Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Something to Know - 31 July

Is Preparation H not working as well as you would like?  Mar-a-Lago Laboratories has developed a new and terrific product that is sure to please.   Tiny little suppositories with that unforgettable Trump aroma.  Relief is just one itty-bitty shove away. 


Donald Trump Success Deodorant Stick Fragrance for Men, 2.5 Ounce by Donald Trump
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Juan

I'd like to see Paris before I die... Philadelphia will do.
- W. C. Fields

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Something to Know - 30 July

With all the air time spent on the draconian creep of trumpism on our democracy, we are now aware of bold stances to embark on the road of impeachment inquiry, especially since the Mueller Report has been filtered to its basic findings; the president did commit crimes.   Now, this story just adds to the misery.  A hideously ridiculous and and inappropriate tax cut for the wealthy, at the expense of quality of life of so many.  Knocking people off of Affordable Care Act, and this - obfuscating access to programs that feed hungry families.  And the Spineless Republicans cower in fear of the pseudo Fascist.



The Cruel Farce of Cutting Food Stamps

The Trump administration has decided to make a show of fiscal discipline by withholding food from hungry children.

By 

The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.

  • July 29, 2019
    • \

The Trump administration, which often talks about the importance of reducing regulation, has found at least one place where it would like to add red tape. The Agriculture Department wants to make it more difficult for poor children to get enough food.

The department is proposing to end programs in 40 states and the District of Columbia that make it easier for low-income families to sign up for food stamps. The stated rationale is that some people who are getting help do not need it. But the evidence suggests that problem is quite small, while the proposed solution is likely to keep millions of Americans who do need help from getting it.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helped 33.5 million people in the average month over the last year — mostly families with children, older Americans and people with disabilities — to buy a limited range of groceries from a list of supervised retailers. In place of the original coupons, beneficiaries now get an average of $127 loaded on a special debit card.

The program is enormously successful in mitigating poverty. Studies of Americans born in the 1960s, when the program was implemented nationally, show that children in families that received benefits went on to lead healthier and more productive lives.



Most beneficiaries live in households with incomes up to 130 percent of the federal poverty line — $32,640 a year in 2019 for a family of two adults and two children. But in 1996, as part of a broad overhaul of federal aid for lower-income families, Congress let states expand eligibility even as it curtailed benefits. States can offer food stamps to households with incomes up to 200 percent of the poverty line, or around $50,200 a year for a family with two children. States also can waive a requirement that beneficiaries must have no more than $2,250 in assets.

Critics have long argued that the expansion was overly generous; the Trump administration is proposing to substantially restore the old rules. Officials at the Agriculture Department have highlighted the example of Rob Undersander, a 66-year-old Minnesota resident who qualified to receive food stamps even though he had more than a million dollars in assets because Minnesota, like most states, has chosen to waive the asset cap.

Mr. Undersander applied for food stamps in 2016, in the manner of a man who robs a bank to demonstrate the need for more security. He collected more than $6,000 in benefits he did not need, donating the money to charity while seeking to publicize his story.

"There may be other millionaires" on food stamps, an administration official told reporters.

But the proposed changes are not tailored to keep millionaires from getting food stamps. They would keep millions of low-income families from getting food stamps.

The Trump administration estimates that 4.9 percent of beneficiaries live in households with incomes above 130 percent of the poverty line. But all recipients, including those households, still must demonstrate that their disposable incomes, after deductions for housing, child care, and other basic expenses, fall below the poverty line. That's hardly an open-door policy — which is why relatively few households qualify. And those with higher incomes get smaller monthly payments. The program is meant to cover the gap between income and need.

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The administration estimates another 4.1 percent of beneficiaries live in households with more than $2,250 in eligible assets. The standard excludes some kinds of savings, like equity in a home or money in a retirement plan. But it is still draconian. A worker in a minimum-wage job who managed to save three months of salary for a rainy day would lose his or her eligibility for food stamps as a consequence. The threshold was set at $2,000 in the mid-1980s, but only indexed to inflation in 2008. As a result, it has become much more restrictive than the original intent.

A reasonable asset ceiling, set at a level that allows rainy-day savings, has obvious appeal. But the evidence suggests that it would exclude very few people, because those with low incomes tend to have scant savings, and would impose large costs. According to the Trump administration's own estimates, states would have to employ the equivalent of 6,672 new workers solely devoted to asset verification. The government, in other words, probably saved a lot of money by allowing Mr. Undersander to collect some benefits.

In all, the administration says the government can save about $2 billion a year by denying benefits to 3.1 million people who would not meet the old standards. By the same logic, the government could save $60 billion a year by suspending the entire program. But those savings will not come from denying food stamps to millionaires. The vast majority of the government's money is given to Americans who are hungry, so they may eat.

The proposal once again highlights the gap between Mr. Trump's rhetorical promises to help lower-income American families, and the reality of his policies, which have systematically made life more difficult for those very families. The administration has slashed taxes on affluent Americans and significantly increased total federal spending — on Thursday, it announced plans to give another $16 billion to farmers hurt by Mr. Trump's trade policies — even as it seeks to make a show of fiscal discipline at the expense of children.

Congress should move to codify the current food stamp rules, which have been embraced by red and blue states alike, to protect millions of Americans from this act of theatrical cruelty.



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Juan

I'd like to see Paris before I die... Philadelphia will do.
- W. C. Fields

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Andy Borowitz

Government Housing Structure Infested with Criminals and Rats


WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—A government-subsidized housing structure has fallen into a dangerous state and has become thoroughly infested with criminals and rats, a leading congressman warned on Saturday.

