Archive for the TANF Category

RICK SANTORUM EXPLAINS IT ALL: “WE WILL NEVER HAVE THE MEDIA ON OUR SIDE, EVER, IN THIS COUNTRY. WE WILL NEVER HAVE THE ELITE SMART PEOPLE ON OUR SIDE, BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THEY HAVE THEY SHOULD HAVE THE POWER TO TELL YOU WHAT TO DO.”

Posted in 2012 US ELECTION, ABORTION RIGHTS, AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM, ANDREW BRIETBART, BIGOTRY, BIRTHERISM, BLOGS 4 VICTORY, CONSERVATIVE FEAR, CONSERVATIVE HYPOCRISY, CONSERVATIVE IGNORANCE, CONSERVATIVE NEWS, COUNTER-THEOCRACY, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL, FASCISM, FETAL PERSONHOOD, FUNDAMENTALISTS ACTING BADLY, GLBTQ RIGHTS, GLENN BECK, GOP MELTDOWN, HOMOPHOBIA, HUMAN BEINGS, JIM HOFT, JUSTICE, MARK EDWARD NOONAN, MITT ROMNEY, NEOCON1, PAUL RYAN, POLITICS, POOR WHITE TRASH, PRESIDENT OBAMA, RACE AND POLITICS IN AMERICA, RELIGIOUS RIGHT, RICK SANTORUM, ROCK THE SLUT VOTE, RUSH LIMBAUGH, SARAH BLOCH OPINIONS, SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO, TANF, TEA PARTY, TECTONIC SHIFTS, TERRORISM, THE AMERICAN TALIBAN, THE CANCER OF HATE, THE GOP GENDER GAP, THE GREATER FOOL, THE IGNORANT TENTH, THE MATING HABITS OF CONSERVATIVES, THE WAR ON WOMEN, THEOCRACY, THEY EXPLAIN IT ALL, TODD AKIN, TONY PERKINS, VALUES VOTER SUMMIT, VOTER SUPPRESSION, WELFARE REFORM LIES FROM THE RIGHT, WHITE PRIVILEGE, WORLD NET DAILY with tags , , , on 16/09/2012 by sarahbloch

Rick Santorum speaking yesterday at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., gave a curious insight into just who the powerbrokers on the Religious Right want their base to be. If taken directly in context, which is something the Right rarely does in regard to the sitting President of the United States, Mr. Santorum speaking to a largely white and boisterous crowd at the Omni Shoreham Hotel said this:

I don’t even know what kind of revolution we’re in right now. We seem to be creating dynamism in the marketplace like it’s never been seen. Why? Freedom. Freedom, not government dictates, not planners who are going to invest in solar energy companies and tell us what our future is going to be by some bureaucrat making those decisions. No. No, we’re going to trust you.

That’s why the media doesn’t go along with us. You have to understand that. They don’t like conservatism. They like the other side, not necessarily, I would argue, because they necessarily agree with them. It’s because they can influence the country more. You see, if just a few people make decisions about what this world looks like and what this country looks like, well, then you can have people sitting in offices in the major media outlets and in Hollywood who can – they can deal with a small group of people and influencing them, getting them to jump through the hoops they want to. It’s much harder if all of you collectively build America. It’s much harder to influence you.

We will never have the media on our side, ever, in this country. We will never have the elite smart people on our side, because they believe they should have the power to tell you what to do. So our colleges and universities, they’re not going to be on our side. The conservative movement will always be – and that’s why we founded Patriot Voices – the basic premise of America and American values will always be sustained through two institutions, the church and the family. (Applause.)

And so economic conservatism – libertarian types can say, oh, well, we don’t want to talk about the social issues. Without the church and the family, there is no conservative movement. There is no basic values in America in force, and there is no future for our country. (Applause.)

So it is our job in this election, it is our job, to go out and make a difference. It is our job to go out and talk to fellow believers. And I don’t mean Christians. I mean fellow believers in the American creed, fellow believers in those basic principles that built our country.

Go out and preach to them the American ethic. Preach to them what made us great. And remind them that that greatness does not lie in Washington, D.C. or in the hands of a president. It lies in each and every one of us and in our families.

