Despite all the trouble ObamaCare has been having since health insurance exchanges opened about two weeks ago, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on ABC’s This Week Sunday predictably had nothing but praise for the law.
Fortunately the Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan and former Mitt Romney advisor Dan Senor were present to set the record straight (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On the CBS Late Show Friday, the host aired a video he called "This Day In Obamacare Enrollment" in which people from different parts of the country were shown destroying their computers (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
If Washington Post writer, Sarah Kliff, of the WonkBlog had been the music director aboard the Titanic, the last tune played on the deck of the sinking ship would probably have been Happy Days Are Here Again. I make that claim because Ms Kliff has taken upon herself the role as pollyannish cheerleader for the "train wreck" known as ObamaCare.
In her latest desperate search for a nonexistent silver lining, Kliff has conjured up what she imagines to be an indication that young people might, could be, maybe, possibly are interested in signing up for ObamaCare. Here is Kliff imagining what she so desperately hopes to be true based on nothing real:
Jonathan Karl and Rick Klein of ABC News teamed up recently for an online interview with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Posted to the ABC News/Yahoo! News “Power Players” blog, the interview consisted mostly of Karl and Klein trying to get Jindal to criticize his fellow Republicans, particularly those in Congress.
Karl got right down to the GOP-infighting business with his first question: [Watch the video and read the accompanying article here.]
For someone whose job title is global business editor, Daniel Gross seems far more concerned with bashing businessmen for not toeing the liberal line than reporting business news. Then again, perhaps we shouldn't expect that much from The Daily Beast.
Gross, who has slammed Apple's penchant for legal tax avoidance as being "too greedy for its own good" turned his attention today to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, lambasting him for daring to blame both Republicans and Democrats for the government shutdown, rather than use the work stoppage as an occasion to spout liberal talking points demonizing the Tea Party. The Yahoo! Finance alum seems particularly miffed because of Schultz's push for socially liberal stands in the past:
Although the folks at Jimmy Kimmel Live tried presenting it as a spontaneous skit, anyone with a lukewarm intelligence quotient knew they really were doing a five minute public service announcement for ObamaCare.
If you think guest Owen Wilson was able to create all the charts he had AND get Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to join him AND have a choir that included the band Panic! at the Disco sing a song about healthcare without any assistance from Kimmel or his staff, I’ve got some beachfront property in Florida to sell you (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
In the current fight over the government shutdown, Republicans are simply representing the views of the American people.
Americans didn't ask for Obamacare, they don't want it, but now their insurance premiums are going through the roof, their doctors aren't accepting it, and their employers are moving them into part-time work -- or firing them -- to avoid the law's mandates.
The big talk in conservative radio on Thursday is Barack Obama’s 37 percent approval rating in the latest AP poll. Hosts are also making fun of how AP announced this number: buried in paragraph eight of a story headlined “Poll: No Heroes In Shutdown, GOP Gets Most Blame.”
Guess what? Brent Baker reported when an AP poll found President Bush's approval rating hit a new low of 37 percent on March 10, 2006, NBC's Brian Williams led the newscast with it. When an NBC News poll found the same number on March 15, Williams led the program with it again, turning to Tim Russert to say, "let's start with that all-important benchmark for presidents, the approval rating." Now, the networks are trying to avoid this Obama number.
Can you tell that "Bulgarian," "Sunbeam," and "Vladivostok" are different words? Congratulations: you're smarter than the Obamacare website! Just for fun, I tried to create an Obamacare account at Healthcare.gov this morning. At 6:48 AM CDT, I had no trouble getting in. Things were going swimmingly . . . until it came time to choose security questions and provide answers.
As you'll see from the screengrab, I was informed that my account could not be created because "two or more answers to the security questions cannot be the same. You must provide distinct answers to the chosen security questions." President Obama, Secretary Sebelius, or anybody else out there, please tell me, which of the following words are the same: "Bulgarian," "Sunbeam" and "Vladivostok"? Because those are, as you'll see from the screencap after the jump, the three answers I gave. Note: the first time I tried and failed, I supplied real answers, but for purposes of this blog, when I tried again I used fanciful ones. Didn't want the whole world to know that my favorite cuisine is actually Indian. Oops!] More after the jump.
[UPDATED BELOW] Highlighting "major problems" with the website of ObamaCare's federal exchange, CNN's Wolf Blitzer said the administration should have accepted the Republican proposal and delayed implementation of the health care law for a year.
"Yeah. If they had three years to get this ready, if they weren't fully ready, they should accept the advice that a lot of Republicans are giving them, delay it another year, get it ready, and make sure it works," Blitzer said on Tuesday. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
"They have one month," announced Time magazine's Kate Pickert. "If the officials running the new Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges cannot fix crippling computer glitches by then, the health law’s future could be imperiled, according to a former high-ranking health care official."
“By November—certainly the middle of November—the sites have to be able to handle major traffic for people to be able to set up accounts and purchase coverage," Pickert quoted Joel Ario, former director of the Office of Health Insurance Exchanges at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. "[T]he longer it takes to repair problems with exchange web sites, the harder it may be to enroll Americans who want coverage," Pickert noted. [Helpful suggestion for Pickert: For the office Halloween party you really should dress up as Captain Obvious.]
