

Had this bill been passed last night, they would have remained intact far longer.  As it is, next Spring there will not be enough votes in the House or Senate to pass a new Patriot Act based on the shake up that occurred in both houses this past election.

Last December I’d stumbled across this interactive map put up by the PEW foundation,  which had accumulated each state’s research of how many people were unemployed long termed back then, and how many were slipping off the roles this upcoming year… What I want to show, is the economic consequences of not continuing unemployment benefits, and to show it on a state by state basis.   The economic cost is nothing to ignore….As you may remember, Walmart is reeling from the food stamps (SNAP) cutbacks last November.  Their figures for this quarter come out early April.  But having some of their biggest clients drop out of society’s economics, jolted them last quarter..

The numbers for my state were estimated lower than reality.. PEW underestimated in December what Delaware actually reported in January by about 10%… Therefore these numbers should be considered baseline conservative estimates only, and very believable..  If they shock you, the reality is probably much worse….

As you know, all those already  on long termed unemployment  stopped receiving benefits on December 28th of last year.  Subsequently each week, every state has some members on its state’s unemployment roles who expire, and normally would get dumped into the federal program and continue being able to contribute to our economy while they look for work…That number gets bigger each week…

The idea occurred to me (and I did a piece on my own state),  that we could figure the economic damage relatively easily by finding the number of unemployed, calculating their economic worth by extending the average check amount, and applying a multiplier to account for the increase economic activity that unemployment creates. These multipliers are all over the map. The Dept of Labor predicts a 2.0 multiplier. and Moody’s predicts a 1.55 multiplier… Every dollar given through unemployment, creates $2.00 (1.55) in overall economic benefit as it continues to filter up the economic ladder to the top….

So I took it upon myself to show  how many people were initially cut, how many more increased the totals weekly, how much economic loss this costs each state,  and where the states will be at the end of this week, the beginning of March… The next step, since I won’t have the time, would be for someone to compare these estimates of people getting booted off an income, with each individual’ states data on weekly new hires. simply to prove whether or not unemployment was due to laziness and not the lack of good full-time paying jobs…  It would be easy to determine,.  If one would find that 10,000 are getting the boot, and if the state is showing no new hires, that we are creating a large class of people who will soon be creating large problems, stemming from simply the necessity of survival…. Call it our Third World Quotient. (I used this source for each states unemployment benefit)

===

Alabama   12.100 lost benefits on Dec. 28th.  925 added each week. Total off roles as of March 1st =20,425 @ $265 Alabama benefit = now hitting with impact of $5.4 million per week.  March 1st -Dec.28th Cumulative Lost Income Damage.= $43.9 million. Times 1.55 Multiplier effect, $68,045,000 dollars

Alaska    23,300 lost benefits on Dec. 28th.  448 added each week.  Total off roles as of March 1st =27,332 @ $442 Alaska benefit = now hitting with impact of $24.1 million per week.  March 1st -Dec.28th cumulative Lost Income Damage = $111.9 million  Times 1.55 Multiplier effect, $ 173,439,916 dollars

Arizona   17,100 lost benefits on Dec. 28th.  1288 added each week.  Total off roles as of March 1st = 28,962 @ $240 Arizona benefit = now hitting with impact of $6.9 million per week.  March 1st -Dec.28th cumulative Lost Income Damage = $55 million  Times 1.55 Multiplier effect. $ 85,173,120 dollars

Arkansas  9,300 lost benefits on Dec 28th.  775 added each week.  Total off roles as of March 1st = 16,275 @ $ 451 Arkansas benefit = now hitting with an impact of $ 7.3 million per week.. March 1st -Dec.28th cumulative Lost Income Damage = $57.6 million times 1.55 Multiplier effect $89,39,018 dollars.

California   214,800  lost benefits on Dec 28th.    16,078 added each week.  Total off roles as of March 1st = 359,502  @ $ 450   California benefit = now hitting with an impact of $161  million per week.. March 1st -Dec.28th cumulative Lost Income Damage =  $1.29 billion times 1.55 Multiplier effect $ 2,002,878,225 dollars.

