The Trotskyist-turned-conservative writer James Burnham said that where there’s no solution, there’s no problem. In a Thursday post, American Prospect blogger Paul Waldman analyzed what he considers one such situation: the Republican party’s ongoing shortfall with female voters.
Waldman doesn’t see how the GOP can overcome both its ideas and its tone on women’s issues. He asserted that when Republicans discuss their opposition to abortion and the contraceptive mandate, many of them “can't keep themselves from doing so in the most hostile, contemptuous ways imaginable.”
According to Daily Kos writer Dante Atkins, the D.C. Circuit’s Halbig decision resembled a plot twist in a movie in which “evil” conservatives know they’ve lost the Obamacare battle but “refuse to go quietly and seek to cause as much destruction as [they] can on [their] certain path to oblivion.”
Atkins wrote in a Sunday post that two factors made the court’s ruling possible: “imprecise language by the authors of the Affordable Care Act” and the “destructive psychopathy of the right wing.”
What do Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, and Vladimir Lenin have in common? If you answered that they’re all Republican strategists, you’re sort of right, suggested Seth D. Michaels in a Thursday article at Talking Points Memo.
Michaels claimed that GOPers are using a Leninist approach to subvert an increased government role in the health-care system. (Oh, the irony.) Specifically, they’ve taken “deliberate action to make the bad [Obamacare] outcomes they fervently wished for more likely…There’s a name for this strategy, [which] comes from Soviet Communism: ‘heighten the contradictions.’”
What did conservative leaders and activists feel when they learned of the D.C. Circuit Court decision on Obamacare subsidies? Happiness? Relief? American Prospect blogger Paul Waldman seemed to have another word in mind: schadenfreude -- “satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else's misfortune.”
In a Tuesday post, Waldman opined that, sure, righties were “excited” that the ruling was a setback for President Obama and the ACA, but “what actually had them so pleased is the possibility that millions of Americans will lose their health insurance.” Republicans, he added, “will gladly crush the lives of ordinary people if it means gaining some momentary partisan advantage.”
The MSNBC freak-out continued following the surprising split rulings regarding the federal ObamaCare health insurance exchanges. The 2-1 DC circuit court decision determined that, consistent with the text in the law, subsidies must come from state insurance exchanges as opposed to federal ones. The panel was appalled that the court could possibly come to such a conclusion, while at the same time they diminished the long-term impacts of the decision.
Towards the end of the segment on the July 22 edition of The Last Word, the Washington Post’s EJ Dionne insinuated – solely based on his negative opinion of the ruling – that it was actually conservatives who are the judicial activists: “If you wonder which side of politics judicial activism is on, it ain't on the side of the liberals anymore.” [MP3 audio here; video below]
On Tuesday, July 22, two federal appeals courts ruled in different directions over the constitutionality of tax subsidies given to individuals who purchase health insurance through the federal ObamaCare exchange. At issue, was language in the law where subsidies would be given to individuals who purchased health insurance in an exchange “established by the state.”
In a 2-1 ruling, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that the IRS went too far by providing subsidies to individuals on the federal exchange but a separate ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld those same subsidies. Despite the contradictory rulings and the likelihood that the Supreme Court will take up the case, ABC was the only network evening news show to cover the story on Tuesday night. [See video below.]
In the aftermath of a DC circuit court ruling today that would effectively end ObamaCare as we know it in the 36 states with federal exchanges, MSNBC's The Reid Report feared the worst, and attempted to rally the troops, so to speak. Host Joy Reid played the part, bringing on two guests who rejected the notion that this ruling would be accepted by the full appeals court panel or the Supreme Court.
One guest, co-host of The Cycle Ari Melber, played the “legitimacy of the court” card, hardly an uncommon practice when liberals feel they are on the short end of the judicial stick. He argued that Chief Justice John Roberts – the swing vote in upholding the ObamaCare individual mandate as a “tax” – would never let this happen: [MP3 audio here; video below]
Obamacare is succeeding, declared American Prospect blogger Paul Waldman on Thursday, and he predicts that ongoing development will bifurcate Republicans’ approaches to their 2014 congressional campaigns. Waldman thinks that purple-state GOP candidates will refrain from bashing the Affordable Care Act, but red-state candidates will discuss it in “apocalyptic terms” in order to agitate “voters [who] will still get angry every time the word [‘Obamacare’] is spoken.”
Waldman sees that split as part of a “larger Republican dilemma” caused by “the interests of the national GOP [being] at odds with the interests of the bulk of the party's officeholders,” who have to answer to the base. One result of this dilemma, he added, will be that in 2016, the eventual Republican presidential nominee “will face two dramatically different electorates; [i]t's as though they'll be running in Mississippi in the primaries, then in Ohio in the general election.”
Liberals really ought to make up their minds about this.
As a general rule, it often takes little more than a stiff breeze to render left wingers confused and incoherent. The Supreme Court's ruling in the Hobby Lobby case has hit the left with the force of an early hurricane, and left wingers have responded accordingly. Textbook example of this was evident yesterday during an exchange between Democrat strategist Donna Brazile and GOP political consultant Matthew Dowd on the Sunday talk show "This Week." (Video after the jump)
It’s been common for a few years to observe that Democrats and Republicans barely talk with each other anymore, but if you believe Talking Points Memo editor and publisher Josh Marshall, these days the two parties aren’t even truly fighting with each other.