The building has become "the territory of vicious gangsters who roam freely and consider themselves above the law," Representative Elijah Cummings, a Democrat of Maryland, said.

The congressman added that notorious gang members took over the housing facility in early 2017 and have "spread terror and despair" there ever since.

"People are scared to be there," Cummings said. "Hundreds have fled."

He said that the horrific conditions within the housing complex are one of the nation's worst-kept secrets. "Many of the people who have fled over the past two years have written books about it," he said. "But the criminals continue to run wild."

The congressman said that he was speaking out for the benefit of the residents in his Baltimore, Maryland, district. "I am alarmed that the nation's worst breeding ground for crime is less than fifty miles from Baltimore," he said.

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Juan

I'd like to see Paris before I die... Philadelphia will do.
- W. C. Fields

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Something to Know - 27 July

Trans Atlantic Partnership
 400 years after the Mayflower
 landed at Plymouth Rock

 
Image may contain: 2 people

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Juan

I'd like to see Paris before I die... Philadelphia will do.
- W. C. Fields

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Fwd: Breaking News: Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello to resign after unrelenting protests

The Democrats should take their millions in so-far donated campaign treasure and bring a Puerto Rican force that camps out and protests in front of the White House and Mar a Lago.   Who knows?   It  May work.




Los Angeles Times
Jul 24, 2019
 BREAKING NEWS 

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello to resign Aug. 2 after unrelenting protests

Puerto Rico's besieged governor says he will resign Aug. 2 after more than 10 days of unrelenting public demands for him to step down, including a protest this week that was one of the largest in the island's history.

The ability of Gov. Ricardo Rossello to govern the U.S. territory had grown increasingly tenuous in the days since Puerto Ricans learned of leaked offensive messages between him and several top aides.


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Juan

I'd like to see Paris before I die... Philadelphia will do.
- W. C. Fields

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Queen Elizabeth Moving to Canada

Photograph by Max Mumby / Indigo / Getty

LONDON (The Borowitz Report)—Queen Elizabeth II is moving to Canada "immediately" and should take up full-time residence there by the end of the week, Buckingham Palace confirmed on Tuesday.

The Queen offered no reason for the move, but the palace indicated that she had been packing her bags for the past several weeks.

In a sign that the Queen's decision is irrevocable, the palace revealed that her beloved corgis had already been flown to Toronto.

In a brief farewell statement to the British people, the Queen explained why she had chosen Canada as her new home. "We speak the language, and our picture's on the money there," she said.

She said that she had "no regrets" about abdicating the throne to her son, Charles. "At this point, there's nothing he can do to make the U.K. more messed up than it already is," she said.


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Juan

I'd like to see Paris before I die... Philadelphia will do.
- W. C. Fields

Something to Figure Out

A News Quiz.   Go back to the 1930s and figure out the relationship of events to what is happening now.

So....what is the difference between these two?    

If you care to, write a letter to someone or to all concerned on your answer.





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Juan

I'd like to see Paris before I die... Philadelphia will do.
- W. C. Fields

Monday, July 22, 2019

Trump Orders Pence to Find Passage in Bible Where Jesus Tells People to Get the Hell Out


Photograph by Al Drago / Bloomberg / Getty


WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Hoping to bolster the core message of his 2020 campaign, Donald J. Trump ordered Mike Pence to locate a passage in the Bible where Jesus tells people "to get the hell out of here," White House sources confirmed on Monday.

According to the sources, Trump summoned Pence to the Oval Office and commanded him to find "somewhere in the Bible" where Jesus "tells people that they don't belong here and they should beat it."

Pence, who seemed startled by the request, asked Trump if he meant the time when Jesus expelled money changers from the Temple, but Trump shook his head angrily. "No, not that. I don't want to piss off Deutsche Bank," he said. "I want something where Jesus tells the poor and the meek or whatever to go back to the shithole places they came from."

After a shaken Pence said that he would "see what I can find," Trump reportedly demanded that the Vice-President also locate a passage where Jesus calls journalists "the lowest form of life."


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Juan

I'd like to see Paris before I die... Philadelphia will do.
- W. C. Fields

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Andy Borowitz

Nation Apparently Believed in Science at Some Point



MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report)—Historians studying archival photographs from four decades ago have come to the conclusion that the U.S. must have believed in science at some point.

According to the historian Davis Logsdon, who has been sifting through mounds of photographic evidence at the University of Minnesota, the nation apparently once held the view that investing in science and even math could yield accomplishments that would be a source of national pride.

While Logsdon has not developed a complete theory to explain the United States' pro-science stance during that era, he attributes some of it to the liberal views of the President at that time, Richard M. Nixon.



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Juan

I'd like to see Paris before I die... Philadelphia will do.
- W. C. Fields

Friday, July 19, 2019

Andy Borowitz

Trump Denies Being at North Carolina Rally



WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Donald J. Trump attempted to further distance himself from a racist chant shouted at a North Carolina campaign rally earlier this week by denying that he had attended the rally.

"I wasn't there," Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday. "If I had been there, you can be sure I would have done everything I could to stop them from chanting."

Trump said that he was furious that thousands of people had apparently assembled in North Carolina to chant racist things when he was nowhere near the rally and thus totally incapable of intervening.

"It's the kind of thing I would have been disgusted by if I had been there to hear it," he said. "Unfortunately, I wasn't there."

On Capitol Hill, Senator Lindsey Graham lashed out at reporters for persistently claiming that Trump had, in fact, attended the rally. "If he says he wasn't there, then, damn it, he wasn't there," a visibly furious Graham said. "How do you people sleep at night?"

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Juan

I'd like to see Paris before I die... Philadelphia will do.
- W. C. Fields