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You’re on Your Own, Kids

Posted on Apr 12, 2012
AP/Jae C. Hong

Nathan Hobbs, 4, who lives in a homeless shelter in Los Angeles with his mother, sits in a stroller with dollar bills he received for his birthday pinned to his chest.

By Robert Scheer

Who will speak for the rights of the unborn now that Rick Santorum is gone from the race? Let me give it a whirl from the perspective of one whose own unwed mother had several abortions before yours truly was permitted to emerge.

My arrival came during the U.S. economy’s previous great crash, back in 1936. My father, who was already supporting an earlier family with two teenage children, had every intention of providing well for me, but he was laid off that very day and informed my mother of the unhappy fact within moments of setting eyes on me in a Bronx hospital. My father held on to part-time jobs in garment industry sweatshops (where my mother, too, worked), but it would be four years before he had a full-time paycheck again. He stood by both families during that dark period, seizing every opportunity to work, mostly in government-sponsored employment. And yes, we lived in part on government welfare—or home relief, as it was then called. All of which made President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and the New Deal he fashioned to save tens of millions of impoverished folks just like us throughout the country, objects of veneration.

So why am I bringing all this ancient history up now? Because I was dumbfounded by a headline Saturday in The New York Times that reminded me of how far we have gone wrong: “Welfare Limits Left Poor Adrift as Recession Hit.” And by “we” I mean not only the heartless Republicans who love the fetus and then shun the child but also the “progressives” who dare not use the word “liberal” because concern for the poor conflicts with the opportunism that defines their politics.

The death of American liberalism as a significant moral force can be traced to the point in 1996 when President Bill Clinton signed legislation that effectively ended the main federal anti-poverty program and turned the fate of welfare recipients, 70 percent of whom were children, over to the tender mercies of the states. With a stroke of the pen, Clinton eliminated what remained of New Deal-era compassion for the poor and codified into law the “tough love” callousness that his Republican allies in the Congress, led by Newt Gingrich, had long embraced.

The ensuing wave of state-imposed eligibility restrictions was designed to replace the war on poverty with a war on welfare recipients, with the result that in this time of economic crisis the poor have nowhere to turn. It also allowed states to play in a meanness derby, cutting the welfare rolls and forcing many of the desperate to cross state lines to locales where they might survive. “My take on it was the states would push people off [the assistance lists] and not let them back on, and that’s just what they did,” said Peter B. Edelman, who resigned from the Clinton administration over this issue and who told the Times for the recent article, “It’s been even worse than I thought it would be.”


Square, Site wide
Edelman, now a law professor at Georgetown University, was a close friend of the Clintons. His principled resignation was a rare exception to the cheerleading by Democrats who celebrated President Clinton’s betrayal of the poor as shrewd triangulation. Clinton himself had to be fully aware of the depth of that betrayal because he had governed one of the poorest states. In an interview I did with him for The Los Angeles Times when he was still the governor of Arkansas, he was very clear on two points concerning socially responsible welfare reform: It required federal standards, and it would cost more money because the well-being of children was at stake. “To do it, you need more money … for education, training, transportation, and child care.”

Calling the shots on spending for the most vulnerable since the Clinton revisions went into effect, the states have diverted funds for the poor to filling other holes in state budgets. Consequently, as the New York Times piece noted last week, “Just one in five poor children now receive cash aid, the lowest level in nearly 50 years.”

The response of the right-to-life Republicans has been typical—indifference to the fate of the fetus once it’s born. Paul Ryan, House budget leader and rumored to be Mitt Romney’s pick for vice president, judges the current welfare program “an unprecedented success,” and Romney himself wants to extend the welfare-cut model to “all these federal programs,” including Medicaid and food stamps.

During his campaign, Santorum, who on Tuesday dropped out as the standard-bearer for pro-life family values, turned to Clinton’s draconian welfare law as a source of deep spiritual guidance: “It didn’t just cut the rolls, but it saved lives” and granted the poor “something dependency doesn’t give: hope.”

Well, glory be, hope is on the rise. A recent and well-documented Indiana University study concludes that the number of Americans living beneath the poverty line has risen 27 percent during the recession, leaving 46 million former fetuses living large on a new hope diet.

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By heterochromatic, April 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

Lee——-back when I was much more nimble and very much younger, though let
me make it clear,  I never swooned nor tossed my panties on the stage!

that’s kind of disappointing… seems so impersonal to be tossing other people’s

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By Carole, April 18, 2012 at 4:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hear - hear!

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By Leefeller, April 17, 2012 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

I cannot speak for anyone else, unlike Ozark Michael or someone like Bill, but I can say I find Twitter most annoying, simply because it is like a half step behind texting… and I hate texting!

I see in the Robert Sheer column section a new twitter list rolling over next to the article list and it seems my comprehension levels are in dire need of a high colonic purging, because I could not tell what any one of them Twitters where talking about, except the addressing of a title, will I refuse to twitter my life away like some Yeminney Cricket while there is Tequila to be sipped.

Twitter seems to be like the new Elvis Presley as he was perceived by the whiny butt old folks back when I was much more nimble and very much younger, though let me make it clear,  I never swooned nor tossed my panties on the stage!

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By Shenonymous, April 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

I think Truthdig will be losing many of us who really make it worth
the trouble. Notice I included myself!  Course there are some who
won’t   Oh well…I’ve never really cared about that, usually frolicking
about as I choose.  I don’t do facebook nor twit around either.  But
I’ve done another email browser that works but I’m concerned about hackers too.  The one I have used regularly for five years here stopped
working about a week ago, very weird.  The new service is working
fine.  Just have to wait to see what the new deal is all about and if
there is anything to cheer about.  I’ve enjoyed nearly all of the postings
lo these many years.  I will miss you all.  Well nearly all of you…  and
have had lots of laughs too.  I’ve learned a great deal and have been
tested up the wazoo.  It has been a good beyond post graduate work
experience. I’m starting to understand, just starting mind you, about
economics and anarchy.  Not that those two go together, but possibly
they can. 

I post on NYTimes a lot and a few other sites, so maybe we will meet up
elsewhere???  Until things change I will post here as time permits and my
will desires.

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By Anarcissie, April 15, 2012 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

I too have gone to a good deal of trouble to anonymize my online personae.  I will soon be making further efforts, such as masking my IP address.  Signing on to notoriously intrusive systems like Facebook and Twitter is not part of my plan.  Therefore, I will not be able to comment here once the change to the new signon system goes into effect.

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By ReadingJones, April 15, 2012 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

Good Bye All

Snail mail and tagging for me.  Like the song says
Old dogs and children and watermelon wine.

I don’t do facebook. Maybe I’ll see some of you on
the street carrying a sign.

The pendulum swings lika doo-whacka—dooo.

Shenon Big money needs kicked not in their asses but
a little further forward.

Prisoner That system existed before Bill Clinton.
Been there done that. My best friend went to federal
prison for a twenty year pop. He was not guilty—he
had a “free” attorney. When he got out he was hit
with a child support bill that cannot ever possibly
be repaid. Now he exists in the underground economy.
Pretty soon we will all join him.

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By Leefeller, April 15, 2012 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

Fist of all ITW, I am glad to see you are still kicking, last we heard you were recovering from a medical problem. Second, change is always taken like a grain of salt, (sorry Sodium) but people still have the ability to make some choices and we still have some freedom to choose what we will or will not do, hear, see and smell, you know, the monkey see, monkey do thing. 