Colorado   17,900 lost benefits on Dec 28th.  1400  added each week.  Total off roles as of March 1st =  30,500 @ $ 466  Colorado benefit = now hitting with an impact of $14.2   million per week.. March 1st -Dec.28th cumulative Lost Income Damage =  $37.7 million times 1.55 Multiplier effect $ 58,434,070  dollars.

Connecticut  26,000 lost benefits on Dec 28th.   1636  added each week.  Total off roles as of March 1st =   35816 @ $ 665 Connecticut benefit = now hitting with an impact of $23.8  million per week.. March 1st -Dec.28th cumulative Lost Income Damage = $221.8 million times 1.55 Multiplier effect $ 343,878,815  dollars.
Read the rest of this entry »

Senator Carper in Senate

Quick. Someone alert the News Journal. They have a story here to print.

Deal is sweetened by stretching pension plan payments for big business and is down to 3 month of extension. The Bill not only pays for the $6.4 billion price tag but also reduces the deficit by $1.2 billion.

There is no reason for Republicans to vote against it, except to screw the middle class over one more time..

Check back to see which choice they make….

SNAP is Food Stamps.

More than half of Americans will experience poverty at some point during their adult lives,” “Think about that. This is not an isolated situation.… That’s why we have nutrition assistance or the program known as SNAP, because it makes a difference for a mother who’s working, but is just having a hard time putting food on the table for her kids.”  President Obama.

Who gets hurt?...

There are currently 47 million Americans who turn to food stamps to help make ends meet. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, nearly 72 percent are in families with children; and one-quarter of SNAP participants are in households with seniors or people with disabilities. Further, 91 percent of SNAP benefits go to households with incomes below the poverty line, and 55 percent to households below half of the poverty line (about $9,500 annually for a family of three).

Let’s break that down…. each million people represents one whole state of Delaware….

47 Delawares  turn to Food Stamps

33  Delawares  in Families with Children (72%)

42.8 Delawares  (91%) go to households below the poverty line….  Here are the poverty lines….

Poverty Lines 2014

25.9 Delawares at half  poverty line  (55%) (below $11,750 for family of 4; take half of above chart for others…)

You may remember that the program was cut by $5 Billion last November.  That cut put Wal*mart’s earnings this past quarter into the negative for its first time in … how long?  So this cut on top of that cuts amounts to about $13 billion dollars…from where benefits were last summer….

Let us look at those 25.9 million at half the poverty line….   A family of 4 below  $11,750.  At the maximum, that comes to living off $979 per month…. or….  $32 a day….  for 4 people…. If there are zero other expense across that entire year, they can afford to eat on $8 a day per person.  Basically 2 meals at $4 each per day….

But not everyone get their benefits cut.

Here is the original US Code… 42 U.S.C. 8624(f)(2)(A)

(2) For purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection and for purposes of determining any excess shelter expense deduction under section 5(e) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2014 (e))—
(A) the full amount of such payments or allowances shall be deemed to be expended by such household for heating or cooling expenses, without regard to whether such payments or allowances are provided directly to, or indirectly for the benefit of, such household; and

… and here is the piece passed in the Senate just hours ago, and by the House last week…..

SEC. 4003. of the Farm Bill…

(b) Conforming Amendment- Section 2605(f)(2)(A) of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 (42 U.S.C. 8624(f)(2)(A)) is amended by inserting before the semicolon at the end `, except that, for purposes of the supplemental nutrition assistance program established under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.), such payments or allowances were greater than $10 annually, consistent with section 5(e)(6)(C)(iv)(I) of that Act (7 U.S.C. 2014(e)(6)(C)(iv)(I)), as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.’.

And therefore the new line of code will look like this……

(2) For purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection and for purposes of determining any excess shelter expense deduction under section 5(e) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2014 (e))—
(A) the full amount of such payments or allowances shall be deemed to be expended by such household for heating or cooling expenses, without regard to whether such payments or allowances are provided directly to, or indirectly for the benefit of, such household, except that, for purposes of the supplemental nutrition assistance program established under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.), such payments or allowances were greater than $10 annually, consistent with section 5(e)(6)(C)(iv)(I) of that Act (7 U.S.C. 2014(e)(6)(C)(iv)(I)), as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.; and

(One almost has to do it that way to figure out what the adds and deletes amount to….)

