Soledad O’Brien pins GOP’s Sessions over fiscal cliff proposal to cut food stamps to kids

Soledad O’Brien does it again.  As part of her ongoing crusade to ask serious people serious questions, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien asked Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions to explain why he thinks balancing the budget on the backs of starving children, by cutting food stamps, is a good idea.

(Sessions is the worst of the worst. He’s a walking stereotype of your worst nightmare of a politician from Alabama.)

Sessions was speechless.  Nearly. It’s not often that journalists have the nerve to ask US Senator actual normal questions with normal follow-up questions when they don’t answer the first one.

Mother Jones does a great write-up of the interview, here’s one great quote:

Then, O’Brien went for the jugular. “I mean, it’s 61 percent of households in your state have children who are recipients of the food program they are on,” she said. At a loss, Sessions attempted to shift the conversation. “Do you think there’s no problem with the program?” he asked O’Brien. “Do you think it’s perfectly well-run?”

“I guess my question would be, when are you thinking of things to cut… Why not cut something else? There are other things that could be on the table before you pick a program that is feeding the nation’s poor children.”

And here’s a great pic of Sessions, just stone-faced, as O’Brien looks at her notes and says, wait, you just complained about the Food Stamp program growing, but you voted twice to expand it.  Priceless:

Soledad O'Brien asks Sen Sessions why he wants to starve poor children

Yes, my favorite 16 deadly Sol-splainin’ faces were out in full force.  Sessions didn’t have a chance.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • UncleBucky

    Yep. Just as in Michigan, people’s “jobs” are turning into McJobs whenever people like Sessions and Snyder get their way. And a minimum wage, part time job in an at will state always put people on the edge. This is the greatest injustice. We need to get a pic of Sessions entering a church and either glitter bomb him or get him to talk on the beatitudes, parables and Lord’s Prayer and the way he has voted — or BOTH. Haha.

  • rmthunter

    If Dick Durbin walked into a room and said “The sun is shining,” I’d be convinced it was an imposter — he’s never that clear-cut.

  • rmthunter

    Actually, Mark Begich is reportedly introducing a bill in the Senate to raise the payroll tax cap — I think that puts him on the side of no benefit cuts. And Sanders has written a letter to the President calling for no benefit cuts, which has, last I looked, 29 signers.

  • lynchie

    The only politician who is vocally against it is Bernie Sanders Independent from Vermont. The rest would vote in favor because it does not effect them.

  • lynchie

    She better be careful she will be out of a job.

  • lynchie

    You are right. But they never say the why. They talk about fraud, the I know someone who knows someone who told me a guy he knows is working and collecting UI benefits it is always some anecdotal “one guy” bullshit. Well report the guy who is committing fraud but don’t condemn the thousands who need UI or in this case food stamps. You can cut a couple of fighter jets and save the money for the program. Funny defense spending is never mentioned. We need more to bomb and kill little brown and yellow people so we can take their resources for our own.

    One final point is the people of Arkansas keep voting Sessions in, had to understand.

  • A reader in Colorado

    That doesn’t even make sense, LOL.

  • A reader in Colorado

    And Soledad O’Brien never actually touched on that point, the point you just made, about Senator Sessions’ self interest, did she? The point being made about Soledad O’Brien being some caustic ball-nailing super-interviewer being funny.

    Maybe it’s a matter of relativity. She IS better than other interviewers. Just, oh so not good.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Good one!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Give it a rest o crabby one. Ever heard of snark?

  • ezpz

    “Who are the others?” Probably most of them, despite their rhetoric to the contrary.
    (An easier question with a shorter list would be: Who are the ones who oppose the cuts?)

    Off the top of my head, I would say all the blue dogs are in favor of cutting/privatizing/ and otherwise scroooing the elderly, the disabled, the poor, the infirmed, etc. And let’s not forget Durbin. (Yes, he kind of walked it back, but not really – he said the Medicare eligibility age should not be raised *until* obamacare is fully in effect.):

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/11/raising-medicare-eligibility-age-durbin.php

    http://news.firedoglake.com/2012/12/10/medicare-eligibility-age-increase-rejected-by-obama-allies/

    (Comments on the above fdl thread are very informative)

    GP had a list that I can’t seem to find right now, but maybe it’s one of the links in one of the following:

    http://americablog.com/2012/12/blue-dog-steny-hoyer-2nd-dem-in-the-house-wants-benefit-cuts-what-will-obama-do.html

    http://americablog.com/2012/11/leaked-deal-memo-for-last-years-grand-bargain-obama-willing-to-go-quite-far.html

  • Swami_Binkinanda

    That’s why gay marriage and dope are legal in Washington, the state FDR referred to as “the Soviet of Washington.” It explains everything. Rotten Democrats and their evil pricking!

  • A reader in Colorado

    Yes, you’re right about the why.

    But in this instance, I’m more interested in the fact that they do.

    You can explain it away, but to explain it away is to somehow dismiss the fact, and I’m not interested in explaining and then dismissing the fact as “explained”.

    Why does Senator Sessions go after poor people wanting a meal, as opposed to making BP pay for their environmental destruction to the tune of a hundred billion dollars? Why is he interested in personal responsibility for the food stamp recipient, and not at all interested in personal responsibility for BP?

    And when I say that, I am not actually interested in why. I’m interested in highlighting the fact that he does it.

  • condew

    About those “asset tests”, is it fair that when the people who pay the taxes that support all these programs hit a rough patch that they get told that there is not one damn bit of help available for them. I mean, you can’t eat a house even if it is doomed to foreclosure. And why is it that someone who worked and saved has to suffer the additional penalty of trashing his life savings while the one who never saved a dime gets medicaid and foodstamps he never supported with his taxes?

  • condew

    I’d love to see her grill Steny Hoyer, who is one of those who have been campaigning to cut Social Security. Who are the others?

  • condew

    The reason they don’t go after the people defrauding the government out of trillions (aside from those people being themselves and their friends)is that big corruption has lawyers, catching major fraud is time consuming and expensive, while people on food stamps are totally defenseless.

    This is why the IRS has been know to prefer to go after middle class and lower tax cheats; rich tax cheats have lawyers and staff to tie the government in knots, while the not rich are easy pick’ns. It’s easier to go after 1000 people who each owe $10K than it is to go after one of the 1% who owes $10 million.

  • condew

    Clearly the problem with all these programs for the poor is that they provide no opportunity for a CEO to get rich and then kick back a portion to a Republican politician. I mean, feeding poor kids is all well and good, but the real purpose of government is to help rich people get richer. /snark

  • Naja pallida

    Sessions is lying, and just wants to divert money from helping people, and upholding the social contract of a civilized society, to greasing the palms of his corporate friends. There’s nothing more to it. The fraud rate in the SNAP “food stamp” program is around 1% as reported by several extensive studies that have been conducted recently. Somewhere around 750 million per year, give or take. That’s including all forms of fraud, from selling benefits for cash, to getting things that are not supposed to be covered, like cigarettes and alcohol. All being said, that is astoundingly low. Private insurance fraud has been reported at somewhere above 10% of payouts. The defense industry alone defrauds the government to the tune of ~$110 billion every year… more than 1.1 trillion over the last decade. Sessions is a fraud. If we want to start eliminating fraud some place, we should start with him.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Don’t hold your breath, like Rachel she’s an Obot hustler.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    David Gregory? Who aspires to be a lick spit like that?

  • A reader in Colorado

    Here’s my question.

    Why do people who talk about government waste not first go after the largest source of government waste FIRST?

    When you’re going after food stamp recipients, something is wrong. And you can tell with all the rationalization. People aren’t helped off dependency by making them starve.

    And if people are committing fraud, the natural thing to do is to go after people who are defrauding people to the tune of TRILLIONS, before those who people are assert are defrauding the government to the tune of HUNDREDS.

    Another thing: Sessions just said “unemployment is going down” as an excuse to cut food stamps.

    Any embarrassment for the ability to use that excuse from the Obamabot Happy Days are Here again unemployment is vanishing folks?

    No, unemployment, Senator Sessions, is NOT disappearing. People are getting McJobs and losing their unemployment benefits and are falling off the rolls.

  • FuzzyRabbit

    Someone forgot to tell Soledad O’Brien that the job of reporters is not to inform the public, but to tell us only what the ruling class wants us to hear.

    If she keeps asking hard questions of politicians she might not get invited to the Washington insiders’ cocktail parties. What is wrong with her? Doesn’t she want to be buddies with Karl Rove, like David Gregory?

  • NCMan

    Still, I would think that by now, they would stop going to her. They can always go on “Meet the Press”, David Gregory will let them say whatever they want unchallenged. Remember, he once stated that it isn’t his job to challenge lies.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Poor, hungry people are morally inferior—-that’s the attitude.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    In California you practically have to give DNA samples and register fingerprints with the FBI. The abuse that exists is on the recipients.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yep, it’s confusing. I thought most Democrats are the lesser of two evil pricks.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Damn Soledad rocks! Pulitzer!

  • ezpz

    Does she ever take democrats to task, like the ones who are itching to slash/privatize Medicare/SS? Or the ones who *would* raise the eligibility age in the name of y’know, compromise?

    And I do ask in earnest because I don’t watch her show.

  • dula

    Eeeeew look at his smug little douchey smile at 2:42 when he figured out that Soledad was going to pursue his lies.

  • dula

    It’s gettin’ hard out there for a douche. What with CNN calling Repubs on their sociopathic bullshit, soon they’ll only be able to go on Fox to catapult the propaganda.

  • ezpz

    As are most democrats.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I don’t know. Though there was an article somewhere today about how republicans are finally realizing that they have to move beyond Fox.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Food Stamp Death Panels.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I do agree about that, I’d have liked to her have more info about this supposed abuse, because knowing Sessions, I doubt it’s legit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001426939279 Carl Kerstann

    Yep, and would anyone trust him to make those choices?

  • Buford

    So, in other words, Sessions and people like him want a little more power to determine who they think are worthy of food stamps… and which ones they think are just lazy or inferior by their nature.

  • Charles Kinnaird

    As an Alabamian, I must say that Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III (yes, that’s his full name – sounds like something out of Gone with the Wind) is a constant embarrassment.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I wish there was more real info in this segment. Soledad (who I love) just repeats that lots of people use food stamps, Sessions keeps saying that his amendment cuts down abuse. Both could be right; we don’t know because no one offers specifics. Does his amendment simply cut money out of their budget, based on a loose estimate of the dollar amount of fraud he thinks is occurring? Or is he actually proposing substantive changes? Cut the posturing, just give us actual facts.

  • NCMan

    I’m stuck wondering why, after the last few months of her great questioning, republicans continue to go on her program.

  • nicho

    Most Republicans are just hateful pricks.

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