Bloomberg Reverses Food Stamp Waiver

Mayor Overrules 2 Aides Seeking Food Stamp Shift – New York Times

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took the rare step yesterday of overruling his own top two social service officials, deciding not to pursue a federal waiver that would make it easier for able-bodied childless adults to receive food stamps.

Well, crap. It seems the left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing (or vice versa).

NY Mayor Seeks to Ease Aid Requirements for Childless Poor

Mayor Seeks to Lower a Barrier for Food Stamps – New York Times

The waiver now being sought by the city, which is expected to be approved by the federal government, would affect adults ages 18 to 49 who are not responsible for a child or incapacitated relative and are not physically or mentally unfit for work. The federal welfare overhaul of 1996 imposed a three-month limit on food stamps in any three-year period for this group, known as able-bodied adults without dependents.
The overhaul allowed states to request a waiver of the three-month time limit for residents of areas with relatively high unemployment rates. Most big cities that have been eligible currently receive the waiver, including Chicago, Seattle and Washington.
“New York has been unusual in being one of the only cities in the country eligible for the waiver that has not had it,” said Robert Greenstein, executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal research group in Washington.

This is an issue that has long bothered me – if you’re poor and have children and you’re not working, you qualify for more benefits than if you’re poor without dependentsm and not working. Some cities had started to address this by applying for the waiver on the 3 month limit, and New York is finally making the move to request it. It’s an issue of fairness – a single homeless or indigent person has a lot fewer resources, and probably is lacking family to fall back on, too.

Oh, Three Or Four Or Five Or Six

I can’t help but be reminded of a stupid mountain lion character that was a hapless foil of Bugs Bunny’s. When Bugs asks “How many lumps?” he’s holding a big wooden mallet. The stupid mountain lion always answers “Oh, t’ree or four” and immediately gets pummeled, even when wearing a saucepan as a helmet. The lumps swell and lift the cooking pot off his head. Funny when you’re twelve, still funny now.

This couple seems to be in the same mold – about as stupid, and getting almost as many lumps for it.


Apparently, she started out with just one, really really big lump. God only knows what’s going on under there.

Kansas City Star | 04/13/2006 | Couple apologizes for sextuplet hoax VIDEO

The scheme began to unravel Monday when The Examiner, a newspaper that serves eastern Jackson County, ran a front-page story that showed the Eversons smiling and holding up six new infant outfits.
Helen Brown, manager of Clem’s Drive Inn (emphasis Blogula Rasa’s) in Independence, said she was immediately suspicious.
Sarah Everson worked there for eight months last year.
“Every boyfriend who came along, she was always (saying she was) pregnant,” Brown said. “Then the boyfriend would go away, and we never heard anything else about the baby.”
In December, Brown said, Everson came in and told her she had given birth to five babies and provided names and weights.
“It wasn’t that she was a bad employee,” Brown said. “It was just that she always had a lot of drama in her life.”
Ambrose said the investigation had shown that Everson had used the multiple birth story several times before.
In January, when the couple was behind in rent, Everson wrote a letter to their landlord, asking for patience because of the challenges of having five new babies.

This is from another paper, the Hamilton Spectator:

Hours before admitting it was a scam, Sarah Everson showed a reporter pictures of her in maternity clothes, her baring a huge pregnant-looking midsection, even sonogram images she claimed were of her infants. She showed off a tiny nursery, a closet full of baby clothes and the tiny diapers premature newborns must wear.

She said the entire story of her children’s births was being kept secret by a court order enacted because a member of her husband’s family was trying to kill the Eversons and their new sextuplets.

“I’m so afraid they’re not going to make it,” she sobbed. “Nobody understands how hard this is. I know that they’re here. I know what I had to go through to get them here.”

Sarah Everson said a detective began questioning her Tuesday evening; Bradley and Ambrose said the Eversons were interviewed at the police station for about an hour, during which they revealed the story was a scam. They were released pending charges.

Reached by phone late Tuesday, Sarah Everson offered no explanation. “I’m not talking to anybody right now,” she said, “because nobody gets it (emphasis Blogula Rasa’s).”

The website soliciting gifts was taken down Tuesday night.

Wow, she’s right. I’m sure no one is capable of getting it. My favorite part is still how her old boss at Clem’s (!) Drive Inn knew right off that Sarah was up to her old tricks. Interesting how the number kept climbing – I wonder if she started with one, and with every subsequent faked pregancy, added another?

There is no limit to how truly weird people can be.

Baby Shower Gone Bad

Chicago Tribune | 3 Arrested at Mass. Baby Shower Brawl

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — An argument at a baby shower escalated into a brawl in which one man was shot and the pregnant guest of honor was beaten with a stick, police said.

Three people were arrested after the fight, described by police as a “baby shower gone bad.”

Authorities said the shooting victim, Aristotle Garcia, got into a fight with a man who is dating his ex-girlfriend. The argument, over whether the woman let their 5-year-old daughter drink beer, escalated and drew in two other people — Jazz Rivas and Juan Velazquez, said Police Lt. Cheryl C. Claprood.

When the baby shower’s hostess tried to intervene, Rivas began hitting some of the guests, including the 22-year-old mother-to-be, with a large stick, she said.

You know, this one is just too easy to mock.

