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pathology test sample jar containing a urine specimen
Looking at the range of drug testing-for-benefits bills being pushed in state legislatures across the country, you almost have to suspect Republicans of some kind of urine fetish. In addition to all the states that are debating or have passed bills requiring people applying for unemployment insurance benefits to pee in cups, drug-testing bills aimed at welfare applicants are being introduced in three states. The specifics would be ripe for comedy if we weren't talking about a concerted effort by the powerful to stigmatize vulnerable people as drug addicts, as if that's the only reason a person might need help in an economy in which there are still more than three job-seekers for every job opening:
The Ohio State Senate held a second hearing Thursday night on a proposal to establish pilot drug-testing programs in three counties. Under the proposal, applicants would be required to submit a drug test if they disclose that they have used illegal substances. The proposal was first introduced in the spring, but pressure from opponents led Gov. John Kasich to squash the bill in May.

Virginia Republicans are also reviving a bill that was shelved earlier this year. The 2012 version failed after the state estimated it would cost $1.5 million to implement while only saving $229,000. The bill’s sponsor, Delegate Dickie Bell, has not introduced the updated version yet, but says he’s found more cost effective options.

Those would have to be some pretty damn significant changes to the cost structure to erase a nearly $1.25 million deficit. Virginia wasn't the first to run into that kind of problem; a Florida law mandating drug-testing of welfare applicants cost the state money because so few people's tests were positive, leaving the cost of the tests higher than the savings from denying people benefits. And that's leaving aside the cost of the lawsuits for a law that was ultimately found unconstitutional.

Both Ohio and Kansas legislators are trying to pretend the goal is to help people rather than to associate welfare recipients with drug abuse in the public debate, claiming that they just want to be sure people get the help they need. Bear in mind that in Florida, just 2.6 percent of applicants didn't pass their drug tests. So when you have Republican legislators who don't show any signs of wanting to help any kind of working-class or middle-class people, even, suddenly dripping with concern for welfare applicants ... well, you just have to call bullshit.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 08:35 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Drug tests for legislators and bankers too! (11+ / 0-)

    And mandatory psych evals!  Especially the ones feeling a compulsion to order testing for the poor.

    When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

    by antirove on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 08:40:04 AM PST

    •  Leadership!! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hnichols, Tinfoil Hat, rlochow, antirove

      Drug use could lead to blackmail, the standard excuse for testing safety and security workers.

      Well the legislators and the financial guys can seriously reduce safety and security by their decisions and actions.

      Wall Street types have admitted to using drugs, and the collapse of finance shows all the signs of drug use, sober bankers would never, ever risk their business, would they?

      Highway bridge on I-35, the guy who sequestered the repair funds must have been on drugs.

      Publishing i. e. leaking information that compromises the war on terror, when someone leaked the names of covert operatives; again that someone(s) must have been under the influence or open to blackmail??

      But above all, if you expect people in the aviation field to do random drug testing then the legislators should face the same random testing, for the above reasons.

      •  That radical idea of everyone being equal under (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the law obviously doesn't apply to Republican leaders but just to us commoners and peasants and the poor.  Law makers are special, part of the 'elite' that is annointed by God to pass all laws necessary to keep the poor in check and constantly monitored, and help the rich to get richer 'fairly'--as they are due.

        When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

        by antirove on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 06:30:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Some people are just more equal than others. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          laurnj, 4CasandChlo

          I'm surprised Mr. Rmoney didn't expound on this.

          The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

          by xxdr zombiexx on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 09:09:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, he did. . . I'm sure, somewhere: (0+ / 0-)

            I just have blocked that entire thing from my mind.

            But, if they ARE REALLY concerned with getting people HELP. . . then I have an idea.

            I think it is just AWESOME that the gov just wants to help.  I think they should do this WAY MORE.  

            - Want that big tax cut on capital gains rather than ordinary income?  OK, but we really want to HELP you too, so if you will just pee in this cup, once we make sure you don't need help, you can have that tax cut. .

