The Widdershins

Some Monday Ramblings

Posted on: January 13, 2014

Mr. No Free Lunch for Kids

Mr. No Free Lunch for Kids

Good Monday to you Widdershins.  Mondays are a drag.  Even if you aren’t working, they are at times just a drag.  Perhaps it is just that ingrained thing that “eh, it’s Monday”, I’m really not sure.  I have just a couple of things that caught my attention recently so I’m going to pass them along.

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You may or may not recognize the congress critter in the photo above but that’s Congressman Jack Kingston from Georgia.  He is one of the Republicans who are running to replace Saxby Chambliss in the U.S. Senate.  Mr. Kingston has been referred to as the “sane” one between the republican candidates running to replace Chambliss, the other two being Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey.  You may recall that Broun is an M.D. who said that all of that “science stuff” and things he learned in medical school were just lies from the “pit of Hell”.

I think it’s an ironic twist of fate that Broun serves on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.  But I’m not here to discuss him today but rather his cohort Kingston.

You may recall that Congr. Kingston is the one who suggested that kids “sweep the cafeteria” or kick in a “nickle or dime” to sorta contribute something to that free handout they’re getting.

“But one of the things I’ve talked to the secretary of agriculture about: Why don’t you have the kids pay a dime, pay a nickel to instill in them that there is, in fact, no such thing as a free lunch? Or maybe sweep the floor of the cafeteria — and yes, I understand that that would be an administrative problem, and I understand that it would probably lose you money. But think what we would gain as a society in getting people — getting the myth out of their head that there is such a thing as a free lunch,” he said.

As Amanda Terkel said in this HuffPo piece, there are other things to consider:

Besides the “administrative problem,” Kingston’s plan could create significant embarrassment for low-income children, who would be sweeping cafeteria floors while their wealthier peers did normal kid activities. And while the low-income children would supposedly be learning the lesson of hard work, their wealthier peers would simply be getting a free lunch from their parents.

And true to form, when asked about his boss’ comments, Kingston’s spokesperson said this:

“It is sad that trying to have a productive conversation about instilling a strong work ethic in the next generation of Americans so quickly devolves into the usual name-calling partisan hysteria. Having worked from a young age himself, Congressman Kingston understands the value of hard work and the important role it plays in shaping young people.” [note: remember this comment about “worked from a young age” when you see Kingston in a video below]

Well bully for Congr. Kingston.  However, (and isn’t there always a however that comes about when these fools want to play this kind of game?) it seems that the good Congressman is not above getting his own form of the “free lunch”.

“Kingston and his staff expensed nearly $4200 in meals for business purposes to his congressional office, paid for by the American taxpayer,” WSAV 3’s Dan Kartunen reported. The amount could have purchased nearly 2,000 Georgia school lunches.

WSAV also found that Kingston also racked up $4,289 of free meals paid for by third-party groups like the Georgia Bankers Association and the Congressional Institute. Kingston has also travelled to a handful of continents on congressional business racking up $24,313* in costs. Those expenses include more than just meals. What’s more, Kingston also expensed $145,391 worth of meals for campaign events.

*I have no idea whether there is a separate per diem rate for the Congress  critters on foreign travel, it was difficult to find anything on it (on purpose?) but I did find the State Dept.’s per diem rates which you can find here. Perhaps our Prolix can add some clarification on what the critters get for pocket money when they travel on the taxpayer dime.

And here’s the good congressman trying to play a good game of c.y.o.a. on his food bill, the joys of the work ethic and doing “chores” around his parents’ house.

Pot meet kettle, ya think?

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You may recall that during the shutdown last year, there was a move afoot to have the congress critters not take the employer contribution for their  health care premiums for their Obamacare health plans.  David Vitter was the one responsible for stirring up that little bit of mischief.

Well now that all of that silliness is over and the hue and cry over it is past them, it seems that some of the Republican critters have decided that, well it’s okay to get that contribution after all.

…based on this roll call vote and the Washington Post’s tracking of what health insurance option Congress members are choosing, 24 House Republicans aren’t. Ryan and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) are among them. Just two months ago, they voted to prevent themselves from receiving what they had called a special exemption under Obamacare.

Now they’re benefitting from it.

Below are the members who the Washington Post recorded as enrolling through the D.C. marketplace with no note that they would decline their employer contribution and who voted on Sept. 30 to strip those contributions for themselves and their staff:

Howard Coble (R-NC)

Rodney Davis (R-IL)

Doug LaMalfa (R-CA)

Bob Latta (R-OH)

Billy Long (R-MO)

Frank Lucas (R-OK)

Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO)

Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)

Jeff Miller (R-FL)

Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)

Kristi Noem (R-SD)

Bill Posey (R-FL)

Tom Reed (R-NY)

Reid Ribble (R-WI)

Tom Rice (R-SC)

Phil Roe (R-TN)

Peter Roskam (R-IL)

Paul Ryan (R-WI)

Austin Scott (R-GA)

Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI)

John Shimkus (R-IL)

Pat Tiberi (R-OH)

Brad Wenstrup (R-OH)

Frank Wolf (R-VA)

I have no problem with them accepting this contribution because it is very much like what folks get when they have employer-sponsored health insurance; the employer usually kicks in a contribution toward the premium.  What ticks me off is the pompous ranting and railing over it and then after the dust subsides, just quietly accepting it.  Hypocrites much?

