Bullying by staffers of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has denied knowledge of their actions when they were taken, is a national news obsession. Bullying by staffers of Colorado Senator Mark Udall — which the Senator has acknowledged and is defending — is barely a blip.
The story, first reported in the Colorado blogosphere at Complete Colorado, is that Udall staffers "worked assiduously to revise press accounts that 249,000 Coloradans received health care cancellation notices" by pressuring the state's Department of Insurance to change the definition of "cancellation." There is no dispute that the cancellations as normal people understand the word occurred (links are in original; bolds are mine):
Lee set about spinning the results of the latest Quinnipiac Poll, which shows President Obama sitting atop a 41 percent approval rating, up from a low of 38 percent in December, but still a net negative approval rating. Lee used the slight uptick in approval as a springboard to forecast that the president's economically liberal spending agenda could change his and his party's fortunes (emphasis mine):
Los Angeles Times columnists have produced several delusional doozies in the past few days.
One of the more hysterical came from Doyle McManus on Sunday ("The president's hump year; The sixth year is often tough, but Obama could triumph"). While acknowledging that "The public's initial romance with the president has faded" and that "events are in charge now," he backhandedly described Obama's presidency thus far as scandal-free. Really (HT to frequent commenter Gary Hall):
Healthcare.gov may be riddled with security flaws, but MSNBC’s Karen Finney doesn’t want to let that tarnish the liberal dream that is ObamaCare.
On Sunday’s Disrupt with Karen Finney, the host mocked House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s recently revealed memo detailing the House GOP’s goals for the beginning of this year. Noting that ObamaCare website security was Cantor’s top priority, the former DNC communications chief sneered: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Do liberal journalists ever get tired of pretending to offer conservative Republicans sage campaign advice? The latest example is the Daily Beast's Jamelle Bouie, who insists that "barring catastrophe" the GOP's anti-ObamaCare message will prove "irrelevant" to Republican success in November.
"[I]nstead of rehashing the rhetoric of the last four years, Republicans should start to think a little harder about what–if anything–they want out of a health care system," Bouie concluded his January 6 story, after having explained why he thinks beating the drum against ObamaCare's failures won't help the GOP:
In June, the Politico's Jennifer Haberkorn filed a report with the following headline: "Kathleen Sebelius: Exchange enrollment goal is 7 million by end of March." She reported in her first two paragraphs that "7 million" is "how many people the Obama administration hopes to enroll in its new health insurance marketplaces by the end of March."
Apparently that clearly expressed target isn't supposed to matter now, and the White House is trying to pretend that it never existed. Of course, the press, including the Politico, has been helping them.
When something important is falling apart — say a relationship or a business idea — it's not always easy to keep up appearances. After all, one still has the occasional private conversation with close friends and confidants where the truth gets acknowledged, even when one doesn't want the rest of the public to know about it.
Meet the Press host David Gregory appears to have forgotten for the briefest moment that he was not in private but in the public eye this morning. As blogger Ann Althouse noted (HT Instapundit; MTP transcript here), Gregory had the following to say at the conclusion of a segment whose purpose was supposedly "to get beyond some of these political arguments over Obamacare here in Washington" by interviewing "two top leaders in the medical field from the hospitals mentioned by the president to give us their insights on the future of Obamacare" (bolds is mine):
In late October, continuing a four-year pattern of making such claims, MIT's Jonathan Gruber, who along with Ezekiel "Zeke the Bleak" Emanuel is considered one of the two "architects" of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, pointed to a study which claimed that "the Affordable Care Act is working even better than expected, producing more coverage for much less money." But, as Wingfield noted in his Friday column, Gruber sang a totally different tune when quoted in the Washington Post on Thursday.
Whatever are you to do when you're a journalist who favors Team Obama but the administration is going up against an underdog that you'd have to be a monster to hate: the Little Sisters of the Poor. Well, you simply call the Obama administration the "U.S. government" and you structure your story in such a way that it sounds like those silly sisters are making much ado about nothing against a "so-called contraceptive mandate."
Obamacare's designers appear to have assumed that life is completely static. As far as they're concerned, people who are single don't marry, women don't have children, married couples don't sometimes divorce, individuals and families don't move, and workers don't change jobs. I say that because HealthCare.gov will from all appearances not accommodate any of the aforementioned common life changes. Seriously. (I'm not about to test that assertion myself; the site is still hopelessly not secure, remember?)
A very weak headline at an Associated Press report by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar carried at Yahoo News attempted to limit the damage, perhaps in hopes that smartphone users and others won't click through and see how awful and far more sweeping the problems are (bolds are mine):
When he revealed toFox News Channel viewers the winner of the Media Research Center's liberal media Quote of the Year, substitute host Eric Bolling couldn't "run the actual footage" of the description of the disgusting scatalogical treatment that former MSNBC Martin Bashir wished on Sarah Palin "because it's too obscene" for television, MRC founder and president Brent Bozell noted on the January 2 edition of Hannity.
