Sunday Links

Sunday, March 20th, 2011
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43 Responses to “Sunday Links”

  1. #1 |  supercat | 

    The only way for people to get off welfare is if they can apply the maxim, “a penny saved is a penny earned”. Any policy which discourages welfare recipients from saving up whatever they can manage will by design keep people from becoming self-sufficient. Good for those who administer the program–bad for everyone else.

  2. #2 |  CyniCAl | 

    Senators are so ignorant.

  3. #3 |  CyniCAl | 

    “James O’Keefe bars spectators from recording his speech.”

    Ironic? Check.

    Hypocritical? Check.

    Illegal?

  4. #4 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Is there some school that specializes in teaching budding politicians to believe that every passing brain-phart is a deathless Idea and should be translated into Law ASAP? I mean, other than Harvard for the Kennedys.

  5. #5 |  scott | 

    O’Keefe *reportedly* asked that one reporter from one organization not tape him during a private fundraising speech in front of a small group of Tea Partiers. ‘Scuse me if this doesn’t trip my Outrage Circuit.

  6. #6 |  Chuchundra | 

    @4

    If you lived in small, suburban tract house and your neighbor was keeping a rooster, I expect that your libertarian principles would be hard put to overcome your desire for peaceful enjoyment of your home.

  7. #7 |  Marty | 

    Aurora’s looking at the forfeiture money as a par-tay! meanwhile, the men who earned it have to start over… cops are camping out trying to bust hispanic men headed back to Mexico with their savings, but I’m not used to hearing this up north. horrible.

  8. #8 |  Marty | 

    we just started raising chickens- we’ve got it easy, but the laws in many of the municipalities around us are very inconsistent and, in many cases, pointless. Politicians want to address potential problems vs letting people figure things out. Lots of needless headaches are created by these bureaucrats…

  9. #9 |  croaker | 

    “If cops continue to play at being an army of occupation, they should expect the subjects to play their role in return. Vive la resistance.” – J. D. Tuccille

    The day will come when a police officer’s funeral will be met with a hail of garbage, rocks and dead animals, and the grave thereof will be rapidly desecrated.

  10. #10 |  Matthew | 

    My understanding of the public assistance law was that it would limit the amount of cash that a recipient can withdraw from the EBT through which the benefits are offered. I did not see any broader attempt to limit the cash recipients can possess.

  11. #11 |  CTD | 

    Re: the law in Minnesota, the linked story is a complete and utter fabrication. The law does not such thing. At all. It cannot even be reasonably interpreted to do that. Or unreasonably interpreted for that matter.

    http://leestranahan.com/?p=1114

    As Matthew states, it only limits the amount of cash someone can withdraw from their EBT card.

  12. #12 |  John Jenkins | 

    https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=H0171.1.html&session=ls87

    That took about 20 seconds to find. The proposed statute doesn’t prohibit possession of ANY amount of cash.

  13. #13 |  Yoni | 

    cyniCAl: I don’t think either Radley or the link tried to imply O’Keefe was doing anything illegal.

    As far as I can tell on the MN welfare thing, Matthew is right. People are trying to spin it as though the bill prevents aid recipients from possessing over $20, when it’s specifically about the amount you can actually withdraw via a benefits card. It’s certainly fair to argue whether *those* conditions should be put on welfare benefits, but posts like the one linked here are extremely misleading.

  14. #14 |  John Jenkins | 

    @Yoni: I assume that cynical was referring to Senator Obama in an ironic way.

    The purpose of the EBT cash withdrawal provisions is, I would guess, to prevent the money’s being used for non-approved purposes (the alcohol & tobacco listed in the statute), so I don’t even think there’s a reasonable argument to be had there (if you accept the theory that if you take the money, you don’t get to bitch about the conditions on the money because you are always free to refuse the money in the first place).

  15. #15 |  David Nieporent | 

    “Not sure about the source here, but Minnesota legislators are apparently considering a law that would make it criminal for people on public assistance to carry cash.”

