You have to wonder what it will take for anyone in the establishment press to call out a major malfunction associated with Obamacare for what it really is. The threshold is apparently something worse than hundreds of thousands of children, many of whom previously had coverage, going without health insurance.
One of the latest headlined examples of reality avoidance first appeared at USA Today's web site Monday evening (the current 11:55 p.m. time stamp indicates that there has since been a story revision): "'Family glitch' in health law could be painful."(Could be?) Additionally, as seen here (HT Twitchy), that pathetic headline to Kelly Kennedy's story also appears in McPaper's Tuesday print edition (bolds are mine):
On Friday, Allan Brauer, the Sacramento County Democratic Party's communications director directed the following tweet (HT Twitchy) at Amanda Carpenter, a speechwriter for Texas Senator Ted Cruz: "May your children all die from debilitating, painful and incurable diseases."
Brauer's action got the attention of Leslie Larson at the New York Daily News and myriad national web sites across the ideological spectrum, including Mediaite, PJ Media, and The Blaze. But at the Associated Press, it's a California-only story worthy of only five paragraphs (reproduced in full for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):
On Monday morning's New Day, CNN continued whacking Republicans who voted to defund Obamacare after comparing them to "inmates" who were "running the asylum" on Friday.
CNN contributor John Avlon said the "defund" movement has a "racket element" and is pure "fantasy." Correspondent Jim Acosta called some House Republicans "shutdown supporters" though that was incorrect since the continuing resolution that passed the House on Friday still funded the government minus Obamacare. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Friday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC host Al Sharpton complained that the "Tea Party-fueled madness" of the GOP threatening to shut down the government would "take away health care from millions of people."
He went on to charge that Speaker John Boehner possesses "genuine political cowardice" because he is allowing the Tea Party to "run this country into the ground."
The network morning shows on Friday derided the move by House Republicans to defund ObamaCare as simply "bowing to demands" from the Tea Party. But it was CBS's Bob Schieffer who made no attempt to restrain his contempt, declaring the ObamaCare fight "over" and linking GOP members to elderly Japanese veterans of World War II who refused to accept that the fight was futile.
After noting that the Wall Street Journal derided the plan as a kamikaze move, the Face the Nation anchor built on the analogy, sneering, "But even more apt...way on into the 1950s when they go into the jungles of the Philippines and they find these Japanese soldiers that thought World War II was still going on?" This prompted This Morning hosts Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell to break up in laughter at the mockery of Republicans. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Wednesday's CBS Evening News and Thursday's CBS This Morning, Nancy Cordes repeatedly played up how an unidentified Republican in the U.S. Senate attacked a House proposal to de-fund ObamaCare as "suicide". Cordes underlined that "Speaker Boehner was forced into the risky strategy by his right flank", and wondered if the plan was "just a recipe for a government shutdown".
Norah O'Donnell picked up where the correspondent left off, asserting that "there feels like something new about this fight this time...and that is that the Senate Republicans are saying to their colleagues in the House, you've gone crazy on this." Charlie Rose quickly added that these anonymous GOP senators were "describing it as a dumb idea".
A Morning Joe kind of Republican? With Joe Scarborough absent today, was Nicolle Wallace assuming the role of the Republican who gets more satisfaction from ripping fellow members of her party than in criticizing Democrats?
Wallace mocked congressional Republicans who are trying to defund ObamaCare, analogizing them to two-year olds on scooters racing into traffic against a red light. She suggested that the "adults" in the party need to restrain them. View the video after the jump.
It's almost amusing to watch writers like Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, pretend not to understand why the economy isn't growing as much as one would "expect" based on the number of jobs being added each month and falling weekly unemployment claims.
In a Thursday story which was mostly worthless because the incompletely collected government data on weekly unemployment claims made it so, Rugaber and the "expert" he quoted pretended not to understand — well, I hope they were pretending because otherwise I'd have to conclude that they're dumber than a box of rocks — how all of this can be (bolds are mine):
The AFL-CIO came out swinging against Obamacare this week, calling its implementation "highly disruptive" and warning that big changes need to be made to the law. CNN has entirely ignored big labor's resolution, adopted on Wednesday.
