I rise today in defense of bacon, as well as consuming hamburgers on Independence Day. And, most importantly, in defense of my mother's awe-inspiring pot roast.
Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, wants the government to make these classic American foodstuffs, as well as soda, alcohol, and being overweight, cost more. I apologize in advance for the long length of the transcript snippets – while Brzezinski is pontificating by reading the ‘New York Daily News’ editorial, the rest of the Brew Crew is making fun of her.
No, really [emphasis mine]:
BRZEZINSKI: Some people actually cares about their health, so I'm going to read that for those people. [reading] "A tax on sodas containing sugar has also been under consideration by Governor Paterson, among others."
It would appear that the Associated Press has nominated Calvin Woodward to be their go-to guy for "Fact Check" pieces that blow up political arguments and assertions by the White House and partisan Democrats.
In late April (covered at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Woodward, in an item headlined "Obama disowns deficit he helped shape," blistered Barack Obama and his administration for its attempt to pin the blame for this exploding federal deficits and national debt on his predecessor. This of course didn't prevent the administration from continuing to blame Bush 43 for most of this past fiscal year's deficit of $1.417 trillion; it also didn't prevent Woodward's AP colleagues from mostly parroting a White House claim he had long since debunked.
In today's Fact Check ("Health insurer profits not so fat"), the AP writer ripped into what has seemingly been a mandatory talking point any time a Democrat brings up health care: the supposedly excessive profits of health insurance providers.
Woodward found that the Democrats' claim doesn't survive even cursory scrutiny:
President Obama was at Democratic Party fundraising events for incumbent Democratic Governor Deval Patrick in Massachusetts Friday night.
The Boston Herald's Hillary Chabot described the attendance at one of the events (HT Jules Crittenden, who is a Herald editor, via Instapundit) as "barely half-full with 125 deep-pocketed Democrats" in the second paragraph of her report ("President Obama: ‘Tough race’ ahead for Gov. Deval Patrick").
Meanwhile, at the Boston Globe ("Obama blows in, talks up Patrick and future"), staff reporter Matt Viser saved an observation that "the events appeared to not be fully booked" for the end of his fifth paragraph. The "events" were "a reception and a larger ballroom gathering." Somehow, if Fenway Park had 20,000 - 25,000 on hand for a Red Sox game (Fenway's capacity is 37,400, and every Red Sox game has been sold out for over six years), I doubt that Globe sports reporter Bob Ryan would describe it as "not fully attended."
Here are the first several paragraphs from each report. First, from the Herald:
The Washington Post touted a new poll on Tuesday that popular support is increasing for a government-run "public option" health care system – just as liberal Democrats try to push that into the Senate Finance Committee bill. The headline was "Public option gains support: Clear majority now backs plan." So it’s not surprising, as Ed Morrissey found at Hot Air, that the Post is stuffing its poll sample with a few extra Democrats:
The sampling comprises 33% Democrats, as opposed to only 20% Republicans. That thirteen-point spread is two points larger than their September polling, at 32%/21%. More tellingly, it’s significantly larger than their Election Day sample, which included 35% Democrats to 26% Republicans for a gap of nine points, about a third smaller than the gap in this poll. Of course, that’s when they were more concerned about accuracy over political points of view.
The Post’s poll (illustrated by a chart) found respondents favored a public option "to compete with" private insurance by a margin of 57 to 40 percent. But even with the polling sample tilted toward the Democrats, some less favorable findings weren’t in the headline, as Dan Balz and Jon Cohen reported:
On Tuesday’s Situation Room, CNN’s Jack Cafferty highlighted a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll which found that Americans apparently support the public option and mandatory insurance, and most of the viewer responses that he read supported these left-wing positions. Cafferty didn’t explicitly voice his agreement with the poll results, but presented his own liberal proposal for health care.
Cafferty touted how “a majority of Americans supports two of the more controversial parts of health care reform: the public option and requiring everyone to buy insurance” during his 4 pm “Question of the Hour” segment: “A new Washington Post/ABC News Poll shows independents and seniors, both critical voting blocs, have warmed up to the idea of a public insurance option. Fifty-seven percent favor the public option. Fifty-six percent support making it mandatory for all Americans to buy health insurance, either through their employers, on their own, or through Medicare or Medicaid.”