    You were right to be skeptical of the source. The actual bill doesn’t say anything about carrying cash. It talks about withdrawing cash from the benefit account.

  16. #16 |  perlhaqr | 

    “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

    Well, yeah. He was talking about W, not just some hypothetical President. So it’s totally cool when he does it.

    /sarcasm

  17. #17 |  Mattocracy | 

    Of all the dictators and oppressed people in the world, only the Libyans are lucky enough to get 110 cruise missiles into their country. If only Darfur had oil…

  18. #18 |  Bobby | 

    Minnesota WEFARE beneficiaries can carry ALL the cash they want.

    They just can’t get more than $20 cash per month FROM their TAXPAYER FUNDED Electronic Benefit Transfer debit card. The debit card is to be used to buy food, chothing, etc. but not liquor or cigaretts. (the $20 can be spent on such things).

    I like this. I’m not providing a “safety net” for drinking and recreation. They can WORK to get the money to pay for non-essentials. I do.

    Here is the bill:
    https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=H0171.1.html&session=ls87

  19. #19 |  Danny | 

    If you don’t understand that triple-digit oil prices are a threat to the nation, then you just don’t understand how this country works.

    And Ii you’re waiting for BHO to commit political suicide by allowing the “King of Africa” to draw us into another Saddam-esque oil-for-food debacle, you can hold your breath real tight.

  20. #20 |  LibertarianBlue | 

    Obama and O’Keefe’s double standards are excepted at this point, nothing really seems to surprise me at this point, at least at the Federal Level anyway.

  21. #21 |  John A | 

    “… people on public assistance to carry cash.”

    Google search news found three references, which themselves referred back to the fightbacknews article or
    http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/war-poor-minnesota-republicans-want-b
    which also refers back to fightbacknews.

    All on a single day, back on May 18.

    Nothing else, no new stories – just opinions.

  22. #22 |  Z | 

    I’m actually okay with the Minnesota Bill. If Daddy Government pays your tab, Daddy gets to call the shots. I’d like that to be applied to jillionaires as well (i.e. you can only get tax breaks under certain conditions, you must wait 1 year before taking advantage of the lower taxes of your new home state etc) but as someone upthread said in a different context, if I’m waiting for that it would show that I don’t understand how this country works. Tough deficit controls and spending freezes are only for the little people.

  23. #23 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    would not hold the city in contempt, especially since it said it no longer had possession of the money.

    Lolz. They sent the money to the Feds, so I guess there’s just nothing that can be done.

  24. #24 |  Frank Hummel | 

    “ould make it criminal for people on public assistance to carry cash.”

    Such a law would be totally useless. It’s not like welfare queens have any issues using their card when in “real need”. True, the story is about California queens but i bet the ones in MN are the same.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2010/oct/05/local/la-me-welfare-20101005

  25. #25 |  Jamie | 

    Making public assistance less like cash is not a good way to get people off of public assistance. Do the cards work in a bus? At childcare?

    I get that people don’t want young bucks snorting coke or whatever, but making it harder to do things seems like a poor way to get people off the government teat.

  26. #26 |  Z | 

    #25 what makes you think that the government wants them to lead constructive lives free of government cheese? The right just wants to beat up on them- they don’t care if the homeless freeze to death but please, don’t be so whiney about it and heavens don’t die in a White neighborhood! The left sees future generations of voters.

  27. #27 |  C.E. | 

    “‘This is a guy that’s in trouble with the law, he’s got lawsuits up the gazoo for trying to help you with your freedom,’” Barbara Gonzalez, founder of the Tea Party group says in the video.”

    Let’s see. O’Keefe shot video of some Acorn workers kind of, but not really, pretending to give tax advice to the world’s fakest looking pimp. Then O’Keefe was arrested trying to gain access to a senator’s office, while impersonating a telephone repairman. Then he shot video of an NPR fund raiser that was artfully edited to make it appear the fund raiser was endorsing ideas he did not actually endorse, and showing that he apparently holds *gasp* liberal personal political views.

    Yeah, helping me with “my freedom.” Yeah, right.