The resolution comes after the country's largest federation of labor organizations pushed for the law's passage in 2010 and funded President Obama's re-election effort in 2012. Now the AFL-CIO has warned of rising costs of union-sponsored health coverage due to Obamacare, and that the law should be changed if nothing is fixed.
President Obama’s signature health care law continues to lose support, but NBC’s Chuck Todd sees no problem with the law itself. On Thursday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC, he chalked up the declining support to bad messaging by ObamaCare supporters.
Host Joe Scarborough announced that 57 percent of Americans now oppose most or all of the law, according to a recent CNN poll. In addition, the AFL-CIO, America’s largest labor union and a prominent Obama backer, formally criticized ObamaCare in a resolution approved at its convention on Wednesday. When faced with those facts about the law’s slipping support, Todd replied, “Well, and the White House has done nothing to try to fix the PR on this and the Democratic Party has done nothing to try to fix the PR on this.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
NBC and CBS on Wednesday night and Thursday morning failed to cover the "impassioned" demand by big labor unions to reject large portions of ObamaCare. Only ABC's Good Morning America, allowing just a 24-second news brief, covered the complaints that the law will spike the cost of health care. At a convention in Los Angeles, the AFL-CIO adopted an angry resolution in opposition. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
News reader Josh Elliott quickly explained, "And big labor is demanding changes be made to President Obama's health care law." An ABC graphic hyped "Big Labor Vs. 'ObamaCare." According to the Hill, Terry O'Sullivan, President of the Laborers' International Union of America, railed, "But we will be damned if we are going to lose our health insurance because of unintended consequences in the law. It needs to be changed. It needs to be fixed. And it needs to be fixed now."
According to the three networks, the serious effort by conservatives to defund ObamaCare isn't worth as much coverage as the addition of a new dog to the President's family. In just a 24-hour period, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening and morning shows devoted six minutes and 23 seconds to the debut of the puppy "Sunny." In contrast, those same shows have granted a scant two minutes and 26 seconds over a two-month period (July 9 through September 8) to the move by conservative senators such as Mike Lee and Ted Cruz to strip funding from the increasingly-unpopular ObamaCare.
The networks didn't bother to stack the deck with segments heavily opposed to the "Defund It" push, promoted by influential conservative organizations and some GOP lawmakers. Instead, they chose to deprive the campaign of nearly all publicity, omitting it from their normal political coverage. ABC was the worst offender, with the network offering a mere eight second reference to the defund effort.
The liberals at MSNBC continue their PR campaign on behalf of ObamaCare. On Wednesday’s PoliticsNation, the Rev. Al Sharpton cited one very convenient finding from a recent poll: only 6 percent of registered voters want Congress to delay and defund the Affordable Care Act. However, Sharpton ignored two other key findings from the same poll that were far less favorable to his pro-ObamaCare narrative, effectively bearing false witness about the poll's findings.
Speaking to MSNBC contributor Ryan Grim, Sharpton said, “[I]t’s complicated and there’s opposition but yet, Ryan, Americans are firmly opposed to defunding ObamaCare. A new poll out today shows just 6 percent – just 6 percent – of registered voters favored the defunding and delaying of the health care law.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford boosted the latest pro-ObamaCare campaign from the President's supporters in Hollywood. Crawford played back-to-back soundbites from liberal comedian Will Ferrell's "Funny or Die" website, and highlighted the list of celebrities who have signed up for the campaign.
The correspondent did later acknowledge that the controversial law is still "deeply unpopular", and featured a clip from a recent anti-ObamaCare ad released by the Crossroads GPS super PAC [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].
The departing members are those in the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. In a three-page letter to AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka, ILWU President Donald McEllrath laid out concerns over picket-line crossings and encroachments by other AFL-CIO affilliates, but also cited Trumka's "overly moderate, compromising policy positions on such important matters as immigration, labor law reform, health care reform, and international labor issues." A few paragraphs from AP's unbylined regional story are after the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
In a Thursday morning speech, AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka told of how surprised how he was, in the words of Time's Alex Rogers at it Swampland blog, "that employers have reduced workers’ hours below 30-a-week to avoid an employer penalty scheduled to go into effect in 2015."
