Archive for December, 2013

Content in Tennessee

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

In 2010, the political landscape in Tennessee changed. A large stash of “dark money” sweeps the Tennessee Democratic Party from power, for the first time since Reconstruction. Candidates of the Republican Party were elected in mass, based on empty promises of job creation and a focus on education. It did not seem to matter that many of these candidates were not vetted; more less qualified to hold political office or even hold a regular job in the common job market. The voters did not seem to care they were electing unqualified people to office.

Unfortunately, the lack of qualification of candidates was not the only thing wrong with the “political winds of change” that affected Tennessee and many other southern states that created the perfect political storm. This political change was driven by much darker forces and was not based on the normal issues that affect most elections or spark most political up evil. This change was fueled by racism and hatred of President Obama. And it occurred at a time when control of political power was up for grabs for ten years, not just for an election cycle.

It occurred at a time when the political party who won the state, would control the state for ten years, and be allowed to redistrict the political landscape and reallocate the political power of a state. The masterminds of this political up evil had more important goals in mind than just political victory and they were more than happy to use hatred to achieve their vile agenda. Nor, did it matter that mindless teabaggers would serve as minions to assist the rich in reaching their goal.

We have since seen the devastation of this political change and the damaging impact it has had on the poor and middle class in our state and nation. It did not take long to realize the promises of job creation and focus on education were empty words “lies” by the GOP to simply gain power and control.

And since the election, the GOP has taken undemocratic steps to entrench their political power. Adopting measures to ensure voter suppression on the vary people their vile agenda has harmed the most: the old, young, poor, women, sick and minorities. They have attacked women healthcare, workers’ rights, gay rights, minority rights, civil rights, and dismantled the safety net that has successfully protected the poor, old, sick and middle class since the Great Depression, while continuing to give large tax breaks to the rich and corporations.

It does not seem to matter that they have lost national power as a party, they seem happy with the short term state power and/or regional power they have achieved and they have used this power to undermine national laws and political legislation.

Four years later, the attacks on women’s rights, voter’s rights, workers’ rights immigration, and civil rights has escalated by the GOP. Attacks on the poor and middle class have also escalated as the GOP attempts to dismantle and gut public education and social programs like Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) and unemployment compensation.

Not since the Great Depression, has the GOP agenda been so void of a moral compass.Republicans are attempting to dismantle the vary programs designed to help those in need, during tough economic times, like now, when 40 million Americans need government subsidized food assistance to simply live and 1.3 million Americans lost their unemployment compensation, yesterday, because of GOP cuts. In months, another 1.9 million will lose their unemployment compensation. The GOP don’t even seem concerned about the additional loss of 240,000 jobs that will occur from this loss of this money from the economy. Nothing, not even the welfare of the nation, is more important than their vile agenda.

In Tennessee, more than 20% of Tennesseans receive government assistance for food and experienced cuts in SNAP assistance. More than 18,000 Tennesseans lost their unemployment yesterday.

The GOP faithful calls these expenditures on humanity – waste and too expensive to afford, yet, they don’t hesitate giving large tax breaks to the rich and corporations. They spoke not one objection when it came to the costs of twelve years of two “unfunded” wars and giving corporate “welfare” to the greed driven military contractors. They never seem to have a problem with waste when it comes to giving large tax breaks to their rich friends but God forbid – we help the poor or middle class during tough economic times.

Four years later, unemployment in Tennessee is 8.1% while it is 7% nationally. The Tennessee legislature has not passed nor discussed one act of legislation related to job creation. Nothing has been done to strengthen public education, in fact the GOP works feverishly to dismantle it. The Republican “super majority” legislation has been more concerned with catering to their gun lobbyists’ friends and other special interest groups. Our governor is too busy handling his messy shady dealings to something that would actually help middle class folks like extending Medicaid for 170,000 Tennesseans.

Did Tennesseans get what they bargained for when the voted red in 2010? Is there any buyer’s remorse or are folks in Tennessee simply content with the sad state of affairs of our state as a result of that vote?

Unicoi County Democratic Party to Hold January Caucus for County Elections

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

caucus_mainERWIN – The Unicoi County Democratic Party recently notified Sarah Bailey, Unicoi County Election Commission Administrator, that it members had decided to have a caucus for the 2014 county elections.

The Democratic caucus will be held at 11 am on Saturday, January 4, 2014 at Erwin Town Hall.

Anyone who chooses to run for county office as a democrat should attend this caucus. The caucus will remain open for anyone deciding to run as a Democrat after this date.

Notification must be made to the Unicoi County Democratic Party early enough to allow the party to submit a letter stating the person’s intent to run for the specific office. The letter must be signed by two executive committee members of the county party and submitted to the Unicoi County Election Committee by the qualifying deadline of February 20, 2014 at noon.

The Unicoi County Democratic Party notified Sarah Bailey on Thursday, November 21 of the decision to hold a caucus.

