Earlier this week, the GAO said the Obama administration evaded the law by waiving welfare requirements, but CNN failed to mention the report. Neither CBS nor ABC reported it as well.
According to the GAO, the administration's directive issued in July “is subject to the requirement that it be submitted to both Houses of Congress and the Comptroller General before it can take effect.” Thus, the Obama administration, by law, should have submitted it to Congress for review first, under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).
On Monday’s Rachel Maddow Show, the MSNBC host mocked Mitt Romney’s pursuit of the white vote, reporting Romney told USA Today that President Obama moved toward welfare waivers “as a calculation that was designed to shore up the Obama base before the election.” Maddow thought it was ridiculous: “As if people on welfare are Barack Obama’s base. [Maddow winks] Especially the lazy ones. [Winks again]” Government dependents never vote to keep their government money coming?
Then Maddow turned to former New York Times columnist and NBC reporter Bob Herbert, who said Romney has a “campaign that doesn’t have a theme,” so Romney’s just saying “white people, please vote for me,” because he’s white. “You can’t win an election if that’s all you’ve got going for you.” Maddow said the GOP’s almost all-white:
Of course, MSNBC's answer to Katie Couric would be downright indignant had Romney run ads on welfare that included black people.
Here is Chris Hayes venting to socialist soulmate Rachel Maddow about what he considers the veiled racism of Romney's ads slamming President Obama for gutting work requirements in the 1996 welfare reform law (video after page break) --
CNN shot down Mitt Romney's claim that President Obama "gutted" welfare reform, despite experts who helped construct the actual 1996 law insisting that Obama did indeed strike at its heart by nullifying work requirements for welfare recipients.
"Problem is, President Obama calls this claim nuts," stated reporter Tom Foreman, who aired a clip of Obama calling it "patently false." Foreman relayed another White House talking point about how the states were granted waivers from some rules as long as the work participants increased by 20 percent, thus ensuring Obama's motive was to increase the law's effectiveness and not to change it wholesale.
On Wednesday's Morning Edition, NPR followed the example of its Big Three counterparts in failing to cover a new ad from a pro-Obama super PAC that points the finger at Mitt Romney for a woman's cancer death. Instead, the liberal radio network sent correspondent Ari Shapiro to "do some truth squadding" about the Romney campaign's latest ad slamming the Obama administration on welfare reform.
Shapiro slanted towards the Democratic campaign's spin of the Romney ad, and concluded that the White House's move on welfare work requirements was "poor form by the Democrats, perhaps, but not the same at gutting welfare reform."
Everyone knows that politics can be an ugly business, but MSNBC’s Chris Matthews sunk to a new long on his Hardball program Tuesday night. Matthews’ outrage came from an ad put out by the Romney campaign suggesting that President Obama, "announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements," which, his administration most certainly did.
Since there's nothing factually assailable about the ad, Matthews decided that the best approach for criticizing the spot was claiming it was "Willie Horton stuff." Of course, the 1988 Willie Horton ad was also 100 percent factually unassailable, which is why that ad resonated against then-Gov. Michael Dukakis (D-Mass.). The issue at hand isn’t the accuracy of the ad but rather Matthews' insistence that racism is at play. [Video follows page break; MP3 audio here.]
On July 12, the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children & Families, the group which administers the entitlement program known to most as "welfare" or "traditional welfare, issued an "Information Memorandum" entitled "Guidance concerning waiver and expenditure authority under Section 1115" (i.e., not "proposed guidance"). After navigating the thicket of bureaucratic babble contained therein, Robert Rector and Kiki Bradley at the Heritage Foundation asserted, with agreement from several other quarters and no meaningful dissent I have detected, that the memo's effect "is the end of welfare reform."
On CNN Newsroom this morning, anchor Carol Costello reported on "Nuns on the Bus:"
"Normally, you see nuns working in their closely knit communities and religious orders. But a group of nuns in the United States, they are hitting the road," she reported. "They are taking a bus on nine-state tour. They are protesting the Ryan budget cuts they say will hurt the poor the most. The nuns are in Milwaukee today and that's where Ted Rowlands is. So the nuns are jumping into the political fray."
Perhaps the most common justification for government intrusion into people's lives and into the economy at large is the notion that "doing something" is better than preserving limited government.
The usual rejoinder from the right is that capitalism has done more to alleviate poverty and is therefore a more efficient way of helping raise living standards than socialism or its related ideologies. While that answer has the advantage of being true, it is often unpersuasive for those looking for an answer to a moral question. That is the task at hand for Robert Sirico, a Catholic priest and center-right thinker in his excellent new book, Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy.
Appearing as a panel member on Sunday's Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, former CNN political analyst Bill Schneider undermined the judgement of men versus women while analyzing the gender gap in American politics as he ended up joking that "men are stupid, they take stupid risks."
He also labeled President George W. Bush as a "great risk taker" whose drive to cut taxes and invade Iraq were "big risks."
