In advance of a month full of events oriented towards demonstrating displeasure with lawmakers who won't give carte blanche to President Obama's healthcare, gun control, "climate change," and immigration agendas, Organizing for Action Executive Director Jon Carson claimed that "We will own August." New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Mayors Against Illegal Guns also anticipated high levels of support during this months's "No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence" tour.
It hasn't happened in either case. If right-wing, tea party, or social conservative efforts fizzled as OFA's and MAIG's clearly are, those failures would be making headlines, and shown as proof that support for the related causes is weak. By contrast, the national establishment press is mostly ignoring and in some cases obscuring these left-wing implosions.
CNN's global economic analyst says many companies are just using Obamacare as an "excuse" to make employee health insurance cuts they already planned to make.
"[H]health care inflation is between seven and ten percent a year. And that's with or without Obamacare. So I do think that you're going to see a lot of companies using Obamacare and the ACA as an excuse to make changes in their plan that they might have been planning to make already," said Rana Foroohar on CNN Thursday afternoon.
Maybe we should cue up the old classic "High Hopes," especially given its ironic title, every time one of these "unintended consequence of Obamacare" stories comes along. Instead of singing "Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant," we can all sing, "Oops, there goes another Obamacare 'quirk.'"
One of the latest "quirks," also described as a "weird" result of the progressive movement's March 2010 legislative handiwork gleefully signed by President Obama, arrived via CNBC Health Care Reporter Dan Mangan on Tuesday. As predicted by many center-right analysts several years ago, it will make financial sense for quite a few employees to turn down their employers' health care coverage and move to the subsidized, government-run Obamacare exchanges. If enough employees start doing that — given the financial consequences, thousands if not millions will — many employers will have even more incentive than they already have to jettison their plans completely. Imagine that (bolds are mine):
On Monday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes accused Republicans of "pandering" to an "increasingly self-lathering conservative base" in trying to defund ObamaCare, as he predicted that doing so would spell an "unmitigated disaster politically" for Republicans.
Hayes mocked Republicans as uncaring as he referred to millions of people who might be affected by ObamaCare by rhetorically asking, "Though really who cares about them?"
On Monday's Morning Edition on NPR, Minnesota Public Radio correspondent Elizabeth Stawicki featured Karen Pollitz of the Kaiser Family Foundation during a report about ObamaCare, but failed to mention the left-leaning political affiliation of the organization. Stawicki merely labeled the foundation "non-partisan".
The public radio journalist also failed to mention that Pollitz is an alumna of both the Obama and Clinton administrations, and previously worked for two Democratic politicians.
It's fair to say that about the only holdouts against the idea that part-time work is up and that employee hours are being reduced around the economy are the Obama White House and a few Obama White House alumni. It's also fair to say that there are very few holdouts against the idea that the cause for this is Obamacare's 30-hours-per-week definition of a full-time employee, which is causing far more businesses than usual to cut existing workers' hours and to limit their hiring to part-timers. Even Obama-sympathetic NBC did a report on Obamacare's impact earlier this week. The White House dismissed what NBC found as "merely anecdotal."
All along, everyone — yes, this includes yours truly — has been concentrating on overall changes in the average work week, which have been very minimal. But Jed Graham at Investor's Business Daily, doing work which apparently no one else in the business press has been willing or discerning enough to do for all these months as the issue has raged, identified four industry sectors where average weekly hours have dropped significantly, and where it's hard to claim that anything except Obamacare could be the culprit.
Leading off Saturday's NBC Nightly News, fill-in anchor Kate Snow declared: "Healthy choices? Big challenges ahead for when the new health care law takes effect. Will you have to change your doctor?" However, in the report that followed, not one word was mentioned of President Obama's repeated promise that people would be able to keep their own doctor under the new law. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing the segment, Snow reiterated: "When the Affordable Health Care Act goes into effect on October 1, a lot of Americans around retirement age will have some challenging choices to make. Like, should they switch to a new kind of health care coverage? And if they do, will that mean changing doctors?"
Economists, business owners and employees are worried that the Affordable Care Act is resulting in fewer hours for workers.
