New York Times chief economics writer David Leonhardt argued against the deficit-reducing House Republican budget written by Rep. Paul Ryan in his Wednesday front-page Business Day column “A Lopsided Proposal for Medicare.” Instead, Leonhardt called for higher taxes on "affluent Americans"(his reasoning: All wealthy countries do it). It’s one of his favorite arguments for redistributing the wealth.
While admitting the Republican budget was “a daring one in many ways” he faulted it for not reforming Medicare, which he interestingly admits is a “welfare program,” since people generally get more out of it in care than what they paid into the program in taxes. Leonhardt again called for rationing health care in the name of cost control.
A fairer, more fiscally conservative plan would not postpone dealing with Medicare. It would leave in place the cost control measures in the health reform bill and go even further to reward the quality of care rather than the volume.Obviously, these steps would run some risk of restricting good treatments, too. But, remember, we’re facing “an existential threat.” We can’t limit ourselves to solutions without risks.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was in his predictable defend Obama at all costs mode on Sunday's "This Week."
When former Bush administration official Torie Clarke said unemployment remains high because the private sector is concerned about future regulations, the Nobel Laureate scoffed, "All of this stuff about uncertainty is just a myth being made up to blame this on Obama" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For over two years, liberals and conservatives have been at odds over whether the public actually wants ObamaCare.
On Friday's "Inside Washington," NPR's Nina Totenberg took the predictable liberal position that polls show folks want all the "goodies" in the bill, but Charles Krauthammer made it clear that these survey results change drastically when people are told the cost (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Wednesday’s CBS Evening News celebrated the one-year anniversary of ObamaCare by touting its benefits before Katie Couric, who devoted half her newscast to Elizabeth Taylor’s passing, fretted: “What about the legal battles? Could they actually derail health care reform altogether?”
Neither ABC nor NBC touched ObamaCare on Wednesday night but, in contrast to CBS, on FNC’s Special Report Carl Cameron noted “the latest Gallup poll suggests it’s less popular than a year ago” and raised how Obama allies are trying to escape it, citing “requests for over a thousand waivers, half of which went to labor unions letting them and some other organizations and businesses opt out of the plan until at least 2014.”
Couric began by asking Jan Crawford “what changes has the law made in the health care system so far?” Crawford recited:
New York Times political blogger Michael Shear used loaded language to describe the Republican Party’s “assault” on Obama-care on the one-year anniversary of that “historic measure," in his Wednesday morning post “Boehner, McConnell Push Assault on Health Care Law”
A year after President Obama signed his health care law into effect, the two leading Republicans in Congress are making it clear that they do not intend to let up in their assault on thehistoric measure.
It seems Starbucks is regretting the health care Frankenstein it helped create. The company was a key corporate backer of Obamacare in its legislative stages, but its top executive has raised concerns about the law's economic damage.
Even as the Republican governor of Wisconsin was signing a bill Friday that all but ended collective bargaining for state employees, Democrats nationally had put out advertisements and letters to use his own success against him.
In a push to raise money for their candidates, Democrats hope Wisconsin will be for them what the health care overhaul was for Republicans in last year’s midterm elections: a galvanizing force for their base, and an example of overreaching that will win them crucial independent voters, not just in Wisconsin but also in Congressional races and the presidential election next year.
That’s not exactly how the Times covered the passage of Obama-care. Adam Nagourney’s front-page “political memo” of March 23, 2010, “For G.O.P., United Stand Has Drawbacks, Too,” strongly suggested Republicans could pay a political price for opposing Obama-care. (Oops.)
Friday’s New York Times off-lead story from Madison by Monica Davey and A.G. Sulzberger, in the aftermath of a defeat for public-sector unions in Wisconsin, spun the win by Republican Gov. Scott Walker as a long-term political victory for Democrats: “Wisconsin Curbs Public Unions, But Democrats Predict Backlash.” The online headline was even more blunt: “In Wisconsin Battle on Unions, State Democrats See a Big Gift.” Walker has evidently awoken “the sleeping giant” of labor unions (as if they had previously stayed out of politics).
By contrast, there was no such wishful thinking or hunt for the bright side for the losers in the aftermath of the fiercely contested passage of unpopular Obama-care last year. Adam Nagourney’s front-page “political memo” of March 23, 2010, “For G.O.P., United Stand Has Drawbacks, Too,” suggested Republicans could pay a political price for opposing Obama-care. (It didn’t quite work out that way.)
Remember during the peak of Bush Derangement Syndrome in the previous decade when it seemed that liberal media members had forgotten all of our nation's history prior to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003?
On Monday's "The Ed Show," the host went into a tirade about Wisconsin governor Scott Walker with seemingly no recollection of last year's healthcare battle (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The milestone is as telling as it is grim. The Hill reported Monday that after the latest bout of waivers awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services, the number of businesses and unions lucky (or connected) enough to avoid the law's onerous coverage requirements now stands at 1,040 - and the number of Americans exempted at roughly 2.6 million.