Well if a celebrity is for it, then it must be a good idea. The Obama administration launched a new social media campaign last week using controversial celebrities as spokespeople for the Affordable Care Act. Counting the celebrities’ Twitter followers alone, that gives the administration access to more than 67 million people to push the president’s mandatory healthcare program.
Singer Lady Gaga, comedians Sarah Silverman and John Hodgman, “Revenge” actors Nick Wechsler and Emily VanCamp, and “Parks and Rec” star Amy Poehler, are just a few celebrities who tweeted out or Instagrammed pictures of themselves holding signs with the hashtag “#GetCovered” as part of Obama’s social media campaign to get young people to sign up for his healthcare plan.
The folks at CBS News are clearly unhappy with how ObamaCare is going.
After reporting on a Dallas man that tried for a week to sign up without any success on Tuesday's Evening News, CBS This Morning Wednesday featured a segment tearing the program apart with Jan Crawford saying "the website’s launch has been nothing short of disastrous" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A lot of observers of Monday evening's discussion between Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius concluded that she refused to address – like the entire Obama administration at this point! – how many people have enrolled in ObamaCare.
However, an analysis of the segment, along with the help of a Georgia reporter, indicates that Sebelius may have let the cat out of the bag that the answer is very few (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In case you haven’t noticed, the government shutdown is all the GOP’s fault. Today’s Chicago Tribune wanted to make sure readers knew that with a front-page headline titled “Hard-right bloc sticks to its guns: Shutdown stalemate continues as lawmakers in safe seats hold sway.” The article reports that some House Republicans “have chosen to defy Washington’s traditional norms of conversation and compromise.” You know, those norms that have served America so well as we headed to a $17 trillion debt.
Viewers who watched last evening’s ABC World News with Diane Sawyer were told of a new ABC News/Washington Post poll “showing 70% of Americans disapprove of how Republicans in Congress are handling the negotiations.” What they weren’t told is the same poll found 61% disapprove of how Democrats are handling the breakdown while another majority, 51%, disapproves of Obama’s approach.
[***UPDATED*** 17:30 ET: More analysis and full transcript added]
Appearing on Andrea Mitchell's MSNBC 1 p.m. ET hour show on Tuesday, Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy slammed the press for not doing its job in pointing out the hypocrisy of ObamaCare being delayed for certain groups but not for all Americans: "...the media won't even ask the question about, 'Why are you [the Obama administration] treating families different than big businesses?'...That's how pathetic, I think, news reporting has become, when we won't ask tough questions to the administration." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That response was prompted by Mitchell ranting that Republican calls for a one-year delay of the ObamaCare individual mandate was a "non-negotiable demand." Moments later, after Duffy explained that the GOP has "been incredibly reasonable, making a small ask," Mitchell was aghast: "Do you consider it a small ask that he [Obama] get rid of the central part of his health care plan that was upheld by a – by the vote of a presidential election, and the United States Supreme Court." Duffy replied: "Andrea, hold on. That's your spin." Mitchell laughably asserted: "That's not spin."
Over the weekend, CNN anchors and guests blamed Republicans for the shutdown and smacked them for "holding the American people hostage" while opposing ObamaCare. That extended CNN's streak of pounding Tea Party Republicans for igniting the shutdown.
Below are some of the worst quotes from CNN anchors or guests on Republicans, the shutdown, and ObamaCare:
From the debate over ObamaCare over the past few years, Bob Schieffer learned not of all the problems that need to be addressed or that it lacks public support, but that it should have been enacted without delay so critics would have been thwarted. “The opponents of this have had two years to just go at it from all different angles,” he lamented.
As NewsBustersreported Tuesday, MSNBC's Mara Schiavocampo had a tough time signing up for ObamaCare the first day the exchanges went live.
As if that wasn't funny enough, the folks at NBC's Tonight Show took that video and added a surprise ending where Schiavocampo is so frustrated she destroyed her computer (video follows with commentary):
Republicans are godless anti-government zealots responsible for a federal government shutdown that will literally kill people, MSNBC's Martin Bashir charged in the closing "Clear the Air" commentary on his Friday, October 4 program.
But in a not-so-clever twist, the ever-sanctimonious Bashir -- who has a penchant for selective Bible-thumping to push liberal agenda points -- sought to enlist the nonpartisan Senate chaplain, Dr. Barry C. Black, to condemn Republicans for him. The relevant transcript is below the page break, as is the video of the segment:
If Republicans were smart (I know, but stay with me) their focus during the Obamacare debate should have been less on blocking its implementation and more on a page they might have taken from the Democrat's playbook, which is to rally the country to its side by use of sentimentality and the threat of impending doom. The good news for Republicans is that there's still time.
It's a sure bet Democrats are right now writing sob stories of tearful children barred from the Lincoln Memorial because of the government "shutdown." The National Zoo in Washington inexplicably turned off its unmanned Panda Cam, which showed video of the newborn panda cub on the Internet. Boohoo.
The political stalemate leading to the so-called shutdown of the federal government has shown with devastating clarity how official Washington is consumed with symbolism over substance.
The symbolism begins with the word shutdown itself. Despite the noise and fury in Washington, the vast majority of Americans haven't noticed any change in their daily lives because most of the federal government has not shut down. It is functioning as normal. Social Security checks go out, and the military is still on duty.