  28. #28 |  JOR | 

    Taxpayers fund the state, and most of them do so quite willingly and deliberately (not many taxpayers are anarchists or even minarchists). They deserve to be punished for that crime, and having the state’s resources diverted to some non-destructive purpose that taxpayers find unromantic (i.e. things other than blowing people up or throwing them in prison or regulating them out of business, e.g. buying booze and food and stuff for bums) is a good thing and a perfectly proportional punishment. Welfare bums are heroes, if very minor ones. And yes, I feel the same way about corporate/business welfare too.

    And yes, yes, in other possible worlds (say, without a state or at least without a welfare system) they might have starved to death or become burglars or gone out of business (or been less successful) or something. In some non-zero number of possible worlds you would have been a serial killer or totalitarian dictator, or been destitute – in all but a tiny fraction of possible worlds (all of them involving statism as it existed up to the time of your birth) you would never have been born. Who one might be in some possible world doesn’t reflect anything about the actual person that one is in the actual world.

  29. #29 |  demize! | 

    You should just change the name of this blog to They do what they want because they can. Or Law of the jungle daily.

  30. #30 |  C.E. | 

    Looking at the story about the forfeiture of the cash, I don’t feel like there’s enough information presented to make any conclusions. There are vague statements about recorded phone calls, and investigations that may have been going on before the cash was seized. It’s frustrating reporting, because it leaves out a lot of information that apparently is available.

    What I gather the state’s position is this: the feds were investigating these two brothers; they asked the local authorities to pull them over and search them (this is called a pretext stop and, sadly, it’s legal); the local authorities did just that, and they found a bunch of money. Any time a police officer finds a bunch of money, he’s going to keep it, except in this case, they had to hand it over to the feds, because it was their investigation to begin with.

    We don’t know why the feds were watching these guys. Maybe they had good reason to believe they were drug traffickers. Maybe they just knew they had a lot of money and they wanted it. It appears that the information exists and may have been made public in the court proceedings, but the story doesn’t really say.

    If the money is drug money, why would the brothers try to recover it? For one thing, if it’s drug money, it’s probably not theirs, and whoever it belongs to expects them to try to get it back. Or maybe the owner is trolling for information about the investigation, and their hoping this suit will reveal the extent of the feds’ knowledge.

    Or maybe these are just two very frugal guys who managed to save a lot of money, except the government doesn’t like individuals to hold a lot of cash, so they took it. No way to tell from the news story, and we shouldn’t have to just take the government at their word.

  31. #31 |  C.E. | 

    I should say, a pretext stop is legal if the officer who makes the stop invents. . .er, observes. . . a traffic violation, even if the officer really is pulling them over just to see what they’re up to. Of course he will say he requested consent to search the car and that they consented.

  32. #32 |  Alan | 

    O’Keefe is probably a little concerned about being O’Keefed – after all, if there’s audio of him by his own standards it’s perfectly legitimate to rearrange & edit to make his words sound like he’s supporting just about anything.

  33. #33 |  SQLCowboy | 

    Tho I disagree with the military action in Libya, I think Obama at least has some wiggle room with the word “unilateral.” He has UN, congressional and governmental support in the bombing — as always, we have more hawks than doves in government, and they were pushing him to military action long before the UN resolution.

    I wish that we could have every single military action followed up by the financial costs of the action so that people would start to understand how freaking expensive war is.

  34. #34 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Um, Radley, I don’t mean to be offensive, but you were taken in by communists. “The people’s struggle” might be the first clue. I’m not saying they don’t sometimes relay true information (a broken clock is right twice a day), but you should *always* back it up with information from a more credible source. In this case, it’s fairly easy since it’s proposed legislation which can be read online.

    As others have pointed out, the article is completely wrong and, like many others on the site, looks like it serves to make poor suckers hate the Republican party for stuff that they’re not even doing.

  35. #35 |  albatross | 

    Why would anyone take anything from O’Keefe as having any evidentiary value at all, at this point. He’s in the business of doctoring video footage to invent phony scandals. He’s done it multiple times and been caught.

