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Teen volunteer brings a meal to an elderly woman in wheelchair
Enjoy it while it lasts
While House Republicans are busy focusing on super important things like the size of the Democrats' email list, here's another little program that's about to be hit hard by the sequestration: Meals on Wheels, the program that delivers food to the homes of seniors in need.
The whole routine is now in doubt, thanks to budget cuts known as "sequestration" that are scheduled to kick in on Friday. The policy will deliver a 5.1 percent cut to a broad range of federal programs, including those under the Administration on Aging, which since 1972 has provided federal funds for senior nutrition programs. [...]

The Obama administration says 4 million meals will be lost. The Meals On Wheels Association of America, an umbrella group for some 5,000 local organizations nationwide distributing a million meals a day, estimates the cuts will have an even bigger effect: 19 million fewer meals.

Naturally, Republicans are as concerned about millions of starving seniors as you'd expect them to be, but that's only because they're sure the White House—and every other expert in the country with an abacus—must be exaggerating just how bad these sorts of cuts will be. Like Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, who said, "We see all these claims about what a tragedy it's going to be."

Yes, all these "claims" are probably just a bunch of liberal propaganda. How bad could it really be if a few million, or 19 million, seniors lose their nutritional assistance?

"Given that most Meals On Wheels recipients only get one meal a day, five days a week, that loss of nutrition and personal interaction would be catastrophic," Ellie Hollander, president of the Meals On Wheels Association of America, said in a statement. "We know that seniors who receive nutritious meals are healthier and more independent than those who don’t."

Hollander noted a recent Brown University study that found investments in food can keep seniors healthier and out of nursing homes, and thereby save the government money.

Even before the cuts have begun, Hollander said they're already having an effect. "In anticipation of the looming sequestration, wait lists are growing, seniors are being turned away, and some programs face the risk of shutting down entirely," she said.

Oh well. Just because these cuts will have catastrophic consequences for a program that currently saves the government money—and, oh yeah, keeps our grandparents fed—is no reason for Republicans to, you know, do something about it.

Originally posted to Kaili Joy Gray on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 07:45 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos Economics, Hunger in America, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It was on the local news Monday night that (14+ / 0-)

    Meals on Wheels will have funding issues  with the sequestration.  Fortunately/unfortunately the local group had a special fund raiser earlier this month and are ok until the end of the fiscal year.  It's a shame that they even had to have the fund raiser in the first place!!  The cruelty the Republican party (and not a few Democrats) wants to inflict upon people is down right disgraceful and evil.

  •  Funny, nobody (9+ / 0-)

    talks much about furloughing the higher levels of administration at various agencies.  Seems like if that was done, there would be $$$ left over for basic services.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 07:57:42 AM PST

    •  For all the good they do, you might as well (8+ / 0-)

      furlough, the Republican led House.  No pay day, might wake up a few who aren't already millionaires.

    •  Yes, but furloughing non-criminal immigrants who (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OldDragon, irishwitch

      were in detention centers to save money was pretty brilliant.  That puts paid to the GOP concerns about immigration and the notion that stupid cuts are better than no cuts at one stroke.

      The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

      by Mimikatz on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:47:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, if you did that, nobody (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch

      would take the jobs.

      ;^)

      When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

      by Words In Action on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:04:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Karl Rove let the cat out of the bag... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MPociask, irishwitch, kmfmstar

      last night on O'Lielly.....

      His argument is that the GOP should go ahead with its proposal of giving the President "the flexibility" to make the cuts needed to achieve sequester goals.

      Sounds reasonable doesn't it?

      But then Rove throws in the clinker:  Yeah....give the President the power to make his own choices on cuts, and then have House committees (controlled by the GOP) repeatedly call up cabinet officials and demand they justify the cuts made vs. cuts that people like Rove think should be made.

      A daily circus of "We gave him the power and look how he used it to throw illegal immigrants out of prison instead of cutting food stamps."

      Wonderful street theater.

      Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

      by dweb8231 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:24:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  All due respect (4+ / 0-)

    but some of this is what is known in DC as the Washington Monument Gambit.

    To wit: If you tell the Executive Branch as a whole, or the Department of the Interior specifically, that they need to make cuts they say "Okay.. we can save $X amount of dollars if we close the Washington Monument."  Which of course is NOT something anyone wants.  Its a trick to get people to back-off their demands, to worry about how this might look, to make it seem more draconian then it needs to be.

    The problem is that if it doesn't work and the cuts DO HAPPEN, guess what?  The Washington Monument never actually closes.  The cuts get made elsewhere where they make more sense and are manageable.

