How The Praetorian Guard Works

Obama guts the Clinton-era “Work for Welfare” requirements.

Romney calls Obama on it.

Clinton lies about it from the podium at the DNC.

And America’s “fact-check” industry lines up behind Obama, no matter how they need to forcibly bugger “fact” to do it:

PolitiFact did link to [welfare expert and former Clinton staffer Robert Rector, who was one of the co-authors of Clinton’s original bipartisan welfare reform law]’s blog post—but only to dismiss him. “Robert Rector, a welfare expert with the conservative Heritage Foundation, said it could ultimately allow ‘state bureaucrats’ to count activities that aren’t really work. We should point out that those concerns are at odds with the policy’s stated goal of encouraging employment.” In other words, PolitiFact said his concerns should be dismissed for no other reason than they are at odds with the Obama administration’s spin. PolitiFact didn’t even address the fact that Rector—who’s quoted in Romney’s ad—was the source of the charge the Obama administration is gutting welfare reform or that he helped write the welfare reform law. (They did reference an article Rector wrote for National Review Online and concluded that he made “a noteworthy point” when he argued that the Obama administration doesn’t have the legal authority to waive the work requirements.)

Rather than engage in any critical discussion about the issue, PolitiFact regurgitated the HHS memo for the sole purpose of making the waivers sound benign.

And yet again, reality imitates my hyperbolic fiction; Berg’s Fourteenth Law (“The more strenuously a media organization identifies itself as “fact-checkers”, the more completely their “fact checking” will actually be checking statement for congruency with liberal conventional wisdom”) has come vividly to life.

I said “vividly”:

Let’s take that last example of accommodating workers with disabilities—please. It’s a classic bit of bureaucratic misdirection intended to make exemptions that undercut welfare work requirements sound reasonable. “There’s no one on TANF that’s disabled. If you’re disabled, you’re on another program called Supplemental Security Income,” Rector tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD. “In TANF, you should be able to work—but what the left likes to do is to create a nebulous category of TANF recipients who are disabled with these very cloudy, fuzzy definitions, and then the state can chunk essentially an unlimited part of its [welfare] population into an exempt category. That has twofold consequences—now the state doesn’t have to do anything [to steer the exempted recipients into the workforce], but it can still maintain it has a high participation rate [in workfare programs]. If you have a 30 percent participation rate, and you exempt half the caseload, all of a sudden you can make it look like your participation rate went up.”

Read the whole thing.

And if you’re in the mainstream media, imagine how much less revulsion the general public would feel for you if you actually checked facts, rather than ran to the local Democrat spin doctor for further instructions.

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