Obama Watch

By Tom Blumer | March 27, 2014 | 10:25 AM EDT

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):

By Tom Blumer | March 26, 2014 | 10:54 PM EDT

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):

By Ken Shepherd | March 26, 2014 | 4:28 PM EDT

"More time for health sign-up" cheered the Washington Post front-page headline for Amy Goldstein's March 26 story on the administration's latest ObamaCare delay, this time for the individual mandate which requires Americans to be insured so as to avoid paying a "tax" penalty. In an amazing dereliction of her journalistic duty, Goldstein utterly failed to mention that just two weeks earlier HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified to Congress that, in fact, the March 31 sign-up deadline was not going to move.

Goldstein, of course, was too busy parroting the administration's talking points and turning to supposedly non-ideological "consumer advocates" who hailed the deadline extension (emphasis mine):

By Chuck Norris | March 25, 2014 | 5:51 PM EDT

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.

By Ken Shepherd | March 25, 2014 | 4:10 PM EDT

"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":

By Tom Blumer | March 25, 2014 | 12:56 AM EDT

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.

By Ken Shepherd | March 24, 2014 | 4:33 PM EDT

"[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):

By Tim Graham | March 21, 2014 | 2:18 PM EDT

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.

By Tom Blumer | March 19, 2014 | 11:59 PM EDT

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):

By Cal Thomas | March 19, 2014 | 6:35 PM EDT

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?

By Ken Shepherd | March 18, 2014 | 4:30 PM EDT

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):

By Tom Blumer | March 17, 2014 | 11:45 AM EDT

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):