            - Want that big defense industry contract?  OK, but we really want to HELP you, so if the board of directors and management will just step up and pee in this cup. . .

            - Want to register as a lobbyist in Washington?  OK, but we really want to HELP you, so if you will just. . .

            Anyone who doesn't initially see how this is all bull shit need only look at all the other contexts where this "help" could be used and if they are honest. . . well, nevermind.

            Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

            by 4CasandChlo on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:33:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Anyone getting some type of tax dollars should get (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tcorse, GMFORD, Batya the Toon

      tested if they want to be fair.  That literally means every person in the United States would be required to do it since everyone gets tax dollars one way or another.

    •  would also like to see (0+ / 0-)

      no guns or ammo for welfare recipient.  Why should my tax dollars pay for some else's weapons of mass murder?  

      For that matter protien from meat and fish and poultry is incredibly expensive.  When I was living on a budget, I hardly ever ate any of these.  Why do I have to pay for them when a person could buy beans much cheaper?

      And why isn't congress doing something about the junk food loophole.  Right now it is technically possible for a person to use benefits to buy chips and coke.  Why is this allowed?

      Really we all know that 'food stamps' and other free food programs have nothing to do with feeding the hungry.  Such benefits are almost accidental.  The real purpose is to provide consumers, so that even in times of crisis and recessions, stores, manufacturers, and ranchers can still insured of a high level of revenue. Many stores make much of their profit on  'welfare check day' and really want the feds and state to stagger payments more so their revenue is steadier.  This is why such threats are so dangerous.  Not because it mean that some people will unnecessarily go hungry,   but because it means the congress critters have no notion of how our economy actually works.

      •  Umm... (0+ / 0-) some parts of the country you can use the guns and ammo you want to bar to get free meat which you claim to be expensive.

        •  What? Run that by again? Wasn't the argument (0+ / 0-)

          that ARs and AKs are "sporting weapons" for "target shooting" and general blasting at events like this?

          "Mmmm, creamed squirrel! It's really good if it's fixed right!"

          "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

          by jm214 on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 01:01:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  or you could use them for armed robbery (0+ / 0-)

          in order to get money for food......

        •  inconsistent (0+ / 0-)

          You can't use the money to buy live animals to breed and get food, so why would it be ok to use the money to hunt live animals?  You see this is a standard conservative trick.  Change the rules when they are no longer convenient. It is bad to let people have cheap street drugs so they can self medicate, but good to let people have guns so they can murder their neighbor.  You see if they murder their neighbor then that is one less family that has to get welfare

          You see, now I played a trick.  Changed the gun conversation from hunting to murder, and implied that everyone who lives in an area gets welfare if one person gets welfare.

          •  Why can't you use... (0+ / 0-)

            ...welfare money to buy live animals to breed and get food? Does any state have a rule preventing it?

            In reality, it may be difficult to afford to breed large animals when living on welfare (due to cash flow issues), but I wouldn't be surprised if there are quite a number of welfare recipients who keep some small animals (such as chickens for eggs).

            But in some parts of the country it's very inexpensive to hunt deer for food. If you're a good shot and have good tracking skills, it costs you one round of ammunition (and a hunting license) to get as much as around 100 pounds of meat (depending on type, age, and gender of said deer).

            Anyway, I was responding to you inexplicably turning the conversation from drug testing to guns -- including guns that would have little use in "mass shootings" but could be quite valuable in obtaining food legally and economically.

            And, the proposal, even though it may be lame, is to test welfare recipients for illegal drugs. You were proposing that they be banned from owning perfectly legal firearms because you find them offensive.

    •  blue states should start passing laws (0+ / 0-)

      that require the same drug testing for bankers and ceo and corporate executives for corporation that take corporate welfare. let republicans argue against that. see how quick these state level intiatives are put to an end.

