April 16, 2014

No Press Story IDs Sentenced Former Bell, Calif. City Manager as a Democrat

In September 2010, Lachlan Markay at NewsBusters put up a post entitled “Eight Dems Arrested in Bell, CA ‘Corruption on Steroids’ – Not a Single Mention of Party Affiliation From Media.”

Almost four years later (!), reviews of search engine results and specific news stories on the sentencing of Robert Rizzo, the community’s former city manager, are again returning no mentions of the fact that Rizzo is a Democrat.

(more…)

March 31, 2014

Most National Media Outlets Ignore Couple Who Defrauded Two States For Seven Years

Filed under: Economy,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:16 pm

Over at Hot Air, Dustin Siggins writes that Andrea and Colin Chisholm “are getting enormous media attention.” Perhaps, and I really hope so. Unfortunately, I found no evidence of any level of attention to the Chisholms, the apparently very rich couple who allegedly engaged in protracted fraud against the welfare systems of Florida and Minnesota for seven years, at several national establishment press outlets.

Here are some of the infuriating details from ABC’s weekend “Good Morning America” show, a rare establishment press exception (bolds are mine):

(more…)

March 19, 2014

Out of Control Education System Column of the Day

From Michelle Malkin’s latest column:

Revolt Against the Testing Tyrants

… College-bound students in Orange County, Fla., for example, now take a total of 234 standardized diagnostic, benchmark and achievement tests from kindergarten through 12th grade. Reading instructor Brian Trutschel calculated that a typical 10th-grade English class will be disrupted 65 out of 180 school days this year alone for mandatory tests required by the state and district.

Parents, teachers and administrators are fed up with Fed Ed. There’s a growing grassroots movement — left, right and center — to opt out of this latest battery of assessments. Last week, the Worcester, Mass., school board voted to allow parents to opt out of PARCC field tests and keep their kids in regular classroom instruction. The Norfolk, Mass., school board did the same in January. Colorado State Board of Education Chairman Paul Lundeen has called on the state legislature to repeal the PARCC testing requirement.

The testing tyrants, of course, are doing everything they can to stop parents from protecting their children: deceive, bully, intimidate and obfuscate.

Bottom line: No child in America is legally required to be a part of the latest Common Core lab-rat testing experiments. You are your kids’ primary educational provider and decider. You have the power to flunk the latest Fed Ed testing boondoggles. Use it.

It’s time to invoke the left’s “Dissent is patriotic” credo in defense of our kids’ and grandkids’ well-being and the nation’s future.

March 17, 2014

Dependency Uber Alles

Filed under: Economy,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:59 am

That must be the real goal of governors who have thwarted modest food stamp reform.

_________________________________________

This column went up at PJ Media on Saturday and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Sunday.

_________________________________________

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is a such a clever guy. He has just milked the social welfare system out of over $450 million per year Congress and President Barack Obama allegedly did not wish to spend. For doing so, he is being treated as a hero. Other state governors have already copied Cuomo’s gambit.

That the program commonly known as food stamps, technically known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), is badly in need of reform should be beyond dispute. The number of households receiving SNAP benefits grew from 26.9 million at the end of fiscal 2007 to a peak of 47.8 million in December 2012, an increase of 78 percent. Total program costs and benefit payments are well over double what they were six years ago.

Though its post-recession performance has been the least impressive of any since the Great Depression, the economy has still managed to generate just over 8 million additional jobs in the 48 months since February 2010, the last month during which employers shed jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis. Until very recently, that growth in jobholders did little to halt the program’s runaway caseload, which grew by over 8 million during the first 33 months after that employment trough.

The first indications of a long overdue post-recession reversal in program participation occurred this past November and December. The total number of recipients fell by over 700,000 during those two months, and came in below 47 million for the first time since July 2012. Unfortunately, Cuomo and his copycats appear determined to slow down even that minimal amount of progress.

The Empire State governor’s move gets around a loophole many in Congress thought it had eliminated.

Here is the foundation under which Cuomo was able to pull off his con:

… to calculate disposable income, the state takes your total income and subtracts some allowable deductions for essentials. Since things like rent and utilities are considered household necessities, they’re subtracted. To calculate how much a potential food stamp recipient spends on utilities, states used to collect multiple utility bills from each and calculate the average. To streamline things, they came up with a standard utility allowance.

I would argue that the “streamline” was also designed to grow the dependency rolls and increasing dependents’ degree of dependency. Out of thin air, the “standard utility allowance” creates phantom expenses applicants don’t really incur, thus qualifying more households for benefits, and others for higher benefits.

Sadly, this aspect of the law’s administration hasn’t changed. The fact that it hasn’t is why Congress failed to fix the problem it thought it had solved, and why the advertised cost savings won’t occur. Here’s what the law does:

… The measure … involved stopping a practice in multiple states — the use of a program popularly called “heat and eat” that allowed residents who receive as little as $1 in federal heating assistance to also qualify for additional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

The 2014 farm bill raises the minimum threshold in state LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) contributions to $20 for families to qualify for the extra food stamps.

