Archive for the ‘Media Watch’ Category

Firedoglake On Gruber’s Central Involvement in ObamaCare from 2010

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with FireDogLake or not, the lefty blog run by Jane Hamsher. (Think of it as sort of Daily Kos, Jr., and you wouldn’t be far wrong.)

Well, you may not remember, but there was a time in 2010 when Firedoglake and other liberals were fighting against what would become ObamaCare on the grounds that it was a giant taxpayer subsidy for insurance companies (correct) and that it simply wasn’t liberal enough, falling short of their goal of fully socializing the entire American medical system (AKA “single player”).

So back then, Hamsher was deeply skeptical of how ObamaCare was constructed, and did an analysis of the role one Jonathan Gruber had in crafting and selling the law.

How deeply was Gruber involved? Up to his eyeballs:

Up until this point, most of the attention regarding the failure to disclose the connection between Jonathan Gruber and the White House has fallen on Gruber himself. Far more troubling, however, is the lack of disclosure on the part of the White House, the Senate, the DNC and other Democratic leaders who distributed Gruber’s work and cited it as independent validation of their proposals, orchestrating the appearance of broad consensus when in fact it was all part of the same effort.

The White House is placing a giant collective bet on Gruber’s “assumptions” to justify key portions of the Senate bill, which they allowed people to believe was independent verification. Now that we know that Gruber’s work was not that of an independent analyst but rather work performed as a contractor to the White House and paid for by taxpayers, it should be made publicly available so others can judge its merits.

Throughout the piece, Hamsher highlights the numerous times when the Democratic Party and their allies in the media purport to “analyze” the effects of ObamaCare on a wide variety of economic metrics, when in fact all the disparate “analyses” all points back to Gruber’s work.

And how’s this for a prophetic sentence?

Though Gruber’s analysis has been cited as support that insurance would be affordable, it appears that the individual mandate will impose a financial burden on middle class families that will leave them with no ability to make the co-pays necessary to use the insurance they are forced to buy.

While the Hamsher piece doesn’t uncover whether Gruber actual drafted specific language that made it’s way into ObamaCare, her piece does make clear that not only was Gruber used by the White House, congressional Democrats and the media to sell ObamaCare, he was the central figure in selling ObaamaCare’s “cost savings” to the public:

What was Gruber’s role in crafting the Senate bill? Nobody will say. Is he in effect grading his own work when he praises the bill? We don’t know. What we do know is that the White House engaged an expert who was quite likely to reach the conclusions he reached, because he’d been making similar claims for years. And they worked hard to promote his work as independent validation of their plan, when in fact he was an integral part of it.

In light of this, it’s rather amazing the degree of amnesia that’s swept Democrats and their MSM lackeys over Gruber’s central role in ObamaCare. Even more amazing is the fact they think the public will actually buy those denials. Then again, as Gruber himself noted, lack of transparency and deceiving those “stupid” voters was central part of Democrats’ ObamaCare plans from the beginning…

(Note: When I tried to pull up this piece yesterday, I got a persistent error, and wondered on Twitter why Firedoglake had memory holed the piece, and went and found an archive in the Wayback Machine. Well, either that was a transient error, or they thought better of memory holing it, as it is now back up. The Wayback Machine link is here just in case it disappears again…)

LinkSwarm for November 14, 2014

Friday, November 14th, 2014

There’s been so many people offering up so much information on “GruberGate” that I assume anyone reading this blog has seen coverage of it already. The fact that Jonathan Gruber not only lied to the American voters he called “stupid” about ObamaCare, but also got paid $400,000 to do it certainly adds insult to injury. As does the fact that both Nancy Pelosi and members of Obama’s MSM praetorian guard like Vox’s Sarah Kliff are now lying about Gruber’s central involvement in ObamaCare despite having cited him in that capacity earlier.

In other news:

  • Some really interesting nuggets of midterm statistical analysis from Sabato’s Crystal Ball. (Hat tip: SooperMexican’s Twitter feed.)
  • Republicans did very well picking up governorships, including some in deep-blue states.
  • Scott Walker just keeps winning.
  • More on the theme: “Does Walker sizzle? Not exactly. Is he a particularly charismatic speaker? No, he isn’t. But does he sit upon a throne made of the skulls of his enemies? Yes, yes he does.” (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Britain is poised to silence “extremist” speech. And who gets to determine what’s “extremist”? Why, the government, of course!