Here's another "surprise" from Rogers' report, at least for those who think that lawmakers sit alone and draw up 2,000-page pieces of legislation on their own (except when the media relays claims by the left that evil industries write laws which evil Republican congressmen simply rubber-stamp them): Trumka admitted organized labor's direct involvement in in writing Obamacare. In other words, labor created the mess it is now denouncing (bolds are mine throughout this post):
If we're to believe Tom Raum's Friday afternoon report at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, the economy is humming along smoothly enough that we really shouldn't think about it that much any more, especially as something to consider when voting. And besides, it's being "eclipsed" by "other pressing events."
I'll stay away from those other "events" in the interest of concentrating on the 3-1/2 paragraphs Raum employed to convince readers that things really are okay, followed by a quote from a reliable leftist apparatchik (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
There are two key words missing from the report Bloomberg's Kasia Klimasinska & Shobhana Chandra published Tuesday morning — a writeup that is so incredibly sunny and over-the-top that is probably would have embarrassed the Old Soviet Union's Pravda in its heyday.
One is "income." The reason is obvious. Real median household income is still way below where it was when the recession ended four long years ago. The other absent word is "deficit." This enables Bloomberg's pathetic pair to glide though a discussion of the national debt-ceiling situation and make Republicans look like the heavies. The final problem is that they act as if we're in the fifth year of unbroken expansion, when we're not. Excerpts follow the jump.
In the world of Jesse Jackson and the people over whom he has undue influence, if you oppose President Obama's agenda in any way, on any issue, you're a racist. No debate, no allowance for principled objection, discussion over. Apparently now, in Jackson's view, if you in any way oppose the frightening and financially reckless expansion of government we've seen during the past five years or the government's impending de facto takeover of healthcare — the two core issues which drove the grass-roots movement which became known as the Tea Party — you're not only a racist, you're automatically a secessionist.
In a starry-eyed, mostly incoherent item at the Politico ("Obama, race and class") which is so bad it could be the topic of three additional posts, Glenn Thrush completely misidentified Jackson's position in the civil-rights pantheon, while Jackson, once again, showed how utterly devoid of substantive arguments he is:
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):
Who knows what long-term effects we'll see from the so-called Affordable Care Act, unless and until it dies a well-deserved demise, but at least one repercussion has become obvious -- borderline hysteria among liberals in media.
An example of this could be heard on Thom Hartmann's radio show yesterday when he was complaining about the conservative group FreedomWorks' opposition to Obamacare. (Audio after the jump)
CNN's Carol Costello said public opinion of Obamacare is "pretty evenly split" when recent polls are showing a double-digit gap between support and opposition of the law, with more people opposing the law than supporting it.
"Well most of the polls I've seen, it's pretty evenly split, right?" Costello interrupted her guest Will Cain, who had argued "Almost every poll now, over 50 percent of Americans oppose Obamacare and why wouldn't they?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
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?"
CNN has ignored two warnings that Obamacare's privacy protection may be at risk when the state exchanges open October 1, which could leave participants open to the threat of identity theft.
An Inspector General report recently detailed how the security system was months behind schedule, and last week 13 state attorneys general wrote to HHS Secretary Sebelius warning of a possible "privacy disaster" in Obamacare. CNN has not yet reported either warning.
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.
CNN's Chris Cuomo had a sharp message on Thursday's New Day for Republicans looking to get re-elected simply for opposing Obamacare.
"Any jackass can kick down a barn. But it takes a good man or woman to build one," Cuomo lectured Republicans. "The politics of 'they stink' is not enough anymore. You need to get better than that," he added before noting that "both parties" are to blame. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
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.
13 GOP state attorneys general sent a letter to HHS Secretary Sebelius on Wednesday detailing serious concerns over Obamacare's privacy protections and warning of a "privacy disaster waiting to happen." As of Thursday afternoon, CNN has yet to report the letter that Politico and The Washington Times picked up.
"As chief legal officers of our states, we are concerned that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") has failed to adequately protect the privacy of those who will use the assistance programs connected with the new health insurance exchanges," the letter began.