The opening of Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar's 8:28 p.m. report on President Obama's latest round of extra-legal, extra-constitutional manuevers relating to the Affordable Care Act — scratch that, it really isn't the Affordable Care Act as written any more; it really is "Obamacare," defined as "whatever Obama and his administration have done to the ACA as originally written" — is a keeper. That's why the report is also here for future reference.
Alonso-Zaldivar's first sentence tells you everything you need to know about the administration's management of Obamacare's implementation. As such, I'll be surprised if it survives revisions later this evening. It isn't about making sure Americans get quality health insurance. It isn't about first-rate care, or efficiency, or any other objective relating to a benefit the American people might see, touch, or feel. See the AP story's headline and first sentence after the jump:
Instead of treating Hillary Clinton as a possible presidential candidate who must be vetted, NBC framed her as a sympathetic victim of a "brutal" and personal attack on Monday's Nightly News.
Andrea Mitchell bemoaned that "inflammatory excerpts" of "once-private papers" of Clinton's close friend were published an "anti-Clinton website" -- the conservative news site Washington Free Beacon. Would NBC say that an "anti-Cruz" website attacked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) if he faced a similar report? [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On “This Week” on Sunday, substitute host Jonathan Karl told Obama adviser David Plouffe that his “far more nuanced” truth might not beat the Republicans’ negative ads when it came to the new Congressional Budget Office report on Obamacare: “The ad saying 2 million fewer jobs is a lot easier than this far more nuanced argument about job lock.”
Plouffe tried the lame spin that the American people “don’t want another political fight about health care.” Has he seen a poll on approval for Obamacare? Then conservative pundit S.E. Cupp of TheBlaze really tore into Plouffe:
Pot, kettle, hello? If Dems wanted to find someone to attack Chris Christie's credibility for claiming he didn't know what was going on in his administration, couldn't they have found someone less vulnerable than Robert Gibbs? After all, Gibbs served as spox for Barack Obama, the man who has made an art form out of claiming he only found out about his admin's latest scandal when he read about it in the paper.
But there was Gibbs leading with his chin on Morning Joe today, asking "how many times can [Christie] play the card of 'I had no idea this was going on in my own office?" Joe Scarborough was only too happy to oblige Gibbs with a haymaker to his rhetorical jaw: "Robert, it's getting to the point he is starting to sound like Barack Obama." View the amusing video after the jump.
Leftist protesters trying to portray themselves as mainstream gathered in Raleigh, North Carolina yesterday to protest moves made by the Republican-dominated state government yesterday.
One of protesters' major objections is to a voter-identification law passed last year. That's more than a little ironic, because guess what organizers required march participants to have? That's right: photo identification. Though he waited 13 paragraphs to do so, Gary D. Robertson at the Associated Press, apparently aware that several prominent center-right Internet outlets had already noted the breathtaking hypocrisy (examples here, here, and here), actually told his readers about it; I could not find another establishment press outlet which did. However, Robertson, in classic AP style, cited a Republican critic instead of simply reporting the damning fact (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
A new biography entitled HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton is set to hit bookshelves later this month, and the folks at ABC News have already jumped on a new endorsement for Ms. Clinton that was revealed in the upcoming book.
On Sunday night, World News host David Muir jumped all over the “eye opening endorsement” made by General David Petraeus, yet when the endorsement was read, Muir ignored referencing Benghazi, which Petraeus gave as the primary reason for his endorsement. Muir only quoted Petraeus’ claim that Clinton would “quote make an incredible president.” [See video below.]
President Obama has taken it upon himself to bypass Congress and issues numerous executive orders surrounding ObamaCare and immigration reform despite having questionable constitutional authority to do so. Despite the serious issues with President Obama’s continuous usurping of Congress, both Bob Schieffer and Jonathan Karl mocked GOP skepticism of President Obama on the Sunday shows.
On February 9th, Schieffer and Karl rushed to attack the GOP over immigration reform and for showing skepticism over President Obama’s unwillingness to be an honest broker on immigration reform. On ABC’s This Week, fill-in host Karl declared that, “Can we acknowledge that this excuse that the speaker used, it's the president and Republicans can't trust him. Can we acknowledge that was a pretty lame excuse?”