States were even sending the $1 checks to households which don’t pay a utility bill for the sole purpose of increasing their SNAP benefits.

Even hardened leftists like Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, advocacy groups like the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, and press outlets like Mother Jones recognized Congress’s move as an attempt at genuine reform.

So how did Andy Cuomo ruin things?

He simply increased the annual LIHEAP checks sent to affected families from $1 to $20.

Presto: 300,000 families will continue receiving excessive SNAP benefits. New York will spend $6 million (300,000 times $20) to ensure that an estimated $457 million per year in benefits continue to be overpaid.

Cuomo’s maneuver has proven too much for other governors to resist. Connecticut Democrat Dannel Malloy quickly followed suit, at an annual taxpayer cost of $67 million. Even alleged Republican Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania has sold out, at a cost of $300 million. Thus, barring new legislation or President Obama using his authoritarian instincts to actually save money (good luck with that), about half of the $8.6 billion Congress allegedly claimed it would save over five years has already evaporated. Other states will surely follow suit.

The social welfare community is naturally pleased as punch, because it believes that SNAP benefit levels are too low. They seldom if ever make serious arguments about benefit levels or how the calculation formulas should be changed in front of Congress, which I take as an indication that they don’t have a case.

Most local press accounts clearly favor the governors’ moves. National press coverage has been sparse, perhaps because the Politico, which to be fair at least described Cuomo as having “gamed” the law, is often the go-to place where stories worthy of wide national attention get buried. (Other national outlets seem to say, “Well, the Politico already covered it, so we don’t have to.”)

If President Obama or any Democrat in Washington really objects to what Cuomo and his co-conspirators have done, I haven’t heard about it. Their silence makes me wonder if they let the farm bill become law because they knew that “creative” governors would quickly get around it. If so, the “stupid party” once again got outsmarted.

SNAP’s goal should be to keep people with inadequate financial resources from inadequate nutrition. Unfortunately, the real objective for far too long has been to convert the program into an automatic entitlement any time one suffers even a small break or a temporary steep reduction in their income.

38 states have eliminated the program’s old “asset test,” which kept households with over $2,500 in the bank from receiving benefits (oh, the inhumanity!). Over 30 states have also increased the program’s income eligibility threshold from the long-established 130 percent of the federal poverty level to as high as 200 percent. This has enabled some normally high-earning and well-off households with tens of thousands of dollars in liquid assets whose breadwinners are temporarily unemployed to qualify.

This whole episode demonstrates how difficult if not impossible it will be to get federal spending, 70 percent of which consists of payments to individuals, under control before national insolvency “solves” the problem in a very painful way.

March 16, 2014

Latest PJ Media Column (‘Dependency Uber Alles’) Went Up Yesterday

Filed under: Economy,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:05 am

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog Monday morning (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

February 28, 2014

Former Greenpeace Official: ‘No Scientific Proof’ of Human-Caused Global Warming; Press Ignores

Patrick Moore is one of the early members of Greenpeace, and was an important official in that organization from 1971 to 1986.

Moore is among the last people one might expect to be a “climate change denier,” as those who irritate us with the idea that human-caused global warming is “settled science” like to characterize people who disagree with them. But he is, as seen in Senate testimony earlier this week. The establishment press is ignoring Patrick; the few identified results at the link come from British newspapers and center-right outlets. An Investor’s Business Daily editorial yesterday highlighted what Moore had to say (bolds are mine):

(more…)

January 28, 2014

Graphic of the Day

Requires no elaboration (HT Rhymes with Right):

SarahPalinVsWendyDavis

And of course, the media darling is the phony.

January 22, 2014

Family Values Point of the Day

Filed under: Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Scams — Tom @ 2:59 pm

From James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal’s Best of the Web:

As it turns out, for Wendy Davis marriage really was the answer to poverty.

Ouch.

January 21, 2014

CBS Repeats the False Wendy Davis Bio Meme: ‘Blurred’ Lines

To be fair, it started with the original story broken at the Dallas Morning News, where Wayne Slater’s substantive story about Wendy Davis’s problems with the truth was headlined “As Wendy Davis touts life story in race for governor, key facts blurred.”

“Blurred” is clearly a popular word with an establishment press which is determined to try to make this problem with Davis’s basic credibility go away. The New York Times (“Accused of Blurring Facts of Stirring Life Story, Texas Lawmaker Offers Chronology”) and NBCnews.com (“Off to the races: Wendy Davis’ ‘blurred’ bio”) have also gotten in on the “blurred” headline act (Perhaps surprisingly, the Associated Press and Politico, whose coverage I addressed yesterday, have not). So has CBS News, whose Rebecca Kaplan bent over backwards to try to keep Davis in a favorable light (links are in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):

(more…)

January 20, 2014

This Almost Never Happens (‘Illegal Alien With 7 Kids Got Food Stamps, Housing & Social Security for 20 Years’)

Why, the last time someone abused the welfare system to this extent was 35 years ago, with Ronald Reagan’s oft-cited “welfare queen.”

