Politico reported something interesting before President Obama met with Pope Francis: “The visit is a rare chance for Obama to associate himself with a world leader whose cool factor far outweighs his own.”
It’s rare for pundits to admit that someone else might top their revered Barack in the coolness category. They’re equating coolness and popularity, and the Pope certainly polls much better than the president, which is no surprise these days.
"The Navy has come up with a drone that can predict the weather several months in advance. Which is not to be confused with Al Gore -- a drone who says he can predict the weather a hundred years in advance."
An email yesterday from CNNMoney touted how fantastic it was that Obamacare enrollment has reached the six million threshold, even describing it as a "symbolic victory." Though the underlying article by Tami Luhby at least noted the problems with that 6 million figure, those problems should have been enough to negate that characterization. Instead, Luhby repeated it in her coverage (bolds are mine):
"Well, then," Jesus said, "give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God." (Mark 12:17 Living Paraphrase)
When considering what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God, what happens when the federal government seeks to replace God by defining "church" and when life begins to have value, the latter having been done in Roe vs. Wade and subsequent court rulings?
I've been thrown off my health insurance -- THANKS, OBAMACARE! -- and have spent hours and hours over the past month trying to figure out my options now that the Democrats have made my old plan, which I liked, "illegal." (I prefer to think of my plan as "undocumented.")
Whom do I bill for the hours of work Obamacare forced me to perform? How about you, Mickey? You're the smartest living liberal (faint praise), and you assured us that Obamacare was going to be fantastic.
Imagine it's March 2006, some eight months before the midterm elections in an unpopular President Bush's second term, and the Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) has this nasty habit of running afoul of the Federal Election Commission over pricey gifts for campaign donors. The media would most certainly have a field day with the revelations.
But alas, it's March 2014 and it's Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and President Obama's Senate majority on the line. Here's Rebecca Shabad of TheHill.com with details (emphasis mine):
This post builds on Geoffrey Dickens' post late this morning ("American Horror Story: Tales of ObamaCare Victims Untold by the Big Three Networks") about the virtual lack of any kind of coverage of the real people affected by Obamacare.
Perhaps some readers believe that little coverage is occurring because there are few if any local situations worthy enough to rise to the level of national coverage. There are two responses to that. The first is that the national outlets must not be looking for them, because they are out there, and they could find them if they wanted to (the British press often does a better job covering Obamacare than stateside outlets). The second is that local TV broadcasts have carried plenty of Obamacare-related horror stories. While some of the situations cited in the video from the Washington Free Beacon following the jump (50 States of Obamacare Victims) are of politicians delivering speeches, all of the rest of the 50 clips cite real people or groups of people with real problems caused by Obamacare:
One of the odd things about the weekend pot-stirring by Matt Drudge over his stated inclusion of one-quarter of his estimated 2014 "Obamacare penalty" tax for not carrying health insurance coverage this year — calling it a "liberty tax" — is that few if any of those who criticized him seem to have bothered to consult with a tax practitioner for an expert take on the matter before what we now know were serious misfires. Either that, or they did, decided that they didn't like the answers, and crawled back into their holes. That list includes Jesse Lee, the White House's Director of Progressive Media and Online Response (yes, that's a real position), who didn't even understand that Drudge is paying this year's taxes this year, not last year's taxes.
Thus, I thought it would be useful to publish a note I received this morning from someone who works at a CPA firm in the Midwest who had a chance to read my NewsBusters post on Tuesday and two earlier technical posts (here and here) at my home blog (bolds are mine):
Someone needs to tell the Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown that it isn't 2008 any more. While they're at it, that person also needs to inform her that the Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, could give a rip about whether or not he is perceived as "cool," and certainly isn't Obama's "replacement."
Budoff Brown wrote tonight that President Barack Obama's meeting tomorrow with the Pope "is a rare chance for Obama to associate himself with a world leader whose cool factor far outweighs his own." Gag me. Obama's ability to move merchandise, one of the supposed indicators of "cool" tanked in the fall of 2009 and has never come back. Excerpts for readers who can stand more such drivel follow the jump (bolds are mine):
With Obamacare's March 31 sign-up deadline and subsequent penalties looming over the heads of young and old Americans, citizens are wondering more than ever — and with good reason, I might add — whether Washington has dished out another bill of bad goods. And here are a few more solid reasons our skepticism about socialist medicine continues.
Reporter Bob Unruh at WorldNetDaily recently reported about how Obamacare is blocking patients from paying for their own treatments. The feds are already capping what some citizens can spend on their own health care, even if those patients are willing and able to cover their own costs.
"As President Obama prepares for his first visit of his second term to Saudi Arabia, pressure is mounting on the State Department to publish the most comprehensive U.S. government study of the Kingdom’s textbooks," Eli Lake of the Daily Beast reported today. "While the study has been finished since the end of 2012, it has nonetheless been kept from the public, according to a new report by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a center-right think tank in Washington." The Obama/Kerry State Department failing to be transparent and release a study for public consumption?! Perish the thought!
