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Wisconsin is one of those states that really hates poor people. (Yeah, we know. Just like the other 49.) The state's Republicans are particularly obsessed with what poors eat, or don't eat, or where they buy food to eat, or whether they're really poor enough to deserve to eat, or how best to humiliate them for wanting to eat. So in addition to separate but "equal" grocery stores, drug-testing welfare recipients, and spying on your neighbors' grocery carts to make sure they're not using YOUR tax dollars to buy unnecessary luxuries like food, Wisconsin Republicans have some more terrific ideas they're kicking around in Assembly Bill 177 to crack down on so-called "low-income individuals" and their fraudulent eating habits:


The department [of Health Services] shall publish on the department's Internet site a current list of the foods for which a recipient must use at least 67 percent of the benefits amount that the recipient uses in a month.

The department shall prohibit the use of benefits to purchase crab, lobster, shrimp, or any other shellfish.

It's not as if we haven't heard conservatives complain, many times, about how people who receive government assistance shouldn't be allowed to dine on lobster -- and by government assistance, they don't mean tax cuts for the rich. Rich people can spend their money on whatever they want because they made it themselves, without any help from anyone at all, and no one in their entire family tree ever received Social Security benefits or Medicare or a public school education, so if poor people want to eat lobster too, they should choose to bootstrap their way to wealth, like Mitt Romney, for example, with nothing but his father's stock portfolio to get him started.

However, that's quite different from participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or FoodShare, as it's called in Wisconsin. Those people, who are probably just faking their low incomes anyway, or wasting all their benefits on drugs, need to be carefully monitored and told exactly what they may and may not eat. The Wisconsin Women, Infants & Children Nutrition Program has a handy brochure of permitted and prohibited foods. Let's take a look!

How about beans, for example? They're cheap, filling, good for you, last forever. So sure, you can buy those. But if the store where you're shopping does not have a 16-oz. bag of dried beans, too bad for you, you're not going to rob your fellow Wisconsinites of their hard-earned tax dollars by purchasing a bag of beans that is more or less than one pound!

And as for organic? Forget it. Organic food is for gainfully incomed Americans. If you're not buying your own food your own self, you'll have your beans in whatever pesticide flavor is available in a one-pound bag and like it! Or not. Who cares? You're poor; what you like doesn't matter. So lucky you if you enjoy Pepperidge Farm Bread's 100% Whole Wheat Cinnamon with Raisin Swirl, but too bad if you like bagels. Any bagels. That is not government-approved poor food. Nor is sharp cheddar cheese; it's "mild or medium only" for you, moocher. And no white rice. And no "herbs, spices or seasonings." And no nuts, not even peanuts, which aren't nuts. But then, ketchup is not exactly a vegetable, and yet it's on the list of prohibited canned vegetables, so there. But really, the department is just looking out for your health, poor people. That's probably why you can only buy "light" canned tuna. Or maybe there is no rhyme or reason to any of these guidelines at all.

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And maybe there's no good reason for Wisconsin Republicans to worry their pretty little cheeseheads about how low-income families are getting fat on shellfish and sharp cheddar cheese, when they should be pissing into cups to prove they're not junkies. Maybe Wisconsin Republicans are just assholes. Just like in the other 49 states.

[Wisconsin State Legislature via RH Reality Check]

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Yesterday afternoon, 45-year-old Gary Martin of Aurora, Illinois was let go from his job at the Henry Pratt Company, a factory that manufactures water valves. In response, he took out a pistol with a laser scope and began shooting at random. He killed five people and injured six others who were just trying to make it through the day at the water valve factory, and then the police killed him.

His mother said he was "stressed out." He "seemed fine" according to the clerk at the Circle K where he bought his cigars that morning. His neighbor thought he was a nice guy. Some people were surprised, others were not.

This kind of thing used to be shocking, but it's a story we're used to now. It gets repeated at least once a month. It's just what happens now, and we can't do anything about it because we can't do anything about gun control. This is, the Right has decided, just the price we all have to pay so they can stockpile guns for funsies, and take sexy pictures of guns shoved in their pants. This is the blood that waters their special tree of liberty.

It's fucking exhausting. And stupid. We shouldn't have to live this way. No one should have to live this way. But we do. Why? Because some day some yahoos might want to overthrow the government, which is (of course) a completely legal thing to do, and their "right" to do that must be protected. So it's literally just never, ever going to stop.

Gary Martin, like most other mass shooters, also had a history of violence against women. In 1994, in Mississippi, he was convicted for stabbing one. He should not have been able to get a gun after that. I would like to know how and why he was able to get that pistol with the laser scope that he killed five people with yesterday afternoon. Maybe someone gave it to him. Maybe he bought it somehow. Maybe someone forgot to do a background check. Maybe he bought it from someone who didn't have to do a background check.

I am so goddamned tired of writing this article. I am out of things to say.

[Sun-Times]

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That's right, Wonkers, while we're all up here in America dealing with the terribleness, your Editrix and her fambly are in MEXICO AT THE BEACH, where they will probably stay for a little while longer or maybe they're never coming back SHRUGGIE EMOTICON. But that's OK, they deserve some time to be AT THE BEACH in MEXICO, oh no, don't get NATIONAL EMERGY CARAVANNED!

Yeah, so it's time to count down your top ten stories of the week, like we do on Saturday mornings. Shall we? WE SHALL.

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