Ed Morrisey of HotAir.com pointed out on Tuesday morning that this poll has a skewed sample. On the other hand, the CNN commentator did however subsequently note that “there’s even broader opposition to how to pay for all of this. Sixty-one percent are opposed to the proposed tax on so-called Cadillac insurance plans, and nearly 70 percent say they think any health care bill will increase the federal deficit, although almost half of those people say it would be worth it to grow the deficit in order to achieve true health care reform.”
MSNBC, the self-proclaimed "place for politics" is well-known for its pro-Obama boosterism, from Chris Matthews's "tingles" to on-air talent Ed Schultz's persistent bully pulpit-pounding for the so-called "public option."
But it's not just the on-camera talent that has all the fun cheerleading liberal policies. It seems a promotional ad narrator for MSNBC also does voiceover work for a pro-ObamaCare group, Health Care for America Now (HCAN).
I noticed the HCAN ad at 11:20 a.m. EDT today and worked up a mashup featuring excerpts of the HCAN ad and a promo for tonight's MSNBC programming.
Listen for yourself by clicking the play button on the embed at right.
National Public Radio is making a change and has sent out a "guidance" email to member stations on the issue.
NPR'S deputy senior supervising editor Joe Neel drafted an e-mail that was sent out Oct. 14 to member stations addressing the number of uninsured. The e-mail clarified proper use of Census Bureau statistics and advised staff to "avoid the construction '46 million Americans.'" That number has been a flashpoint throughout the health care debate.
The NPR e-mail said, "We are sticking with the 46 million number issued by the Census Bureau in September (for 2008). It's the number of people in the U.S. who lack insurance coverage at any point during the prior 12 months. It includes citizens, legal residents and undocumented immigrants."
Last fall, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel remarked, "Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before."
That quote has become part of a rallying cry for conservatives, that those currently in power are trying to create the perception of a crisis to force things through the legislative process that couldn't be done otherwise. That has been dismissed by those on the left as fear-mongering and the party in power is acting in good faith based on what their constituents want.
But on MSNBC's Oct. 14 "Countdown," Newsweek senior Washington correspondent Howard Fineman found fault with President Barack Obama's administration for not living up to Emanuel's expectations. On Oct. 14, the Senate Judiciary Committee toyed with the idea of stripping health insurance providers of their antitrust exemption and "Countdown" Keith Olbermann suggested members of Congress hold that exemption over insurance companies' heads to force them to go along with the Senate's idea of health insurance reform.
On Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, correspondent Nancy Cordes celebrated one GOP Senator’s support for health care reform: “Democrats can claim a smidge of bipartisan support and that’s because of one yes vote from one rebel Republican....When Olympia Snowe cast the lone Republican vote for the Senate Finance bill, she reaffirmed her place as a power player on Capitol Hill.”
Cordes went on to tout Snowe’s history of going against the Republican Party: “This is not the first time Snowe has bucked her party. In 2006, she helped kill an amendment that would’ve federally banned gay marriage. And she voted in favor of allowing federal funding for stem cell research. This January, she joined Democrats to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and was one of only two Republican senators to support President Obama’s stimulus package.”
After Cordes’s report, co-host Harry Smith spoke with Senator Snowe and wondered why other Republicans on the Finance Committee did not support the legislation: “You’ve described this crisis as like the Titanic heading toward an iceberg and this being an opportunity to turn away from it. If there is no bill, and if there is no Republican support, will they be abrogating their responsibility to avert this crisis?”
Forget Sarah Palin. The female maverick of the Republican Party is Sen. Olympia Snowe.
Kellman's opening is revealing on a number of levels. To bring Palin into this at all exposes the establishment press's obsession with dissing her at every conceivable opportunity. It also classically employs the "sudden respect" technique the media has used for decades to buck up Republicans who sell out core principles. Finally, it sends a message to male Republican "maverick" John McCain that he's being upstaged, and that to keep his media cred he should join hands with Snowe in acquiescing to statist health care.
Here are other paragraphs from Kellman's Snowe congratulatory:
ABC's Charles Gibson and CBS's Katie Couric led their newscasts on Tuesday night in a manner which suggested they are along for the ride with President Barack Obama as they celebrated how a Senate committee's vote moved Obama's quest to impose ObamaCare closer to reality.