  •  I enjoy asking conservative supporters (6+ / 0-)

    Of these measures when they're going to submit their own specimen for testing.

    They are almost always outraged that I would make such a demand, and usually depart the thread immediately thereafter when I continue to press.

  •  No testing wihtout probable cause (8+ / 0-)

    The GOP cherrypicks the Constitution once again!
    Gun rights--oh yeah
    Any other rights--fuhgeddaboudit!

    •  "without" dammit nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hnichols, mungley
    •  There's no constitutional right to receive (0+ / 0-)

      welfare benefits.  The government can attach strings to their receipt.  

      •  Unconstitutional. (0+ / 0-)

        No self incrimination. No probable cause. Welfare administrators are not police. There is no need. It is counterproductive and costly. It punishes innocent children if the parents should be denied. Innocent till proven guilty. Et cetera.

      •  You Don't Give Up Your Basic Constitutional (6+ / 0-)

        rights because you get welfare.  People who think that it's  ok, to restrict the constitutional rights of welfare recipients are pretty hideous.

        Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

        by tikkun on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 08:45:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No one would be subject to these... (0+ / 0-)

          ...tests unless they apply for benefits and there is no Consitutional right to these benefits. There is NO Constitutional issue here.

          It's little different than having to submit to drug tests if you want a job with the Secret Service and receive your salary from the taxpayers.

          Personally, I suspect the tests are  a waste of time and money, but until data is collected on the failure rate (or a drop in applications), it's hard to tell.

          Obviously someone who can afford to buy drugs has spare money and it's hard to justify giving them "need based" public benefits.

          I used to live in an area where I saw people drive up in very expensive cars to buy food at the "WIC store". They were members of a religious group which didn't believe in women working and believed in having a LOT of children. I'm also pretty sure a lot of their business was "off the record" so it wasn't counted in their income. I must admit that made me pretty cynical. (And, no, it wasn't Kiryas Joel, but there was some relationship to that).

      •  It's coercive (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cartoon Messiah, laurnj

        People sign up to avoid starving, not because they want to.

        •  Not only that (0+ / 0-)

          but this short sighted pandering to the voters forgets to add one simple fact to the mix....

          Without money for food, people have two choices:

          1. Get a job to get money
          2. Steal money, steal products to sell for money, sell drugs.

          So, has anyone looked at the increase in petty crime in Florida?

          We've been spelling it wrong all these years. It's actually: PRO-GOP-ANDA

          by Patriot4peace on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 04:04:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  But...ther (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Batya the Toon, laurnj

        e is a constitutional right not to have your belongings, in this case a portion of your body, seized without at least reasonable suspicion you are violating the law.  The mere fact that you are receiving a government benefit (either a job or public assistance) does not supply the reasonable reasonable suspicion.  The Ohio law which will require drug testing if you report that you have used drugs in the past probably gets you closer but would still likely not get you there.

        This was the rationale for striking down the Florida law as unconstitutional under the 4th amendment.  Has nothing to do with having or not having a constitutionally protected  interest in a government job or public assistance.

  •  Need mandatory drug tests for state legislators. (4+ / 0-)

    cPreferably every time they vote on bills.  Can't have them legislating under the influence.  Hell, make 'em take a breathalyzer test, too.

    The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

    by TheOrchid on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 09:41:16 AM PST

    •  That's what I say when it comes up. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "You can require me to pee in a cup for my food stamps when the people who design the laws regarding them have to as well."

      When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

      by Alexandra Lynch on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 03:30:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly...and post the results online (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Messiah

      I sure don't want my hard-earned tax dollars going to legislators who go out and spend their salaries on controlled substances.

      Make them pee in a cup weekly with proctors watching, to make sure they don't cheat.

  •  It's all about drug testing companies (7+ / 0-)

    So another billion dollars or so gets sucked into the highly profitable drug testing industry.  Guess the couple million they slid to the Republican state candidates paid out, didn't it?

