Alan Gross, political prisoner. Those were four words missing from Emma Margolin's December 10 MSNBC.com story hailing the handshake between President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro earlier today at Nelson Mandela's memorial service in Soweto, South Africa. Gross, a State Department contractor, has been languishing in a Cuban prison for five years.
There was a reference to "genocide" in the story, but that was from a quote from a Cuban official railing against the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba (emphasis mine):
But not only did Palmer preach the merits of energy -- and money-saving -- LED bulbs, he also crunched the numbers and wrung his hands about the detrimental effects on Mother Nature of, wait for it, strands of popcorn strung around the ol' Tannenbaum (emphasis mine):
Kudos to the Daily Beast for running a feature today on six Americans who are detained in despotic regimes across the globe -- one in Cuba, the others in North Korea or Iran -- all of them held since President Obama took office in January 2009.
Writer Brandy Zadrozny noted she was writing her feature on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of Alan Gross's imprisonment in Cuba. Among those men is SaeedAbedini, a Christian minister who is serving an 8-year sentence in "RajaiShahr Prison, notorious for its brutal treatment of inmates."
In his December 4 story, "A bogus health care website, courtesy of the GOP," MSNBC.com's Geoffrey Cowley essentially compared a California Republican website which denounces ObamaCare to the numerous fraudulent scam sites cropping up which claim to sell health insurance but are ripping unsuspecting consumers off.
Cowley also seemingly lamented the inability of California officials to shut down the site, CoveringHealthCareCA.com, which he charged was a nefarious GOP plot to "undermine Obamacare" by "divert[ing] people" who were "looking for the [state] exchange site" (emphasis mine):
A Washington, D.C. childrens ballet troupe was given the boot last night and this evening thanks in no small part to President Obama and the folks at MSNBC.
The Washington Post's Roxanne Roberts reported this morning in her Reliable Source column how the Ballet Petite -- which is scheduled to perform The Nutcracker Suite on Sunday -- lost their use of American University's Greenberg Theatre for two nights after the university decided its contract with the dance troupe was not as important as playing host to Obama cheerleader Chris Matthews (emphasis mine):
Let it not be said that msnbc.com is solely concerned with being a PR operation for the Obama White House. It also has plenty of time to pour forth worshipful patter about Hillary Clinton.
"For Hollywood, awards season is three months away. For Hillary Clinton, it never ends," gushed MSNBC.com writer and Andrea Mitchell Reports contributor Erin Delmore at the open of her December 4 story, which she closed on an equally flowery note (see screen capture below the page break):
In a March 2008 column, I criticized pundits' concerns about whether America was ready for Barack Obama, suggesting that the more important issue was whether black people could afford Obama. I proposed that we look at it in the context of a historical tidbit.
In 1947, Jackie Robinson, after signing a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization, broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball. He encountered open racist taunts and slurs from fans, opposing team players and even some members of his own team. Despite that, his batting average was nearly .300 in his first year. He led the National League in stolen bases and won the first Rookie of the Year award. There's no sense of justice that requires a player be as good as Robinson in order to have a chance in the major leagues, but the hard fact of the matter is that as the first black player, he had to be.
According to the letter of the law, the much-talked-about federal subsidies for purchasing ObamaCare are only to be disbursed to eligible customers who bought them via state-run health care exchanges, NOT the federal HealthCare.gov website, argue plaintiffs in a lawsuit before a federal district court in Washington, D.C. The Obama administration, you may recall, is promising subsidies regardless of whether they are purchased from the federal exchange or state exchanges.
Reporting on the lawsuit in today's paper, the Washington Post's SandhyaSomashekhar waited until halfway through her page A2 article -- headlined "Health-law critics see case as their last, best shot" in the print edition -- to summarize the legal reasoning behind the plaintiffs in the case. What's more, the Post staff writer seasoned her article throughout with loaded language attacking the lawsuit (emphasis mine):
Well now the landing page for the Lean Forward network is hailing HealthCare.gov as the "website [which] might just save your life." The teaser headline links to msnbc.com staffer AliyahFrumin's gauzy treatment of President Obama's latest speech plugging his troubled health care overhaul (emphasis mine; see screen capture below page break):
Does the Daily Beast's Sally Kohn not have an editor? Or does she just have one who simply doesn't care that she utterly embarrasses herself when she insists the Founding Fathers would approve of ObamaCare's contraception mandate?