The study was commissioned to investigate the extent to which Saudi textbooks are laden with anti-Israeli and extremist religious rhetoric. and, "according to current and former U.S. officials, presents a mixed picture":
On Friday afternoon, Matt Drudge announced in a tweet that "(I) Just paid the Obamacare penalty for not 'getting covered'... I'M CALLING IT A LIBERTY TAX!"
A White House spokesman and the "progressive" press proceeded to thoroughly embarrass itself in its rebuttal attempts. How do I know? Because, four days later, despite the substantial and widely-known uproar, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, doesn't even have a story on the topic; a search at 11:30 p.m. on Monday on Drudge's last name came up empty. If Drudge's detractors had the upper hand, AP would be all over it.
"[I]f you read a newspaper to find out about the contraception mandate cases, you will read lies," attorney and conservative writer Gabriel Malor argued in his excellent March 24 piece for The Federalist, "Six Lies The Leftist Media Tells About The Contraception Mandate Cases." "The leftist papers do not mention the substantial monetary burden put on religious business owners to violate their consciences," Malor observed. "The papers do not mention that contraception was both inexpensive and widely available before the contraception mandate, and still is. The papers omit to mention that it isn’t the businesses who have radically changed, but the mandates from government."
That's all true, and the same can be said of the broadcast and cable news networks, but Malor's focus is on newspapers, which ostensibly are supposed to be more fact-dense and less prone to spin. Do yourself a favor and read Malor's analysis here. For my money, lie number four, "corporations cannot exercise religion" is the most rage-inducing of the lot which the liberal media are force-feeding Americans (emphasis mine):
Former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson told a Philadelphia radio station on Friday that “nobody was interested in the stories” she was doing on the Obama scandals, or other investigative stories.
“Nobody was interested in the stories. It didn’t seem to matter what the topic was. There’s sort of a problem all over, I talk to my colleagues in different mediums. There’s just a lot of pressure. Investigative reporting gets a lot of backlash. They don’t quite know how to deal with it. Why not just put on stories that don’t draw that kind of response?” Instead, it's "Between Two Ferns" updates.
Sometimes the saying "better late than never" applies. This isn't one of them.
In a report originally time-stamped on March 18 (HT Sweetness and Light) and revised this afternoon at its national web site, the Associated Press's Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and seven other AP reporters found out that Obamacare is putting the screws to many cancer patients. Of course, they didn't phrase it that way, but that's the primary takeaway from their report. The story's headline was so weak that many readers who saw it on their computers, tablets and smartphones likely blew right past it without clicking through. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
What happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 may eventually be discovered, but there is something else that has been missing for much longer and its "disappearance" has far greater implications for America. It is our foreign policy. Can anyone say what it is?
With Russia's Vladimir Putin behaving like a modern Catherine the Great in his efforts to annex Crimea and possibly all of Ukraine, what is our policy toward Russia, which is behaving increasingly like its former, supposedly dead, communist self?
Townhall's Guy Benson today took Washington Post's Aaron Blake and Vox.com senior editor Sarah Kliff to task for uncritically furthering Obama White House spin that 5 million Americans have successfully registered for ObamaCare.
This is patently false, Benson charges, noting that, at best, the number is somewhere closer to 4 million, assuming the very generous estimate of a 20 percent "non-payment" rate on the registered policies. Benson explains (emphasis mine):
One of the more humorous attempts at furious spin this weekend occurred over at the New York Times. Jonathan Martin and Ashley Parker somehow managed to cover how association with President Barack Obama is becoming “poisonous” to Democratic Party candidates in this fall's elections without identifying or even acknowledging the existence of the primary reason for his toxicity — namely his repeated guarantees, now all proven false, that "If you like your plan, doctor, medical provider, and prescription drug regimen, you can keep them, period."
Martin and Parker claim that the Dems' biggest hurdles are HealthCare.gov's awful rollout and the administration's inept marketing of Obamacare (HT Powerline; bolds are mine):
From its inception, everything about President Barack Obama's health care law has been controversial.
The latest controversy came with the government release of new numbers. Through February, 4.2 million Americans had signed up for health insurance on the government exchanges. Supporters believe that while the numbers are lower than they'd hoped, the problem was simply a poor website rollout.
Last night, I noted that the Associated Press had not deigned to consider Republican David Jolly's victory over Democrat Alex Sink in the FL-13 Congressional race a "Top U.S. Story" as of 10:13 p.m. To AP's credit (or perhaps because of yours truly's and others' razzing?), a story about the race was at the Number 6 spot in Top U.S. Stories as of 8:15 this morning.
CNN.com, on the other hand (HT to NewsBusters commenter "Jon"), is clearly playing "hide the story" with the Jolly-Sink race. Its worldwide home page as of 8:38 a.m. had one line item titled "GOP wins year's 1st election showdown" halfway down the page, and a tiny picture in the "Politics" section near the bottom of the page headlined "GOP Scores First 2014 Win." Could they be any more vague? Its U.S. home page as of 7:37 a.m. had no reference to the race at all.
