Blogs

By Jeffrey Meyer | October 31, 2013 | 12:17 PM EDT

Ever since Texas State Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) engaged in an 13-hour filibuster to protest new abortion safety measures, the folks at MSNBC have taken it upon themselves to act as her unofficial campaign for governor. Apart from the numerous on-air segments pushing Ms. Davis’ candidacy, the new MSNBC.com website has followed suit in a new puff piece entitled “How Wendy Davis can win.”

Author Zachary Roth penned a 23-paragraph article which serves more as a memo for Democratic strategists than an actual informative piece of journalism. Peppered with quotes from Democratic strategists, the MSNBC national reporter argues that Davis has a chance to instead put together a cross-racial coalition that brings together minorities and liberal or moderate whites—especially women.” 

By Tom Blumer | October 31, 2013 | 11:50 AM EDT

Tuesday evening (noted by Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters early Wednesday morning), CNN's Drew Griffin reported on Anderson Cooper's show that there is a "behind the scenes attempt by the White House to at least keep insurers from publicly criticizing what is happening under this Affordable Care Act rollout."

Such a report occurring during a Republican or conservative administration would spread like wildfire. Sadly and predictably, that hasn't happened with CNN's bombshell. Using search strings which should have surfaced relevant results if present, I couldn't find anything on the topic at the Associated Press, New York Times, the Politco, or Washington Post.

By Tom Blumer | October 29, 2013 | 12:43 AM EDT

On Monday, as Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters noted, Lisa Myers and Hannah Rappleye at NBC News reported that the Obama administration knew three years ago that "more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them." This of course directly contradicts President Obama's repeated promises that "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan."

I will get to the gambit the administration used to convince people that it wouldn't do what it originally intended to do in the runup to Obamacare's passage, a strategy which may have resulted from objections raised in a July 2009 Investor's Business Daily editorial, later in the post. But first, we have to look at tweets sent out tonight by three Obama administration officials in response to the NBC report, all of which dodge NBC's substantive point that the Obama administration knew policy terminations would occur, and claim that "the ACA" (the Affordable Care Act) is not to blame:

By Tom Blumer | October 27, 2013 | 5:17 PM EDT

The left has been ridiculing supposedly wildly overstated estimates of the costs of building the calamitous HealthCare.gov website, the fact is that the costs involved are certainly far higher than the figures most commonly cited: "over 500 million" at Digital Trends, "over $400 million" at the New York Times. The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler is claiming that it's really only $170 milion to $300 million.

In Part 1 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that Bloomberg Government's Peter Gosselin estimated that costs incurred and costs committed to outside firms alone are already north of $1 billion. Now let's look at how much additional taxpayer money the Department of Health and Human Services may have spent on the Obamacare exchange rollout.

By Tom Blumer | October 27, 2013 | 3:40 PM EDT

The left has been ridiculing supposedly wildly overstated estimates of the costs of building the calamitous HealthCare.gov website.

Based on a look at one contractor, CGI, which he must have assumed was the general contractor (i.e., the lead entity through which amounts paid to subcontracting firms would be funneled), Andrew Couts at Digital Trends originally estimated a total cost of $634 million. Couts later backed it down to "over $500 million" after identifying non-Affordable Care Act-related work with which CGI was associated. The New York Times has until recently been working with a figure of "over $400 million." All figures just noted are almost certainly miles too low, for two reasons.

By Tom Johnson | October 26, 2013 | 9:35 AM EDT

During the George W. Bush years, the folks at Daily Kos routinely trashed conservatives and Republicans, but each of those groups have contained a few members (e.g., William F. Buckley Jr. and Dwight Eisenhower) that some Kossacks found semi-respectable.
 
Then, early in 2009, came the Tea Party, for which mere affiliation put one beyond the pale. The DKos gang has been rhetorically pummeling tea-partiers ever since.  This past week, for example, "ApostleOfCarlin" endorsed Rep. Alan Grayson's Tea Party-Ku Klux Klan analogy:

By Tom Blumer | October 24, 2013 | 3:16 PM EDT

As HealthCare.gov's disaster has dragged on and grown in scope, it was entirely predictable that doctrinaire leftists in the fever swamps would begin concocting reasons why its epic failure thus far has been the fault of obstructionist conservatives and Republicans.

