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Valentines Day Special

February 14, 2011

White House: nice and warm, but a bit too cozy? (The President with GOP Senate Leader McConnell)

Mr. President, Where is your heart? I was going to hold off a day in posting; I’ve got a lot going on. But when I saw articles in the Huffington Post and National Journal on White House plans to slash funds for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, I was outraged and had to write.

 

According to the National Journal the funding would drop by about $2.5 billion from an authorized 2009 total of $5.1 billion. (The proposed cut will not touch the program’s emergency reserve fund, about $590 million, which can be used during particularly harsh cold snaps or extended heat spells. Both the Huff Post and National Journal cite unnamed administration officials as their source.The Huffington Post article put it this way: President Barack Obama, less than two months after signing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans into law, is proposing a budget to congress that attacks programs that assist the working poor, help the needy heat their homes,  …

 

 

 

Source: USA Today

Close to Home: My wife Claudia Raskin directs a program (Community Support Systems) that provides food and assistance to low income families in southern Maryland.  What she shares is both sad and alarming, “It’s been a bitter winter with freezing temperatures, rising food costs and unemployment.  Seven months into the fiscal year, CSS has spent its budget of close to $20,000 for home heating and other forms of assistance.  Help is still available through the State of Maryland’s Energy Assistance Program, but with rising fuel costs the benefit they provide does not stretch far enough.  This means that many of the families we deal with will be using space heaters or carrying 5-gallon jugs of kerosene and diesel fuel to stay warm.”

Nor is the situation in S. Maryland unique; according to an Feb. 9 article by the AP’s Jonathan Fahey, some 8.9 million households are expected to qualify for financial help this winter, up from 8.3 million last winter. It’s the third year in a row the number of households needing assistance has set a new high. (Fahey source: The National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association): Please join us in calling or writing the White House today to ask the President to follow what we know to be his good heart (rather than his sheepish advisors).

Neither civil nor compassionate: Obama’s new budget proposes to achieve a $1.1 trillion in deficit reductions (that’s $100 billion per year — similar to proposals by the Republican controlled House of Representatives. As we’ve shown in a past post , these draconian cuts will require cuts in vital services including, public safety, education, research & development and support for such vital programs as the Public Broadcast System and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association Annual Meeting: Close to our hearts. MOFFA will hold its annual meeting this coming Saturday (February 19) from 8 to 5:30 PM at the Maryland Department of Agriculture Building at 50 Harry S. Truman Drive in Annapolis. Whether you farm, garden or just are a healthy food forager you will find this event to be exciting and informative. You can meet me there. (To enlarge, click news clip).

Finally, we wish you all a sweet and loving Valentines Day! We hope that you are with someone who is near and dear. And if not try Skyping it’s free, fun and could even include a dash of spice. (This is not an add for either Skype,Victoria’s Secret or Phillips Florals).

 

Photo: Phillips 1-800 Florals

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jeanette Malinow permalink
    February 14, 2011 10:42 pm

    After listening to the protests in Egypt I turn on the news from Wisconsin and I see a frightening parallel. Wisconsin’s governor, after refusing to raise taxes on the wealthy, is going after pensions, salaries, the unions, etc. and preparing to use his National Guard to enforce his program. Who does he represent? Wisconsin citizens are already gathering in the sreets in protest. Such movements by state governments, and the federal government, are doing the bidding of powerful forces in the U.S.A. whose goal is to amass power and wealth for themselves. They won’t share their profits with the workers who produce the profits. They won’t pay their fair share of taxes. Isn’t this what’s happening in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, etc? Are right wing Republicans doing the job for future dictators in our country? Are we being processed to become another third world country?
    Thanks for your Blog, Hank. It always make me think deeper. Jeanette

  2. Imani Kazana permalink
    February 14, 2011 4:06 pm

    Thanks for your letter to our President. It may have been insensitive when Marie Antionette said, “let them eat cake” when her subjects were starving, but it appears that many of our politicians may be willing to not only relagate our citizens to hunger, but also have our people freeze or roast to death in the absence of utility assistance. Hopefully he will hear you on behalf of US. If not, who can we realistically rely upon, with meaningful clout, to do so ? This seems to be the dilemma of the lower and lower/middle class in America at this time.

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