Basically what just happened was that if one received heating or energy assistance back before when it was NOT considered income, it now going to be considered income if it amounts to over $10 per year….  If it is enough, it may disqualify people off of SNAP…. 

Most likely those receiving Heat and Energy Assistance are NOT the most affluent of the SNAP recipients.  Most likely those receiving Heat and Energy Assistance will be on the LOWER END of the recipients.  Most likely those losing benefits will have AT THE MOST only $32 dollars a day for a family of 4, for all expenses, now including heat….  Furthermore, Southerners will eat better than Northerners.

This knocks 2 million of our neediest off the SNAP rolls… not really fair in anyone’s book… and it is done simply to save 16.5 billion or 0.000000000165 % of the deficit over the next 10 years…

Farm Bill 2014

Graph Courtesy of Washington Post

Notice there is $198.4 billion in other expenses spread out over the next 10 years…  Was just SNAP was cut and not the other…?

The other is a fabrication or an  estimate, for this farm bill does something no other farm bill has ever done.   This bill discontinues cash payments per acre. That is no more.  Instead we begin funding farmers through an insurance fund, a mechanism which makes tracing payments far more difficult… and probably impossible.

It expands the system of subsidized crop insurance to protect farmers from sudden price drops. The bill would also cap how much money an individual farmer can receive — $125,000 annually. (Lawmakers rejected amendments that would have shrunk this to $50,000.)

In theory, the extra subsidies for crop insurance are supposed to cost less than the old direct payments did. But, again, it depends. More droughts or unseasonable cold weather could cause these payments to soar unexpectedly. Likewise, the new “shallow loss” insurance programs could start paying a lot of money if the price of commodities like corn and soy start dropping from their recent highs. “In fact,” argues the R Street Institute, “given recent drops in the price of corn, the shallow loss program would be triggered on day one for the nation’s largest commodity crop.”

The White House originally asked for farm legislation that would have saved twice as much, $38 billion — mainly by slashing payouts to farmers.  Instead, because of Republicans in the House, it only got $16.5 billion cut pverall… splitting it halfway between an $8.25 billion cut to our poorest citizens in the form of SNAP cuts,  and $8.25 million billion cut to protect our largest grossing farmers from losing money…..

And just who are those largest grossing farmers, and how much did they make this past year?

Name ————————- Revenue Stream ————————Crop Protection %

1 Crop Production Services, Inc.= ——More than $1 billion ………. …………. 33%
2 Helena Chemical Company== ===More than $1 billion……………………….  38 4%
3 GROWMARK, Inc. ==========More than $1 billion ……………………….   17%
4 Wilbur-Ellis Company== More than $1 billion ………………………………….   41%
5 CHS ================More than $1 billion………………………….. …….21%
6 J.R. Simplot=========== More than $1 billion………………………………   36%
7 Jimmy Sanders, Inc. (Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings) More than $1 billion 31%
8 Southern States Co-op========= $500-999 million………………………… 16%
9 MFA Incorporated============ $500-999 million ………………………..20%
10 Tennessee Farmers Cooperative ==$100-499 million ………………………..20%

(The other 90 can be found here in clearer detail……)  But to appreciate the callous horror of our two Senator’s decision, look at all those gaining below, and then think of the sum of 25.9 Delawares looking over this list after their first full week with no food…….

(Rank -Name – Revenue Stream -Crop Protection %)