But it should be known, change does not mean it is better, of course, unless it happens to be diapers!

Who knows, I may join your ranks ITW and do as the Shester mentions in the previous post, do important things like drinking more good Tequila before the world ends!

Take care ITW, it has been an interesting road!

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By Shenonymous, April 15, 2012 at 7:13 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, April 15 at 5:56 am - I will miss you ITW.  What
about yahoo and hotmail?  Why wouldn’t you use one of these? 

Yeah, I received such letter and thought I’d wait to see when that
happens and what the options are. It might get rid of the spammers,
flamers, and trolls.  It will become a much smaller political blog
community.  Neither do I do Facebook nor would think of Twittering anyone.  Life is too short to spend one’s time on all these electronic media.  There are things to do places to go art to make philosophy
to learn and understand, and life to live.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 15, 2012 at 6:56 am Link to this comment

Dear Fellow TD Posters: (Repost #1)

I recently received an eMail from TD containing the follow two disturbing bits of information:

“With the new system, instead of logging in to your Truthdig account, you’ll see the option to log in and post comments using Facebook, Yahoo!, AOL or Hotmail. If you already have an account with one of these services, you won’t need to create a new login; and if you don’t have one, you can sign up for free.”

You will not be able to use your current Truthdig account to post comments in the new system. We hoped to avoid this inconvenience, but could not find an alternative compatible with our site architecture. (We actually tried and failed to build a custom comments engine for this reason alone.) Once we get the new feature in place, you’ll need to use one of the aforementioned services to log in and comment. Remember you can create a pseudonym account if anonymity is important to you. We plan to preserve all comment archives, so you don’t need to worry about losing anything you previously wrote.”

When I first started using the Internet many years ago, I used Compuserve, a competitor to AOL. During that time, AOL was twice caught with their pants down selling subscribers’ private and personal information to advertisers without permission.  Both times AOL promised to clean up their act but have been caught again repeating this over the years.  The day AOL purchased Compuserve I cancelled my Compuserve account.

FaceBook has become notorious for violating subscribers’ privacy, promising to make it “better” yet somehow they always have leaks.  I would not be surprised if FB had an engine to locate where anonymous accounts come from and can then tag them to real names.  I learned the hard way a few years ago that even amateur website managers can tag an anonymous account to you. Do not be reassured that your anonymity can be preserved against the likes of FaceBook, Yahoo!, and AOL.  It cannot.

Therefore, I am leaving Truthdig until such time as they change this policy.  It has been fun!

I wish you all the best,

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By Norecovery, April 15, 2012 at 1:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My views may be colored by the influence of having grown up in a happy home with a decent lower middle class lifestyle in the U.S. during the 1950’s & 60’s—with loving parents, excellent health, a good education, and a moderately good income until the past 4+ years. So, please allow me not to condemn capitalism (as some do almost entirely), for all of the ills, iniquities, barbarism, and excesses that have come to characterize the current system. I recognize many great things that our system has accomplished, not only for our citizens—including many immigrants like my grandparents who came here from England, Italy and France seeking a better, freer life and most definitely found one—but also for a large swath of the world’s people who have benefited from the largess of the United States.

I’m hesitant to speak for others, but I think most Americans see that the system is now extremely corrupt and no longer functions for our benefit. However dissatisfied we are, we still believe our better angels will prevail and we will find a way to turn things around. I still hold fast to the notion that our greatest strengths can be harnessed for the good of all: the indomitable spirit of individuals, the exceptional creativity of our multi-cultural society, and the organization of our industry. We have had great battles in the past that were resolved with mostly positive outcomes, so there is reason to expect that we will once again prevail over tyranny and, dare I call it, evil. We are not inclined to “throw the baby out with the bath water,” no matter how foul smelling it may be.

Liberalism, in my observation, is surely not what Anarcissie starkly labels it: “the political system of capitalism.” Many “present-day liberals” (especially elected Democrats) that have failed to uphold or have betrayed “peace, equality and freedom” actually have demonstrated they are not true liberals. I don’t think we can honestly judge capitalism to be a failure, either, merely because it has gone so wrong in recent decades as a result of deregulation. Even the military juggernaut could be constrained if there were enough popular outcry.

I consider Mr. Scheer to be a perfect example of a liberal. He deserves great credit for all that he has courageously espoused which is generous, humanistic and egalitarian. I’m sure there are many more like him (I include myself) still working to educate others and holding out hope that this nightmare regime of inequality and fascist domination can be brought to heel by strong leadership and popular protest.

As I previously mentioned, liberal laws were implemented after the Great Depression to rein in the greedy bankers and industrial magnates, and in the late 19th Century unions had fought for new labor laws to force company owners to support workers’ rights. Another example was Civil Rights legislation which helped many disenfranchised people to lift themselves out of poverty.

Of course, we all know these liberal trends have been reversed, and so we have to renew the fight—not to blindly and irrationally “oppose power, authority, etc.” but to use the power of popular protest and democratic processes (to the extent they still operate) demanding accountability from political leaders to enact new laws that have “teeth”. I believe it is still possible for liberals to lead the way, but not if there’s so much dissension in our ranks.

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By ReadingJones, April 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

Some comment writers are paid to provoke pissing
contest and play “lets you and him fight.” Their
purpose is to destroy places like truthdig that pose a
threat to the power of their employer. Labor unions
call them scabs.

The most effective way to deal with them is to utterly
ignore them. They are a kind of stalker and they get
off on even negative attention.

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By Angel Gabriel, April 14, 2012 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

Thanks Robert Scheer! You’ve provided a good forum for a nicely revealing
discussion! Certainly not your best work, but at least it brings the Moth’s out of
the closet and closer to the light of day. Suggestion: Leave a Candle on next time
you drop one of these pieces in here.. The smell of burning Moth is strangely

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By heterochromatic, April 14, 2012 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

Gabe——you by any chance kin to the kid calls itself
justin case?

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By Shenonymous, April 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

A bit of theatric tantrum does not help you out Angel Gabriel.  Maybe
you really are just illiterate.  In that case, get the books on CD.  Unless
you are deaf too.  Hissy fitting is pathetic in the adult world.  Is that
what your honorable ancestors taught you?

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By Leefeller, April 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

I am an expert on History, because I have read every one of the greatest flameproofed historians words of certainty who happened to grace the anal’s of history and he also has one of the largest heads in history which is very impressive on its own,.... Newton Gingrich!

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By Angel Gabriel, April 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

I love it!  “Read -Leon J. Goldstein’s views on History and how to understand the
disputes between Historian’s” *Snort” yeah right! Black is white and Goldstein is
I see where you’re coming from clearly now! Appears you’re the “A-typical” as I
suspected… Of course you’re right! How could anything you say be challenged,
including your definition of “Idiosyncratic”?
Jousting occurs when open minds collide. Ambush and derision is not my M.O.
however. Let your ‘lil web cover your tracks and intentions to prove the issue you
seek to cloud and if that doesn’t work - attack the messenger! Nice one! Have a
nice day! grin

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By Shenonymous, April 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

My god, Angel Gabriel, April 14 at 12:11 pm-you show just how
ignorant you are!  Just check the references.  Course there are those
fanatics who can’t stand evidence.  You know I never thought I would
ever run into a real effete, but you have make the first entry on the list.