    I can offer helpful guidance to everyone for interpreting the next ten “scandals” invented by O’Keefe: He’s doctored the footage to make a scandal where either none exists, or where the case for a scandal is much more shaky in reality than he’d like. He’s an unreliable source of information. So taking his manufactured “video evidence” as Gospel truth and making decisions based on it is as sensible as taking the version of the news that appears in the North Korean newspapers as Gospel truth and making decisions based on it.

    For some reason, the MSM has a horrible time remembering when people have lied and taking that into account in weighing their claims. I’ve never been sure if this is intentional (many habitual liars are also constant sources of quotes, or are powerful enough to retaliate if you call them on their routine lies) or simple incompetent laziness. But a simple statement like “such and so claims X, but the last several public claims he’s made have later been shown to be false or exaggerated” just seems beyond them.

  36. #36 |  Mattocracy | 

    America has a huge warfare bill because we have expensive weapons. A half million dollars per cruise missile. Half a fucking millions dollars that is used one time and never recovered. You can’t fight wars of attrition with expensive weapons.

    If you don’t want high casualties, you need expensive kick ass equipment that increases the total bill. We need Americans to stop accepting the high body counts AND the high dollar amounts of combat.

  37. #37 |  albatross | 

    The government that bombs Peter with $500K missiles bought from Paul can always rely on the support of Paul.

  38. #38 |  Jeff | 

    @35,

    He tells them what they want to hear. Most people don’t need more than that to believe.

  39. #39 |  Matthew Brown | 

    The article about the Minnesota welfare bill is misrepresenting the facts, but it’s still not a good law in my opinion; it’s making it harder for people who aren’t cheating the system in order to crack down on those who are, and it’s making it harder for people to dig their way out of being on welfare. Yes, it also makes it harder for people to spend their welfare money on booze, drugs and other things we’d rather they didn’t, but I’m not sure if that price is really worth it — especially since I’m sure there are ways to cheat, still (e.g. crooked merchants who’ll “sell you goods” but really give you cash, and people buying things to sell or trade).

    What it does do is make it so that you can’t legally have more than $20 in un-reported cash on you, if you’re on welfare. It makes it easier to catch people who are getting money from other sources than welfare but not reporting it.

    However, since it appears the effective “tax” on resourcefulness here is 100% — every dollar you get from elsewhere is subtracted from your welfare — it’s not exactly surprising to me that this occurs.

    Earning a little money on the side could be the beginning of learning to survive without welfare. As it is, the system is saying that if you can’t earn more than a welfare check, it’s not worth even trying, because you won’t be any better off. Not a great lesson, there.

  40. #40 |  Yngvar | 

    Why would anyone take anything from O’Keefe as having any evidentiary value at all, at this point.

    Well, he did manage to shut down Acorn and get two executives at NPR fired.

  41. #41 |  Li | 

    Indeed, the Minnesota law does not directly ban carrying sums of money greater than 20 dollars, but it does so indirectly. Let me explain. In Minnesota, and many other states, any money that you receive as a gift from a family member, or even money that is given to bums in the street, has to be reported to the state. The recipient will receive that much less money in public assistance, as a general rule. I think that this policy itself is wrongheaded, as it discourages families and friends from coming to each others assistance in times of need, but combined with the new law it means that if any person on public assistance is caught with more than 20 bucks on hand, they have therefore some other source of cash, and if they are not reporting that they are guilty of welfare fraud, which despite the small sums involved is still far more routinely punished than the shenanigans on Wall Street that wrecked our economy are.

  42. #42 |  Jim Collins | 

    SQLCowboy

    Bush had Congressional approval to go into Iraq. Until some of the Congresscritters decided to change their minds after the fact.

  43. #43 |  albatross | 

    Yngvar:

    Yep, he did. But from everything I’ve read about those two cases, he did it by releasing heavily and deceptively edited footage. So while he’s been effective at smearing people with manufactured evidence, I don’t see that he’s been too effective at providing good information or evidence of wrongdoing that actually will hold up on investigation.

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