Apart from gutting America's military, our standing in the world, our fiscal stability, the economy, the office of the presidency, conventional energy sources, the free market and religious liberty, Obama has little to boast about other than Obamacare, so let him go for it.
Yes, let him gloat, because the more he bloviates in defense of the indefensible — the more he spins the unspinnable — the more damage he'll do to the cause he's trying to promote: the election of Democratic congressmen in November.
Last Tuesday, in an incredibly childish piece, even by his non-standards, Politico's David Nather acted as if the resistance at Clive Bundy's ranch was endorsed and supported entirely by the tea party movement and/or Republicans and/or conservatives, so he could then characterize their post stand-off behavior — i.e., pursuit of their longer-term political goals — as some form of abandonment.
I was tempted to ignore Nather's nattering, but a couple of subsequent events are making Nather look even more foolish than usual. The first is the fact that Bundy still has significant armed assistance, something the Politico reporter appears not to have anticipated. The second relates to allegations of misbehavior, including illegal property destruction, by Bureau of Land Management agents. First, let's get to some of Nather's blather (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Appearing as a panel member on the Sunday, April 20, Disrupt with Karen Finney, MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter -- formerly of Newsweek -- asserted that President Obama's move to delay a final decision on the Keystone Pipeline "strongly increases the likelihood that he will rule against the pipeline after the election."
He recounted a history of Democratic presidents appeasing liberal environmentalists before leaving office when it is politically safer.
On the Sunday, April 20, Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, as host Harris-Perry chastised Democrats for not bragging about ObamaCare for the year's midterm elections, she at one point mocked Americans angry about having their health insurance plans cancelled, which she referred to as "crappy plans," as she lamented that Democrats are not boasting about ObamaCare or declaring, "Yeah, you can't keep your crappy plans. Just deal with that!" [See video below.]
Conservative columnist and Fox News contributor George Will mocked President Obama’s claim last week that the debate over ObamaCare is over and that Republicans need to stop trying to repeal the law.
Appearing as a guest on Fox News Sunday on April 20, Will argued that “The debate is over is something of a mantra. The debate is over about climate change, everyone be quiet. The debate is over about early childhood education, everyone be quiet. Lots of things are supposedly over. And you hear that from people who are finding the evidence inconvenient." [See video below.]
On the Saturday, April 19, Disrupt, as MSNBC's Karen Finney hosted a discussion of ObamaCare noting that President Obama has started encouraging Democrats to brag about the program, guest Dana Milbank of the Washington Post blamed Republican governors for hurting Democratic Senators in red states as he charged that in some states "ObamaCare isn't going very well because of those Republican governors."
A bit later, Zerlina Maxwell of The Grio asserted that 10,000 people a year will die because of Republican governors who have refused to expand Medicare.
After Finney played a clip of President Obama boasting about ObamaCare, Milbank responded:
It either doesn't take much to surprise Josh Lederman and Dana Capiello at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, or they have very short memories.
The AP pair described the Obama State Department's Friday afternoon statement (roughly 3:30 p.m., based on the "9 hours ago" result returned in a Google search on the document's title at 12:30 a.m. ET) that it would "provide more time" for eight federal agencies involved to submit "their views on the proposed Keystone Pipeline Project" as a "a surprise announcement Friday as Washington was winding down for Easter." It's as if something like this has never happened before during the Obama administration. Well, yes it has.
In a Friday morning dispatch which comes off more as a set of election instructions from "Democratic strategists" than as a real news report, David Espo at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, wanted to make sure that political operatives who don't read boring pollster reports still get the message: Don't use the word "recovery" during your fall campaign.
In the course of his missive, Espo falsely claimed that economic growth since the recession officially ended has continued unbroken, and failed to remind his audience that the party has trotted out "recovery" themes several times, only to see historically weak economic and employment results each time. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
As those of you who follow my hate mail know, I am opposed to running untested candidates against perfectly good incumbent Republican senators this election cycle. It will be a long time before Republicans have as good a year as this to win a Senate majority.
Unfortunately, we have idiots doing the idiot thing, pretending to be "tea partiers," while challenging sitting Republican senators over fairly minor ideological differences.
On the Wednesday, April 16, PoliticsNation on MSNBC, far-left host Al Sharpton berated what he viewed as "extremism" and "intolerant radical views" of Republican candidates for U.S. Senate in Mississippi and North Carolina as he highlighted comments that he considered "offensive," "ugly," and "vile."
Guest Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post went so far as to hyperbolically suggest that the GOP is "going to cease to exist" unless Republican Party leaders who are "aghast at the far-right extremists" do not react against these candidates.
Two Democratic politicians in Texas apparently warranted a front page, 1200 word story in Wednesday's New York Times. Writer Jason Horowitz profiled San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and his brother, Congressman Joaquin Castro.
