Foodstamp Cuts Impact Families and Children in Every PA County

By: Friday November 8, 2013 7:00 pm

A major funding cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) took effect November 1, impacting 1.8 million Pennsylvanians.

SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is our nation’s first line of defense against hunger and a powerful tool to help keep families out of poverty. Benefits are modest, offering many Pennsylvania families a crucial bridge in this slow economic recovery.

The November 1 cut is the result of an expiring provision in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that temporarily boosted SNAP to strengthen the economy and ease hardship in the wake of the recession. The cut totals $5 billion nationwide for the remaining months of the federal fiscal year (November 2013-September 2014), including $183 million in Pennsylvania.

 

FDL Book Salon Welcomes David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills: Recessions, Budget Battles, and the Politics of Life and Death

By: Saturday June 29, 2013 1:59 pm

David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu’s new book The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills is a thorough examination of the toll that recessions take on people’s health. They show, convincingly, that there are many, many channels through which health outcomes can deteriorate when the economy goes into a deep recession. They also show that the manner in which the government reacts to an economic downturn is a critical factor in determining health outcomes. Deterioration in health in a recession, though common, is far from inevitable.

What is Socialism? Look No Further Than Your Public Library

By: Sunday October 14, 2012 6:00 pm

My wife, Disgusted in Euclid, actually came up with this, not I. She was saying that a lot of people confuse socialism with things like Stalinism and Maoism because of about a century of propaganda broadcast not only by capitalists, but by the old Communists themselves. “You want to see socialism in action? Go to the public library,” she said.

She’s right..

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Tom Zoellner, A Safeway in Arizona: What the Gabrielle Giffords Shooting Tells Us About the Grand Canyon State and Life in America

By: Saturday February 11, 2012 1:59 pm

It has been a year and a month since the day the shots pierced the heart of Arizona on January 8, 2011. In all, 19 victims were shot. Six lives were taken and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords gravely wounded. Friends, families, a state and a nation were torn at their emotional seams.

The news crews came for their live shots, talking heads talked, pundits opined, quick clues to a deeper cause and meaning sought and catharsis stated to have been reached in a stirring memorial led by an eloquent President. Over time, the initial raw wounds seemed to merge into the amazing evolving story of strength, resilience and recovery of Gabby Giffords. And, to be sure, there are few parallels in public life to the resilience and recovery of Gabby, it has been stunning, heartwarming and inspirational.

Thousands of Monuments to War, but Few to Peace

By: Saturday September 10, 2011 9:04 am

On the eve of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, my thoughts turn to peace. It’s hard to keep them there, though, because of the chorus of voices that scream for violence and war.

I grieve for those who died ten years ago in New York, DC, and Pennsylvania, as well as all who have died — and continue to die — in the wars spawned out of that attack. I long for the day when military fly-overs at football games become a thing of the past, and our cities have more statues to teachers than generals.

But the cheers for executions, and the willingness to spend billions of dollars on weapons to dole out death but mere pennies on social services that preserve life in one way or another for the most needy among us tell me that the day I long for is quite a ways off.

Ten Years On, Sick Ground Zero Workers Still Without Proper Care

By: Saturday September 10, 2011 7:52 am

This weekend, the public will mourn a site of loss, recasting the painful memories and haunting fears that still hover over the aftermath at Ground Zero. But the people who worked and breathed that tragedy in the days and months following September 11 won’t be at the primary commemoration ceremony for the families of victims. The Mayor’s decision to limit the attendees by excluding the 9/11 first responders is an unnerving metaphor for an unhealed scar of 9/11. Many of the rescue and recovery workers who labored at Ground Zero have been plagued by a metastasizing medical crisis, aggravated by chronic political failure.

Daily Show Demonstrates Folly of Ryan’s Deficit Plan on Eve of Obama Speech

By: Wednesday April 13, 2011 6:59 am

As we prepare for today’s speech from Barack Obama on his response to the draconian cuts to social services proposed by Paul Ryan in his deficit reduction plan, it is very informative to watch Jon Stewart’s perfect dismantling of that plan from last night’s Daily Show. Stewart is right to poke fun at the “creepy music” to which Ryan presents his plan that the Washington villagers laud as so bold and decisive, but the real value of Stewart’s piece comes in his demonstration that the exact same amount of deficit reduction can be achieved by ending the Bush tax cuts. There were hints yesterday that Obama might actually suggest ending at least some tax cuts, but it remains to be seen just what kinds of revenue improvements Obama will suggest and, more importantly, how hard Obama will fight for them when it comes time to put his plan through Congress.

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