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General News    H3'ed 8/30/12

Republican Lies About Welfare and Obama

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   By William Boardman

Some people don't believe in such a thing as objective truth.   Other people don't care what's true or not true.   And then there's the rest of us, trying to figure out what's real in the modern media maelstrom.  

Take Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention, just a snapshot, the truth problem in a microcosm, before, during, and after Rick Santorum spoke.  

Rachel Maddow was anchoring the coverage on MSNBC, Maddow is avowedly liberal, but even more avowedly committed to getting facts right.   She habitually asks her guests if she got her facts right in stories they are knowledgeable about, something few other newspeople do so consistently.   And she is scrupulous in making corrections when she gets something wrong.  

In other words, Maddow is a reporter with real integrity and here she is with her assortment of MSNBC talking heads getting ready to listen to former Senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, and she predicts that he will lie.   Maddow predicts that Santorum will specifically lie about the waivers that five governors (including two Republicans) asked the Obama administration to consider   in relation to the federal welfare rules on work for those receiving welfare.   

When the administration agreed to consider waivers, it made clear it would grant a waiver to the law's work requirements only on the condition that more welfare recipients find jobs than under current rules.   To date, the Obama administration has granted no waivers.   And the two Republican governors who joined in the original request, Brian Sandoval of Nevada and Gary Herbert of Utah, are backing away from their initial position.  

In 2005 Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts joined 28 other governors who wrote a letter to Congress seeking broader waiver authority from the law than the Obama adminsitartion has agreed to consider. 

And Gov. Romney also supported a program that provided free automobiles to welfare recipients.

But since early August   presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been running ads claiming that the President is eliminating work as a welfare requirement with a racially tinged explanation suggesting that Obama is pandering to his base.  

One Romney ad in early August claimed that:   "On July 12, President Obama quietly ended the work requirement, gutting welfare reform. One of the most respected newspapers in the country called it 'nuts'".   Under Obama's plan, you wouldn't have to work and you wouldn't have to train for a job".   They just send you your welfare check. And welfare to work goes back to being plain old welfare..." 

Romney's claims have been widely criticized and debunked as false by fact-checking organizations including CNN, the New York Times, Daily Kos, ABC News, the Christian Science Monitor, the Los Angeles Times, and others. 

PolitiFact called Romney's claims "pants on fire" bogus, the Washington Post gave Romney four "Pinocchios" for maximum falsity, and the Annenberg Public Policy Center agreed.  and

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Vermonter living in Woodstock: elected to five terms (served 20 years) as side judge (sitting in Superior, Family, and Small Claims Courts); public radio producer, "The Panther Program" -- nationally distributed, three albums (at CD Baby), some (more...)
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