“In 1912, almost a hundred years ago,” Gibson trumpeted at the top of World News, “Teddy Roosevelt called for universal health care. It now may be closer than at any time since then.” Couric championed “a major victory for President Obama” and how “health care reform cleared a major hurdle today” so “health care reform is closer than it's ever been,” but, she warned, “the battle is still far from over.”
Gibson teased: “Tonight, vital vote. A key Republican joins with Democrats in an historic move forward on health care. We cover today's vote, and talk with Senator Olympia Snowe.” With “Crucial Vote” on screen, he led:
Let's see. A Big 4 independent public accounting firm vs. the Democratic Party's go-to health care economics guy. Who has more presumptive credibility?
It's more than a little offensive to see the people whose party gave us entitlement programs with multitrillion-dollar unfunded liabilities (Social Security and Medicare), pension plans that are completely unsustainable (the federal government and many states), and year-over-year budget increases that almost always dwarf inflation -- in other words, people with absolutely no record of financial credibility on matters big and small -- go after Big 4 accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and its "industry-funded" study on what would happen to insurance premiums under the BaucusCare iteration of ObamaCare with the eager assistance of their media apparatchiks.
Understand this: When PwC prepares a report for the health insurance industry projecting, in the Wall Street Journal's words, that "the Senate Finance Committee’s big health-care bill would raise health insurance premiums by thousands of dollars a year," one can be confident that it is based on exhaustively researched and thoroughly reviewed work.
I suppose President Obama is still running around telling everyone who will listen, along with anyone else who won't, that "If you like your doctors and medical providers, you can keep them."
It would also not surprise me to learn that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is still singing the praises of CommonwealthCare, the state-run system conservatives also deride as RomneyCare, so named after Mitt Romney, Patrick's allegedly Republican predecessor who brought it into being. Patrick even wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed column several weeks ago that called CommonwealthCare a "model for national reform."
As an apparently pivotal Senate committee vote on imposing statist health care on the entire country looms, the Boston Globe's Liz Kowalczyk has inconveniently reminded statists (HT Hot Air) that the alleged wonders of the Bay State's care regimen are instead leading it inexorably into serious rationing, and to a direct contradiction of Obama's and Patrick's core claims. Currently on the horizon are serious limitations on choice of care providers and annual capitated payments to those providers. Kowalczyk would probably protest that she never uses the word "rationing," but it really doesn't matter. Anyone with even a modicum of sense will recognize these moves for what they are.
The Senate Finance Committee's ObamaCare bill will spend $829 billion over ten years, but fill-in CBS Evening News Maggie Rodriquez trumpeted how “according to a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the plan costs less than expected and would actually reduce the deficit. So why do Republicans still oppose it?”
Instead of explaining the skepticism toward how the massive additional spending could lead to less spending, reporter Nancy Cordes touted how “the new numbers give health care reform a much-needed boost” and credulously recounted the spending would be offset by fees, taxes “and trims to Medicare.” When Republicans proposed a reduction in the rate of increase of Medicare spending the media screamed about “cuts.” Now a $400 billion change is merely a “trim.” And who really believes that proposal will ever pass?
“The result,” Cordes maintained, “a net savings to government of $81 billion over 10 years” before she championed: “It's estimated the new bill would allow 29 million Americans who don't currently have coverage, Americans like Javier Salinas, to buy it.” Nonetheless, “Republicans still oppose the bill, despite the lower price tag.”
Following the talking points of the Democratic Party, at the top of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared a win for health care legislation being pushed by Montana Senator Max Baucus: “President Obama’s health care plan gets a green light from the Congressional Budget Office, as a key bill not only pays for itself, but actually saves billions.”
Rodriguez later introduced a report on the CBO estimates by declaring: “This morning Democratic leaders are cheering a report that shows that the Senate Finance Committee’s health care bill actually saves money.” Correspondent Nancy Cordes followed: “The new bill would actually reduce the federal deficit by $81 billion according to the new estimates. The price tag, $829 billion over ten years, would be fully paid for, and then some, by an excise tax on top dollar insurance plans, by fees on drug makers and medical device manufacturers, and more.”
