Sunday, September 30, 2012

When Politicians Lie-- Billy Long lies to Springfield News-Leader: HOT DIGGITY DOG

Today's Springfield News-Leader has an article on the MO7 congressional race of incumbent Billy Long and challenger Jim Evans:  Long, Evans sound alarm on cuts

In reporter Josh Nelson's article he writes:

Long noted he didn’t agree to debates during his primary race this summer either. Long also refused to debate Democrat Scott Eckersley in 2010.
Here is a photo of  Scott Eckersley and Billy Long at an October 2010 debate,  you know, the one Billy said he refused to do.  Photo credit to Brett Piper, KOLR-TV and KSFX-TV.

Hot diggity dog. Anytime you lie, Billy, I'm going to holler out 'Hot diggity dog.

Long did not debate during the primary race this summer but he did debate during the primary 2010. In fact there are numerous accounts, complete with photos, of Long being text'd answers to debate questions on his cell phone during the debate.

Here is a photo of  Tim Davis and Billy Long participating in that debate.

Getting back to Nelson's story: Did Billy Long directly state he refused to debate Democrat Scott Eckersley in 2010 or did he just imply that and let Josh Nelson reach that conclusion?

Either way, "HOT DIGGITY DOG" Billy.

Billy Long and Scott Eckersley debated three times during the 2010 election.

Long's campaign even sent out a press release:
Republican Seventh District Congressional Nominee Billy Long has agreed to three more debates/forums before the general election.
“I’m pleased that voters will have an opportunity to hear about real issues,” said Long. “I am fed up with Washington. We need to get our country back on the right track and stop Nancy Pelosi’s agenda.”
The one-hour debates/forums agreed to are sponsored by: KSNF - Joplin. October 6th. KWTO- Springfield. October 7th. The Young Conservatives-Springfield. October 19th.
The Springfield News-Leader published a story about the debate you and Eckersley had in Joplin on October 6, 2010:

Of course, Billy may not want to remember that debate--- that's the debate where Long denied filling out surveys stating that he wanted to dismantle Social Security and Medicare.

"Hot diggity dog. Anytime you lie, Scott, I'm going to holler out 'Hot diggity dog.' And you lied last night. You lied consistently about me that I signed some kind of a questionnaire."

Unfortunately for Billy, he DID fill out and sign quite a few questionnaires and surveys where he states, quite emphatically I might add, that he was in favor of dismantling Social Security, privatizing the Postal Service and ending farm subsidies. Long also voted "YEA" for the Paul Ryan budget which changes Medicare as we know it and turns the program into a voucher system.
So when Long accepts money, endorsements or signs pledges from groups and individuals that advocate the privatization of Social Security, as does Conservative Congress, Americans for Tax Reform (see link above), John Boehner, the Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and others Long is aligned with, then that is a pretty reliable indicator that Long favors dismantling the Social Security program and privatizing it.
Billy Long is lying when he says or implies to the reporter (who wasn't on the SN-L staff in 2010) that he did not debate Scott Eckersley in 2010.

Again, from reporter Josh Nelson's article:
Long said he still identifies with some of the ideals of the Tea Party such as cutting spending and rolling back the size of government."
What ideals does he NOT identify himself with? And when did he stop identifying himself with these ideals?

Last time we heard, Billy was "tea party before tea party was cool"

Remember when he told the NPR reporter (and the Philadelphia Inquirer reporter and the C-SPAN reporter and The Daily Caller-- well you get the drift he was talking to EVERYBODY!) : "You remember that old Barbara Mandrell song 'I was country before country was cool?'" Long said. "We've been tea partying. in the seventh district of Missouri before the tea party was cool* We believe in smaller government, lower taxes and sticking to the constitution."

I guess 'sticking to the constitution' is one of the tea party ideals Billy's not identifying with anymore.  Remember when Billy told us his copy of the constitution was "like a horse: rode hard and put away wet"?  I do.

Billy doesn't like sequestration either.  Again, quoting Nelson's story
Long called the sequestration plan a 'bill of goods,' because the plan was crafted in such a politically harmful manner that lawmakers would not let it go into effect..."
What Long conveniently neglects to tell the reporter is that Long vote "YEA" for the Budget Control Acto of 2011 and, on August 1, 2011  Long's office issued  a press release about his "YEA" vote:
Today in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Billy Long voted in favor of the Budget Control Act of 2011, a bipartisan bill that would cut excessive federal spending, create enforceable spending controls, form a deficit reduction committee, establish a balanced budget vote provision, and prevent America from defaulting on debt obligations."
When did Billy change his mind about this bill and why did Billy change his mind about this bill?

