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.
In the intense heat of the present, it is easy to forget even the relatively recent past, but it seems to me that this GOP primary season is more acrimonious than the past few, probably because the stakes are so high.
When I've noted that this is the most important presidential election of our lifetimes, a few excitability-resistant conservative friends have said, "They have been saying that about every election for more than a generation." My response to that is:
On Friday’s Good Morning America, ABC White House correspondent Jake Tapper blurted out an uncomfortable reality for Democrats, telling co-host George Stephanopoulos that President Obama “can’t run on so many of his major legislative accomplishments” because “they’re not popular.”
That’s why, Tapper explained, the President is attempting to shift the debate from his record to “fairness,” a goal in which he has the cooperation of a compliant media: “These are the issues he wants to talk about, because it’s going to be difficult for him to talk about his record when it comes to his big achievements.”
The camera only showed Tapper as he outlined the “conundrum” facing Obama, so there’s no way of telling exactly how ex-Democratic operative Stephanopoulos reacted. [Audio link here; video after the jump]
Summertime is usually when TV networks air repeats of shows we've already seen. In his State of the Union Address Tuesday night, the president got a five-month jump on the summer season by re-running a class-envy video he has broadcast more times than local stations have shown episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show."
Instead of a credible assessment of the state of the union, which is not good, the president delivered a slightly toned down campaign speech. We heard more of the same about how "the rich" aren't paying their "fair share" in taxes.
Tuesday night, President Obama delivers his third State of the Union address, and his sixth speech to a joint session of Congress since taking office in 2009. But there’s no need to spend a lot of time wondering about what the media will say after The Great One speaks, since — like a gaggle of corporate yes-men — journalists have gushed over every one of these major addresses.
“It wasa big and bold speech,” ABC’s Terry Moran applauded on Nightline shortly after Obama’s budget address in February 2009, his first before Congress. “It was his debut andhe wowed us,” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews enthused the next day on Hardball.
Whose job would you want to have? Would it be President Barack Obama's or Governor Chris Christie's in the great state of New Jersey? Would it be President Obama's, whose budget woes are getting graver, or would it be Governor Christie's, whose budget is at least looking to be survivable?
Now Obama is facing the choice in his budgetary decisions. Does he raise taxes only on families making $1 million a year? Or does he, as he has heretofore promised, raise taxes on families making $250,000?
In denouncing President Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline project today, the Washington Post gets it right, but not for the Right's (pun intended) reasons, defending the job-creating project from a liberal position.
The Post editorial board argued today that approving the Keystone XL project "should've been an easy call for the administration." "We almost hope this was a political call because, on the substance, there should be no question," the editorial board concluded, laying out a case from the Left as to why stopping the pipeline isn't going to do squat to "reduce global warming" anyway. But, being the Post, they concluded with a call for higher gas taxes:
Well, isn't this rich? And I do mean rich. President Obama, man of the people, will deliver his presidential nomination acceptance speech at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. — so that Democratic Party fundraisers can reward big donors with skyboxes and other lavish perks.
As usual, the White House and its allies are trying to camouflage naked partisan money-grubbing in populist garb.
With public attention focused on the GOP primaries, the White House quietly promoted another self-dealing lobbyist to serve as President Obama's top domestic policy adviser. Promises? What broken promises?
Cecilia Munoz, the current director of intergovernmental affairs at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., will now serve as head of the Domestic Policy Council. She'll wield heightened influence at Obama's daily morning briefings and expand her reach from immigration issues to education, health care and beyond.
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.")
After suggesting that Republicans had done a better job of "enunciating" an anti-capitalist attack on Mitt Romney than "the Democrats have to date," NBC correspondent told fellow panelists on the January 11 Daily Rundown, "I hope the Democrats are furiously taking notes if this is the line of attack they plan to pursue against Mitt Romney."
Perhaps trying to evince a sense of fairness or balance, Guthrie then added (MP3 audio available here; video posted below page break):
We've been dealing with liberal media bias for years, but George Stephanopoulos' performance in the Republican presidential debate Saturday night in New Hampshire was particularly egregious.
In many of these MSM-moderated debates, liberal moderators have tried to stir up personal fights between candidates, which diverts our focus from more important issues and, before national television audiences, shifts attention far away from Barack Obama and his disastrous agenda.
Here is the operating motto of the Obama White House: "So let it be written, so let it be done!" Like Yul Brynner's Pharaoh Ramses character in Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments," the demander in chief stands with arms akimbo issuing daily edicts to his constitution-subverting minions with an imperious wave of his hand. His entourage of insatiable usurpers never rests.
