Strange Things From The Mouths Of Evangelicals

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me…See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven…So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”

—Jesus of Nazareth

 

As a former evangelical Christian I know that evangelical Christians sometimes say strange things.

For instance, after the St. Louis Cardinals’ heart-stopping victory in Game Six of the World Series, Josh Hamilton, who had hit for the Texas Rangers what appeared to be a series-clinching two-run home run in the top of the 10th inning, told reporters about the dramatic hit:

I would tell y’all something, but y’all wouldn’t believe me. The Lord told me it was going to happen before it happened.

Hamilton said the Lord’s words were: “You hadn’t hit a home run in a while. You’re about to right now.”

Now, it’s not unusual that people like Josh Hamilton—who very publicly claims the Lord helped him with a severe addiction to drugs and alcohol—believe the God of the Universe speaks to them and tells them things before they actually happen.

What is unusual in Josh Hamilton’s case is that God chose that particular time and that particular game to get all chatty with the talented outfielder. You see, in July at another Texas Rangers game, when God could have done some real good in the world, he didn’t have much to say.

Everyone remembers that on that sad day a fireman named Shannon Stone, 39-years-old, was at the Rangers game with his little boy, six-year-old Cooper. Cooper’s favorite baseball player is Josh Hamilton and his dad was trying to get Hamilton to toss him a foul ball to give to his son.

Hamilton said that he heard the father shout, “Hey, Hamilton, how about the next one?” after Hamilton had tossed a foul ball to the ball girl. “I just gave him a nod,” Hamilton said, “When I got it, I found them again.”

He tossed the ball to Shannon Stone who reached for it over the railing and fell 20 feet to his death.

This tragedy was not Josh Hamilton’s fault and he was obviously distraught over it.  But that’s not the point. My question for Mr. Hamilton is this: If you honestly believe that God would give you a heads-up on a tie-breaking home run and you felt it necessary to tell the world about it, then you owe the world an explanation as to why God did not whisper in your mind, just before you tossed that ball to Shannon Stone, to throw it somewhere else, or give it to the ball girl.

What must Shannon Stone’s family have thought upon hearing that the Almighty is on speaking terms with Josh Hamilton?

If he can go public with the homer revelation from God in October, Hamilton can also go public about God’s stunning and deadly silence in July. He should tell us how God has the time and inclination to talk baseball with Hamilton in a World Series game but apparently not the time and inclination to issue a warning to save a little boy’s dad at a regular season contest.

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Michele Bachmann, who says she gave her heart to Christ and “wept before the Lord” when she was in high school, believes she is “pro-life.”  She said so, just last week:

I want you to know quite firmly, I stand for life – from conception to natural death.

Quite firmly,” she said, she stands “for life.”  “From conception to natural death.” We know this all-inclusive statement means she believes that just-fertilized eggs are deserving of the full protection of the U.S. Constitution, which, no doubt, her followers find quite charitable and godly.

By Saturday, however, her all-inclusive statement about firmly standing for life had been subjected to what appears to me to be a rather uncharitable and ungodly revision. MSNBC reported:

A 19 year-old college student, identifying himself as Latino, asked what Bachmann would “do to” the children of illegal immigrants.

Bachmann responded that she is “not doing anything to them,” and described why she is against the federal government rewarding citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.

“Their parents are the ones who brought them here,” Bachmann said.

“They did not have the legal right to come to the United States,” Bachmann added, of the parents.  “We do not owe people who broke our laws to come into the country.  We don’t owe them anything.”

Bachmann is right of course. We don’t “owe them anything” in a frosty technical sense. Their parents did bring them here illegally, obviously for a better life, and the children have no legal claim to stay and no legal claim on our American stuff.

But all that Arctic Christian hair-splitting is not exactly what most people understand someone to mean when they say, again:

I want you to know quite firmly, I stand for life – from conception to natural death.

And neither is it all that spirtually becoming for someone who says she “wept before the Lord” and gave her heart to Jesus so long ago, to harden her heart toward kids brought here to live.  That same Jesus who allegedly witnessed a weeping Bachmann told a famous little story that went sort of like this:

A certain family with children was going up from Juarez to El Paso to escape poverty and drug dealers, who were destroying their homeland.