What's also obscene, Bozell complained, was how MSNBC executives never expressed any disgust at Bashir's comments (video below):
Drudge's headline linking to a Politico item by Carrie Budoff Brown and John Allen about the Obama administration's plans to aggressively identify and promote Obamacare successes in 2014 ("White House Plans to Step up Obamacare Propaganda in 2014") is far better than the tired one Politico itself used ("White House looks to spread good Obamacare news").
What Team Obama plans to pursue will be propaganda, because as it identifies and "spread(s) good news," it's going to have to ignore a far larger volume of bad news. An NBC investigative report (video at link; HT Political Outcast) two days ago about the situation at a Michigan car dealership makes that point about as well as it can be made (bolds are mine):
In a December 27 blog post, New York Times columnist and incurable Keynesian economist Paul Krugman capitalized on the problems United Parcel Service and to a lesser extent Fedex had in delivering Christmas packages on time: "Can’t the private sector do anything right?"
While I recognize that there's sarcasm in his question, Krugman then went on to try to make HealthCare.gov's problems appear analogous: "[M]any pundits were quick to declare healthcare.gov’s problems evidence of the fundamental, irretrievable incompetence of government, and as an omen of Obamacare’s inevitable collapse. ... (But) none of these people are making similar claims about UPS or Amazon." Since the Nobel Economics laureate appears to be too dense to understand the differences between the two situations, Robert P. Murphy, "the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism," explained many of them in a Sunday post at the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada's web site (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Sarah Kliff could barely contain her joy while exclaiming unto all the world in her Washington Post article about a supposed "December Deluge" in which "1.1 million have enrolled in healthcare.gov" since the beginning of October. However, a very important word is missing in her story. The P-Word as in "PAID." Yes, according to Sarah, over a million "enrollees" have deluged the federal exchange website but is it unreasonable to wonder how they could have paid their premiums since, as yet, that website has no payment system set up.
However, far be it for me to spoil her party mood so let us now join Sarah exuberantly celebrating her "deluge" statistics which very conveniently doesn't mention PAID enrollees:
Let no one say that NBC/MSNBC are reluctant to criticize ObamaCare. A leading NBC light boldly did so today . . . from the left, of course.
Appearing on Morning Joe, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC's chief medical editor, declared that there should be "a single-payer system" of health care. That is the left's preferred solution, but brings with it a host of problems, as the Heritage Foundation has detailed. For good measure, Snyderman said that she "made" her young-adult children sign up for Obamacare as their "patriotic duty." View the video after the jump.
The White House and its media minions want you to believe that everything is going swimmingly with ObamaCare since repairs were made to Healthcare.gov.
Quite the contrary, Iowa's KCCI TV reported Friday that the 16,000 people in that state who applied for health insurance via that website need to reapply due to a delay in paperwork (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Back in 2010, this award was “won” by then-MSNBC star Keith Olbermann, who on January 5 of that year lambasted conservatives for daring to oppose Obama's big government solution: “What would you do, sir, if terrorists were killing 45,000 people every year in this country? Well, the current health care system, the insurance companies, and those who support them are doing just that....Remind me again, who are the terrorists?”
This year, as ObamaCare began to unravel, the media cheerleaders were still out in force. (Winners and videos after the jump.)
Today’s installment of the Media Research Center’s “Best Notable Quotables of 2013,” as selected by our 42 expert judges: the “Let Them Eat Dog Food Award, for Freaking Out Over the Sequester’s Puny Cuts,” and “The Kamikaze Award, for Disparaging Conservatives During the Shutdown.”
In late February, as automatic spending cuts were about to take a tiny sliver off of the $3.5 trillion annual federal budget, reporters mindlessly parroted the Obama administration's doomsaying about the consequences. Then in October, when conservatives attempted to block the implementation of the dysfunctional ObamaCare law, journalists blasted them as lunatic terrorists out to destroy America. (This year’s winners and videos below the jump.)
Major establishment press outlets ignored Friday's news that "Teresa Fryer, the chief information security officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) ... explicitly recommended denial of the website’s Authority to Operate (ATO), but was overruled by her superiors." Fryer also "refused to put her name on a letter recommending a temporary ATO be granted for six months" In other words, HealthCare.gov should not have launched.
Brian Fung at the Washington Post's "The Switch" blog didn't consider the idea that HC.gov shouldn't even have gone live the most important story element. While failing to disclose Fryer's no-go recommendation and refusal to go along, he and his post's headline instead obsessed over whether Republican Congressman and House Oversight Committee chair Darrell Issa might "release files" that "could aid hackers." It wouldn't be a surprise to learn that hackers already have them, or at least have figured out how to work with or around them. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
On Monday's All In show on MSNBC, during a discussion of what stories were over-covered or under-covered by the media in 2013, CBS contributor Nancy Giles griped that the HealthCare.Gov glitches were over-covered, and seemed to suggest that hackers may have been to blame for ObamaCare's rollout problems. Giles began:
Not to worry, people. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Medicare Part D got through "technical glitches, political hostility and gloom-and-doom denouncements." So will Obamacare.
