From Ruth Marcus' November 11 column, "Health scare tactics":
I'm hoping, for your sake, that you didn't spend your Saturday night as I did: watching the House debate health-care reform on C-SPAN.
Pathetic, I know. The outcome wasn't in doubt, and the arguments were as familiar as an old pair of slippers. Moral imperative! Government takeover! Long-overdue protections! Crippling mandates!
The falsehood-peddling began at the top, with Minority Leader John Boehner:
"If you're a Medicare Advantage enrollee . . . the Congressional Budget Office says that 80 percent of them are going to lose their Medicare Advantage."
Not true. The CBO hasn't said anything of the sort. Boehner's office acknowledges that he misspoke: He meant to cite a study from the Medicare actuary estimating that projected enrollment would be down by 64 percent -- if the cuts took effect. Choosing not to enroll in Medicare Advantage is different from "losing" it.
But Boehner wasn't alone.
Kentucky Republican Brett Guthrie: "The bill raises taxes for just about everyone."
Not true. The bill imposes a surtax on the top 0.3 percent of households, individuals making more than $500,000 a year and couples making more than $1 million.
Georgia Republican Tom Price: "This bill, on Page 733, empowers the Washington bureaucracy to deny lifesaving patient care if it costs too much."
Not true. The bill sets up a Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research "in order to identify the manner in which diseases, disorders, and other health conditions can most effectively and appropriately be prevented, diagnosed, treated, and managed clinically."
Are Republicans against figuring out what works? There's nothing in there about cost, and certainly nothing about denying "lifesaving patient care."
Price, again: "This bill, on Page 94, will make it illegal for any American to obtain health care not approved by Washington."
Not true. The vast majority of Americans get their insurance through their employers. The bill envisions setting minimum federal standards for such insurance, in part to determine who is eligible to buy coverage through the newly created insurance exchanges. This is hardly tantamount to making it "illegal" to obtain "health care" without Washington's approval.
Michigan Republican Dave Camp: "Americans could face five years in jail if they don't comply with the bill's demands to buy approved health insurance."
Not true. The bill requires people to obtain insurance or, with some hardshipexceptions, pay a fine. No one is being jailed for being uninsured. People who intentionally evade paying the fine could, in theory, be prosecuted -- just like others who cheat on their taxes.
California Republican Buck McKeon: "I offered two amendments to try to improve this bill -- one to require members of Congress to enroll in the public option like we're going to require all of you to do."
Not true. No one is required to enroll in the public option. In fact, most people won't even be eligible to enroll in the public option or other plans available through the exchanges.
Florida Republican Ginny Brown-Waite: "The president's own economic advisers have said that this bill will kill 5.5 million jobs."
Not true. Christina Romer, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, has estimated that the bill would increase economic growth and add jobs. Republicans misuse Romer's previous economic research on the impact of tax increases to produce the phony 5.5 million number.
You have to wonder: Are the Republican arguments against the bill so weak that they have to resort to these misrepresentations and distortions?
They were more pessimistic about the direction of the country. They disapproved of Obama's handling of the economy a bit more than before. And, perhaps most striking for this novice commander in chief, more people have lost confidence in Obama on Iraq and Afghanistan over the last month. (emphasis added)
Perhaps the AP's Liz Sidoti can tell us about all those other Presidents who, in their first year in the presidency, were veterans at being commander in chief? As most people know, in the first year it's impossible to be a veteran commander in chief, because in order to be commander in chief you have to be elected to the presidency. They're all rookies in their first year.
Last April it was noted that Sidoti presented Republican presidential candidate John McCain a "treat" of donuts... with sprinkles.
Michael Calderone's November 10 Politico blog post:
News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch has drawn criticism following an interview with Sky News Australia, where his comments were interpreted by some as being in agreement with Glenn Beck's view that President Obama's "a racist."
But News Corp. spokesperson Gary Ginsberg tells POLITICO that Murdoch did not intend to suggest that he had the same opinion as Beck.
"He does not at all, for a minute, think the president is a racist," Ginsberg said.
Murdoch, in the interview, said that the president "did make a very racist comment" and seemed to indicate he thought Beck was right in making the controversial claim. Media Matters, and others, quickly seized upon the interview as evidence that Murdoch shared the same view as the Fox News host.
Ginsberg said that's not the case, but did not comment further on the interview.
In his interview with Sky News Australia, Murdoch said of Beck's comment that President Obama is a racist, "that was something which perhaps shouldn't have been said about the president, but if you actually assess what he was talking about, he was right":
SPEERS: The Glenn Beck, who you mentioned, has called Barack Obama a racist, and he helped organize a protest against him. Others on Fox have likened him --
SPEERS: -- to Stalin. Is that defensible?
MURDOCH: No, no, no, not Stalin, I don't think. I don't know who that -- not one of our people. On the racist thing, that caused a [unintelligible]. But he did make a very racist comment, about, you know, blacks and whites and so on, and which he said in his campaign he would be completely above. And, you know, that was something which perhaps shouldn't have been said about the president, but if you actually assess what he was talking about, he was right.
Last night, while watching the late night talk shows, I was reminded of what has become a staple segment of NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: Rush Limbaugh Karaoke.
For those of you who haven't caught the bit before, here are a few clips for your viewing pleasure... it actually makes listening to Limbaugh a bit easier if ever so slightly.
This exercises is becoming increasingly tedious and approaching pointless. If Andrew Breitbart uncovers any actual news in regards to the sad, forgotten tale of Kenneth Gladney, and specifically how the White House directly ordered his beating, than by all means post that information under yet another hysterical headline. But this garbage-in/garbage-out stuff that BigGovernment is now posting is just a waste of everyone's time.
