71 Comments

For me, the COPS appropriations is not the big story, the ending of free school lunches, literally taking the food out of the mouths of babes is the one that should be hung around their neck. That program is all the food some kids get. The party of help the children sure is great at making their lives as difficult and miserable as possible.

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Agreed. I would certainly add increasing the retirement age for Social Security. There are still a lot of jobs are that are quite physically demanding. Having to stay on such a job until a person retires is tough.

The GOP for sure is NOT the pro-life party, not the party of family values, not the party of the working people, and they rail against the elites, yet are willing to give them more tax breaks. Their moral values are, at best, twisted.

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SS should be means tested (like many if not all taxes/subsidies), although that might mean that SS is just a tax and not a vested contribution. Same with the (relatively) low cut-off ceiling for automatic contributions of individuals and their employers.

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I think that SS needs to be reformed. The economy has changed and SS needs to change with it. There are a number of options that can be considered. Means testing and raising the cap on SS payroll taxes have been kicked around. To minimize concerns, couple SS reform with an incentive structure that encourages people to save for retirement. There are several projects that states are doing that help with this. The simple answers of raising the retirement age and cutting benefits will be why there will be significant resistance.

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And a lot of those free meals go to feed kids in deep red rural America. But the parents don’t care as long as they get their red meat from their TVs and phones.

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Yeah, cutting their nose off to spite their face has become their default position. Not quite self-gelding as Charlie liked to say, but not far off either.

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It was called the Kansas Effect at one point, but the labelling was discontinued. Can anyone inform me (us) why that name of this pervasive syndrome fell out of favor?

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If they could get rid of public schools too, they would. My very conservative brother had his kids homeschooled because he believed public school was godless and only taught kids about sex.

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I am a little suspect of people who home school their children.Often it is their politics that is the reason.

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I homeschooled my daughters because they kept testing very high and public school couldn't keep up with them. Homeschooling is an excellent resource and option.

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My husband homeschooled himself during high school in the early 1970s - stayed home, read the text books and whatever else he wanted, showed up for tests, got As & Bs. There was no AP in his school district; his father was an elementary school principal, so instead of thinking his son was a genius, thought he was a slacker. Higher education was a boon for my spouse.

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My girls were better prepared for college than the students they met there, no doubt due to the individualized instruction. One daughter insisted on designing her own curriculum for high school.

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I lucked out with all of my teachers - at every level of schooling they would slip me extra books and tasks. A friend and I even did eight independent study classes in graduate school (Art history) where we’d lecture to our professor.

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Just curious, did you have any experience in education;teaching?

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Nope, just the same curriculum that teachers' have and an understanding of my kids' needs.

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Sounds like you have a love for it. My brothers are life long teachers so is my nephew. The great attributes of good teachers are their love for it, and patience it requires!

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I give you a lot of credit. Unfortunately, I have seen some home schoolers who are doing very little for their kids, and it’s worrisome. Some parents go the extra mile, form social groups, etc. But others, not so much. It’s a very mixed bag.

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That's the problem. Homeschooling is a valuable resource for many people, and we need to make sure the option isn't taken away because of those misusing it.

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Good for you!

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That’s rough. Brings to mind an opening scene from 2004’s Mean Girls about home schooled kids, “…and on the third day, God created the Remington bolt action rifle so man could fight the dinosaurs…, and the homosexuals.”

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Yeah I think the homeschooling was wrong on that fact...pretty sure it was late in the first day God did that...see can't trust even the homeschooling.

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Haha. Let see… their mantra is Guns, God, (gestating) babies. Your logic checks out! No notes!

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Their "God Guns Glory" chant would sound better and more 'real America' if it was God Guns & Gravy" in my opinion.

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Ha ha. He also taught them that dating and sex before marriage was tabu. Both of his sons obeyed him but when they were very young they got married. And, you guessed it, divorced.

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https://www.propublica.org/article/private-schools-vouchers-parents-ohio-public-funds

This is definitely in the works. ProPublica has done some reporting on this. Chipping away at public school funding bit by bit.

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I think that Democrats should make this a campaign issue though. Remember all of the screeching about defunding the police from Republicans?

But I take your point that school lunch funding is a more serious issue.

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The truth is you can't reduce the deficit, balance the budget, and give another tax break to the top 1% and the fossil fuel companies unless you cut a few things, especially every regulatory agency, and any program that helps the undeserving poor, which are those folks who are not willing to work for $7.50 an hour delivering packages in two hours to people whose husbands have worked hard making money buying Truth Social stock (symbol DJT), while they stayed home having babies and cooking in the kitchen.

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Insightful as always. I consider Press Pass a must read newsletter.

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It is such a good resource to have.

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Conservatism in the US does not support our institutions, instead is supports ideas promulgated by the rich, which is to say that govt should do very little. This is the legacy of the plantation owners from the South, coupled with mineral interests from the West. None of this is conservative at all.

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FDR angered a lot of wealthy businessmen in the 30s and that legacy is still reverberating through our culture today.

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Don't forget the industrialists from the North.

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I disagree. If we look at the history up to the 1960s. Many industrialists supported their communities and the institutions that made life better, so schools, parks etc. And I suggest that the current robber barons bear little relation to those before WW2. And by the way, after WW2, the GOP was not completely opposed to unions (views were mixed) and funding up public works was a generally good idea.

It is significant that Wm Buckley did not come from factory owners in a northern town, but from an oil baron whose wealth came from Mexico.

