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Clean up on Aisle 17!

It was a food-stamp “free for all” this weekend after a “glitch” with payments in 17 states – as low-income Americans ransacked stores, cleared shelves and then abandoned shopping carts filled with food.

The Electronics Benefits Transfer, or “EBT” cards (the electronic version of food stamps), system went down Saturday morning, leaving millions of food-stamp dependents without means to purchase food and other grocery items. The result? Complete chaos. And panic.

Springhill, La., Walmart store had carts overflowing with food, reportedly left abandoned after EBT card glitch

Shoppers left behind grocery-filled carts because they couldn’t get their benefits. Just walked away, tellingly leaving them for others to return unpaid-for grocery items back to shelves and freezers.

Not everyone was sympathetic to their plight. According to one shopper: “SNAP and the regular EBT ‘debit’ card system down in Mass. Amazing to watch how many well-dressed, gold-laden, high-heeled women put down their carts and walked out when the announcement was made. Made for nice quick lines for us paying folks.”

Another commented on the scads of tweets pouring forth from complaining EBT card holders, such that #EBT quickly appeared in Twitter’s top 10 trending topics: “These people are on a computer, paying for Internet service, with photos of their tattoos & wearing designer sun glasses, talking about starvation? Only in America.”

And, “It’s sad for those who really need it, but most of these people will get on their cell phone with Internet (which is better than my 5-year-old Verizon ‘regular cell phone’), and go on their Ipads (my newest computer is 5 years old) and b-tch about it.”

It wasn’t long before folks drew a connection between the EBT shutdown and the perils of Obamacare, with observations like this one: “EBT cards down all across the country and people panic. It is so easy for the government to control the people. Look forward to Obamacare.”

And this:

For at least two hours Saturday night, EBT cards were not showing limits, and recipients went wild at Walmart stores, stuffing their carts so full of items that local police had to be called in Springfield and Mansfield, La.

Facebook photo shows empty shelves at Springhill, La., Walmart store after a run on meat and other food Saturday night

Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd told KSLA-TV his officers were on the scene to help store employees because so many people were ransacking the shelves. He said, “It was worse than any Black Friday.”

Around 9 p.m. local time, the cards began showing limits again.

According to Lynd, one woman was detained because she rang up a $700 grocery bill but only had 49 cents on her card. Walmart’s corporate headquarters said it wouldn’t press charges if she left the food.

But with the loudspeaker announcement that the EBT cards were back online, shoppers began abandoning their jam-packed carts in droves, leaving food in the aisles and checkout lines.

Walmart employees restocked the shelves late into Sunday afternoon.

According to Job Cut News, “[A] record 46 million Americans now on food stamps, an increase of 20 million people since the Great Recession in 2007. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 41 percent of food-stamp recipients live in households where someone does earn a paycheck – the so-called ‘working poor.’ To be eligible for food stamps for a family of four, the maximum income is $29,064. For a single person, it’s $14,160.”

Welcome to the fundamentally transformed America.

Obamacare – A giant 404 ERROR

Despite news that Congress and the White House couldn’t reach a decision regarding its debt limit, ending the government and delaying Obamacare’s individual mandate, the implementation of “Obamacare,” aka the “Affordable” Care Act, took center stage last week.

At its “roll-out,” the Obamacare website was barely functioning, leading to a complete shutdown for those seeking to sign up for health-care insurance. One tweeted, “Healthcare.gov is so bad, their error page has an error – not found (404) .”

Twitchy has more examples of the mockery generated by the online health insurance marketplace snafu.

‘Our American Spring’

Once again, social media reports the news. Legacy media AWOL.

Over last weekend, historic events unfolded that the legacy news media either chose to ignore or gave short shrift in its sparse coverage, rankling many on social media who were documenting the day’s events with photos, videos and text that one Twitterer described as “Our American Spring.” Savor the irony – the story was picked up and reported by Russia Today.

The Million Vet March on the World War II Memorial on Sunday attracted thousands to the nation’s capital to voice their disgust and dissatisfaction with the Obama administration, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Democratic Party. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spoke, as did Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, amidst a packed crowd at the World War II Memorial.

Citizen taxpayers then removed the “Barrycades” from the Lincoln Memorial and World War II Memorial and carried them several blocks to the White House, where they stacked them on the sidewalk outside the iron fences surrounding the perimeter of the north lawn.

The photo below of a wounded vet who balanced one of those barricades on his Segway as he motored to the White House instantly became an iconic image of the historic moment, retweeted and posted on Facebook countless times.

As the crowd swelled and the stacked barricades grew in height, police officers wearing SWAT gear and holding riot batons used the barricades to push the crowd away from the fence to clear the sidewalk.

The protests were live streamed from various websites. Videos were uploaded to YouTube and Vine, including this one labeled, “Police Confront Peaceful Million Veteran March,” in which baton-wielding police lined the White House fence, then left without incident after a few minutes.

Similar protests took place around the country, including this one at Gettysburg.

Related reports:

Report: Administration chose Obamacare glitches

When Harry met Mitch: More debt from debt deal?

5.5 million vets get behind newest rally

‘We had to stare down the president’

1 group without fear of shutdown, default

Obama administration shuts down Catholic Mass

Food stamp free-for-all after EBT glitch

Related commentary:

Why no debt deal is great news” by Joseph Farah
GOP establishment – why trust them now? by Mychal Massie
Republicans, stand up – polls be damned! by Pat Buchanan
GOP: Quit kicking the can down the road by David Limbaugh
End food stamps now! by John Rocker

 

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