I Level View

In this week’s summary of his accomplishments, Rep. Steve Cohen outdoes himself. And I do mean himself because that is what he loves to talk about.

He begins by lauding the heroes of D Day on the 70th anniversary of it. “I hope we all take a moment today to remember the sacrifice of those who lost their lives as well as those who made it past the barrage of Nazi bullets alive and kept fighting to end Hitler’s quest for European dominance. Our nation’s veterans deserve our thanks and the utmost respect.”

Agreed, except when are the Democrats going to do that by addressing the VA scandal?

He moves onto the rape kit backlog issue. “Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Senate’s version of the CJS Appropriations bill and included my $5 million rape kit backlog reduction provision, which will now be considered by the full Senate…

We must do more to cut through this backlog — it’s the least we can do to give victims the justice they deserve and it is an imperative if we want to keep our communities safe from predators. Adding federal funding to help cut down the nation’s backlog improves the chances that Memphis will receive the resources it needs to do the same. My provision to provide additional funding to reduce the rape kit backlog is a step in the right direction.”

It took our Memphis DA Amy Weirich to start tackling the issue of the backlog. Now Cohen comes in and wants credit.

Next he moves on to childhood hunger in Memphis. I don’t have a beef with helping that cause, but must it always be the government? Can’t churches be trusted to do it? The answer is no because there is no glory there for a politician.

Cohen writes, “On Monday, I joined the Summer Food Kickoff at Emerald Square in support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Summer Food Service Program. The program provides free, nutritious meals and snacks to help children get the nutrients they need to learn, play, and grow throughout the summer months when free school lunches are not provided to them.

The wealthiest nation in the world should not send its children to bed hungry, and making sure that they have the food they need should be one of our top priorities. I was proud to support legislation that provided significant funding to the program for this year, and I look forward to supporting President Obama’s request to increase funding to the Summer Food Service Program in next year’s budget. I will continue working hard to protect this vital USDA program and to make sure that no child in Shelby County goes hungry.”

Yes, it’s all about him, isn’t it?

Cohen continues, this time talking about RFK, but in reality, it’s about Cohen:

“Today, Senator Robert F. Kennedy still has a special place in my heart — as well as on the wall in my Capitol Hill office, where I keep several photos of him. When the ACLU of Tennessee awarded me with their Bill of Rights Award, I asked that the quote from Kennedy’s speech at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, two years to the day before his murder, be inscribed on the award:

“’Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope… (and) those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.’”

Off of that hymn to himself, Cohen proceeds to a little more self glory.

“On Tuesday, I joined a 6th grade class at Grizzlies Prep for their “Constitution in the Classroom” program. I enjoyed the chance to speak with bright young students about my role as the Ninth District’s Congressman and why I chose a career in public service. I was also glad to answer their questions about our federal government and the legislative branch of Congress.”

Not sure I’d want him talking about the Constitution to kids, since he doesn’t seem to go along with key provisions of it.

Of course, he can’t continue without a little lecture on the environment. He scolds us, “In 2012, Tennessee’s power plants pumped as much carbon pollution into our air as roughly 8 million cars. With nearly 1 in 10 Tennessee children suffering from asthma, it’s time to do more to protect the air we breathe. This week, the Environmental Protection Agency announced President Obama’s proposal for ensuring that the future of our environment is clean and safe. The President’s proposal enables states to create plans that will cut carbon emissions significantly, help avoid more than 6,000 premature deaths and 150,000 asthma attacks in children nationwide—all while providing as much as $93 billion in other economic and public health benefits.”

Now how can they possibly substantiate a death total of 156,000? Who comes up with these totals? Why not say a million? And why do I have a feeling that the $93 billion he talks about will come out of the pockets of the taxpayers?

Speaking of taxpayer money, he can’t end his missive without a mention of grants: “This week, I announced more than $4.5 million in funding for Memphis organizations. The Memphis Health Center was awarded more than $3.2 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration… I was pleased to announce this significant investment of funding that will help the Memphis Health Center achieve the goals of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and reduce health inequalities and disparities in Shelby County.”

In other words, as we know, funding is all about politics and dependency, not about solving a problem.

Cohen saves the creepiest for last. “It is important that all children have caring adults who are engaged in their lives, but too many young people lack this important support. That’s why President Obama is calling on Americans to sign up as long-term mentors to young people through his new ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ initiative.”

The language is important here. The Biblical reference makes it go down a little more easily, but it is still a watchdog mechanism. It’s an easy step from there to reporting those who do not comply. Watch for the requests for young people to observe and report on their parents next. Are mom and dad doing things you don’t like? Do they object to Obama’s ideas? Are they stopping you from doing what you want?

It’s not a stretch to see that scenario under this leadership.

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