    Some of these sequester effects are very real (over time)... others are Washington Monument Gambits and I think we owe it to ourselves as the "Party based in reality" to admit that to ourselves.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:04:03 AM PST

    •  Elaborate Please (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kvetchnrelease, Mr MadAsHell

      I am very curious what you think that the Washington Monument Gambits are.  Thanks.

      •  Just dig through the numbers (5+ / 0-)

        For instance.. $2.8 Billion from Education... this was touted as 40,000 teachers will lose their jobs.  This is not true.  That is nothing but coming up with some kind of teacher salary aggregate (in this case $70k/year) and dividing it into $2.8B.  

        But common sense would tell you that there its nonsense to think that the only way the entire Department of Education will implement this kind of budget cut is by firing teachers.  For one, the DoE doesn't PAY teachers, so really we're saying that the reductions in federal grants will equate 100% to teacher lay offs at the local level.  Again... common sense says this is not true.  

        And for anyone lacking common sense, Arte Duncan even came out and EXPLICITLY said this is not true and said the cuts would be spread across a number of programs and administrative processes.

        Now add to that the fact that its $2.8B over 10 years and its back loaded so its not even a full 10% going into effect next week.  

        So this small portion of cuts that in total include cuts to teachers, dept furloughs, work programs, research grants, admin processes, etc will go into effect and what do YOU really think the odds are that the very first thing we do to respond to the first week of the first wave of the first year of sequestration is put a whole slew of teachers on the street?

        Now, apply that same logic to starving seniors.

        I'm not saying the sequestration is not going to have an impact, but we need to be more reality grounded on this.  ...or we'll start sounding like Republicans.

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:43:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Would be true except these are across the board (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OldDragon, madcitysailor, irishwitch

          line item cuts.  Every line item in the budget that isn't excepted (like SS and Medicare) has to be cut by the specified percentage.  That's the difference between smart and dumb cuts.  That's why there is a fight over whether to give the Admin the ability to decide where to cut.  True, maybe they don't cut teachers the first day, but if they think they have to soon, they have to give them, and most public workers, advance notice.  In the case of teachers, pink slips go out in the spring for next fall's jobs.

          The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

          by Mimikatz on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:55:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The DoE does not pay teachers (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MPociask, Not A Bot, johnny wurster

            They will make cuts in a number of grants and programs.. the local districts will then individually decide whether to simply do without those programs, cut funds from one area to pay for another, change things like class sizes, restrict Pre-K, fire teachers, fire admin staff, eliminate a work-program for TA's, restructure the substitute teacher program, institute an across the board pay-cut for all employees, renegotiate something with their union or whatever options school districts feel they need to consider which I have no idea about because I've never run a school district.

            Also, if Congress passes some kind of agreement in March or April or May, then the cuts may be reversed and the impact to teachers next year will be zero.

            My point was simply that the sky-is-falling cry of The Sequester Will Eliminate 40,000 Teacher Jobs From our Schools! is a textbook Washington Monument Gambit.  

            Simple rules of DC (and while Ive never worked on a School Board, I HAVE worked many years for lobbying firms):

            1.  If you want to kill a spending cut, use it to threaten the Military, Firefighters, Police, Seniors, Veterans or Children (in that order of preference)

            2.  If you want to get a federal subsidy, use it to say it creates middle-class American jobs.

            Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

            by Wisper on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:05:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Since Those DoE Grants Made To The States Are (4+ / 0-)

              used (among other things) to hire/fund teacher salaries at the local level, then sequestration WILL impact teacher hiring, especially in states with right wing governors and legislatures. The RW never passes up a chance to demonize and fire public employees who are unionized - especially teachers.

            •  But those grants are used by local (0+ / 0-)

              school systems to PAY teachers.

              And the military? My hsuband's a retiree after 23 years of service.  Rethugs, if allwoed will double or triple the cost of Tricare to those under 65 and on Medicare and raise co-payments. They've been dying to do this for a decade--and the one person he worked against them was Kerry and he's SoS now. DOn't know who will lead the cause.  They'd like to cut pensions too.  Most of them are chickenhawks and so are their pals, so why should they care?   If you think they'll cut a dime from defense contractors and weapons programs the military doesn't even want--programs and systems that bring pork to their buddies-- you're dreaming. It'll come off the backs of retirees and active duty.

              The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

              by irishwitch on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 12:18:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  The long term damage continues for years (4+ / 0-)

          When I worked for the VA it could take over a year to get a $10,000 contract executed because of the shortage of federal contract officers.   It would take a year to get a position classified to hire someone because they couldn't hire someone in HR to classify positions.  We would have employees literally not get paid because they had no staff in HR to process changes in appointments.  

          No one has a clue how close they are to totally breaking the government in some areas and I don't really think either party gives a damn.  