Can't delude legislators into adopting a $1.5 billion Kabuki summer-jobs makework boondoggle? Create an unfunded program through executive fiat.
President Obama is calling for dramatic defense cuts that could threaten our national survival while obstructing structural reforms to our entitlement programs that are essential for our national financial survival. It just doesn't get much worse than this.
President George W. Bush attempted in good faith to reform Social Security, and Democrats savaged him. Rep. Paul Ryan proposed a comprehensive financial plan that would, as painlessly as possible, restore national fiscal sanity, and Obama and his Democrats have misrepresented the plan (saying it would end Medicare) and used class warfare and fear-mongering to kill it in the cradle.
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air put it best on the latest Obama campaign video: "You know, nothing says classy in a presidential campaign like having to bleep out a word from the national campaign manager in a prepared video." Campaign manager Jim Messina tells supporters it's "bulls---" that Obama will run a "billion-dollar campaign." In the shadow of Occupy Wall Street, will the media help Obama implausibly frame his campaign as somehow a small-bore, Mom and Pop enterprise?
Some in the major media have noticed, too, like Devin Dwyer at ABCNews.com, who added "The Obama campaign has never explicitly thrown out the billion-dollar figure and aides have pushed back hard on media reports that they anticipate raising that much during the campaign. They raised a record-high $746 million in 2008. Obama has raised $87 million so far this year for his re-election fight." Is it implausible to guess they'll get to a billion dollars this time? Messina also sent this not-a-billion message in an e-mail to supporters in mid-week:
“After 13 years with ABC News, correspondent Jim Sciutto is leaving the network and TV news. He’s moving to China where he’ll be Chief of Staff to U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke,” TVNewser’s Chris Ariens reported Thursday in noting the latest journalist to join the Obama administration, this time working for Locke, the former Democratic Governor of Washington.
Sciutto should certainly feel comfortable promoting Obama’s interests and how he is a blessing to the world since that’s what he used his ABC News position to do. The night after Obama’s inauguration, for instance, Sciutto delivered a piece for World News with soundbites from naive kids around the world sputtering beauty pageant-like simplicities about how President Barack Obama will bring “world peace” and inspires them to say “yes, we can!”
The most disturbing aspect of President Obama's "60 Minutes" interview is how sincere he sounded when misrepresenting his record. I'm not sure whether I would prefer that he be lying or self-deluded, but there's plenty of each to go around.
Obama is a left-wing ideologue, a true believer, who is convinced that his agenda is mandated by a superior moral imperative (from who knows where) and that it must be advanced irrespective of the consequences, because no matter how bad they might be, they would have been worse without his agenda.
Let it not be said that the Washington Post are toadies for the Obama administration. They sometimes chastise the White House for not being left-wing enough.
For example, on Saturday the Washington Post editorial board weighed in to the left of the Obama administration on the recent call by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's move to block the FDA's recommendation to allow birth control pill Plan B from being sold without prescription over-the-counter regardless of the patient being a minor.
CBS’s Steve Kroft challenged President Barack Obama a few times during the two-part 60 Minutes interview aired Sunday night, but managed to ignore the scandals (Solyndra, Fast & Furious and collapse of MF Global run by ally Jon Corzine) while mostly cuing up Obama to knock down criticism of him or pressing him with complaints from the left that he hasn’t done or gone far enough: “They thought that you were gonna be bolder.”
“Since the midterm elections, you made an effort at bipartisanship. It hasn’t worked out that way,” Kroft fretted in crediting Obama with the noble effort before seemingly conveying the liberal complaint the stimulus didn’t spend enough: “There’s a general perception that the stimulus was not enough. That it really didn’t work.”
“In the presidential campaign,” CBS anchor Scott Pelley announced Thursday night, “President Obama fired back today at Republican opponents who criticized his foreign policy using words like ‘timid,’ ‘weak’ and ‘appeasement.’”
Over on ABC, fill-in anchor David Muir trumpeted “a very pointed response from President Obama” to the charge he’s had a weak foreign policy as an admiring Muir maintained “you can almost see him choosing his words as the question is asked.” Both then played Obama’s response from a late morning news conference:
Wrapping himself in the mantle of Theodore Roosevelt's "National Greatness" agenda, President Obama urged the nation to stand strong and unite behind ... his umpteenth regulatory czar. Nothing symbolizes American strength and vigor more than another unaccountable Washington bureaucrat.