During the segment, an on-screen headline read: “One Step Closer? New Health Care Estimate Raises White House Hopes.” In her report, Cordes cited Jonathan Cohn, the senior editor of the liberal magazine, The New Republic, who praised the bill: “You’re average family will have security they don’t have, they won’t – they’ll know they won’t lose their insurance if they lose their job. If they need financial assistance paying for their health care, that will be available to them.”
MRC's Brent Bozell appeared on this morning's "Fox & Friends" to discuss reporting by NewsBusters.org's sister site CNSNews.com that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is planning to hitch a health care reform bill on to an unrelated tax bill which passed out of the House of Representatives earlier this year.
Instead of having a debate in the House and the Senate and giving a bill to the president, you're going to get Harry Reid's bill, passed by the Senate, by the Democrats... immediately rubber-stamping it, no debate, no House-Senate conference, no Republican discussion, and it goes right to the president for his signature, and oh, by the way, no one knows what's in it.
You can check out the October 7 story by CNSNews.com's Nicholas Ballasy here, an excerpt appears below the page break:
Remember back just a few short months ago - when thousands, if not millions, of Americans were protesting out-of-control government spending and other policies favored by President Barack Obama's administration?
Surprised by the resounding turnout, the usual lefty talking heads on MSNBC, specifically on "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" and "The Rachel Maddow Show," explained the protests away as being fake grassroots aka AstroTurf.
Fast forward to Oct. 7, when both Olbermann and Maddow started laying down AstroTurf of their own. They encouraged free health care clinics to be held in the states of six Democratic senators that are not in lockstep with the left-wing agenda on health care reform.
When a group of about 200 doctors gathered in D.C. on Thursday, October 1, to demonstrate against the public option and in favor of tort reform and free market-based solutions, FNC’s Hannity show highlighted the group’s activities, as host Sean Hannity introduced a story by correspondent Ainsley Earhardt on how "doctors from around the country converged on Washington, D.C. today to protest the President's plan to overhaul health care." David Asman and Liz Claman of Fox Business Network even interviewed one participant in the rally – known as the Million Med March – on the same day. On FBN, Dr. Todd Rubin conveyed his fears that a public option would lead to a single-payer system. Rubin: "Eventually, if the bills that are currently presented pass as is written, what will we be left with will be a single-payer-dominated health insurer, and that will be the federal government." Video of the interview can be found here.
When the White House staged a photo-op on Monday with 150 doctors who support ObamaCare, ABC’s World News anchor Charles Gibson touted the event later that day. Gibson: "The doctors were in the house – 150 of them in the White House today, all in white lab coats. It was a show of support for President Obama’s efforts at health care reform."
And NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams got to the story on Tuesday as he defended President Obama from charges that it was the White House that supplied lab coats for the doctors to wear for the photo-op. Williams: "Today's New York Post took issue with a photo from yesterday of a White House staffer passing out lab coats. The White House was accused of staging the photo op. Turns out the doctors group provided the extra lab coats for anyone who forgot to bring one along."
An interesting, yet little known fact about goldfish: The average goldfish has a memory of approximately one to three months, depending on the stimuli used to train it.
Dylan Ratigan, former CNBC co-host and current MSNBC desk jockey, has a shorter memory than a goldfish.
As the MRC’s Tim Graham noted just yesterday, it is an odd thing when MSNBC hosts wish for more civility in political dialogue. A mere 24 hours later, Ratigan provided another example of his insincerity during a live segment on health care.
Former New York Lt. Governor Betsy McCaughey (R) took the conservative viewpoint, and Ratigan tag-teamed with Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner (N.Y.) in belittling her every statement.
Last week the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sent a letter to U.S. Senators about current health reform legislation. The USCCB has supported the goal of universal health coverage for decades, but the letter made clear that they do not yet support the Senate Finance Committee's bill because of concerns about affordability, coverage for immigrants, and financing for abortion. I'd like to focus on that last point, because I think it's here that the bishops may be moving the goalposts on what they can and cannot accept.
Sullivan lamented that the bishops are not accepting the word of the Obama administration as the gospel truth when it comes to abortion:
Fans of Douglas Adams’ “Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” books will remember that the answer to “life, the universe, and everything” was “42.” For American liberals, the answer to “health, insurance, and everything” appears to be 47. Liberal pundits and politicians, right up to President Obama, have famously – and wrongly – claimed that there are 47 million uninsured Americans.