    Last month, May unveiled her ambition to “eliminate extremism in all its forms.” Whether you’re a neo-Nazi or an Islamist, or just someone who says things which betray, in May’s words, a lack of “respect for the rule of law” and “respect for minorities”, then you could be served with an extremism disruption order (EDO).

    Why do I get the impression that people pointing out Pakistani Muslim involvement in the Rotherham child rape scandals will be among the first targeted by this new law?

  • It’s not just the British who fail to investigate sex crimes: New Orleans police only investigated 14% of sex crimes.
  • Professional feminists have spent more time and energy denouncing video games than the sale and rape of girls in Nigeria and Iraq.”
  • “Honest, decent and intelligent people rightly perceive feminism as a limitless doctrine of fanatical hatred….Feminism isn’t about equality. Feminism is about hate.”
  • “Twitter has empowered leftist feminists to have a censorship field day.”
  • Just when the authoritarian left thought they had finally won the culture wars along came #GamerGate.
  • Time has a poll on which word should be “banned” in 2015. “Feminist” not only gets the most votes, it pretty much gets as many votes as all the rest combined.
  • Ted Cruz was right about the shutdown. It turns out that showing Republicans are opposed to horribly unpopular Democratic programs is popular with voters. Who knew?
  • Fake Maine hate crime ends up with accuser charged with “reckless conduct with dangerous weapon and driving to endanger.”
  • Democratic state Rep. Ron Reynolds’ barratry case has been declared a mistrial.
  • Islamist suicide bomber kills 50 at a high school in Nigeria.
  • Via Dwight of Whipped Cream Difficulties comes this Jim Schutze piece on how The Texas Tribune’s vaunted independence meant bupkis when it came to the Wallace Hall case.
  • China Vows To Begin Aggressively Falsifying Air Pollution Numbers.”
  • Price manipulation in the gold market?
  • Correction: Last week I gave the impression that Republican Carl DiMaio had won his California U.S. congressional race. That is what the early returns indicated, but he ended up losing a close race.
  • Here’s a dog story that will make your blood boil.
  • Twitter Suspends @Nero’s Twitter Account

    Monday, November 10th, 2014

    It seems that the Social Justice Warriors fighting #GamerGate have temporarily taken another scalp in getting the Twitter account of Milo Yiannopoulos (@Nero) suspended. The acerbic gay British journalist was constantly reporting on the nefarious goings-on of the anti-#GamerGate gang.

    Of course, they couldn’t get him suspended from his gig at Breitbart nor his own blog, so it’s rather a Pyrrhic victory.

    My guess is that Twitter will restate his account in less than a day, and this will set off a new round of #GamerGate enthusiasm for exposing the corruption in gamer journalism.

    It also proves, once again, that Social Justice Warriors can only win arguments when they can pressure others into silencing the voices of their critics.

    10 AM Followup: My guess proved correct, as Twitter has restored his account:

    Undernews: Mexico Burning Tonight

    Saturday, November 8th, 2014

    Doesn’t look like the American MSM have caught up, but Mexico’s National Palace appears to be on fire tonight:

    Government buildings are on fire in other parts of Mexico as well.

    This is the combination of years of endemic corruption, stagnation and incompetence by the government (and especially the ruling PRI party), but most recently the deaths of 43 Mexican students from Ayotzinapa who were “abducted by police on order of a local mayor, and are believed to have been turned over to a gang that killed them and burned their bodies before throwing some remains in a river” just to keep the mayor from being embarrassed by their protests, was the match that set off the explosion.

    Fun how people get upset when you kill off children for political reasons.

    It seems that significant portions of Mexico are fire tonight, and America’s national media seems asleep at the switch…

    LinkSwarm for November 7, 2014

    Friday, November 7th, 2014

    A Friday LinkSwarm after a very eventful week…

  • So exactly when was it that the UK became the child rape capital of the Western world? First Rotherham, now Manchester.

