Time's Kate Pickert sees trouble on the horizon for ObamaCare with another federal judge hinting he may find the individual mandate provision of the legislation unconstitutional.
Pickert promises such a ruling by federal District Court Judge Roger Vinson "would be a second brutal court blow to the Obama Administration."
Nowhere in her brief December 16 blog post did Pickert entertain the notion that the individual mandate itself is a "brutal blow" to individual liberty or the notion of limited constitutional government.
New York Times writer David Leonhardt is not happy with a judge’s ruling a vital part of Obama-care – the individual insurance mandate – is unconstitutional. In his latest front-page “Economic Scene” column, “In Health Law, Old Arguments Get New Airing,” the paper’s neo-liberal conscience on economic matters compared conservative opposition to Obama-care not only to past opposition to Medicare, but to opposition to civil rights for black Americans.
“We are against forcing all citizens, regardless of need, into a compulsory government program,” said one prominent critic of the new health care law. It is socialized medicine, he argued. If it stands, he said, “one of these days, you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”
The health care law in question was Medicare, and the critic was Ronald Reagan. He made the leap from actor to political activist, almost 50 years ago, in part by opposing government-run health insurance for the elderly.
Today, the supposed threat to free enterprise is a law that’s broader, if less radical, than Medicare: the bill Congress passed this year to create a system of privately run health insurance for everyone. On Monday, a federal judge ruled part of the law to be unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court will probably need to settle the matter in the end.
We’ve lived through a version of this story before, and not just with Medicare. Nearly every time this country has expanded its social safety net or tried to guarantee civil rights, passionate opposition has followed.
In an otherwise decent article in today's Washington Post, staffer Amy Goldstein suggested that the U.S. health insurance industry is ideologically conservative despite its support for the controversial and unconstitutional "individual mandate" provision of ObamaCare.
The debate over whether the mandate is essential does not split neatly along ideological lines. The insurance industry, a part of the health-care system that the White House has vilified, shares the administration's view that the mandate must accompany other insurance rules in the law.
Ed Schultz on Tuesday abruptly ended an interview with a Republican strategist when she accused him of lying to his audience about the significance of Monday's ruling striking down the Constitutionality of ObamaCare's mandate to buy health insurance.
When the host of MSNBC's "The Ed Show" said, "It’s not a big key element of the health care bill," sparks began to fly (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A new ABC-Washington Post poll found ObamaCare sunk to its lowest popularity yet: 52 percent opposed, and only 43 percent in favor. ABC mentioned the poll without fanfare at the end of a Jake Tapper report on Monday’s World News, and Tapper added this was the health law's "lowest level of popularity ever." But Tuesday’s Washington Post reported not one sentence on the poll in the paper – even as they reported in the paper that the same survey found Obama’s tax-and-unemployment-compensation deal has “broad bipartisan support.”
The numbers weren't excluded because they arrived late. The Post poll numbers went up on the website yesterday at about 1 pm, under the headline “Health care opponents divided on repeal.” That obscured the numbers a bit, as Cohen found a “slim majority” (not a “clear majority”?) currently oppose ObamaCare:
On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith seemed skeptical of the legal reasoning of a federal judge who ruled part of ObamaCare was unconstitutional: "The thing that he objects to most strenuously is this idea that everybody has to be insured. And the Republicans are jumping up and down, they're ready to have a party. Do you think they have a legal leg to stand on?"
Smith directed that question to Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, who used the softball setup to declare: "I think the law is sound, and when Eric Cantor on the Republican side says, 'Let's repeal ObamaCare,' he wants to repeal the protection Americans want against the discrimination against them for pre-existing conditions. I think that's a losing political position."
In late October, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) visited Media Research Center headquarters for a studio interview with CNSNews.com editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey to discuss his state's lawsuit challenging the so-called individual mandate within ObamaCare that would require Americans, under penalty of federal law, to purchase health insurance.
Yesterday a federal District Court judge in the 4th Circuit ruled that provision unconstitutional.
It's time for America's youth to buckle up and take a rough ride on Reality Highway. For the past two years, President Obama has promised our children the moon, stars, rainbows, unicorns and universal health care for all. But the White House Santa's cradle-to-grave entitlement mandates are a spectacularly predictable bust.