          The focus on the employee losing pay for 20 days or whatever is of concern to the employee but something doesn't get done when there is no employee to do it.  The public knows that bureaucracy is deadly but they do not understand that employees have no control over it.  They cannot change the rules just because they no longer have the money.  They can't be flexible and do something a different way because the rules mandate something must be done a certain way and if there is no one to perform one of the functions in the middle of a many step process the process just stops.  It's very different from corporate life.  There if something gets stuck, some executive unsticks it, but you can't do that when you are locked in by a regulation.  And the worse things get the more the worst take refuge in the regulations to protect them.  

    •  Thank you for sane perspective on issue that like (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MPociask, johnny wurster

      claim in diary has become preposterous. Fear mongering never serves the public interest and claim that seniors will now starve is just, well lets say hard to swallow.

      "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

      by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:31:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The "gambit" is an attempt to get the attention of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MPociask

      a public clueless about the real issues and too lazy to find out in most cases. Few seem to know or care just what "the government" does until it hits something they know. They know the Washington Monument. They would not sit up and pay attention to the fact that, as one example, vital as well as routine contracts may go on hold, stop work orders issued, contractors furloughed and contract schedules thrown off to the long term cost of billions.

      Having seen the mess of the Clinton era shutdown I'm almost convinced we need a real shutdown. That is the one where responsible Executive Department chiefs do not try to minimize damage. It is one where that Social Security or VA check is not deposited and the phones and mail of desperate people go unreturned. The one where the farm subsidy deposit, the awaited small business loan, the state matching fund just vanishes into the dark of a real shutdown. The one where all non military planes are grounded—nobody flies in our terror filled skies if there is no control, nobody. Tough shit Mississippi flood plain residents, the disaster funds just sit, if there are any. The list goes on . . .

      We have a problem in this country where people can actually say get the government out of my Medicare because the cards themselves do not even have "U.S. Government" boldly emblazoned.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:34:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So maximizing damage will benefit whom? Your (0+ / 0-)

        Scenario runs counter to the purpose of government.

        "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

        by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:39:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sometimes a dose of reality is the best medicine. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shaharazade

          You sound as if you are one of the many failing to recognize that you are the government. Your vote or non vote determines ultimate policy. This isn't something imposed by London, this is imposed by you in the collective.

          You are not just a passenger on this plane. You determine its maintenance, fuel, course. The pilot not telling you of a problem there, insulating you from the reality of cracks in the stabilizer or engine blades so that you continue to fly in that comfortable idiot's cocoon is not a favor to you or anyone else on that plane.

          We have a planeload of people so oblivious to the facts that policy and the ability of the country to "fly" is in danger. Maybe a really painful wake up is needed.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:52:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  My gramma would say cut off nose to spite face. (0+ / 0-)

            Few folk on the street are capable of administering the size of these departmental budgets, so neither you nor me nor the collective voter has the skills to manage these budgets. If you ran the budget for one of these agencies and did what you proposed, you would have an uprising from both your employees and customers.

            "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

            by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:14:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I am sorry (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kvetchnrelease, OldDragon, irishwitch

        but that sounds like an utterly short-sighted, vindictively cruel, HORRIBLE idea.

        Your overall political objective may be valid but if in order to make your point you feel the need to withhold people's VA or SS check, interrupt Small Business loan transactions for start-ups, and ground commercial air travel and then ignore the calls and letters from "desperate people", then I think its time to rethink what exactly you think you are fighting for.

        That is the one where responsible Executive Department chiefs do not try to minimize damage.
        Then they do not deserve to be chiefs of anything.  Part of being an executive is to manage business objectives though any situation with the minimal impact to your organization's delivery of goods and services.

        What you describe is some kind of national "Fuck You" to people in no position of authority and with the least ability to tolerate this kind of interruption so either a)some kind of larger point can be made to other more well-off people elsewhere who wont feel the pain directly or b)because you think the country needs to be taught a lesson.

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:52:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We have a population so intentionally myth ridden (0+ / 0-)

          and fundamentally ignorant of how their government works that it is perhaps time for shock treatment if the irresponsible TP/GOP people force a shutdown. Too many citizens have lived in fairyland and seem to think  some magical goose makes all the things they like and demand that government actually does. As a result we see no real pressure for a sane course.

          There is indeed waste in government, waste surprisingly to some largely fed by their own representatives in Congress. If there are fifty "programs" where one makes more sense look for the fine fingers of those worthies setting up little pork pies to please the homefolks. The Executive Department may contain "empire builders" but every one of them is constrained by budget—they may rob Peter of personnel billets and his budget line items, but they cannot create programs. That is reserved for the people under that big white dome. Want to see them scream? Talk real efficiency.