From Talking Points Memo, July 2012 Republicans want off the hook for voting for defense sequester:
Republicans have been been clear that they do not regard deep, looming cuts to defense and domestic programs — the enforcement mechanism at the heart of last year’s debt limit agreement — as a reason to compromise with Democrats and put real tax revenues into the mix of cuts and reforms required to reduce deficits over time.
But in recent weeks they’ve taken things a step further. They’ve disavowed the so-called “sequester” altogether and handed full responsibility for its existence to President Obama — despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of them voted to implement it last August.
This is why Billy won't debate: he can't get past the talking points.

That and he's afraid of Jim Evans.

Oh, lots of things to remember about Billy Long.  Remember in Tampa, during the Republican convention, when he appeared at that comedy club?  I do.  

LIVE, FROM TAMPA FLORIDA, IT'S BILLY ""I'm a congressman. Not too proud of that, but I am." LONG!

Remember Billy's first speech on the floor of  The House of Representatives?

I do.

He said he wanted to cut the cheese. (read the comments, they're funny)

Remember when Billy told me that "he ain't afraid of nobody"

---  I guess he was lying then too.

Billy's lied to us before.  Remember what he said at the post office meeting?   
You catch a lot more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. So, when you tell stories about me through some of your representatives that I want to privatize the Postal Service, which is an out and out lie, that doesn't help you any with me or my office. So...

Of course the problem here is that Billy DID say he wanted to privatize the Postal Service: On June 10, 2010 Long signed his name to this statement: "I will support legislation aimed at protecting taxpayers by privatizing government-sponsored corporations and enterprises such as the United States Postal Service, adding in his own handwriting that "..the USPS...would be enhanced by privatization."

The News-Leader article said that Long "also noted he regularly makes himself available for constituent meetings when he's back in the district." Contrast that statement with the implied threat in Long's own words "that doesn't help you any with me or my office, so...."

And that's the problem with Billy Long.  When he lies about -- or conveniently forgets -- that he participated in three debates with Scott Eckersley in 2010, that he did say he wanted to privatize the Postal Service, that he did vote "YEA" on sequestration in August 2011,-- all statements that are well documented, what else is Billy lying about?

Ah jeez.

*Turns out Billy wasn't even the author of that statement, Joe Barton of Texas was.

For more on the Billy Long / Scott Eckersley debates during the 2012 campaign, google Billy Long Scott Eckersley Debate.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

When Did Billy Long Change his mind on farm subsidies?

In today's News-Leader editorial: Farm Bill leaves food states hanging while candidates campaign.  "On a recent visit with the News-Leader Editorial Board, U.S. Rep. Billy Long expressed his frustration with the House’s failure to pass a farm bill."

The current farm law, which extends subsidy payments to farmers and pays for food stamps, is scheduled to expire Sept. 30, with no new law in place for the first time in recent memory.

The editorial notes Billy Long expressed his frustration with the House’s failure to pass a farm bill: "To be fair, our local representatives have spoken out in support of getting a farm bill. Long, R-Springfield, noted what every farmer knows — farmers need a five-year bill to “provide certainty to the agriculture community.”

When did Billy change his mind on farm subsidies?

 During his 2010 campaign Long stated (pretty emphatically I might add) that "I will support the elimination or reduction of obsolete agricultural subsidies." Long then took the time time add to that statement, in his own handwriting: "Our food supply is important and should be able to operate in a free market without the distortions of government's politically motivated subsidies."

From the bus garage, October 10, 2010: Billy Long farm tour-- will he tell the farmers he wants to end farm subsidies?".

 An agricultural subsidy is a governmental subsidy paid to farmers and agribusinesses to supplement their income, manage the supply of agricultural commodities, and influence the cost and supply of such commodities. Examples of such commodities include wheat, feed grains (grain used as fodder, such as maize or corn, sorghum, barley, and oats), cotton, milk, rice, peanuts, sugar, tobacco, and oilseeds such as soybeans.

In 2010 Billy was against farm subsidies.

In 2012, Billy is for farm subsidies.

When did Billy change his mind? More importantly, WHY did Billy change his mind? When did Billy "flip/flop"?
We don't know, we'll probably never know as long as Long refuses to hold town hall meetings with is constituents or debate his opponent.