11 South Dakota Wheat Growers $100-499 million 18%
12 Co-Alliance LLP $100-499 million 18%
13 Central Valley Ag Cooperative $100-499 million 17%
14 Farmers Cooperative Co. $100-499 million 16%
15 Cargill AgHorizons $100-499 million 14%
16 The McGregor Co $100-499 million 34%
17 Hefty Seed Company $100-499 million 64%
18 Aurora Cooperative $100-499 million 35%
19 North Central Farmers Elevator $100-499 million 19%
20 Effingham Equity $100-499 million 22%
21 Brandt $100-499 million 21%
22 Buttonwillow Warehouse Company $100-499 million 43%
23 The Andersons, Inc. $100-499 million 20%
24 Agri-AFC, LLC $100-499 million 31%
25 West Central Ag Services $100-499 million 24%
26 Mid Valley Ag Service, Inc. $100-499 million 50%
27 Diamond R. Fertilizer Co., Inc. $100-499 million 36%
28 Heartland Co-op $100-499 million 15%
29 United Cooperative $100-499 million 17%
30 Twin-State Inc. $100-499 million 23%
31 Valley Agronomics LLC $100-499 million 37%
32 Kova Fertilizer $100-499 million 22%
33 Land View, Inc. $100-499 million 26%
34 Ag Partners LLC $100-499 million 14%
35 Landmark Service Cooperative $100-499 million 14%
36 Tremont Group Inc. $100-499 million 41%
37 Hintzsche Fertilizer, Inc. $100-499 million 18%
38 Griffin Fertilizer Co. $50-99 million 21%
39 CPI (Cooperative Producers, Inc.) $50-99 million 16%
40 West Central Cooperative $50-99 million 17%
41 Star of the West Milling Co. $50-99 million 18%
42 Allied Cooperative $50-99 million 19%
43 Golden Furrow Fertilizer $50-99 million 21%
44 Van Horn Inc. $50-99 million 16%
45 Frenchman Valley Co-op $50-99 million 17%
46 Ceres Solutions Inc. $50-99 million 28%
47 Cooperative Elevator Co. $50-99 million 17%
48 Farm Service Co-op $50-99 million 16%
49 Sur-Gro Plant Food $50-99 million 26%
50 Fertizona $50-99 million 45%
51 The Dune Co. $50-99 million 33%
52 G.S. Long Co., Inc. $50-99 million 74%
53 Carolina Eastern-Vail Inc. $50-99 million 14%
54 Wilco-Winfield LLC $50-99 million 31%
55 Gar Tootelian, Inc. $50-99 million 71%
56 First Cooperative Association $50-99 million 22%
57 United Prairie LLC $50-99 million 22%
58 Willard Agri-Service $50-99 million 20%
59 The DeLong Co., Inc $50-99 million 12%
60 MaxYield Cooperative $50-99 million 15%
61 Mid Kansas Coop $50-99 million 17%
62 Stanislaus Farm Supply $50-99 million 24%
63 Mid-West Fertilizer, Inc. $50-99 million 17%
64 Watonwan Farm Service $50-99 million 31%
65 Lyman Group, Inc. $50-99 million 46%
66 Asmus Farm Supply, Inc. $50-99 million 82%
67 Abell Corp. $50-99 million 0%
68 Home Oil Company $50-99 million 35%
69 Eldon C. Stutsman, Inc. $50-99 million 6 %
70 Mountain View Coop $50-99 million 20%
71 Pearl City Elevator, Inc. $50-99 million 21%
72 Reynolds United Co-op $50-99 million 29%
73 Farm Service Inc. $25-49 million 22%
74 AgRx $25-49 million 29%
75 El Dorado Chemical Co. $25-49 million 2%
76 Centennial Ag Supply $25-49 million 23 %
77 MRM Ag Services, Inc. $25-49 million 26 %
78 Growers Fertilizer Corporation $25-49 million 16%
79 Sims Fertilizer & Chemical $25-49 million 90 %
80 East Kansas Chemical Co. LLC $25-49 million 87%
81 Great Bend Coop $25-49 million 30 %
82 Warner Fertilizer Co. $25-49 million 6%
83 Delta Growers Association $25-49 million 33%
84 Panhandle Coop $25-49 million 17%
85 Big Valley Ag $25-49 million 52 %
86 Jay-Mar, Inc. $25-49 million 5%
87 Northwest Ag Supply LLC $25-49 million 73%
88 J.B. Pearl Sales & Service, Inc. $25-49 million 22 %
89 Husker Coop $25-49 million 21 %
90 Allerton Supply Co. Less than $25 million 24%
91 Frontier Cooperative Co. Less than $25 million 21%
92 T H Agri-Chemicals, Inc. Less than $25 million 6 %
93 Baltz Feed Company, Inc. Less than $25 million 27 %
94 BEI Hawaii Less than $25 million 30 %
95 Consumers Co-op Association Less than $25 million 26%
96 Foster-Gardner, Inc. Less than $25 million 47 %
97 The Mill Less than $25 million 13 %
98 MPG Crop Services Less than $25 million 60%
99 Woolsey Brothers Farm Supply Inc. Less than $25 million 31%
100 Pendleton Grain Growers Less than $25 million 29 %

The Rich get richer; the poor get poorer, and Tom and Chris just help them right along….

John Carney voted to cut SNAP (Food Stamps) by $8.7 Billion.  Per year that amounts to a cut of $870,000,000 each year…. 

During a time when his corporate sponsors want him to subsidize their low wage workers, he goes and cuts their benefits…  Now those lowballing corporations will have to pay their workers more..  After all, they can’t let them die.  No one else would do their work.  

So workers, management, and investors in Wal*Mart, McDonalds, or other low paying companies that actually help you get SNAP and Medicaid so you can live on what little they pay you… Give Carney a ring…  Tell him he’s costing your job by playing with your benefits and cutting them….

Vote Totals here.….

 

This….

A catfish inspection program will continue in place, despite Vietnam’s and China’s objections.

California can continue banning eggs hatched from hens in tiny battery cages…

Language aimed at curtailing a meat country-of-origin labeling (MCOOL) requirement, and one aimed at restricting activities by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) was left out. These two were opposed by foreign processors.

The bill ties Commodity subsidies to historical production but allows famers to update their “base acres” once in the life of the farm bill.

It changes restrictions on the so-called “actively engaged” provision. The criteria for management has been strengthened compared to current law, a source said, but the provision appears be scaled back from the labor requirement in the earlier versions of the bills…

The altered payment limits are now capped at $125,000 per individual or $250,000 per couple, but caps within that total for PLC, ARC or marketing loan deficiency payments have been removed.

On farm subsidies, the bill offers producers a choice between a shallow loss revenue insurance long favored by Northern crop growers and price-based supports supported by those in the South. ..

The compromise discourages milk overproduction by limiting how much milk can be insured in the future and also has a provision allowing the Agriculture Department to buy up some excess production.

The bill is expected to save $23 billion over 10 years compared to existing funding.

The House bill had initially made a $39 billion cut to the food stamp programs. The cut will now stand at $8 billion across 10 years. or $800,000,000 per year…The food stamps cuts are achieved by making it more difficult to qualify for nutrition assistance by virtue of receiving home heating aid…..

The bill contains funding for a new pilot program aimed at encouraging able-bodied recipients to find work and more than $200 million more for food banks.

There is a bill in the Senate to extend benefits to those long term unemployed who suddenly are without money.  Any money.

As local news agencies have oft repeatedly reported, when new jobs get offered there are over 100s, sometimes 1000s of applicants for each position..  With so many unemployed for so few jobs, how does cutting unemployment benefits to these long-termed unemployed help anyone or do anything to help the economy?  They do a lot to hurt however…  For example Delaware will have lost $3.9 million dollars of economic activity by this Saturday coming up…  That missing almost $4 million in 3 weeks means cut hours for those across the state who could be normally be working….but for this cut.

That is just one example.  Inventory restocking gets cut, as $4 million in product which would be normally gone, still sits on Delaware’s grocers’ shelves.  Those delivering and producing also must cut hours back, because from every state they serve, they are getting the same reactions.

So why, is it that something so simple cannot be passed by Congress?…. You will probably hear from America’s media that alas, it is gridlock and it is both party’s fault.  No doubt on some networks you will hear that the majority party will stubbornly not allow any amendments to this bill and for that, it is the Democrat’s fault if the bill does not have support of the minority.  Or then again, you may hear what is really happening.

The Republican minority is loading up the unemployment bill with junk amendments which it wants Democrats to have a record of voting upon when they compete in the Congressional elections in 2014, ten months away.

That is why, attached to the Long-Term Unemployment Compensation Bill, are all these amendments which……

1. S.AMDT.2603 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :  Sponsor: Sen Ayotte, Kelly [NH] (introduced 1/7/2014) Cosponsors (14)
Latest Major Action: 1/7/2014 Senate amendment submitted

2. S.AMDT.2604 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :  Sponsor: Sen Vitter, David [LA] (introduced 1/7/2014) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 1/7/2014 Senate amendment submitted

3. S.AMDT.2605 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :  Sponsor: Sen Inhofe, James M. [OK] (introduced 1/7/2014) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 1/7/2014 Senate amendment submitted

4. S.AMDT.2606 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :  Sponsor: Sen Coburn, Tom [OK] (introduced 1/7/2014) Cosponsors (9)
Latest Major Action: 1/7/2014 Senate amendment submitted

5. S.AMDT.2607 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :  Sponsor:  Sen Coburn, Tom [OK] (introduced 1/7/2014) Cosponsors (4)
Latest Major Action: 1/7/2014 Senate amendment submitted

6. S.AMDT.2608 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :  Sponsor: Sen Blumenthal, Richard [CT] (introduced 1/7/2014) Cosponsors (2)
Latest Major Action: 1/7/2014 Senate amendment submitted

7. S.AMDT.2609 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text.
Sponsor: Sen Coats, Daniel [IN] (introduced 1/7/2014) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 1/7/2014 Senate amendment submitted

8. S.AMDT.2610 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :  Sponsor: Sen Coats, Daniel [IN] (introduced 1/7/2014) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 1/7/2014 Senate amendment submitted

9. S.AMDT.2611 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :  Sponsor: Sen Coats, Daniel [IN] (introduced 1/7/2014) Cosponsors (1)
Latest Major Action: 1/7/2014 Senate amendment submitted

10. S.AMDT.2612 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :Sponsor: Sen Moran, Jerry [KS] (introduced 1/7/2014) Cosponsors (1)
Latest Major Action: 1/7/2014 Senate amendment submitted

11. S.AMDT.2613 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :Sponsor: Sen Portman, Rob [OH] (introduced 1/8/2014) Cosponsors (4)
Latest Major Action: 1/8/2014 Senate amendment submitted

12. S.AMDT.2614 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :Sponsor: Sen Paul, Rand [KY] (introduced 1/8/2014) Cosponsors (1)
Latest Major Action: 1/8/2014 Senate amendment submitted

13. S.AMDT.2615 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text.:  Sponsor: Sen Inhofe, James M. [OK] (introduced 1/8/2014) Cosponsors (4)
Latest Major Action: 1/8/2014 Senate amendment submitted

14. S.AMDT.2616 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :  Sponsor: Sen Portman, Rob [OH] (introduced 1/8/2014) Cosponsors (1)
Latest Major Action: 1/8/2014 Senate amendment submitted

15. S.AMDT.2617 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :  Sponsor: Sen Coats, Daniel [IN] (introduced 1/8/2014) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 1/8/2014 Senate amendment submitted

16. S.AMDT.2618 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :  Sponsor: Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH] (introduced 1/8/2014) Cosponsors (12)
Latest Major Action: 1/8/2014 Senate amendment submitted

17. S.AMDT.2619 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :  Sponsor: Sen Portman, Rob [OH] (introduced 1/8/2014) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 1/8/2014 Senate amendment submitted

18. S.AMDT.2620 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :  Sponsor: Sen Toomey, Pat [PA] (introduced 1/8/2014) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 1/8/2014 Senate amendment submitted

19. S.AMDT.2621 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text.:   Sponsor: Sen Portman, Rob [OH] (introduced 1/8/2014) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 1/8/2014 Senate amendment submitted

20. S.AMDT.2622 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :  Sponsor: Sen Thune, John [SD] (introduced 1/8/2014) Cosponsors (2)
Latest Major Action: 1/8/2014 Senate amendment submitted

21. S.AMDT.2623 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text.   Sponsor: Sen McConnell, Mitch [KY] (introduced 1/8/2014) Cosponsors (1)
Latest Major Action: 1/8/2014 Senate amendment submitted

22. S.AMDT.2624 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :  Sponsor: Sen McConnell, Mitch [KY] (introduced 1/8/2014) Cosponsors (1)
Latest Major Action: 1/8/2014 Senate amendment submitted

23. S.AMDT.2625 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :  Sponsor: Sen McConnell, Mitch [KY] (introduced 1/8/2014) Cosponsors (1)
Latest Major Action: 1/8/2014 Senate amendment submitted

24. S.AMDT.2626 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :  Sponsor: Sen Sessions, Jeff [AL] (introduced 1/8/2014) Cosponsors (3)
Latest Major Action: 1/8/2014 Senate amendment submitted