I’m excited, because I think we have a nominee who understands that. I read – I didn’t see it, but I read the transcript of what Governor Romney said here. I could have given that speech. I feel good. I feel good. (Laughter, applause.) We have to do our part.

So I encourage each and every one of you to leave here energized. It is our watch. At the end of the Declaration of Independence, we all know those words. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are – excuse me. We know these words, that we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortune and our sacred honor.”

What we have here from Mr. Santorum is telling on many levels. Clearly, there is an us against them sort of dynamic going on but these sorts of rifts are created by the Left as well just not to so much of an extreme. Marshall McLuhan famously said in 1946 that “the medium is the message” and that is as true today in American politics as it ever was. Santorum makes the point, however, that anti-intellectualism and satisfaction with being economically middling should be coupled with a drone-like adherence to religious and social beliefs. That makes no sense when you cosider that Mitt Romney is an Ivy League educated man worth more than $250 million whose family will have inherited wealth for many more generations into the future. So here the dynamic is clear as well. Santorum uses his Theocratic beliefs which are similarly held by middle class conservative white voters throughout the rural North, the South and the Midwest, to build a bridge in the air between the class animux that should exist between an elite intellectual businessman who has desires to be the highest elected official in America and the hoi polloi of the Right.

The only problem is that the Religious Right have seen this movie before. They saw this with the election of George W Bush in 2000. In that election the race became a watershed both for businesses and for individuals that was about what the future direction of America would be; a path toward neconservatism, a curious amalgamation of social values and military might a global cop, or neoprogressivism where the environment and social safety net issues would finally get the treatment in the public sphere they deserve by way of making hard choices now to assure a better future for for the generations of Americans to come.

America did not, I feel, fail itself by electing George W Bush. That lesson needed to be learned by Conservatives and Liberals alike. That path took America to trillions of dollars wasted in Iraq for a victory that was not won because of a lies told to heat the blood of the same Americans that Santorum spoke to at the Values Voter Summit. In this race Mitt Romney, a man who inspires no one is not seeking to inspire anyone. He, like George W Bush, is willing to offer lip service to the far Right and the Religious Right to get their votes on 6 November 2012. Romney is not a “true believer” like Catholic Rick Santorum is. Romney needs “true believer” surrogates like Santorum to get out there and energize the base.

The Conservatives now are being told, by one of their pious masters, that they are mediocre and stupid to paraphrase Mr. Santorum. I will admit here that the GOP is depending on those with negative attitudes toward President Barack Obama to constitute the majority of their voter base. The average TEA Party voter in 2012 can quote chapter and verse the lies about welfare to work requirements, their theories about corruption of the Supreme Court in the Affordable Care Act decision and most recently their refusal to believe that Muslim take their religion so seriously that a film trailer could inspire violence on a regional scale and thereby conflating the tragedy of four dead diplomtic service workers including Ambassador J Christopher Stevens into the failure of the Carter administration in 1979.

To the delusional voters on the Right this morning the sitting president is the “other.” This belief changing before 6 November 2012 is as unlikely as MSNBC becoming a digital parrot of the Koch Brothers’ goals for America. Yet Barack Obama is the sitting President of the United States. Getting there was the easy part; keeping Obama in office is what will be difficult. I, personally, still believe that the President will be re-elected. The violence in the Middle East will be a campaign footnote before the first debate is held on 3 October 2012 in Denver, Colorado; the teacher’s strike in Chicago will likely end next week.

By this time next week, the American electorate will be talking about the striking differences between the Right and the Left. Their choices are defined clearly by what has been said about women’s health on both sides. Their choices have defined by the Right wishing to exert controls on a society that no longer looks as it did in the post World War 2 era. Santorum and the “true believers” want to go back to those days when women could not choose to have or not to have a child, to have birth control options. The Religious Right want to go back to a time when the electorate was dominated by middle class white men who feared religion and who had wives who voted as they were told by their husbands and fathers. Conservatives who are being duped yet again by Mitt Romney want the gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people of America to go back in the closet at best or be rounded up by the Sheriff Joe Arpaio types doing the same work of Bull Conner in the 1960s. This election is about being a Human Being who has a choice in charting one’s own path in freedom, vice being a cog in a religion actuated corporate profit driven machine where your only choice is to pray to someone else’s deity that the law will not find fault in your personal decision and come for you.

