In moving to combat in-state welfare fraud, Michigan is requiring food stamp recipients to provide information on their assets to determine whether they should continue to qualify for benefits. Under the new rules launched earlier this month, current recipients are obligated to report the values on their homes, vehicles, stocks, bonds, and even lottery winnings. Residents with $5,000 in liquid assets or driving a vehicle worth over $15,000 may no longer qualify for benefits. So far, the state has identified about 15,000 people who could lose their food stamp benefits. Although the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — commonly known as food stamps — is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, states distribute the benefits and have the authority to make certain decisions on eligibility. (In Michigan, the program is called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, [FAP — Food Assistance Program] and is administered by the Department of Human Services [DHS], which has offices in every county of Michigan.) Michigan’s policy change is a shift from the trend for states to request information only on recipients’ income. Texas and Indiana are among other states that consider assets, while Oregon and New York are among those who check only income when determining eligibility for the program. As the U.S. economy has continued to decay, eligibility requirements for food stamps have loosened, with 35 states now having abolished asset tests for food stamp recipients.
Despite the fact that Libyan strongman Col. Muammar Gadhafi was considered an important U.S. ally in the terror war as recently as 2009, top American lawmakers and Obama administration officials rushed to celebrate his reported violent death at the hands of NATO war planes and Western-backed revolutionaries. Several members of Gadhafi’s family, including children and grandchildren, have been killed recently as well.   
Where does Herman Cain stand on abortion? In an October 19 interview with Piers Morgan on CNN, the GOP presidential candidate managed to paint himself into a corner on the issue, causing some conservative voters who had supported him to wonder if the self-described pro-life candidate is really subtly pro-choice. Cain began the interview solidly enough, answering Morgan’s query, “What’s your view of abortion?” by declaring: “I believe that life begins at conception, and abortion under no circumstances.” But then things began to go badly. Feigning disbelief at Cain’s response, Morgan baited the rookie politician, wondering, “No circumstance?” adding, “… because some of your fellow candidates qualify that — rape and incest, and so on. Are you honestly saying that … if one of your female children, grandchildren was raped, you would honestly want her to bring up that baby as her own?” Cain told Morgan that “it’s not the government’s role or anybody else’s role to make that decision.” Using rhetoric that pro-life observers said made him sound like an abortion activist, Cain added that “it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make. Not me as president, not some politician, not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family. Whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn’t try to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive issue.”
The prediction by the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) that the United States is headed into another recession was greeted by a rise in the stock market from 1,074 on the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index on Tuesday, October 4, to 1,238 on Friday, October 21, a gain of 15 percent in just 13 days. This sudden rise happened in the face of ECRI’s spokesman Laksman Achuthan’s emphatic forecast that “it’s going to get a lot worse … you haven’t seen anything yet.” Furthermore, Achuthan said that there is nothing policymakers can do about it, that the decline is just going to have to run its course. Jon Markman, a stock market watcher and skeptic who writes for MarketWatch, asked Achuthan if this time his prediction might be wrong. Achuthan isn’t backing off one bit. Noting that his proprietary blend of various leading economic indicators has never failed in the past, he wasn’t surprised at the market’s rise following his company’s announcement, and said that the rise even confirmed his bearish call.
American troops are once again becoming embroiled in another international conflict, this time in the beleaguered East African nation Uganda. In response to the ongoing conflict there between the Ugandan government and rebels associated with the Lord’s Resistance Army, President Barack Obama announced earlier this week that 100 soldiers would support the years-long fight against the Lord’s Resistance Army, which is accused of horrific atrocities. The Obama administration said the troops will advise, not engage in combat, unless forced to defend themselves. In a letter to Congress, President Barack Obama said that the troops will assist local forces in a long-running battle against the Lord's Resistance Army, considered one of Africa's most ruthless rebel groups, and help to hunt down its notorious leader, Joseph Kony. The first of the troops arrived in Uganda on Wednesday, the White House said, and others will be sent to South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Despite Obama’s claims of “limited intervention,” this latest American meddling in the affairs of another nation represents yet another example of the administration’s unconstitutional, internationalist adherence to the principles of “humanitarian intervention,” also known as the doctrine of “Responsibility to Protect” (RTP), the same theoretical basis for Obama’s intervention in Libya and former President Bill Clinton’s intervention in Kosovo.