 I'll bet the John Deere dealer is glad Billy changed his mind on subsidies.

And then there's that little matter of Billy's "YEA" vote on H.R. 579 --a $1.047 trillion bill funding the federal government through March 2013 that will permit funding for Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare--including the regulation that took effect on Aug. 1 that will require virtually all health plans in the United States to cover, without fees or co-pay, sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives, including those that induce abortions.

Billy repeated has said he was against everything in this bill.... so why did he vote "YEA"?

These are the kind of questions Billy needs to answer.

And these questions are the real reason Billy won't debate or appear in live un-scripted town hall meetings with his constituents.

These are the kind of questions we would hope that those who DO get a chance to talk to Billy unscripted would ask.

Step up to the plate News-Leader.

If you don't have any reporters with a historical knowledge of Long's campaign --- I'm sure you can find someone in MO7 who does and who would be glad to suggest areas of discussion.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Billy Long discovers the importance of Medicaid to MO7... but he still votes against it.

This pix of Billy Long and others was taken today at Sigma House in Springfield MO.

Billy or more likely, his staff, posted the photo on Billy's facebook page with this caption: Billy tours the Sigma House of Springfield and learns how important it is in serving the community.

Billy tours the Sigma House of Springfield and learns how important it is in serving the community.

Billy is just now learning about the importance of programs like Sigma House?

Ah jeez.

Sigma House receives funding from Medicaid through contracts with the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse*. These contracts provide a significant source of funding for the recovery centers. Other revenue is derived from federal substance abuse rehabilitation programs, courts system programs and local government.

We know Billy watched Bill Clinton's speech last night on C-SPAN, he tweeted that he was watching: Billy Long ‏@auctnr1: Watched #DCN2012 but TV was Time Warping or I got C-SPAN '92 Clinton Speech? No talk of abortion. social issues, business-bashing or Bain?

I guess he must have going to the bathroom or getting a drink when Clinton talked about Medicaid:

Now, folks, this is serious, because it gets worse. And you won’t be laughing when I finish telling you this. They also want to block grant Medicaid and cut it by a third over the coming 10 years. Of course, that’s going to really hurt a lot of poor kids.

But that’s not all. A lot of folks don’t know it, but nearly two-thirds of Medicaid is spent on nursing home care for Medicare seniors who are eligible for Medicaid.

It’s going to end Medicare [sic--he probably meant Medicaid] as we know it. And a lot of that money is also spent to help people with disabilities, including a lot of middle-class families whose kids have Down’s syndrome or autism or other severe conditions.

And, honestly, just think about it. If that happens, I don’t know what those families are going to do. So I know what I’m going to do: I’m going to do everything I can to see that it doesn’t happen. We can’t let it happen. We can’t.
In that sentence of Clinton's -- "They also want to block grant Medicaid and cut it by a third over the coming 10 years" -- he's referring to the Paul Ryan Budget Plan for which Billy Long voted "YEA", twice.

Frequent bus riders will remember when Billy Long, in talking about Social Security and Medicare, repeats the Republican talking point: "I think we need to honor our committment to seniors." And, when he's asked a follow up question, he has no answer beyond the talking point.

From the bus garage, October 9, 2010: Pedaling backwards as fast as he can:
Jim Lee (JL): Well, uh, I, uh, I feel like I'm 62 years old and just whenI get ready to collect Social Security, Boehner's talking about raising the, uh, retirement age to seventy and, and I thought, My God, I worked my butt off for forty plus years.

BL: Yeah, we got to honor our commitment to people.

JL: Yeah.

BL: We can't, we got to honor our commitment to seniors.

JL: Well, then, are you saying that, uh, you would consider raising the Social Security retirement age to seventy?

BL: Listen, I'm, I think we need to honor our commitment to our seniors.
That Paul Ryan Budget Plan that Billy Long voted "YEA" on, twice, thats the plan Billy and "Mr. Vice-President" (that's Billy's pet name for Paul Ryan-- sort of a congressman's crush I guess) while it preserves the existing Social Security plan for those 55 and older,that budget also ends the Medicare guarantee and replaces it with a voucher program and cuts Medicaid funding by 34%. Bill Clinton, Medicaid and the politics of poverty:
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan vow not to touch Medicare benefits for anyone currently 55 or older. But they have made no such assurance about Medicaid. Last night, Clinton reminded America that plenty of seniors–and the middle-aged who are often responsible for and stressed about their care–depend on both programs. (More than eight million seniors are “dually eligible” for Medicaid and Medicare because of low income or disability.)
So when Billy talks about "honoring our commitment to our seniors" he isn't telling you that that commitment doesn't extend to Medicaid.