          It is their job to act in their district's interest. We as a nation are paying a price for that parochial view gone wild.

          Oh, by the way, if a chief's budget line for people is cut and the people are furloughed there is not much they can do. The head of the National Weather Service was called on the carpet by Congress and eventually resigned because he had done exactly some of that in order to keep people on the job for accurate weather forecasting rather than some less important projects to the citizen needing to know if a tornado was on the way.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 12:24:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Though aren't most social security "checks" (0+ / 0-)

        automatic now so unless they deliberately stop them (such as with "shutdown -h now") wouldn't they be deposited anyway?

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:24:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And just how do you suppost that system is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eyesbright

          maintained? How are updates, deaths, new payees and the day to day hardware and software maintenance of that system done? They are not done by the Tooth Fairy as so many seem to think!

          We have a population that seems to think they can elect figurative bomb throwers to office to do highly irresponsible things without consequence to their pet or personally vital "program." We see ignorant fools saying "get the government our of (my government program)" so it may be time to demonstrate just what their government does and that this kind of blunt force damage is unacceptable.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 12:07:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then it would presumably keep working until (0+ / 0-)

            it shuts down due to lack of maintenance and there would be a huge amount of work to do once the Republiquster is over.  I have no idea how long such a system can continue to work (for existing payees) without human intervention.  Of course, someone will probably hack into it and screw it up long before then (either on purpose or just because they want to use it for a botnet and don't care that it's a government system) due to a lack of security updates.

            You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

            by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 12:45:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Even if the Washington Monument (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MPociask, schnecke21

      (or other federal parks) are not closed or have their hours of access cut, those cuts that are "hidden" will actually have worse effects on our overall economy.  Furloughing federal workers and contractors to the extent the sequestration dictates will cut their salaries by 20% just through the end of this fiscal year.  Government contracts being cancelled - and not just those funded through DoD - will raise unemployment, which will lower household spending and put more pressure on safety net spending.  Roads, bridges, dams, levees and ports not being repaired and maintained will slow down travel and commerce.

      Hold times when calling the Social Security Administration, or the VA or Medicare or any other public programs will increase making it more inconvenient to reach government employees who can answer questions; delays  in response times will occur for everything from background checks to sell a gun to hire an employee; it will take longer to update databases and issue permits for any endeavor requiring federal permission to proceed, all because furloughing or reducing the federal workforce will make the departments less responsive and less efficient for the public.

      The Republicans think they will be able to blame President Obama for the economic slowdown and inconveniences that will manifest over the coming months and years.  I hope they're wrong.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:54:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or fed govt becomes more efficient and realizes (0+ / 0-)

        like private sector during last downturn, that more productivity can be squeezed from its workforce. I cannot believe that DoD contractors cannot become more efficient. All the ex-admirals and generals working as contractors can easily take a hit to their engorged staffs and survive these cuts.

        "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

        by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:06:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not DoD contractors (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          justmy2

          It's DoD civilian employees.  

          The DoD contractors aren't being affected at all - they can't just rewrite the contracts (they could, if they really wanted to, examine the cost-benefit analysis of breaching those contracts, but that would likely not save the government any money at all).

          The DoD civilian employees, which DoD uses to do all kinds of mission critical stuff, will just get paid a lot less, for doing the same work.

          Also, the federal government ought to be a model employer, and pay people what they are worth.  Squeezing productivity from a workforce is just code for underpaying and overworking employees who have no other choice but to accept it, because the economy is so terrible they can't go anywhere else, and there are bills to pay, after all.  No, I don't think the federal government should take the lead in that kind of activity.

        •  Well I guess they could start giving their (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          irishwitch

          salaried staff Modafinil so they can work 24 hours a day, 5 days a week and then sleep it off on Saturday.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:55:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Wow, that is such a rightwing (0+ / 0-)

          thought process, it makes me wonder about your political judgment. If you think that there is any more fat in the federal budget (other than in Defense, but even there the companies doing biz are comprised of a lot of Americans), please feel free to give some evidence that isn't hoary and cliche-ridden. We've been cutting "fat" from the government for decades, or hadn't you noticed how run down our infrastructure, our schools, and any other social services we used to have, are? Oh, wait, those aren't fat at all, are they? We passed through your fanciful efficient stage a long, long, time ago.

          "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

          by bryduck on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 10:05:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I beg to differ when it comes to fat cat defense (0+ / 0-)

            contractors. Most contract officers could come close to doubling their salary if they went to work for contractors. Why do you think the dc beltway stayed immune to the harsh conditions the rest of the country faced. My opinion is that many of these DoD contracts are bloated and full of waste. I don't mean to knock all contract officers, just that the ones in Defense seem the least skilled. This dichotomy between social programs and defense programs is the grist of every legislators mill.

