If you read through the Washington Monthly's list of Obama's top 50 accomplishments, you'll quickly understand why my brother, Rush, properly wanted him to fail.
When Rush said he wanted Obama to fail, everyone knew he was talking about his policies, and for those few who pretended otherwise, he explained it a thousand times: He wanted his policies to fail because his policies are disastrous for America.
Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear three days of oral arguments in the healthcare lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, otherwise known as "Obamacare."
We now know the law was based on phony predictions about its cost. After promising the price would be under $940 billion over 10 years, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has issued a correction of its initial estimate, which appears to have been based on sleight of hand accounting tactics by congressional Democrats and the White House. CBO now projects the measure will cost taxpayers at least $1.76 trillion over a decade.
An MSNBC political analyst on Tuesday actually said that Alabama women voting for Rick Santorum in the Republican presidential primary that just concluded in that state "really hurts" her.
Talking to Lawrence O'Donnell on The Last Word, Karen Finney arrogantly said, "It’s a little painful because I’m wondering if those women really heard the full message" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Friday's lead New York Times story by Robert Pear, "White House Set To Shape Debate Over Health Law," passed right over the fascinating fact that the White House is helping "coordinate plans for a prayer vigil, press conferences and other events outside the court." Whatever happened to the dangers of mixing religion and politics, which was all the Times could fret about when it came to the Catholic Church's opposition to paying for birth control for employees?
Within five minutes of the start of MSNBC's coverage of the Arizona and Michigan primaries Tuesday evening, Hardball host Chris Matthews falsely claimed Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum wants to "outlaw birth control" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It’s been nearly three weeks since President Obama faced a political backlash over his plan to force religious institutions to bow to government bureaucrats when it came to supplying birth control coverage to their employees. Since then, the liberal media — led by the broadcast networks — have helped re-script the story to suit the President’s political needs. Instead of a story about the overreach of big government and violation of religious freedom, the networks are now spinning the birth control story as one about out-of-control conservatives, to the point of ignoring broad and continuing opposition — including a lawsuit by seven state attorneys general — to the President’s power grab.
The MRC reviewed coverage from the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts starting with Obama’s February 10 declaration of a unilateral “compromise” meant to end the controversy. Our analysis shows how the networks re-framed the story from one that was damaging to Obama into one that reporters thought would hurt his opponents:
MSNBC's Martin Bashir has been off for a few days, but he was back in the studio and in fighting form today, eager to push the network's leftist talking points on the ObamaCare contraceptive mandate that would force religious institutions to provide contraceptive coverage in their health insurance plans.
Bashir opened up an interview segment with Baptist theologian Craig Mitchell entitled "Full of Grace?" by furthering a misleading liberal talking point about a February 16 hearing before the House Committee on Government Reform, which featured opponents of the mandate affiliated with various religious institutions:
“GOP says HHS mandate is about liberty, not contraception. Dems say it’s about contraception, not liberty. Media accept and amplify Democratic framing.” So the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes adroitly tweeted noontime Sunday in an accurate observation demonstrated by Meet the Press where host David Gregory opened the roundtable: “I want to start with...a big theme in this race so far. And Politico, I thought, captured the headline here with this theme, ‘2012: The year of birth control moms?’”
Later, Gregory touted how “I see this bumper sticker,” which, he insisted, “we’ve heard everybody talk about,” that proclaims “GM’s back on top, and Osama bin Laden is dead.” Cuing up New York Times White House correspondent Helene Cooper, Gregory noted the obvious: “That’s the record that this President wants to run on.” Cooper affirmed: “That’s absolutely the record that he wants to run on.”
New York Times reporter Laurie Goodstein portrayed Obama’s “compromise” on his requirement that religion institutions provide contraception coverage as causing conflict within the Catholic church that could damage it politically, in Wednesday’s lead National section story, “Obama Shift On Providing Contraception Splits Critics.”
Goodstein, the paper’s religion reporter, hasn’t shown much patience with religious concerns in her coverage of Obama's contraceptive mandate; in her Saturday update she put “religious freedom” in quotation marks while writing dismissively on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops rejection of Obama’s purported compromise.
And in a front-page story February 10 she passed on popular but bad statistic, without even citing a source, falsely claiming “Studies have shown that 98 percent of Catholic women have used artificial contraception at some time in their lives.”
Jake Tapper of ABC News wrote a remarkable story last week revealing the players in the Obama administration’s internal debate on the contraception mandate.
According to Tapper, President Obama’s top advisers on the issue included Vice President Joe Biden, former White House Chief-of-Staff Bill Daley, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, former Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes, White House Senior Advisers Valerie Jarrett and Pete Rouse, former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, two U.S. Senators – and Planned Parenthood Federation for America CEO Cecile Richards:
On Monday, MSNBC's Martin Bashir tried to obscure the real policy issues in the contraceptive mandate row by harping on Newt Gingrich's past infidelities. On Wednesday, the afternoon host stocked his program with liberals who backed the Obama administration's position and complained Republicans were engaging in a "toxic waste of time" by calling for congressional debate on the contraceptive mandate.
