Bill Would Ban Spending Welfare Benefits at Strip Clubs

Feb 6, 2012, 7:29 pm EDT

Welfare recipients who make it rain on the government’s dime could land in trouble if a House bill is passed. Lawmakers are looking to pass legislation that would bar those enrolled in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program from spending benefits at strip clubs, liquor stores, and casinos.

TANF, which was formerly known as welfare, often takes the form of electronic benefit transfer cards that function like debit cards. These cards can be swiped at some ATMs to retrieve money. Media reports indicated that some TANF recipients were using their cards at ATMs in strip clubs, liquor stores, casinos, and even on cruise ships.

While supporters say this bill will eliminate a large amount of fraud and waste in the welfare system, critics state that many states already have similar policies, and that residents of poorer neighborhoods frequently do not have an ATM located closer to them than those in liquor stores or casinos. Read 

White House Intern Had 18-Month Affair With John F. Kennedy

Feb 6, 2012, 6:57 pm EDT

It appears that the Monica Lewinsky/Bill Clinton affair wasn’t the first time a White House intern got involved with a president. A memoir that will be published Wednesday alleges that a White House intern during John F. Kennedy’s presidency had an 18 month affair with the president.

Mimi Alford, then Mimi Beardsley, was a summer intern at the White House when the affair began, and managed to keep it secret until 2003, when details of the affair came out in a biography based on 1964 oral histories about the president.

Among the more fascinating revelations in Alford’s book, Once Upon a Secret,  are the fact she was with JFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis, that she consoled him when his child died, and that she last met with him seven days before he was assassinated in Dallas. Read 

Romney Rolls to Strong Win in Nevada

Feb 5, 2012, 9:20 am EDT
Romney Rolls to Strong Win in Nevada

As anticipated, Mitt Romney won big in the Nevada caucuses Saturday. As of this morning, former Massachusetts governor had garnered 47.6% of the vote, out-distancing second-place finisher Newt Gingrich by nearly 25 percentage points.

More problematic for Gingrich, though, was not Romney’s margin of victory, which was anticipated by many. It was Ron Paul’s third place finish, close behind Gingrich. Gingrich won 22.7% of the vote, while Paul got 18.6%.

Also in deep trouble was fourth-place finisher Rick Santorum. He got just 11.1% of the vote, well out of the race, and it looks like his top finish in Iowa was just a fluke. Read 

Roseanne Barr Announces Run for President

Feb 3, 2012, 10:22 am EDT
Roseanne Barr Announces Run for President

As a TV mom on the hit television show Roseanne, Roseanne Barr embodied both a blue-collar worker and mother. Now, Barr wants to stand up for the 99%, announcing that she is seeking the Green Party nomination for president.

In her announcement, Barr heaped scorn on both parties, stating “[t]he Democrats and Republicans have proven that they are servants — bought and paid for by the 1% — who are not doing what’s in the best interest of the American people.”

Barr made headlines in 2008 for criticizing Oprah Winfrey for endorsing Barack Obama, and said she believed there was little difference between him and then-President George W. Bush.  She also later said that Obama was unelectable and would result in the election of “the most racist right wing republican ever.” Read 

Romney Given Secret Service Protection

Feb 3, 2012, 9:29 am EDT

In the aftermath of his decisive Florida victory, Mitt Romney picked up some new followers. These followers aren’t fervent fans of the former Massachusetts governor, though. They are Secret Service agents.

The Secret Service, in addition to providing protection for the President, Vice President, their immediate families, former presidents, and heads of state from foreign nations, also provide protection for major presidential and vice presidential candidates. The Secretary of Homeland Security determines, with the assistance of an advisory committee primarily made up of House and Senate leaders, who is a major candidate.

Romney’s status as a “major candidate” in the eyes of this committee and the Secret Service comes with advantages and disadvantages. The Secret Service cut a distinctive figure, one that can’t help but make the protected look presidential, but it also greatly limits Romney’s access to the voters. Getting into events takes more security, roads get closed and traffic jams ensue, and the Secret Service will do their best to keep a good, safe distance between him and the attendees at his events. Read 

Can Super Bowl Results Pick the President?

Feb 2, 2012, 10:17 am EDT

Among many other fascinating Super Bowl side effects, there is one with significant political implications. The score of the game — more specifically, if the game is a close one or a blowout — seems to indicate which party will win the presidency.

Thus far, there have been 11 election-year Super Bowls. When the games have been decided by 14 points or less, the Democrats have gone 4-3 in the election. The 1976, 1992, 1996, and 2008 elections went to Democrats, while 1980, 2000, and 2004 went to Republicans. However, the four occasions when election-year Super Bowls were decided by more than 14 points, the Republican candidate won each election — 1968, 1972, 1984, and 1988.

A Super Bowl blowout frequently preceded an election-year blowout. Richard Nixon won 520 electoral votes in 1972, Ronald Reagan won 525 electoral votes in 1984, and George H.W. Bush won 426 electoral votes in 1988. Read 

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