(NEWSER) – How do you make cutting funding to school lunches sound heartwarming? Paul Ryan seemed to pull off the feat yesterday in his CPAC speech, by telling the story he said Eloise Anderson—Scott Walker’s Secretary of Children and Families—had related to him, about a poor boy who received free lunch at school through a government program:
“He told Eloise he didn’t want a free lunch. He wanted his own lunch, one in a brown-paper bag, like the other kids. He wanted one, he said, because he knew a kid with a brown paper bag had someone who cared for him. This is what the left does not understand.”
There was just one problem. A commenter on Talking Points Memo pointed out that the story appears to be lifted from a book called the Invisible Thread about a homeless child whose rich benefactors offer to buy him lunch:
“Miss Laura,” he said, “I don’t want your money. I want my lunch in a brown paper bag. … Because when I see kids come to school with their lunch in a paper bag, that means someone cares about them. Miss Laura, can I please have my lunch in a paper bag?”
Wonkette spotted the comment, and the story started to spread. Washington Post factchecker Glenn Kessler discovered that Anderson had indeed told the story to Ryan’s committee last July, during which she framed the story as “a little boy told me once…” Ryan was eventually forced to post a correction of sorts on Facebook. “I have just learned that Secretary Anderson misspoke and that the story she told was improperly sourced,” he said.
via Paul Ryan’s CPAC Speech Swiped Plot From Book – He says Wisconsin official ‘improperly sourced’ it.
An anchor for Russia Today, an American network funded by the Russian government, resigned live on-air Wednesday in protest of that country’s ongoing intervention in the Ukrainian nation of Crimea.
via Anchor Quits Russian Funded TV Network On Air Over Putin's Invasion Of Crimea | ThinkProgress.
Kiev, Ukraine (CNN) — Western powers increased pressure on Russia Wednesday to talk to the interim government in Kiev in a bid to ease tensions over Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine’s Crimea region.
Russia has been warned that, unless progress is made toward ending the high-stakes showdown, sanctions may be on the agenda when European Union leaders meet Thursday in Brussels, Belgium.
But the impact of sanctions, if they were imposed, might be felt by other countries, too. In a tit-for-tat move, Russian lawmakers are drafting a law that would allow Russia to confiscate assets belonging to U.S. and European companies if sanctions are slapped on Moscow, Russian state media reported.
via Ukraine crisis: West piles pressure on Russia – CNN.com.
Goodbye Steve Stockman
The Daily Beast says Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), likely to lose a GOP Senate primary in Texas, “practically bilked his donors by running the most unserious campaign in recent American history.”
“American politics has been rife with liars, crooks, and con artists ever since our country’s founding. But they invariably put in at least some effort to convince voters of their virtue and donors to cut a check. Stockman is different. He has failed to give Texans even the modicum of respect required to actively scam them. Stockman just may be the lamest, laziest grifter in the history of the United States and his departure from public life can only improve the political discourse in our country.”
via Goodbye Steve Stockman.
Remember when President Obama was lambasted for saying “you didn’t build that”? Turns out he was right, at least when it comes to lots of stuff built by the world’s wealthiest corporations. That’s the takeaway from this week’s new study of 25,000 major taxpayer subsidy deals over the last two decades.
Titled “Subsidizing the Corporate One Percent,” the report from the taxpayer watchdog group Good Jobs First shows that the world’s largest companies aren’t models of self-sufficiency and unbridled capitalism. To the contrary, they’re propped up by billions of dollars in welfare payments from state and local governments.
Such subsidies might be a bit more defensible if they were being doled out in a way that promoted upstart entrepreneurialism. But as the study also shows, a full “three-quarters of all the economic development dollars awarded and disclosed by state and local governments have gone to just 965 large corporations” — not to the small businesses and start-ups that politicians so often pretend to care about.
In dollar figures, that’s a whopping $110 billion going to big companies. Fortune 500 firms alone receive more than 16,000 subsidies at a total cost of $63 billion.
These kinds of handouts, of course, are the definition of government intervention in the market. Nonetheless, those who receive the subsidies are still portrayed as free-market paragons.
via No, really, you didn’t build that: How the rich became dependent on government subsidies – Salon.com.
US President Barack Obama has told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that Russia has flouted international law by sending troops to Ukraine.
In a 90-minute telephone conversation, Mr Obama urged the Russian leader to pull forces back to bases in Crimea.
Mr Putin responded by saying that Moscow reserves the right to protect its interests and those of Russian speakers in Ukraine, the Kremlin said.
Meanwhile, Canada has recalled its ambassador to Moscow for consultations.
via BBC News – Ukraine crisis: Obama urges Putin to pull troops back.
Ukraine put its armed forces on full combat alert and warned Russia that any military intervention in the country would lead to war.
For the full story and latest updates click here.
After a more than three-hour meeting with security and defence chiefs, Acting President Oleksander Turchinov said there was no justification for what he called Russian aggression against his country.
via Ukraine armed forces on full combat alert – ITV News.