Don't take it from me. Take it from Obamacare's own biggest cheerleaders.
There are times when one has to think the Manhattan building that is the home of the New York Times doesn't have any windows, doesn't have any television sets, and doesn't have any doors that allow employees to venture out and actually see what's happening in America beyond the walls of 620 Eighth Avenue.
Consider that after the impact the Tea Party has had on our nation's politics the past 20 months, and the historic elections that just took place on November 2, Times columnist Tom Friedman actually thinks Americans aren't interested in reducing the federal deficit but are instead yearning for higher taxes and greater government spending:
New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes appeared on a panel discussion on “The Role of Minority Party in Congress” held at the Wilson International Center for Scholars on Monday, and outlined four liberal complaints against Republicans for not sufficiently accommodating Barack Obama early in his presidency (when they were distinctly the minority party and rather powerless) on his allegedly moderate measures like health reform and financial regulation.
Blaming Republicans for Obama’s woes ignores the fact that the Democrats had just won huge filibuster-proof majorities in 2008. The party controlled the Senate by a 60-40 margin and the House of Representatives by a health 257-178. And conservatives would argue that Obama’s claims of bipartisanship were severely overstated and amounted to trying to pick off individual Republicans to get on board with his sweeping liberal agenda on stimulus and health care “reform,” instead of reaching out to the Republican caucus as a whole with more moderate and modest proposals.
Talking on the panel Monday, aired by C-SPAN, about the need for political accommodation in Congress, Calmes took “the risk of sounding like I’m expressing an opinion" in her closing remarks, about an hour and ten minutes into the discussion:
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Krugman tries to clarify what he said.
Although he was likely taking a swipe at former governor Sarah Palin with the reference, Paul Krugman on Sunday recommended "death panels" as a means of helping to balance the federal budget.
In a Roundtable discussion on ABC's "This Week," the New York Times columnist said of what recently came out of the President's deficit commission, "Some years down the pike, we're going to get the real solution, which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Michael Cooper’s lead story in the National section of the New York Times on Saturday, "Debunking the Myths of the Midterm," offered up four alleged myths downplaying the import of the Republican takeover of the House and big gains in the Senate. The first four of Cooper's five "myths" centered around the idea that the Republican victory and Democratic defeat of 2010 had been overstated (the fifth was a paragraph of throwaway humor headlined “The Pundits Have a Clue” while arguing the opposite).
Every election develops its own mythology, usually before the official results are even certified, and this week’s was no different. And like all mythology, the narrative that is being woven around the midterm elections by Bulfinches from both parties is a blend of history, facts and, yes, myths.
But the four partisan myths Cooper tried to knock down were all ones that made Republicans look strong.
“Return to the Republican Fold” (Cooper denied it.) “The Sweeping Mandate” (No way.) “The Lost Youth Vote” (Not so fast.) “A Disaster for the President” (Not necessarily.)
I take no great pleasure in having been correct in predicting Barack Obama's reaction to his Tuesday "shellacking." To borrow his terminology, he is wired not to hear the American people's opposition to his radical agenda, as painfully demonstrated in his postelection news conference.
Unhappily, Obama's answers showed even deeper intransigence than I had thought he would be willing to reveal. He is every bit as committed to his destructive agenda as he was Nov. 1 and, despite his claims, is not looking for "common ground."
He said that every election "is a reminder that in our democracy, power rests not with those of us in elected office, but with the people we have the privilege to serve." But if anyone needs to be reminded of that, it is he, because he crammed through Obamacare and other offensive agenda items against the express will of the people.
For the second time in two weeks, a devout liberal exposed just how little Bill Maher actually knows about politics.
When the "Real Time" host arrogantly told his guests that people voted for Republicans this past Tuesday because President Obama "didn't back the public option" during the healthcare reform debate, Time's Fareed Zakaria marvelously informed the comedian just how wrong he was (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani took on the ladies of "The View" along with their highly-partisan audience Wednesday in a post-election discussion about Sarah Palin, Barack Obama, and healthcare reform.