The networks had been ignoring this shift toward part-time work and its relationship to Obamacare earlier this year, but NBC has let the cat out of the bag. On the Aug. 13, “Nightly News” Lisa Myers reported on an NBC News investigation into the issue.
An August 6 opinion column at the Politico labeled co-authors Jared Bernstein and Paul Van de Water as "senior fellows at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities." CBPP, that oxymoron known as a "leftist think tank," went unlabeled. The Politico also must have thought that Bernstein's background as the Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden from 2009 to 2011 was irrelevant.
That's okay. Any reader could tell from the piece's headline and content that it was a shameless, reality-avoiding propaganda piece (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Though many of us have known a fundamental truth about Obamacare for several years, the fact that Harry Reid admitted to the truth is important.
How important? So important that despite plenty of bloggers and other new media outlets taking note of it, the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post (the latest stories here and here are from before Reid made his admission on Friday evening), and Politico haven't mentioned it at all. That's when you know that an inconvenient truth has been spoken. The truth is that Reid and others on the left see the current Obamacare regime as a mere pit stop towards a "single-payer" (i.e., totally government controlled) health care system which eliminates the insurance industry entirely. Reid, as as reported by the Las Vegas Sun, said so on Friday (bolds are mine):
In this case, the old saying, "Better late than never" really shouldn't apply. In June, when the government's Household Survey used to determine the unemployment rate reported that there were 240,000 fewer full-time workers and 360,000 more part-time workers than there were in May, the establishment press, particularly the Associated Press, largely ignored or downplayed the result.
The AP's Christopher Rugaber broke the ice a bit in early July after June's jobs report, and the wire service has finally gone full-bore into noting the trend towards part-time work in the past two days. But while the press slept for months, center-right bloggers and many others have been chronicling the trend anecdotally since late last year, and gradually with solid numbers from the government's own reports as the year has worn on.
Who knew that merely getting just over six dozen people together to support having Iowa "expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul" would earn coverage from the Associated Press -- and then be treated as some kind of groundswell of support?
Well, it did. The item involved, complete with a headline which makes it appears if some kind of poll might have gauged Iowans' sentiments on the topic -- the better to deceive those who only see the headline -- follows the jump (posted in full because of its brevity; HT Instapundit):
Over the weekend, The New York Times promoted its July 24 interview with President Obama – after being shut out for almost three years – but reporters Jackie Calmes and Michael “Macaca” Shear couldn’t find time for a single question about the IRS scandal, Benghazi, or other Obama scandals. They found time to ask a softball about whether Obama would help observe the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. This could explain Obama’s last words: “Thanks, guys. Appreciate you.”
But Calmes and Shear did throw a series of hardballs about how Obama’s not getting around Republican obstructionism on the economy. In a question pushing to end the sequester, Calmes spurred Obama to talk about his passion for deficit reduction (despite the need for a laugh track, he’s not kidding):
Sarah Palin, call your office. PolitiFact, you've been refuted again.
In the later sections of a Wall Street Journal column on Sunday (in Monday's print edition), former Vermont Governor and unsuccessful 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean wrote in opposition (HT Twitchy) to Obamacare's Independent Payment Advisory Board, calling it "essentially a health-care rationing body." We'll let former Alaska Governor Palin take it from there with her August 7, 2009 Facebook post (bolds are mine throughout this post):
On Sunday's CBS Evening News, Anna Werner surprisingly acknowledged that ObamaCare may be a "tough sell" even among the left-leaning population of Oregon. Werner's report on a hokey multi-million dollar campaign trying to get young people to sign up for the West Coast state's health care marketplace came three days after CBS reported that the controversial law's approval rating is at an all-time low. [video below the jump]
While the correspondent featured two pro-ObamaCare talking heads, she also played soundbites from a 20-year-old who denounced the law: "As much as you can have an ad campaign that, sort of, inspires people, at the end of the day, the government is in Washington, DC, and has never met you."
If you've been wondering where the Associated Press's 2013 entry into the "Worst AP Report Ever" contest has been hiding, have no fear. It's here. Oh, it's not as bad as the current worst-ever leader, the laughably execrable "Everything seemingly is spinning out of control" in June 2008. Nevertheless, it's a "strong" entry -- as in almost indescribably weak as journalism.
