Chatterbox Gets Short!!

Chatterbox Gets Short!!

Chatterbox Gets Short!!

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
April 19 1998 7:38 PM

Chatterbox Gets Short!!

Chatterbox's boss e-mails: "That welfare item did go on. Try to be terse. Or dole it out over several days with some sort of 'and another thing...!' joke." Yes, sir! Terse it shall be. And doled out. ... But actually there was another really annoying thing about the New York Times' recent front-page anti-workfare campaign. It was the way Times reporters kept saying that in New York City a welfare recipient is threatened with loss of "her benefits" or her "very livelihood" if she fails to comply with Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's work requirements. In fact, the maximum penalty in New York for failing to work (or breaking any other rule) is relatively mild. As the Times series itself notes in one brief, hard-to-find paragraph, mothers lose "only their share of the welfare check, while their children's benefits continue." The "children's benefits" (which get sent to the mother, not the children) are usually much bigger--so the loss is typically about $80 out of a combined monthly welfare-food stamp package of $840 for a family of three. No wonder many recipients decide quite rationally to simply skip the work and take the $80 hit ...

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There, that wasn't too painful, was it? ... More welfare, and terser welfare, in the next installment! ... You'll just have to hold out somehow until then. ...

The headline on the Drudge Report homepage Saturday read: "PANETTA URGES CLINTON TO GIVE FULL STORY." There's a news flash! Panetta has been urging Clinton to give the full story for about 2 months now, anytime anyone has asked him. Maybe this will be one of those hardy-perennial headlines that fail to produce a frisson of shock despite their seeming significance, headlines like "NEW JERSEY MAYOR INDICTED" or "ITALIAN GOVERNMENT FALLS" .... Chatterbox thinks it stole that last joke from Charlie Peters ...Sorry!

Too Bad to be True Dept.: According to the New York Times, a recent "48 Hours" broadcast featured a Hofstra University professor "who calculates that 15 percent of pupils are sexually abused or harassed by a teacher some time between kindergarten and 12th grade." Doesn't that seem like the sort of intuitively implausible "victimization" statistic that keeps food on the tables of the neocon journalists who specialize in debunking media scare campaigns?. ... Take it away, John Stossel! ... John Leo? ... Draw straws!