If Richard Cordray, the stalled White House nominee to enforce the Dodd-Frank financial bureaucracy, is not approved, the wheedler-in-chief warned in Osawatomie, Kan.: "Every day we go without a consumer watchdog in place is another day when a student or a senior citizen or member of our Armed Forces could be tricked into a loan they can't afford — something that happens all the time."
The Democratic National Committee blasted ABC reporter Jake Tapper in an "open letter" for declaring on his Political Punch blog that their ad was "deceptive and false" on Mitt Romney's position on the stimulus (as we reported first here.) Ben Smith at Politico reported it, and noted it has now been unpublished. This is probably why: DNC National Press Secretary Melanie Roussell charged, "If you had only done your due diligence, you might have learned that Mitt Romney expressed his support for the Recovery Act on more than the one occasion."
Her problem? The example she cited was quoted by Tapper after he talked to someone at the DNC, and he then dismissed it as a non-starter. Who wasn't doing their "due diligence"? As part of a too-regular pattern, Tapper has faulted Team Obama on his blog, but ABC doesn't quite accomplish it on the airwaves to a much larger audience. Here's how it went down:
President Obama's cheerleaders are starting to peel away along with his approval ratings, and it's a fascinating sight to behold. They offer different reasons, but they all boil down to one obvious thing — Obama is first and foremost about Obama — and one less obvious: He has been a failed president.
Democratic pollsters Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen, admittedly more centrist than most of their Democratic counterparts, penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal urging Obama "to abandon his candidacy for re-election." The authors conclude that the only way Obama could possibly win in 2012 would be "to wage the most negative campaign in history," because he has no successful record to run on. If he would happen to win in that way, he wouldn't be able to govern, they say, so he should step aside and allow Hillary Clinton to run.
It is open season for the liberal media on any GOP presidential candidate who displays the audacity to surge in the polls, the latest targets being Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich. A reasonable case can be made for some of these criticisms, and conservatives often concede the weaknesses, but there is no justification for this same media's ongoing cover-up for the current White House occupant.
Can you imagine how differently our political climate would be if the mainstream media had the slightest inclination toward fairness and balance? The liberal media have never, to my knowledge, shined the spotlight on Obama's many embarrassing gaffes. They have rarely called attention to his deceit, broken promises and policy failures.
A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds the support for ObamaCare has dipped yet again, with just 34 percent of Americans favoring the president's signature health care overhaul.
What's more, just 52 percent of Democrats support the law, a troubling sign for President Obama a year before Election Day. Thirty-one percent of Democrats view the law either "somewhat" or "very" unfavorably.
We'll be monitoring the major networks to see how much if any attention they devote to the new numbers. Here's an except from Times Washington bureau reporter Noam Levey's October 28 story:
All three network morning shows on Wednesday cheered President Obama's Tuesday appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. At the top of ABC's Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts declared: "Comedian in chief. The President hits late-night TV talking about all the people taking swings at him right now. And why what he's really worried about is what the First Lady's giving out for Halloween."
Later, fellow co-host George Stephanopoulos noted how Obama was "trying to warm up his image with a few laughs on Jay Leno's couch." White House correspondent Jake Tapper described how the President "made certain to have a few laughs" at the expense of the Republican presidential candidates. A clip followed of Leno asking if the commander in chief had been watching the GOP debates, with Obama replying: "I'm going to wait until everybody's voted off the island."
NPR's Michele Norris, an anchor on the evening newscast All Things Considered, will temporarily step down as anchor while her husband Broderick Johnson accepts a senior position with the Obama re-election campaign. She will keep reporting what NPR calls "signature pieces" for the show (but not on politics), and plans to return as co-anchor after the 2012 elections.
Norris recused herself without an announcement in 2004 when Johnson aided Kerry's congressional outreach, but not in 2008 when he was unpaid adviser to Obama’s campaign. In a message sent on Monday morning to NPR staff, Norris said:
A Baptist minister from Washington, D.C., who in a sermon once indirectly compared President Obama to Queen Esther -- the biblical figure whose intercession saved Jews from extermination -- has been tapped by the president to "bolster support for President Obama among black and religious voters."
Washington Post religion reporter Michelle Boorstein gave readers of the October 21 Metro section a positive 13-paragraph profile of Rev. Derrick Harkins, "a popular D.C. pastor with a shaved head and a remarkable resume." Nowhere in her article did Boorstein examine how Harkins will address conservative religious voters' concerns over Obama's stance on issues such as gay marriage, gays in the military, and abortion, particularly taxpayer-subsidized abortion possible through ObamaCare.