So strongly did most of those in attendance disagree with Giuliani that he ended saying "You don't get it" when they booed him for criticizing the President (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
Liberals don't want to believe that anyone would oppose the Obama agenda out of a principled stand against massive government spending and massive intervention in the free enterprise system. It's easier (and dirtier) to blame it all on racism. The leftist blog Daily Kos is keeping up that smear: "It's the black man in the White House, stupid." Michael Moore truly thrilled the blogger called "blackwaterdog" by claiming "Two years of a black man who secretly holds socialist beliefs being the boss of them is more than they can stomach. They've been sick to death since the night of 11/04/08 and they are ready to purge."
MSNBC should be so proud that this blogger frames this smear with a Rachel Maddow segment celebrating all the "achievements" of Democrat-dominated Washington in the last two years. (The lowlight is Maddow celebrating that the "bureaucracy" of private student loans has been removed and it's all wonderfully streamlined and nationalized now. Or Maddow celebrating how health care "reform" is the secret to reducing the horrendous national debt. Or...) Then came the Kosmonaut song sheet:
Update (15:20 EDT): Fargo, N.D.-based radio host friend of NewsBusters Rob Port takes on this Newsweek item on his Say Anything blog today and eviscerates David Graham's article as error-laden and grossly misleading.
"Can one Blue Dog’s unorthodox ad strategy localize his election and head off the demise of another incumbent?" asked the subheadline.
Of course, both the moderate and Blue Dog tags bring to mind a Democrat that perhaps agrees with the liberal leadership of his party about half of the time, but is fairly independent and conservative-minded on a whole host of issues. Trouble is, this is precisely what Pomeroy is not, according to both the liberal Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) and the American Conservative Union (ACU).
The report, released less than two weeks before the November elections, was actually authored by the far-left Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, which promotes abortion rights, gay rights and fighting bigotry and racism, as noted by the Media Research Center’s Scott Whitlock. Zernike flattered the NAACP with her opening description, though these days the NAACP is less an honored civil rights organization and more a liberal activist group:
The nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization released a report Wednesday declaring that the Tea Party is “permeated with concerns about race,” an assessment that is likely to reignite a feud between the two groups.
The report released by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People argues that Tea Party groups “have given platform to anti-Semites, racists and bigots,” and have attracted white nationalists looking for recruits.
“The Tea Party movement has unleashed a still inchoate political movement who are in their numerical majority, angry middle-class white people who believe their country, their nation, has been taken from them,” it says.
The study was written by Devin Burghart and Leonard Zeskind of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, which is dedicated to examining and mobilizing against racist, anti-Semitic and far-right social movements. It analyzed what it calls six nationwide Tea Party networks at the core of the movement, and concludes that leaders of all but one -- FreedomWorks, a libertarian group in Washington headed by Dick Armey, a former House Republican majority leader -- have raised questions about the validity of President Obama’s birth certificate.
What do birth certificate questions have to do with racism?
In 2011, the two major legislative initiatives of the tea party Congress (pray the voters deliver such a congress) will be to get a grip on the deficit, and to begin to reverse the intrusion of the federal government in American lives and business.
It remains to be seen whether Congress will have the guts — and even the tea party public will give their support-for the entitlement cutting that deficit control and long-term fiscal soundness will require.
Procedurally, however, the method is pretty straightforward. Congress passes a 10-year budget resolution, then passes appropriations and other bills to carry out those objectives. And, of course, the president has to sign them into law. That may result in the greatest Washington political battle since slavery, but at least the legislative method is obvious and straightforward.
There is a lot of media chatter about whether or not a strengthened Republican Party would move to repeal ObamaCare pending the results of the upcoming elections in November.
On Tuesday, the Davis Intelligence Group reported that Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) "recently told a group of high-dollar GOP donors that Senate Republicans would not move to fully repeal President Obama’s health care law next year, according to multiple sources who attended the event."
The snippet of the subscription only piece also stated (h/t Mark Levin):
A young liberal group recently stripped down naked to show their, uh, support for ObamaCare. Well, now a young conservative group has produced a response video. Judge for yourself which one makes the better argument.
With low poll approval ratings and the prospect of his congressional allies in Congress taking a drubbing in November, it's hardly surprising the liberal media are looking for any silver lining for Obama that it can find.
Enter Time magazine's Kate Pickert, who on the magazine's Swampland blog yesterday claimed that a ruling upholding ObamaCare's constitutionality yesterday was a "significant victory for the Obama administration."