ABC’s Jonathan Karl, alongside Martha Raddatz, filled in for George Stephanopoulos as host of This Week on Sunday February 9 and used the opportunity to hit Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) from the left on a myriad of issues. As of late, the ABC reporter has been especially tough on the Obama White House, but seemed to relish the opportunity to use Democratic talking points to attack the GOP congressman on Sunday.
Following a recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report which found that ObamaCare will discourage 2.5 million Americans from working in order to seek ObamaCare subsidies, Karl pressed Cole that despite the CBO report “being a gift to you guys but did you overplay it?”
Leftist delusions can be amazing things. One of them is that the financial deck is stacked against their candidates and causes.
Reid Wilson at the Washington Post attempted to explain it all on Friday. On the plus side, at least he didn't try to pretend, as Evan Halper at the Los Angeles Times did in late December, that there's no one donating to Democrats and progressive causes with the financial clout of the Koch brothers except billionaire and relative newbie activist Tom Steyer. But while Wilson recognized the existence of large Dem donors, he bemoaned the fact that they are supposedly not as well organized, and that their motives, unlike the Kochs, are pure. Really (bolds are mine):
On Friday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, host and NBC political director Chuck Todd proclaimed that the Republican decision to put off immigration reform until after 2014 "is a long-term disaster for the GOP." He further declared: "If the House refuses to pass immigration after the Senate did so last year, it will become clear to the public, particularly viewers of Telemundo and Univision....that one party is standing in the way of reform, and it's the Republican Party." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Minutes earlier, after playing a sound bite of House Speaker John Boehner explaining that Republicans simply couldn't trust President Obama to properly implement a new immigration law, Todd sneered: "The argument to slow-walk legislation because the President can't be trusted to implement it, though, strains credibility. If you can't trust the President, then why pass any laws?"
New Jersey governor Chris Christie deserves to be defended. The gravamen of the media's case against Christie on Bridgegate seems to be that he is a "bully" -- which I painstakingly gleaned from the fact that the governor is called a "bully" 1 million times a night on MSNBC and in hundreds of blog postings and New York Times reports.
Christie is not a bully. If anything, he's a pansy, a man terrified of the liberal media, of Wall Street, of Silicon Valley, of Obama, of Bruce Springsteen, of Mark Zuckerberg, of Chuck Schumer. It's a good bet he's afraid of his own shadow. (In fairness, his shadow is probably pretty big and scary.) About the only thing Christie doesn't seem afraid of is the buffet at Sizzler.
The reporters at Good Morning America want their audience to know that Clay Aiken's chances for making it to Congress are iffy because of the "conservative district" and "very conservative area" in which he's running. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Reporter Mara Schiavocampo on Thursday labeled the former American Idol runner-up a Democrat, as well as pointing out the Republican-leaning nature of North Carolina. But at no time did the journalist call Aiken a liberal.
Schiavocampo began the story by bluntly declaring, "...Simply put, [Aiken] is a long shot."She added, "Aiken, an openly gay single dad, is running in a conservative district in a state with a Republican governor and a GOP-run state legislature." The reporter praised Aiken for being "authentic" and having a "great life story." But to underline the odds he faces, Schiavocampo reminded, "We'll see how it plays out. Very conservative area." Co-host Robin Roberts fretted, "Very much so."
Was Bill Kristol kidding—just throwing a sop to the not-inconsiderable ego of his host—or could he have been serious? On today's Morning Joe, unveiling his line-up of the nine Republicans he sees running for president in 2016, Kristol included none other than Joe Scarborough himself.
But in an unkind cut to someone prospectively facing the famously conservative GOP primary electorate, Kristol described Scarborough as "filling the Huntsman lane" and representing a "Morning Joe conservatism." Ouch! As interesting as were Kristol's nine [which included Sarah Palin] were the names he left off his list, including Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio. View the video after the jump.
On Saturday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how the New York Times had made a critical change to a story about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's possible knowledge of lane closures in the area of the George Washington Bridge. The initial story was that a Port Authority official "has evidence" in the matter. A short time later, that claim was watered down to a far more speculative "evidence exists."