After recounting that since 1980, women have tended to vote more Democratic than men, Schneider asserted: (Video at bottom)
New York Times welfare reporter Jason DeParle appeared on the NPR program "Fresh Air" hosted by Terry Gross, on Thursday to retell the horror stories that appeared in his lead story last Sunday: "I can't remember a time when I heard people talk so openly about desperate or even illegal things that they were doing in order to make ends meet. They were selling food stamps. They were selling blood. Women talked openly about shoplifting." Even committing "muggings of illegal immigrants." DeParle noted with laughable understatement that such "strategies" can "make them seem unsympathetic."
Asked by the sympathetic Gross about the 1996 welfare reform (which DeParle at the time said risked forcing mothers to "turn to prostitution or the drug trade....abandon their children....camp out on the streets and beg"), DeParle responded with tales of formidable state bureaucracy that won't cut much ice with anyone who has dealt with the DMV:
In 1996 DeParle predicted poor mothers would "turn to prostitution or the drug trade. Or cling to abusive boyfriends. Or have more abortions. Or abandon their children. Or camp out on the streets and beg." None of which came to pass, until now (or so his new anecdotes suggest).
National Review's Reihan Salam on Sunday proved once again that liberal media members no matter what their number are no match for one well-informed conservative.
On CNN's FareedZakaria GPS, Salam took on the host, Time magazine's Joe Klein, and the Nation's Katrina VandenHeuvel on a far-ranging discussion about how both sides of the aisle view taxes, the Tea Party, and social change with the conservative ending up looking like the only knowledgeable person in the room (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Tuesday, for the second time in two weeks, CNN's Soledad O'Brien insisted that President Bush, not President Obama, is the "food stamp president" – even though data show her argument is ridiculous.
On January 19, O'Brien had opened up that "it was George Bush who was the food stamp president." Then on Tuesday, she stated that Bush oversaw a greater percent increase of food stamp recipients than Obama has, and thus was more deserving of the title "food stamp president."
Using the same predictable liberal smear of shouting racism at any conservative who criticizes President Obama, on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry ranted: "...you've been increasingly stepping up your characterization of President Obama as a 'food stamp president,' interestingly, in the lead-up now to South Carolina....Are you intentionally playing the race card to win votes?" [Audio available hereand view video below]
Gingrich dismissed the assertion and rightfully condemned those hurling the outrageous accusation: "You know, modern liberals are just, I think frankly, totally off the deep end....their only answer is to yell racism and hide."
As NewsBusters previously reported, MSNBC's Chris Matthews has been making the rounds accusing everyone associated with Monday's Republican presidential debate of racism.
On Tuesday's Hardball, the host finished the program by claiming former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was race-baiting by calling Barack Obama The Food Stamp President (video follows with transcript and commentary):
New York Times poverty beat-writer Jason Deparle, who once described Clinton’s welfare reform proposal as “a bill that begrudges poor infants their Pampers” and predicted it might cause women to “camp out on the streets and beg,” made Thursday’s front page with the claim that America is becoming “less equal...less mobile” with the poor stuck in place, in “Harder for Americans to Rise From Economy’s Lower Rungs.”
A photo caption read: “Occupy protesters, like these in Flint, Mich., have pushed discussions about economic mobility toward center stage.”
As NBC's Meet the Press panel ripped into Newt Gingrich on Sunday for his comments on poor children in inner cities lacking working role models, Manchester Union Leader publisher Joe McQuaid was the lone voice of dissent: "I think he gets a bum rap on the child labor thing."
That prompted host David Gregory to declare: "Are you really saying that the working poor in this country don't have good role models of how to work hard?...How do you get to that practical solution and not see it as a kind of grotesque distortion of what's really happening out there?"
In an interview with Donald Trump on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer hit Newt Gingrich for pointing out that poor inner city children lack role models: "He made some controversial comments recently about the poor and jobs....Maureen Dowd in the Times on Sunday said, 'Has he not heard of the working poor?'"
Lauer turned to Trump and fretted: "Did Newt Gingrich unfairly characterize what's happening in poor communities across this country?" Trump replied: "No, it wasn't maybe politically correct but it happens to be the truth....[Gingrich] is looking at the inner city, where Obama has done nothing..." Lauer pressed: "But do children in those inner city areas really have no role models who work?"
It's one thing for your average, secular liberal not to know the New Testament. But for the Reverend Al Sharpton not to know better?
On his MSNBC show this evening, Sharpton rolled video of Michelle Bachmann, after making the case for self-reliance, saying "if anyone will not work, neither shall they eat." Even this NewsBuster, who is anything but expert in the area, realized that Bachman was quoting Scripture to the effect that people who are unwilling--not unable--to work don't deserve support. But Sharpton incredibly claimed Bachmann meant that "if you don't have work, you should starve." Video after the jump.
Call yourself a Christian? Then you can't oppose whatever welfare programs the Democrats devise. So in effect argued Al Sharpton on his MSNBC show this evening.
In the course of criticizing House Republicans for having passed a bill reaffirming "In God We Trust" as the national motto, Sharpton somehow equated Christianity with support for the liberal agenda. And although I'm the opposite of an expert on Christian theology, he also came up with a formulation on faith and works that might be surprising to some Protestants. Video after the jump.