What perhaps was less expected, but based on history should not have been, is that supposedly responsible Democrats in elected positions have also joined the ranks of "Obamacare Truthers" by promulgating outlandish theories and engaging in intense blame-shifting, both with extraordinary gusto. Perhaps the worst — or, given its absurdity, the most entertaining — is the one tweeted and quietly deleted (HT Twitchy) by Chris Bollwage, the mayor of Elizabeth, New Jersey (population 126,000):

By Tom Blumer | October 23, 2013 | 1:24 PM EDT

Last night on Fox News's Special Report, Juan Williams singlehandedly raised the bar for what qualifies as world-class failure in blame-shifting. Williams excused the mind-boggling incompetence of the Obama administration's HealthCare.gov implementation by claiming that "massive opposition (to Obamacare) from the Republicans" caused fearful system architects to "roll it out and see how it works for now." Gosh, the only thing that remains is for President Obama to say that these poor programmers were "held hostage" by GOP press releases and speeches.

Video and a transcript of the relevant segment follow the jump (HT Twitchy via Hot Air; bolds are mine). Especially note the priceless look on the face of Fox panel member Stephen Hayes at the 1:12 mark of the two-minute vid:

By Tom Blumer | October 20, 2013 | 7:56 PM EDT

Former Barack Obama campaign manager and current MSNBC senior political analyst David Axelrod today immaturely taunted those who disagree with him on Obamacare by tweeting the following question: "Isn't it ironic that the most ardent opponents of the Affordable Care Act are now complaining that people can't sign up fast enough?"

At first blush, it would appear that Axelrod's tweet might be out of bounds even at MSNBC. Based on the splash which greets those who enter "msnbc.com" in their browser's address bar, you would be wrong:

By Tom Blumer | October 19, 2013 | 4:27 PM EDT

The White House is apparently so desperate to pump anything positive about the disaster known as HealthCare.gov that it took a reporter's ability to "set up an account" as proof that the web site is working fine for some users.

Uh, no. Early Thursday afternoon, Ryan Lizza, the Washington correspondent for The New Yorker (also the guy who may have been in the best position to prove that Barack Obama was lying when he said in 2008 that he never read the church bulletins at the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ, and passed), tweeted the following: "I just tested http://healthcare.gov for the first time and I was able to set up an account with no trouble." Well, setting up an account is a step, but is hardly the end of a HealthCare.gov user's journey. As seen at Twitchy, that didn't stop White House press secretary Jay Carney and senior communications adviser Tara McGuinness from retweeting Lizza's tweet — except Lizza wasn't done, and got stopped dead in his tracks when he tried to move on:

By Tom Johnson | October 19, 2013 | 7:41 AM EDT

The Democrats' (partial) victory in the battle over the (partial) government shutdown and debt-ceiling increase was enough of a reason for Kossacks to do their happy dances and, more importantly, rub Republicans' faces in it.
 
"MichiJayJay" opined that for the GOP, losing wasn't punishment enough: "[N]ow that the teabaggers are down, we have to kick them, and kick them, and kick them and kick them. Into the goddamn dirt. Don't let anybody forget for a second what they wanted (and still want) to do."

By Tom Blumer | October 14, 2013 | 2:10 PM EDT

Kathleen Pender at the San Francisco Chronicle (HT Zombie at PJ Media) had some Obamacare-related financial advice for her readers on Saturday: "Consider reducing your 2014 income by working just a bit less," because doing so could get you a "huge health care subsidy."

This is not news to anyone who has studied Obamacare in detail, and shouldn't be a revelation to anyone in the business press, especially a financial advice columnist like Pender. Among several others, Robert Rector at the Heritage Foundation and yours truly sounded the alarm about Obamacare's work-demotivating impact — as well as how it will encourage marital breakups and discourage couples from getting married — in early 2010. I also wrote related columns here and here in late September. Excerpts from Pender's prose follow the jump (bolds are mine):