The AP's (Abandon All) Hope Yen believes she has exclusive "news" she simply must share with you: Most Americans face significant economic stress sometime in their lives. Stop the presses, shut down the Internet, and cancel Christmas. Excerpts follow the jump.
Has Glenn Thrush at the Politico thrown up the white flag on Democrats regaining control of the House until 2022, the first election cycle after the next wave of congressional and statehouse redistricting? If so, he clearly underestimates Republicans' ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but I digress.
It would appear that Thrush has thrust himself into the throes of despair, based on the bolded sentence seen after the jump from his Friday report on how 2010 losses of control of the U.S. House and especially control of so many statehouses and state legislatures "still haunt" Dear Leader Barack Obama:
Pretty much all you need to know about the current negligent media culture in Washington is summed up in two items involving the Politico's home page this morning -- one which is there, and one which isn't.
The featured story at top of the home page by Byron Tau is about infighting between "Big Marijuana" -- it seems like "Big Pot" would be a more succinct nickname -- and those who want to extend recent electoral victories in legalizing the drug. What isn't there on the home page, as confirmed in a word search, is any story with a headline or tease containing "IRS."
Leave it to MSNBC’s Martin Bashir to politicize even the most non-political of events. Take for example yesterday's royal birth, which British subject Martin Bashir decided was an appropriate opportunity to slam Republicans on two different occasions. On July 22 and July 23, Mr. Bashir went on the air to blame the GOP-controlled House of Representatives for the economy's sluggishness as well as to push ObamaCare, which if not implemented, demonstrates how the “difference between the two systems [British vs. American] can be a little bit depressing."
Bashir’s first example of political exploitation occurred on July 22 as a guest on MSNBC’s The Cycle, in which he turned a question about the economic problems in England into an attack on the GOP. Bashir agued that:
Part of the fascination with the royal baby has been because people have been so depressed by the economic circumstances in the United Kingdom that they have been looking for some kind of like relief. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
If the employment numbers seem better than one might have expected during the next few months, it may have nothing to do with private companies hiring people to provide goods and services people actually want. It may instead relate to the army of paper-pushers who are being hired to help individuals and families apply for ObamaCare subsidies starting on October 1.
If California's situation is typical of what will be happening nationwide, the total number of "enrollment counselors," also known as "navigators," hired for this supposedly short-term task will be huge. In the tarnished Golden State alone, according to Judy Lin at the Associated Press, 21,000 counselors will be hired from among "an estimated 3,600 community organizations ranging from Native American tribes and chambers of commerce to labor unions and faith-based organizations that will be authorized to help people buy insurance." Project that to the entire country, and we're talking about roughly 175,000 counselors.
PBS led off Thursday’s NewsHour with a story about President Obama’s efforts to defend his healthcare law amid increasing public skepticism. But the taxpayer-funded network managed to avoid mentioning the recent harsh criticism of the law from three prominent labor union leaders, despite a vague reference to “worry from some supporters.”
Anchor Jeffrey Brown, who narrated the package, acknowledged, “Today's speech was part of a broader effort to sell the law that comes amid continuing criticism from Republicans and worry from some supporters about its implementation.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Dan Gainor appeared on "Varney & Co." With Stuart Varney, on July 16, to discuss the "privacy issue with Obamacare." "Is the Media making the link between the personal information we've got to give to the IRS, and the intrusions of Obamacare?" Varney asked Gainor. "Not even slightly." Gainor replied.
"It's been three years now since Obama released this data grab for Obamacare," Gainor said. "It's supposed to save us $81 billion a year, and now studies say it may end up costing us money, not saving us a dime. And, you know, we're in the midst of this huge data scandal involving the NSA Data is everywhere. The media have not connected the dots about that, they have not warned us the dangers of electronic medical records, and all in the context of Obamacare. Not once."
Government-funded National Public Radio has a vested interest in seeing liberal programs succeed, as their funding could evaporate under a conservative administration. Given NPR’s heavy reliance on federal dollars, it should come as no surprise that they have weighed in on the side of the Obama administration in its decision to lobby sports leagues to promote the controversial health care law.
