Here’s the Thursday open line, including today’s video headline roundup. Final words:
* THAT COTTON-PICKIN’ TOM COTTON JUST HATES FOOD STAMPS: Somebody listened in to one of Tom Cotton’s “town hall” telephone gabfests and grabbed another remark by the Republican challenger to Mark Pryor that captures his enduring enmity toward federal nutrition programs that provide sustenance to poor people.
Huffington Post got a copy of the audio and posted it. It left out a part of the quote in the print version and in the process included a headline that is not strictly accurate. But it’s accurate enough that Cotton wants to do everything he can to make nutrition assistance wither, including drug testing of recipients. The suggestion seems clearly to be that people who test positive for drugs should not get food assistance. Or that’s how I read it. Listen yourself. The guy is freezingly cold for somebody who got government assistance himself in the course of a fancy Harvard education. The Democratic Party ripped Cotton on the quote, and also got it right. He didn’t call all food stamp recipients addict, but what he said was bad enough.
“I don’t think that we should be using farmers as a way to pack more welfare spending into Barack Obama’s government,” Cotton said. “Nor should we have a food stamp program that isn’t reformed, that doesn’t have job training and work requirements, that doesn’t have drug testing requirements, so we can get people who are addicted the help they need. Or make sure that long-term addicts or recidivists are not abusing taxpayer dollars.”
Get it? If Cotton finds you morally objectionable, you should not be fed by his dollars. This, remember, is the guy who faulted Mark Pryor’s brand of Christian witness.
Food stamps serve 46 million people. Republicans long to drug-test everyone who gets a government benefit (except congressmen, of course). In the end, Cotton was the only Republican from Arkansas to oppose a farm bill that included reduced food stamp spending (it wasn’t reduced enough for his taste). He thinks food stamps breed dependency and are provided to millionaires. Absence of proof of the benefits of drug testing or of use by millionaires doesn’t dissuade a man of Tom Cotton’s bitter and selfish faith. Arkansas finishes last in the U.S. in “food security,” according to the USDA. Tom Cotton apparently thinks we don’t lag far enough behind yet.
* COLD, COLD HEART: Good timing for another chilly pronouncement from the heartless Tom Cotton. The high in Little Rock today was only 72. That made it the coolest July 17 on record, shattering the old record of 77 set in 1923.