The election commission was also notified that District 1 (Carter, Johnson, Unicoi and Washington) counties had decided to hold non-partisan judicial elections because they felt that judicial elections should not be partisan positions.

The Unicoi County Democratic Party also voiced disapproval against the use of taxpayer money; in excess of $20,000, used to hold a primary in a time when the money could be better used to help the host of charities helped by the Unicoi County United Way.

For more information about running as a Democrat in Unicoi County: call 743-7608 or 743-3063.

House Republicans Vote to Slash “SNAP” Food Assistance for Poor

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

ebt-cuts-oh-snap-marty-two-bullsWASHINGTON — While most agree that additional food stamp cuts will significantly worsen hunger problems, House Republicans cold heartedly pushed through a bill on Thursday that slashes 40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The vote was 217 to 210, largely along party lines.

House Democrats objected over the cuts and President Obama threatened to veto the legislation if it comes to his desk. Republican House members from Tennessee argue that the program has enough waste to justify large-scale reductions. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Johnson City, said the larger cuts could be made “without significantly impacting those most in need of food security.” Other Republicans across Tennessee who voted for the cuts attempted to say they supported SNAP but not the waste in the program.

The legislation passed does not address any “GOP claimed” waste in the program. The legislation had more to do with a GOP response to pressure from Tea Party-backed conservatives who see any public assistance to those in need as wasteful spending.

But Democrats, many of whom held up pictures of people they said would lose their benefits, called the cuts draconian and said the legislation would plunge millions into poverty.

The bill, written under the direction of the House majority leader, Eric Cantor, Republican of Virginia, would cut $40 billion from the food stamp program over the next 10 years. The bill was one of the most heartless bills to come to the floor for a vote in memory.

The future of food stamps — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — remains the big sticking point in House-Senate negotiations to finalize a new farm bill before the end of the year.

In September, the House approved a farm bill that cuts almost $40 billion from food stamps over 10 years — about 5 percent a year. The Senate earlier approved a bill that would cut $4 billion over that time.

The cuts would be in addition to the expiration of some benefits that occurred in November. Those had been part of the 2009 economic stimulus package that ended on November 1.

At $80 billion a year, food stamps remain the single costliest item in the farm bill. The program serves almost 48 million Americans and 1.34 million Tennesseans — about 20 percent of the state population.

Among House members from Tennessee, all but Reps. Jim Cooper of Nashville and Steve Cohen of Memphis — the two Democrats in the state’s congressional delegation — voted for the bill making $40 billion in cuts.

Implementation of this bill will result in denying benefits to 3.8 million low-income Americans in 2014.

“Those who would be thrown off the program include some of the nation’s most destitute adults, as well as many low-income children, seniors and families that work for low wages,” the CBPP said in an analysis of the House bill. “The House SNAP bill is harsh.”

Fortunately, the measure has little chance of passing the Senate.

The SNAP program was created in 1964 in an effort to end hunger in the United States. Conservatives and Republicans have never supported SNAP and see assistance to the poor as wasteful. Now, corporate welfare is another story… it is the kind of assistance [for the rich] that they support. When you confront them about the hypocrisy , they scream “class warfare”, as a smoke screen to their greed.

Sadly, it is class warfare… on the middle class and poor.

Sign Up for Affordable Health Care: Over Ten Million Americans Insured

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

logoRev1If you currently do not have health care insurance, there are some things you can do to get prepared to get coverage. Go to http://www.healthcare.gov/ for more information. Under the Affordable Care Act, ten million Americans have received healthcare insurance- see more. Open enrollment continues and you can still select affordable health care insurance for yourself and your family by viewing your options and choosing the plan that is best for you during the open enrollment period. If You have not signed up for healthcare coverage, you can still sign up and have affordable health care and you can continue signing up for health coverage through March 31st.

Are you one of the millions of Americans without Health Care Insurance? Are you or a member of your family suffering from an illness but your unable to afford health care coverage? If a health care emergency affected you or a member or your family, could you lose everything you own? These are only a few of the serious questions facing millions Americans who cannot afford health care insurance. Affordable health care can now be attained for you and your family. Go to here and see the options for you and your family.

Health care is a fundamental right not a benefit to be enjoyed by the well to do. You and your family do not need to continue to worry about the many problems associated with not having health care coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, you can now have affordable health care for yourself and your family. Go to healthcare.gov. Beginning October 1st, enrollment of the Affordable Care Act begins. Go to http://www.healthcare.gov/ to get the answers. It is easy to see your options.

Don’t listened to the lies about Obamacare, go and see your options for yourself. Now it is easy to select a plan that is right for you and your family, go to http://www.healthcare.gov/ to see your options.

You can also visit here to check the options in each state.

The Unicoi County Democratic Party will not be able to assist folks sign up for health care coverage online. We do encourage each person to check out and select the option which is best for them.