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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Surprise: People are cheating on their EBT Cards

Budget legislation passed by Congress last week includes cuts to some welfare programs, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The cuts have already attracted backlash from left wing activist groups like the feminist group UltraViolet, which launched a campaign to petition Congress to restore the funding.

“Overnight, the U.S. Senate voted for a budget that literally takes food away from hungry children,” UltraViolet’s campaign pleads. “The budgets that have now passed both the House and Senate make deep, painful cuts to the food stamps program.”

TurningPoint USA responded with a little digging. Here’s what they found: 

After a brief search on Twitter and Instagram, Turning Point USA uncovered more than one hundred documented examples of welfare recipients abusing, mocking, and making light of welfare programs. Ripe with abuse, Twitter users attempt to sell food stamps, trade the stamps for weed, and purchase expensive food items.

Several of the social media posts use the hashtags #EBT, #EBTgang, #EBTcard, #EBTsquad, and #TeamEBT – many of which depict a culture of glorifying the use of Electronic Benefit Transfers (EBTs.)

A few examples of the Instagram posts from TurningPoint’s investigation: 

The rest can be found here.

Indiana Story Is About Politics, Not Love

Indiana Story Is About Politics, Not Love

Tuesday - March 31, 2015

RUSH: We've had Josh Earnest weigh in on Mike Pence's remarks today in Indiana, talking about fixing the bill, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It's at the press briefing today, and Julie Pace from the AP said to Josh Earnest, "Okay, Governor Pence said earlier this morning that he wants to amend the legislation to clarify that it does not allow discrimination against gays and lesbians. Does the White House feel that that's the right approach, to amend the bill, or do you support a full repeal of the Indiana law?"

EARNEST: We've seen the governor and other Indiana officials in damage control mode here because this law has provoked an outcry from business leaders across the state of Indiana. Understandably, we see business leaders saying that they are reluctant to do business in a state where their customers, or even their employees, could be subjected to greater discrimination just because of who they love. That's not fair, it's not consistent with our values as a country that we --

RUSH: Ah, wait a minute. Stop the tape. We gotta deal with something else here 'cause I'm starting to see this phrase all over the place, "We can't allow these customers or employees to be subjected to greater discrimination just because of who they love." Who they love. It's not about who anybody loves. It's about gay marriage. It's about people who have religious prohibitions against it. It's about gay marriage. It's not about homosexuality. It's not about honoring disagreement, discrimination against homosexuality. It's about people whose religious beliefs prohibit them from 
engaging in activity which lends credence or support to gay marriage.

But this business of who you love, where does that stop? If you're gonna start throwing the phrase around "who you love," what happens if you love your dog, which we have had a story of a UK woman who wanted to marry her dog, I think, and did. Do you remember that? Married a dolphin. Okay. Whatever. She wanted marry an animal that was not a man. Where is this "who you love" business? That's a catchphrase, that's designed to silence all opposition because who opposes love? My God, we need more love in the world. What are you doing, you're against love? People love each other, it's horrible you're against love. We need more love in the world.

That's precisely why they use this phrase "who they love." But who they love, what does that mean? Where does that stop? Well, hey, I'm not the one using the phrase. Don't get mad at me for thinking about a woman who wanted to marry her, or did marry, a damn dolphin. I didn't. I'm not making it up. She loves the dolphin. Is it legit? So, anyway, that's not fair, that's not fair. The point here, Mike Pence, the point is -- oh, gosh, I just saw the clock.

Welcome New Democrsts

More Religious Freedom Laws

The Arkansas House has approved a religious freedom measure that mirrors the one signed into law last week in Indiana that opponents there say opens the door to discrimination against gays and lesbians. 

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Monday that he'd sign the measure.

Fourteen other states are considering similar proposals this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

I Want a President Who Plays by the Rules


Christopher Chantrill

If you are a politician, why bother to play by the rules? Or if you are a citizen, why should you care whether the political leaders on your team play by the rules? (It goes without saying that we all care when the Other Guys break the rules.)