Qu’ul cuda praedex nihil!

Sarah Bloch, D.S.V.J., J.F., O.Q.H [Jur.]
Amici Bax Demvolu Comnu
Politics & Culture Wars Managing Editor
The Dis Brimstone-Daily Pitchfork
24 Low Lux Negro 2 AS

THE ISSUES THAT MATTER TO THE CONSERVATIVES IN AMERICA: ABORTION, RACISM AND THE WAR ON WOMEN

Posted in 2012 US ELECTION, ABORTION RIGHTS, AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE ACT, AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM, AMERICANS AGAINST THE TEA PARTY, ANDREW BRIETBART, BAIN CAPITAL, BIG LABOR, BIGOTRY, BIRTHERISM, BLOGS 4 VICTORY, CONSERVATIVE FEAR, CONSERVATIVE HYPOCRISY, CONSERVATIVE IGNORANCE, CONSERVATIVE NEWS, COUNTER-THEOCRACY, DAWN PATROL, DREAM ACT, DRUDGE REPORT, ERICK ERICKSON, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL, FASCISM, FEARSPEAK, FOLLOW UP, FREEDOM, FUNDAMENTALISTS ACTING BADLY, GLBTQ RIGHTS, GLOBAL ECONOMY, GOP MELTDOWN, HOW HELL WORKS, HUMAN BEAUTY, HUMAN BEINGS, JIM HOFT, JT READY, JUDGE JERRY D BASS, JUSTICE, KOCH BROTHERS, L BRENT BOZELL, LAAL HETHRI, MAINSTREAM MEDIA SHORT ATTENTION SPAN, MARK EDWARD NOONAN, MITT ROMNEY, MORNING JOE, NEOCON1, NEWSBUSTERS, OBAMACARE, OCCUPY DC, OCCUPY WALL STREET, OFFICE OF THE TORTURER GENERAL, PAT BUCHANAN, PAUL RYAN, POLITICS, POOR WHITE TRASH, PRESIDENT OBAMA, RACE AND POLITICS IN AMERICA, RACIAL VIOLENCE, RELIGIOUS RIGHT, ROCK THE SLUT VOTE, RUSH LIMBAUGH, SARAH BLOCH OPINIONS, TANF, TEA PARTY, THE AMERICAN TALIBAN, THE GREATER FOOL, THE IGNORANT TENTH, THE MATING HABITS OF CONSERVATIVES, THE RICH STILL DIE, THE WAR ON WOMEN, THEOCRACY, U.S. ECONOMY, VOTER SUPPRESSION, WELFARE REFORM LIES FROM THE RIGHT, WHITE PRIVILEGE, WORLD NET DAILY, YOUR DAILY SIMPLIFICATION, ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, حرر سوريا! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 29/08/2012 by sarahbloch

I read a Blogs 4 Victory post entitled, “The False Narrative” last night and went to bed with the words of a commenter turned poster Cluster ringing in my ears. That ringing turned to laughter as I thought of how I would reply to his positions on abortion, racism and the War on Women. Here’s the gist of his argument:

Abortion –The party with the extreme position on abortion is the democrats. They currently support federal funding, partial birth, and live birth abortion, and essentially the right to kill the unborn without question at anytime. This position is far out of the mainstream, and voters need to know this. Conservatives support life with the rape/incest exception, which is optional, and that position is actually the real pro choice position.

– Racism – Honestly the political party that harbors racists, are the democrats. Most of them simply believe that people of a darker skin color are victims of this society solely because of their pigmentation, and that without government help, they are incapable of living a productive life. This mindset is deplorable and offensive. They also believe apparently that they need to be the protectors of our first black President, because obviously he is unable to withstand criticism of most any kind, due once again to the color of his skin.

