Obama Watch

By Tom Blumer | August 28, 2014 | 1:28 PM EDT

The Golden Age of Obamacare has apparently not led to the Golden Age of access to medical care anywhere, any time its promoters promised. Thanks to non-payments, the true enrollment numbers aren't what we've been told. The networks patients can access — approved by government regulators — are often highly restricted. Sky-high-deductibles are present in most Obamacare plans before any kind of reimbursed coverage kicks in. Finally, since this is for the time being a country where people usually can't be forced to provide money-losing service, many doctors are refusing to see Obamacare-"covered" patients.

Since things aren't working out as wonderfully as planned, the left and the Obama administration are on the prowl for scapegoats. The easiest targets are the insurance companies, some of whom foolishly thought that being on the Obamacare team would buy them immunity. According to a Wednesday Associated Press story by Tom Murphy, they're being charged with chasing sick people away — even though it appears, from a sentence eight paragraphs into the dispatch, that it's not financially advantageous for them to keep such patients out.

By Ken Shepherd | August 26, 2014 | 9:55 PM EDT

Last week I noted how MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who usually has tingles down his leg for the president, was taken aback by Barack Obama's statement regarding the ISIS beheading of American freelance journalist James Foley. 

Tonight a frustrated Matthews expressed his frustration with Mr. Obama once again, asking his guests Bobby Ghosh and Howard Fineman why the president didn't couch the U.S. response to the bloodthirsty Islamist terrorists as a defense of American honor. Why, Matthews wondered, did Obama stick to business as usual "playing golf last week when he had the American people's attention?" Why doesn't Obama "fight like a street fighter when it comes to defending the lives of Americans"? The relevant transcript appears below the page break (emphais mine; MP3 audio here; video follows page break):

By David Limbaugh | August 25, 2014 | 9:52 PM EDT

One does not need to be Sun Tzu or George Patton to know that a nation must recognize an enemy before it can develop a strategy to defeat it. But one apparently does have to be someone other than President Barack Obama.

Since he took office, Obama has spent considerable energy trying to convince us how peaceful and magnificent the religion of Islam is and how exceptional acts of terrorism springing from it are.

By Ken Shepherd | August 20, 2014 | 10:20 PM EDT

"I don't know why he used the word 'justice.' It's not appropriate here. This is an attack on our country, we have to react to it," an upset Chris Matthews reacted to a video excerpt of President Obama's statement today about the beheading by an ISIS member of American freelance journalist James Foley. 

"This is our country versus this group that's declared war on us. What's justice mean in this con-- I don't know why the word's used, like we're going to go to the World Court with this?!" Matthews sneered to guest Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post Media Group on the August 20 edition of Hardball. Later in the segment, an irate Matthews insisted "no American president can survive if he lets Americans be beheaded on international television with impunity. Impunity! He has to strike back, as an American, it's in our soul!" [LISTEN to MP3 audio here; WATCH video below the page break]

By Tom Blumer | August 18, 2014 | 5:59 PM EDT

Recent news about Obamacare hasn't exactly been good, but the press has been pretty effective in keeping it quiet. To name just a few items, Enrollment is shrinking, because perhaps as many as 20 percent of enrollees aren't keeping up with their premiums. Rising costs have moved insurers to beg for bailouts, which appear to be forthcoming. 

Then there's this: Just last week in Massachusetts, where the state-run health insurance got its start under Republican Governor Mitt Romney eight years ago, the state's exchange announced that everyone currently enrolled in 2014 or who should have enrolled and didn't is going to have to apply for 2015 coverage this fall. Oh, and the system it plans to employ may not even be working by mid-November.

By Tom Blumer | August 13, 2014 | 1:46 PM EDT

This morning, the Census Bureau, in its advance report on retail sales, revealed that seasonally adjusted July sales were "virtually unchanged" from June. Expectations were for a 0.2 percent gain, supposedly with "solid upside" potential. Oops. June's result stayed at its previously reported 0.2 percent increase.

Reuters did the "U-word" honors this time out: "U.S. retail sales unexpectedly stalled in July, pointing to some loss of momentum in the economy early in the third quarter." Someone needs to tell the wire service's Lucia Mutikani that no increase means no momentum. Over at the Associated Press, Josh Boak tried the deadpan approach.

By NB Staff | August 12, 2014 | 6:31 PM EDT

Former NewsBuster Lachlan Markay, who now does excellent work at the Washington Free Beacon, tweeted a link to a stunning photo of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request denial letter sent from one Taylor D. August, a "FOIA Denial Officer" at the Department of Education to Morgan Smith of the Texas Tribune. "Here's to transparency in job titles! #foia," Smith tweeted from her account at 4:20 p.m. Eastern today.

"Apparently there's a DOJ employee whose entire job is to reject FOIA requests pic.twitter.com/zWEi1CyLd7 via @MorganSmith," Markay tweeted at 6:11 p.m. Eastern, later retweeting a clarification by Smith, "@lachlan that response came from Dept of Ed, not DoJ (I realize now the cropped pic is confusing)." You can see the embedded tweets from Smith below the page break. Consider this your evening open thread:

By Chuck Norris | August 11, 2014 | 9:14 PM EDT

In 2008, Americans appointed a president they expected to unify the country, lift the oppressed and restore America's economy and relations in the world. But almost halfway through his second term in office, Americans are more polarized, and the oppressed are more hamstrung. And our country is more unstable than ever among the global community; Iraq is only symptomatic of the greater problem.

But a single professional review of Obama's personality profile could have shown us exactly what was in store for us with his leadership style.

By Brent Baker | August 9, 2014 | 9:16 PM EDT

Reid Cherlin, an Assistant Press Secretary during the first two years plus of the Obama administration, managed to deliver two laugh-worthy howlers in a piece for Rolling Stone posted this past Monday:

> “Barack Obama never had reporters eating out of his hand the way that right-wingers love to allege.”

> “I...believe he’ll be remembered as an excellent President.”

By David Limbaugh | August 5, 2014 | 6:48 PM EDT

Tell me: Has any other United States president ever goaded the opposition party to bring impeachment proceedings against himself? Has any other so sneeringly mocked and taunted the other party?

President Obama is not only not the uniter he promised to be; he is the agitator in chief. Just consider the contrast with President George W. Bush, who didn't even defend himself often, much less deride, needle and dare Democrats to oppose him.

By Ken Shepherd | August 4, 2014 | 9:40 PM EDT

For Barack Obama's 53rd birthday, Chris Matthews gave the gift of an incredibly stupid idea. In his closing "Let Me Finish" commentary for August 4, the MSNBC Hardball host urged the president to "get yourself a bright lawyer" and work up a lawsuit against Congress for "failure to provide services." 

Yes, "normally that would strike me or you as absurd, but now that we're in the suing season, it deserves a tad of consideration," Matthews insisted, likening Congress to a DMV clerk who straight up refuses to do his job and grant you your license renewal after you've waited in line forever. You can read the transcript in full below the page break, followed by my analysis (MP3 audio here; video follows page break):

By Tom Blumer | August 4, 2014 | 6:46 PM EDT

It would almost not be worth noting, because it's so predictable. On Fox News Sunday, Juan Williams, with strategic support at opportune times from National Journal's Ron Fournier, characterized the support within the Republican Party for impeachment as coming from "Tea Party opposition ... (with) no diversity, it's a white, older group of people."

What makes it worthy of notice is the fact that Michael Needham, head of Heritage Action for America, called out Williams for his comments and held his own as Fournier attempted to be the supposed voice of reason while really bringing aid and comfort to Williams. Video and a transcript follow the jump: