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  • Tweet Untweet: Po'

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    Tags: Debates, Herman Cain, Poverty, Republicans, Tweet Untweet, Twitter
  • Meet Lily, A Sesame Street Muppet for Our Times

    With the U.S. Department of Agriculture calculating that nearly 50 million Americans — including nearly 17 million children — live in households that can be characterized as insecure due to "insufficient money or other resources for food," the producers of Sesame Street have created Lily, a new Muppet representing children dealing with food insecurity, as part of a special on hunger

    "We thought long and hard about how do we really represent this from a child’s point of view?" Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop’s senior vice president for outreach and educational practices, said on Monday morning in a telephone interview. "We felt it was best to have this new Muppet take this on in a positive way and a healthy way."

    Ms. Betancourt said that she and her colleagues spent time considering all the elements of Lily's character that would make her realistic but empathetic to young viewers: her style of dress, her voice performance and even mannerisms, like her tendency to look down at her feet rather than make eye contact when she is speaking to other characters.

    I think you have to applaud Sesame Street's insistence on dealing with complex reality — the show has previously addressed economic stress and the problems facing military families — but there's always room for more realism.

    For example, there is already a Grover, so why doesn't he explain to Lily that cuts to capital gains taxes are the key to economic prosperity, which will eventually trickle down even to the Section 8 apartments on Sesame Street? And where is Rand, the Senator Muppet, eager to explain to Lily that, sure, she's hungry now, but compared to the wealthy in America, she has it positively made, since "the rich are getting richer, but the poor are getting richer even faster?"

    And what about Edwin, the Heritage Foundation Muppet? Who but him could explain, in terms even a child could understand, that the grumbling in Lily's stomach can't be because her parents are poor — for how can you be poor and own a refrigerator?

    Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

    Tags: Muppets, Poverty, Unemployment
  • Census Figures Prove Everyone Is Poor Now

    Are you "happy" and "inclined to optimism?" Then you are probably insane, because everything is crap! The U.S. Census Bureau has released findings from its 2010 research, and oh, this is some dark shit.

    In 2010, "median household income declined, the poverty rate increased" and you finally considered filling that prescription for Prozac your doc gave you after your most recent divorce…

    Real median household income in the United States in 2010 was $49,445, a 2.3 percent decline from the 2009 median.

    The nation's official poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent, up from 14.3 percent in 2009 — the third consecutive annual increase in the poverty rate. There were 46.2 million people in poverty in 2010, up from 43.6 million in 2009 — the fourth consecutive annual increase and the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published.

    The number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 49.0 million in 2009 to 49.9 million in 2010, while the percentage without coverage –16.3 percent — was not statistically different from the rate in 2009.

    So between 2009 and 2010, 2.6 million new candidates were elected to the Council of Poors. Makin' moves, y'all!

    If there are any winners in this fustercluck of statistical despair, it's "Asian and Hispanic-origin households." Because while whites and blacks saw a decline in real median income between '09 and '10, those other groups didn't. Congratulations on achieving model minority status, persons of Hispanic origin. Asians, you keep being you. White folks and black folks, it's time to step your game up.

    Now let's all hold hands, put our heads down on our desks/Wal-Mart cashier stations/dirt floors, and sob.

    Tags: Census, Money, Poverty
  • Quote Unquote: Kill the Poor

    Fox News host Greg Gutfeld on liberals' secret anti-poor people strategy

    "If you’re talking about free birth control, who’s going to use free birth control? The people who can’t afford it. So the left has figured out a way to eradicate the poor, and it’s by eradicating the poor!"

    He's on to us! Quick, everybody act less eugenicsy!

    Should have known someone at Fox would figure us out. They love poor people. They've been working tirelessly for years to make as many poor people as possible.

    Tags: Fox, Greg Gutfeld, Poverty, Quote Unquote, Sex
  • Quote Unquote: Bruuuuuuce Is So Liberaaaaaaaaaaal!

    Gov. Chris Christie in response to a letter to the Asbury Park Press about how tax cuts hurt the poor, written by the patron saint of New Jersey

    "Bruce is liberal. Doesn’t mean I like him any less. But you know, Bruce believes that we should be raising taxes all the time on everyone to do all the things that he’d like to see government do."

    Oh, man… "Let's raising taxes all the time / on everyone to do all the things / I'd like to see the government do / while I make my liberal guitar sing!" What song is that from? I'm so bad with titles.

    Tags: Bruce Springsteen, Chris Christie, Liberals, New Jersey, Poverty, Quote Unquote, Taxes