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By Shenonymous, April 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

Gee Angel Gabriel, April 14 at 10:51 am – “History dear Shenonymous,
is based in the same Bedrock as Science, which is ?CERTAINTY and FACT.” 
Sweetheart Angel, that is bullshit from the get go and ignorance show-
ing.  History might be what it is, and of course it is an accumulation of
facts, but what facts are included and what are not determines a good
deal of how events are interpreted.  How people read it through their
own intelligent and intellectual prism is the fodder for many wars.  Surely
you are not that naive?  For instance, the Jews see history one way and
the Arabs see the same period of time differently.  Please get yourself an

One of the biggies in Christian history is the way the Council of Nicaea
saw events and others.  Try wading through what it said was its purposes
and themes:

Try reading The What and the Why of History: Philosophical Essays
by Leon J. Goldstein, p. 157, “How to understand disagreement among
historians? There are a number of ways in which historians maybe in
disagreement.  They may disagree on how to explain an historical event
concerning the character of which they are not in agreement.  Or they
may disagree over the significance—the meaning—of an historical event
concerning the character of which they are not in disagreement…

History is a way of knowing (and since knowledge is not absolute, there
is often no way of verifying what is thought to be known, and you might
check yourself on this score), And the sort of disagreement which could
underscore the nature of that could only be disagreement over what the
human past was like, given the evidence and they ways in which
historians think about evidence of the given sort…”

Another for instance that might be closer to home for you is the
history of Native Americans who remember history much differently
than the U.S. military who fought with them.  You might see one battle
as a massacre while they would see is as putting down an insurrection. 
There is much to mine out of that one!  It is a matter of a point of view. 
To deny that shows a high level of denseness.  Why I would bet an ear of
corn that your ancestors had disagreements between themselves about
events.  Sometimes stories get modified due to machoism.  And
generations later no one remembers the truth, or the facts.  So there
goes certainty blown to bits by a godless wind.

While I am definitely a believer in science, I could argue with you over the
absoluteness of what you are calling certainty and fact.  That also shows
your philistinism.

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By Angel Gabriel, April 14, 2012 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

Just a mention to some other key words you consciously, or most likely
“Unconsciously” added to your comment of-

“The dispersal of Africans to the west both Europe and the western
hemisphere was through slavery and migration.  For migration
alone, people moved out of Africa due to wars and social upheaval. 
185,622,178 plus 200,000 in Israel live in today in western Europe
and the western hemisphere.  That is almost 186 million people. 
People migrate to America out of a desire to become part of the
American society.  The numbers say how sharp is that ambition. “

You make such an easy target! Attempting to claim migration is the reason
behind Black people leaving Africa and Israel to live in Western (White) Europe
and the “so called” *snort!* “Western Hemisphere”(???)  AG Def.. “Geographically-
challenged White spot that exists somewhere” - in your Fairytale oriented mind!
You seem to believe that these people migrated for the opportunities rather
than to escape persecution or slavery in their own country’s… The Continent
you choose “Africa” and the so called country of *Israel, are perfect examples of
White Race encroachment that have driven these people out of their homelands!
I always get such a kick out of the “Western Hemisphere” comment! Whenever I
see this misnomer reference the first thing I think is ” Geez, here we go again
some arrogant and illiterate Whitey defending his/her kingdom”.!

Slavery & Migration eludes to “forced and choice” does it not? Slavery, I can
understand would force people to run for their lives and personal safety to
avoid. However, Migration might assume that those Black People’s of mostly
Arab and Sophartic Originations have been pushed out the doors of their
respective areas/homelands by the European Zionist quests for Treasure and
regional Dominance (Greed & Power).. It sure as hell wasn’t because they (Migrants)
preferred European Winter’s and wanted to be crammed into Ghetto’s in
preference of the free traditional lives they previously enjoyed in their
homelands!!! In both areas of your “Western Hemisphere” there were tons of
job’s “Whitey” wasn’t willing to do. Hard work and low pay isn’t something White
folks flock to willingly!!??  In these traditional Indigenous occupied Homelands it has been the case of
“We’re movin in, you’re movin out- either willingly or in a few small pieces.” . Go
up north where the sun will fade your deep tan’s so you look more like us!!
We’ve plundered the cold spots already and need some more Treasure and
secretly like a nice suntan to make us look like you!

Please prove me wrong ok? I really enjoy jousting on topic’s such as Mr. Scheer
brings up in this poorly written and weakly presented article. But please, if you
do - let’s keep it in the realm of reality rather than the realm of contrived
“Fairytale” that you seem bent on living in!

Something else that I just love to see that you have so bravely thrown out is the
good ole “love it or leave it” Anthem!  ” If you are a citizen,
you might seriously think of leaving, or if you are not, stay away.” LOL!!! It’s a
great way that White Nationalist’s protect the patch!!!  I’m a US Citizen AND I
moved out in a Migration away from the Hypocrisy during the Reagan era. The US is
one of the last places on earth that I would “choose” to live again, because it is
full of European Migrant uppity White US Citizen’s blinded by Rhetoric, living in their Fairytale worlds of selective
TRUTH’s for which there is no “plural” definition.

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By Angel Gabriel, April 14, 2012 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

“Shenonymous, April 14 at 8:40”  American History can be interpreted in
countless ways. What’s your point, Angel
Gabriel, April 14 at 12:14 am?  Upset that someone doesn’t agree with
your idiosyncratic version? “
History dear Shenonymous, is based in the same Bedrock as Science, which is
CERTAINTY and FACT. It’s when both hit the walls of Ideology and Religion that
creative “Interpretation” comes into the picture of what “Truth” is. Might I suggest you brush up a bit on your own select definition of TRUTH, then come
back?? Wake me up if I’m having a nap eh?

id·i·o·syn·crat·ic? ?[id-ee-oh-sin-krat-ik, -sing-]  Show IPA
pertaining to the nature of idiosyncrasy,  or something peculiar to an individual:
The best minds are idiosyncratic and unpredictable as they follow the course of
scientific discovery.

Check not only the money trail but the DNA trail of the top 20% and you may be
surprised to learn that The best minds are idiosyncratic and unpredictable as
they follow the course of Historical as well as scientific - discovery.”

Got any candles in your Cave??

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By Anarcissie, April 14, 2012 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

Norecovery, April 12 at 2:58 pm:

‘... I fail to understand what is meant by “Threaten the ruling class with competition from the Left, and you may get a Bismarckian response.” How is competition from the Left any different from Liberalism; and isn’t that exactly what Mr. Scheer is promoting? ...’

Liberalism is the political system of capitalism.  If by ‘the Right’ we refer to those who support existing power, authority, imperialism, private wealth and social hierarchy—its traditional meaning—then present-day liberals are on the Right.  Some think Welfare will serve their interests (soft cop), other prefer surveillance and repression (hard cop).  Some prefer a mix of the two—Otto Bismarck being a good example.

Correspondingly, if by ‘the Left’ we refer to those who oppose power, authority, etc., and prefer peace, equality and freedom, then the Left consists of anarchists and socialists.

Obviously if there were a socialist political party it would impede the ongoing Democratic Party tendency to move rightward since they would begin losing votes, money and activists to the socialists.

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By Anarcissie, April 14, 2012 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic, April 13 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment:

“——-It is a
form of slow genocide.—-”

‘the stupidity of this is truly world-classless.’

It’s Scheer’s fault.  Any mention of a60rt1on is bound to attract right-wing trolls, who dutifully kneejerk their traditional, dumb* anti-abortion comments.  Hopefully they will disappear presently.