            "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

            by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 12:54:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe the Republican (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, irishwitch

    Want to exchange horse meat  for beef on the menu ,maybe why they want to cut inspection at USDA facilities ,they still legally  slaughter horses for meat ,but it cannot be serves to American ,maybe the Republican want it serve to American

  •  The Upcoming Election is a Base Intensive Midterm. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoregon, shaharazade, irishwitch

    The voters most hurt or pissed off at sequestration's harms don't typically vote. So this is absolutely going to happen.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:07:23 AM PST

  •   Repubs would do well to remember (5+ / 0-)

    how the French revolution began.

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:15:19 AM PST

    •  Ditto for the supply-side supporting moderates (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoregon, shaharazade

      who talk "seriously" about deficits and pursue the kind of incrementalism never even intended to close the income gap...

      I mean, let's face it, without them, hammering sequestration would be lot more intellectually honest. At the very least, fewer people would be confused about who to blame...

      When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

      by Words In Action on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:03:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Come on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade

    Stores will deliver cat food if they buy enough of it.

  •  us bleeding heart liberals care about the elderly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife

    do the Republican'ts?

    •  Do the Democrats? (4+ / 0-)

      Are entitlement cuts off the table or not?  

      I don't want to get suckered into the campaign against the sequester (just got an Obama e-mail asking me to tell my sequester story) only to have them replace it with cuts that actually hit seniors harder and more broadly.  

      It would be a lot easier to play for the team if they'd tell me what game they are playing.

    •  For the past 40 years Republicans (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bryduck, kmfmstar

      have been working diligently to make the American public hate the government.  If this sequester is fully implemented, they may have finally succeed in convincing voters that the government is a heartless, inefficient and incompetent bureaucracy that can't or won't do anything to make life easier for the average citizen.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:02:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They only need a few more percentage (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SueDe

        points among the populace to get there completely. How close was Romney? Are we even keeping the Senate in 2014? It takes near miracles for us to stay afloat in the House, if that.

        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

        by bryduck on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 10:07:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Lets face it (3+ / 0-)

    Come Friday, the country will start to fall apart and someone will die as a result. They will not get to the hospital, or someone might get shot because of guns. Our kids will not have the education they deserve all because of silly republicans not wanting to raise taxes.  Amazing.  

  •  What about the administration's culpability? (5+ / 0-)

    Yes, the sequestration is foolish, cruel and unnecessary. Yes, it is in most ways being driven by Republican intransigence. However, the President is not without fault here. Perhaps he should be pushing to eliminate the sequester completely instead of pushing for some grand(ish) bargain. As Whisper notes above, we should remain rooted in reality.

    •  How could Obama do that? (0+ / 0-)

      The House makes the laws controlling the purse. This is their law and the Executive can not unilaterally repeal it.

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:41:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He could ask for it? (3+ / 0-)

        The President has not asked for a repeal of the sequester.  He's asked for his own version of austerity (a "grand bargain").

        He could say, "On Friday, because of this law, these cuts are going to happen.  We should repeal that law."  He hasn't.

      •  Maybe when he was talking about the importance (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MPociask, Buddha Badger, shaharazade

        of the deficit last month he could have focused on the importance of the recovery (and spending) instead?

        It gets hard to lobby against something when you're also lobbying for it.

        That, IMHO, is the fatal flow of Third Way politics. Hard to attack Republicans when you're agreeing with their ideas and policies half the time.

        When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

        by Words In Action on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:07:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't understand (9+ / 0-)

    why everyone is calling it "sequestration" instead of calling it what it is: austerity

    ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

    by gjohnsit on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:29:25 AM PST

  •  The GOP (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, sethtriggs, Throw The Bums Out

    The GOP is waiting for Obama to blink.  And just like their unshakable belief Romney would win in a landslide, they believe the cuts will be blamed on Obama.  

    My best guess tells me before Obama sees seniors go hungry, he'll reach into the Presidential bag of tricks and pull out something.  Soldiers will get paid and seniors will get fed.  

    We're Democrats.  We don't consider those things collateral damage to push one's ideology like the GOP.  

  •  here's the deal: my wife and i have been packing (9+ / 0-)

    and delivering Meals on Wheels every Wednesday for the last 4 years.  We are unpaid volunteers.  The people who receive these meals are primarily the elderly, including a few in their 90's.  Many are limited by medical problems and several are terminal cancer patients.

    They rely on the food and the human contact to make each day tolerable.  We also act as the eyes/ears of our ever diminishing Social Worker network.

