U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, issued a statement Thursday applauding a House committee’s passage of a resolution condemning the Obama administration’s “July 12, 2012 Waiver of Welfare Work Requirements.” It neatly dovetails with the (false) narrative Mitt Romney has been peddling for weeks that the Obama administration is seeking to curry favor and generate votes by cutting all those welfare queens some slack and allowing them to slump back into their couches with a box of donuts to surf cable all day. And collect, collect, collect them gub’ment checks. And make babies.
Boustany’s full statement:
The best way out of poverty is to have and maintain a job. Many Americans across the nation believing those with the ability to work should to receive federal benefits. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced states may waive the welfare work requirement by changing the definition of ‘work’ under current law.
Before Congress passed welfare reform, states counted activities such as bed rest, journaling, and motivational reading as work according to the Government Accountability Office. The HHS decision weakens the minimum requirements that people work in exchange for federal benefits. Yet again, we see another example of President Obama overreaching his constitutional authorities for political gain.
The resolution Boustany praises actually challenges the administration’s constitutional authority to cut a deal with the states over the work requirements, which is a valid position in its way. Although the Government Accountability Office has said that the administration should have had the waiver proposal vetted by Congress first, the GAO also noted the White House has the legal authority to work with the states and was acting within precedent.
Yet the fact remains that no waivers have been issued. Moreover, the White House’s offer to waive welfare work requirements was in response to several states, including two controlled by Republicans, requesting more flexibility in doling out federal welfare checks in order to test new programs for getting more welfare recipients into the workforce.
As Huffington Post’s Arthur Delany writes:
While the Romney campaign has falsely claimed work requirements have already been dropped, the requirements remain in place. In July, the administration said it would consider waiving some federal rules if states had ideas for “demonstration projects” that could improve employment outcomes for beneficiaries. Several states — including two with Republican governors — had requested flexibility from requirements in welfare, formally known as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. No waivers have been issued yet, and the administration insists it would only issue waivers for demonstration projects that put more people to work.
What’s funniest in this — we’re not sure ironic is the proper adjective — is that our U.S. House of Representatives is controlled by states’ rights-worshiping Republicans who yap ad nauseam about a too-powerful federal government. So are they effect applauding preventing states from having more flexibility in how they administer a federal program or, to put it another way, ensuring that it’s the federal way or the highway?
There must be a presidential election around the corner.
JUNE 19 Former Saint Steve Gleason, who is paralyzed by ALS, released a statement Tuesday in response to the Atlanta radio station's skit making fun of him and the disease, this Picayune post reports. What did he say? He said he'd accepted the apology of the DJs who did it, notes that at least the incident has got people talking about ALS, and asks anyone who is burning to take action about it to do so -- by helping him fight ALS.
JUNE 19 Blogger Ian McGibboney takes a look at the Gleason incident in this post. He makes a good argument about the difference between having free speech and being free from consequences for your speech (which none of us is). He also admits that many of us got upset before we listened to the skit -- but lets us know that the reality is far worse than we can imagine. It was the incredibly bad judgment, even more than the actual speech, that probably got those DJs fired, he opines.
JUNE 19 Washington Post blogger Aaron Blake writes about Sen. Guillory's switch to the GOP in this post. He writes what most political watchers in Louisiana know: Guillory was a Republican before he decided to run for the senate seat in a mostly-D St. Landry district, and has switched back now that he plans to run for Lt. Gov. in a mostly-R state. But how come Blake missed Guillory's appearance on a TLC pageant show? Now that is a video we'd like to see. (Again).
JUNE 19 Here's another Washington Post blog post about a Louisiana politician, and it's just plain scathing. Ezra Klein says Jindal's Politico post was "insulting" to the intelligence of voters, and adds that Jindal is personifying the "stupid" he's railed against, by being an "elite" who convinces GOP activists of "things that aren't true." Me-ow.
JUNE 19 Here's Gov. Jindal's post in Politico, in which he asks the GOP to get over losing to Obama (again) and stop "the bedwetting." (Uh, what?) He gives his Republican buddies what is probably a nerd's idea of a coach's motivational talk, which starts with a list of accomplishments that they can't seem to exploit and ending with an absurd description of liberals that sounds like a character treatment for a Fox "News" movie scripted by Gordon Liddy. Sure, he's preaching to the choir, but even the choir's not this gullible.
JUNE 19 Lamar Parmentel read Gov. Jindal's post on Politico, but thinks it was so dumb it probably was published in the wrong paper. This post by Lamar on the Daily Kingfish opines that possibly Jindal's post was destined for the Onion -- because the governor couldn't possibly be serious here. If you listen closely, you can hear the staff of the Kingfish giggling.
JUNE 19 Blogger Robert Mann posts from Turkey, a country he has visited several times in the past few years. Mann gives an interesting overview of the current political and societal climate of the country, which -- if you're living under a rock and don't know -- is experiencing protests and turmoil these days. Mann promises to post as much as he can during his trip, which should be fascinating reading.
JUNE 19 Blogger CB Forgotston says the legislature is keeping the vicious cycle going with its funding of new buildings for the community college/technical college system. Universities across the state need maintenance and improvement on existing buildings, and the solution is to build new buildings at other schools? By the time the bonds are paid off, those buildings will be falling down, too, CB says.
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to offer shares of its stock to the public for the first time.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.