By chance a certain conservative evangelical Christian presidential candidate was going up that way.  When she saw them, she passed by on the other side.  She said, “We don’t owe these people or their children anything.We need to build a secure double fence because they are burdening taxpayers in America.”

In the same way, a conservative Mormon presidential candidate also, when he came to the place and saw them, passed by on the other side. “These folks are just here for the in-state tuition,” he said. “It’s like a magnet.”

But a certain liberal, as he traveled, came where the family was.  When he saw them, he was moved with compassion, came to them and told them: “Look, we’ll let your kids go to school, we’ll get them some food and make sure they have health care. After all, this is supposed to be a Christian nation.”

Which now of these three, do you think, was neighbor to him that came to America for a better life?

For someone who has made her Christianity a very public matter, it seems to me an answer to Jesus’ updated question is in order.

 

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A Piece Of Art

Most of you reading this know what a big fan I am of Elizabeth Warren, who is running in Massachusetts against Sen. Scott Brown, a Republican who gets credit in the Beltway press for being a “moderate,” but in reality is no such thing. 

The Massachusetts GOP without, so far, a word of criticism from Mr. Brown, presented this commercial as one of its first shots in what will be a nasty campaign:

You may have noticed during that uplifting presentation a couple of quotes from a “Democratic pollster” named Douglas Schoen:

These lies were prompted by a man who, besides being a pollster, is a Fox “News” contributor, and if he is a Democrat then Anson Burlingame is John Steinbeck and his Globe blog is The Grapes of Wrath.

Jonathan Chait says that Doug Schoen and his Fox pal Pat Cadell “have made a mini-career in the Obama administration as Dick Morris-esque apostates“:

They repeat republican talking points, but the hook that gets them attention is that they make sure to mention that they’re Democrats, they write this out of sadness rather than anger, their party has left them, etc.

My usual visceral reaction to Schoen when he appears on Fox to do his whoring for Roger Ailes is to upchuck a stomach full of curdled cheese puffs and pronounce the resulting puddle a portrait of the phony Democrat.

Such works of art are worthy of what Schoen does in service to Fox and in disservice to his former party, all the while dishonestly keeping the name “Democrat” cuddled up next to his as he is misidentified on millions of television screens, which also bear that false Fox mantra, fair and balanced.

Remarks And Asides

See if you can figure out where this quote came from:

…our history has shown us that we need government regulation in order to protect our citizens and resources.

The talk of getting rid of government is getting tiring. Government may seem faceless, but it really is made up of us. It is only as good as our participation in it.

Was it The Erstwhile Conservative?  Or maybe some wild-eyed writer for The Nation?  How about Sen. Bernie Sanders or maybe Nancy Pelosi?

Nope.  It was, dear readers, the editorial page of the Joplin Globe speaking (last Sunday).  And after a couple of years of criticizing the paper for some bad editorial decisions, I am here to praise it for, if nothing else, recognizing the compelling need to state the obvious to its mostly-conservative readership.

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Democrats are touting the results of some recent polling that indicates they have a chance to take back the House next year…Republicans are meanwhile measuring the chambers to see if Jim DeMint’s post-2012-election head will have breathing room in a GOP-controlled Senate… A Tea Party group, apparently not speaking for God, told Michele Bachmann to quite her race to become the last man standing in the Republican primary…Rick Perry is thinking about pulling a Palin and quitting the GOP debates..Herman Cain, so in tune with the times, says guvmint shouldn’t help the kids go to college…Hillary Clinton is now the favorite to become president next year…A “centrist” group called Americans Elect claims it will run a third-party candidate in all 50 states next year and it will not get very many votes which proves that America is a “centrist” country, right? Right?

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Finally, and seriously, most of us liberals kind of have a suspicion that veterans, especially Marines, sort of lean to the conservative side of things, but what happened in Oakland has caused quite a stir. From mediabistro.com:

Marines have been flocking to the social networking/aggregator site Reddit to voice their anger at the life-threatening injury inflicted on 24-year-old Iraqi war veteran Scott Olsen by Oakland police during the recent Occupy protests. Video showed Olsen go down after taking a tear gas canister to the head. As fellow protesters tried to assist him, police lobbed a flash grenade into their midst–right next to Olsen’s already fractured skull.

The picture above, submitted by Reddit user aburger, has generated well over 1,000 comments on the site–many from fellow Marines who are absolutely livid at the injury to one of their own by police.

Uh-oh.

The Most Dangerous “1%” ?

The Occupy Wall Street movement, recently attacked by law enforcement in Oakland, is all about the 99%, as opposed to the 1% of wealthy folks that enjoy a Newt Gingrich-sized portion of the nation’s wealth.

Now it appears we have another 1% to worry about, this time in the world of multinational or transnational corporations.

A commenter on this blog (HLGaskins) directed me to a most fascinating story from New Scientist: “Revealed—the capitalist network that runs the world.”  What the story amounts to is that some very smart people (“complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich”) decided to analyze how,

The structure of the control network of transnational corporations affects global market competition and financial stability.

The analysts studied “the architecture of the international ownership network” and their admittedly tentative conclusion is this:

We find that transnational corporations form a giant bow-tie structure and that a large portion of control flows to a small tightly-knit core of financial institutions. This core can be seen as an economic “super-entity” that raises new important issues both for researchers and policy makers.

It turns out, from the article, that it just might be that “a few bankers control a large chunk of the global economy,” or in the words of one of the researchers:

In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network.

Those companies, as we should have expected, are mostly financial institutions like JPMorgan Chase (bailed out with $25 billion), and Goldman Sachs (bailed out with $10 billion) and Barclays Bank (beneficiary of other bailed-out banks).

The article notes that the Zürich analysts say concentration of power is not good or bad in itself, but the interconnectedness of the core group of companies could pose a risk for the stability of the world’s economy because,

If one suffers distress, this propagates.

That, of course, is a description of the 2008 financial disaster. And as the article points out, the real point of this kind of analysis is to identify “the architecture of global economic power” and find “vulnerable aspects of the system” so that “economists can suggest measures to prevent future collapses spreading through the entire economy.”  In other words, we should use this type of science to find ways to make the system more stable. 

Finally, besides stressing that this analysis is not without its critics (read the article), I also want to stress that there is no support for some kind of notion of world-wide conspiracy here, as some protesters in the Occupy Wall Street movement may want to maintain. The article pointed out:

..the super-entity is unlikely to be the intentional result of a conspiracy to rule the world.

Why? Because, as one complex systems expert avers, such super-entities are “common in nature.” The article explains:

Newcomers to any network connect preferentially to highly connected members. [Transnational corporations] buy shares in each other for business reasons, not for world domination. If connectedness clusters, so does wealth…

So, the super-entity may not result from conspiracy. The real question, says the Zürich team, is whether it can exert concerted political power…

Yes, that is the real question, and that is why the Occupy Wall Street movement—which is exerting its own form of concerted political power—is so important.

A Tale Of Two Conservatives, Not Two Countries

If you haven’t heard, Pat Buchanan, an old-time über-conservative and analyst on not-so-liberal MSNBC, has a new book out that basically pronounces America dead.

While I didn’t catch his appearance on white nationalist radio (a talk show called “The Political Cesspool“), I did listen for a bit to the hard-core Buchanan on The Diane Rehm Show.  She asked him about the title of his book, Suicide of a Superpower, to which he replied:

I was looking at my country with deep concern and sharing the view of that 79 percent of Americans who said yesterday in that poll, Diane, that the United States of America, the greatest country on earth, the country of Eisenhower and Nixon, you and I grew up in, is in decline. And I think it is in grave decline and I’m not sure the United States can turn it around.

Now, before we go on, notice that Buchanan’s “the greatest country on earth” happens to be “the country of Eisenhower and Nixon.” In between those two Republican presidents was, of course, Kennedy and Johnson, but as we shall see, those times weren’t America’s greatest moments, in Buchanan’s reckoning.

Pat explained why America is in an irreversible decline, which I will, as a public service, summarize:

♦ Our society is “disintegrating…”breaking down along the lines of race, culture, religion, and philosophy.”

♦ The idea “that diversity is a strength is a canard, it is nonsense.”

♦ We used to all speak English and be Judeo-Christians (it is okay to be a Mormon because they are a lot like Judeo-Christians, especially their complexions.) Only about 75 percent of us are now Christians, which means, of course, that we no longer have “a moral code…by which to live.”

♦ We all used to “read the same newspapers, listened to the same radio stations, ate the same food, danced to the same music,” and now we have that nasty diversity thing going on.