Now, an ObamaCare partisan has claimed that 47,000 Americans die annually because they lack health insurance. On Oct. 5, former Clinton White House staffer David Goodfriend appeared on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” to argue for taxing healthcare businesses to pay for health care reform. Goodfriend stated that, even though medical device manufacturers and others would pay up front, they’d see returns in the form of more customers when those now uninsured enter the system.
“Just think; ask yourself this question,” Goodfriend said. “Why would 47,000 people a year be dying from lack of health insurance? How many more procedures would they get – how many more devices would they buy, if they had the insurance?”
Goodfriend didn’t cite the source of that figure, but The American Spectator shed some light on the possible source. In the Sept. 2008 American Spectator, David Hogberg explained the origin of claims that 18,000 people die each year because they are uninsured and why some could improperly extrapolate even larger figures (up to 47,000 people).
It would be "absurd" for Florida Rep. Alan Grayson (D) to apologize for insisting recently that Republicans stand behind a health care "holocaust," MSNBC's Chris Matthews argued on today's "Hardball" program.
While Matthews felt Grayson's Nazi comparison was over-the-top, Matthews cheered Grayson's display of "cojones," even chuckling at video of Grayson calling Republicans "knuckle-dragging Neanderthals."
Matthews made clear to guests James Warren of the Huffington Post and Politico's Roger Simon that he thought Grayson was just the shot in the arm liberals needed for their health care push (audio available here, video embedded at right):
In the news today, the President and Oprah attempt to snag the Olympics from Rio, a Congressman yells something dumb on the floor of the House (not a Republican!), and double standards abound.
Meanwhile, back on the Hill, there's a humble bill involving the entire health care system of the United States making its way through the Senate. Lawrence O'Donnell is not usually so honest and brazen about the liberal agenda as he was during this morning's appearance on MSNBC's “Morning Joe”, but one can certainly be thankful that he was.
According to O'Donnell, there are now three new tax brackets in this legislation, a new 35% tax rate on certain private health insurance plans, and half of the health care legislation now being debated is a massive new tax bill. O'Donnell made the following comparison:
But two crucial votes held yesterday in the Senate Finance Committee point to how determined liberal Democrats are to prevent language in the health care legislation that would forbid taxpayer-backed abortions and taxpayer-financed health care for illegals.
Despite this, ABC's "Good Morning America," CBS's "The Early Show," and NBC's "Today" show found no time to devote to the development, not even a brief mention during the anchor desk news roundups.
Uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams gave attention to "incendiary" comments made by Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida, who charged that the Republican plan for health care is that people should "die quickly" if they get sick, prompting Republicans to demand an apology.
Williams seemed to signal his own disapproval of Grayson’s words as the NBC anchor introduced the item by remarking that "there’s something about this health care debate that makes some people say the most incendiary things." After playing a clip of Grayson’s comments, Williams informed viewers that the Democratic Congressman not only refused to apologize but "compared America’s health care situation to the Holocaust."
Below is a complete transcript of the relevant portion of the Wednesday, September 30, NBC Nightly News:
Karl Rove, David Axelrod - look out. CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer has the political climate figured out.
Since inauguration, President Barack Obama has seen his approval ratings fall by almost every poll and that's historically a normal reaction as the newness wears off a new president.
During his Sept. 30 "Stop Trading" segment on CNBC's "Street Signs," Cramer pointed out that although the prospects of Obama's ideal health care reform package passing are doubtful, health insurance providers are facing fallout from a publicity campaign meant by the administration to push through health insurance reform. That gives the administration a new villain.
In a Chicago Tribune article today that appears to open as an attempt at humor but quickly devolves into nastiness, NPR-dependent radio host and author Garrison Keillor, among other things, attacks social conservatives, blames them and not those who have brought legal actions for years-long fights over keeping religious symbols right where they are, and -- while conveniently forgetting that Republican Mitt Romney gave us the Massachusetts disaster known as CommonwealthCare that current Bay State Democratic governor Deval Patrick considers the model for ObamaCare -- ponders the pros and cons of cutting Republicans "out of the health-care system entirely."
There are few if any indications in the last 2/3 of his column that Keillor was attempting anything resembling humor. If he was, he failed.