    Between the courts, the workplace, and now government, probably half the adults in the US end up paying for an intrusive drug test every year.  It's steady income for the health care industry and a growing demand.

    In other words, expect the Republicans to continue to push manditory testing every chance they get to pay off their donors.  

    •  ^Bingo^ /nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      pre-Valentine's Day sale at my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet: 15%off scarves, jewelry, journals, artwork & more! <3

      by jan4insight on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 10:58:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some of the workplace testing is driven by (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      spacecadet1, rlochow, Utahrd, qofdisks

      insurance companies. If they can get a positive test result for an employee who was involved in an accident, they can use that to disallow claims for money.

      There is also a major irony behind the employment drug testing. The only drug that it is effective against is marijuana. All other drugs clear the system in a few days whereas marijuana metabolites remain detectable for weeks after last use. Meanwhile, and I'm not making this up, when it comes to accidents that cause people to end up in the emergency room, it's been found that people who smoked pot within the past 6 hours are 1/3 as likely to end up in the ER as people who are straight. Conversely, people who have had alcohol in the past 6 hours are 3 times as likely to end up there.

      There have also been studies which showed that workers who consume marijuana have a higher productivity level than those who do not, and also better attendance records. They also are somewhat under-compensated relative to their non-pot smoking peers. A study done of high tech companies found that those which do not do drug testing have higher productivity than those that do.

      So workplace safety isn't a valid reason for drug testing, neither is productivity. So why ARE they subjecting millions of Americans to these humiliating tests? I think part of it is just because they can. It is a way of putting us in our place.

      "You want to survive in this society? Here, let us observe you peeing in this cup, and then we'll analyze the contents to make sure you are living the kind of life that WE approve of. You can object, but we don't care if it causes you to starve. It's your own fault for being a degenerate druggie."

      Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

      by kbman on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 12:44:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Courtside seats (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kbman, Bronx59

        I take drug tests at work and I lived to tell about it.

        Drug tests may or may not take find drugs but they are very efficient at generating courtside Utah Jazz tickets for corporate executives who send their employees to be drug tested.

    •  Didn't the Governor of Florida (0+ / 0-)

      used to be the CEO of a urine testing company that got the no bid contract to test the welfare recipient urine for the entire state of Florida?

      Wonder the value of the re-election fund donation Rick Scott got out of that deal.

      We've been spelling it wrong all these years. It's actually: PRO-GOP-ANDA

      by Patriot4peace on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 04:05:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Because as we all know, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    justiceputnam, Cartoon Messiah

    the real point of public assistance isn't to help people feed themselves, but instead to punish drug users.

  •  RW'ers want you... (6+ / 0-)

    A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

    by justiceputnam on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 08:39:38 PM PST

  •  I Am So Grateful I Made It Out of Ohio (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Messiah

    I'm grateful my children and nieces and nephews escaped.  There are many wonderful people and places in Ohio but not enough to avoid a hideous state government.

    Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

    by tikkun on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 08:40:12 PM PST

  •  But remember! (3+ / 0-)

    Big and Intrusive Government is Bad!
    Big and Intrusive Government is Bad!

    Conservatives are about FREEDOM from intrusive and unnecessary state powers!

    Grrrrr! Wingnut Hulk Hate Gubmint! Wingnut Hulk SMASH!

    Um. After poor person pee in cup. Oh.. and Black No Vote Wingnut Hulk Way peoples get ten ID for Vote. On day after election. Yeah. Oh, Grrrrr! Wingnut Hulk Hate GUBMINT!!! Wingnut Hulk SMASH!

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 08:43:43 PM PST

  •  There's a way this could make sense, but I (0+ / 0-)

    rather doubt that's what anybody is up  to.

    The sense?