"To put it mildly, our forbearers [sic] would be appalled by how right-wing conservatives are trying to use government to force their religious views on all of us. Make no mistake, this is what Hobby Lobby wants to do—use government to push a conservative religious agenda, " Kohn groused this morning in "When Religion and Liberty Collide":
Corrected/clarified from earlier | President Obama's lie about having always said that there were caveats to "if you like it you can keep it" claim made it into the top 10 finalists for PolitiFact's 2013 Lie of the Year Readers Choice Award. PolitiFact editor Angie DrobnicHolan invited readers this morning to vote for their favorite false claim. Half of the nominees were conservative politicians or pundits, three nominated claims were from either "bloggers" or chain emails, and President Obama was the only liberal Democrat among the finalists, appearing twice on the list.
Mr. Obama is also nominated for a "pants on fire" claim that the FISA court is "transparent." PolitiFact editors will reveal their own choice for Lie of the Year later this month. To vote in the Readers Choice category, click here.
Hobby Lobby's complaint about infringement of religious freedom is deserving of scorn in the eyes of CNN, judging by the way the network's website treated news of the Supreme Court agreeing to take up a case in March which would decide if ObamaCare's ironclad contraception mandate is an unconstitutional intrusion on a business owner's religious liberty.
Leave it to MSNBC to see Thanksgiving as a time to be thankful for ObamaCare, Wendy Davis, same-sex marriage, and John Kerry hammering out an interim nuclear deal with Iran.
"In a year where Congress’ approval rating has reached an all time low, an embattled President Obama faces the healthcare challenge that could define his legacy, and the timetable for US troops in Afghanistan remains murky, it is all too easy to become cynical about the public sphere," MSNBC.com writers Johnny Simon and FarraKober confessed in a piece published this morning. "But when members of the msnbc family paused to reflect, what they recalled was a year full of triumph and spirit," they noted in the lead paragraph of their November 26 "Why I'm thankful" slideshow feature.
In response to several outlets contending with basis that the Associated Press sat on its knowledge that the United States and Iran were conducting secret diplomatic discussions, the AP's Paul Colford has published a "Back Story" item defending its conduct, claiming that it could not "confirm, to its standards, what had happened." My related NewsBusters post is here.
Breitbart had a related item earlier today. In it, Larry O'Connor posted a tweet from a specific person at another news organization indicating that "both had versions of it independently early & were asked to not publish til end of Iran talks." Barring a better explanation from AP than what readers will see after the jump, the tweet by Laura Rozen at the Washington-based, Middle East-focused Al-Monitor presumptively refutes AP's claim that it didn't have enough information to justify publishing a story (if they didn't, why would the government bother to ask them to not publish?). Colford did not address Rozen's relayed claim, even though his item more than likely went up several hours after O'Connor's Breitbart post and roughly 48 hours after Rozen's tweet (depending on its time zone). Colford's full AP post follows the jump (links and italics are in original):
So it should come as no surprise that Ms. Gearan pulled the same stunt in today's Post with a gooey tribute -- headlined "On Iran, a diplomatic coup bearing Kerry's hallmark" in the November 25 print edition* -- to Secretary of State John Kerry for his achieving an interim nuclear deal with Iran this weekend in Geneva. Here's a taste from the 19-paragraph page A9 item (emphasis mine):
The Washington Times and one of its former reporters, Audrey Hudson, sued the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday, accusing federal agents of illegally seizing the newspaper’s reporting materials during the execution of a search warrant in an unrelated case.
In a motion filed in federal court, the plaintiffs asked a judge to force the federal agency to return all reporting files and documents it seized from Hudson’s home office during a raid in early August.
"Look, folks, we love the filibuster when Democrats use it against Republicans, but really hate it when Republicans use it against Democrats."