* ‘“Progressives” <-> contraception,abortion <-> Planned Parenthood <-> Margaret Sanger <-> eugenics <-> Hitler’.  Classic example.

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By Shenonymous, April 14, 2012 at 9:40 am Link to this comment

Ted Whitney, April 12 at 9:07 pm – “This country has no soul and it
deserves to die.”  Then where would all the immigrants go?  What an
absolutely vile opinion.  It shows a decrepit mind.  If you are a citizen,
you might seriously think of leaving, or if you are not, stay away.

ReadingJones, April 13 at 2:47 pm–Classic Right-Wing Conservative
Christian Republicans (RWCCR) usual absurd genocide sentiments
about abortion that cares nothing about women and their ownership
of their own bodies. Regardless of what politicians think or do, women
do own their own bodies.  Since RWCR are militant and kill and attempt
to destroy people with whom they disagree, it is obvious Planned
Parenthood finds safety in black neighborhoods. 

History can be interpreted in countless ways. What’s your point, Angel
Gabriel, April 14 at 12:14 am?  Upset that someone doesn’t agree with
your idiosyncratic version?

The dispersal of Africans to the west both Europe and the western
hemisphere was through slavery and migration.  For migration
alone, people moved out of Africa due to wars and social upheaval. 
185,622,178 plus 200,000 in Israel live in today in western Europe
and the western hemisphere.  That is almost 186 million people. 
People migrate to America out of a desire to become part of the
American society.  The numbers say how sharp is that ambition. 
In America, 42,020,743 people are black or black-mixed.  That makes a
rather stronghold against those fanatics who would harm people who are
associated with organizations like Planned Parenthood.  In her biography,
“Margaret Sanger: Rebel For Women’s Right,” Vicki Cox, lets us know it
was Sanger who first used the term birth control. In spite of anti-
abortionist attacks on her, Sanger is regarded as a symbol and heroine
by the American reproductive rights and woman’s rights movements. 
Nevertheless, her racist views were her Achilles heel and ought to be
castigated by anyone who uses her as a reference.  But, regardless of
her personal bigotry particularly with the darker-skinned races, she was
supported by many African Americans who lived in her time period. 
James H. Hubert, invited her to open a clinic in Harlem and W. E. B. Du
Bois, African American who was a sociologist and civil rights activist who
founded the NAACP, served on the board of that clinic in Harlem. She did
much to promote humanist view of women’s rights and was the recipient
of Humanist of the Year award and honored at many institutions.  People
are complex and more than frequently have both moral and immoral
views.  That goes even for the other bigots in the world.

Being accused of being black, even though he is half white, Obama’s
stance on abortion can be seen at

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By Angel Gabriel, April 14, 2012 at 1:14 am Link to this comment

Either you’re not a History realist, or you’re just typical with a majority of your
fellow American’s and just can’t be bothered to think?? Which one?

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By heterochromatic, April 13, 2012 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment

I’m not moativated.

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By Angel Gabriel, April 13, 2012 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

What’s the matter Het-man, can’t keep up?

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By Leefeller, April 13, 2012 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

ReadingJones maybe I took premature extraction of your Planned Parent Hood post, if it was intended as satire then it almost fits.

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By heterochromatic, April 13, 2012 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

Angel G—- I think that you’re a Mote in The Boss’s Eye

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By Angel Gabriel, April 13, 2012 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

Ted Whitney - “America has no soul and deserves to die.”

Ted, Nothing deserves to die. America does have, I suppose it could be called, a
Soul, but Soul might not be the description of what America has. It might be
better described as “Heart Disease”. It’s an old syndrome that started in Mid-
evil times in European Anglo-Saxon Royal Family’s and developed into a Global
Plague over time and has become Antibiotic resistent since the creation of
“Zionism” in the late 19th Century.  This plague feeds on Usury based
Capitalism and like most Cancer is incurable in this present day!
America is no different to most any Nation on earth. America is a designed
project under construction.  Throughout History ALL wealth and knowledge has
been Horded and Protected by and through unbridled GREED from it’s Empirical
Heads, whom were either well armed, or Sociopathic and completely
conscienceless and had a great mind in creating the perfect “Sales Pitch”. Their
tool kit’s have been brilliantly compiled with tools like Religion, War’s and Racist
To be wealthy AND powerful one must know the secret to capture productivity
by creating Fear. People are no more complex than Herd Animal’s except for
“sentience” we “people” are far less capable of survival than insects.
The project “America” had it’s beginning in “White-Anglo Saxon Europe”.
France, Spain, Britain and the Netherlands. Discovering a place where they
could escape to once it was figured out that the world wasn’t flat, was a perfect
New World that could be set up and privately exploited to create the perfect
White Anglo-Saxon Kingdom. All that stood in the way were those Pesky
Redskin savages and all that was needed to happen to control the “project” was
to either convert them to a life of Servitude to their new White Master’s, or
exterminate them. I think we know what happened huh?
Now that the project was underway with Colonization the NWO of the day
needed somebody to do the work and build Castles and Transportation
Networks across the Kingdom to link the Mines, Farmlands and the Settlements
to the Shipping Lanes to take the Loot to the Homelands.
Blacks, Asian’s, Indian’s, and the Southern America’s Indigenous were the Back’s
that built the Infrastructure for the Land Baron’s collection of Wealth at the
expense of the Indigenous populations that were killed off.
Whitey Eltitists prospered until all those pesky slaves decided that they had had
enough of their shit and attempted to take them on in the Mid 1800’s. A big
problem that HAD to be solved somehow!!! It really didn’t take more than a few
hundred thousand Murder’s to quell the uprising and shuffle all the dissenter’s
off to the wind and Big Cities that could use the workforce to get even Bigger
with their Minimum wage help…Bring on the Industrial Revolution! What a great
distraction for grumpy Slaves and the early Trailer Trash that fell out of favor
with the “Father’s” of the NWO project America. The Company Store and a line
of Credit was all it took, plus some Whiskey to numb the minds of the more
intelligent middle class types. By the time that the Baron’s created the illusion
of prosperity and Big Cities were puffing smoke and Sulphur was the time that
the American Dream was thrown out as the first Employment Benefit.
The Baron’s were hopelessly outnumbered at that point and needed to put their
creative heads together (to make sure they hung onto their own Head) to keep a
few steps ahead of the Serf’s - They needed some serious distractions for the
uppity working classes that filled up the City’s around their Castles (a
replacement for Mote’s).

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By Angel Gabriel, April 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

Do I need to go on???
If you look around this world you will see a clear division between East and West.
The West is White and the East is the Boundary of where Whitey was stopped… It’s
a White Western World of Elitists that have controlled the Water you Drink, the Air
you Breath and your ability to take advantage of the “Dream” that’s been dangled
in front of every Serf like Carrots to Donkey’s. Nothing will ever touch these folks - The handshake is secret and is tied to not only your bank account but your bloodline’s.
It’s forbiddent! The harder you push, the more freedom and right’s that will be
removed and if you push it too far, well, FEMA has an apartment waiting for you with your name on the door already!
Not many people in America or the rest of the Subscribing Western World are
equipped to deal with “Project America”. Life is too short and sweet to cut it even
shorter by sticking their neck out on the Guillotine!

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By heterochromatic, April 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment

——-It is a
form of slow genocide.—-

the stupidity of this is truly world-classless.