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Many of those industrialists didn't support their communities. Look into the mine owners in WVA, PA, etc. Look into the factory owners in those company towns in the North. The mine owners were so supportive of their employees communities they sent Pinkertons and other private aw enforcement companies to bust heads when the miners and factory owners were trying to form unions. The vast minority who funded libraries, museums, etc, don't have a great record of treating their employees like people.

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it is a complex story. and letr's stipulate that mining is not factory work. Nor were mining towns places where the civic infrastructure was supported. But we can also say that if you take any industrial town in the north - regardless of the labor management issue - the factory owners did not oppose school taxes, nor library taxes. They also suoported hospitals, and the creation of the networks needed to deliver clean water. The lived in their cities and were generally supportive.

But yes a complex story.

But the northern GOP before Reagan included folks who promoted public welfare in general. These GOP members (men of wealth in many cases) morphed into those who split from GOldwater in 1964. It it no mystery why Reagan's support was skewed to the South and farm states.

By the way, my grandfather died in a mine fire in eastern PA. Mining towns were shitholes.

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Mar 26·edited Mar 26

"In fact, Congress has passed all 12 of its required appropriations bills on time only four times since 1977, and the last year it did so was 1997—over a quarter century ago."

1997: Dial up internet, Awesomeness that was the Spice Girls, Tamagotchis, Titanic, Jean Jackets, Barbie Girl, J-Lo playing Selena, Buffy, MIB, Lilith Fair, Tyson eating Holyfield's Ear, and a whole host of other things I can't remember right now that I'm probably missing.

Those were the days 😀😀😀

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founding

I like Joe's phrasing:apparently going in the black doesn't mean supporting the blue.

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I’m just going to throw this out there. Maybe Republicans ought to hold off on proposals to raise the retirement age until after life expectancies in the US stop declining.

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Considering so many of their voters are older, I don't see this as a winning strategy.

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Then, by all means, let the Rs do it!

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Mar 26·edited Mar 26

"In addition to Gallagher, Reps. Ken Buck (Colo.), Bill Johnson (Ohio), and Kevin McCarthy (lol) all stepped down over the last few months." Loved the dig at McCarthy

I live in the Ozarks. We have a lot of small rural cities losing their police, sometimes completely, over low pay. We've actually had an instance where an officer stole a suspect's credit card and used it to buy diapers at Walmart. Federal aid is sometimes the difference between functioning communities and those without the basic services we all take for granted. We need more federal aid in these communities, not less. Facts of life R's don't want to look at.

Now, granted, R's often only like certain Americans and don't care how the others fare and would likely use this funding to pick on the Americans they don't like, but we need an official legislative mechanism in place to make sure smaller communities have the funds they need to function like they're part of a first-world country.

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If the proposal said it would cut funding to departments serving populations under x million, I don't think Dems could get much out of messaging but it doesn't sound that way.

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Mar 28·edited Mar 28

There's usually a certain amount of money to go around. If it runs out, Small Town is out of luck. It would be better to have legislation prioritizing smaller population areas before larger ones were eligible. But we all know the R's will use funding politically as a stick.

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What is the possibility that defunding the police can be hung around their necks? Coupling this with the various violent actions at the Capital, and by the Proud Boys and their ilk, just points to the danger that the GOP presents to the country.

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It would be good messaging, especially with the staffing and funding problems experienced by so many departments.

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Little but maybe one of Joe's jokes: Does this mean the GOP acknowledged crime is going down on my watch?

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I completely agree.

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Eventually social security payroll taxes have to go up; raising the retirement age isn’t really going to solve the long term funding issues.

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Or benefits down, or both.

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There was a time when even arch conservatives would agree that no one in this country should go hungry; why now do they hate feeding children?

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They're under the idiotic impression that there are enough charities out there that will feed, clothe, house, etc. the DESERVING poor. The funny-sad part of this is that even the Old Testament said it was the King's obligation to take care of the poor and stranger in their midst.

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The charities that MAGA are threatening?

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Yup.

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For every topic that I address with my repub "representative", I receive the staff generated letter or email from him regarding fiscal responsibility!😵‍💫🙋‍♂️

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Maybe he can show fiscal responsibility by not using his franking privileges when he sends out letters.

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Re: footnote 1; A situation that will persist until Jerry Jones is on the brown side of the sod.

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Mean, mean, mean Joe, picking on the Cowboys!

Heh, heh, heh…..

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I'm a soccer fan and the USMNT has won more hardware in AT&T stadium than the Cowboys lol

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Wait a second. I remember a lot of shrieking from Republicans about how Democrats want to “defund the police.” Republicans are truly incredible-not in a good way.

Seems like Democrats should be able to use this against them this year to reach police unions across the country. It’s only fair.

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As usual republicans craft budgets that hurt as many ordinary Americans as possible. Also the carelessness all their documents seem to display now is disturbing, you have to see this as a "dumbing down" if you will of the party in general. Right now I would really like to ask a favor, could you possibly get the recipe for James Lankford's Quail Breakfast. Thank you

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Personally, ACAB. But I'm open to reforming what I see as an historically corrupt, racist system. Cops don't prevent crime, they respond to it. Affordable housing, good paying jobs, after school programs, etc. prevent crime. But I agree that cities should not receive federal funding after cutting local budgets. I'd love to see a mandate preventing federal funds from being used to pay victims of police misconduct, as well as a federal database of "bad cops" but I understand the unions are a problem there. The 1997 appropriations factoid is exactly the kind of anecdote I like to use in class to get college kiddos to vote, so thanks for that!

Oh, and the (lol) after McCarthy? *chef's kiss*

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