In a Tuesday blog post, Marshall claimed that each party now is “operating in [its] own political universe.” In one universe, President Obama ignores obstructionist GOPers and uses his executive powers to accomplish what he can; in the other, Republicans and their media allies are less concerned with thwarting Obama than with revving up their base, largely by flogging Benghazi and other scandals.
Retiring West Virginia Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller recently slandered Republicans as racist, including, by implication, his colleague from Wisconsin, Sen. Ron Johnson. The Morning Joe crew on MSNBC tackled the controversy today, with host Joe Scarborough livid at Rockefeller's remarks and for the wealthy liberal politician's refusal to apologize.
“That’s one of the stupidest, most offensive things I’ve heard a sitting senator say. He owes Ron Johnson an apology,” Scarborough exclaimed. The former Florida Republican congressman, however, was alone in that assessment, with liberal panelist Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post defending Rockefeller, and Ezra Klein of Vox.com trying to stake out a middle ground between Robinson and Scarborough.
Former "Daily Show" comedian John Oliver launched his new program on HBO last night and hilariously eviscerated a commercial that once touted Cover Oregon, the state's now-defunct health insurance exchange.
The ad was such insipid treacle that many people seeing it for the first time are certain to wonder if it's a parody. (Video after the jump, vulgarity alert)
The federal tax filing deadline has arrived. Tax season, when H&R Block commercials are as inescapable as news how-to segments about filing taxes, is nearly over.
But there’s one big tax story the broadcast networks practically ignored this year: the Obamacare taxes that just took effect. The network evening news shows have aired 40 stories or news briefs that mentioned “Obamacare” or the “Affordable Care Act” between Jan. 1, 2014, and April 13, 2014. But 87.5 percent (35 of 40) of those ignored the taxes associated with the legislation by failing to mention any taxes or penalties related to Obamacare. (Video is available after the break)
Ever since Friday afternoon, when Matt Drudge tweeted that he had just paid the “ObamaCare penalty for not getting covered” and called it a “Liberty Tax,” that post by the editor of the Drudge Report website has been slammed as a “flat lie” and “bad press” for the approaching March 31 enrollment deadline of the Affordable Care Act.
However, during Monday's edition of Rush Limbaugh's weekday radio program, the conservative host accused members of the media of trying “to smear and destroy” Drudge and anyone else “they consider to be the enemy of Obama.” Before long, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin praised Limbaugh as “consistently loyal to the cause of justice,” including his defense of Drudge “for calling out 'Obamascare.'”
Next thing you know, Bill Press will be gushing about Obama's ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Press just might be the only sentient person alive who actually believes that Obama's appearance on "Between Two Ferns" at the comedy website Funny or Die was unscripted. At least that's the impression Press gave while talking with Rebecca Sinderbrand of Politico on his radio show March 14. (Audio after the jump)
With the help of research materials from Newsbusters and the Media Research Center, the National Center for Public Policy Research (disclosure: my employer) today challenged Disney chief Robert Iger over media bias at ABC News at Disney's annual shareholder meeting.
National Center Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof asked Iger why, as revealed by the MRC, ABC News devoted only 128 seconds to coverage of the IRS scandal from July 2013-January 2014, even though 53 percent of Americans believe the IRS broke the law and even Democrats, by a 2-1 margin, believe a special prosecutor should be appointed.
According to a report by Tim Cavanaugh, news editor of National Review Online, the Federal Communications Commission “has pulled the plug on its plan to conduct an intrusive probe of newsrooms” as part of a “Critical Information Needs” survey of local media markets.
FCC spokesperson Shannon Gilson issueda news release that indicated in the course of the commission's review and public comment, “concerns were raised that some of the questions may not have been appropriate. Chairman [Tom] Wheeler agreed that survey questions in the study directed toward media outlet managers, news directors, and reporters overstepped the bounds of what is required” for the pilot study in Columbia, South Carolina.
Congressman Gary Peters (D-M.I.) seems to have some really thin skin as he recently threatened several Michigan TV stations for airing political ads targeting his support for ObamaCare.
In a piece in the Washington Examiner, reporter Charles Hoskinson revealed how the Michigan Democrat, who is running for Senate to replace the retiring Carl Levin, is upset over an ad produced by Americans for Prosperity. The ad featured Julie Boonstra, a leukemia patient who said that Peters’ support of ObamaCare “jeopardized my health.”
Michael McAuliff, a former New York Daily News reporter who now writes for the liberal Huffington Post website, stated on Wednesday that people who oppose the Affordable Care Act refer to a report released by the Congressional Budget Office that the shift of full-time employees to part-time work would result in employees losing working hours equivalent to about 2.5 million jobs during the next 10 years, “thereby raising unemployment and forcing others to pay for their health care, and adding to the federal deficit.”
