Connectictut Gov. Dannel Malloy blasted Speaker John Boehner as “disingenuous at best and shameful at worst” on Monday for calling some states cheaters and frauds because they are thwarting congressional efforts to reduce food-stamp payments.
“Congress wrote the bill. Congress passed the bill. And now states are implementing the law, your reprehensible comments notwithstanding,” Democrat Malloy wrote in his letter to the speaker.
“Furthermore, your demonization of states that have elected to provide this benefit impugns the children, the elderly, the disabled, the low-wage workers, and veterans who receive such aid by implying that they are a party to something criminal,” Malloy stated.
“Any governor who chooses to undermine the bipartisan reforms in the farm bill is weakening the critical home-heating program and taking money out of every American taxpayer’s pocket,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in response to Malloy’s letter.
At issue are efforts by Malloy and the governors in Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont to maintain current levels of food stamps, officially known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. Those moves could affect portions of the recently passed farm bill aimed at saving $8.6 billion over the next 10 years.
The farm bill’s much-touted reductions were brought about largely by changing eligibility requirements for food stamps, which are based in some cases on eligibility for low-income heating assistance provided by the states. As many as 17 states could pay out as little as $1 to recipients to boost that person’s eligibility for food aid. The farm bill changed that requirement to at least $20.01, and the assumption was that the federal funding for the food-stamps program would decrease as a result.
Yet in an effort to avoid the cuts, Connecticut officials have shifted an added $1.4 million of funds available under the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program to meet the new threshold. The move is expected to preserve about $66.6 million in annual food-stamp benefits for households in Connecticut.
And other states have said they are pursuing or considering similar efforts.
Malloy, in his letter on Monday, noted that media accounts have quoted Boehner as responding, “Since the passage of the farm bill, states have found ways to cheat, once again, on signing up people for food stamps…. And so I would hope the House would act to try and stop this cheating and this fraud from continuing.”
But Malloy pointed out that his state and others are implementing an option spelled out in the law.
“To characterize as cheating and fraud states’ implementation of this provision is disingenuous at best and shameful at worst,” Malloy wrote. “Congress intended to grant states the authority to provide this vital benefit, which is a lifeline to some of our most vulnerable constituents.”
“To the contrary, I think most would argue that denying residents of my state $112 a month in nutrition assistance is morally wrong,” he stated.
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Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
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At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”