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By ReadingJones, April 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment

Lee I gave a citation…look it up.

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By Anarcissie, April 13, 2012 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

ron hansing, April 13 at 9:49 am

‘Yes, rockerfellow did support, but the driving force was the progressives.Hitler got all his ideas from readings of these progressives who thought that they were “right” and everybody else was wrong.’

This is well documentated.Margarette Sanger was one of the leaders. Now, remember I am not saying that today’s progressives mirrors the progressives of the eugenic movement.

I suggest that you bone up on this history.  ...’

Okay.  Hitler got ‘all his ideas’ from which progressives, precisely?  If I open Mein Kampf will I see quotes from Bob LaFollette?

Also: if Sanger is irrelevant to contemporary progressives, why do you mention her?

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By Leefeller, April 13, 2012 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

Yes Readingjones, the founders of this nation owned slaves and as our nation grew your forefathers killed Indians like weeds, which means you are guilty of sleeping with strange bedfellows.

Planned Parenthood does preform abortions it is only 3 percent of what they do, I refuse to list all the positive things Planned Parenthood does for women, because you obviously know all about Planned Parenthood!

As for mostly in black neighborhoods, might have something to do with helping the poor and again, your comment may have little merit, because who knows where your grabbed it from.

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By ReadingJones, April 13, 2012 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller I missed your “tea” comment when I praised
Fred Fuller. You should have been included. Ridicule is
one of the finest political weapons. Keep it up.

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By ReadingJones, April 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

Ms Sanger founded Planned Parenthood. She was in fact
a believer in Eugenics and a strong advocate for it.
Among other things she said was “...blacks are human
weeds…” Today the majority of Planned Parenthood’s
abattoirs are located in black neighborhoods. See
unPlanned by Abby Johnson.

This makes Obama’s support for abortion and for
Planned Parenthood all the more peculiar. It is a
form of slow genocide. It is as strange in its way as
Cain’s run for the Repugnant nomination or the lefts
adoption of abortion as its casus belli.

Politics and the love of money and power does indeed
make for strange bedfellows.

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By Leefeller, April 13, 2012 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

Me thinks Ted has sniffed one too many tea bags! Ted you may need to change over to the new tea from China, it seems the Chinese have a fetish for Panda Poo Tea, though it is premium priced and only the wealthy can afford it, maybe you could send some to the Kooh Brothers, and even better adopt the Panda as the new mascot, a real black and white Tea Bag mascot. I would suppose much better than the yellow snake oil don’t read on me tea? Having your Tea and a Mascot too, a new way of cutting down on mascot expenses and a Tea any Tea Bagger would be proud to sink their teeth into and imagine the happy times reading the tea leaves?

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By heterochromatic, April 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

——-This country has no soul and it deserves to die.—

another irritating theological pronouncement.

Ted, go dance on your pinhead.

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By ReadingJones, April 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Fred Fuller I usually despise the use of sarcasm.
Occasionally it is used to great good effect. Yours is
one of the finest examples I have ever seen of the
positive use of sarcasm. Louie won’t get it.

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By Leefeller, April 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

jimmmmmy, being a follower of Chomsky is all well and good, but thinking for oneself seems seems a better option. I had little problem following Norecovery’s comment, seems your tainted glasses are in the way. Little Glasses with a little ‘g’.

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By jimmmmmy, April 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

NOrecovery. I guess if you don’t have time to define your terms , I don’t have time to read your posts, fair enough.

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By ron hansing, April 13, 2012 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

Yes, rockerfellow did support, but the driving force was the progressives.Hitler got all his ideas from readings of these progressives who thought that they were “right” and everybody else was wrong.’

This is well documentated.Margarette Sanger was one of the leaders. Now, remember I am not saying that today’s progressives mirrors the progressives of the eugenic movement.

I suggest that you bone up on this history. These are realities that we should recognize and it’s morally wrong. Today this is a widely recognized folly. The holocaust dramatically changed the picture of the perceived Eugenics movement..

A good resource to start with is Richard Evans, three volume tomes on the origen, rise and fall of the thrid reich. This work is well researched and about 25% of the pages are references… which you can refer to if you question my assumptions.

sincerely, ron hansing.

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By Leefeller, April 13, 2012 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

“The best life is the one in which the creative impulses play the largest part and the possessive impulses the smallest.” Bertrand Russel

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By GradyLeeHoward, April 13, 2012 at 6:28 am Link to this comment

Romney ain’t worried about the poor; they’re drowning
in the dredge net of usury. Usury is the Capitalists’
safety net. Debt collection is the new religion and
the primary sacrament is Austerity. Obama regularly
preaches at the same church, but he’s begging now for
a prosperity tithe. “You billionares kick in 30% and
Gawd gonna reward you with 300%! Pat Robbers’ Son
done tole me!Reagan seen it plain in the
promiseland.”(Alzheimer’s can play tricks on you. Is
Bashful Barry getting that halting gait?”

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By Marian Griffith, April 13, 2012 at 12:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

—-Republicans got the preposition wrong.  Instead of
trickle-down, it should have been trickle-up.—-

As with almost everything Republican, it makes more sense if you invert it.

Instead of money trickling down try viewing it as a waterfall thundering down into a lake. Some of the water will splash up and form a thin mist that may make you damp if you stand close enough.

Now replace water with money, lake with bank accounts and waterfall with tax cuts, subsidies and fraud.

The only thing that can not accurately described by the waterfall metaphor is that the river feeding it is fast running dry and only massive inflation (printing money faster than economic production grows) plus associated trickery to hide it from public view give the illusion that the whole thing is still just fine.

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By Ted Whitney, April 12, 2012 at 10:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This country has no soul and it deserves to die.

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By heterochromatic, April 12, 2012 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

good article…indeed we have been lead away from
thinking that there should be a social safety net
always in place.
many Americans are not as relatively wealthy as we were
and the attack on redistribution of wealth via
government has been ceaseless since 1981.

a lot of what America defines as poverty is not
anywhere near to what most of the world’s population
experiences but we can well afford to do better.

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By Shenonymous, April 12, 2012 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment

gerard, April 12 at 6:04 pm - It’s the best message to plutocrats
I’ve read yet.

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By gerard, April 12, 2012 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

Note to Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and any others who give a damn:
  Save enough of your money to buy Greyhound bus tickets, hamburgers and cheap hotel rooms for all those millions of Americans who are not going to be able to get any welfare aid for food, clothing, shelter or health care during the next four years. They will need to pay at least one visit to D.C. before they die, and it’s too far to crawl on your knees.

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By Allan, April 12, 2012 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People who pretend to be pro-life and then destroy the social safety net for the poor are hypocrites.  To join with people who protect the sanctity of all human life from conception throughout life, and who also attack war, racism, capital punishment, corporatism and the destruction of the environment, please consider joining “Consistent Life” and “Democrats for Life.”

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By Norecovery, April 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

jimmmmmy, American Liberalism has already been pretty well defined by Mr. Scheer and by me, and I don’t have time to go over it again. Anarcisse’s notion that “The deal was, basically, you let us keep the power, and we’ll give you nice handouts” seems absurd to me—in fact, the “ruling class” robber barons fought tooth and nail against New Deal reforms and against progressive taxation. As a result of liberal legislation, “They” (as if there were ever some monolithic power elite, which I don’t believe there was or is) lost their power to engage in monopolies and unbridled speculation, lost their ability to exploit workers in terrible working conditions, lost a good deal of their former freedom to conduct business without regulation. Also, liberalism didn’t begin in the 20th Century with the Great Depression but rather in the late 19th, with the rise of labor unions that grew out of the terrible exploitation of the Industrial Revolution.

