Obama Watch

By Tom Blumer | April 30, 2014 | 7:17 PM EDT

When several members of Congress set out in the early 1990s to improve fiscal reporting and internal controls in the federal government, one thing they certainly had a right to expect is that the press would report on lapses as embarrassments, and that otherwise nonchalant or reluctant bureaucrats would figure out that it would be in their best interest to tighten their ships. It hasn't happened, largely because the press quickly got bored, enabling the bureaucrats to thumb their noses at those who called them out for weak reporting or control violations.

To name just one glaring example: Concerning the Internal Revenue Service, in August of last year, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration happily reported "the downgrade of the information security material weakness to a significant deficiency during the Fiscal Year 2012 financial statement audit," and that "the IRS removed it from the December 31, 2012, remediation plan" (that's bureaucratese for "finally solved the problem") — 19 years after it was first identified in 1993. In that context, let's look at an outrageous situation at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

By Cal Thomas | April 28, 2014 | 6:03 PM EDT

You know things are bad when you can't wait for the return of a TV character to demonstrate what resolve and leadership really look like. Yes, after a four-year hiatus, the show "24," featuring Jack Bauer (played by Kiefer Sutherland), returns May 5 to the Fox network.

Bauer displays many of the traits once found in, or at least expected of, American presidents and top military leaders. He doesn't waffle or wiggle; neither does he negotiate. He wins. If you think I am about to draw a contrast between Bauer and the current president of the United States you are right.

By Tom Blumer | April 21, 2014 | 11:25 PM EDT

If there's a prize for most words spent in Obamacare avoidance, NBC News's Martha C. White is definitely in the running.

White managed to burn through almost 40 paragraphs and nearly 1,600 words in a report carried at CNBC on the all-time record number of workers employed by temporary help services. But she somehow managed to completely avoid mentioning Obamacare, which used to be known as the Affordable Care Act until President Obama and his Health and Human Services regulators made 40 changes to the law originally passed by Congress, some of which directly contradict the original law's language. The closest she came was noting that using temps "lets companies avoid the cost of providing benefits like health insurance" — which has always been the case, except that health insurance is and will continue to be a lot more expensive, giving companies even more incentive to avoid adding to their own payrolls. Excerpts follow the jump.

By David Limbaugh | April 21, 2014 | 6:17 PM EDT

Apart from gutting America's military, our standing in the world, our fiscal stability, the economy, the office of the presidency, conventional energy sources, the free market and religious liberty, Obama has little to boast about other than Obamacare, so let him go for it.

Yes, let him gloat, because the more he bloviates in defense of the indefensible — the more he spins the unspinnable — the more damage he'll do to the cause he's trying to promote: the election of Democratic congressmen in November.

 

By Ken Shepherd | April 21, 2014 | 12:40 PM EDT

What better day than Easter Monday for the Washington Post to publish a 31-paragraph page A1 fluff piece celebrating the health nuts in chief at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

Staff writer Juliet Eilperin was positively saccharine sweet about how the Obamas "have so transformed the culture inside" the White House "regarding nutrition and fitness" while painting conservatives as foot-stamping toddlers throwing a tantrum about their right to eat junk food (emphasis mine):

By Tom Blumer | April 18, 2014 | 2:44 PM EDT

David Nather at the Politico apparently wanted to make sure that those who don't follow the news closely see a triumphant headline ("Obama Spikes the Football") and a congratulatory opening paragraph at their computers, tablets, and smartphones.

Sure, the Politico reporter gradually threw in all kinds of qualifications after that, but his mission is largely accomplished: Cause those who don't click through to believe that Obamacare is functioning as intended, and — especially in the headline — communicate the message that the debate about the statist health regime's existence is really over. He can say that he did his job while at the same time keeping most people away from the more complicated reality. In that sense, Nather is right there with reporters at ABC and CBS who claim without verifiable evidence, as Rich Noyes at NewsBusters noted earlier this afternoon, that the program has achieved "a major milestone." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

By NB Staff | April 18, 2014 | 10:30 AM EDT

"Last week, the Morning Joe panel failed to name even one reason why Hillary Clinton was qualified to be president. President Obama immediately responded, 'Like you need one?'"

It's time once again for NewsBusted. Click the play button in the embed below the page break to watch NewsBusted's Jodi Miller skewer Hillary Clinton, ObamaCare, and CBS News. To get be sure NewsBusted in your inbox by going here. To subscribe at YouTube, click here.

By NB Staff | April 18, 2014 | 8:26 AM EDT

If government regulation was literally made of red tape, adhesive manufacturers would be making a killing in the Obama economy.

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal editorial board noted how the president is a "Regulator Without Peer," citing analysis by Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who has a forthcoming annual review of federal regs, "Ten Thousand Commandments" slated to be unveiled on April 29 [click here for the 2013 study]. Read an excerpt of the WSJ's editorial below the page break, and leave us your thoughts on this or anything else on your mind in the comments thread (emphasis mine):

By Cal Thomas | April 16, 2014 | 5:56 PM EDT

Dictionary.com offers two definitions for scapegoat: "1. A person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place; 2. Chiefly biblical. A goat let loose in the wilderness on Yom Kippur after the high priest symbolically laid the sins of the people on its head. Lev. 16:8,10,26."

Both definitions seem to fit last week's announcement of the "resignation" of Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, who presided over the disastrous rollout of the government's website, healthcare.gov, which was supposed to provide easy access for people who wished to sign up for Obamacare.

By Tom Blumer | April 16, 2014 | 12:44 AM EDT

In a Tuesday story which appears to have been handed to it on a silver platter, and which the rest of the establishment press seems uninterested in spreading (given that searches at 11:45 p.m. Tuesday at the Associated Press and at Politico returned nothing relevant), the New York Times has reported that the Census Bureau "is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall."

It took Times reporter Robert Pear 15 paragraphs to tell readers that measurement and reporting under the new survey design will be so supposedly difficult that "the agency was not planning to release coverage data from early this year in its next report." That statement indicates that the government will not disclose anything about how the rollout of Obamacare really affected the number of uninsured Americans — even under the new methodology — before this fall's elections. Everyone together now, say "How convenient."

By NB Staff | April 8, 2014 | 12:40 AM EDT

"Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz just signed a $1.5-million deal to write a book. Hold on… This just in: Even though the Cruz book has yet to be written, the New York Times just gave it a bad review."

ObamaCare, John McCain and the Chicago Cubs also got a ribbing in the latest edition of NewsBusted, NewsBusters' original Web comedy short, which you can watch in the embed below the page break. To sign up to get NewsBusted fresh to your inbox, click here. To subscribe to the NewsBusted channel at YouTube, visit youtube.com/NewsBusted.

By Tom Blumer | April 3, 2014 | 5:25 PM EDT

Though he didn't quite get to the "Shut up, he said" threshold, Politico's David Nather, in a Tuesday tome, argued that HealthCare.gov allegedly crossing the 7 million enrollment threshold leaves opponents blubbering, and supports the argument "that government can still solve big social problems" and is "a wake-up call for Republicans and conservatives."

It's as if Nather believes — and maybe he does, in which case he's woefully ignorant — that not achieving the enrollment target is about the only potential problem with HealthCare.gov. Uh, not exactly. Just off the top of my head, there's the lack of site security, the absence of back-office interaction with insurance carriers, miscalculations of subsidies, the system's outrageous cost, and the complete inability of enrollees to add, change or delete elements of what they submitted to correct inadvertent errors or reflect changes in their life circumstances. I'm sure that only scratches the surface. Excerpts from Nather's nattering follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):