25. S.AMDT.2627 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text.:  Sponsor: Sen Scott, Tim [SC] (introduced 1/9/2014) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 1/9/2014 Senate amendment submitted

26. S.AMDT.2628 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text.:  Sponsor: Sen Portman, Rob [OH] (introduced 1/9/2014) Cosponsors (1)
Latest Major Action: 1/9/2014 Senate amendment submitted

27. S.AMDT.2629 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text.:  Sponsor: Sen Collins, Susan M. [ME] (introduced 1/9/2014) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 1/9/2014 Senate amendment submitted

28. S.AMDT.2630 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :  Sponsor: Sen Flake, Jeff [AZ] (introduced 1/9/2014) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 1/9/2014 Senate amendment submitted

29. S.AMDT.2631 to S.1845 Relating to extension and modification of emergency unemployment compensation program. :  Sponsor: Sen Reed, Jack [RI] (introduced 1/9/2014) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 1/9/2014 Senate amendment proposed (on the floor)

30. S.AMDT.2632 to S.1845  To change the enactment date. :  Sponsor: Sen Reid, Harry [NV] (introduced 1/9/2014) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 1/9/2014 Senate amendment proposed (on the floor)

31. S.AMDT.2633 to S.1845 To change the enactment date. :  Sponsor: Sen Reid, Harry [NV] (introduced 1/9/2014) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 1/9/2014 Senate amendment proposed (on the floor)

32. S.AMDT.2634 to S.1845 Of a perfecting nature. :  Sponsor: Sen Reid, Harry [NV] (introduced 1/9/2014) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 1/9/2014 Senate amendment proposed (on the floor)

33. S.AMDT.2635 to S.1845 Of a perfecting nature. :  Sponsor: Sen Reid, Harry [NV] (introduced 1/9/2014) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 1/9/2014 Senate amendment proposed (on the floor)

34. S.AMDT.2636 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :  Sponsor: Sen Pryor, Mark L. [AR] (introduced 1/9/2014) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 1/9/2014 Senate amendment submitted

35. S.AMDT.2637 to S.1845 Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text. :  Sponsor: Sen Scott, Tim [SC] (introduced 1/9/2014) Cosponsors (2)
Latest Major Action: 1/9/2014 Senate amendment submitted

So when you happen to hear from someone who is not accurately attuned to factual reality, still stating that both sides own part of the problem, politely inform them that if they want to report on the news accurately, they should properly state that 28/35ths of the delay is Republican orieneted…. (I’m being generous;  if you back out Reid’s strictly procedural amendments, the problem is even more onesided as being 28/32ths the Republican’s fault….)

Some of these amendments, especially from Republicans,  cover a wide range of topics…. Here are a few…..

REPEAL OF ALL  REDUCTIONS MADE BY BIPARTISAN BUDGET ACT
OF 2013.  Ayote’s Amendment #1

TRANSPARENCY OF CONGRESSIONAL STAFFER’S AFFORDABLE CARE ACT COVERAGE of every House and Senate Office member as well as the representatives themselves.  Vitter’s #2 Amendment.

STATE CONTROL OF ENERGY DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION ON
ALL AVAILABLE FEDERAL LAND. .  Inhoffe’s #3 Amendment.

ENDING UNEMPLOYMENT PAYMENTS TO JOBLESS MILLIONAIRES
AND BILLIONAIRES. ( just the visual of Bill Gates standing in line in a Washington State’s Unemployment Office for his weekly check of $224 dollars, was worth all the time writing this article…)  Coburn #4 Amendment.

PROHIBITION ON PAYMENT OF BENEFITS BASED ON RECEIPT
OF UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION which cuts future Social Security Benefits by the amount dispensed through unemployment compensation.  Coburn #5 Amendment.

CREATE PATHWAYS BACK TO WORK FUND OF $12 BILLION.  Gives Secretary of Labor discretion to spend $12 billion to give to states who create state jobs for unemployed.  Blumenthal (D)  #6 Amendment.

SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER REQUIRED TO CLAIM THE  REFUNDABLE PORTION OF THE CHILD TAX CREDIT.  Coats #7 Amendment.