In a piece on the July 8th All Things Considered, Colorado Public Radio’s Eric Whitney highlighted the lengths the Obama administration is going to “recruit baseball teams and other sports franchises to help” push Americans into signing up for new health insurance exchanges. When it comes to the health exchanges, Whitney lamented that “polls show most Americans don’t understand how they’re supposed to do it” and how recruiting sports teams in the past “worked before.”
On the Wednesday, July 3, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC analyst Ezra Klein -- also of the Washington Post -- joined host O'Donnell in complaining that congressional Republicans refuse to help the Obama administration make changes to ObamaCare that even the administration has concerns about, with Klein charging that the GOP is trying to let the act fail "no matter how many people get hurt along the way." Klein:
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd blamed Republicans for ObamaCare beginning to collapse under its own weight: "...you could argue that there are some Republicans that are trying to sabotage the law, that they're hoping to not get it off the ground and then they can suddenly make the case, 'See, we've got to get rid of it.' And they've got some state governors that are openly trying to sabotage it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd went on to attack Republican senators who protested an effort by the Obama administration to use the NFL to promote ObamaCare: "Look at what [Mitch] McConnell and [John] Cornyn did to the sports leagues? That was a shakedown. That was a threatening letter by the two leaders of the Senate Republicans, who essentially said, 'If you participate in this, if you help them try to enact this law of the land, be careful, there's going to be political repercussions.'"
In a Sunday morning story which will likely have limited reach, and will then probably be considered old news by the time the business week resumes tomorrow, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, finally got around to recognizing a trend on which yours truly and others have been commenting for at least 2-1/2 years: the surge in employment at temporary help services.
That the item's author is Christopher "Gone Are the Fears That the Economy Could Fall Into Another Recession" Rugaber makes it especially rich, once he explains to his readers some of the reasons why temp services is one of the few sectors employing more people now than it did at its pre-recession peak (bolds are mine):
Independence Day is the perfect day to remember that liberal Democrats want Americans to be dependent on government. Nancy Pelosi reminded Americans of that on June 27 with her remarks to the press about the national holiday, where she essentially argued that the Founding Fathers would have loved ObamaCare.
“[W]hen we celebrate Independence Day we’ll also be observing health independence. This week marks one year since the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. It captures the spirit of our founders, the spirit they wrote in the Declaration of Independence: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Pelosi said. (emphasis added).
On Sunday's Disrupt show on MSNBC, host Karen Finney wondered by Texas Republicans are "trying to harm the health of women in the state" by passing laws against abortion instead of dealing with other issues, as she hosted Texas Democratic State Senator Leticia van de Putte to discuss fellow State Senator Wendy Davis's filibuster in support of abortion.
Later in the show, as she hosted Dr. Rani Whitfield of the Association of Free and Charitable Clinics for a discussion of Republican governors resisting the ObamaCare expansion of Medicaid in their states, the MSNBC host charged that the Republican party's "ideology is basically endangering the health of their citizens."
On the Friday, June 28, PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton marked the anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in favor of ObamaCare, and gave the program credit for helping consumers. Sharpton began:
NPR health policy correspondent Julie Rovner has a bad habit of stacking the deck in her stories, frequently giving the liberal side several times as much time as conservatives. During NPR’s June 21 Morning Edition, Rovner appeared to be aiming for a personal record in tipping the scales for a piece about the group Enroll America. Rovner gave almost 15 times as much time for the group’s case than against it.
Enroll America is a liberal organization working to get as many people sign up for ObamaCare as possible. Its founding chairman is Ron Pollack, head of the liberal (even according to The New York Times) advocacy group Families USA. That group pushed hard for both major Democrat health care bills (Hillarycare & ObamaCare). Enroll America’s president is Anne Filipic, a former Democratic political operative. Rovner conveniently left out the ideological and party labels and the background for Ron Pollack, Families USA, Anne Filipic and Enroll America, instead portraying them as impartial experts: “of…Families USA,” “consumer group,” “president of Enroll America,” and “a private nonprofit group" respectively.