  • Government of Burkina Faso falls. Evidently people there thought that 27 years of rule for President Blaise Compaore was more than enough…
  • Russia sends more tanks into Ukraine. Looks like we’ll dealing with the fallout of Obama’s “flexibility” for decades… (Hat tip: Jim Geraghty).
  • The Pakistani version of Axe Cop sounds a whole lot less entertaining than the American version.
  • DSCC head blames Obama for Senate loss.
  • The DSCC decides that they’ll stop pouring money down the rathole that is Mary Landrieu.
  • “Salon Writer Condemns Arithmetic As Racist.” Or how Jonathan Chait ruthlessly used his Mansplaining Male Math Privilege to oppress Jenny Kutner.
  • Because their attacks on Koch were so successful, Democrats double-down on stupid.
  • U.S. hits targets in Syria. Not ISIS, but “the Khorasan group.” For such a reportedly “small” group, we seem to be bombing them a lot…
  • Fatah and Hamas thoughtfully take a break from trying to kill Jews in order to blow each other up.
  • I’m shocked, shocked that there’s abuse and fraud in the “Obamaphone” program.
  • In addition to national and statewide outbreaks of sanity, there was even an outbreak in Austin, where voters defeated a proposal to expand Capitol Metro’s toy trains.

  • Election Roundup for October 30, 2014

    Thursday, October 30th, 2014

    Early voting ends tomorrow in Texas. Plan accordingly…

  • Turns out that Hispanics are just fine and dandy with a Republican-controlled senate. So how’s that “all gay marriage and abortion all the time” thing working out for you, Democrats?
  • CBS buries its own poll showing that Democrats are about to get slaughtered. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Democratic Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke was fired from her own family company because her “my way or the highway” management style alienated employees.
  • Ironically, Harry Reid protecting Democrats from tough votes may end up dooming them for tying them too closely to Obama.
  • Want to increase the number of black voters? Maybe it’s not such a swell idea to keep repeating that Obama is not on the ballot.
  • Democratic South Carolina gubernatorial candidate calls Republican Governor Nikki Haley a “whore.”
  • Dr. Milton Wolf endorses bitter rival Pat Roberts in Kansas senate race. Should help. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • What better way to convince Iowans that Bruce Braley isn’t an out-of-touch elitist who sneers at them than having Joe Biden do a fundraiser for him in New York City?
  • Illegal alien amnesty is so unpopular even Karl Rove’s PAC is running ads against it.
  • Democrats offer up cunning direct mail come-on: “Accept Defeat.”
  • Salon Suddenly Discovers What the Quran Actually Says

    Monday, October 27th, 2014

    So how the hell did this ever get past the editors at Salon?

    As they rampage and behead their way through Syria and Iraq, ISIS fighters know they have the Koran on their side – a book they believe to be inerrant and immutable, the final Word of God, and not at all “malleable.” Their holy book backs up jihad, suicide attacks (“martyrdom”), beheadings, even taking captive women as sex slaves. This is not surprising; after all, the prophet Muhammad was a warrior who spread Islam by the sword in a dark, turbulent time in history. (Christianity’s propagation had, in contrast, much to do with the Roman emperor Constantine’s fourth-century conversion and subsequent decriminalization of the faith.)

    Moreover, the razor-happy butchers of little girls’ clitorises and labia majora, the righteous wife-beaters, the stoners of adulterers, the shariah clerics denying women’s petitions for divorce from abusive husbands and awarding sons twice the inheritance allowed for daughters, all act with sanction from Islamic holy writ. It matters not a whit to the bloodied and battered victims of such savagery which lines from the Hadith or what verses from the Koran ordain the violence and injustice perpetrated against them, but one thing they do know: texts and belief in them have real-life consequences. And we should never forget that ISIS henchmen and executioners explicitly cite their faith in Islam as their motive.

    To be sure, writer Jeffrey Tayler couches his critique (which focuses on Islamist apologist Reza Aslan) in the usual “look at the violence in the Bible” rhetoric, and in a general defense of atheism. Still, it’s quite remarkable for Salon to be catching up with what conservatives have been saying for more than a decade.

    Who are you and what have you done with the actual Salon staff?

    (Hat tip: Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, who notes “Has Bill Maher made it safe for Leftists to admit that there is a problem with how jihadis and supremacists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and oppression?”)