Think about it. In MO7, Long’s district, his "YEA" vote for the Paul Ryan budget and the Medicaid cuts "would mean a loss of $1.9 billion in federal health care funding over the next decade."

Long's "YEA" vote eliminates coverage for over 143,000 Missouri seniors, individuals with disabilities, children, pregnant women, and others currently enrolled in Medicaid.

And jobs. Think about the job losses in MO7 resulting from Long's "YEA" vote. In today's SN-L there are 111 classified ads seeking help in the medical field.

Think of all jobs in treatment centers like Sigma House, jobs in hospices, home health companies, assisted living facilities, nursing homes and hospitals that would evaporate if the Medicaid cuts Long voted "YEA" on came to pass.

The economic impact on MO7 would be devastating. The impact of these cuts would ripple through the state and local economy, costing jobs for health care providers and suppliers, slowing economic recovery, and reducing income taxes and other revenues.

Yeah, Billy Long, and you are just now learning how important Medicaid is to our community?

I keep remembering what you told that crowd in Tampa during the Republican Convention last week: "I'm a congressman. Not too proud of that but I am."

Neither are we Billy, neither are we.

You might try touring Planned Parenthood also, Billy. You might learn something there also. For over 35 years, Planned Parenthood has been the leading provider, educator and protector for reproductive health care in Southwest Missouri. Planned Parenthood is important to members of our community. You might learn how your "YEA" vote outlaws IUDs, an inexpensive, relatively risk-free means of birth control. I'm pretty sure you are familiar with birth control, Billy. You've got two kids. Or maybe you were just lazy.

*The Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse also is the administrator of treatment programs for problem gamblers and affected family members. Individuals with gambling problems and their families can receive counseling services along with referrals for other supportive interventions, to include 12-step support groups, financial planning and remediation, and legal assistance. Treatment is individualized and services include individual and group counseling and family therapy. Family members affected by a loved one’s gambling can receive counseling services independent of the problem gambler. Services are paid for through the Compulsive Gamblers Fund, which is derived from the fees paid by Missouri casino properties. So maybe, just maybe Billy does support Sigma House, eh?

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Did you ever wonder what Billy Long and Sheriff Joe Arpaio were talking about when they had their photo taken together last week in Tampa?

Couple of weeks ago Todd Akin and Billy Long went on a bus ride together. That's Billy and Todd and a whole bunch of other guys in the photo by Billy's bus. (Shane Schoeller, who's running for Secretary of State, is in the photo also. (He's the SLF third from the left.)He just got a cool half a million dollars in campaign donations from Rex Sinquefeld. Wonder what Rex expects in return?)

But back to Billy and Todd.

Last week Karl Rove "joked" about murdering Todd Akin. Here's some background on Karl's meeting.

Todd Akin didn't think the "joke" was too funny. Todd Akin's office disturbed by Karl Rove joke.

Huh. So a bunch of bloggers in MO7 write things that Billy Long doesn't like and he turns them into the FBI. (Here's a whole bunch of posts about that incident.)

Bungalow Bill discusses Billy's actions also:

Last week, Karl Rove talked about murdering Missouri Congressman Todd Akin. His words were far more dangerous than any thing bloggers have written about Congressman Billy Long. You may remember Congressman Long. Five days into his term as Congressman of Missouri's Seventh District, Congressman Long turned over a list of bloggers who he found worrisome and had their backgrounds investigated and called upon the FBI to intimidate these bloggers... Karl Rove says Todd Akin should be murdered, and where's Long and his staff member's concerns?

Did Billy call the FBI on Karl like he did on those bloggers?

A Big Chris Matthews "HAH"! You know he didn't!

But maybe, just maybe, that's what Billy and Sheriff Joe were discussing when this photo was taken. Surely it wasn't Billy's jokes because both these guys look like sourpusses. btw-- Billy seems to have taken this photo down from his twitter feed. Embarrassed by it, Billy?

This just in: While in Tampa appearing at the comedy club, Billy "I'm a congressman, not too proud of that but I am" Long told a long involved joke about not swimming in the Sea of Galilee because he had nothing to wear. Then this photo surfaces. Unconfirmed reports say this man wearing the bottom half of a speedo bikini while fishing off a boat in the Sea of Galilee last August may not be Billy Long.