This issue is a particularly emotional one for conservatives and Republicans because of the two great presidential rule-breakings in our era. Back in the 1970s President Nixon broke the rules and lied about it, and there came a day when the top Republican senators went down Pennsylvania Avenue to tell the president that he had to go, and he went. In the 1990s President Clinton broke the rules, and there came a time right after the impeachment of the president when the Democrats held a rally at the White House in support of the Liar in Chief, and he stayed.

To conservatives this injustice rankles, not just because Nixon went and Clinton stayed, but because Clinton skated on sexual harassment at work, a matter every man knows could cost him his job.

Now we have President Obama, whose formative years have seemed to be an education in leftist activism, where the governing principle is a strategic application of rule-breaking: in "non-violent protest," in making the powerful follow their own rules while you get to break them, in "occupations," in "fundamental transformation."

For President Obama it doesn't matter if you rescue General Motors from bankruptcy by driving over the bankruptcy laws, as long as you pay off your union supporters. It doesn't matter what procedural shenanigans it takes to pass ObamaCare, as long as it passes. But every American that doesn't have their brain numbed by the New York Times and NPR knows that if he tried anything like that, he'd go to jail.

So with Hillary Clinton. I get that, for Clinton, it is essential to control the documentary record, because a lot of politics and governing is political sausage-making and you never know when some opposition researcher will dig up something to embarrass you. But average Americans know that, if they started "losing" their emails, they'd lose their jobs.

There's an honorable reason why the rulers should play by the rules. It is a noble and honorable thing for a great man to honor the little people that must play by the government's rules, or else.

But there's also a practical political reason to play by the rules. If the team that's in the lead in a game doesn't play by the rules then there's no reason for the losing side to stay in the game. They might as well start breaking the rules as well. When that happens in politics then you are taking the first step to civil war.

We know that liberals really care about the rules when they are in the opposition. They were all over President Bush for any undotted "i" or uncrossed "t" in the road to war in 2003.

But when it comes to themselves, the rules do not apply. The whole idea of the Sixties was to ditch the conformist Fifties and "do your own thing." But the Irish in South Boston had to obey the rules and bus their kids to integrated schools, or else.

The Sixties ought to provide a terrifying lesson to liberals. Their hippie culture broke the back of the old FDR Democratic coalition and spawned a law-and-order wave that Republicans used to win a landslide presidential election in 1972. It took 20 years before Bill Clinton managed to neutralize it.

Now we have the social justice warriors, the rape culture feminists, the diversity culture, political correctness, and the phone-and-pen president. Liberals get to change the rules to change the world, but ordinary people know that if they say the wrong thing in the classroom or the workplace in Obama's America they could lose their jobs.

In a piece last week, uber-liberal Robert Kuttner couldn't understand "Why the 99 Percent Keeps Losing" and didn't rise up and overturn the system after 2008.

The vast majority of Americans keep falling behind economically because of changes in society's ground rules, while the rich get even richer -- yet this situation doesn't translate into a winning politics [for Democrats].

Maybe there's a reason for that, Mr. Kuttner. Maybe it's because the American people are not going to risk everything following a president and a liberal ruling class that doesn't play by the rules. Most Americans live by following the rules, going to work, and obeying the laws. They really have a problem with people that break the rules -- Nixons, Clintons, Obamas, Sharptons, political cronies – and get away with it.

I want a president who follows the rules, and I suspect the American people do too.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.

Rubio:the future of this country will depend on the next election

Senator Marco Rubio (R - FL) stopped by Fox News' The Five yesterday to discuss his presidential plans and the state of the country moving forward.

