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Gwyneth Paltrow’s $29-a-week “Food Stamp Challenge”: Bad math and even worse groceries

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

What $29 likely gets you at Whole Foods

Stupid #1: Where did that $29 a week come from? According to the USDA website, the maximum food stamp allotment for a single-person household is $194 a month. That works out to about $48 a week, not $29. (A four-person household receives $649 a month.) If that single person works full-time at a $7.25-an-hour minimum-wage job grossing about $900 a month, the USDA deducts $34.80 from the $194 allotment–or actually less, since the USDA bases its sliding-scale calculations on net (after-tax) income, not gross. So that single person would still be receiving about $40 a week in food stamps, probably more. So if the average food-stamp recipient is getting only $29 a week, that person, while certainly not rich, is earning well above the minimum wage and can afford to spend at least some of his or her own money on food in addition to food stamps.

But if you’re a multimillionaire celebrity, who has time to do math?

Stupid #2: The “S” in “SNAP” (the official name for food stamps) stands for “supplemental.” (The program’s full name is “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.”) SNAP was never intended to pay for all the groceries that recipients buy. Indeed, the USDA website spells it out:

“…SNAP households are expected to spend about 30 percent of their resources on food.”

Saying you’re trying to survive on $29 a week for food is basically a game of Let’s Pretend


Blogger Dan from Madison did his own $29 challenge:

“Vegetables, frozen, are a great deal.  Here also, there was a large spread in the price per ounce.  We cashed in on the spinach, broccoli and beans that were on sale for cheap.  The green beans were the best value at .89/lb. – only 5.6 cents per ounce.  The broccoli and spinach were a bit more expensive.

“The chicken thighs were an easy choice for protein.  The frozen ones above were only .47 per pound so we got the six pack and it cost us $2.88.  Fresh thighs were much more expensive.

“The mayo cost us $1.59 – but that will help stretch all of that tuna that only cost us .625 per can (there was a deal at 4 for $2.50).  I would plan on tuna fish sandwiches or that PB and J for lunches at my job, and would bring an apple or banana along.  The bread was only .89 for the loaf.  For breakfast I could imagine a fried egg atop toast with a little yogurt and/or fruit on the side.  The cans of chicken noodle soup were an astounding .49 each.  For dinners, I imagined rice (.99 for the bag – and that is a lot of rice), and chicken with vegetables.  As I mentioned before, almost everyone has some dried spices laying around to make it all work.

“So the total for all of this food above was $23.99.  I found out (and I think I knew this before) that there is no tax on food here in Wisconsin.”

So Dan treated himself to a $4 bottle of hooch….

Posted by Charlotte Allen

Louis C.K. drools over Sarah Palin–because winger women are hotter than lefty women

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:sarah-palin-800 Palin and new fishing pal: She’s ten times as beautiful as Elizabeth Warren

“Palin responded to C.K.’s apology by joking, ‘Well, you’re a vile person.’ But she also seemed to genuinely appreciate the gesture.

“’Maybe it surprises people, but I was sincerely humbled and appreciative,’ Palin told People.

“Oh, she also said if he ever came to Alaska she’d take him fishing.” It’s that conservative women are ten times as attractive as liberal women. It’s our little secret. Breitbart’s John Nolte writes this about C.K.’s conversation with Stern: “Things start off with Stern saying, ‘You want to hate her but you also want to f**ck her.’ C.K. quickly agrees, and the two head off on a fantasy about having sex with Palin, Fox News’s Megyn Kelly, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

“My guess is that if Stern and C.K. had used the names Sandra Fluke, Chelsea Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, and Michelle Obama, the media coverage would be entirely different.” See what I mean? Yes, the “media coverage would be entirely different” because–well–Megyn Kelly is simply hotter than Elizabeth Warren. The conversation between C.K. and Stern would be so “entirely different” that it wouldn’t be taking place.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

Hillary’s “Everyday Americans” tour; honk if you spotted her; honk twice if she spotted you

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Chipotle line: Everyday Americans didn’t know she was there

First, how about that burrito bowl stop she made at the Chipotle’s in Maumee, Ohio?

“Fellow patrons paid her no more attention than a driver would get from a toll taker.

“Nor did the restaurant’s staff notice Mrs. Clinton, until this reporter, tipped off that she had dined there, telephoned.

“The Chipotle manager, Charles Wright, insisted at first that the tip must have been false.

So I’m asking: Was Hillary actually there?

Nor–according to this report from Gateway Pundit–did any human being apparently witness the coal-black, darkened-windowed Chevy Explorer SE van that they say carted Hillary across the Midwest:

“Hillary Clinton managed to arrive in Iowa today after her 1,000 mile trip from Chappaqua, New York to Le Claire, Iowa, without anyone spotting her along the way.

“Although the campaign released a couple photos of Hillary at a restaurant, no one in America spotted Hillary, or took photos of her, during her 1,000 mile road trip.”