– War on Women – Once again, the political party that is waging war against women is the democrats. How offensive is it for most women to know that Obama and Sandra Fluke believe that women are incapable of providing for their own contraception needs? How hypocritical is it for liberal feminists to say “keep your hands off my body” but then expect us to pay for their abortion and healthcare needs? How denigrating is it to believe that a pregnancy is an obstacle in a woman’s life? The fact is, women are incredibly strong and more than capable of determining, and paying for, their way through life without anyones help.

Here is my response:

Abortion—The facts on this are simple. The Democratic Party supports a woman’s right to choose when she has a child. Thereby, a woman to the Left has a right to choose to have an abortion that takes place within the time allotted by federal law. I repeat federal law dictates the time span of fetal development where an abortion is legal. In some cases, where the life of the mother is in jeopardy, an abortion is medically necessary beyond this federal limit. I woman cannot, in any jurisdiction in the United States of America have an abortion procedure beyond 21 weeks simply by saying she wants and abortion. I do not know anyone who supports partial birth abortion on demand. I also understand the law that says any viable fetus born alive even in an abortion clinic must be kept alive or the physician and anyone attending can be charged with murder. What you have written is hyperbole for the conservative base and nothing more.

Racism—It is easy to throw this term around but I find this very dangerous. I think America has progressed concerning race more in the period from 1950 to 2000 than it has at any other time in its history. Since 2000 however, there has been a turn from the institutionalized racism of the last century to a reactionary bigotry over the last 12 years. One has to understand the difference between bigotry and racism to even engage in this conversation. Racism needs power to fuel it. The power comes from politics. If those in charge all come from the same racial demographic then it is far more easy to keep another racial demographic at bay with laws that segregate them. The post Civil War Democratic Party in the South, made up of the most ardent conservatives of the time, saw the opportunities they had once the Reconstruction ended to initiate laws that would secure them power for what they thought would be forever. Those conservative Democrats could not have seen the Federal Government ever exercising its power below the Mason-Dixon line again and for over one hundred years they were right. So instead of having the vision for the future that Grant held blacks were put into a lower caste by the ruling white elite in the South and life for them remained that way until 1946 when the first stirrings for a second emancipation began. By the time the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed and signed by President Lyndon Johnson the white powerbrokers in the South realized they needed a new strategy, one less embarrassing than the overt bigotry supported by racist thinking that has been broadcast to the world by CBS News night after night. It took four years for a savior to come to the conservatives in the South who while Democrats were more than willing to shed that label to keep the suffering status quo in regard to the Negro. President Nixon utilized the animus between working class white and working class blacks in the South to march to victory in 1968. Reagan in his very first campaign speech did the same in Neshoba County, Mississippi and reinforced the new ethic of conservative views on race with his alliance with the Moral Majority in 1980. Race was cast aside in the late 1980s by President George H. W. Bush in the name of continuing economic prosperity. Demographers, however, knew that in a generation a great decline was going to take place among the white electorate. Younger white voters were becoming more and more liberal. Black voters had allied squarely with the new Liberal post-Kennedy Democratic Party led by Northern Liberals and Midwestern moderates. The GOP once a party of Ed Burke of Massachusetts and Barry Goldwater was now the party of Strom Thurmond and David Duke. The overt race baiting politics of the 1930s and 1940s no longer had a place among the Conservatives as it was no longer socially acceptable. The bigotry had to come from a dedicated and older bloc of conservative voters who see blacks and Latinos as a drain on their wealth [keep our taxes low], see minorities as a violent threat to their personal security [flash mobs] and demand that any leader of the country be able to prove he is American even if it is clear he was born in the US [birtherism]. Conservatives don’t need Racism because as their demographics shrink over the next 20 years, with the dying off of the Baby Boomers having begun in earnest, the power base that would have driven it too will have died off. Young Conservatives will take a new more inclusive tack. They will put the moralizing and religious traditionalism behind them and work to make their party a more populist and albeit nationalist simulacrum of the moderate wing of the Democratic Party. The next fifty years will be very interesting politically for America. On December 31, 2064 the last Baby Boomer will be 100 years old. The country that you know now will be long gone. I imagine it will still be prosperous but that prosperity will be dominated by Liberal married couples made up of majority that is composed of those that conservatives most fear the most. Educated white women will marry outside their race more as more and more blacks and Latinos earn higher education degrees in a truly level playing field. Gay and Lesbian couples will become full citizens as their marriages will be recognized as marriage in every state in the Union. Abortion will become rarer as government provided contraception is made cheap and widely available as Obamacare proves to be as effective for the young worker as Social Security is for the elderly. Churches will once again be filled with people of Faith rather than peasants of Fear. I feel that America in 2064 might be in the shining diamond midst of a new global golden age and she cannot be that with retrograde racial thinking but only by the continuing efforts of Progressives to keep up the pressure on the wobbling old man of Conservatism.