If the New York Times editorial board were completely honest, that's exactly what they'd admit in print to their readers. Instead the Gray Lady keeps shifting her point of view on the parliamentary maneuver depending on whose ox is gored. On January 1, 1995, the Times gave the incoming Republican majority a new year's resolution: substantially trim back the filibuster to fall in line with the proposal of liberal Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin (emphases mine):
In compliance with a new state law, Augusta-Richmond County, Georgia, is moving up the date for its nonpartisan elections from the month of November to July, when primary elections are held. Although such a move will synchronize the jurisdiction's non-partisan municipal election date with that of other counties in the Peach State, some Democrats are crying foul and playing the race card. Naturally, MSNBC is doing its part to join the chorus.
During a discussion on the Martin Bashir program Wednesday, The Daily Caller's Matt Lewis decided he had simply had enough. Fellow panelist and Georgetown professor Dr. Michael Eric Dyson was holding forth about how President Obama's political opposition was grounded not in criticism of his ideology or his (lack of) leadership but, you guessed it, racism.
Fed up with conservatives constantly being insulted on MSNBC as racist for opposing the president, Lewis interrupted Dyson and took him to task for refusing to deal with the actual merits of President Obama's policies and job approval, both of which are underwater in recent polls. To that, Dyson angrily shot back that Lewis was trying to cash in on his "white privilege" to "silence a black man" on the issue of race. [watch the video below the page break; listen to the MP3 audio here]
American University in Washington, D.C., is hardly a bastion of conservatism or of partisan opposition to President Obama.
But even there, MRCTV's Dan Joseph found, most female students were offended by the now infamous Colorado ad depicting a young woman expressing her wish that her hunky date is as easy as procuring birth control was thanks to ObamaCare. Watch the video in the embed below:
Last week, I explained what the Common Core State Standards are and how, despite the federal government's saying it's staying out of the classroom standards business, there is much evidence to show that the feds are intricately linked to them.
The first way I demonstrated that was by pointing out that the feds have spent $350 million of taxpayer money, funding and giving grants and waivers to muscle and bribe states and local school districts to accept CCSS. And all of that was done without a single act of Congress, meaning the federal government — including the White House — dumped protocol again to dodge accountability.
Somebody cue the Debbie Downer horn. How bad are things for President Obama? In recent days, the Washington Post has brought us a double-barreled downer blast from two pundits who normally support the president.
All you need to know about Dana Milbank's and Ruth Marcus' columns you can glean from their respective final sentences, which read: "Maybe the president does understand that the game is over." And "Can he recover? I’m sorry to say: I’m not at all confident." Wah-wah, indeed! More after the jump.
According to some estimates, there are more than 100 million traffic signals in the U.S., but whatever the number, how many of us would like Washington, in the name of public health and safety, to be in sole charge of their operation? Congress or a committee it authorizes would determine the position of traffic signals at intersections, the length of time the lights stay red, yellow and green, and what hours of the day they can be flashing red.
While you ponder that, how many Americans would like Washington to be in charge of managing the delivery of food and other items to the nation's supermarkets? Today's average well-stocked U.S. supermarket stocks 60,000 to 65,000 different items from all over the U.S. and the world. Congress or some congressionally created committee could organize the choice of products and their prices. Maybe there'd be some cost savings. After all, what says that we should have so many items from which to choose? Why wouldn't 10,000 do?
That simple fact explains the growth of federal power following World War II. It also explains why President Obama's health care law will spur a reversal of that trend.
The growth in federal power got started in the New Deal era, but the decisive event took place on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941.
"Never before or since has America been so unified," according to historian Craig Shirley. "There were virtually no Americans against their country getting into World War II after the unprovoked attack by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor." In that unity, and in a desire to preserve the nation, Americans trusted their government as never before or since.
Shirley's book, "December 1941: 31 Days That Changed America and Saved the World" documents the change in a riveting day-to-day account.
Amidst a colorful description of the daily routines from a bygone era, Shirley recounts how President Franklin D. Roosevelt was swiftly authorized to do much more than expand the military and fight other armies. He was given more power than any president ever. In fairness to FDR, authorized is too tame a word. The president was expected to put all of the country's resources, private or public, to use in the war effort.
