Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rep. DesJarlais works to starve his constituents... literally.

DesJarlais vows cuts despite numbers
By Chris Carroll

More than one-quarter of Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District depends on the government for groceries, but its congressman said he’s likely to slash the federal program that provides them.

“Folks on any entitlement programs, we’re going to have to take a look at it,” said U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a Republican physician who lives in South Pittsburg, Tenn. “If it hurts me politically, then I guess it hurts me politically.”

Throughout a 20-minute interview in Tracy City, Tenn., last week, DesJarlais denied having worries about the next election 19 months away, claiming voters sent him to Washington to “get government out of our lives.”

Records show more residents in the 4th District are registered for food stamps than voted for DesJarlais when he ousted four-term Democratic congressman Lincoln Davis in November.

In February, more than 150,000 4th District residents were signed up for food stamps, according to records from the state Department of Human Services. DesJarlais received 103,969 votes in the general election.

DesJarlais’ district is Tennessee’s largest geographically, sweeping across 24 mostly rural counties from Southeast Tennessee to a point south of Nashville. Three of its counties are among the state’s 10 worst for unemployment, including Scott County at 23.2 percent.

Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester said the numbers indicate a “contradiction of who DesJarlais is and the constituency he represents.”

“Republicans talk about government as this monster strangling the American economy,” Forrester said. “Now you have a congressman who’s talking about stripping basic things people in his district need to survive.”

Despite his district’s economic makeup, DesJarlais has identified with a conservative bloc of young, tea party-backed legislators intent on cutting back entitlement programs — Social Security and Medicare among them.

“How much does he really know about his district?” asked Vanderbilt political science professor Bruce Oppenheimer. “You get one group of people who get you elected, but there’s another part of your constituency that maybe didn’t vote for you. And you may have to worry about them in the long run.”

But the congressman said his votes fall in line with a clear message sent by people back home. He acknowledged the poverty in the 4th District, but he’s ready to trim programs that are “very personal to people” for “the good of the whole.”

“Whether the people judge me in a poor light politically because of what I don’t do for the district will be up to them,” he said.

During the campaign season, DesJarlais touted a tea party endorsement and Sarah Palin’s political action committee donated $5,000 to his campaign, finance records show. Last August, he told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that he “won’t be hamstrung by the Democrats or the Republicans.”

Through 193 House floor votes since he arrived in Congress, DesJarlais has voted with Republicans 98 percent of the time, according to records maintained by the Washington Post.

“I don’t feel I’ve compromised my conservative principles at all to this point,” he said.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Perfect Scene

The Nashville Scene keeps getting better and better!...

Marsha Blackburn May Have Something: Let Taxpayers Fund Only Things They Agree With!
Posted by Betsy Phillips on Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 5:51 AM

Thursday morning I was listening to WPLN and there was Marsha Blackburn talking about how Congress had to defund NPR because it's not right for taxpayers to have to pay for something they disagree with (I couldn't find Blackburn's exact comment online).

Aside from being antithetical to living in a society, I think this is a great idea. I'd like to be able to direct my taxes towards only things I support. I'd like to say to the IRS, "Give all of my money that would have gone to paying Marsha Blackburn's salary to an investigation of I-35 instead."

See, I-35 annoys me. Odd numbered interstates are supposed to be north-south routes, while even number interstates are east-west. But I-35 runs almost exactly parallel to I-44 for most of its length in Kansas, with nary an acknowledgment that it's impersonating an east/west interstate through a whole state! It's not right.

At the least, I'd rather my tax money went to paying for anything else at all, no matter how stupid, other than to paying Marsha Blackburn's salary. And by her own standards, I should have the right to refuse to give her my tax dollars, since I don't care for most of what she has to say.

I'll be expecting my tiny refund check from you, Congressman Blackburn, whenever you have a chance to send it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Embarassing on video

Here is Marsha Blackburn making an ass out of herself by making NPR the enemy of her extreme right-wing bloc.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn: "It is a wealthy, educated listening audience. If people want this programming, they're going to be willing to pay for it but the American taxpayer has said, 'get NPR out of our pocket.' They have some sponsors that land in the $1 million plus category."

Aaaand some of the responses from the more educated side of the aisle...

Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass: "They want to move to radio silence and when the American people find out about that, they're going to be outraged."

Rep. John Dingel, D-Mich., "Public broadcast is a national treasure... It sheds a little bit of culture on our people, something my Republican colleagues find offensive."

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon: "It's not going to stop NPR, which will go on. What it will cripple is what happens in smaller stations around the country."

Rep. John Larson, D-CT: "Americans are seeing through this... it's an ideological purge under the guise of dealing with the deficit... What they are doing is silencing NPR because it's not on the same ideological frequency as the extreme right."

Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-CA. "I guess they figure if they can't catch Bin Laden, they might as well go after Prairie Home Companion. Public broadcasting is twice as popular as the Afghanistan war.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas: "These Republicans just can't tell the difference between Big Government and Big Bird. All things considered, their attack has nothing to do with balancing the budget.