But for the record, BigGovernment today thinks it's a big deal that Media Matters paid close attention to a police report in connection with the ACORN videotape in Philadelphia in September, but Media Matters (i.e. my blog post today) isn't nearly as interested in the police report BigGovernment posted in connection with the Gladney case.
Since Breitbart and company play dumb like it's an Olympic spot and can't figure out why one police report is more interesting/telling than the other, I'll spell it out. The report in connection with the Philadelphia story revealed new information. The Gladney police report, however, does not.
Quite a concept, right?
The Philadelphia police report, in and of itself, undercut the ACORN haters' claim that nobody at the office had a problem with the undercover pimp and prostitute shtick. The police report, in and of itself, revealed new information that added context to the then-unfolding ACORN story, which is why the police report, in and of itself was considered newsworthy. And that's why CNN reported on it, for instance.
The Gladney police report by contrast, doesn't add a single new fact to the already-dusty story. That's why, by definition, it's not news.
Question: Did anybody at BigGovernment ever practice journalism? Like even for their high school newspaper?
UPDATED: BigGovernment claims Gladney was the victim of a "hate crime." What's the proof for that? I assume Breitbart's minions understand that's a legal term. So what's the evidence a hate crime was committed since, y'know, nobody's ever been charged with a hate crime in connection with Gladney.
I think Breitbart's crew just like the one the phrase sounds, so they use it whether it's accurate or not.
UPDATED: Whatever happened to the civil lawsuit that Gladney was going to file against SEIU? Won't Breitbart pick up the legal fees for that Gladney adventure? And won't Andrew-I-am-Kenneth-Breitbart at least give Gladney some money so he can get his old martyr-like website back up and running, since it appears Gladney's attorney/agent won't pay the bills?
UPDATED: Priceless BigGovernment prose:
Let me guess: Some assaults are more equal than others.
Um, yeah. That's why we have what are called first, second, and third-degree assault charges, which is a way for law enforcement officials to differentiate the magnitude and severity of certain types of crimes. In the Gladney case, which BigGovernment now covers like it was the Kennedy assassination, two SEIU members were booked on the lightest possible third-degree assault charges, and could face 15 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Did I mention this exercise has become pointless?
UPDATED: To read a complete, detailed dismantling of BigGovernment's endless Gladney conspiracy theories, go here. Talk about a stinging smackdown. Ouch.
From Pamela Geller's November 10 Atlas Shrugs blog post:
Fox News contributor and talk radio host Laura Ingraham took to Fox & Friends today to declare that "Nancy Pelosi basically did everything except sell her own body" to pass the House health care bill. None of the hosts objected - at least one of them chuckled. So there you have it: to the conservative media, it is appropriate to declare the first female Speaker of the House almost - but not quite! - a prostitute.
Meanwhile, over on Fox Business, Frank Luntz was calling Pelosi ""living proof you get one shot at a facelift," adding, "If it doesn't work the first time, let it go"
It's hard to get outraged, mainly because this sort of gender-based attack on Pelosi from conservatives has been par for the course for years. Back in May, we put together a research item and video compiling various attacks on her looks -- conservative media figures, especially radio hosts, seem to love to stick "Pelosi" and "Botox" in the same sentence. Over a six-day period, they characterized Pelosi as being incapable of "human facial expression," referred to her "fashionable" "Botox shots," and called her a "hag."
Perhaps this is why the Politico is reporting that the Republican Party has a "women problem."
Eighty advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred of white people." Here are his November 10 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
From The Guardian:
Labour hit back at the Sun today after the paper caused Gordon Brown to apologise to the mother of a dead serviceman who took offence after he sent her a handwritten letter of condolence that misspelled her name.
Lord Mandelson said that, although Brown's handwriting was "not great", people should understand that the row was being orchestrated by a paper that was actively campaigning against Labour.
Jacqui Janes, the mother of Grenadier Guardsman Jamie Janes, who was killed in Afghanistan on 5 October, received the letter days after her son's death. But, according to today's Sun, Janes had only read the first few lines before she "threw it across the room in disgust".
Downing Street said that the prime minister called Janes last night after he learned that she had contacted the newspaper. "He apologised for the letter and the way she feels about the letter," the prime minister's spokesman said.
Brown, who writes a handwritten letter to the relatives of every serviceman killed in action, has notoriously bad handwriting. Some attribute this to his eyesight, which has been poor since a rugby accident in his teenage years left him blind in one eye.
The Sun is one of several media outlets owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., including Fox News Channel and the NY Post.
Newsbusters associate editor Noel Sheppard is outraged that CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Lou Dobbs know what marijuana looks and smells like:
There were some potentially interesting and concerning admissions on CNN Monday night when Wolf Blitzer said he thought he could identify a marijuana plant by its smell, and Lou Dobbs followed by saying he could recognize it "rather readily" by sight.
Granted, this exchange might seem trivial.
However, there is a push towards illicit drug legalization in America. Many believe California will legalize marijuana in short order.
With this is mind, a couple of middle-aged, high-profile CNN anchors matter-of-factly discussing what marijuana plants look and smell like adds to the ongoing desensitization of the public towards "casual" drug use.
Those against legalization should find such casual discussions by prominent media figures concerning.
Notice that Sheppard's complaint isn't that Blitzer and Dobbs advocated the use of marijuana; they didn't. Nor is his complaint that they advocated the legalization of marijuana -- they didn't do that, either. His complaint isn't even that they acknowledged having used marijuana, for they didn't do that either. No, Noel Sheppard thinks it is "concerning" that Blitzer and Dobbs know what marijuana looks and smells like. Apparently he won't be happy unless reporters respond to mention of marijuana by claiming never to have heard of the plant.