♦ The American Southwest will soon essentially become a part of Mexico.

♦ White people will soon become a minority. (Chapter 4 of his book is titled, “The End of White America,” and he suggests that we have therefore “imperiled our union.”)

And on and on.

Buchanan was asked what could possibly be done to prevent this doomsday scenario for America, and he replied using my all-time favorite James Burnham quote:

I think the solution’s — James Burnham had a great statement. He said, where there are no solutions there is no problem. I don’t think there is a solution to what I’m describing. To turn around the thinking of people after the cultural, moral, social revolution of the ’60s has changed the fundamental thinking of people.

Now it is apparent why Buchanan earlier used the phrase, 

the greatest country on earth, the country of Eisenhower and Nixon…

Those two presidents bookended those nasty 1960s, when the country went to hell by expanding the rights of all our people and making them a little more comfortable in the white’s America.

 He went on: 

I mean, we have two countries inside America morally, culturally and socially. We can see them all clashing over right to life, abortion, gay rights, all these things, stem cell research, God in school, prayer. We’re fighting with each other over that. That’s beyond politics. That’s beyond even a great political leader like Ronald Reagan. It is beyond politics. Politics can deal with our fiscal problem and all that but, Diane, we are two countries.

Don’t you see? If those of us who disagree with Pat Buchanan and the conservative movement would just change our minds and agree with them on all those divisive issues, or perhaps better still, pack up and move, they could have their country back and America could be great again.

As it is, out of the mouth of Pat Buchanan, we just can’t live together in a powerful America.

But I won’t let Pat Buchanan have the last word on this one.  Please take the time to read the following 1990 remarks by none other than Ronald Reagan, whom very few conservatives dare to contradict.  The remarks, for this former fan of Mr. Reagan, still give me chills:

And now, let me speak directly to the young people and the students here. I wonder yet if you’ve appreciated how unusual—terribly unusual—this country of ours is?

I received a letter just before I left office from a man. I don’t know why he chose to write it, but I’m glad he did. He wrote that you can go to live in France, but you can’t become a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany or Italy, but you can’t become a German, an Italian. He went through Turkey, Greece, Japan and other countries. but he said anyone, from any corner of the world, can come to live in the United States and become an American.

Some may call it mysticism if they will, but I cannot help but feel that there was some divine plan that placed this continent here between the two great oceans to be found by people from any corner of the earth — people who had an extra ounce of desire for freedom and some extra courage to rise up and lead their families, their relatives, their friends, their nations and come here to eventually make this country.

The truth of the matter is, if we take this crowd and if we could go through and ask the heritage, the background of every family represented here, we would probably come up with the names of every country on earth, every corner of the world, and every race. Here, is the one spot on earth where we have the brotherhood of man. And maybe as we continue with this proudly, this brotherhood of man made up from people representative of every corner of the earth, maybe one day boundaries all over the earth will disappear as people cross boundaries and find out that, yes, there is a brotherhood of man in every corner.

Thank you all and God Bless you all.

The Social Gardener, Part 1

Nearly every day I hear some conservative argue for “free markets” in one form or another.  “Get government off the backs of bidness,” they say. “Free markets are more efficient.” “The Free Market Does It Better.”

George Will recently wrote a scathing piece on liberalism, which ended with this:

Society — hundreds of millions of people making billions of decisions daily — is a marvel of spontaneous order among individuals in voluntary cooperation. Government facilitates this cooperation with roads, schools, police, etc. — and by getting out of its way. This is a sensible, dynamic, prosperous society’s “underlying social contract.”

Okay. That sounds good, on first reading. But let’s look at a part of American life that unquestionably commands the attention of a large majority of the population: sports.

Baseball games, football games, games of all sorts, are managed competitions, not free-for-alls in which anything goes. It is the fact that they are managed competitions that makes them so popular.  If the New England Patriots won every game they played and thus won the Super Bowl every year, football would die.

It’s not just that NFL owners provide the venue  and the equipment (society’s “roads, schools, police,” as Will put it) to play the game. There are elaborate rules and regulations, salary caps, revenue sharing and other managed aspects of the sport, which far from undermining the benefits of competition, actually serve to make competition more beneficial—and more rewarding for everyone involved: owners, players, and in terms of enjoyment, the fans.

This is contrary to the assertion made by laissez-faire advocates, whose voices never tire of telling us that government regulation and intervention stymies creativity and growth and wealth-creation in the larger economy. But the enormous popularity of the highly regulated National Football League disproves the general idea that managing and supervising competition is bad for us.

Now, all of that is relatively easy to understand. We can see it every Sunday this time of year.

What is harder to understand is why the idea continues to thrive in some very visible and noisy sectors that unregulated or nearly unregulated economies are superior to managed economies, despite the empirical evidence against that idea.

There is, of course, the Great Depression, which should have settled the matter forever. But more recently we have the evidence of the Great Recession and its continuing effects, which even laissez-faire high priest Alan Greenspan admitted put him into “a state of shocked disbelief.” Why? The New York Times expressed it this way back in October of 2008:

…as chairman of the Federal Reserve, a humbled Mr. Greenspan admitted that he had put too much faith in the self-correcting power of free markets and had failed to anticipate the self-destructive power of wanton mortgage lending.

A copy of The Road to Serfdom, by Friedrich Hayek, sits on or near my desk all the time. Hayek’s name is invoked often by free-marketeers, but those folks should actually read what Hayek wrote. He wasn’t exactly a believer in laissez-faire, as this passage from the book makes clear (note: I substituted the word “libertarian” for “liberal” in this passage, to make the meaning clearer to contemporary readers):

The fundamental principle that in the ordering of our affairs we should make as much use as possible of the spontaneous forces of society, and resort as little as possible to coercion, is capable of an infinite variety of applications. There is, in particular, all the difference between deliberately creating a system within which competition will work as beneficially as possible and passively accepting institutions as they are. Probably nothing has done so much harm to the [libertarian] cause as the wooden insistence of some [libertarians] on certain rough rules of thumb, above all the principle of laissez faire.

Uh-oh. Did he really mean to say that? Yep:

The attitude of the [libertarian] toward society is like that of a gardener who tends a plant and, in order to create the conditions most favorable to its growth, must know as much as possible about its structure and the way it functions.

That sounds exactly like what I, as a liberal today, believe. We should “make as much use as possible of the spontaneous forces of society, and resort as little as possible to coercion.” And we should “create the conditions most favorable” to the growth of society.

What Hayek was referencing was the growth of our understanding of “social forces and the conditions most favorable to their working in a desirable manner.” In other words, the wise social gardener will learn—and continue to learn—what he can about how society, including our capitalist system, works and improve conditions that will help it grow.

What’s wrong with that?

CBO Tells Us What We Already Knew

Nothing better demonstrates why folks are out in the streets these days than two recently released graphs from the Congressional Budget Office:

 From the CBO summary text:

♦ The share of after-tax household income for the 1 percent of the population with the highest income more than doubled, climbing from nearly 8 percent in 1979 to 17 percent in 2007.

♦ The population in the lowest income quintile received about 7 percent of after-tax income in 1979; by 2007, their share of after-tax income had fallen to about 5 percent.

♦ The middle three income quintiles all saw their shares of after-tax income decline by 2 to 3 percentage points between 1979 and 2007.

An important point raised on the CBO Director’s Blog was that “Government Transfers and Federal Taxes Became Less Redistributive,” which therefore increased the inequality of income distribution:

Specifically, in 1979, households in the bottom quintile received more than 50 percent of transfer payments. In 2007, similar households received about 35 percent of transfers. That shift reflects the growth in spending for programs focused on the elderly population (such as Social Security and Unemployment Insurance), in which benefits are not limited to low-income households.

Likewise, the equalizing effect of federal taxes was smaller. Over the 1979–2007 period, the overall average federal tax rate fell by a small amount, the composition of federal revenues shifted away from progressive income taxes to less-progressive payroll taxes, and income taxes became slightly more concentrated at the higher end of the income scale. The effect of the first two factors outweighed the effect of the third, reducing the extent to which taxes lessened the dispersion of household income.

News Testament

“Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.”

—John 19:1

I like strange headlines.

In Tuesday’s Joplin Globe, I saw this one:

This headline and story started me thinking about what the headline might be relative to events in Palestine in, say, 33. A.D.:

Outrage, Pressure, And Doing The Right Thing

Thanks to a story that appeared first in the Joplin Globe and then thanks to an Associated Press story that appeared on Sunday in papers and other media all over the country, Mark Lindquist, tornado survivor, will finally get workers’ compensation benefits.