According to Horowitz, "The two brothers share not only looks, ambition and personal mannerisms — they both lower their heads, with almost monklike modesty, when greeting people — but also a childhood steeped in Latino activism, bunk beds and English." Horowitz also repeatedly hinted that one of the brothers could end up on a presidential ticket in 2016.
In a Tuesday story which appears to have been handed to it on a silver platter, and which the rest of the establishment press seems uninterested in spreading (given that searches at 11:45 p.m. Tuesday at the Associated Press and at Politico returned nothing relevant), the New York Times has reported that the Census Bureau "is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall."
It took Times reporter Robert Pear 15 paragraphs to tell readers that measurement and reporting under the new survey design will be so supposedly difficult that "the agency was not planning to release coverage data from early this year in its next report." That statement indicates that the government will not disclose anything about how the rollout of Obamacare really affected the number of uninsured Americans — even under the new methodology — before this fall's elections. Everyone together now, say "How convenient."
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's John King hyped the Congressional Budget Office's projection about ObamaCare – that "yes, ObamaCare is expensive, but less expensive than they thought – by about $104 billion over 10 years. That's a decent junk of change." King asserted that the health care issue is "the big domestic challenge for the President and for Democrats this election year: that is...trying to defend it – you could say now, maybe, bragging – about ObamaCare."
The journalist then expressed his bewilderment that Democrats weren't playing up this CBO projection: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
In the first of a series of tweets sent out Tuesday morning, NBC senior political editor Mark Murray complained: "Why ObamaCare's (un)popularity is probably going to continue: ACA opponents have sole control over the airwaves." In a follow-up tweet, Murray cited the Campaign Media Analysis Group: "Per CMAG's Elizabeth Wilner, number of anti-Obamacare commericials since March 31: 32 Number of pro-Obamacare commercials: 0"
In a third tweet minutes later, Murray explained: "Political scientists believe TV ads have an impact on public opinion when one side has unilateral control over the airwaves." What the NBC journalist failed to acknowledge was the massive pro-ObamaCare push his network and others have engaged in over recent months.
New York Times political reporter Ashley Parker dominated the paper this weekend, getting front page stories both Saturday and Sunday, one praising a liberal Democrat as a diligent workhorse (just like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton!), the other criticizing a conservative Republican as controversial and out of the mainstream.
On Saturday's front page she fawned over liberal, former comedian Sen. Al Franken: "Franken’s Campaign Against Comcast Is No Joke." On Sunday she turned around and called out the "strains" in the Republican Party in a U.S. Senate primary race in North Carolina, warning of "far-right Senate candidates" that had won primaries in 2012 only to lose in the general.
Democrats have clung to the claim that women earn 77% of what men do with religious fervor, as evidenced by the "religious revival, Praise Jesus" atmosphere at President Obama's equal pay event at the White House earlier this week.
But although the 77% figure has been thoroughly debunked, on today's Morning Joe Mika Brzezinski alleged that the real gap is actually "far worse." Mika made her claim without benefit of any actual statistics. View the video after the jump.
The National Journal's Ron Fournier appeared on Greta Van Susteren's Fox News show on Tuesday and blasted Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for "making facts up" and "lying" in his non-stop campaign against the eeeeevil Koch Brothers.
Bless his naive little heart, Fournier even actually said: "Shame on us if we in the media let him get away with this." "If"? What's all of a sudden going to prevent that from happening, Ron? If anything, the already slim chances that the press will cover Reid's fairy tales have decreased, given strong evidence that Washington Post reporters completely invented a story about the Koch Brothers' lease holdings in shale oil-rich Canada — a story which "just so happened" to end up being the basis for a letter to Koch Industries' President demanding answers sent by a Democratic senator and congressman. The video segment, including Van Susteren's explanation as to why Reid can legally get away with being so reckless, follows the jump (HT National Review's The Corner; bolds and paragraph breaks are mine):
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's John King targeted President Obama and his administration for their "textbook case...of do as I say, not as I do" on the issue of equal pay for women. After playing a clip of Press Secretary Jay Carney playing up how the 88 cents on the dollar women in the White House apparently make compared to men is "better than the national average," King quipped, "I guess the coach would say, is that the best you got?"
The journalist also spotlighted two past studies involving the White House and congressional payroll at the time Mr. Obama was serving as a senator from Illinois, and pointed out the bad optics of the situation: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Remember the extreme discomfort Senator Chuck Schumer displayed recently when pressed by Joe Scarborough on MSNBC's Morning Joe as to whether he agreed with Harry Reid's description of the Koch brothers as "un-American?" After much evasion, Schumer finally agreed with Reid that the Koch brothers were un-American due to the political ads they are running.
It now turns out that Schumer's uneasiness with calling the Koch brothers "un-American" didn't have as much to do with casting aspersions upon their character as it had to do with something in his past that he probably knew would expose him as a hypocrite. And that something was a 2009 letter from Schumer thanking the Koch brothers political organization, KOCHPAC, for a contribution to his campaign. The letter can be seen after the jump.