DISQUALIFICATION ON RECEIPT OF DISABILITY INSURANCE  BENEFITS IN A MONTH FOR WHICH UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION IS RECEIVED. Coats #8 Amendment.

DELAY IN APPLICATION OF INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE  MANDATE.  Coats #9 Amendment

CONDITIONAL PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS FOR ALIENS  WITH AN ADVANCED DEGREE IN A STEM FIELD.  Moran #10 Amendment

DISQUALIFICATION ON RECEIPT OF DISABILITY INSURANCE  BENEFITS IN A MONTH FOR WHICH UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION IS RECEIVED.  Portman #11 Amendment

PROHIBITION AGAINST A FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BAILOUT OF A STATE,  CITY, OR MUNICIPALITY  Rand Paul #12 Amendment

ANALYSIS OF EMPLOYMENT EFFECTS UNDER THE CLEAN AIR  ACT.  Inhoffe #13 Amendment

AUTHORITY TO USE ANY DISCRETIONARY APPROPRIATIONS  AVAILABLE TO THE SECRETARY OF LABOR TO CONDUCT IN-PERSON REEMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT  INSURANCE ELIGIBILITY ASSESSMENTS FOR  UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFICIARIES..  Portman #14 Amendment

REQUIREMENT THAT INDIVIDUALS RECEIVING EMERGENCY  UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BE ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN A SYSTEMATIC AND SUSTAINED EFFORT TO OBTAIN EMPLOYMENT.  Coats #15 Amendment

TREATMENT OF FOREIGN CORPORATIONS MANAGED AND  CONTROLLED IN THE UNITED STATES AS DOMESTIC CORPORATIONS.  Shaheen (D) Amendment #16

READJUSTMENT OF AMENDMENT #14 ABOVE:  Portman #17 Amendment

EXTENSION AND MODIFICATION OF THE EMERGENCY  UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION PROGRAM.  Combines most Republican amendments into one amendment. Tooney #18 Amendment

UNFUNDED MANDATES ACCOUNTABILITY.  Portman #19 Amendment

EXEMPTION FROM AFFORDABLE CARE ACT MANDATE FOR LONG-TERM
UNEMPLOYED.  LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED INDIVIDUALS NOT TAKEN INTO
ACCOUNT FOR EMPLOYER HEALTH CARE COVERAGE  MANDATE:  Thune #20 Amendment

REPEAL OF  REDUCTIONS MADE BY BIPARISAN  BUDGET ACT OF 2013. McConnell #21 Amendment

DELAY IN APPLICATION OF INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE MANDATE  McConnell #22 Amendment

REPEAL OF NONREDUCTION RULE UNDER THE EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT ACT.  McConnell #23 Amendment

ACCOUNTABILITY THROUGH ELECTRONIC VERIFICATION. Sessions #24 Amendment

MODIFICATION OF DEFINITION OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEE FROM 30 HOUR/WEEK TO 40 HOURS/WEEK. Scott #25 Amendment

STEERING FEDERAL TRAINING DOLLARS TOWARD SKILLS NEEDED BY INDUSTRY. Portman #26 Amendment

DEFINITION OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEE Collins #27 Amendment

REDUCTION IN SHARE OF CROP INSURANCE PREMIUM PAID BY FEDERAL CROP INSURANCE CORPORATION. Flake #28 Amendment

REQUIREMENT FOR PARTICIPATION IN PUBLIC SERVICE AS A CONDITION FOR RECEIPT OF EXTENDED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS  Reed #29 Amendment

LAW ENACTED ON  DAY AFTER SIGNING   Reid #30 Amendment

AMENDMENT TO PREVIOUS AMENDMENT  Reid #31 Amendment

AMENDMENT TO PREVIOUS AMENDMENT  Reid #32 Amendment

AMENDMENT TO PREVIOUS AMENDMENT. Reid #33 Amendment

REQUIREMENT FOR PARTICIPATION IN PUBLIC SERVICE AS A
CONDITION FOR RECEIPT OF EXTENDED UNEMPLOYMENT
BENEFITS.  Pryor #34 Amendment

SUPPORTING KNOWLEDGE AND INVESTING IN LIFELONG SKILLS  Scott #35 Amendment

And that is one half of the reason we do not have extended Unemployment benefits.  The other half lies in the House.