Before it was over, Roosevelt and his team ran all aspects of the American economy and life. That included banning the sale of private automobiles so that factories could build military aircraft, commandeering all raw materials needed for the war effort, censoring the media, wage and price controls, imprisoning citizens of Japanese origin, and much more.
But he won the war.
His successor, Harry Truman, began the process of winning the peace. After World War II, the U.S. enjoyed an economic boom unrivaled in history.
In short, the successful implementation of a response to Pearl Harbor gave the federal government a fair amount of credibility and a large dose of goodwill. Politicians of the time, sincerely convinced that a larger government would be good for the economy and the nation, seized the moment. In a clean break from America's history, Congress quickly declared that the federal government would instantly assume responsibility for managing the economy.
As long as the economy kept rolling along, nobody complained.
By the 1960s, however, the next generation of politicians was well along the way to squandering the good will and credibility it had earned.
Politicians of the '60s still dreamed of an ever-growing government role in running the country. Most of those in power remembered the heady days of World War II when the government ruled every facet of American life. They wanted such power for themselves.
But American voters didn't share the enthusiasm. Most were willing to accept a bigger role for the government than their parents and grandparents had, but there were limits. When the economy stumbled and the Vietnam War divided the nation, faith in government faded.
President Obama hoped to restore that faith so that voters would believe in government solutions as much as they did after Pearl Harbor. But pragmatic voters are more interested in reality than rhetoric. The failed implementation of Obama's health care law will leave the nation skeptical of central government solutions for decades to come.
To find out more about Scott Rasmussen, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
"A conservative is a liberal mugged by reality," goes the old saying. We doubt Kirsten Powers will completely eschew her left-of-center ideology anytime soon, but it is abundantly clear that the Fox News contributor has been mugged by ObamaCare's empty promises.
Bob Parks of our sister site MRCTV put together a little video that compares Powers's full-on rah-rah cheerleading of ObamaCare earlier this year -- before her personal run in with the so-called Affordable Care Act -- with a decidedly chastened Powers AFTER she found herself the victim of the health care overhaul's boosting her health care premiums. Watch the video embed below the page break, and be sure to check out other videos at MRCTV.org.
Updated below | Pity the poor MSNBC graphics guy who is probably on thin ice if not already packing up his desk over this.
During a segment on Thursday's NewsNation about the president's announcement he would grant health insurance companies to have a one year reprieve from canceling "substandard" plans outlawed by ObamaCare, one of the onscreen graphics read (emphasis mine), "Pres.: Failed rollout put burden on Democrats." [see screen capture below page]
"The Democrats Need to Stop Freaking Out About Obamacare and Take Charge," huffed the headline for Michael Tomasky's 9-paragraph November 14 Daily Beast story -- filed hours before the president's press conference -- addressing reports that nervous congressional Democrats were considering getting on board with a Republican proposal to make President Obama's "if you like it you can keep it" promise a reality.
The leftist writer groused that cable news in general, but Fox News in particular, were ultimately to blame by creating a "soap opera" political culture which makes a huge deal out of passing political travails:
"[Former president] Clinton did President Obama no favors this week when he endorsed a growing push on Capitol Hill to modify the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in order to allow people to keep their existing individual health insurance policies if they want to," MSNBC.com's Zachary Roth lamented in his November 13 story, "What's Bill Clinton up to on Obamacare?"
The teaser on the MSNBC.com main page was more hard-hitting: "The underminer-in-chief?" asked the headline emblazoned over a black-and-white photo of a half-smiling Clinton [see screen capture below page break]. Roth went on to explain that Clinton's proposed solution "would badly—perhaps fatally—undermine Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment," presuming, of course, that that's a bad thing. After mentioning how the White House is dancing around this little embarrassing incident, Roth followed up with quotes from two left-wing activists who are disenchanted with the former president's remarks (emphasis mine):
You see, when then-President Clinton proposed a government-run health care overhaul, he "promised [Americans] would lose" their health care plan because Clinton's initiative was predicated on government building from scratch a top-down approach that left had to rip up millions of health care contracts in order to put in place a top-down government-knows-best framework. That scared the dickens out of folks, and so, accordingly, liberal "health-care reformers swung far to the other side," when they continued to eternal crusade to have government "reform" health care, Klein explained (emphasis mine):