Posted by Charlotte Allen

Hillary’s Hispanic stereotyping: The minimum donation is $5 for Anglos but only $3 for Latinos

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Hillary’s Hispanics: No tienen mucho dinero
“The main donation page for the site includes preset amount buttons for $5, $25, $50, $100, $500, $1,000 and the maximum for the primary election cycle, $2,700. However, the preset amounts for the Spanish language version of the donation page are significantly less: $3, $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 and $250.”
So–what Hillary Clinton is saying is that Hispanics (and I’m half-Hispanic myself) don’t have as much money as English-speaking Americans? I call that a blatant ethnic caricature! What does Clinton think–that every Latino is some kind of  shuffling,  rebozo-wearing peasant who can afford to pull out only $3 from between the leather and the tire soles of his beat-up huaraches? ¡Ay caramba! I thought that kind of thing went out with the Frito Bandito!
I’m alerting MALDEF!
Furthermore, take a look at the very different photos of Hillary Clinton on the English-language and Spanish-language pages. On the English-language page Hillary sports a stiff-collared navy-blue jacket and a no-nonsense short hairdo. But since Hispanic women are famously more feminine than their Anglo sisters, the Hillary on the Spanish-language page has shoulder-length hair, and her jacket is a soft and flattering lavender-and-silver plaid with little glittery things on it (Hispanic women love bling, as I can attest from my female relatives).
Posted by Charlotte Allen

Garry Trudeau’s “I Am Not Charlie Hebdo” moment: Grandpa’s mind wanders sometimes

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Doonesbury: The last time anyone read the strip it looked like this

Here he is, in a ramble of reminiscence just like Gramps with his pipe in front of the fireplace telling the young’uns gathered around at their college commencement about how when when he was a stripling at Yale back during the 1960s , his comic strip, Doonesbury, was was actually controversial:

“The strip was forever being banned. And more often than not, word would come back that it was not the editor but the stuffy, out of touch owner/publisher who was hostile to the feature.

“For a while, I thought we had an insurmountable generational problem, but one night after losing three papers, my boss, John McMeel, took me out for a steak and explained his strategy. The 34-year-old syndicate head looked at his 22-year-old discovery over the rim of his martini glass, smiled, and said, ‘Don’t worry. Sooner or later, these guys die.’

“Well, damned if he wasn’t right. A year later, the beloved patriarch of those three papers passed on, leaving them to his intemperate son, whose first official act, naturally, was to restore Doonesbury. And in the years that followed, a happy pattern emerged: All across the country, publishers who had vowed that Doonesbury would appear in their papers over their dead bodies were getting their wish.”

We durned hippies were shaking things up for them over-30 oldsters, weren’t we?

But now that Trudeau is 3 X 22–and Doonesbury is mostly remarkable these days as the comic strip with the oversize frame that nobody reads–probably because of its eye-glazingly politically correct harangues that pass for humor. There was that strip about Rolling Stone‘s shocking expose of “rape culture” at a UVA fraternity house–which ran on December 28, 2024, nearly a month after the Rolling Stone piece had been exposed as hokum. Grandpa’s forgetful sometimes.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

“American Sniper” at Michigan: Cowardly campus nearly caves to Islamic victimologists

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Muslim students said they felt “unsafe”

The petition read like an Onion parody:

“Anti-Muslim and anti-MENA hate crimes are growing increasingly common. These incidents create an unsafe space that does not allow for positive dialogue and triggers U of M students. Examples like the recent Chapel Hill shooting, which took the lives of three Arab American Muslim students, Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha, and Razan Abu-Salha, contribute to this lack of safety and space for Muslim and/or MENA students. Deah’s sister, Dr. Suzanne Barakat, has publicly stated how American Sniper has contributed to a culture of Islamophobia in America. Although we respect the right to freedom of speech, we believe that with this right comes responsibility: responsibility of action, intention, and outcome.

“The movie American Sniper not only tolerates but promotes anti-Muslim and anti-MENA rhetoric and sympathizes with a mass killer. Chris Kyle was a racist who took a disturbing stance on murdering Iraqi civilians. Middle Eastern characters in the film are not lent an ounce of humanity and watching this movie is provocative and unsafe to MENA and Muslim students who are too often reminded of how little the media and world values their lives. What we instead should offer is compassion and respect towards others.”

And so did the statement that campus officials posted on the university’s Facebook page on April 8:

“Student reactions have clearly articulated that this is neither the venue nor the time to show this movie…. We deeply regret causing harm to members of our community, and appreciate the thoughtful feedback provided to us by students and staff alike. We in the Center for Campus Involvement and the UMix Late Night program did not intend to exclude any students or communities on campus through showing this film. Nevertheless, as we know, intent and impact can be very different things. While our intent was to show a film, the impact of the content was harmful, and made students feel unsafe and unwelcome at our program.… We will take time to deeper understand and screen for content that can negatively stereotype a group.”

And the administration’s selection of the film it planned to substitute–Paddington, a children’s film about a baby bear–had its own Onion-esque aspect.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

Women’s studies professors: Don’t call her “Hillary”–that’s demeaning and sexist!

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Outrageous sexism

Don’t call her Hillary!

Why? Because a bunch of women’s studies professors say that’s sexist.

Here’s the report from McClatchy:

“Laura F. Edwards, a history professor at Duke University who studies gender, said calling a woman by her first name is part of a larger problem in our culture in how to acknowledge women, who have always used their fathers’ and husbands’ names because they were never expected to have a public place in the world.

“’All this gets to the point that women had no public identities of their own,’ she said. ‘And we’re still living with the implications of that.’


“Clinton, the first female candidate to seriously vie for the presidency, was called by her first name four times more than her 2008 Democratic rival Barack Obama, according to a study examining news coverage of the 2008 presidential race by University of Utah researchers published in the Political Research Quarterly. Male news anchors and reporters also dropped Clinton’s title of senator more than did female broadcasters, the document showed.


“Deborah Tannen, a linguistics professor at Georgetown University who referred to Clinton in her book, ‘Talking from 9 to 5: Women and Men at Work,’ said Clinton may be called by her first name in part because ‘Hillary’ is more distinctive than common female names such as Susan or Mary. (Clinton’s mother had said she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, a New Zealand explorer who with Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest. In 2006, her aides said that was not true.)

“Tannen said that no matter the reason that people use first names – even if it’s a sign of friendliness – there is no denying that the result is that the person does not get as much respect.”

Posted by Charlotte Allen


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