    The big sell for welfare is to help kids.
    Part of helping kids is making sure their parents can and will take care of them.
    Trouble is, blanket drug tests work against that because blanket drug tests cost money that doesn't need to be spent when there are no indications of drug use, money that could be spent on actually helping mothers with needs.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 08:44:18 PM PST

  •  Not necessarily (0+ / 0-)

    "Looking at the range of drug testing-for-benefits bills being pushed in state legislatures across the country, you almost have to suspect Republicans of some kind of urine fetish."

    Not necessarily.  It IS possible that they are wanting to make sure that welfare benefits are being spent on the necessities of life rather than on recreational chemistry.  This is one time when I think the Republicans have a good idea that Democrats could learn from.  Of course, if someone is doing dope, I can understand why he would object to random drug testing.  So I think that the Progressive community would do well to listen and learn from this policy.

    •  Bullshit (6+ / 0-)

      This is about victimizing an already vulnerable population. Period, full fucking stop. Only Daily Kos etiquette is preventing me from hiding your absurd comment.

      "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

      by MargaretPOA on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 09:00:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did you miss the 1 in 40 positive rate? (6+ / 0-)

      Or the negative return on expenditure for the cost of the testing? Or think about the possibility under repressive U.S. drug laws with mandatory minimum sentences that anyone who tests positive will far more likely be imprisoned than treated? THAT will help their kids a boatload, I'm sure.

      Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

      by OrdinaryIowan on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 09:01:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is a way to increase the positive rate as (0+ / 0-)

        there is one opiate they don't test for.  Simply update the test to include beta endorphin levels and if they are too high then the recipient must take Naloxone/Naltrexone daily to keep them down because otherwise they are "too happy" to get benefits.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 02:21:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's just part of a negative stereotype (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Messiah, Subterranean

      perpetuated by those who see poverty as some sort of moral failure. You could perhaps convince me that this could be appropriate if the applicant had a history of drug crimes and if it were part of a comprehensive effort to assist that person in bettering his situation.

      You can put your shoes in the oven, but it won't make them biscuits.

      by quetzalmom on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 09:26:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  One hitch to this analysis (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Messiah, marykk

      If you've been convicted of a drug related crime in most states you get tested frequently anyway.

      The test at this point becomes a presumptive suspicion of guilt.

      That's not how this is supposed to work

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 11:29:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do you seriously think (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk, Subterranean

      that the only reason to object to mandatory drug testing is because you're doing dope?

      By that logic, the only reason to object to a mandatory strip-search is because you're hiding a weapon in your crotch.

  •  Hate to say that the two people I know (5+ / 0-)

    who are most adamant that welfare and unemployment compensation recipients be harassed and demonized happen to be recently retired policemen (IL and MI) who will be living off the government (high pay, regular increases, full insurance benefits for probably 25-35 years) and they won't shut up about it.
    They are easily torching the system far more extremely (a couple $million each, legally, with no drug tests) than an unwed mother of three just trying to keep a roof over her family and a meal on the table.
    Thank you for this article, Laura.
    I always need help showing the haves what they have not: human kindness and a sense of decency.

    skipping over damaged area

    by Says Who on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 08:54:21 PM PST

  •  They drug test workers whose taxes pay for (0+ / 0-)

    those benefits.
    The Democratic party didn't do much to protect the working-class against unconstitutional (4th amendment) searches without probable cause (mandatory drug testing).
     If it’s going to be fascism, it needs to be fascism for everybody.

    •  Oh come on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I don't get drug tested....I've never been asked to be drug tested. I won't ever work for an employer where that's the norm.

      Shall we also check for alcohol, tobacco and foods that are too expensive? For that matter, why don't we do regular refrigerator checks, and ask that welfare recipients save all their receipts so that they aren't spending unwisely.  

    •  Minor difference (0+ / 0-)

      I get drug tested frequently for my work with some clients.  It's about every 6 months I take a mouth swab or piss in a cup.

      But that's at will employment and I can always choose to leave and work elsewhere.  

      I also agree that there are times it gets egregious, but with some positions, I understand why it happens.