Since then, we’ve been continually assured that waste, fraud and abuse in government benefit programs has been rare.

So it comes as a real surprise (NOT) to learn of the story in the video below (“Illegal Alien With 7 Kids Got Food Stamps, Housing & Social Security for 20 Years”):

It’s amazing that the TV reporter seemingly no idea how utterly illegal most of this probably is.

Don’t worry. I’m sure this is just an isolated incident. (/sarc)

Aren’t you glad we “navigators” to sign people up for as many federal bennies as possible all at once?

January 9, 2014

Follow-up Comment on ‘A Chaos-Driven Path to Single Payer?’ Column

Filed under: Health Care,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:48 pm

From a commenter at my PJ Media column which appeared yesterday:

How can this incompetence be allowed to go unchecked? My insurance is under the FEHB (Federal Employees Health Benefits) program, and its online system has worked flawlessly and clearly for the several years I have been using it. Considering that it is possible to have safe and WORKING systems under the government, I am beginning to believe the accusations that this administration is deliberately trying to foist an unworkable system on the public, for reasons based on the Cloward-Piven ideas.

Great point. Much of the FEHB shell should have been portable. But it’s as if, as far as HHS is concerned, it doesn’t exist.

January 7, 2014

These Are So Much Fun …

Filed under: Environment,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:34 pm

… and there are so many opportunities to use them on hapless progressives.

The latest installment of “Hitler learns” is “Hitler Gets Trapped in Sea Ice.”

Enjoy (Warning: R-rated language):

HT Powerline.

________________________________

UPDATE: Here’s an encore — “Hitler finds out he can’t keep his doctor under Obamacare” (this one is PG):

December 29, 2013

Video: ‘A Day In the Life (under ObamaCare)’

Tragically funny:

November 21, 2013

Ayers ‘Confesses’ He Wrote ‘Dreams of My Father’: The ‘Surprise’ in This Is the Timing

Filed under: Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:10 am

Link (don’t expect it to be there long; HT Gateway Pundit via HyScience):

AyersWroteObamasDreams112113

Five years ago, Jack Cashill’s research pretty much proved what Ayers is said to have admitted — again (last time, in 2011, he did that and then backed away in the same evening).

It matters because, as Cashill wrote on September 20, 2008, “That Obama had anything to do with this man should disqualify him for the presidency.”

As to the timing, it’s odd because Obama is at his presidency’s lowest point and can ill afford this rehash traveling far.

So is Ayers’ move another “just kidding” setup, unfocused spite, a sign that Obama’s real base or hardened radicals is abandoning him — or, conceivably, the beginning of a movement to get rid of him for betraying them with utter incompetence?

November 19, 2013

Lifson on the Faked 2012 Pre-Election Unemployment Figures

At American Thinker, based on John Crudele’s report Monday evening at the New York Post:

The real question is whether the faked interviews were skewed toward reporting jobs held. One can imagine that if there was pressure to fake the interviews, then there was also pressure to make them report more employment. But this is impossible to know without putting people under oath.

Clearly a Congressional investigation is merited.

On President Obama’s watch, we have seen fraud employed to influence the 2012 election regarding Obamacare, so it is not much of a stretch to believe that unemployment data also was faked to influence the election. This raises questions about the legitimacy of his victory.

Well, given the fact that both the seasonally adjusted and raw numbers of employed per the Household Survey went up by 873,000 (eventually revised down to 810,000) and 775,000, respectively — alltime September highs in the nearly 70 years of such record keeping — there was always reason to be suspicious that the reporting was skewed towards “jobs held.”

And I’ll have to admit that I was wrong last year, in a very important sense. I defended the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which processes the data it is given, but I didn’t consider the possiblity that the Census Bureau would manipulate its basic data collection. Now the only question is whether the bureau did slipshod work or if deliberately juiced the numbers. Given that the manipulation, according to Crudele’s sources, “escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today,” the odds are clearly with the latter.

As to Lifson’s assertion that this situation “raises questions about the legitimacy of his victory,” that ship sailed long ago, for at least the following three reasons. (There are several more; the three identified are the most obvious.)

Obama’s 2012 election “victory” has already been delegitimized by the IRS targeting of tea party, conservative, and social values groups.

Obama’s 2012 election “victory” has already been delegitimized by the cascade of lies about Benghazi.

Obama’s 2012 election “victory” has already been delegitimized because his unconditional guarantee that “If you like your plan-doctor-provider, you can keep your plan-doctor-provider” has indisputably been proven false.