Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
Desperate single mothers are mugging illegal aliens, shoplifting, and fencing stolen goods in order to survive, and it’s all the fault of those heartless Republicans and spineless Democrats who passed the 1996 welfare reform law. Such, at least, is the message of a front-page article in the New York Times, the first salvo in a likely campaign to roll back the most successful federal law in recent memory.
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) limited federal welfare payments to five years and conditioned them on a recipient’s effort to find work—in essence, stripping welfare of its entitlement status. As a result, the welfare rolls dropped two-thirds from 1996 to 2009, work rates of never-married mothers surged, and black child poverty fell to its lowest level ever.
But according to Times reporter Jason DeParle, TANF has not performed as it should have during the recession. Rather than skyrocketing, the welfare rolls have risen “only” 15 percent since 2007, and still remain 68 percent below their pre-reform peak. Some people, of course, would see the relative stability in welfare usage as a sign of success—proof that TANF has permanently discouraged at least one form of dependency. Not DeParle, however, who tries to show that the law has resulted in severe hardship for single mothers at the bottom of the economic ladder, forcing them to turn to crime and other forms of hustling to survive.
To his credit, DeParle himself provides much of the evidence that refutes his main story line. Nevertheless, his piece reveals a continuing divide over the analysis of poverty and the behavior (more…)
When Chelsea Clinton, with her, ahem, long record of accomplishment, offered her services to the TV networks, they all jumped at the chance.
To get the TV gig, Chelsea’s team played off rival networks, holding a series of meetings in New York last fall with all the major television news outlets, including ABC, CBS, and CNN. “Her agent calls, asks if you want to meet with Chelsea Clinton, you take the meeting,” one network executive tells BuzzFeed.
Team Chelsea. She has “people.” One wonders if she lives in a “compound” like the sainted Kennedy clan.
But she didn’t blow anyone away with her presence during the interview process, according to network executives who interviewed her. “Horrible,” says another high ranking TV executive who met with Chelsea. “There were ground rules, what she could and couldn’t report, only good news, no politics, ” says the executive, who felt Chelsea would be a dud and passed.
There was a sense in the meetings that that the news channels were auditioning for her — not the other way around — which rubbed a few of those she met with the wrong way. “They acted like we should be grateful” that she was offering herself to the networks, says the exec.
Even high ranking company officials within NBC, according to sources at 30 Rock, weren’t that impressed with her. One senior staffer told colleagues after multiple meetings that Chelsea was going to be simply “terrible” on television. Upon her arrival, Chelsea was given a welcome bag, filled with NBC swag, 30 Rockers tell me. NBC’s David Gregory responded by jokingly asking: “Where’s my welcome bag?”
Read it all. It explains a lot.
There is some nonsense, such as this:
Chelsea has, within her, one of the final untold chapters of the Clinton era scandals, a piece of ‘90s history that we already look back on with a mix of bewilderment, denial, and shame. (Did the political media class really spend the 90’s investigating a blowjob? Yep.)
Nope, the Clinton scandal was about a sitting president who suborned perjury and lied under oath.
Scooter Libby was ruined for supposedly lying to the FBI.
Martha Stewart did time in prison for supposedly lying to the FBI.
Roger Clemens is being tried for supposedly lying to Congress.
Bill Clinton was disbarred for his lawbreaking conduct.
If there was denial and shame, it all belongs to Slick Willie.
Not just Pelosi, but the whole Dem-Cong carped during the entire Bush presidency about the “tax cuts for the richest 1%.”
Ignorant people (OWS) believed them. But now that the Bush era cuts are set to expire this year, we hear this:
At the end of the year, some $500 billion in tax breaks expire all at once, hitting American households with an average tax increase of $3,800 — if Congress doesn’t act.
The potential increases include $165 billion more from taxpayers as a result of expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, which would push taxes from a bottom rate of 10 percent and a top rate of 35 percent to a bottom rate of 15 percent and a top rate of 39.6 percent.
The expiring cuts would hit all income groups, but those at low and middle incomes would suffer the most.
“‘Taxmageddon’ falls 70 percent on middle and low income families. That’s because 60 percent of the Bush tax cuts were for middle and low-income taxpayers,” Dubay said. The payroll tax cut was aimed at the same taxpayers.
Aha! The Bush tax cuts were across the board, taking millions off the tax rolls completely and cutting taxes mainly for the middle class.
Yes, top earners had their top rate cut as well, but the big money went to the middle class and poor.
Income inequality is a blight upon America.
It must be stamped out.
Do whatever it takes. More taxes. Salary caps. Seizure of bank accounts. You name it.
Because how can we as a nation abide the fact that the median income in Mississippi is $36,646 and the median income in Maryland is $69,272?
It’s just so wrong.
Michelle Obama made a remarkable claim when talking up her husband, President Barack Obama, at a campaign event earlier today in Nashville, Tennessee.
“I am so in,” Michelle Obama said toward the end of her remarks. “I am going to be working so hard. We have an amazing story to tell. This president has brought us out of the dark and into the light.”
The crowd of nearly 450 folks applauded as the first lady likened her husband to a Jesus-like figure.
Owners and managers of swimming pools at hotels, city recreation centers and public parks are scrambling to install mechanical chair lifts to comply with new federal requirements that all public pools be accessible to disabled swimmers.
Some hotels fear the cost of the equipment or fines for noncompliance could put them out of business, and an industry lobbyist says others may close their pools this summer if they can’t upgrade in time, though the government can offer more time to those having trouble paying for it. Swimmers with disabilities say the changes are overdue.
“I couldn’t get into the pool without it,” said Karen Kitchen of Savannah, who has multiple sclerosis and relies on a poolside chair lift at the Chatham County Aquatic Center for her physical therapy workouts up to four times a week.
Adding to the problem is a backlog of orders created by the rush to meet a May deadline. Harry Spirides ordered lifts last month for the hotel he owns on Georgia’s largest public beach and was told they should arrive in late April. He expects to pay $12,000 for the lifts at the Ocean Plaza Beach Resort on Tybee Island.
As gas prices continue to soar around the country, Joe Kennedy III, the Democratic candidate for Rep. Barney Frank’s seat, wrote an online letter to supporters calling for an end to “cheap oil.”
“Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama — they’ve all talked about the same thing: the need to wean ourselves off our debilitating dependence on foreign oil,” Kennedy wrote.
“The cycle that allows cheap oil to trump tough choices has to stop,” he continued. “Forty years is enough.”
I’m well aware that every radio talk show host insists he has the smartest listeners, but I suspect I have the smartest readers. I don’t say that simply because they’re wise enough to read what I write, which would certainly be a strong indicator, but because I read what they write.
For instance, I recently heard from Patrick Miano, of Phoenix, Arizona. In his opening, he mentioned that not too long ago a wealthy, charitable Arizona couple named Shapiro had been brutalized, robbed and murdered by a gang of five professional criminals. Recalling the way the liberal media had jumped all over the lunatic who had killed six people and injured a dozen others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, insisting on the basis of absolutely no evidence that he was a right-wing fanatic, Mr. Miano sent the following letter to Ed Montini, a liberal columnist for the Arizona Republic:
“I blame the liberal media and the Democrats for the murders of Mr. and Mrs. Shapiro and similar crimes that have occurred in this country. The president is also responsible for his tirades against ‘millionaires and billionaires flying in corporate jets.’ They incite poor people who have nothing to commit violence. They inflame the vast unstable element on the Left, fill them with class envy and resentment. Directly or indirectly, they encourage them to commit crimes against wealthy people like the Shapiros who have all the things they don’t. They rant about civility, but show none themselves. The murders of the Shapiros and other violence committed against our most productive and generous citizens are on their heads. They have created a counter-culture consumed with an entitlement mentality.
“Does the above paragraph offend you? Is it unfair? Is it based on fabrications and exaggerations? Does it wrongly attack people who have done nothing more than use colorful language to exercise their right of free speech? You’re absolutely right! It is and it does. I reject such thinking. But if you felt offended, now you know how Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, conservative news commentators and Republicans, felt when the Left blamed them and their rhetoric for the attempted murder of Rep. Giffords and the murders of six innocent people by an assassin who was accused of being a rightist fanatic, but was only a madman with no political leanings. It doesn’t feel good, does it? Ed, I know you were not involved in that slander and libel campaign, but at least some of your left-wing colleagues were. Maybe you’d like to show this to them.
“If conservatives in Arizona try to exploit the Shapiro tragedy using propaganda like the inflammatory falsehoods I wrote above as an example, remember where they got the idea.”
My only problem with the letter is that, unlike Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, conservative talk show hosts and Republicans, the Left does intentionally foment violence. You need look no further than the Occupy Wall Street movement that has devastated city streets around the country and the rioting by the public sector unions in Madison, Wisconsin, to see examples of it.
The other email came to me from Clarence MacKenzie, a reader up in Canada. A keen student of politics in both our countries, he reminded me that the Liberal Party of Canada had dominated their national scene for nearly a century. “No one,” he wrote, “predicted their sudden and almost complete collapse. However, in retrospect, it now seems obvious.”
He continued: “From the mid-70s onward, the Liberals vacated the center and moved to the left. The center right Liberals began to lose influence in the party and started retiring or jumping ship (as with Sen. Joe Lieberman and the Democrats). As they moved to the white collar unions (teachers and public employees), the traditional trade unions began to lose enthusiasm, as happened when Obama’s nixed the Keystone XL pipeline. As the Liberals became more secular, they started to lose the Catholic vote, which migrated to the Conservatives. (I call your attention to Obama’s contraception move.) The Liberals began dithering on Israel and the Jewish vote, which had always constituted a strong liberal bloc, began to evaporate. In their move to the left, they fully embraced the Anthropogenic Global Warming stuff and became the darlings of the environmental extremists. (Sound familiar?) Over the decades they had gradually lost the western farm vote and the rural vote west of Toronto. (Check the present Red State/Blue State distribution in the U.S. and it’s intriguingly similar.)
“Basically they became a conglomeration of intellectual elites, bureaucrats, teachers, environmentalists, and other dribs and drabs. Over the past two elections, they have completely imploded and even the most ardent pundits cannot see them even back in the race in the foreseeable future.
“Like the Democrats, they always enjoyed the support of the mass media, but even that was not sufficient to prevent their demise.”
There you have it, folks. Now do you understand why I am so absolutely confident that Obama will not be re-elected this November? After all, as everyone knows, as Canada goes, so goes America.