The War on Women—Post Clinton America finds itself in that phase the demographers of the 1980s warned conservatives about. Not to beat the issue to death but the pro-life position on abortion, as a political issue, while cloaked in the sweet intentions of preserving life is really nothing more than the most desperate reaction to a societal failure by white conservatives. The birth rates of Latinas and black women outpace that of white women nearly 8 to 1. Double that number for college educated white women over the age of 30 while the same demographic of black and Latinas is still a 4 to 1 advantage. It is politically perfectly understandable why a group of people who wants to stay in power, to have the America that they want would turn to issues of abortion and contraception when they are being beaten in the breeding race by such a wide margin. Also, marrying race with gender, this gives the Right another canard they can use—that women are to blame for the loss of white conservative political power through their desire to hold positions of power in a world they see as a man’s domain. American women don’t like this and they don’t like Mitt Romney no matter how many times Ann Romney begs for America to get to know her husband.

Qu’ul cuda praedex nihil!

Sarah Bloch, D.S.V.J., J.F., O.Q.H [Jur.]
Amici Bax Demvolu Comnu
Politics & Culture Wars Managing Editor
The Dis Brimstone-Daily Pitchfork
12 Low Lux Negro 2 AS

THE RIGHT CHOOSES TO LIE ABOUT TANF: HERE’S THE TRUTH

Posted in 2012 US ELECTION, CONSERVATIVE FEAR, CONSERVATIVE HYPOCRISY, CONSERVATIVE IGNORANCE, DIANE VALENCEN OPINIONS, FEARSPEAK, RACE AND POLITICS IN AMERICA, TANF, WELFARE REFORM, WELFARE REFORM LIES FROM THE RIGHT with tags , , , on 15/08/2012 by Diane Valencen, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H [Journ.], ArF J., M.F.

First of all there was no “executive order” signed by the president that was “designed to gut welfare.” What happened was the Department of Health and Human Services issued an informational memo to the 50 states and other interested parties outlining the waiver program for making Temporary Assistance to Needy Families [TANF] stronger in the following directions:

As specified in statute, the purpose of Part A is to increase the flexibility of states in operating a program designed to: (1) provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives; (2) end the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage; (3) prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and establish annual numerical goals for preventing and reducing the incidence of these pregnancies; and (4) encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.

That very statement was one of the bedrock issues for the Right under their Contract with America as Welfare Reform was passed in the House and the Senate in 1996 in the form of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 [PRWORA]. This new law dismantled the old system of Aid to Families with Dependent Children [AFDC] which had been abused for decades. Welfore Reform was one of the pieces of legislation that both the Congress and the Clinton administration can look back upon with pride. AFDC was replaced by TANF.

Of course the America of 1996 is far different from the America of 2012. In 2012, the polarization has become so deep between Right and Left, and truly between Right and Center, that any lie that makes the President of the United States appear to be against white working Christian conservatives can, will and must be told and then repeated until any proof to the contrary is spun as “Liberal lies.” A clear example of this is the post at Newsbusters.org written by Matt Hadro tnhat quotes an article written by Robert Rector and Katherine Bradley in the National Review bearing the conservative red meat title, “Obama ends welfare as we know it.”

Rector and Bradley likely sat down and confessed their knowledge to each other that what they were writing was a lie; simply a political hit piece designed to bring ill informed rural and urban blue collar white voters closer to the dark heart of the Romney/Ryan ticket. But a lie is a lie still. The Priorities USA ad where the guy basically said Romney killed his wife was a lie and that was a terrible one that never needs to be repeated by any surrogate of the Obama campaign. This is a different issue because it is yet another racial dog whistle by the conservatives.