"I strongly believe that the future of this country will depend on the next election and what's at stake in 2016 is not simply what party is going to win or the candidate. The fundamental question in 2016 is what kind of country do we want to be in this new century? Do we want to remain an exceptional country, a land of equality of opportunity, the strongest nation on earth, or are we prepared to diminish and decline? And decline is a choice, it's not our destiny," Rubio said. "The country is really at a hinge point in terms of moving forward into the future. We are really transitioning from out of the 20th century, well into the 21st century, a dramatically different world. Globalization has changed the nature of our economy, technology has changed the nature of work, the entire global order that we've had since the end of World War II is now in flux and I think it's really important we move in the right direction as a country by not just confronting the challenges of this new era, but increasing its opportunities."

As he said in the interview, Rubio will make an announcement about his presidential plans on April 13, 2015.

Indiana is experiencing its two minutes of hate.

In Defense of Indiana

By Rich Lowry - March 31, 2015

Indiana is experiencing its two minutes of hate.

It is doubtful that since its admittance into the union in 1816, the heretofore inoffensive Midwestern state has ever been showered with so much elite obloquy.

Indiana is experiencing its two minutes of hate.

It is doubtful that since its admittance into the union in 1816, the heretofore inoffensive Midwestern state has ever been showered with so much elite obloquy.

To listen to the critics, you’d think the law was drafted by a joint committee of attorneys from the Ku Klux Klan and Westboro Baptist Church.

The enlightened are stumbling over themselves in their rush to boycott Indiana. Seattle and San Francisco are banning official travel there, and Connecticut is following suit. In a Washington Post op-ed, Apple CEO Tim Cook pronounced the Indiana law part of a “very dangerous” trend that allows “people to discriminate against their neighbors” (never mind that his company is happy to do business in Communist China).

The anti-Indiana backlash is a perfect storm of hysteria and legal ignorance, supercharged by the particularly censorious self-righteousness of the Left.

All the Indiana law says is that the state can’t substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion, unless there is a compelling governmental interest at stake and it is pursued by the least restrictive means. The law doesn’t mandate any particular outcome; it simply provides a test for the courts in those rare instances when a person’s exercise of religion clashes with a law.

Nineteen other states have similar protections, and they are all modeled on a federal version of the law that passed Congress with near unanimity in 1993 (Indiana’s law is arguably a little more robust than the federal version, because it also applies to private suits). If these Religious Freedom Restoration Acts were the enablers of discrimination they are portrayed as, much of the country would already have sunk into a dystopian pit of hatred.

Legal historians a century from now may be mystified by how a measure that was uncontroversial for so long suddenly became a mark of shame. They will find their answer in the Left’s drive to crush any dissent from its cultural agenda, especially on gay marriage.

The religious-freedom laws once were associated with minorities that progressives could embrace or tolerate — Native Americans who smoke peyote as part of religious ceremonies, Amish who drive their buggies on the roads, and the like. That was fine. It is the specter of Christian small-business people — say, a baker or a florist — using the laws to protect themselves from punishment for opting out of gay-wedding ceremonies that drives progressives mad.

Why? It’s a large, diverse country, with many people of differing faiths and different points of view. More specifically, the country has an enormous wedding industry not known for its hostility to gays. The burgeoning institution of gay marriage will surely survive the occasional florist who doesn’t want to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding for religious reasons.

As a practical matter, such a dissenting florist doesn’t make a difference; the affected couple might be offended but can take its business elsewhere. But for the Left, it’s the principle of the thing. For all its talk of diversity, it demands unanimity on this question — individual conscience be damned. So it isn’t bothered when religious wedding vendors are sued or harassed under anti-discrimination laws for their nonparticipation in ceremonies they morally oppose.

It’s not clear that Religious Freedom Restoration Acts will shield these kinds of business people (they haven’t, to this point). It might be that more specific exemptions are necessary. But the mere possibility that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act might protect a baker opposed to gay marriage is enough to create a furious, unhinged reaction.

Yes, there is intolerance afoot in the debate over Indiana, but it’s not on the part of Indianans.