The erroneous "has evidence" version of the story quickly went viral on Friday afternoon, and is what many news readers likely still believe — especially because there is still no indication at Zernike's story that any change from the original was made. Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan has a problem with that — as she should. There also appears to be an undercurrent of frustration at the Times that what comes off as a "gotcha" strategy didn't stick to Christie (HT James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web; bolds are mine throughout this post):
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a report this morning projecting among other things, that 2.5 million Americans will drop out of full-time work thanks to ObamaCare. We will, of course, track how the broadcast networks cover this story, but if the news websites for ABC, CBS, and NBC are any indication, they will downplay and/or heavily spin this development.
For its part, for example, ABCNews.com teased a February 4 AP story with the headline "Modest Drop in Full-Time Work Seen From Health Law" in their "latest news" sidebar. By contrast, CBSNews.com was front and center with the CBO story, their teaser headline declaring, "New report stokes debate on Obamacare, jobs" [see screen captures below page break]
Two possible presidential candidates. Although there's no evidence of it on the record, some have accused the first of closing bridge-access lanes for political purposes. The other failed to respond to pleas for help, four Americans died in Benghazi, and her response was a petulant "what difference does it make?"
So where do those two candidates stand as we look to 2016? In the case of Chris Christie, his candidacy is "over" and he "doesn't belong in the conversation." Hillary Clinton? Her biggest problem is fighting an air of "inevitability." Such was the collective wisdom of today's Morning Joe panel. But to what degree have the fates and status of the two candidates been shaped by the MSM? Where would Hillary be, for example, if she were a former Republican Secretary of State with the Benghazi catastrophe on her record? View the video after the jump.
In Tuesday’s Washington Post, political reporter Aaron C. Davis promoted radical Iraqi-American Muslim restaurant owner Anas “Andy” Shallal in his dark-horse campaign for mayor of Washington. The headline on the front page of Metro for this “scientist turned poet, painter, activist, and multi-millionaire restaurateur” was simply “Novice making unconventional bid.”
Shallal wasn’t a radical, apparently, but is “pushing a resolutely populist agenda, promising to close the gap between the District’s rich and poor in terms that echo the winning pitch of recently elected New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.” They barely put the word “liberal” into the story.
You could call it bias-by-boring-headline. This typically happens when liberal Democrats do something scandalous or at the very least questionable and a major newspaper covers the story and publishes it, but headline editors give it such a milquetoast headline as to essentially tell the reader,"You'll fall asleep reading this. Move along."
That's essentially the case with the Washington Post's headline* this morning for a story about how Democratic state legislators in Maryland are circling the wagons to protect 2014 gubernatorial front-runner Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) from a steady stream of bad ObamaCare-related news which could sink his chances for the Democratic nomination and/or the governor's office in November.
Could the GW bridge scandal be causing internal friction at MSNBC? On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough upbraided Chuck Todd for "wild speculation" in the matter.
Scarborough's slap at Todd came in response to the NBC political director's suggestion that, based on a photo showing Christie and Wildstein together at a September 11 event--it was "very likely" that Wildstein--in an effort to curry favor with Chris Christie--had told the governor what he had done with the lane closures. View the video after the jump.
President Obama sat down with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly for his annual pre-Super Bowl interview and The O’Reilly Factor host called out the president’s own contradictions during their interview.
During the segment, which aired on Sunday afternoon, O’Reilly read a letter submitted to him that asked President Obama, “why do you feel it's necessary to fundamentally transform the nation that has afforded you so much opportunity?” [See video below.]
Supposed new revelations have emerged in the “Bridgegate” scandal by former New Jersey Port Authority official David Wildstein claim that Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) knew about the George Washington Bridge lane closures earlier than the governor claimed. Despite Wildstein’s failure to provide any evidence for his claims, ABC’s Good Morning America pounced and played up the Christie “bully” angle once again.
Appearing on GMA on February 2, co-host Dan Harris introduced the show by claiming that Governor Christie had launched “a very personal attack at a time when he should be celebrating the first ever Super Bowl in his state.” [See video after jump.]
Longtime readers here may recall that yours truly and others have written about liberties New York Times reporter Kate Zernike has taken with the truth, especially in her reporting on the Tea Party movement. Her penchant for inventing baseless stories about alleged racism in the movement once caused the late Andrew Breitbart to label her "a despicable human being."
Breitbart might well have the same reaction to the hours-later revision made at Zernike's Times story Friday about Chris Christie. Several alert bloggers and tweeters noted that her story about Christie's knowledge of shut lanes on the George Washington Bridge conveniently went from solid to speculative without any indication that any changes had been made.
As House Republicans prepare to sell out the country on immigration this week, Phyllis Schlafly has produced a stunning report on how immigration is changing the country. The report is still embargoed, but someone slipped me a copy, and it's too important to wait.
Leave aside the harm cheap labor being dumped on the country does to the millions of unemployed Americans. What does it mean for the Republican Party?
In 2007, Senator David Vitter was implicated in a prostitution ring involving the infamous “D.C. Madam.” Since then the senator apologized to his wife and family as well as the citizens of Louisiana, who, apparently, forgave him, as attested to their reelecting him to the U.S. Senate.
But that didn’t stop The Times-Picayune from publishing a story recently which selectively quoted from Family Research Council president Tony Perkins -- himself a former Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives -- in such a way as to suggest that the "far right" -- their words -- social conservative leader was opposed to Vitter's candidacy.
That there was even one item in the "far-left" search just noted is unusual. It's even more remarkable that the underlying report was written by Steve Peoples, a far-lefty disguised as a reporter if there ever was one. Excerpts from his Wednesday dispatch follow the jump.
Philip Rucker and Scott Clement sure are "Ready for Hillary." The Washington Post scribes dutifully pounded out a January 30 front-pager that furthers the Hillary-is-inevitable meme discernible throughout the liberal media. "Clinton holds big Democratic lead" thunders the print headline, with a subhead noting she enjoys "strong support in all demographics" while the "GOP field shows no clear front-runner."
Nowhere in their 25-paragraph story was the term "Benghazi" used -- indeed, it was also not referenced in the Post/ABC poll, while Bridgegate was -- although clearly it is the former secretary of state's blackest mark on her record. By contrast, potential GOP opponent Chris Christie was depicted as critically if not mortally wounded by the bridge-lane-closure scandal, while opponents to his right were dismissed as unlikely to beat Hillary (emphasis mine):
Sen. Rand Paul sat down with NPR anchor Audie Cornish on the January 29th All Things Considered, and from the moment the interview began, NPR’s listeners knew the likely outcome: a one-sided attack job.
Anchor Robert Siegel explained that while Cathy McMorris Rodgers gave the official GOP response, Sen. Mike Lee had a Tea Party response, and Paul had an online video response. Cornish began the interview by asking, “How do you convince the independent voter out there who sees this kind of mishmash of responses from various Republicans and no definitive agenda?”
Although to date there has been no evidence directly tying him to either matter, Chris Christie has been accused of playing politics with the GW bridge closure and the granting of hurricane-relief funds to Hoboken. So naturally it's fair game to analogize Christie to the head of cinema's most infamous, murderous crime syndicate.
Fair game, if you're MSNBC that is. Today's Morning Joe segment on Christie treated viewers to a 'Govfather' logo, based on the famous puppet-master logo from "The Godfather." View the video and images of the original and MSNBC logos after the jump.
In his Tuesday night State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama made the following pledge: "In the coming weeks, I will issue an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally-funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour – because if you cook our troops’ meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn’t have to live in poverty."
One would have every reason to believe from Obama's statement that the change will take effect quickly once the EO is issued — but it won't. Additionally, one would have every reason to believe that when it does take effect, it will increase the pay of anyone currently employed on federal contract work at a pay rate of under $10.10 per hour — but it won't do that either. Somehow, those "little" problems escaped "fact checkers" Josh Gerstein and Darren Samuelsohn at the Politico, who, while they did catch other problems with the President's statement, swallowed a clearly false claim about its long-term impact:
Vice President Joe Biden made the rounds on the network morning shows following President Obama’s State of the Union address and CBS This Morning did its best to help the vice president protect Obama from criticism. Appearing with co-hosts Charlie Rose and Norah O’Donnell on January 29, Biden was treated to a friendly interview, and the only tough questions he received were that the Obama Administration wasn’t being liberal enough in pushing its agenda.
Perhaps the most notable point of the interview was when Rose made the softball pitch that President Obama’s acknowledgment of a wounded veteran was “trying to capture the spirit of America and build a kind of identification with this can-do attitude.” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]