HHS posted 126 new waivers on Friday, bringing the total to 1,040 organizations that have been granted a one-year exemption from a new coverage requirement included in the healthcare reform law enacted almost a year ago. Waivers have become a hot-button issue for Republicans, eager to expose any vulnerabilities in the reform law.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman doesn't believe education is the key to solving America's economic woes.
Quite the contrary, in his recent article "Degrees and Dollars," the Nobel Laureate argued that the path to a more prosperous nation is for unions to have increased bargaining power and for everyone to have "free" healthcare:
On Monday, New York Times columnist and Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman ironically asked his readers, "How can voters be so ill informed [sic]?"
Either dishonestly or ignorantly adding to the problem he's supposedly concerned with, the so-called "economist" Friday said President Obama "has done more to rein in long-run deficits than any previous president":
Obamacare will not be fully implemented for another three years, but the Internal Revenue Service is already requesting money for the legion of bureaucrats required to oversee its implementation. The IRS has requested funds for an additional 1,054 employees in 2012 alone, hirings that would cost taxpayers $359 million.
ObamaCare's individual mandate is perfectly constitutional, arguments to the contrary are nonsensical "tea party stuff," and Chief Justice John Roberts shouldn't be counted as a solid vote against the health care purchase mandate when the case comes before the Supreme Court.
That's the perspective of former Reagan solicitor general Charles Fried.
In a February 14 story, Washington Post Supreme Court reporter Robert Barnes cited Fried as a scholar with no dog in the ObamaCare fight:
As NewsBusters reported in January, Newsweek's Editor at Large Evan Thomas believes ObamaCare "is a disaster."
On Friday's "Inside Washington," Thomas went even further with his criticism of this law calling it a "flawed bill" and claiming, "I think enough justices perceive that it’s not going to work, that will incline them to reach this high constitutional principle and throw it out" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Wall Street Journal's John Fund on Friday night had a number of interesting battles with Bill Maher as well as Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.).
During the panel segment of HBO's "Real Time," Fund found himself needing to defend Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Clarence Thomas's wife from the at times totally illogical attacks by the perilously liberal host and Congressman (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"If the majority [of the U.S. Supreme Court] agrees with [Judge Roger] Vinson, President Obama would find not only his health care bill undone, but also face the most significant scaling back of the government's power to use legislation to solve its problems in decades," Time's Michael Lindenberger warned in a February 2 post at the magazine's website.
To reach such a conclusion, however, Lindenberger must have misunderstood Vinson's ruling on Monday in State of Florida v. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, which sought not to "turn back the clock" on commerce clause interpretation but merely prevent its overextension into an unprecedented and dangerous arena: forcing Americans to buy private health insurance under the flimsy illogic that such economic inactivity actually amounts to commercial activity.
"I am required to interpret this law as the Supreme Court presently defines it. Only the Supreme Court can redefine or expand it further," Vinson noted on page 43 of his 78 page opinion. The Reagan appointee noted that no less legislative authorities than the Congressional Research Service and the Congressional Budget Office have found Congress requiring Americans to purchase private health insurance under penalty of law to be "novel" and "unprecedented"
My guess is that U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson is an amateur zoologist. Vinson is the federal judge who ruled Monday in Pensacola, Fla., that those who confected Obamacare cannot compel the citizenry to buy health insurance. Moreover, he found that because the 2,600-page bill was created without any "severability clause," the entire law is unconstitutional. The authors of Obamacare declared that without mandatory insurance, the whole bill would have been unworkable. Mandatory insurance was not severable from the law. Hence Judge Vinson, because of the way the bill was constructed, threw the whole law out. Now it is up to the Supreme Court to breathe life into this legislation or to bury it. I say R.I.P.
As learned as Vinson indubitably is — in the course of his meditations on Obamacare, he reread the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, James Madison's notes at the Constitutional Convention, certain cogitations of former Chief Justice John Marshall and more — the erudite judge surely noted a zoological curiosity. Conservatives and liberals are so different as to be drawn from distinct species of political animals. To me, the conservative always has appeared to be some form of mammal. The liberal is reptilian. I could be wrong. I wonder what Judge Vinson might say.
At the New York Times, apparently a belief in first principles and the wisdom of the founders is enough to be labeled a Tea Partier. On Wednesday the Times alleged (passively, of course) "political bias" by a federal judge in Florida, who on Monday ruled ObamaCare unconstitutional.
The smoking gun? Judge Roger Vinson cited colonial-era restrictions on the sale of tea that helped lead to the American revolution. For the Times, Vinson's originalist approach to the Constitution makes him politically biased - presumably a disregard for original intent would not - and portions of his written opinion referencing the founders represented "a deliberate nod to the Tea Party movement."
In the wake of Monday's ruling by a Florida judge to toss out ObamaCare as a result of the individual mandate, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell asked liberal constitutional lawyer Jonathan Turley Tuesday if the Democrats made a mistake not writing a severability clause into the law.
Turley surprisingly answered, "It was a colossal mistake" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Hall failed to bring on a representative from the other side of the dispute, even though there are 26 state attorneys general to choose from for that purpose, not to mention any number of conservative legal scholars who could defend the conservative position on the matter.
What's more, Hall failed to challenge any of the complaints Pollack raised, such as his lament that although Judge Roger Vinson dwelt mostly on the "individual mandate" provision that forces Americans to buy health insurance under penalty of law, he ruled the entirety of the 906-page "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" unconstitutional.
ABC, CBS and NBC on Monday night devoted more than half of their evening newscasts to the turmoil in Egypt, but while CBS and NBC squeezed in brief mentions of how a federal judge agreed with 26 states that the entire ObamaCare law is unconstitutional, ABC’s World News didn’t utter a syllable about the major setback for the Obama administration. Anchor Diane Sawyer, however, made room for a full story on an impending snowstorm and four minutes for a new series, “Families on the Brink: What to Do About Mom and Dad?”
While CBS anchor Harry Smith provided a short summary of the development, the CBS Evening News allocated four times more time to new USDA dietary guidelines which call for less consumption of salt. Smith tried to downplay the significance of the ruling:
President Obama's storytellers recently launched a White House blog series called "Voices of Health Reform," where "readers can meet average Americans already benefiting from the health reform law."
I propose a new White House series: "Voices of Health Reform Waivers," where taxpayers can meet all the politically connected unions benefiting from exclusive get-out-of-Obamacare passes — after squandering millions of their workers' dues to lobby for the job-killing, private insurance-sabotaging law from which they are now exempt.
Has our financial mess brought us to the brink of getting beyond the culture wars?
It's a question that we might just see play out on Capitol Hill in the coming months, as the new political majority seeks to make the late pro-life congressman Henry Hyde proud, by prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortion and de-funding Planned Parenthood.
"Hell no," now-Speaker John Boehner said, when he was in the minority, to the comprehensive, conscience-offending health-care legislation that Congress and the White House insisted upon last year. So now that he's Speaker, the first big vote under his watch was to repeal the president's signature piece of legislation.
Two signs Sunday morning of how the Washington press corps are dismissive, disdainful and befuddled by the Tea Party.
On This Week, Christiane Amanpour fretted that though the New York Times has discredited the Tea Party’s rationale (“a new report today in the New York Times, they say that in fact TARP will cost maybe $28 billion to the taxpayer, instead of the $700 billion”), she told Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas “you yourself have been facing, even though you’re a reliable conservative, Tea Party competition in Texas. Are they outflanking you?” Amanpour empathized that Tea Party activists “said that you personally signify everything that the Tea Party is fighting.” A flummoxed Amanpour wondered: “What on earth do they mean by that?”
Over on CBS's Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer, echoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, asked Senator John McCain about a Senate vote to repeal ObamaCare: “Do you think...that that's a waste of time, that the time in the Senate could be better spent working on something that has a chance of passing?”
Bill Maher on Friday once again demonstrated how little he knows about politics and current events.
In a discussion about House Republicans voting last week to repeal ObamaCare, the "Real Time" host said that law's individual mandate is constitutional because states require people to own car insurance (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On MSNBC's Ed Show on Thursday, despite initially regretting his comparison of Republicans to Nazis, Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen later doubled down: "[Indiana Congressman] Mike Pence talked about government takeover of health care....he wants to be concise, careful, and consistent. Well, that's somebody...who lived in a previous century who worked for bad people, that's what he did." [Audio available here]
Host Ed Schultz offered no challenge to that statement as he wrapped up the segment, simply replying, "sure." In the question that preceded Cohen's attack on Pence, Schultz even tried to defend the Tennessee Congressman's Tuesday outburst on the House floor in which he claimed Republicans were using Nazi propaganda tactics in their opposition to ObamaCare: "I think a lot of liberals in this country admire you for calling them [Republicans] liars because the numbers are what they are....you're talking about a messaging machine that they definitely have followed to get their point across about health care, which you think is having an effect."
Time will tell, but I reject the somewhat cynical view that the House Republicans' vote to repeal Obamacare is purely symbolic. I think it's quite significant.
We are engaged in a war to save our nation from crippling debt and systematic assaults on our Constitution and our liberties and to preserve our prosperity. No setback has to become a permanent defeat. But neither will any victory remain secure, for the forces working against us are tireless and relentless.
No matter how many times history has proved socialism disastrous, there will always be those promoting it, as if the past never occurred or its lessons are unlearnable.