Since news broke that there was an alleged plot by Iran to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel A. Al-Jubeir, and destroy a number of embassies, Iran has adamantly denied the accusations. Likewise, skeptics questioned whether the plot could have been staged by Iran, who would have had little to nothing to gain from such an endeavor, and claimed that the plot was uncharacteristic of Iranian terror. Others have asserted that the entire plot was in fact manufactured by American law enforcement agencies as an impetus for war against Iran. Adding yet another layer to this news story, Iran has come out and said that the plot was in fact planned by the French/Iraqi-based Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK), which is actually funded and supported by the United States. Last week, the United States charged American-Iranian Mansour Arbabsiar, a used car salesman, for his role in an alleged plot to murder Ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir and attack Saudi installations in the U.S. in a plan reportedly plotted earlier this year. According to the Justice Department, Arbabsiar conspired with Gholam Shakuri, a member of Iran’s Qods Force — an arm of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Iran immediately denied the accusations, with the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast declaring, “These attitudes, which are based on the age-old and hostile policies of the American-Zionist axis, are a ridiculous show in line with a scenario that aims to divide and that emanates from enemies of the region.”
The nation's capital will continue to be a sanctuary for illegal aliens. Washington, D.C.'s mayor has ordered police to ignore the immigration status of those they stop or arrest.  The executive order of D.C. Mayor William Gray bucks a nationwide trend. Many states, most notably and recently Alabama, are defending immigration laws that permit police to check the status of suspected illegals. Yet Gray is merely continuing a policy set in 1984 by crack-smoking Mayor Marion Barry.  
With practically each passing day, we are becoming ever more familiar with the recently identified PDS — Paul Derangement Syndrome. Also known as “Paulophobia,” PDS, it has now been determined, compels its victims to create for themselves an alternate reality, a parallel universe that is, in some critical respects, quite literally the mirror image of our own. In the real world, those who are looking for a tireless, consistent champion of “limited government,” “individual rights,” “states’ rights,” and the like — i.e. “conservatives” and constitutionallist Republicans — know that there is but one person in the field of GOP presidential candidates to whom they can turn. That person, of course, is Congressman Ron Paul. In the real world, of this field of candidates, the former Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, has a record that exposes him as the least likely of such candidates to advance these principles. But in the parallel universe that the Paulophobe labors incessantly to create, Mitt Romney is the GOP’s “frontrunner” while Ron Paul is treated as if he is marginal at best, non-existent at worst.
There are now about 2.6 million federal employees in the United States, including postal workers. Of these, 302,000 work in the D.C. area. With these employees earning over $100,000 a year, that’s more than enough to make metropolitan Washington, D.C., the most prosperous boom town in the United States. According to the Washington Post’s Federal Eye: Federal employees whose compensation averages more than $126,000 and the nation’s greatest concentration of lawyers helped Washington edge out San Jose as the wealthiest U.S. metropolitan area, government data show. The U.S. capital has swapped top spots with Silicon Valley, according to recent Census Bureau figures, with the typical household in the Washington metro area earning $84,523 last year. The national median income for 2010 was $50,046. The figures demonstrate how the nation’s political and financial classes are prospering as the economy struggles with unemployment above nine percent and thousands of Americans protest in the streets against income disparity, said Kevin Zeese, director of Prosperity Agenda, a Baltimore-based advocacy group trying to narrow the divide between rich and poor.
The Vatican on October 19 sent a message to Hindu leaders asking them to resist “hateful propaganda” against Christians and allowing Christians to practice their faith in peace. A principal cause of conflict is the conversion to Christianity of Dalits or “untouchables.” The aggression against Christians stretches across much of India, from the eastern state of Orissa to the southwest state of Kerala. Christian outreach to untouchables in India is well over one hundred years old.  Christianity, like Islam, places no special value on the circumstances of birth. The government of India sets aside certain benefits for Dalits, a form of welfare for a still-despised group. Yet the same government programs deny benefits to Dalits who become Christian or become Moslem, because — the argument goes — their denial of the Hindu caste system means that they no longer consider themselves in the sub-caste (or “casteless”) position of “untouchables.” This does not apply, however, to Dalits who become Buddhists or Sikhs, although those conversions also would mean a rejection of the caste system. Christianity also grants women a higher status than Hinduism (which historically does not regard a woman as possessing a soul until she marries) or Islam (which creates a distinctly inferior status for women). As a consequence, Christianity has a profound appeal for the most hopeless Indians, “untouchable” women. The message of Christian love finds an eager ear among the “untouchables” of India.
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