However, McAuliff -- who covers Congress and politics for the site -- quoted CBO director Douglas Elmendorf, who in a hearing on Wednesday “asserted that this is not so: His office's report, he noted, says that ObamaCare will actually produce a net increase in employment and cut the deficit” while giving workers the freedom to do things most Americans praise, such as spending more time with their children or starting their own businesses.
In perhaps the most nauseating way to put a positive light on the poor ObamaCare enrollment numbers, Time’s Kate Pickert claimed that a “huge surge in Obamacare enrollment” occurred at the close of last year. In what could have been described as an Obama press release, the Time “Swampland” blog spun so hard for the president’s health care law, Press Secretary Jay Carney couldn't do any better.
Pickert began her “article” by cheering on the Obama administration, proclaiming that “As federal officials predicted, the flood of Americans trying to sign up for health insurance by the end of 2013 ended in a tidal wave.”
Obama sycophant and Hardball host Chris Matthews just landed what MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell called a “big get” interview this Thursday with the president. So naturally he took to the air on Tuesday's Andrea Mitchell Reports to gush about the chief executive who's been known to send tingles up his leg.
Matthews compared President Obama to a “brilliant writer…with a great theme” who “turns in a paper with a lot of misspellings or bad handwriting.” [One wonders if this is in anyway autobiographical, with Matthews thinking of his misadventures in book writing.] [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
The folks at MSNBC.com seem to be dutifully following their on-air counterparts in providing cover for the failed rollout of the HealthCare.gov website, even as sister network CNBC is reporting ongoing problems with the site.
In a December 2 online piece, Sarah Muller, Senior Digital Producer for The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell, wrote a gushing pro-ObamaCare piece exulting that “Major Obamacare website bug [was] killed.”
If this is what Howard Dean is saying aloud, imagine how bad it actually is.
A difficult week for President Obama got noticeably worse yesterday when one of his most conspicuous frenemies in the Democratic Party, former Vermont governor and ex-DNC chair Howard Dean, questioned whether Obama can unilaterally delay provisions of the Affordable Care Act. (Audio clips after the jump)
This from a man whose favorite pastime is to rail against the stupidity of others. His second favorite pastime is projection.
Hardly a waking hour has passed for Ed Schultz in the last six weeks that he has not ranted about conservatives for pointing out a train wreck when they see one, most recently in the form of Obamacare, the so-called Affordable Care Act which is more costly than advertised and an obstacle course when it comes to care. (Audio after the jump)
When will the folks at MSNBC stop pretending to be journalists and just admit to being liberal hosts looking to push their political agenda? Unfortunately, the answer seems to be not soon as MSNBC host Alex Wagner laughably told her audience on November 6 that she tries to be “non-partisan on her show.”
Appearing with her left-wing panel on Wednesday, the former Center for American Progress employee seemed confused as to what her role on the network actually is. Speaking on the issue of President Obama lying to the American public that if they liked their health insurance plan, they could keep it, Wagner showed that she cannot be an objective host, instead opting to push her liberal agenda. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
"The Odd Couple" sitcom, which featured slob sportswriter Oscar Madison (Jack Klugman) sharing a New York City apartment with overbearing neatnik Felix Ungar (Tony Randall), rarely fell short in delivering funny lines, but one in particular has stayed with me in the decades since the show aired.
Felix was lecturing Oscar, as he so often did, that what he was doing -- smoking cigars, eating junk food, playing late-night poker with his buddies, whatever -- was unhealthy. "Oscar, you know that's not good for you." Oscar's response? "When I look back on the best times in my life, none of them were good for me." (Audio after the jump)
If there was anything resembling a sense of propriety in left-wing media, Ed Schultz's radio and MSNBC commentary would be accompanied by a laugh track.
Correction -- it is accompanied by individual laugh tracks in homes, offices and barrooms across the land, as that fraction of his listeners on the rational end of the spectrum howl in response to his inanities. (Audio clips after the jump)
Liberals really ought to thank the heavens above for George W. Bush, he comes in so handy for them. Whenever anything goes wrong in their hermetically-sealed reality, as everything connected to them eventually does, their Pavlovian response is to misdirect attention toward Bush.
Latest example -- rollout of the misnomer of a track wreck known as the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, which became law three years ago without a single Republican vote on the basis of one of the most audacious lies repeated ad nauseum by an American politician -- if you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan. What President Obama could not bear to say was what he actually meant -- if I like your health plan, you can keep it. Seeing how you're too stupid to know what's best for you. (Audio after the jump)
It's always interesting when people in the “mainstream” press catch up to something conservatives and Republicans have known for a long time.
That was the case when Chris Frates, an investigative correspondent at the Cable News Network, reported on Friday that "Senate Democrats voted unanimously three years ago to support the ObamaCare rule that is largely responsible for some of the health insurance cancellation letters that are going out.”
Wow -- to think that this man seriously considered running for Senate as a Republican, until it dawned on him that voters would hear his stump speech and assume he's a Democrat.
Geraldo Rivera starts every hour of his radio show with the tag line, "Not red, not blue, but red white and blue." Catchy line -- and more than a little reminiscent of oratory from a little-known Illinois state senator at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. (Audio after the jump)