"This time, they went too far," MRC President and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell said of the Obama administration's rule to force Catholic institutions to violate their conscience on contraception, and he scolded the media for refusing to cover the controversy at first.
"The national news media has no understanding of what goes on in the Catholic church. This is massive inside the Catholic church, and think about how long it took -- it took CBS 10 days to do a story on this and they only devoted seconds to it," Bozell argued on the February 9 edition of FNC's Hannity, during his regular "Media Mash" segment. "It took NBC and ABC 17 days to arrive at this story. This is the biggest story dealing with an assault on religious freedom in the history of the Republic."
[MP3 audio here; video and additional transcript below the fold]
The front of Thursday’s New York Times National section featured Jennifer Steinhauer’s “Birth Control is Covered, And G.O.P. Vows a Fight.” Steinhauer portrayed the fight in cynical political terms, showcasing Republicans as being opportunistic rather than motivated by principled opposition to Obama’s requirement that Catholic universities and charities violate their religious beliefs by offering free birth control via their health insurance plans.
Congressional Republicans, seizing on the type of social issue that motivates and unifies their base, stepped forcefully Wednesday into the battle over an Obama administration rule requiring health insurance plans provided by Catholic universities and charities to offer free birth control to women, vowing to fight back with legislation to unravel the new policy.
Filed from CPAC 2012 in Washington, D.C. -- Shortly before noon Eastern today, Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) walked through the bloggers lounge here at CPAC, answering a few questions from reporters and bloggers.
I asked Gov. Perry if, in light of the Obama administration's move to force Catholic institutions to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees, he felt vindicated about his claims of an Obama administration war on religion. His response:
Even Chris Matthews, who famously gushed about the "thrill" Barack Obama gave his leg, is troubled by the President's "frightening" decision to force Catholic charities to provide birth control through health care. Discussing the issue on Tuesday's Hardball, the host sputtered, "...How can you make the [religious] teacher pay for birth control without losing their authority, their moral authority?"
Matthews didn't seem sure how to broach the subject. Talking to E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post and Susan Milligan of U.S. News and World Reports, he warned, "It gets to that interesting point to me, which is frightening, when the state tells the church what to do." (Interesting?)
For 60 years the National Prayer Breakfast has been a nonpolitical event where speakers put aside their earthly biases and focus on a Higher Authority. Last Thursday, President Obama departed from that tradition to claim the endorsement of Jesus for raising taxes. It beat the endorsement of Mitt Romney by Donald Trump.
In his remarks, the president quoted Luke 12:48: "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." The president sees this verse as a command for him to raise taxes on the successful so the money can be "spread around" to the less successful. If the president's interpretation of this verse sounds a little like Karl Marx, it should. Marx said, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."
NBC Nightly News on Monday lifted its two-plus week blackout of the Obama administration’s decision to force religious institutions, such as Catholic hospitals and charities, to provide birth control coverage in health insurance provided to employees, but ABC’s World News and the CBS Evening News have still yet to utter a syllable about what has enraged people across the political spectrum while having plenty of time to champion Planned Parenthood’s attacks on the Komen foundation.
NBC’s Chuck Todd on Monday evening found a few seconds in a larger story to relay how the Republican presidential candidates “are hitting the Obama administration’s decision to require all health insurance plans to cover birth control. Many Catholic organizations had hoped for an exemption since the rule runs counter to the church’s doctrine. Today Mitt Romney’s campaign launched a petition drive to repeal the decision, and Newt Gingrich also sounded off.”
Of course, true to MSNBC form, Bashir ignored the legitimate policy and religious liberty implications of Gingrich's complaint to dredge up Gingrich's past moral failings, namely his adulteries, as a way of fatally wounding the messenger and hence, Bashir hopes, negating the message [MP3 audio available here; video posted below page break]:
Editor's Note: What follows is a letter that NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell sent to the presidents of the news divisions of ABC, CBS, and NBC as well as to CNN president Jim Walton. It has also been carbon copied to 10 leaders representing various Catholic and Protestant faith organizations.
The broadcast and cable television networks need to report the current, unprecedented assault against freedom of religion in this country, as well as the millions of Americans who would be left out in the cold by the Obama administration if it does not rescind HHS’s recently issued insurance mandate requiring contraceptive coverage. As our statistics and analysis below outline, they are not, and it’s a glaring double standard.
When the Susan G. Komen Foundation announced on February 1 that it would no longer be donating to Planned Parenthood, the Big Three networks -- ABC, CBS, NBC -- rushed to the defense of the left-wing organization, which is the largest abortion conglomerate in the United States. Over the course of about 60 hours, ABC, CBS, and NBC emphasized the controversy with a whopping 13 morning and evening news stories.A Media Research Center study found that the soundbite count was loaded: 76 percent of the quotes came from supporters of Planned Parenthood (35 in total). Only 11 clips or statements came from Komen representatives or new allies.
