Government Agencies

By Tom Blumer | November 23, 2014 | 10:08 AM EST

How long it would have taken from the time of its exposure for the press to have prominently reported on an email sent from the the Bush 43 White House to its Justice Department asking, "Any way we can fix the New York Times?" We can be confident that it would have taken less than a New York minute, and that saturation coverage would have continued for days.

Well, one revelation in a series of Saturday tweets by former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson, one of only a very few establishment press journalists who did serious reporting on the Department of Justice's Operation Fast & Furious Mexican gun-running operations beginning in 2011, is that the Obama administration was considering what it could do to "fix" another news operation.

By Tom Blumer | November 22, 2014 | 10:09 AM EST

Even if you like your Obamacare insurance plan, Health and Human Services may move you by default into a different one — often with a different network of providers. In such situations, you wouldn't get to keep your doctors and other providers unless you acted.

That's what HHS's Center for Medicare and Medicaid Service has indicated in a 300-page proposal dumped yesterday so it would get minimal media attention (a six-page summary is here). Bloomberg News is one of the few outlets which has noticed it, and is predictably spinning it as a good thing (bolds are mine throughout this post; and numbered tags are mine):

By Tom Blumer | November 21, 2014 | 7:45 PM EST

At CNN on Thursday night, Anderson Cooper asked former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who is now a contributor at the network, to square President Barack Obama's Thursday night immigration announcement with past presidential statements that he didn't have the power to do what he had just done.

As seen in the video after the jump, Carney acknowledged his former boss's compete flip-flop (HT the Weekly Standard):

By Tom Blumer | November 21, 2014 | 6:04 PM EST

Old habits die hard at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press — especially when those old habits help Dear Leader's regime look better, or less awful, than it deserves.

It's been eight days, but it's still worth a look. On November 13, the government released its Monthly Treasury Statement for October, showing that Uncle Sam ran a $122 billion deficit. In his coverage of that statement's release, the AP's Martin Crutsinger, in the wire service's monthly effort at miseducating the masses, wrote the following:

By Tom Blumer | November 20, 2014 | 10:03 AM EST

Boy, it's a good thing that the unemployment benefits Congress continued to extend during most of the first five-plus years of Barack Obama's presidency didn't hurt the economy much.

A study commissioned by the Cleveland branch of the Federal Reserve concluded that extended benefits "only account for a fraction of the actual increase in the unemployment rate." The allegedly minimal impact of that "fraction" follows the jump.

By Tom Blumer | November 19, 2014 | 11:52 PM EST

Today at the Assocated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Martin Crustsinger covered the Census Bureau's report on new home construction in the usual way. Regardless of whether a given month shows improving or declining data, the wire service's overall message is almost invariably, "Things are really getting better. No, really."

The sentence promoting that point of view in Crutsinger's report came from one of the AP's go-to analysts:

By Tom Blumer | November 18, 2014 | 11:41 PM EST

There were several more of those infamous "U-word" ("unexpectedly") sightings yesterday in the business press, as Japan — to the surprise of no one who has successfully avoided the Keynesian koolaid — reported that its economy shrank for the second quarter in a row, officially falling into yet another recession.

The U-word hit the trifecta, appearing in reports at the Associated Press, Bloomberg and Reuters.

By Tom Blumer | November 18, 2014 | 8:25 PM EST

As I noted yesterday, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, finally broke down on Friday and mentioned the name "Jonathan Gruber" in a news story — a Friday afternoon item which, among other things, dishonestly attempted to distance the Affordable Care Act advisor from his long acknowledged and celebrated (until recently) "architect" role.

As of early this evening, the only other AP mention of Gruber has come in an unbylined Sunday morning story on President Barack Obama's insistence that, in AP's words, "the American public was not misled about certain provisions of his health care law," and that, again in AP's words, "there was no provision of the health care law that was not extensively debated and was not fully transparent." The terse, "Now will you people please go away?" five-paragraph report follows the jump:

By Tom Blumer | November 18, 2014 | 3:05 PM EST

The New York Times wants America to ignore Jonathan Gruber. Pay no attention to that architect behind the curtain!

Scott Whitlock at NewsBusters noted earlier today that a Times editorial on Jonathan "stupid voters" Gruber claims that the MIT economist was not an important player in the law's creation. The Times now insists that "In truth, his role was limited." The trouble is, Times reporters and columnists have paid quite a bit of attention to Gruber and the importance of his role in the creation, passage and defense of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, during the past five years.

By Tom Blumer | November 18, 2014 | 12:27 PM EST

Two cheers — and two cheers only — for the National Journal's Ron Fournier.

On Fox News's Special Report with Bret Baier last night, the former Associated Press Washington Bureau chief observed that the Jonathan Gruber videos about how the Affordable Care Act was dishonestly written and promoted, as well as President Barack Obama's reaction to those revelations, demonstrate that he (Obama) "has destroyed the credibility of his administration, himself, and government itself." Fine. But then, imitating the naive lover who won't give up despite constant betrayal in the hit song "I Can't Let Go," Fournier stated that he "would like to see this bill work." 

By Tom Blumer | November 17, 2014 | 11:42 PM EST

The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press — the entity which to our great misfortune is considered the de facto news source of record by the nation's establishment press — finally broke down several days ago and mentioned the name "Jonathan Gruber" in a news story.

Of course, the wire service saved Philip Elliott's story for Friday afternoon to minimize its visibility; the time stamp at the AP's national site is 4:20 p.m. ET Friday; that's only a minute later than the 3:19 p.m. CT time stamp found here at the earliest Google News entry I could find. Elliott largely made the story almost entirely about Republicans' and conservatives' reactions to what Gruber has said — as if they're the only ones who should be deeply troubled about Gruber's insulting descriptions of the American people and the fundamental dishonesty involved in drafting and passing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, in early 2010. But he also quite dishonestly tried to claim that Gruber wasn't even an "architect" of the law (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

By Tom Blumer | November 17, 2014 | 12:14 AM EST

On Saturday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted the hypocritical fury of Linda Greenhouse at the New York Times that the Supreme Court has taken on the King v. Burwell case over the legality of Obamacare subsidies in states which don't have their own Obamacare exchanges.

I need to address another item of Greenhouse gas contained therein, namely her claim that the Affordable Care Act requires no one to "spend more than 8 percent of his or her income of health insurance." That's only true if one chooses not to get covered.