Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Browsing Posts published in September, 2013

The lead editorial in the Sunday Post-Dispatch wonders Oh, to be a Republican extremist for a day.

How nice to be, say, Jason Smith of Salem, Mo., elected to the United States House of Representatives this year right before his 33rd birthday. How great to be young, Republican and represent the 11th-poorest of America’s 435 congressional districts, 30 counties across south and southeast Missouri. What a great day Sept. 19 must have been, to join 216 of my GOP colleagues (including the five other GOP members from Missouri) in voting to whack $39 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program program over the next 10 years. Never mind that 1 in every five families in my district gets food stamps.

Even better than cutting food stamps from these wastrels would be the knowledge that you preserved subsidies for big agriculture in the process. How freeing it must be to be Rep. Vicki Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, and preserve farm subsidies for her family while taking food from the poor people of her district. It’s not that we oppose government handouts; it’s that we want the Right People to get them. Makers, not takers. Job-creators. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.

What would it be like to be Ted Cruz for only a day, and to spend that day standing on the floor of the United States Senate, railing against the Affordable Care Act? To be a United States senator from Texas, just like Sam Houston and Lyndon Baines Johnson.

How great would that be, to ignore my party’s own leaders and threaten to plunge the nation into fiscal crisis, all in a futile effort to stop a duly passed, signed and constitutionally upheld law that could bring health insurance to 25 million of my fellow Americans? And not care one whit about them!

Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now is the perfect forum for the best financial writer in the world, Matt Taibbi, to discuss his latest article – How Teachers, Cops, and Firemen Are Getting Their Pensions Fleeced At Lightning Speed.

Great insight on the consequences of financial deregulation and the future of retirement savings for all Americans.  Just think how many Teachers, Cops, and Firemen voted Republican and brought this on themselves.  Ouch!


Jon Stewart has a great time poking fun at Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s talkathon on the floor of the U.S. Senate.  Senator Cruz’s reference to Ashton Kutcher is classic.

Remember, you paid for it.

Let’s have a little fun with this salute to Missouri’s Co-Chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council Tim “tickets” Jones and friends.


Yesterday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch printed my letter to the editor regarding Walgreens ending traditional employer provided health insurance.

The irony of “Walgreen moves to private exchange” (Sept. 19) was hard to miss.

The company explained its decision to end traditional employer-provided health care insurance and send employees to a private exchange with this statement:

“I think the only way to drive down costs in the health care space is to have the consumer buying the health care be knowledgeable and educated and understand what they are buying.”

How refreshing, a company that sells health care and pharmaceuticals espousing transparency as a way to lower costs.

Of course, this statement would have more credibility if Walgreen wasn’t being sued in several states, including Missouri, for what Attorney General Chris Koster described as the drug chain “engaging in a pattern of false and misleading advertising and pricing schemes.”

If a transparent marketplace is a requirement for consumer-based health care, is a company that engages in misleading advertising and pricing schemes the best messenger for this questionable theory?

It’s been 16 months since both the U.S. House and Senate passed the Korean Free Trade deal in a Sep Korea 2single day.  President Obama signed shortly thereafter.  You may remember all the promises of more exports and the creation of American jobs.  The graph to the right exposes the emptiness of those promises as our trade deficit with Korea has gone up as exports have gone down in every month since the agreement took affect.

President Obama seems to be playing the same bait and swith game again this week at the G20 meetings. 

At this week’s G20 summit in Russia, President Obama has been trying once again to sell two enormous “trade” pacts — the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) – using the beleaguered pitch that such deals will deliver jobs by boosting exports.

But government trade data released this week douses Obama’s export promise with another bucket of cold reality.  Under the Korea “free trade” agreement (FTA), a model for the TPP, U.S. exports have been steadily falling, imports have been rising, and job-displacing trade deficits have surged.

In fact, in every single month since the Korea FTA took effect in March 2012, U.S. goods exports to Korea have fallen below the average export level seen the year before the deal took effect.  Average monthly exports to Korea since the FTA have sunk 11% below the average monthly level before the FTA.

The U.S. monthly trade deficits with Korea, meanwhile, have soared about 50% higher than the pre-FTA level.  In 16 out of 16 months since the FTA took effect, the U.S. trade deficit with Korea has exceeded the average monthly deficit seen the year before the deal.

The dismal record of the Korea FTA for U.S. exports and jobs does not bode well for the administration’s attempt to push the controversial TPP through Congress on a democracy-defying Fast Track under the tired and counterfactual promise of export promotion.  Members of Congress are not likely to be persuaded to revoke their constitutional authority over trade and allow the TPP to be railroaded through Congress

The Yahoo news page is carrying this story “Why Does Everyone Hate The Tea Party?”

You might think that with Ted Cruz still hoarse from faux filibustering the Senate, and House conservatives on the brink of shutting down the government, Tea Partiers would have reason to celebrate. But a Gallup poll released this morning might put any partying on hold: Popular support for the conservative movement has dwindled to a near-record low.

The pollster Lydia Saad lays out the bottom line:


U.S. support for the Tea Party is at a low ebb at a time when key issues of concern for the movement — funding for the Affordable Care Act and raising the U.S. debt ceiling — are focal points in Washington, with Tea Party-backed Sen. Ted Cruz prominently fighting both policies. [Gallup]

It’s tempting to blame the junior senator from Texas for America’s cooling on the Tea Party.

Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Inequality For All is a full length look at how the American people went from the landRobert Reich - 408 x 273 of opportunity to the largest level of income inequality in the industrialized world.  You can watch the trailer and look at some of the resources used in the making of the film.

Robert Reich, the agent provocateur of the film was featured on last week’s Moyers and Company discussing the film.  Click here to enjoy the entire episode.


This is a rich one (intended),  Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler is one of the top 14 Republicans to collect farm subsidies in addition skitched-20130921-133746to earning almost $200,000 a year as a congresswoman but still felt it was necessary to cut food stamps.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler

Republican–Missouri 4th District

Total Farm Subsidies Received: $516,000

Net Worth: $2,218,026 to $13,854,995


Just thought you should know.

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