The broadcast network evening and morning newscast blackout, of the Obama administration plan to force health insurance offered by Catholic charities and hospitals to cover sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs and contraception without a co-pay, continued over the weekend, yet the ABC and NBC Sunday morning talk shows took up the topic.
Meanwhile, the media double standard in ignoring the ObamaCare imposition on religious institutions while jumping to defend Planned Parenthood when Komen pulled funding, is being noticed by media observers ranging from from Fox News to even a New York Times columnist.
If only the Democrats had decided to socialize the food industry or housing, Romneycare would probably still be viewed as a massive triumph for conservative free-market principles -- as it was at the time.
It's not as if we had a beautifully functioning free market in health care until Gov. Mitt Romney came along and wrecked it by requiring that Massachusetts residents purchase their own health insurance. In 2007, when Romneycare became law, the federal government alone was already picking up the tab for 45.4 percent of all health care expenditures in the country.
As part of Obama-care “reform,” the administration is requiring religious organizations include free birth control in their employee insurance plans. Monday’s front-page story on the controversy by Denise Grady took the perspective of supporters of the rule change, which Catholics and others call an attack on religious freedom: “Ruling on Contraception Draws Battle Lines at Catholic Colleges.”
The jump-page photo featured Fordham law student Bridgette Dunlap (pictured right), who organized an off-campus clinic to provide birth control for students, and the story both began and concluded from her perspective, in defense of the change.
One of the Media Research Center's dearest friends and supporters, Mark Levin, has a new book out called “Ameritopia” which as CNSNews reports will debut at number one on the New York Times best seller list in four different nonfiction categories.
On Tuesday, the esteemed author and radio host spoke to NewsBusters by phone about the book's contents and how the media are assisting powerful utopian forces in America to undermine our Constitutional republic (video follows with complete transcript, don't miss spectacular book signing video at article's conclusion):
Earlier this week, Mitt Romney got into trouble for saying, "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me." To comprehend why the political class reacted as if Romney had just praised Hitler, you must understand that his critics live in a world in which no one can ever be fired -- a world known as "the government."
(And a tip for you Washington types: Just because a person became rich without working for government doesn't mean he is "Wall Street." A venture capital firm in Boston that tries to rescue businesses headed for bankruptcy, for example, is not "Wall Street.")
As part of a team of New York Times reporters fact-checking the presidential debate that took place Sunday morning in Concord, N.H., White House reporter Jackie Calmes once again baselessly claimed that expensive Obama-care is actually a money-saver, claiming GOP candidate Mitt Romney was false to assert otherwise. But the history of government cost projections (Medicare, anyone?) strongly suggest Calmes is wrong.
(After the GOP took the November 2010 elections, Calmes confidently stated as fact: “Republicans also say they will try to deny money to put Mr. Obama’s new health care law into effect, though they have not made clear what they would do to make up the cost savings that would be lost if they succeeded in repealing the law.”) Calmes posted Sunday:
ABC's Jonathan Karl Tuesday published a piece now prominently featured at the Drudge Report with a headline guaranteed to be the Obama-loving media's lead story concerning something Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich wrote over five years ago: "Gingrich ’06 Memo: 'Agree Entirely With Gov. Romney' on Health Care."
Inside the actual document uncovered by BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, the former Speaker didn't "agree entirely with Gov. Romney" at all (emphasis added):
Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, in his New York Times column titled "Free to Die" (9/15/2011), pointed out that back in 1980, his late fellow Nobel laureate Milton Friedman lent his voice to the nation's shift to the political right in his famous 10-part TV series, "Free To Choose." Nowadays, Krugman says, "'free to choose' has become 'free to die.'" He was referring to a GOP presidential debate in which Rep. Ron Paul was asked what should be done if a 30-year-old man who chose not to purchase health insurance found himself in need of six months of intensive care. Paul correctly, but politically incorrectly, replied, "That's what freedom is all about — taking your own risks." CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer pressed his question further, asking whether "society should just let him die." The crowd erupted with cheers and shouts of "Yeah!", which led Krugman to conclude that "American politics is fundamentally about different moral visions." Professor Krugman is absolutely right; our nation is faced with a conflict of moral visions. Let's look at it.
ABC presented an absolutely marvelous special Tuesday evening about Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' (D-Ariz.) remarkable recovery from a gunshot to the head last January.
After 36 minutes of uplifting scenes involving the Congresswoman's therapy and road back to being able to walk and speak, host Diane Sawyer for some reason felt the need to bring politics into the program at its conclusion while taking a truly pathetic swipe at former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (video follows with transcript and commentary):