    In short, this is money very, very well spent.

    ecstatically baffled

    by el vasco on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:33:53 AM PST

  •  But the F-35 will continue to stuff its mouth (8+ / 0-)

    with millions of wasted moneys.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:33:55 AM PST

    •  We also need to build... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lippythelion69, kmfmstar

      3 Ford Class Aircraft Carriers at $32B.
      10 Spearhead class Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) at $1.6B
      (The 1st one had only a $31M overrun.)
      LHA Amphibious Assault Ship Replacements....

      And Yada Yada Yada...

      Let Those Old Folks Eat Cat Food...
      Its not like they are presently contributing, they are takers...

      The fact that they contributed and paid in their whole lives mean nothing to these TeaBagged Fools...

      "Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
      I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House."
      ~John F. Kennedy~

      -7.5,-5.8

      by Oldestsonofasailor on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 11:03:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ok, so they don't want to push granny off the clif (4+ / 0-)

    ...that's too quick and painless.  Though it is terror- and fear-inducing, which actually is their goal.

    Thus, they instill fear by pushing the wheelchair (with granny in it) up to the edge of the cliff, and then leave her there to starve to death slowly.

    Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:34:30 AM PST

  •  Expect a food drive for the invalids in my (5+ / 0-)

    building if this happens.

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:34:32 AM PST

  •  It started centuries before Logan's Run..... n/t (2+ / 0-)

    There is no hell on earth appropriate enough for those who would promote the killing of another person, in the name of a god.

    by HarryParatestis on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:36:52 AM PST

  •  Nothing in the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brook, MPociask

    sequester will hurt or cut the wealthy and none of our politicians will suffer any pain.  Where I have a problem is you can't make this kinds of offerings and then talk against them.  All a lot people in Washington are guilty for about what is to happen and many have had a hand in creating this mess.  It is the 98% that is going to suffer and that is what all this austerity is intended to do.

    I really think because all our politicians are wealthy, but still pay into social security and medicare, which they will never use because they have better benefits, is why the programs are being destroyed.  After all, why should they pay for something they will never need because we the taxpayers offer them better benefits like healthcare and retirement (and usually a retirement very close to their salaries).

    "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

    by zaka1 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:38:56 AM PST

    •  Sorry there are a few (0+ / 0-)

      typo in this and it should read:

      1. Should read: A lot of people in Washington, not all a lot.

      2. Where I have a problem is you "can't make these kind"

      I'm having a slow synapses day.

      "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

      by zaka1 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:45:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My stepfather is a Meals On Wheels volunteer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kmfmstar

    and loves it. He's also a raging Dittohead. I'm interested to see what sort of cognitive dissonance he comes up with.

  •  Um (2+ / 0-)

    Sorry, but needy seniors need to sacrifice ...

    FOR RECORD-BREAKING BANK PROFITS!!!!!11

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:40:28 AM PST

  •  "old people don't need to eat" (3+ / 0-)

    At least not after a few days.
    This is long term debt reduction the GOP way. Less Seniors=less expense.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:43:57 AM PST

  •  A shame that we are here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask, Words In Action

    talking about Romney's agenda instead of Obamas due to a bad decision to move to winning the future and focusing on the debt 3 years ago. The legacy of the New Democrat/Orzag/Emanuael/Obama led decision, is the gift that keeps giving.

    This is going to be the struggle of a lifetime to maintain earned benefit levels and control debt through better care and tax increases on high income earners. This is a fight we are losing. And Democrats are aiding and abetting.

    They are doing fine with the current hand, but this game should never have been played.  

    If I hear how good an idea chained CPI is again, like that is going to win votes, I am going to scream.

    19% of the public believe Democrats are better than Republicans on National Defense.  That happens when you refuse to nominate a Democrat for Defense or CIA.  And now, we are headed down the same path by allowing the discussion to focus on debt instead of jobs, immigration, climate.  

    I am afraid of the repercussions of this process, although I still think Dems have the current upper hand.

    "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

    by justmy2 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:44:31 AM PST

  •  And then there is this: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    "If you are giddy about sequester’s effects on D.C., try to keep it a little in check" in which:

    The fact that the deep budget cuts known as the sequester will hit the Washington region particularly hard has the rest of the nation reveling in schadenfreude.
    and
    The truth is, the country sees Washington as a place filled with pompous politicians and self-important bureaucrats, said University of Virginia political analyst Larry Sabato.
    Yeah, and just who sends those "pompous politicians" here? They did not come from D.C.—where citizens cannot even vote for representatives in the House or Senate.

    Washington is really filled with lots of ordinary people and quite a lot of highly educated and skilled "bureaucrats" working hours unknown in the rest of the country. It is filled with highly skilled contractors, many doing vital and not "makework" on a killing schedule, schedule, push and push life.