In the past week, Radio Shack has announced that will close 1,100 stores, or over 20 percent of its U.S. outlets. Staples is shuttering 225 stores, or roughly 12 percent of theirs. Smaller downsizings earlier this year have been reported at Macy's (involving store and other personnel) and J.C. Penney.
One gets the impression from press reports that these are occurring primarily because of poor management or the ongoing trend towards more online sales. Though those two factors are obviously relevant, the fact that the economy began weakening during the fourth quarter, especially so in December, rarely gets a mention. When it does get noted, it's usually something mild, along the lines of "disappointing holiday sales." A Thursday afternoon Associated Press article by business writer Tom Murphy illustrates the kid-glove approach (bolds are mine; my responses to certain of Murphy's points are in italics):
Few have defended the Obama administration, and especially Obamacare, as vocally and in my view often unreasonably, as Fox News's Juan Williams. He has gone so far as to call Republican Party opposition to Obamacare its "original sin," and absurdly claimed that "massive opposition" from Republicans is what forced HealthCare.gov's rushed rollout.
One blind spot Williams does not have involves how consistently horribly leftists treat African-American conservatives, or even African-Americans who express an occasional sensibly conservative thought. One reason the left is so brazen in its persecution attempts is its knowledge that no matter how uncivil or unreasonable, their attempts will almost never gain wide exposure in the nation's establishment press. The latest example concerns calls by the faculty at Rutgers University to prevent former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from her scheduled appearance as commencement speaker there this year. Williams expressed his outrage in a Thursday Fox News column (HT Hot Air; bolds are mine):
Former ThinkProgress blogger Zaid Jilani has written that during his time at the Center for American Progress blog, senior staff of the Center were "berated" for being too critical of President Obama on the war in Afghanistan. He compared the pressure to shut up as similar to the Russia Today cable channel.
He asserted that phone calls came in to CAP from the White House complaining about bloggers being critical of Obama's war policies, despite Jilani being the toast of MSNBC for a graph in 2011 showing Obama was leaving more troops in Afghanistan than George W. Bush ever had there:
If you're looking for proof that the MSNBC is in the tank for the Democrats and ObamaCare, you need go no further than to read an article posted on Wednesday by reporter Geoffrey Cowley that states insurance companies can “keep offering substandard individual health plans through 2016.”
By extending the time to apply for the Affordable Care Act by two more years, the administration has “extended the treaty it reached last fall with the half-million consumers who were set to lose their low-cost, low-value insurance plans," Cowley insisted.
The Obama administration is preparing to put in place yet another delay in ObamaCare, forestalling a wave of insurance policy cancelations that are mandated by law in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In doing so, some of the negative repercussions of ObamaCare will be delayed until well after the November 2014 midterm election.
The political journalists at the Washington Post are no fools, they must surely realize the nakedly political nature of the move, but the reader would not get that from Amy Goldstein's coverage in March 5 print article, which editors buried at the item at the bottom of page A6 with the bland headline, "Americans may be able to keep old health-care plans longer under rewrite of rules."What's more, Goldstein waited until the eighth and final paragraph to give a fleeting, misleading account of Republican criticism:
Separately, left-leaning law professor Jonathan Turley warned a Congressional committee on Wednesday that President Obama's extensive use of executive orders, executive actions, and unilateral regulatory moves threatens to enable the President, as Turley phrased it in a Fox News interview on Thursday, to "effectively become a government unto himself." If Turley had made his statement in 2006 or 2007 during the Iraq War, it would almost certainly have become a media obsession. Instead, as will be shown after the jump, Turley's testimony is being completely ignored by everyone except center-right news outlets and bloggers.
Democrats believe they've hit on the perfect issue to distract from the horror of Obamacare in the 2014 elections: the minimum wage.
Apparently, increasing the minimum wage was not important for American workers during the first five years of Obama's presidency -- least of all his first two years, when Democrats controlled Congress and could have passed anything. (And did!)
Steve Hayes and Charles Krauthammer, on Friday’s Special Report with Bret Baier, scoffed at the Washington Post’s front page characterization that President Barack Obama’s expected budget proposal “will call for an end to the era of austerity that has dogged much of his presidency.”
Hayes marveled: “This is one of the funny things about reading mainstream newspapers and watching mainstream media report on this President, is they somehow are operating under the illusion we’re living in this age of austerity.” Krauthammer proposed, “we have talked about Obama’s assaulting the Constitution. This is an assault on the dictionary. This is a guy who ran $4 trillion of deficit in three years...”
On February 10, in a rare moment of candor which was quickly edited away in subsequent revisions, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, wrote that President Obama had unilaterally instituted delays and revisions in Obamacare's employer mandate because he was "angling to avoid political peril."
Of course he was. Postponing and revising the requirement that firms cover their employees "or face a $2000 fine per employee, after the first 30," delays the decidedly negative impact of the statist healthcare scheme until after November's elections. But in a Friday evening report, Politico's David Nather essentially tried to claim that Obama really acted against his own best interest (links are in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):