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National Review editor: Parents of kids in school breakfast programs are criminals

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Parents of children who participate in school breakfast programs are “criminally negligent,” says the Washington editor of the conservative National Review.

Kate O’Beirne, who also appears as a pundit on MSNBC, made the comment at a Republican strategy session she moderated at the Hudson Institute Friday.

“My question is what poor excuse for a parent can’t rustle up a bowl of cereal and a banana?” O’Beirne asked. “I just don’t get why millions of school children qualify for school breakfasts unless we have a major wide spread problem with child neglect.”

She continued, “If that’s how many parents are incapable of pulling together a bowl of cereal and a banana, then we have problems that are way bigger than — that problem can’t be solved with a school breakfast, because we have parents who are just criminally … criminally negligent with respect to raising children.”

O’Beirne’s comments come even as statistical evidence mounts that more and more Americans are struggling to eke out a living.

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Last month, the US Census Bureau reported that the number of people living in poverty jumped to 14.3 percent of the population in 2009 — a 15-year high, and up from 12.5 percent two years earlier. That means approximately 2.5 million people have fallen into poverty since the recession began.

The poverty rate last declined in 2000, and has been climbing since.

O’Beirne’s comments go “far beyond the sacred right-wing cow of personal responsibility” and amount to “outright cruelty,” argues the Crooks and Liars blog, which first flagged the comments.

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These pigs are out there shouting to give zillionaires a fat year-end bonus and extend it for a couple of years while sticking it to poor people who rely on programs like the school lunch and breakfast program to survive….

Maybe she should shut up and listen to what’s going on around her for a change. If she did, she might not, miss the fact that food banks are struggling to meet demand as more and more families struggle to keep roofs over their heads, sacrificing other necessities like food and clothing. Since 2006, the need for some form of assistance has tripled. Tripled.

O’Beirne joins a growing chorus of conservative commentators who have taken exception with the federal government’s expansions to school meal programs in the wake of the recession.

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Fox News in October introduced a segment on a new school dinner program in Washington, DC, by asking if it would “destroy American families.”

In June, talk show host Rush Limbaugh responded to a report that 16 million children would go hungry over the summer holidays once school meals stopped by suggesting children check their refrigerator, and, failing that, a nearby McDonald’s. Then Limbaugh added:

There’s another place if none of these options work to find food; there’s always the neighborhood dumpster. Now, you might find competition with homeless people there, but there are videos that have been produced to show you how to healthfully dine and how to dumpster dive and survive until school kicks back up in August.

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O’Beirne currently appears on MSNBC’s Hardball as a pundit, and has appeared on CNN’s Crossfire and PBS’ NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

This video was broadcast on CSPAN, Friday, Dec. 3, 2010, and was uploaded to the Web by Crooks and Liars.


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Here’s the ugly racist history behind tipping — and how it still persists today

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On Saturday, writing for Politico, minister and civil rights activist Rev. Dr. William Barber applauded House Democrats' plans to not only raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024, but eliminate the much lower "tipped wage" of $2.13 an hour and require tipped workers to also be paid at least the minimum.

This is important, wrote Barber, because the roots of businesses forcing their workers to rely on tips for a proper wage is deeply rooted in America's history of racial tension.

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Black GOP strategist called on the carpet by Joy Reid for trying to sidestep Trump’s racist rally as ’empowering’ voters

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An "AM Joy" panel on MSNBC descended into talking over each other as host Joy Reid confronted a black GOP consultant over Donald Trump's racist rally in North Carolina.

Presenting the conservative point of view, Republican strategist Lenny McAllister was asked point-blank by the host, "Lenny, hold on a second, because you as a man of color yourself -- do you feel comfortable in a party that does rallies like that?"

McAllister pushed back saying he had walked away from just those type of events, before admitting, "To the greater point. They're using racism as an avenue through which people feel empowered, they lend you the loyalty, they give you the vote. What Republicans need to do is continue to empower people, but not by using racism and not by using phobia."

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Dershowitz and Trump should both be worried what Jeffrey Epstein will reveal when he looks to cut a deal: ex-prosecutor

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On Saturday, Georgetown Law professor and former federal prosecutor Paul Butler discussed the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking case with MSNBC's Joy Reid, and the conversation turned to Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz's increasingly furious battle with David Boies, a prominent lawyer representing some of Epstein's alleged victims. Dershowitz has been accused by one of the women of also abusing her at one of Epstein's parties, a claim he categorically denies.

"I've had sex with one woman since the day I met Jeffrey Epstein," said Dershowitz in a Fox News clip Reid played for her viewers. "I challenge David Boies to say under oath that he's only had sex with one woman during that same period of time, he couldn't do it. So he has an enormous amount of chutzpah to attack me and to challenge my perfect, perfect sex life during the relevant period of time."

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