    I cannot count the people who are first jealous and then stunned at the cost of living and relentless pace, one in which even getting time to go to the doctor is difficult. While some may blast places like Fairfax in Virginia for high incomes take a look at census education levels and cost of housing. Yeah, the region offers a lot, but the cost is high and many cannot take it long.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:46:48 AM PST

  •  "now in doubt" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    Everything's in doubt if you don't trust the administration to  manage the cuts in the least harmful way.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:49:35 AM PST

  •  I do sympathize with what some have called (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kvetchnrelease

    a "gambit" to dramatize the impact of cuts, even though these cuts may not be, in fact, the ones each agency makes to meet the amount they are required to cut.  Why?  Because the general public is absolutely clueless about how their government works.  Some of this is not the their fault - there are so many different levels of government, and each level is complex and hard to understand.

    All the more reason to upgrade civics education.

    My fear, though, is loss of credibility when the cuts Obama says will happen do not happen.  I think this will weaken his hand for the next round at the end of March.

    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:56:12 AM PST

  •  Years ago, when Morrison's Cafeteria was open (4+ / 0-)

    In Fort Lauderdale, I was always amazed at watching the way husband and wife seniors had to share an entire meal on one tray.  I often asked myself....Why, in a country this rich?

    •  There may not be a bad reason for this... (0+ / 0-)

      My wife and I have a favorite appetizer at a local Mexican Restaurant that we once made the mistake of ordering with 2 meals...

      We ate the appetizer and brought the 2 meals home in a doggy bag...

      Now we have learned our lesson and order the $12 appetizer with 2 plates and skip the rest... Any more would leave us feeling like a couple of bloated pigs and yes, we both could stand to lose a few lbs...

      At least I certainly hope that is the case of the 2 seniors you witnessed sharing the tray...

      "Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
      I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House."
      ~John F. Kennedy~

      -7.5,-5.8

      by Oldestsonofasailor on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 11:28:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The White House seems prepared for a long fight (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask

    which is good.  In thinking through the GOP game plan, it seems to be that this really just boils down to an opportunity to  implement the Norquist 'starve the beast' approach to government.  They don't really care about the political consequences....at least for now.  Where I think there is weakness in the Obama approach is that there is an assumption that at some point GOP resolve will break.  

    While I agree that is very possible, especially in the US Senate, I also think it is equally plausible that the House GOP does not break because they will trust that their gerrymandered districts will insulate them from voter wrath.  The tea party does not care about public opinion or about respecting the results of an election.  They care about their mission to downsize and destroy government, plain and simple.  As long as the conversation is about reducing spending in DC, the GOP feels that it has enough fuel to keep going.  What knocked them down in 2011/2012 was the focus on the jobs crisis, which was instigated by the Occupy movement and embraced by Obama.

    I'm also not a huge fan of the Obama plan to replace the sequester. There isn't a lot of value in eliminating charitable deductions, for example.  It's too much talk about belt tightening and not enough talk about jobs.  In the long run, if we're not talking about jobs then Democrats don't fare as well.  We've figured out how to beat the GOP at their role of government game, but it's still not our sweet spot.

    That's why I think Obama ought to be talking more about repealing the sequester altogether because as he said yesterday, 'we cannot cut our way to prosperity.'  I think it's time for him to abandon his grand bargain rhetoric and simply explain to people that the deficit has been dropping for the last 4 years (this year included) at a fast rate and if we simply remove the sequester and follow his budget guidelines (including the ending of wars and full implementation of Obamacare) our deficit will drop to a lower level as a percentage of GDP than it was in the 1990s (or some other useful benchmark).

     

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:30:31 AM PST

  •  And Republicans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lippythelion69, kmfmstar

    pretend to care about "death panels".

    •  A Minor Correction (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Faito, kmfmstar

      Non-Existent, Imaginary  "Liberal Death Panels" are Evil.

      Real "Republican Death Panels" are just a small, Minor
      Inconvenience that the Poor People will just have
      to accept Because Freedumb.  Or Something.

      On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

      by Brian76239 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:57:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  But, Repubs say it's only a 3% cut, so suck it up, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    schnecke21, kmfmstar

    grandma. Wall Street bankers need to keep their tax cuts, so you don't need to eat.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:56:19 AM PST

  •  Every dead senior (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lippythelion69, kmfmstar

    leaves a pile of unclaimed pension money that the rich can take.  

  •  Should it be Means Tested? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster

    I got really angry at my Mom because she abused Meals for Wheels. While she does have health issues that make it a challenge for her to get out of the house, she also has a good pension and very healthy saving, so she can easily afford to pay for a personal shopper which she does at times. (She lives on the other side of the country from me and has no interest in moving.)

