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Shocker! ‘Obamaphone’ program a fraud-fest (open thread)

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By Doug Powers  •  July 2, 2017 07:14 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

Here’s a quick open thread for a holiday weekend Sunday while I get the fireworks show prepped for Tuesday night. Leading it off is perhaps the least surprising news of the past decade: The “Obamaphone” program is a fraud-fest:

A new government audit finds more than a third of enrollees of the “Obamaphone” program may not be qualified — among other fraudulent findings — prompting a Senate Democrat to roundly criticize the program’s “complete lack of oversight.”

A report released Thursday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) claims the program, which gives cell phones to poor people, stashed $9 billion in private bank accounts, the Washington Times reported.

The 90-page report was requested by Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat who serves as ranking Democrat on the Senate’s chief oversight committee and who is a former state auditor in Missouri.

“A complete lack of oversight is causing this program to fail the American taxpayer — everything that could go wrong is going wrong,”

As with all things “free,” the rest of us pay the fraud freight one way or another:

Though the program is administered by the federal government, funding comes from cellphone carriers, who pass the costs on to customers through the universal service fee charge that many see on their monthly bills.

I’m sure “free” broadband Internet given out under the same program will be managed just as responsibly.

*****

CNN’s Jim Acosta continues to have this tweet featured at the top of his Twitter page:

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Funny. First of all

Three CNN journalists, including the executive editor in charge of a new investigative unit, have resigned after the publication of a Russia-related article that was retracted.

Thomas Frank, who wrote the story in question; Eric Lichtblau, an editor in the unit; and Lex Haris, who oversaw the unit, have all left CNN.

“In the aftermath of the retraction of a story published on CNN.com, CNN has accepted the resignations of the employees involved in the story’s publication,” a spokesman said Monday evening.

An internal investigation by CNN management found that some standard editorial processes were not followed when the article was published, people briefed on the results of the investigation said.

The story, which reported that Congress was investigating a “Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials,” cited a single anonymous source.

And then on Friday:

We’re told CNN flew into a panic on Friday after it accidentally aired a fake National Enquirer cover during Jake Tapper’s broadcast.

Tapper did a segment on his “The Lead” show about Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski’s claim that Donald Trump tried to blackmail them with a hit piece in the National Enquirer.

During the piece, it showed a cover from the tabloid, which seemed to be about a scandal involving GOP senator Ted Cruz and his wife, Heidi Cruz.

Unfortunately, the cover is — literally — fake news.
[…]
We’re told the network is taking the matter seriously, and that it has been referred to the networks standards and practices department for review.

Ya know, maybe CNN’s “standards and practices department” is the problem.

*****

Passing thought about some mainstream “journalists” who can’t figure out why so many view their profession negatively: It’s not just because of things Trump says about the media — “reporters” who spent the last several years fan-dancing for Obama who suddenly have a dogged interest in being the next Woodward & Bernstein to the point of trying to pass off DNC talking points as “bombshell” stories have brought it all on themselves. Too bad the MSM can’t/won’t see it, because it might help them out the next time they’re sitting around John Podesta’s dinner table wondering why they’re accused of bias so often.

*****

A report commissioned by the city of Seattle says the implementation of a law to eventually nudge the minimum wage up to $15 is totally backfiring on workers. Rep. Keith Ellison either hasn’t seen it or doesn’t care:

Low wage workers in Minneapolis will be the ones singing the blues.

Have a good Sunday & holiday weekend all!

*****

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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