I fail to understand what is meant by “Threaten the ruling class with competition from the Left, and you may get a Bismarckian response.” How is competition from the Left any different from Liberalism; and isn’t that exactly what Mr. Scheer is promoting?

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By Jorge X. Rodriguez, April 12, 2012 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

‘norecovery doesn’t seem to know much about the history of liberalism, that’s for sure.  Or Bismarck.  The idea that the Welfare state was invented by the Roosevelt administration is ludicrous.  Folks, do read some history.

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By jimmmmmy, April 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

norecovery. Please define American Liberalism before critiquing some one elses take on it. I Have no Idea how you define American liberalism. other than that you dislike anarcissies view.  Which I agree with. I enjoy reading Mr Scheers work over the decades but I don’t consider him liberal in the Oxford College dictionary definition of the word. More like a small “c” conservative. which is pretty much all thats left of the so called progressive movement which was never liberal to begin with, at least not in the states. I’ve read a lot of Chomsky over the year and have learned from him that defining your terms are a very necessary first step in any discussion. He has also pointed out often that terms are being constantly redefined to suit interests.

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By DHFabian, April 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

I remain amazed that so many people are unaware of the fact that we no longer have an entitlement to poverty relief. There is no General Assistance welfare. There is no AFDC.  According to our welfare “reform” policies, our govt no longer recognizes any reason for being unemployed as legitimate. Today, losing your job can result in losing your home AND your family (children can now be taken into “indefinite state custody on the ill-defined charge of “failure to adequately provide”). There is TANF for some women and children; this is a temp work program that marginally subsidizes extremely low-wage jobs.  Affordable (subsidized) child care might be available, and if so, might have an opening. You might be able to get Medical Assistance, but if you live outside of a major city, it can be very difficult to find a doctor who will accept Medicaid patients. And, after over 30 years of marginalizing and scapegoating the poor, there is an abundance of good ol’ American contempt. The flat indifference we see concerning extreme poverty in the US has been overwhelming.

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By Norecovery, April 12, 2012 at 11:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anarcissie’s comment, “Part of the problem here is that American liberalism is portrayed as something that ever had moral force…It is an intellectual descendant of the Welfare state invented by Bismarck in late 19th-century Germany as an antidote to revolutionary socialism and anarchism” seems nonsensical to me. BTW, liberal policies (including demilitarization) have helped Germany achieve an extraordinary level of productivity and economic security for its people.

As Mr. Scheer pointed out, the rise of American liberalism was largely a response to the worst failure of capitalism in the U.S., the Great Depression. Liberalism is not an “intellectual” construct, but rather a practical remedy to economic injustice. It was enormously successful in alleviating poverty, and it regulated business to prevent the fraud and excesses that had caused it. The Social Security program forms the foundation of economic security to this day.

Liberalism is precisely a moral political advocacy that advances the needs and aspirations of the many for the benefit of all people. This should not be diminished by the betrayal of so-called liberals of recent experience that sold out to the rich and powerful.

Now, we are in dire need of true liberal leadership to create and implement a new New Deal that will reverse the trends of inequality while also dealing with the exploitative behavior of the corporate hegemony. There would be far less need for welfare if the capitalist system worked for the benefit of all people, instead of forcing so many into prison, poverty and unrewarding servitude in order to reap extreme wealth for a tiny minority.

Solutions have been proposed at length and in great detail on this and other liberal sites. Conscientious leaders and an educated public are what are lacking. If only people could be weaned from their TVs and read more, sanity might prevail. Whether there is any hope for change within the system remains questionable. The alternative of mass revolt seems unlikely given the apathy and gullibility of the American public, but it’s still possible. Something has got to “give”.

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By prisnersdilema, April 12, 2012 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

Actually no it was the elite who funded the eugenic movement, with funds coming from
the Rockefeller foundation, etc. Sponsorship of eugenic writings coming from the
Rockefeller foundation…Well documented in Mad in AMerica, by Robert WHitaker..

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By ron hansing, April 12, 2012 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

Remember it was the progressives in the early 20th century that led the Eugnic Movement… and cheered when the “activist” surpreme court ruled that it was legal to castrate the “defective”....

this does not mean that today’s progressives are kindred spirits… but it is always wise to beware of “true believers” for they more often tend to progress to dictatorships.

One should be able to argue the three sides of the flip of the quantum coin. The pro, the con, and the inbetween. We do not live in a black and wihite world, but a “Gery” world.

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By felicity, April 12, 2012 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

Wait a minute.  Thirty-five years of ‘trickle-down’ -
still championed by Republicans as a viable economic
theory (read Ryan’s budget) - should mean that there
are no poor people in America in the first place.
Besides, doesn’t a high tide raise all boats?

Republicans got the preposition wrong.  Instead of
trickle-down, it should have been trickle-up.

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By Gordy, April 12, 2012 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, seems to me you consistently say the
most/only relevant and useful thing in the comments
sections and can very often correct the article’s
author on salient and overlooked historical fact; I
think Truthdig should invite you to write for them.

I can hardly think of anyone who so readily counters
the propaganda of hegemony with factual information
that is ignored or suppressed from public discourse -
Noam Chomsky comes to mind - instead of impotently
ranting against the hegemony with rhetoric that is
largely confined within the terms laid out by the
hegemony. This includes many supposed left-wing or
radical journalists and commentators.

I don’t think anyone should have to work at a Wendy’s
at all.

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By 3am mystic, April 12, 2012 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

Unfortunately, many who call themselves liberal or progressive are only so regarding their personal way of living.  In truth, they want some of that big money too.  They have accepted the big lie, which I believe Bill Clinton told himself, that progressives need to beat the conservatives and Republicans at their own game; and that takes corporate money.  What they have done is gone begging.

So, what we have in this country are people who, on the weekends, walk around in artsy communities wearing their bohemian garb that they wore during the sixties and seventies, parading themselves as lovers of peace. Then on Monday morning sit in on board meetings where they lay off workers and cut payrolls, adding to the numbers of working poor, and being totally indifferent to the great need we still have for welfare, as well as for Medicare and Medicaid, simply because no one in their immediate families or circles have need of them. 

The hypocrisy is astounding!!

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By jimmmmmy, April 12, 2012 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

A well written entertaining article as usual , but your preaching to the converted. What are the solutions to these problems? Pointing them out out over and over has become an exercise in the rule of diminishing returns.  I liked Anacissies response , good history seldom mentioned. Mr. Scheer does this mean your finally getting off the Obama bus? After all he’s shown himself to be a Clinton clone.

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By Frederick Fuller, April 12, 2012 at 9:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sorry! I’ve been laughing so hard at all the criticism by “experts” of the government, the presidents, the Clintons, the welfare system, liberalism, poor people, ad nauseam, boring, tedious, annoying, aggravating bullshitting!!!!

It has blinded me from seeing the positive things of life in America.

Yup! There are lots of positives that I will not take time and space to enumerate except one: the poor. That’s right, the poor and needy among us; those unwashed, conniving, ungrateful, money-sucking poor people on welfare who are the reason governmental budgets are in trouble.