At the Politico, James Hohmann's biography page indicates that he is "an Honors graduate of Stanford University" who "studied American political history." I hope he skipped class during the time his profs covered the 1990s, because if not, he and many other classmates have been badly misled.
Hohmann covered Bill Clinton's commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of his presidential candidacy announcement at his library in Little Rock, Arkansas, and let the following Clintonian howlers go by without challenge:
Are we witnessing a crack-up within the key demographic President Obama must count on to have any hope of re-election? Al Sharpton has come out firing at Maxine Waters and other black Dems for their criticism of President Obama's perceived indifference to black unemployment. Last month, long-time congresswoman Waters told the audience at a Congressional Black Caucus event that she and other black leaders were ready to attack President Obama as soon as African-Americans "tell us it's all right and you unleash us."
On his MSNBC show last night, Sharpton accused those who spoke of "unleash us" of being "hypocrites." According to Sharpton, such people didn't make a peep when Bill Clinton implemented the reinstitution of the federal death penalty and welfare reform. Sharpton issued a blunt warning: "I'm not telling you to shut up. I'm telling you don't make some of us have to speak up." View video after the jump.
Apparently, the state of California has been trying to do something about the runaway costs of its "traditional welfare" program. Nationally, it's known as TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). In the tarnished Golden State, it's called CalWORKS (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids).
Wednesday, the supposedly nonpartisan but clearly left-leaning California Budget Project (CBP) issued a report entitled "Recent Cuts to CalWORKs Have Significantly Affected Families and Local Communities." At the Sacramento Business Journal, Staff Writer Kathy Robertson essentially transcribed its major points. Had she done further work, she would have noted that the number of CalWORKs recipients, already over triple the national average as a percentage of the population, increased by another quarter-million during the past 27 reported months (June 2008 to September 2010) to 1.46 million. That total is almost 4% of the state's population. The welfare-receiving percentage of the population in the rest of the country, including a few other states which have allowed their rolls to unreasonably balloon, is less than 1.2%.
Here are several paragraphs from Robertson's report:
Previewing the network’s “Black Agenda” special, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell dragged out one of the most liberal members of Congress on April 7 to demagogue Republican budget cuts as harmful to poor minority groups.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) turned what was supposed to be a conversation about the consequences of a government shutdown, which most members on both sides of the aisle want to avoid, into a screed against only $60 billion in cuts to non-defense discretionary spending.
“And so people need to know, people are going to bed hungry tonight,” fretted Lee, even though the government was still open yesterday and wouldn't close until at least tomorrow morning. “There will be more people poorer if the budget that the Republicans want passed gets passed.”
Covering the budget debate on Capitol Hill and the conflict in Libya, Andrea Mitchell spun two serious policy issues as examples of race-baiting.
On the April 5 edition of “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” the MSNBC anchor lamented that Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) proposed 2012 budget would ravage black and Hispanic communities.
“Representative Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget, released today, includes reforms, what they call reforms, and also big cuts in housing assistance, job training, and food stamps,” warned Mitchell. “All of which would have a very big impact on particularly poor and minority communities, some say.”
Conagra Foods, whose social cause is ending child hunger, is taking a new approach to raise the issue’s visibility. The company is starting its largest campaign ever, including a television special, to spur more grass-roots involvement to make sure no child goes hungry.
The Omaha-based ConAgra financed a 30-minute program, hosted by Al Roker of the “Today” show on NBC, to tell the stories of American families who, each day, face the question of whether they will have enough to eat. One 8-year-old boy says, “I eat less so my sisters can have another meal.”
“Child hunger is not a problem, it’s a crisis,” Mr. Roker said in an interview, referring to the 17.2 million children the Agriculture Department estimates are at risk of lacking food. In the special, Mr. Roker, along with an NBC correspondent, Natalie Morales, highlights the effects of hunger on children’s ability to learn and complete their education.
On his July 20 afternoon program, Dylan Ratigan shouted down the Washington Examiner's J.P. Freire for challenging the MSNBC host's liberal orthodoxy and accusing him of giving more air time to the liberal panelist appearing opposite him.
Eschewing any sense of balanced reporting, Ratigan thundered: "I said I'm in charge of the show. I decide who I'll talk to. I might spend the entire time talking to Jonathan Capehart and not talk to you at all. And then you can choose never to come on my show again."
"I'm sorry, Jonathan was taking up a lot of my time earlier in the segment," explained Freire. "Look at the amount of time he's been talking and the amount of time I was talking."
At the Associated Press, Kelli Kennedy's Thursday report on fraud and abuse in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which is well done in several aspects, nonetheless significantly understated its losses.
The AP dispatch deals with a now-released Government Accountability Office report on the results of investigations in nine states.
Here are the first four paragraphs of Kennedy's report (HT David Freddoso at the Washington Examiner), including reference to a woman who is LIHEAP's version of a welfare queen:
A federal program designed to help impoverished families heat and cool their homes wasted more than $100 million paying the electric bills of thousands of applicants who were dead, in prison or living in million-dollar mansions, according to a government investigation.