I Don’t Wanna Have No Babies, But You Go Ahead If You Want

Apparently, using the gay marriage issue to rally the rabidly religious Right in 2004 wasn’t enough. New for 2006: The brand new Anti Gay Adoption Extravaganza!

I don’t want kids of my own, but I support the right of anyone who does want to have them, by any legal means. And by legal, I mean by not kidnapping them, or swiping embryos, or anything like that.

I don’t mean by being gay and wanting to have children by adoption. That should be legal, but a number of states don’t allow it (including Florida and of course Utah). And it seems that at least 16 more states will be floggging this political horse in the next election.

It’s so *fscking* cynical.

Personally, the sooner that people on the rabid Right figure out that they have loved ones who are gay, the more they’re going to back away from this headlong drive to restrict their rights or “reform” them.

I know gay people who have children, and one or two people who were raised by gay parents. The people on the Right who get all exercise obviously don’t know anyone like this personally, or they would realize what a fallacy it is to call gay adoption a “menace.”

Via ***Dave, who says “Feh” to all of this.

Why Childfree People Get So Irked

There are so many things in Dennis Byrne’s Chicago Tribune column today that I find objectionable, since I’m childfree. He apparently just became aware of the phenomenon of couples declining to reproduce and seems to be just horrified at the prospect. From the sound of it, he ran across some rants pages from the more extreme end of the childfree spectrum and he was shocked. Shocked! Yeah, Dennis, that’s the point: to shock people like you, and to reinforce the “us/them” construct between denizens of the various childfree sites.

Another irksome thing: I’m pretty tired of hearing endless variations on the phrase “but it’s haaaaard to be a parent.” Talk about whiny complaining, which is just what Byrne does throughout the column. Most of the parents I know wouldn’t be caught dead whining about how hard it is. They just do it – they don’t expect medals.

Anyway, my friends and family with children or grandchildren will want to read something other than Yet Another Rant Because Ginny Saw An Article That Questions Her Right To Be Childfree.

I know: go adopt a kitty! My rant will be in the extended entry.
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A Taste Of Heaven: My Kind Of Coffee Joint

A Taste Of Heaven in the Andersonville neighborhood sounds like heaven on earth for a childfree curmudgeo-woman like me. Naturally, the proprietor is now the most hated man on the Chicago North Side. Basically, he has a firmly worded little sign in the shop that states that “children of all ages have to use their indoor voices.”

Many former patrons are in an uproar, because the world is their living room, and how dare anyone object to the happy shrieks and “cute” antics of their children. Especially not anyone in a tin-ceilinged coffee shop in what used to be an artsy-fartsy neighborhood, but now seems to be changing to a trendy upscale young-couples-with-double-strollers kind of habitat.

Many cliched comments, from both sides, are offered. The same old arguments and reactionary posturing (so familiar from my days hanging around childfree newsgroups) are present in their less colorful realistically muted “real people interacting in real life” form, not in their cartooney “people who may actually be brains in jars wired up to a computer” form. People will remain true to form, egg each other on, and eventually someone will drop the Godwin bomb.

I am sure that Dan McCauley will receive some death threats and there may be vandalism, because that’s the inevitable result of someone failing to be impressed by a certain kind of self-involved yet socially oblivious parent. The same folks that take very young children to concerts, plays and concerts whose children have never even heard the term “inside voice.” Yep, they’re raising the next generation, and one of them has probably already left a horrific message on the restaurant’s answering machine. Cooler, more mature heads will respond with a boycott and possibly a picket line, complete with strollers and bullhorns.

Ridiculous? Of course it is.

The Right Way: Smear Tactics

Candidates Who Play Anti-Gay Card … might not be doing as well in the next election cycle as they expect:

Here’s a press release from Ron Grignol, the Republican challenger for a House seat in the 43rd District in southeastern Fairfax near Fort Belvoir: Del. Mark Sickles, a Democrat, “sent a mail piece deliberately misleading the voters” by showing Sickles cradling a toddler in his arms. “The problem is Mark Sickles does not have a child or a family.”

Grignol notes in the release that he indeed has children, which he says helps him understand how to improve schools, while Sickles “feels he needs to mislead voters.”

Curiously, while Grignol’s Web site shows him with his two daughters, it is silent about his own family status. He is divorced, something he does mention in his campaign speeches.

Oh, the hypocrisy. Of course I don’t fail to note that “not having children” equals “gay” in the minds of what another Republican calls “a small, vocal minority” in the party. He knows, because they smeared him with a lie about an endorsement from a Washington “gay” paper in his party’s primary. Now he’s endorsing the Democratic candidate in the race, against the Republican that did the smear job. Nice.

Fortunately, a coalition of Virginia clergy and religious leaders has come out (heh, heh, etc.) to issued an appeal to candidates not to appeal to sexual prejudices. As of press time, one of the most vocal “anti-gay” candidates had not responded to the request.

Sprog Of Steel

Chicago Tribune | Cage names kid after Superman

Nicolas Cage, who was once set to star in Tim Burton’s doomed Superman project, hasn’t let go of the Man of Steel.

The Oscar winner and his wife, Alice Kim Cage, became the proud new parents of Kal-el Coppola Cage on Monday morning, reports

AAAAAAAAAA! I thought from the headline teaser that they’d named the baby after Chrisopher Reeve! AAAAAAAAAAA!

I officially feel sorry for this kid. No word on any superpowers as yet; those apparently develop at the time of puberty.