And, they want to be on welfare; they choose to live in poverty so they can get that welfare check each month. Women get pregnant as soon as they can and risk their lives in childbirth in order to GET THAT WELFARE CHECK EACH MONTH. Hurray! More kids, more money!

Why, they’re the reason our national deficit is so high. Right?

Let’s cut ‘em off, make ‘em pull their own weight; wrap their fingers around those boot straps and make ‘em pull, baby! It’s good for ‘em! We know what’s right for ‘em cuz we’s experts.

Thank God! We benefit from the poor because we can kick them around and blame them for everything. Ain’t that great?

And . . . AND, better yet, we can be sanctimonious about it. Wow!

“Look at that loser,” we can say. “No one ever gave me anything and I asked for nothing! Ain’t I better?”

“Thank you, you poor bugger, for allowing me to be self-rightous, holier-than-thou, pious, pietistic, churchy, moralizing, preachy, smug, superior, priggish, hypocritical, insincere. Thank you, Jesus, for your giving us the poor.

Speaking of Jesus, the Christians among you should walk proud. After all Jesus practiced pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps philosophy, right?

“Feed the poor,” he said, “after they work for it, of course.” Right?

“Heal the sick,” said he, “if you have health insurance.” Right?

“Love the Lord, thy God, with all your heart and all your soul, and love your neighbor as yourself, as long as you stay on your own property, believe as I believe, vote as I vote, and spend MY tax money as I want you to.” Right?

Gosh, how good God is for giving us others to look down on and criticize and blame.

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By El_Pinguino, April 12, 2012 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

I have never felt the economy and jobs were the domain of the government. Sure the government can set policy through taxes and laws, but if this in fact a free market capitalist country, then the domain of job creation and health of the economy is actully in the hands of capitalists. 

However, the welfare of it’s citizens is the domain of the government. Obviously the government thought to change its role in people’s live and ended *welfare*.

Both entities threw the people under the bus. It is obvious to me the capitalists/power elite own the government so that is no surprise.

Want to get 48 million people off of food stamps? Bring the jobs back. It really is that simple.  If people that are in a position to make lives of the people better… we would find a way.

But, if the power elite and those who serve the power elite are willing to watch people live in misery… die from lack of health care…. send people to war after war after war… spend trillions on war that benefit the rich…. while we mere lower class fight over scraps in IGA dumpsters…

Well…. I just wouldn’t look for meaningful change anytime soon. The psychopaths are running the show.

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By caped amigo, April 12, 2012 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

I, too, have a similar story to Robert and Ron. The experience made me no one to
mess with, and I wouldn’t have missed a day in the world for anything.

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By ron hansing, April 12, 2012 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

Mr. Scheer…. I too have a similar story… like many others. So I give credit to your parents… and that they produces you, who have achieved beyond their wildest dreams.

Yes, life is tough… I won’t dwell on mine, but will say I am proud that I too achieved beyond my wildest dreams… It was this adversity that made me stronger, and endeavored me to work hard to achieve what I dreamed about.

When I was young, I can honestly say that me nor did I knew anybody in my age group expected something free from the government. It was up to us to free our selves. and we did.

I call this individual freedom…. Which I would never trade off for entitlements. Yes, my wife was talked into food stamps when we had a small family. We used them once and felt so ashamed, that we tore them up. Ask why didn’t we give them to the poor, the answer is simple. Why would we want to put this shame on them?

We got most of our food from the dumpster in back of IGA.

Just perhaps, because your parents suffered greatly with adversity, is the reason why you are immensely successful today?

And mankind is better off that I am successful… and with individual charity, I have given up to 30-40 thousands of dollars in free medical care each year.

ron hansing 4.12.12

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By prisnersdilema, April 12, 2012 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

Had Roberts father been in the same situation today, things would have been much
different for him. He would have been required to pay at least half his income to support
his first family, and then half of what was remaining to his second family.

If he would have failed to pay, he would have had has is drivers license taken away, and
any other state issued license, from a license to practice law to a building contractors

His wages would have been taken automatically, and if he did not have a job they would
have added up, to astronomical levels. Child support enforcement could have sent him
to jail, for violating it’s orders to pay, where he could languish indefinitely.  They money
owed would have continued to grow while he was in jail each second of each day, and it
would never be able to be discharged in bankruptcy. He would have been impoverished
without the ability to extract himself from his predicament, and might even permanently
end up in prison, with hundreds of thousands of other men. He would not have been
able to see his children, because visitation reduces child support orders, something
disfavored by the states.

And although the state would say they had done this for the benefit of his children. Still
they collected $50 from the Feds in grant money,  for ever $1 they collected in child
support they got from him, grant money was never used for any payments for children,
but went into the states money coffers to be used for anything the state wanted. This
arrangement created a huge incentive to get the highest possible child support awards
from Roberts father, regardless of his ability to pay.  This system plunged many millions
of men, especially middle class men, into intractable poverty without the ability to work
there way out of it. It meant they could never accumulate any real property, and what
they had could be taken away adminstratively.

And if the men fought to see their children, they could go to court without legal
representation, against the mothers lawyer, the county lawyer, and Child support
enforcements attorney. When they lost their appeal would be sent to a court that did not
have jurisdiction over child support enforcement.

This system plunged millions of families into never ending poverty, and it is yet another
legacy of Bill Clinton.

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By Anarcissie, April 12, 2012 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

’... The death of American liberalism as a significant moral force can be traced to the point in 1996….’

Part of the problem here is that American liberalism is portrayed as something that ever had moral force.

American liberalism, as the term is being used here, is neither American nor liberal.  It is an intellectual descendant of the Welfare state invented by Bismarck in late 19th-century Germany as an antidote to revolutionary socialism and anarchism.  The deal was, basically, you let us keep the power, and we’ll give you nice handouts.  Some moralizing was added as icing, but it wasn’t the cake. 

It took some time for these ideas to be picked up in the United States, but beginning in the 20th century, and especially during the crises of the ‘30s and the ‘40s, the ruling class found the ideas quite appealing when threatened not only by indigenous socialists and anarchists, but by whole big states abroad under the control of fascists and Communists.

With the defeat of those fascists and Communists, and the wasting away of socialism and anarchism as mass movements, the deal was no longer needed, and began to be rescinded in the 1970s, not the 1990s, when the process was well advanced.

If you want to restore the Welfare-state deal, forget about American liberalism as a ‘moral force’.  There ain’t no such animal.  Threaten the ruling class with competition from the Left, and you may get a Bismarckian response.

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By Jim Yell, April 12, 2012 at 7:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The problem as far as I see it is the Republican and Democratic Party have merged. They play good cop/bad cop and that is why I voted for a progressive President and instead got a middle of road conservative, who is only middle of the road because the conservatives have moved so far to the right of middle.

If the country doesn’t return to a focus on all of us instead of on “what does the investment money want then we are moving to corporate dictatorship, aka Fascism. In fact we are well on the road. Internationalism has only become a tool to avoid regulation and payment of decent wages. It is all a fraud. Do not look for change from the Republicans or the Democrats.

