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Weird restrictions on SNAP benefits will humiliate people. Like being broke isn't hard enough.

If you've ever lived a day in the life of a food stamp recipient, you'll know why anyone voting for this restriction is straight-up on a power trip.

Weird restrictions on SNAP benefits will humiliate people. Like being broke isn't hard enough.

Lawmakers in Missouri apparently have solved all of their other problems and have the free time to go after things like this:

Let's hear from someone who has used food stamps in real life, like Donna Dickens (managing editor of HitFix's Harpy):

Sen. Cory Booker took the SNAP Challenge in the not-so-distant past. Here was his takeaway by Day 6:

Today is my 6th day of the SNAP Challenge; my 6th sweet potato; my 6th day of canned beans; and, my 6th day of canned veggies. I still like those foods but I found myself craving some variety. I realize when you find food on sale or buy in bulk, you can end up eating a lot of the same thing over and over.

Some of the people contacting me through social media have shared stories of people buying junk on SNAP or worse abusing the system. Well, after one week eating a SNAP equivalent diet I can't blame someone for buying something as a "treat" or sweets to break up a diet a bit. Also, I know that folks on SNAP don't always have an abundance of wholesome food available to them and end up consuming many empty calories. The fraud and abuse issues do exist but are often overblown or exaggerated.

As my food supply dwindles, I am keenly aware that millions of Americans face food insecurity and hunger on a daily basis. I am deeply concerned, and believe our nation needs to be more attentive and engaged. The SNAP program is at great risk for budget cuts as Washington pares federal spending to avert a year-end fiscal crisis. These cuts to SNAP funding could mean millions of more Americans - families with children, families with elderly and veterans - will live with less food, less options, and less hope.



Here are some quick SNAP facts — for instance, did you know many military families make ends meet by using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits?


People who think you need to go around humiliating and micromanaging those who are using benefits THAT THEIR OWN MONEY PAID INTO WHEN THEY WERE HAVING BETTER TIMES, I ask you:


When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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