Lindquist, for those not familiar with his story, was at his job as a social worker taking care of developmentally disabled adults in a group home just across the street from the Joplin High School, where the EF-5 tornado, as Globe reporter Wally Kennedy described it, “was at its zenith.”

Nearly everyone in the country has seen the pictures of Joplin High School and the surrounding destruction, and Mr. Lindquist’s heroism is now legendary around here. As the tornado approached, he and a co-worker, Ryan Tackett, tossed a mattress over three men with Down syndrome and jumped on top in a futile effort to save them.  The three men died in the storm.

Lindquist himself “was found in rubble two houses south of the group home,” Kennedy reported for the Globe.  Here’s how the AP reported it:

The storm tossed Lindquist more than half a block. Two men out searching for survivors found him buried in rubble, impaled by a piece of metal. Large chunks of flesh were torn off, and pieces of his shoulder crumbled to the ground as the rescuers lifted him to safety.

Things got even worse when Lindquist developed a fungal infection from debris that got into open sores, an infection that killed five other Joplin tornado victims.

Lindquist wasn’t expected to survive and was in a coma for nearly two months, first at Freeman Hospital in Joplin, then at a hospital in Columbia and finally at a rehabilitation center in Mount Vernon. It was there that he awoke.

“I’m a walking miracle,” he said.

Maybe he is a walking miracle. But what may be more miraculous, in a devilish sort of way, is that the insurance company for his employer managed to find a way to not pay Lindquist workers’ compensation benefits, despite the fact that his employer urged the company to do so.

The insurance company, Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, explained in a letter to Lindquist that his claim was denied,

based on the fact that there was no greater risk than the general public at the time you were involved in the Joplin tornado.

Now, Lindquist’s own home was not damaged and had he been there instead of at his just-above-minimum-wage job he would still have all of his teeth, have full use of his arm and his short-term memory, move around more quickly, and not have medical bills in excess of $2.5 million.

But that meant nothing to an insurance company motivated not to pay such an obvious claim. A spokesman for the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation said that out of 132 claims filed related to the Joplin tornado, “only” eight were denied by insurance companies.

From the Insurance Journal:

The company says its initial decision to deny Lindquist’s claim was based on Missouri workers’ compensation laws, which limit recovery for injuries received during a tornado to situations where the employee was subjected to a greater harm than that of the general public.

Accident Fund initially found that Lindquist did not face a greater risk than the general public at the time of his involvement the Joplin tornado. The insurer says it has revisited the case and changed its determination.

Lindquist, who could not afford health insurance on his wages, was both a victim of nature and corporate nature, the latter victimization thwarted by publicity first generated by a story in the Joplin Globe, which editorialized today:

Mark Lindquist’s story has the right kind of ending — finally. And it’s because of the outrage of readers like you and the pressure you placed on an insurance company that Lindquist’s medical bills for injuries he suffered on the night of the May 22 tornado will be covered.

Yes: “Outrage” and “pressure” on misbehaving corporate entities. Isn’t that what the Occupy Wall Street protests are all about?

Roy Blunt, Socialist Sympathizer

The theme of the day seems to be socialism.

In what may be his most egregious vote to date, Missouri Senator Roy Blunt said “Hell no!” to those who dared to end socialistic subsidies to farmers with incomes over a million smackers.

The measure, sponsored by normally nutty neighbor Sen. Tom Coburn, would, as the AP put it,

discontinue certain farm subsidies for people who make more than a million dollars in adjusted gross income. The practical impact of the vote may be marginal — current limits are about $1.2 million at most — but it represents a sea change in how the heavily rural Senate views farm support. In recent years, many votes to limit subsidies have failed in the Senate.

Normally, I would have no problem with Blunt supporting socialist programs, but he has told us how worried he is about the federal deficit, and he has voted to be stingy in terms of helping middle class folks find work or keep the jobs they have or keep their heads above water with unemployment benefits (he voted against Obama’s jobs bill).  He’s also voted against raising taxes on wealthy folks to pay for all this socialism.

So, why would he vote to support subsidies to millionaire farmers who are, in Tom Coburn’s words, “doing just fine“?

Let me gue$$.

By the way, the bill passed 84 to 15.

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