From a March 5 Washington Post op-ed by Walter Dellinger, former head of the Office of Legal Counsel during the Clinton administration:
It never occurred to me on the day that Defense Department lawyer Rebecca Snyder and Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler of the Navy appeared in my law firm's offices to ask for our assistance in carrying out their duties as military defense lawyers that the young lawyer who worked with me on that matter would be publicly attacked for having done so. And yet this week that lawyer and eight other Justice Department attorneys have been attacked in a video released by a group called Keep America Safe (whose board members include William Kristol and Elizabeth Cheney) for having provided legal assistance to detainees before joining the department. The video questions their loyalty to the United States, asking: "DOJ: Department of Jihad?" and "Who are these government officials? ... Whose values do they share?"
That those in question would have their patriotism, loyalty and values attacked by reputable public figures such as Elizabeth Cheney and journalists such as Kristol is as depressing a public episode as I have witnessed in many years. What has become of our civic life in America? The only word that can do justice to the personal attacks on these fine lawyers -- and on the integrity of our legal system -- is shameful. Shameful.
From Noah's March 4 Slate post titled, "Why Stupak is Wrong":
Stupak is right that anyone who enrolls through the exchange in a health plan that covers abortions must pay a nominal sum (defined on Page 125 of the bill as not less than "$1 per enrollee, per month") into the specially segregated abortion fund. But Stupak is wrong to say this applies to "every enrollee." If an enrollee objects morally to spending one un-government-subsidized dollar to cover abortion, then he or she can simply choose a different health plan offered through the exchange, one that doesn't cover abortions. (Under the Senate bill, every insurance exchange must offer at least one abortion-free health plan.)
One dollar exceeds health insurers' actual cost in providing abortion coverage. In fact, it's entirely symbolic. The law stipulates that in calculating abortions' cost, insurers may consider how much they spend to finance abortions but not how much they save in foregone prenatal care, delivery, or postnatal care. (This is on Pages 2074-2075.) This is to keep insurers from pondering the gruesome reality-one they surely know already-that covering abortions actually saves them money. For health insurers, the true cost of abortion coverage is less than zero, because hospitals and doctors charge less to perform abortions than they do to tend pregnant women before, during, and after childbirth. (Ironically, only the Senate bill-not the House bill-provides some small counterweight to this calculus by increasing aid for adoption assistance.)
What really rankles Stupak (and the bishops) isn't that the Senate bill commits taxpayer dollars to funding abortion. Rather, it's that the Senate bill commits taxpayer dollars to people who buy private insurance policies that happen to cover abortion at nominal cost to the purchaser (even the poorest of the poor can spare $1 a month) and no cost at all to the insurer. Stupak and the bishops don't have a beef with government spending. They have a beef with market economics.
On tonight's Hannity, Fox News contributor and "Word Doctor" Frank Luntz appeared to make a very revealing error during his health care reform focus group segment.
As shown in the clip below, Luntz asked the focus group participants if Democrats "should try to get any health care through and accept 51 votes as being enough," noting that, "it's called reconciliation." At that point, close to half of the group raised their hands, apparently in agreement with this idea. After a brief pause, Luntz altered his question, asking who wanted Democrats to use the "so-called nuclear option." At that point, several people in the focus group lowered their hands. Check out the video:
As Media Matters has repeatedly documented, "nuclear option" has been the preferred term for reconciliation on Fox News (and this is after they redefined what the "nuclear option" meant). And based on the negative reaction that is invoked by using "nuclear option" displayed in that clip, it's clear why.
From the March 3 edition of Comedy Central's The Daily Show:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
From the March 4 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:
From The Fox Nation on February 25:
Since last night, Major Garrett's Fox News colleagues have been pushing the completely baseless allegation that President Obama nominated Scott Matheson for the court of appeals in order to buy the vote of Matheson's brother, Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT), on health care reform.
Tonight on Special Report, Garrett portrayed the issue as a he-said/she-said controversy rather than the evidence-free smear that it is. Garrett said: "A senior administration official tells Fox, Matheson -- the circuit court, the appellate court nominee -- has been vetted for many months and calls Republican charges of an effort to switch Matheson the lawmaker's vote on health care, quote, 'stupid.' "
What Garrett didn't bother to tell his viewers, however, is that the White House isn't the only source rejecting the "Republican charges." According to Politico, a spokesperson for Republican Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah said the exact same thing:
The [White House] official said that Scott Matheson was nominated with Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch's support. Indeed, Hatch put out a statement hailing Obama's selection of the Utahan calling Matheson "a bright attorney whose experience has prepared him for judicial service."
And fellow Republican Utah Sen. Bob Bennett also rejected the notion that Obama was using Scott Matheson's nomination as leverage.
"Sen. Bennett has heard of all kinds of pressure being applied and offers being made to Democrats for votes on health care, but Scott Matheson's nomination is not one of those because it has been in the works for a long time," spokeswoman Tara DiJulio said.
And with that, it appears Utah's two Republican senators cut the legs out from under the shady-deal meme Republicans like Bachmann were hoping to build.
From a March 4 Politico article:
The Cato Institute's health care expert, Michael Cannon, shocked the Twitterverse when he took to the social networking site Thursday to comment on the Senate's possible use of reconciliation to pass health care reform.
"The part's on order, the check's in the mail, I won't *** in your mouth, and we'll fix it in reconciliation," Cannon wrote.
Cannon's personal tweet -- which also landed on the institute's Twitter feed -- was picked up by Media Matters and has since been taken down, but the damage is done.
Ed Crane, president and founder of Cato, told POLITICO through a spokeswoman: "We are very disappointed by this embarrassing display of immaturity on Michael Cannon's part."
When asked if Cannon had been reprimanded, the spokeswoman said she wasn't at liberty to say.
An e-mail was sent to staff Thursday afternoon, stating: Twitter and Facebook are "great tools to reach both the media and the public directly, but something to keep in mind: If you identify yourself with your Cato title or link to your research on Cato's site, anything you post on those platforms does reflect on Cato and many of the people who read your posts will assume you are speaking in your capacity as a Cato staffer. As such, if you choose to use your Cato affiliation on any of your social networking sites, you must keep your posts professional. Rule of thumb: If you don't know how to justify your post to Ed, don't post it."
At least 80 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 for white people." Here are his March 4 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
*Allergan, Inc was previously erroneously identified as a parent company of Hydroxatone, LLC. Media Matters regrets the error.
The Washington Independent's David Weigel has obtained a letter soliciting cash for Hannah Giles' legal defense fund and one thing is abundantly clear... James O'Keefe's undercover ACORN video partner loves to annotate her pleas for help with plenty of pink pen -- stars, underlines, double underlines, circles, double parenthesis, arrows... you name it! Other than that, the missive is exactly what you'd expect - chock-a-block full of attacks on ACORN and President Obama.
Here's a fundraising letter sent by the Liberty Legal Institute's Hannah Giles Legal Defense Fund to offset legal costs incurred by Giles - the star of last year's ACORN sting - as a result of a lawsuit filed against her by ACORN and some of its former employees. The mailing was produced by Base Connect, a firm that does work for Republican campaigns.
Here's the first page. Be sure to check out the entire letter.