You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
Archive - Jul 1, 2013
Memo to Donny Ferguson: CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR FIVE-WAY FAILURE.
For a while now, anti-poverty advocates have been challenging the wealthy and powerful to spend a week eating only what you can buy with a single week of SNAP, commonly known as food stamp, benefits. That's $31.50 a week, or as most of these people think of it, half of one day's power lunch.
While Congress debates a farm bill with significant cuts to this last bastion of the social safety net, Republican Steve Stockman decided to take the challenge. Sort of. He had his aide, Donny Ferguson do it. This is the first of five failures in the SNAP challenge. Poor people can't turn to other poor people to live off their meager benefits while they enjoy a normal food intake.
So Donny Ferguson went shopping, spent $27.58 on what he decided was a week's worth of food and immediately bragged about it, which is a second failure. You don't get to declare victory when you come home from the grocery store. The point is to eat $31.50 worth of food for a week and see how it feels.
Fail #3 comes from that same brag. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"Folks aren’t buying fast food instead of vegetables because of benefit limits, they’re buying fast food because fast food tastes great and vegetables taste like vegetables." - Ferguson, being a dick.
Ferguson bought no vegetables, unless you count pinto beans, the beans in red beans and rice, and the beans in refried beans as vegetables. The closest thing he bought to fruit was a jar of applesauce. So if the challenge was to see if people on SNAP could successfully die of scurvy and/or rickets at a reduced benefit level, mission accomplished, dickbag.
Fail number four? Actually failing the challenge. Given Ferguson's tone, I'd be shocked if he hadn't cheated and even more shocked if he admitted he felt like shit after eating on a subsistence diet for a week, But he didn't even manage to fake his way through it. TSA regulations kept him from taking some of his pre-purchased food with him on a trip, so he ate out during that time, and assuming he didn't lie about what he ate while he was out, ended up spending $5 more on food than he was supposed to. And since I don't think he blew anyone in the airport for that five bucks and the extra protein, I'm pretty sure he missed the point of the challenge, which is empathy.
And fail #5? After failing the challenge, claiming he won it anyway, and declaring on Twitter that he's the "Undisputed SNAP Challenge Champion".
Who fails in five different ways and struts around holding an imaginary title belt above his head? Pretty much any Republican, but especially one whose sole purpose in pretending to take the challenge is so he can yell at liberals about how they're too kind to the poor. So that his boss, who didn't have the balls to take the challenge himself, feels better about being a robber baron. Nice work if you can get it.