This is an open thread.

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24 Responses to "Some Monday Ramblings"

If hypocrisy was a pre-existing condition, none of the Congress critters would have coverage particularly the ones who closely tamp their tea bags with it.

Prolix, do you have any idea whether Congress uses the per diem rates that are used by State Dept. employees or whether there’s something in the GSA guidelines for foreign travel or whether they have their own little set of rules? it was very difficult to find much of anything on Congr. travel expenses.

Well, well, well. Look who has a hatchet book on Hillary coming out now. She and Bill aren’t the first and won’t be the last to have a “friends of” list.

@2, Congress has its own travel rules and rates for Members and staff. It is bundled up in their Ethics rules. Each office gets a specific amount per a formula. Here’s an article by the Clean Up Washington group:

http://www.cleanupwashington.org/lobbying/page.cfm?pageid=41

Prolix@4: Ah thanks! I think I saw that one when I was looking for info but since it didn’t provide any dollar amounts I didn’t use it.

@5, it’s hard to provide solid dollar amounts since the formula takes into consideration travel flight mileage and I think, population. I know at one time population was part of the formula.

@3: Unsurprisingly, a member of the same cabal who foisted Obama upon is.

This is all sooo shocking!! I can’t believe that guy would expect taxpayers to pay for his lunch. I doubt he swept any floors for it though.

Prolix: Thanks. Still, Kingston did run up some serious tabs there on the taxpayer’s dime. And, I guess what he forgets is that it is nutrition that’s behind having these programs and ensuring that all of the kids, whether their parents can afford it or not, get at least one decent meal a day.

chat@7: And we wonder why Clair has been so quick to support HRC now. Hmmm…

DYB@8: Oh but he did “chores” around the house when he was a kid so he knows the value of a “work ethic”. Snort!

@10: She likely needs something.

She likely needs something.

Yeah, her job. 😉

What stunning hypocrisy! I don’t know how anyone could be a republican. Dems can be pretty bad, but are definitely the less of the two evils.

Glanced at the anti-Hillary article. God, it was boring. Anyway, thanks for the stories, Fredster!

annie@14: Yeah to me it’s pretty odious that they can say one thing and complain about “free lunches” and then “expense out” all of those food purchases for himself and staff and the rest.

@annie: Well I was going to do another reply and the net connection crashed! 👿

About the HRC book…yeah I don’t see it as anything except an attempt to capitalize on her name right now.

W T F ????

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/early-lead/wp/2014/01/13/seahawks-wont-sell-nfc-championship-tickets-to-
fans-from-california/

Fredster, why does the NFL allow this bullshit?

annie@18: (still having intermittent net troubles)

It’s their team, their stadium so I guess they have that prerogative. That being said, I liked this comment to the article:

Seattle must be pretty desperate to win to not at least do the decent thing and sell some tickets to opposing fans.

I’m definitely rooting for the 49ers now.

[snip]

Well I had no team to root for in this game, now I’ll root for SF. Seattle should be trying to GROW its fan base, not be selective

49er fans should still be able to get tickets off of stubhub or maybe off of the NFL website, but still it’s cheezy and classless. Exactly the things we saw watching the game on teevee and when the Seattle fans came onto our forums and talked all kinds of trash.

Even the most blood curdling college rivalry games allot seats to the opposing team/ Ask me again why I loathe Pete Carroll.

chat@20 and annie: Well that’s the kind of (pardon the language) shit that is gonna blow up in their faces. Now next year, do you think the 49ers will be blacklisting sales to any address with Sea-Tac zip codes? Bet they do.

Fredster, I noticed some of the comments were saying that they were just doing it to save seats for their fans. If so, why were they allowing people to buy tickets with zip codes from half a dozen other states and Canada? Thats California bias, imo. Boy, did I see a lot of that when I lived up there.

annie@22: That’s a crap argument on their part. They may indeed have Canadian fans since Vancouver isn’t that far away,but I still don’t by it. The chickenhawks uh Seahawks certainly sold tickets to Saints fans for their game.

Well according to this article from nfl.com it’s perfectly okay to do this:

It’s a move that teams across all sports have the freedom to employ, and often do. Especially in Denver, where the Broncos announced Sunday that they’ll only ship AFC title game tickets to valid billing addresses in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, South Dakota and western Kansas.

Niners fans are known travelers. Team play-by-play man Ted Robinson described Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium as being packed with San Francisco faithful for Sunday’s win over the Panthers. Seattle — with the most raucous home-field advantage in the NFL — isn’t risking an enemy intrusion.

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