Food stamps have figured in Americans' ideas about the poor for decades, from President Lyndon Johnson's vision of a Great Society to President Ronald Reagan's scorn for crooked "welfare queens" and President Bill Clinton's pledge to "end welfare as we know it."
Supervisors in a far Northern California county where residents are fed up with what they see as a lack of representation at the state capitol and overregulation have voted in favor of separating from the state.
Buoyed by an improving housing market, President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed a broad overhaul of the nation's mortgage finance system, including winding down government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He declared that taxpayers should never again be left "holding the bag" for the mortgage giants' bad bets.
The intervening months since Obama's inauguration have showcased the political limits of the president's ambitions.
About 47 million Americans received food stamps last year, but only a relative few are required to work or look for a job as a condition of receiving the aid.
In his speech defending his health care law Thursday, Obama said rebates averaging $100 are coming from insurance companies to 8.5 million Americans. In fact, most of the money is going straight to employers who provide health insurance, not to their workers, who benefit indirectly.
Facing public doubts and embarrassing setbacks to his signature health care law, President Barack Obama stepped forward Thursday to extol the program's benefits, emphasizing that some Americans already are receiving insurance rebates and lower premiums.
A Shari's waitress, who currently doesn't have health insurance, says her restaurant cut her from full time to part time in response to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare."
The last time Colorado enacted gun control measures was in the wake of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, and once the laws were on the books there was little acrimony.
The Senate has passed historic immigration legislation offering the hope of American citizenship to millions, while promising a military-style surge to secure the border.
Those cuts weren't deep enough for many Republicans who objected to the cost of the nearly $80 billion-a-year food stamp program, which has doubled in the past five years. The vote was 234-195 against the bill, with 62 Republicans voting against it.
The U.S. Senate has approved the Devil's Staircase Wilderness Act, which would permanently conserve thousands of acres of forest near the southern Oregon coast.
Shively's ambitions - "We are Big Marijuana," he proclaimed - don't merely raise questions about what marijuana legalization might look like in the long run and whether large corporations will come to dominate. He also risks getting himself indicted.
Sen. Ron Wyden says Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had a day to prepare his answer to Congress that there was no widespread collection of Americans' phone records.
For President Barack Obama, the opening months of his second term have been a frustrating reminder of the limits of presidential power and the durability of the Washington political apparatus he disdains.