      In this case, though, there is no at-will to need-required aid, instead, it's an additional tax payer cost with a positive rate that barely overcomes the false positive rate

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 11:31:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is public policy, based on right wing... (0+ / 0-)

    This is public policy, based on right wing, hate radio, pure and simple. Limbaugh, beck, et al hyperventilate about having to pay taxes in order to support "welfare queens" and "drug addicts", they make a few threats to right wing politicians about primaries and viola! Public policy based on the fevered imaginations of wealthy people who don't want to pay taxes. Conservatives are cowards and conservative politicians live in abject terror.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 08:57:28 PM PST

    •  I enjoy pointing out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that the cost of the drug testing exceeds the savings in denying welfare to 2% of recipients.

      So, the state must collect MORE in revenue to pay for the drug testing program.

      Urine testing welfare recipients increases the cost of welfare.

      Fucking short sighted assholes, pandering for votes from the ignorant and uninformed.

      Therefore, Republicans are elected overwhelmingly by the ignorant and uninformed.

      We've been spelling it wrong all these years. It's actually: PRO-GOP-ANDA

      by Patriot4peace on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 04:13:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I would imagine the poor buy fewer drugs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Messiah, Batya the Toon

    because they have less money.

    You can put your shoes in the oven, but it won't make them biscuits.

    by quetzalmom on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 09:17:33 PM PST

  •  fascism in a jar: now with more oppression /nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Messiah

    Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ "We're like a strip club with a million bouncers and no strippers." (HBO's Real Time, January 18, 2013)

    by annieli on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 09:54:22 PM PST

  •  well now, those voter ID laws were just (0+ / 0-)

    supposed to cut down on (the nearly non-existent) voter fraud,

    "Both Ohio and Kansas legislators are trying to pretend the goal is to help people rather than to associate welfare recipients with drug abuse in the public debate, claiming that they just want to be sure people get the help they need."

    so it's conceivable. ok, it really isn't, but what else are they going to say?

  •  divide and conquer - oldest trick in the book (3+ / 0-)

    I don't get welfare - so I don't care.

    republicans and democrats alike (Bill Clinton anyone ?) know this shit works.

    expect much, much more of it.

    when things get tough you get tough on the people who can't fight back.

    big badda boom : GRB 090423

    by squarewheel on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 11:03:48 PM PST

  •  Why are their wages, benefits and pee off limits? (3+ / 0-)

    Every bill they passed should apply to them first.

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 03:40:06 AM PST

    •  No reason they shouldn't apply. (0+ / 0-)

      Let's write our statehouse reps and demand they amend these measures to include all lawmakers. Technically, as taxpayer, we are the employer of these public servants. We should inplement a drug free workplace policy for our employees, including random tests. Notwithstanding random testing, many of the bills these lawmakers introduce are reason enough for testing under both reasonable suspicion and probable cause.

      Can I get a Grey Goose on the rocks over here?!

      by G Contractor on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:47:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Install a breathalyzer in the legislature (0+ / 0-)

      Require congressmen to blow in it before each vote.  If they blow positive, their vote is nulled.

      Simple, effective, and transparent.  

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:48:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bill also introduced in Alaska (0+ / 0-)

    It's House Bill 16 in Alaska.  Referred to Health & Social Services Committee.

    "Everybody wants to go to Heaven but nobody wants to die" --- Albert King

    by HarpboyAK on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 03:55:11 AM PST

  •  I'm fine with urine tests just so they're (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for everyone gettign a government check from teh prosident on down.  Equal protection of the law you know so i can't imagine anyone who is God fearing and getting a government check objecting, can you.  This is facisim otherwise, singling out people and forcing them to be violated in their persons.  It is Nazi light until it comes to your body then it will be too late.

    •  Besides the tyrannical nature of this scheme (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If we assumed the R's goal is to reduce the huge cost of drug addiction in this country, they haven't thought this scheme through. For one thing, a rise in crime is inevitable if addicts have no other income. Plus there's the whole "build a better mousetrap" issue as users quickly figure out which drugs are being tested for and which are not. Testing for every possible drug would be outrageously expensive.