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By Gwenne, April 12, 2012 at 6:44 am Link to this comment
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Thank you, Mr Scheer, for this post…...
In 1976, I was a single mom with no money and no car, with two children under
the age of 2.  I tried to stay off of ADC (Aid to Dependent Children), but needed
health insurance, so enrolled.  The system then helped me with childcare so I
could go to school, I got a pell grant, I got enough cash to pay rent in
subsidized housing, and enough food stamps to feed my children.  There was
also an incentive program for working - called the ‘30 and a third’
program…...when I worked, 30% of my pay was not deducted from the amount
of my grant - this gave me enough extra income to run a car and buy a couple
of suits for my job!  I was off ADC with a good job in 2 1/2 years, and have
been a tax paying citizen ever since.

The system worked - I lived in a subsidized housing complex full o students
working to better themselves, and the supports needed to do so were available. 
It was hard work, but doable…....

People need HELP to get out of poverty - supports for transportation, food,
housing, childcare and health…..taking these supports away only insures
people will stay mired in poverty, with no hope and little opportunity.

thank you, Mr Scheer, for speaking up on this issue!

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By Sufilizard, April 12, 2012 at 6:30 am Link to this comment
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Matthew 7:16 - “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?”

The only fruits being produced by our Republicrat
politicians are thorns and thistles. When you vote,
don’t listen to their words, but look at the fruits of
their labors.

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By sallysense, April 12, 2012 at 6:20 am Link to this comment

(shared this elsewhere and would like to share it here too)...

Petition To Congress: Reimpose the Excess Profits Tax for Corporations/Corporate Greed to Pay.

Our United States’ Involvement in the Wars Abroad, and in the War Against Terror at Home, sees Corporate Greed Running Rampant; while Our Country and People Suffer the Effects.

This in Itself gives We-the-People and Our Nation the Justification for the Excess Profits Tax to be Reimposed.

Reinstate the Excess Profits Tax for Corporations/Corporate Greed to Pay. 

(The Excess Profits Tax, is a Tax paid by Corporations on Excessive Profits above a Specified Allowable Amount.  It has been Enacted at Various Times throughout Our Nation’s History.)

(The Excess Profits Tax sees that Corporate Greed Pays Taxes on its Greediness.)

For the sake of We-the-People and Our Nation; Reimpose the Excess Profits Tax for Corporations/Corporate Greed to Pay.

Hence furthermore, Direct those Taxes to be used via Non-Profit/Low-Profit ways and means, to produce more Jobs and better Health Care for Americans, since Corporate Greed’s Excessive-Profits have already taken so much away from Our Country and People.

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By JoeT, April 12, 2012 at 6:03 am Link to this comment

A few years before Clinton signed the work not welfare bill into law, while in graduate school, my summer job was working for a private non-profit in Western Wisconsin piloting this new work not welfare program. I thought of Tommy Thompson’s, pilot program as “Labor pool for the fast food joints,” Even then I recommended to some “clients” with the means to make a move to head accross the river for Minnesota where they were still allowed to attend technical college. Needless to say, my/our concerns never got past the administration of our little private nonprofit. Yes, Clinton through the poor under the bus. But, for what gain?

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By DonSchneider, April 12, 2012 at 6:02 am Link to this comment

Kerryrose, Humiliation is the Key here and you brought it up well. I have to thank
you for that and Mr Scheer for the beautifully timed article. Ever since “The Culture
of Poverty” wormed its way into the modern lexicon, “blaming the victim” has
reared its ugly head to grander heights under this current crop of republican
“daahlings”.  The humiliation of the effects of poverty inherent in the bureaucratic
temporary fixes agonized over by today’s suffering members of America’s
“Working Poor” are no less stultifying than the draconian lash of the Reagan
doctrine. (every family who found itself mired in poverty was headed by a “welfare
legislation that has the effect of swelling the roles of those who find themselves
struggling below the poverty line, and then castigate and “Blame the Victim” for
falling into the unfortunate genre of capitalism’s sacrificial bottom rung ! 
Amazing !  America can no longer afford the wealthy !

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By Shenonymous, April 12, 2012 at 5:56 am Link to this comment

Well if the prognosis is so dismal of the “liberalism” of presidents, then
Weezers, the “collective” we, need to do it ourselves.  Get the Money Out
is a movement and should have gotten already as much notice as the
Occupiers, but it is hardly spoken about outside of blogs and now and then
on a progressive tv political journal.  Big money interests needs kicked in their
“collective” asses.  The problem is that the whiners and groaners use the Weezer
word just philosophically.  You know, “until WE get rid of this or that…nothing
will change.”  Occupy will do it!  Join the Occupiers! 
Occupy PAC: Getting money out of politics . . . or something
so is Dylan Ratigan and

It jes ain’t taruuu.  There be lotsaLibrlDemocrats.  Liberals ain’t daid yet, Mistah Sheer. 
The apparent malady is only temporary.  Things go in cycles.  It will be a spectacular
event when “we” come back.

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By balkas, April 12, 2012 at 5:26 am Link to this comment

sorry to say: the more things change, while we only complain, the worse it it gets.
change is only certainty, but in tactics only. and some things never change they
are constant.
such as? THEY [TWENTYPERCENT OR ONEPERCENT, if the latter suits you better]
masters, the EIGHTYPERCENT servants.
true, even the said PERCENTAGES may go up or dwn, but the basic structure does
not and never will change as long as people only complain.

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By balkas, April 12, 2012 at 5:17 am Link to this comment

many facts not only show but prove that it is not only Repubs who love the fetus
and shun the child. most Dems and most of the pop does that too.
eg, half or more of the pop votes for Repubs; thus, vote for shunning children,
wastage of taxes on cia terrorism, warfare, army bases, bailouts, regime changes,
the other half votes for Dems and Dems wage wars, bail out banks, direct cia to do
terrorist acts, wage wars, etcetc!!

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By balkas, April 12, 2012 at 5:06 am Link to this comment

welfare recipients or inheritance recipients?
is it inheriting a basic right or is it being on the
dole, receiving charities from charitable people?
are ‘doling’ or meting out basic human rights
dependent on goodwill of the TWENTYPERCENT of
the people or all of the people?

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By rbe4free, April 12, 2012 at 4:59 am Link to this comment

The cause is our Fiat monetary driven, socio-economic system, until we get rid of it, nothing will change.  Want a real solution?  Check out The Venus Project, if you have questions see the FAQ page.

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By Angel Gabriel, April 12, 2012 at 4:27 am Link to this comment

All American President’s since JFK, with the exception of maybe Carter have served
only one God - Big Money Interests / Self Interests. Go back in time and listen to
Henry Kissinger’s speech to the Bilderberg’s regarding population control in the
21st Century. Read PNAC, look around you at the game plan of the Republicrat’s!
Fetus smeetus, if you think anything is just naturally gonna change - guess again
sleeping beauties!  “See you in the next world - and YOU won’t be late!”
Choice? Yeah right!

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By kerryrose, April 12, 2012 at 3:53 am Link to this comment

I know that in New York State Welfare does not exist.  It is called TEMPORARY Assistance for Needy Families.  It is just that:  temporary assistance that offers no security for the very poor. It must be ‘earned’ by slave labor at a minimum wage job where the recipient can be bussed hundreds of miles to work at a Wendy’s leaving their ‘needy family’ to fend for themselves (another instance of ‘caring for the already born).  If there is no Wendy’s job to be had- and in these time there is generally none to be had- the recipient is required to spend 8 hours in the TANF office listening to self righteous talks and pouring over computer lists of supposed jobs.

The recipients must reapply every few months to even stay on the roll for their pittances.  This is ‘tough-love,’ a sufficient hardship and humiliation for any family with the gall to be poor.

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