    She was getting the meals and she told me she tossed most of the time because they sucked - mostly cold cut sandwiches. And when I asked then did she get them, she said that it was free and sometimes something good showed up.

    So two points here. My Mom was abusing the system and the claim of nutritious meals is a stretch unless you consider two slices of white bread, a slice of bologna and cookie to be a healthy meal. I think we do need programs for our Seniors, but it doesn't mean that all of them are working well. I'm sure that it does a lot of good it many areas, but it probably doesn't need to delivering meals to Seniors like my Mom living in expensive gated communities.

    •  Should it even be federal? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dfe

      I'm not saying, is this a good or bad program.  I know people who volunteer with MoW, I think it's a fantastic charity that serves a very worthy cause.  

      But should the federal government be sending taxpayer dollars its way?  Is this something that could be better handled by local or state governments?  Is it something that private charity could entirely step up and handle?  

      Granted, even if it were a bad use of federal dollars, I am not in favor of austerity, so I wouldn't cut it now anyway (the government needs to be spending as much as possible, right now).  But what about in the future?  I don't know.

  •  It doesn't have to be so (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bon Temps

    O has the option to decide what gets cut. Looks like he's trying to score political points.

    All politicians care more about their power and influence than anything else. If you think otherwise you're being naive.

    Please let me know when the grown ups return.

  •  Ummm.. I think all nutrition programs are exempt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask, johnny wurster

    I believe this is more bullshit scare tactics..  "Grandma is going to starve!!!"

    The ridiculousness of these claims is appalling.

    Meals on Wheels receives 4% of their funds from government grants.

    From their yearly report for 2011:

    MOWAA received more than 85% of
    its revenues in 2011 from donations
    and corporate partnerships.
    From their website:
    Meals On Wheels Association of America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
    A private organization.. not a federal program.
  •  It's OK. The old folks will die sooner, thereby (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lippythelion69

    saving a ton of end of life medical costs.  Starvation works.  Unless you're the one that's starving.  Go Republicans.  What goes around comes around.

  •  Got this "Pie Chart" off the Net (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lippythelion69

    http://www.investors.com/...

    It was on (R) Pete Sessions of Texas' website. I love the comments as they show the kind of people we are dealing with.

    ...the GOP seems perfectly willing to hold their breath until the whole country turns Blue.

    by tommy2tone on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 10:56:51 AM PST

  •  I'm old, but fortunate ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kvetchnrelease

    ... in that I can still cook, and if I weren't able to do so, I could afford to pay someone to cook for me, thank G-d.  But there are people who are not so fortunate.  Are they going to starve?  No.  Churches across this backarsewards hick county, as well as the food bank and two senior centers, are ready to fill in the gap if Meals on Wheels is cut.  The old people won't starve.  I'm no fan of Christianity, but if these semi-southern, poorly educated fundamentalists can do this, then certainly the same will be done in the cities.  At the same time, the synagogues (I attend three, depending on the vagaries and persnicketyisms of old age) I'm associated with -- well, we take care of our own.  No one is going to starve in this part of the country.

    As a matter of fact, much of the local Meals on Wheels program is administered by volunteers, and the food is delivered by volunteers, anyway.  So if the federal funding goes away, not much will change, except churches and other groups will have to contribute a bit for fuel and food.  That sort of thing brings people together and makes them feel good.  It's not such a bad thing.  

    Once again.  If these crazy fundamentalists can do it, then I'm sure the same or better will be done by others across the country.  If not, then we as a nation don't deserve to exist.  And, if we as individuals are able to care for our elderly, which is one of the greatest kindnesses one can do in this life, then why do we need a central government to do it for us in the first place?

    The sky-is-falling-and Granny-is-gonna-starve hype just adds to the mess.  Calm down, ignore the idiots in D.C., dig out your checkbook or clean out the back seat of your car, and start contributing or delivering.  End of crisis.  

    The wisdom of my forebears ... Two wise people will never agree. Man begins in dust and ends in dust — meanwhile it's good to drink some vodka. A man studies until he's seventy and dies a fool.

    by Not A Bot on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 11:09:50 AM PST

  •  i was (0+ / 0-)

    a driver for meals on wheels in the early '90's in Reading, Pa.
    I saw things that broke my heart.
    For some of the recipients we where their only contact with the outside world.
    They  get 1 small meal a day around lunchtime and for some thats all they eat.
    In this country old people and children should want for nothing but sadly .......
    At least the folks with jets dont have to pay taxes on them if used for work ,least they go hungry.

    In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted." Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

    by lippythelion69 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 12:15:46 PM PST

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