A temporary boost, perhaps, but significant? The ruling was at the District Court level, and the public interest firm representing the plaintiffs plans to appeal to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Plus Pickert herself noted that there are plenty of other court challenges against ObamaCare, and they are not all bound to come down the same way District Court Judge George Steeh ruled yesterday.
What is significant is how Judge Steeh's reasoning profoundly obliterates the scope of the Constitution's interstate commerce clause to define refraining from commerce as commerce. It's an open question if appellate courts agree.
A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll didn’t come up with numbers pleasing to the NBC News staff, though Brian Williams, on Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News, did his best to spin the findings as showing “there is really bad news if you're an incumbent officeholder of either party” and Chuck Todd insisted the public wants more from the elections than “just change [in] the color of the jerseys.”
Todd, however, couldn’t avoid reporting that “the change that voters want” includes 54 percent who “hope that this Tea Party enthusiasm in the Republican Party makes them a fiscally conservative party” and “54 percent want to see the repeal of health care.” Plus, “42 percent tell us” the Tea Party movement has “been a good thing” – more than twice as many as see it as a “bad thing.”
Unmentioned by Todd or Williams: Those pro-Tea Party/anti-ObamaCare numbers came from a polling sample dominated by MSM television news consumers. Question 36, in the PDF rundown of the survey, asked from which “television news sources do you get MOST of your information about politics and current events?” From the list offered, 35 percent said “broadcast network news, such as NBC, ABC, or CBS,” 16 percent named “the cable channel CNN” and 8 percent affirmed they rely on “the cable channel MSNBC.” That adds up to 59 percent, compared to 24 percent who cited “the cable channel Fox News.”
Ann Coulter on Monday explained to Larry King why so many Americans think Barack Obama is a Muslim.
Appearing on CNN's "Larry King Live" with Professor Marc Lamont Hill, Coulter pointed out how odd it is that this number has increased since Obama was elected, "Usually the truth moves in the opposite direction."
She continued, "The answer is because he seems foreign to them, that he's pushing this European health care system on America, that he doesn't listen to the American people, that he doesn't cite God when he mentions the Declaration of Independence. He seems alien, and I keep telling them, 'No, he's not a Muslim, he's an atheist.'"
This led King to ask, "Do you need to believe in God to govern?" And that's when the fun started (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Sunday’s Today show on NBC and Sunday Morning on CBS presented seemingly contradictory polling results on how much ObamaCare is supported by the American public, although both seemed to be citing the same AP poll. As Meet the Press host David Gregory appeared on Today, anchor Lester Holt suggested that Republicans are going against the majority of Americans in promising to repeal ObamaCare as he vaguely referred to polling data and contended, "But new polling out suggests that most people not only do they not want to, don't want it repealed, they want more added to it," and added, "Do Republicans have to refine this message and take a better look at it?" According to the AP poll as reported at msnbc.com, "four in 10 adults think the new law did not go far enough to change the health care system."
By contrast, on Sunday Morning, CBS anchor Charles Osgood briefly recounted numbers from the AP poll which suggested that ObamaCare is unpopular. Osgood: "A poll commissioned by the Associated Press finds just 30 percent of Americans in favor of the new health care law, 30 percent are neutral, and 40 percent oppose it. Four out of 10 respondents say the new law doesn’t do enough to change the health care system."
Returning to NBC, Gregory did not comment directly on whether he believed the poll’s accuracy, as he argued that the Republican message may indeed be successful, and went on to raise the theory from the left that ObamaCare will become more popular as people benefit from it:
Andrew Breitbart on Friday exposed Bill Maher for not being the Libertarian he claims to be, but a socialist instead.
When push came to shove, a seemingly embarrassed Maher didn't protest.
In the middle of a heated discussion on HBO's "Real Time" about healthcare reform legislation passed earlier this year, Maher vehemently defended the program.
This led Breitbart to smartly observe, "So you're officially not a Libertarian anymore, right? I mean, this position has run so far from the Libertarian position. Is this, so you admit that you have more of a, you know, European socialist leaning perspective on this issue?"
When the audience laughter subsided, a clearly stunned Maher acknowledged, "I'm not afraid to say European socialism works" (video follows with transcript and commentary):