The first place that I was able to find anything related to this HHS directive of 12 July 2012 was in the piece by Rector and Bradley at National Review. Countless people have come out to explain that the HHS hasn’t the authority to waive work requirements except in very specific cases which were allowed by the original law. So much like conservatives swallowed the poison the Manhattan Institute sold as it tried to convince conservatives that the Community Reinvestment Act working to get black Americans a home they could not afford was the cause of the housing collapse they also swallow what Rector and Bradley have peddled here.

The National Review article mentions Section 1115 under 42 USC 1315 where the power and explanation of the waivers lies according to Rector and Bradley. This stipulation isn’t some creation of the Obama administration, it is a part of the law as asigned by President Clinton and also utilized by President Bush after him. But Rector and Bradley aren’t even accurate in this. The power to allow STATES waivers lies in Section 602:

§602. Eligible States; State plan
(a) In general
As used in this part, the term “eligible State” means, with respect to a fiscal year, a State that, during the 27-month period ending with the close of the 1st quarter of the fiscal year, has submitted to the Secretary a plan that the Secretary has found includes the following:

(1) Outline of family assistance program
(A) General provisions
A written document that outlines how the State intends to do the following:

(i) Conduct a program, designed to serve all political subdivisions in the State (not necessarily in a uniform manner), that provides assistance to needy families with (or expecting) children and provides parents with job preparation, work, and support services to enable them to leave the program and become self-sufficient.

(ii) Require a parent or caretaker receiving assistance under the program to engage in work (as defined by the State) once the State determines the parent or caretaker is ready to engage in work, or once the parent or caretaker has received assistance under the program for 24 months (whether or not consecutive), whichever is earlier, consistent with section 607(e)(2) of this title.

(iii) Ensure that parents and caretakers receiving assistance under the program engage in work activities in accordance with section 607 of this title.

(iv) Take such reasonable steps as the State deems necessary to restrict the use and disclosure of information about individuals and families receiving assistance under the program attributable to funds provided by the Federal Government.

(v) Establish goals and take action to prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies, with special emphasis on teenage pregnancies, and establish numerical goals for reducing the illegitimacy ratio of the State (as defined in section 603(a)(2)(C)(iii) 1 of this title) for calendar years 1996 through 2005.

(vi) Conduct a program, designed to reach State and local law enforcement officials, the education system, and relevant counseling services, that provides education and training on the problem of statutory rape so that teenage pregnancy prevention programs may be expanded in scope to include men.

The damning paragraphs of the informational memorandum can be found in Scope of Authority section [emphasis mine]:

Section 1115 authorizes waivers concerning section 402. Accordingly, other provisions of the TANF statute are not waivable. For example, the purposes of TANF are not waivable, because they are contained in section 401. The prohibitions on assistance are not waivable, because they are contained in section 408.

While the TANF work participation requirements are contained in section 407, section 402(a)(1)(A)(iii) requires that the state plan “[e]nsure that parents and caretakers receiving assistance under the program engage in work activities in accordance with section 407.” Thus, HHS has authority to waive compliance with this 402 requirement and authorize a state to test approaches and methods other than those set forth in section 407, including definitions of work activities and engagement, specified limitations, verification procedures, and the calculation of participation rates. As described below, however, HHS will only consider approving waivers relating to the work participation requirements that make changes intended to lead to more effective means of meeting the work goals of TANF.

When dealing with those on the Right any lie that suits their purpose is better than the Truth any day as long as it gains traction among the base. Had I given a short and basic explanation they would have said the sources weren’t valid or they had a “liberal bias.” Doing it this way they will say it is wonky gibberish that no one can understand. This is what happens when dealing with people with the mentality of sheep who value guns and Bibles more than the prosperity and progress of their nation.

Qu’ul cuda praedex nihil!

Diane Valencen, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H [Journ.], ArF J., M.F.
Editorial Page Editor
The Dis Brimstone Daily Pitchfork
98 Shatter 2 AS

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