That's the Christmas love letter delivered to the left by Tom Raum of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, late this morning. Raum "somehow" failed to note that the size and scope of Obamacare's screw-ups, errors, and from all appearances deliberate omissions (e.g., no system for paying subsidies to insurers after a 42-month head start) dwarf that seen in any previous major rollout. Though other programs had their share of broken promises (e.g., Walter Williams ran down Social Security's original lies in a November column), no program has been handicapped by anything near the equivalent of the President's false guarantee ("if you like your insurance plan-doctor-medical provider, you can keep your insurance plan-doctor-medical provider"). Of course, Raum didn't mention that bitter reality. Excerpts from Raum's report follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Most Americans view Christmas as a time to consider such lofty things as peace on earth and good will toward men.
Not MSNBC’s Chris Matthews who actually devoted his entire Christmas Eve Hardball show to mercilessly attacking eleven conservatives with assistance from a panel of some of the most conservative-hating liberals in the nation (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For the second straight morning, ABC's Jonathan Karl was merely a White House stenographer when reporting on ObamaCare's year-end deadline, touting enrollment numbers and parroting White House talking points.
Tuesday's Good Morning America framed the latest ObamaCare delay as a result of the law's popularity, as opposed to NBC reporting that it was, at least in part, due to website issues. "A crush of visitors to the website yesterday caused the White House to expand this year's deadline for signing up through the end of today," co-host George Stephanopoulos reported.
In a Monday dispatch about Obamacare's really bad year and future prospects at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, reporter Calvin Woodward took as a given the left's assumption that Republicans and conservatives take pleasure in the suffering of real people as long as it furthers their political aims when he wrote that "Republicans, of course ... feigned indignation that the law many of them despise wasn't working out so well." That's pure lefist projection.
The genuine indignation has two sources, Mr. Woodward. The first is that much of what has transpired as a result of the deeply flawed Affordable Care Act was predicted or known and ignored. The other is that there were red flags galore ahead of the debut of the HealthCare.gov web site that it wasn't ready. They were deliberately ignored. To name just one instance, those in charge of security wouldn't sign off on the idea of going live on October 1; of course, Team Obama launched anyway. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
It really is wonderful having George Will on Fox News where we can see him more regularly than for a few minutes once a week.
On Monday’s Special Report, Will said of the revelation earlier in the day that people now had until Tuesday to sign up at Healthcare.gov, “ObamaCare now is a tapestry of coercions mitigated by random acts of presidential mercy announced in the most bizarre ways” (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for commentary):
NBC's Today softened any criticism of ObamaCare on Monday at the deadline to purchase health coverage for the new year.
White House correspondent Peter Alexander framed long wait times on the Washington, D.C. health exchange as evidence of "a last-minute spike in demand." And even though he reported that current enrollment numbers are "far shy" of what the administration hoped for, Alexander cited "experts" downplaying the importance of the numbers.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer made a dire prediction Sunday.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Krauthammer said that all the exemptions the President has given to ObamaCare will ruin insurance companies thereby necessitating the White House to ask for a huge government bailout of these companies next year that Republicans in Congress should prevent (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In January 2010, Robert Rector at the Heritage Foundation studied the draft language in what ultimately turned into the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or what came to be known as Obamacare. His two most important findings: 1) Obamacare would encourage divorce while discouraging marriage; 2) Individuals and couples earning what most would consider to be nice but certainly not opulent incomes — especially those aged 50 and above — would pay disproportionately high premiums, while those making just a few thousand dollars less per year would, after subsidies, pay far less. Yours truly has made these points subsequently on several occassions (examples here, here, and here).
Well glory be, almost four years later, acting as if they're breaking some kind of new ground, Katie Thomas, Reed Abelson and Jo Craven McGinty at the New York Times have discovered that "the cost of premiums for people who just miss qualifying for subsidies varies widely across the country and rises rapidly for people in their 50s and 60s." Imagine that. Even then, the Times trio pegged the suffering Obamacare is inflicting to gross income and not net — and the difference is stark. Excerpts, beginning with a weak headline, follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast is still carrying a blazing torch for the president, defending him against all pessimists, in “The Obama Political Obituaries Are Way Premature.” He claims Obama just has “a really, really bad first inning.” Are we ignoring the first term now?
Tomasky insisted everyone should ignore the current conventional wisdom, “that a presidency that is already all but finished, unless John Podesta can somehow save it. The Washington Post reported this week that among second-term presidents in the polling era, only Richard Nixon had a lower approval rating at this point than Obama does now.” Turn that frown upside down, liberal friends, urges Tomasky: