HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - merchants slogan: "We don't have it but we can get it for you."

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I guess nothing in Republican politics should surprise me anymore. Still ...

There's Wisconsin State Senator Kate Obeirne who thinks that kids who need school lunches are victims of child abuse. O’Beirne, talking at a Republican strategy session sponsored by the Hudson Institute, went on a rant about children who need school lunches and the parents who rear them:

"The federal school lunch program and now breakfast program and I guess in Washington DC, dinner program are pretty close to being sacred cows… broad bipartisan support. And if we’re going to ask more of ourselves, my question is what poor excuse for a parent can’t rustle up a bowl of cereal and a banana? I just don’t get why millions of school children qualify for school breakfasts unless we have a major wide spread problem with child neglect.

“You know, I mean if that’s how many parents are incapable of pulling together a bowl of cereal and a banana, then we have problems that are way bigger than… that problem can’t be solved with a school breakfast, because we have parents who are just criminally… ah… criminally negligent with respect to raising children.”

Obviously she never met Jaelithe, who relied on the school lunch program to survive because her mother was young, single and poor, struggling to raise her daughter and get an education to better herself. Are these the words of an abused child, or just one raised in a world where the only outstretched hand was the government's? Exactly what part of Jaelithe's mother's "self" should have given more?

But going hungry — that is a different story. That's waking up in the morning hungry. Feeling, throughout the day, hungry. Lying in bed not able to sleep just yet because you are hungry. Dreaming about feeling hungry.

And there is not any trip to the taco place down the street and not a trip to McDonald's instead and not a trip to the farmer's market or the grocery store, either, because there is no money for those things. There is not even the option of a trip to the backyard for some homegrown tomatoes or cucumbers or strawberries because there is no yard when you live in a run-down apartment or a shelter or a car.

There is only your hollow-eyed mother who is hungrier than you are dividing the last stale crackers to make them last. Assuming that you are lucky enough to have a mother. And crackers.

This goes so far beyond the sacred right-wing cow of personal responsibility. It's outright cruelty. These pigs are out there shouting to give zillionaires a fat year-end bonus and extend it for a couple of years while sticking it to poor people who rely on programs like the school lunch and breakfast program to survive. Lest you think this was just a slip of the tongue,go here for more of her teabagging nonsense:


Maybe she should shut up and listen to what's going on around her for a change. If she did, she might not miss the fact that food banks are struggling to meet demand as more and more families struggle to keep roofs over their heads, sacrificing other necessities like food and clothing. Since 2006, the need for some form of assistance has tripled. Tripled.

Here's an example of someone O'Beirne considers a child abuser:

Elizabeth Brown looked tired.

When her husband, "the main money-maker" died three years ago, she was left with a 10- and a 5-year-old. She worked part time at Allegheny General Hospital in housekeeping with help from her family, "but they couldn't help that much. They're having hard times themselves."

She couldn't afford child care on her earnings, so she left the job and is now, at 40, raising a 13-year old and 8-year old on food stamps worth $550 a month.

There's a profile of a child abuser for Ms. O'Beirne.

Only in her little imaginary world. That's the only place that everyone has enough to eat and to feed their children. Anyone who doesn't must be a child abuser, because they should be able to slap together a banana and cereal in the morning.

If they had cereal. Or a banana.

Or the money to buy cereal and a banana.

This is the world of the heartless and the selfish, the teabagger. They trot through life making pronouncements on others with mighty conviction without ever having walked in the shoes of the poor and likely profiting from the sacrifices yanked from the vanishing ranks of the middle class. There is no humanity, no compassion, no understanding. Just a pair of bootstraps to beat up anyone less fortunate.

If, after reading this, you are feeling the need to make a donation to a nearby food bank to offset this woman's evil, there's a tool to find one near you, should you feel the same way. It's called GOOGLE.

Then there's our fine Wisconsin state Senator Randy Hopper, who left his wife for a 25 year old lobbyist, who, oddly enough, has now found a much better job.

This from blogger Rock Strongo at the Daily Kos:

"Sometimes looking way too much at google search can pay dividends. In this case it turns up a blog post from yesterday from the Madison, WI ABC affiliate that doesn't seem to have been reported anywhere else, including on the stations newscast.

Anyhow, it turns out in the world of coincidences that Wisconsin Republican Senator Randy Hopper's 26 year old mistress last month got a job with the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing as a "limited term communications specialist."

That is especially interesting since up until last weekend she was still being reported as a member of the lobbying firm Persuasion Partners.

From the post:

Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) told WKOW27 News he played no role in the recent hire of a state employee.
Sources told WKOW27 News the employee is the same woman Hopper’s estranged wife, Alysia Hopper referred to as Hopper’s mistress in a public statement and in a letter to a radio station.

Department of Regulation and Licensing spokesperson David Carlson said the woman, 26, was hired in February as a limited term communications specialist.

Carlson said he had no details on whether the woman was hired to a newly-created position or a vacant, existing slot. Carlson said he also had no details on the hiring process or the woman’s salary.

There are many interesting issues that this raises. Hopper claims he played no role in the hiring. I would think a Freedom of Information Act request may be able to prove if that is true or not. Or what the process was for her being hired.

There is also the issue of if the mistress was in fact still working for the lobbying firm at the time she was working for the state.

Additionally I believe that her salary should be public record.

Something smells funny in Wisconsin, and it isn't the fromage!


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