At the Washington Post's Plum Line blog this afternoon, Greg Sargent argued that the legislative history of Obamacare supports the argument that Congress intended that participants in federal exchanges be entitled to premium subsidies (alternatively referred to in some quarters as "tax credits"), and that the history should doom the Halbig suit, which contends that tax subsidies cannot be disbursed to Obamacare participants who purchased their coverage through the federal exchange.
Unfortunately for Sargent, the history really makes the opposite legal argument, significantly strengthening the Halbig side's hand. First we'll look at what Sargent wrote. Then we'll see how a RedState diarist nuked his argument within two hours.
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."
Washington Post "Fact Checker" blogger Glenn Kessler has given "Four Pinocchios" ("a whopper") to a pro-Democratic group's political ad opposing the U.S. Senate candidacy of Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy. The claim: The Koch Brothers, who are prominent financial supporters of the pro-GOP group Americans for Prosperity, want to protect, in the ad's words, “tax cuts for companies that ship our jobs overseas.”
Unfortunately, I have been told that Kessler's post did not make the paper's print edition; to no one's surprise, the Post has a tendency to give Kessler posts which fact-check Republicans greater print edition visibility. Additionally, at least one other Post writer and career race-baiter Al Sharpton have praised the anti-Koch ad and the strategy behind it. The likelihood that either will acknowledge Kessler's debunking is extremely low. Here are the key paragraphs from Kessler's work (bolds are mine throughout this post):
By most pundits’ reckoning, Obamacare is in serious trouble. Another poll is out today, this one from CBS News, and the findings provide no relief for the administration or its defenders. Just the opposite.
Obama’s poll ratings are down and so are the numbers for his sole major legislative achievement, his healthcare law:
Cross-posted from RedState| Poor Greg Sargent. If it isn’t enough that the DNC has its hand up his posterior controlling him muppet style, he’s all sore over this post of mine pointing out the collaborative nexus between Democrats, liberal groups, and the supposed objective media.
"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday rejected a Republican request to vote on President Obama’s income tax plan amid defections within his caucus on tax policy," Alexander Bolton of The Hill newspaper reported just before 10:30 a.m. today. "Reid appeared exasperated by the Republican request to vote on extending the Bush-era tax rates when Democrats would prefer to focus this week on a small-business tax package estimated to create 1 million jobs," Bolton added.
You may recall that on Monday, President Obama renewed his call to extend the Bush tax cuts for every income bracket except that covering income earners making $250,000/year and more, blasting a "stalemate" in Washington and urging Congress to "come together and get this done" without delay because (emphasis mine):
In his The Plum Line op-ed on page A19 today, the Washington Post's Greg Sargent saw the presence of "relatively conservative Democrats Mark Begich (Alaska) and Jon Tester (Mont.)" on a letter by Senate Democrats blasting the Komen Foundation for withdrawing grants to Planned Parenthood as "testament to how broad the opposition to this decision has become."
But a few keystrokes on a search engine reveal Sargent's journalistic and intellectual laziness. Both Begich and Tester drew 100% approval ratings for 2011 from NARAL Pro-Choice America. Both senators drew 100% approval ratings in the 2012 Planned Parenthood action guide. Tester has received endorsements from both NARAL and Planned Parenthood and, in a photo I've attached below the page break, is shown smiling widely in a photo taken at the 39th annual NARAL Dinner (via TheHill.com) held on January 26. Tester is pictured with NARAL president Nancy Keenan (center) and MSNBC contributor Karen Finney (right).
In June, when yours truly last blogged on a Glenn Kessler piece (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the Washington Post's "Fact Checker" was calling Barack Obama's claims about the accomplishments of the auto-company bailouts "one of the most misleading collections of assertions we have seen in a short presidential speech." He gave Obama's claims three Pinocchios ("Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions").
Today, Kessler went to four Pinocchios ("whoppers") on Vice President Joe Biden's claims about the prospects for a rise in rapes and murders if the $35 billion section of Obama's "American Jobs Act" devoted to "saving" public-sector jobs doesn't pass. NB's Noel Sheppard did a great job on the "macro" aspect of Biden's bogus claim this morning. Kessler's clean-up has to do with Biden's supposed exemplar, the city of Flint Michigan, where the Vice President claims that murders have doubled and rapes have tripled in the past year (bolds are mine):
Variety Magazine TV critic Brian Lowry - formerly a reporter for NPR and the Los Angeles Times - surely was not a member of JournoList. But he sure writes like he was. Lowry took a page directly out of the Spencer Ackerman Guide to Dubious Racism Accusations in his most recent column, claiming the Fox News Channel caters to racial fear and resentment to sell its brand.
Lowry provided no examples to back up his claims. He did not give voice to any opposing views. The only evidence he offered to back up his accusations were quotes from "thoughtful conservative" (read: not-so-conservative conservative) David Frum and liberal Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent.
In true JournoLista fashion, Lowry cited Fox's coverage of the New Black Panther scandal at the Justice Department as evidence of the channel's attempts to "delegitimize Obama" by stoking racial fears. Just as Ackerman advocated with the Jeremiah Wright scandal, Lowry cried racism in order to avoid any actual discussion of this administration's strange affinity for racialist radicals - or any of Fox's actual coverage of the scandal.
The Washington Post is making the transition from a powerhouse liberal newspaper to a network of powerhouse liberal blogs. While the paper's Old Guard is worried that the move will tarnish the Post's supposed reputation for political neutrality, it should be seen more as a embrace of the agenda the Post has evinced for years.
"Traditionalists," wrote Politico today, "worry that the Post is sacrificing a hard-won brand and hallowed news values." One such "traditionalist," Rem Rieder of the American Journalism Review, said a more openly-liberal approach to reporting, mostly done online in the form of various blogs, would be "a danger to the brand."
To the extent that the Post still pretends to be objective -- and to the extent that its readers believe that claim -- then yes, an opinion blog-centric approach is tarnishing the brand. But for those who acknowledge the Post' consistently liberal approach to the news, the only change is the way that that news is delivered.
Given the small amount of attention yesterday's revelation that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor made extremely similar derogatory comments about men back in 1994 as she did in 2001, the answer appears to be "No."
As most readers are aware, Sotomayor uttered the following roughly eight years ago during a lecture at Boalt Hall, the University of California, Berkeley's, law school: