In this week's MEGA edition of Banter M:
Scott Walker's Psychopathic War on Poor People - Ben Cohen looks at Governor Scott Walker's latest attempts to drug test food stamp recipients and uncovers the terrible history behind his extraordinary war on the working poor. More than that though, is a Republican strategy to enforce an insidious ideology that serves to humiliate and disenfranchise the most vulnerable members of society.
Sean Parker vs Cancer - Chez Pazienza's brother in law would have been 29 today had it not been for a deadly form of Leukemia. In a moving tribute, Chez writes also looks at tech billionaire and former Facebook founder Sean Parker's remarkable pledge to join the fight against cancer with some extraordinary advancements in medical technology.
Settle Down With This Star Wars "Mary Sue" Nonsense, Morons - Jamie Frevele takes on the abhorrent internet meme that the female lead in Star Wars played by Felicity Jones was nothing more than a "Mary Sue." What is a "Mary Sue" you may ask? Let Jamie explain and dispel the myth.
F*ck You, Equifax - Bob Cesca recounts going $500,000 into debt, losing his house and car, then having his life ruined by credit agencies that have haunted him ever since. Because after all, who better to control your life than unaccountable, for profit corporations?
Excerpt from Ben's piece:
Scott Walker's Psychopathic War on Poor People
by Ben Cohen
Failed presidential contender and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) along with 10 other Republican governors have been touting the benefits of forcing food stamp recipients to go through drug testing in a letter sent to Republicans on Capitol Hill this week. Despite it being illegal under federal law, prominent Republicans are arguing that it is an effective way to get people back into the work place -- because of course poor people just want to sit around and take drugs all day.
“Since SNAP and other welfare programs typically have job training requirements as a core element,” the letter says, “we write today to express our sincere confidence that drug testing recipients of SNAP benefits is not only lawful, but will aid in our ability to move individuals off of this welfare program and back into the workforce as productive members of their communities.”
In February of this year, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) introduced legislation that could potentially make urine testing legal at a state level. “The legislation authored by Congressman Robert Aderholt confirms states’ rights to drug test SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients," said Walker this week. "And we look forward to working with him on this crucial issue and implementing this common-sense reform in Wisconsin."
Wisconsin, you will remember, is where Walker has led a vicious war against the state's labor unions -- a war he had based his entire persona on. Walker cast himself as the the brave 'anti union guy' taking on all those freeloading working people trying to provide a decent life for their families by eliminating their collective bargaining power.
Walker's war on working families was so militant, he even likened unions to ISIS -- a truly remarkable comparison considering one group is fighting for the right to earn a livable wage and bargain collectively, while the other is trying to establish a worldwide caliphate by chopping children's heads off and murdering and raping innocent civilians. But then this is a Republican in the era of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz we are talking about.
For people like Scott Walker, it doesn't appear to matter that the proportion of people on welfare who are drug users is well below that of the national average. As Think Progress reported, after analyzing data of the seven states with existing drug testing programs — Arizona, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Utah, they found that:
The statistics show that applicants actually test positive at a lower rate than the drug use of the general population. The national drug use rate is 9.4 percent. In these states, however, the rate of positive drug tests to total welfare applicants ranges from 0.002 percent to 8.3 percent, but all except one have a rate below 1 percent. Meanwhile, they’ve collectively spent nearly $1 million on the effort, and millions more may have to be spent in coming years.
To spend millions of dollars on drug testing the most vulnerable people in America -- who are statistically less likely than other Americans to be using drugs -- one has to wonder what the motivation is here.
Of course you don't have to look too hard to see what is happening, as these ludicrous measures against the poor and working class conforms to a consistent pattern.
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