      I truly think the R's goal is to funnel tax $$ into the pockets of their generous friends who own testing labs. In that case, requiring drug tests is a big win for them.

  •  Then why not mandate that the entire top executive (0+ / 0-)

    teams of corporations that, excuse me, WHO, get giant tax breaks must first pass a drug test?

  •  Absurd (0+ / 0-)

    Didn't they learn anything from FL? The majority (over 90%) were drug-free. Taxpayer dollars spent on this could go to job training.

    This reminds me of the English-only bills. It's not about helping anyone learn English it is about grandstanding and putting other people down.

  •  Walk up to one of these lawmakers and say (0+ / 0-)

    "I understand that you would like to sniff my pee."

    Then present a urine sample cup, which may or may not contain apple juice.


    Then disappear into crowd.


    Are you a Green who has difficulty telling Democrats and Republicans apart? Well, I have difficulty telling Greens and Maoists apart.

    by Subversive on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:21:38 AM PST

  •  Fair is Fair (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Since welfare money is the first money spent in the economy, it is only fair to urine-test the merchants and recipients of welfare spending: after all, they are the ultimate recipients of welfare money. This includes slum-lords, liquor store owners and pimps.

    BTW: studies show that for every dollar a welfare recipient spends, three dollars are generated in the economy. Sounds like great economic policy.

  •  Aren't we talking about government benefits? (0+ / 0-)

    What is the difference between unemployment benefits, that working people pay into and social security/medicare? If so, why aren't we talking about drug testing people using those benefits? What about all military/federal employees/retirees? Military contractors?
    The fact that these right wingers attempt to villify groups of people, or categorize them as "takers" is part and parcel of their "divide and conquer" strategy. They're great at the divide part. Conquer part? Not so much.

    •  Anybody Receiving Federal Check (0+ / 0-)

      Given what the GOP is doing to the country, everyone who receives a Federal Check should pee in a jar. This goes especyally for Paul Ryan who has received a federal check since he was 16.

      Since there are so many (87% of the population) recipients of Federal largesse, we could the have eight great lakes, the last of which shall be Lake Take-a-Pee which which flow into the great Yellow River.

    •  New government contracts issued pursuant to the (0+ / 0-)

      Service Contract Act do require contractors to implement drug free workplace programs on the particular contract, including random screening.

      Can I get a Grey Goose on the rocks over here?!

      by G Contractor on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 12:46:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I always wonder (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    what the results would be if there were mandatory drug and alcohol testing for legislators. The screams of outrage from lawmakers whenever this is suggested lead me to believe there would be more than a few positives!

    Being "pro-life" means believing that every child born has a right to food, education, and access to health care.

    by Jilly W on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 11:59:50 AM PST

  •  Being Poor in America (0+ / 0-)

    Is already a form of second class citizenship. These laws are more about control and the GOP believing it's found a way to harrass what it sees as the Democratic "base". The tests serve no real purpose, other than forcing a level of secular morality on the poor that the so-called middle class has escaped.

    Should a single mother and her child(ren) be subject to another hoop to jump through for a whopping $325 a month in Welfare/TANF benefits? There is no pure Welfare anymore, everyone in my state(Georgia) has to work or attend school to get that check.

    How about a guy that gets laid off, commiserates with a friend over a blunt. Then after years of paying other peoples unemployment through his taxes is denied his righhtful benefits over a drug test?

    When will this harrassment of poor people end? Maybe when they start testing for viagra and prozac? And how is it that a self administered drug is a societal evil, but one prescribed by a doctor after a $100 office visit, that is designed to do the exact same thing as a $5 bag of weed by a company trying to get its R&D costs back OK? This  pseudo christian morality is stunning in its brazen disregard for its fellow man.

    "It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen."

    by easmachine on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:33:41 AM PST

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