Good Morning America reporters on Tuesday reminded viewers that a Congressman who has been caught in an alleged affair with a staffer is a "conservative Republican." GMA, which is co-hosted by former Bill Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos, also included a network graphic that hyped: "Conservative Asks for Forgiveness." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC routinely downplays the political ID for Democrats involved in scandals, but correspondent Jeff Zeleny informed viewers about Vance McAllister of Louisiana, noting, "Just one month earlier, the conservative Republican was sworn into office, surrounded by his wife and five children."
Carrie Johnson's Monday report on NPR's Morning Edition could have been mistaken as an informercial for the left-of-center ACLU and the NAACP's efforts to help "protect minority voting rights," after the Supreme Court's Shelby County v. Holder decision from June 2013. Johnson played up how "a divided Supreme Court gutted part of that law – throwing into chaos a system that had required...states to ask for federal permission before making election changes."
All but one of the correspondent's talking heads during the segment were liberal activists who lamented the Court's decision, but she failed to point out their political ideology or that of the groups they represent. Johnson also singled out one attendee of the organizations' "training session," who attacked the Obama administration from the left:
Last week, the Supreme Court eliminated limits on how much money individuals can donate to all campaigns in any two-year election cycle and NBC’s David Gregory lamented how “American democracy is for sale.”
Appearing on “Meet the Press” on Sunday April 6, Gregory asked Shaun McCutcheon, the plaintiff in McCutcheon v. FEC: “How do you have candidates in the future now going to the wealthiest donors in the country and saying I want an unlimited amount of money? How does that is not at some-point lead to corruption?” [See video below.]
ABC’s Jonathan Karl did his best to get Bill Kristol to admit ObamaCare is working on ABC’s “This Week” but the “Weekly Standard” editor refused to give into the fill-in host’s demands. Karl attempted to persuade Kristol to “Give the president a little credit here right? 7.1 million sign-ups after that disastrous start. They hit their number; they went past their number.”
Appearing on Sunday April 6, Kristol shot down Karl’s assertion and argued, “It’s like saying you’ve got to give the Soviet Union a lot of credit. 200 million people bought bread in their grocery stores. If it’s the only place you can buy health insurance, they’re going to get people to buy health insurance there.” [See video below.]
Matea Gold and Robert Barnes utterly failed this morning as ostensibly objective journalists. In their front-page stories covering yesterday's Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC, the Washington Post staffers front-loaded their stories with melodramatic political language suitable for a left-wing "campaign finance reform" group's press release rather than objective news copy.
On Wednesday's CNN Newsroom, Carol Costello decried the Supreme Court's latest decision underlining that political donations are a form of free speech: "You know, these rulings continue to surprise me – only because so many Americans are concerned about the money factor...They think it's a real problem, and these kinds of rulings seem to only exacerbate those problems."
Costello brought on liberal CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin for his take on the ruling, and asked, "Doesn't that give wealthy donors a big advantage?" Toobin twice emphasize the left-of-center opposition to this decision and the previous Citizen United decision in 2010: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Teasing an upcoming story Tuesday on a left-wing smear campaign against conservative donors Charles and David Koch, CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell proclaimed: "Battling the Koch brothers, Democrats are fighting back against the family that spent more than $150 million trying to shake up Congress." Introducing the segment, fellow co-host Charlie Rose announced that "one of the best-known families in big-money politics is once again in the spotlight." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Nancy Cordes told viewers: "They are the Koch brothers, both in their 70s and two of the wealthiest men in America. They've been giving to conservative and libertarian causes for a long time. But now, Democrats are trying to make them public enemy number one." The headline on screen read: "Big Money Brothers; Democrats Target Billionaires David & Charles Koch."
NBC’s Chuck Todd filled in for David Gregory as moderator of “Meet the Press” on Sunday March 30, and took the opportunity to mock Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for a campaign ad he ran last week.
At issue for Todd was an ad by McConnell which erroneously featured an image of two Duke University basketball players mistaken for Kentucky Wildcats, to which Todd ridiculed “was a whole mess that day because first he had the wrong thing, then he changed it, then the NCAA said oh you can’t use our players and then, pretty much insult to injury,” his Louisville team lost to Kentucky. [See video below.]
ABC News Political Analyst and former Bush/Cheney advisor Matthew Dowd attempted to downplay the impact ObamaCare will have in the 2013-midterm elections. Appearing on This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos on March 30, Dowd asserted, “2014 is going to be about the direction of the country, the economy, and how people feel in their lives. It's not going to be about ObamaCare.”
Despite the bizarre prediction from the ABC analyst, conservative editor of "The Weekly Standard" Bill Kristol slapped down Dowd’s ridiculous claim and shot back that “I’m happy to have a referendum on ObamaCare… and will be good for Republicans.” See video below.]