Poverty

By Tom Blumer | October 5, 2014 | 2:09 PM EDT

On Thursday, President Barack Obama did something Republicans have inexplicably been reluctant to do. He nationalized the impending midterm elections by telling a friendly audience at Northwestern University that "I am not on the ballot this fall ... But make no mistake: These policies (of my administration) are on the ballot -- every single one of them."

That evening on Fox News's Special Report hosted by Bret Baier, in video seen after the jump (HT Real Clear Politics), George Will was ready with some facts and a deadly redistributionist riposte on how Obama's policies have worked out in the real world, including in the President's home state, during the past six years:

By Matthew Balan | October 2, 2014 | 12:44 PM EDT

Brian Palmer revealed what many secularists feel about Christian missionaries in Africa in a Thursday piece on Slate, especially the role on the front lines of the ongoing fight against Ebola. Palmer acknowledged how "missionary doctors and nurses...have undertaken long-term commitments to address the health problems of poor Africans," but added that "for secular Americans...it may be difficult to shake a bit of discomfort with the situation....It's great that these people are doing God's work, but do they have to talk about Him so much?"

By Tom Blumer | September 18, 2014 | 12:09 AM EDT

As been its habit since Barack Obama took office in 2009, the Associated Press has, whenever possible, considered the impact of news developments on the President and his party as far more important than what's actually happening in the lives of real people.

The latest example is the wire service's coverage of Tuesday's Census Bureau report on income, poverty and health insurance coverage in the U.S. Nothing — not even fundamental accuracy, as will be seen shortly — was more important to reporter Jesse J. Holland, the AP's "Race and Ethnicity writer," than telling readers that a half-point fall in the poverty rate from 15.0 percent to 14.5 percent constituted "a bit of encouraging news about the nation's economy as President Barack Obama and Congress gear up for midterm elections." The fact that the Obama Era has brought us levels of poverty not seen in 20 years — this year's figure matches 1994's — apparently doesn't matter.

By Tom Blumer | September 9, 2014 | 2:11 PM EDT

The press is good at putting the most positive spin possible on the monthly job-market news. But at the same time, many of its members still claim that food stamp enrollment remains as high as it is because of the lingering effects of the (Bush did it) recession.

On Friday, following the release of August's employment numbers, Obama administration Labor Secretary Tom Perez celebrated how "businesses have added more than 10 million jobs over the last four and a half years," and have done so for "54 consecutive months of private-sector job growth, the longest streak on record." All true, though average job growth during that time has resembled an underperforming baseball player who somehow manages to go 1-for-5 or barely better every day. Meanwhile, food stamp enrollment has increased by 6.8 million.

By Tim Graham | August 19, 2014 | 12:58 PM EDT

Time magazine used one of the biggest basketball stars of all time to fan the flames of Ferguson. It posted an op-ed titled “The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race: Ferguson is not just about systemic racism — it's about class warfare and how America's poor are held back, says Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

“Race war”? Is Time borrowing from conspiratorial ranters like Alex Jones? Abdul-Jabbar began by suggesting that the Ferguson rioting might end up a historical footnote because it wasn’t about white people dying. Kent State is remembered from 1970, but Jackson State was not:

By Tom Blumer | August 11, 2014 | 1:30 AM EDT

Fort Thomas Independent Schools in Northern Kentucky have decided to get out of the federal school lunch program, specifically because of the requirements imposed in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act championed by First Lady Michelle Obama. Simply put, the district is tired of being forced to give kids food they won't eat.

Until it ran into problems, HHFA was seen as Mrs. Obama's signature achievement, and the press fawned over its alleged awesomeness. Now that the program has encountered fierce real-world resistance, her association with it seems to have vanished from many press reports. One such report was filed by the Associated Press last month from the School Nutrition Association's annual convention in Boston. A local example appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer Saturday evening. Excerpts from that report by Jessica Brown follow the jump (bolds are mine):

By Jeffrey Meyer | July 27, 2014 | 1:37 PM EDT

Meet the Press moderator David Gregory did his best to condemn Congressman Paul Ryan’s new anti-poverty proposal during an interview on Sunday, July 27. 

The NBC host played a clip of Ryan from 2013 in which he criticized a “dependency culture” in America which Gregory interpreted as not sounding “like there’s a lot of sympathy for people you think need the government's help. What you seem to be saying is that people have a problem with their own dependency here the government is only furthering.” [See video below.]  

By Curtis Houck | July 24, 2014 | 9:25 PM EDT

Ed Schultz spent a portion of his opening monologue on his MSNBC show Thursday attacking Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his latest policy proposal to reform government welfare programs, declaring that Ryan is “more radical than ever” and he’s “out there selling turd in the punch bowl.”

After trumpeting the long-standing liberal policy of increasing the minimum wage (which never works), Schultz moved to attack Ryan and a speech he made Thursday in which he offered, among many topics, plans to consolidate government welfare programs and reform federal education spending. [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Tom Blumer | July 15, 2014 | 12:00 AM EDT

Michelle Obama's name must really be mud in the school nutrition community these days.

I had to do a double-take when I read today's coverage of the School Nutrition Association's Annual Conference in Boston by Philip Marcelo at the Associated Press today. What Marcelo hid from the nation is that the SNA didn't want Michelle Obama or anyone else from the White House anywhere near their conference.

By Tom Blumer | June 27, 2014 | 6:14 PM EDT

In an exercise supposedly "aimed at understanding the nature and scope of political polarization in the American public, and how it interrelates with government, society and people’s personal lives," the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press has published a 185-page report containing some of the most ridiculous either/or questions I have ever seen in a polling effort. Its mission seems to be to demonize anyone who believes that government aren't particularly good or effective at what they do, and anyone who thinks there are limits on what it can or should do.

One of the most egregious pieces of either/or nonsense caught the attention of liberal-leaning blogger and law professor Ann Althouse. Participants had to choose between the following two statements: "Poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything," or "Poor people have hard lives because government benefits don't go far enough to help them live decently." Pew, which divided voters into different "typologies," reports that a combined 80-plus percent of those who it typed as "conservative went with the "have it easy" choice.

By Paul Bremmer | May 22, 2014 | 2:57 PM EDT

MSNBC’s Al Sharpton got nasty on Wednesday’s episode of his program PoliticsNation, comparing Republican-backed legislation to common household pests. The reverend’s remark came at the end of a conversation with Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) on the House GOP’s proposed agriculture budget.

Sharpton and Fattah took particular issue with the budget’s proposal that only rural areas are to receive federal funding for a program to help low-income children get meals during the summer.  After thanking the congressman for his time, Sharpton added this metaphor to illustrate what he thinks he’s doing on his show:

By Jeffrey Meyer | May 4, 2014 | 1:40 PM EDT

Appearing as a guest on CBS’s Sunday program Face the Nation, liberal Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson used the Donald Sterling controversy to make an unnecessary and disgusting swipe at Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI). 

Dyson claimed “I see a relationship between what Paul Ryan says when he talks about inner-city people who are urban with all the code words being articulated and the kind of Cliven Bundy expression to the kind of Donald Sterling.” [See relevant transcript below.]