Rep. Rush Holt, D-NJ: "Saying factual information is somehow a liberal bias... we talk about the need for a well-informed public. Today there was a news report on the slow progress the Army is making on seeing that the wounded soldiers get their Purple Heart. This is good reporting. The other side seems to think this is... wait, wait, don't tell me.... biased reporting. We need NPR."

Rep. Carolyn Mahoney, D-NY: "Those who primarily listen to NPR were considerably less likely to hold demonstrably false beliefs. So now our colleagues across the country want to pull the plug on NPR... our colleagues want to fire the messenger. (It) is not a move to save money; it's a move to save face."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In her own words, Marsha's idiocy

Mar 16 2011
Fighting to Defund NPR
Marsha Blackburn

Today the House Rules Committee will consider H.R. 1076, the bill introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn to defund NPR. Tomorrow I will lead the debate on the floor in support of Congressman Lamborn's legislation.

National Public Radio (NPR) has proven in the last few weeks that taxpayer money should not be given to support their extreme left wing views. Just recently an NPR official was captured on video calling Conservatives and Tea Party members "racist." The Washington Post says that NPR receives $2.4 million to spread their liberal message. That must end. Our government must not be involved in supporting an extreme left wing organization.

H.R. 1076 is a standalone bill that will still provide funds to local stations, but will prohibit those stations from spending federal funds on NPR programming or dues. This legislation will not be impacted by pending negotiations between the House and Senate on a continuing resolution. The time has come to stop spending taxpayer money on the NPR, especially during a time of rising deficits and out of control spending. An organization that is so heavily biased should not receive taxpayer monies. I hope you can watch the debate on the floor of the United States House of Representatives as it takes place tomorrow.

Just remember, Big Bird is a distant relative of Ho Chi Minh.

Blackburn wants future generations to be embarassed of her

From the Nashville Scene...

Rep. Blackburn and Every Other Republican On House Energy Committee Denies Climate Change
Posted by Brantley Hargrove on Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Who would have thought that by the year 2011, we'd still have a chamber of Congress where the majority deny the universal conclusion arrived at by the worldwide scientific community pointing to anthropogenic (man-made) causes for climate change?

Even after Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) ordered a full investigation by the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Inspector General into alleged climate-change collusion and data manipulation between researchers at the University of East Anglia and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — and it turned up no conspiracy whatsoever — the furor refuses to die. Some 82 percent of Earth scientists and nearly 98 percent of climate scientists believe climate change is caused by human activity, according to a survey conducted by the University of Illinois at Chicago. Yet lawmakers such as Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-7th), who is on the the committee, still cast votes denying what is apparent to so many.

Yesterday, Blackburn voted against the EPA's finding that climate change is occurring. She actually didn't vote at all on an amendment that states climate change is caused by man. Finally, she voted against an amendment that states unequivocally that climate change will endanger the health of future generations. Why? Because she probably believes climate change is a hoax perpetrated on us by the entire (credible) scientific community — or, at the very least, she knows she'd never get re-elected in the 7th if she admitted she didn't.

Gotta make that money, too. Koch Industries sends its love, Marsha, to the tune of $32,000 (and mind you, they didn't really start making it rain until 2008).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Marsha Blackburn on the wrong side of reality

Blackburn for sale, cont'd.

A nice, sweet article from the Commercial Repeal about Congressman Blackburn's representation of corporate interests over public welfare...

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn challenges pro-net neutrality group
By Bartholomew Sullivan
Memphis Commercial Appeal

WASHINGTON -- When it comes to Internet neutrality, is corporate financial influence an interest or a bias?

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said Wednesday that she understood the "interests" represented by AT&T and two Internet start-up companies but needed clarification on the "bias" of the nonprofit media reform group Free Press.

During a House Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing, Blackburn pressed for information about the media reform group's sources of funding.

Free Press champions preserving an open Internet and neutrality rules preventing companies from slowing or blocking traffic for their own competitive advantage. It also opposes media consolidation.

"I think it might be instructive to us, if we read your testimony, and as we try to figure out, you know, the bias that you bring to the argument, if you could detail to us where Free Press gets its funding," Blackburn said.

S. Derek Turner, Free Press' research director, agreed to provide the information but added, "Free Press takes zero corporate money. We're completely supported by our members and by foundation support."

Blackburn has reintroduced a bill that would prevent any entity but Congress itself from regulating the Internet and has become a leading advocates of a hands-off approach to the telecommunications industry.

Free Press' website indicates it is supported by several major foundations, including such well-known philanthropies as John D. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Haas Foundation, The Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and George Soros' Open Society Institute. Soros is a Hungarian-American financier and supporter of liberal causes.

Free Press spokeswoman Jenn Ettinger said it had more than 500,000 members nationwide.

The Republican-controlled subcommittee later voted 15-8 along party lines to repeal the Federal Communications Commission's new "network neutrality" rules.

Check out some of the comments from unhappy folks in the 7th District.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Throwback but had to post

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) speaks about Republicans' crusade against womens' rights and Planned Parenthood. She makes me smile.