GOP to poor: ‘Let them eat missiles’

Without a day of hearings, the House leadership attached to the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) reauthorization bill an amendment that could open the way for wrecking the Food Stamp program. The rider would permit five states to opt out of the federal Food Stamp program in exchange for a nutrition block grant.

Michigan’s Republican Governor John Engler, an advocate of the measure, and other well-fed officials would be granted authority to decide who is hungry and malnourished. States could seek waivers from federal regulations so they could combine various benefit programs, adding to one and cutting another.

Rep. Eva Clayton (D-N.C.), senior Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, lambasted this sneak attack on a program that has reduced hunger that once plagued over 30 million people in the U.S., saying this is tantamount to taking food out of the mouths of babes and the elderly. She might have added that the savings in the Food Stamp program will help pay for smart bombs and Star Wars in George W. Bush’s near $400 billion military budget.

George W. Bush weighed in by attacking the ‘administrative costs’ of Food Stamps, sounding like his soulmate Ronald Reagan who once said the cost of nutrition programs could be cut if ketchup and relish were defined as ‘vegetables.’

The House has turned thumbs down on a bill by Rep. Patsy Mink (D-Hawaii) that would end the five-year lifetime limit on welfare benefits and lift people out of poverty through higher education and job training.

Contact your Representative and Senators and demand they vote down this attack on food stamps. Demand they support the Mink version of TANF reauthorization. Tell them you will judge them on this issue if they seek reelection this fall.

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Nuke treaty is hoax

The Bush administration is crowing about a treaty Russia has agreed to sign which purports to reduce nuclear warheads by two-thirds in the next 10 years.

Does this deal reduce the risk of nuclear war? On the contrary it makes a nuclear holocaust more likely because it advances the agenda of U.S. global military supremacy.

Look at the fine print: The treaty permits the signers to stockpile nuclear warheads rather than dismantle them. Russia is in such a state of collapse it cannot maintain such stockpiles. That job was handed over to monopoly corporations like Halliburton and Raytheon.

The Pentagon will allocate as many of our tax dollars as needed to keep these weapons in full readiness. They can be reactivated quickly. The treaty expires in 2012. It is ‘flexible,’ permitting the U.S. to increase some types of warheads.

This treaty dovetails with the administration’s drive, exposed in its recent Nuclear Posture Review, to develop and deploy a new generation of so-called ‘mini-nukes’ for actual use in combat, crossing a nuclear threshold that has stood since the U.S. dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

It also goes hand-in-hand with the administration’s plan next month to abrogate the 1972 anti-ballistic missile treaty (ABM), the first step toward deploying a ballistic missile defense and ultimately a full-fledged Star Wars weapons in space system that would clearly give the U.S. first-strike nuclear capability.

More than 300 peace and justice organizations have sent a joint message to Senators supporting their lawsuit against Bush seeking to block the U.S. pullout from the ABM Treaty. As for the new treaty with Russia, the Senate should send it back to be renegotiated so as to abolish all weapons of mass destruction.

We urge our readers to bombard their Senators with this same message and get your friends, neighbors, family and co-workers to do the same.

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