    MSNBC: A Travel Ban To Ebola Nations is Racist. Democrats: Let’s Institute a Travel Ban

    Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

    MSNBC has repeatedly stated that a travel ban from Ebola-stricken nations is racist:

    Now it turns out that lots of Democrats (especially of the “endangered Senate incumbent” variety) have come out in favor of a travel ban:

    Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire joined the crowd on Monday night, saying through a spokesman that she “strongly supports any and all effective measures to keep Americans safe including travel bans if they would work.” Shaheen said last week she didn’t think a travel ban makes sense, but she is facing heavy criticism from her Republican opponent, former Senator Scott Brown, on the issue. Under pressure from Republicans, Senator Kay Hagan came out in support of a ban late last week, and Senators Mark Pryor and Mark Udall have also called for travel restrictions.

    Even Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, a Democrat who is not in a particularly close race, changed his stance on Monday and said the government should “seriously consider” a ban.

    Strangely enough, I haven’t heard of anyone on MSNBC calling those Democrats racist. (Then again, I don’t watch it, but I think I would have heard about it had it happened. If they have, let me know…) So, there are two possibilities here:

    1. All the Democrats calling for a travel ban from Ebola-stricken nations are racists.

    2. MSNBC is made up of lying hacks for the Democratic Party

    Of course, I suppose that both could be true.

    And what’s MSNBC going to say if, as widely rumored, Obama himself comes out for a travel ban?

    I think we all know the answer to that…

    LinkSwarm for October 20, 2014

    Monday, October 20th, 2014

    I was at a writer’s workshop this weekend, so it’s slow going getting back into the swing of things:

  • Early voting in Texas starts today. Find your polling place here.
  • ObamaCare is failing to control costs.
  • Sure, it’s screwed over the many people who have lost their policies or seen their rates skyrocket, but besides Democratic Party functionaries, is there anyone who is happy with ObamaCare? Why yes, there is: Insurance companies
  • Department of Defense hid discovery of chemical weapons in Iraq. In other words: Bush was right, and his critics were wrong…
  • Looks like U.S. air power is finally making a difference in Kobane.
  • On the other hand: “U.S. Humanitarian Aid Going to ISIS: Not only are foodstuffs, medical supplies—even clinics—going to ISIS, the distribution networks are paying ISIS ‘taxes’ and putting ISIS people on their payrolls.” Let’s not do that…
  • A sign of how deadly Ebola is: “That Science article written by 58 medical professionals tracing the emergence of Ebola—5 of them died from Ebola before it was published.” (Hat tip: Jerry Pournelle via Instapundit.)
  • The Democratic talking points that “Republican budget cuts” helped create the Ebola outbreak are such obvious lies that the Washington Post gave it four Pinocchios.
  • Speaking of Ebola…

  • “Having Jimmy Carter out-hawk you is like having Joe Biden attack you for being verbally undisciplined…Doing nothing about the Islamic State was Obama’s foreign policy until the domestic political situation made his foreign policy untenable.”
  • Another Democratic Senate candidates refuses to say she voted for Obama. Hey, remember when all those Republican senate candidates refused to say whether they voted for Reagan? Me neither.
  • So just how much did Kay Hagan’s family get from a USDA energy program? USDA: We’re not going to tell you.
  • Democrats bringing in Marc Ellis is pretty much a sign they know they’re already breaking the law.
  • Tom Harkin is not pissing his campaign contributions down Bruce Braley’s rathole of a campaign.
  • Why should blacks turn out for the Democratic Party?
  • Real rape vs. “rape culture”:

  • Why Ezra Klein supports “An Enabling Act for the Salem Rape Culture Trials.”
  • Then Klein doubled down on stupid, proving how deeply over his head he’s in. Again.
  • FIRE‘s VP also takes a wack at Klein’s stupidity.
  • Is there any doubt that, under these new kangaroo court procedures, the innocent Duke lacrosse players would have been expelled labeled sex offenders? I suspect that for Social justice Warriors, this outcome isn’t a bug, but a feature
  • MoveOn.org has a “Get the money out of politics” ad contest. Unexpected conservative landslide ensues.
  • World’s least shocking news: New York Times reporters follow liberal Twitter feeds almost exclusively. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • The #GamerGate Hate Hoax. But it’s not like Robert Stacy McCain knows anything about online death threats…
  • Has PETA reminded us what insane lunatics they are recently? Well, they’re complaining about Google View using a camel.
  • ISIS kills ISIS.

  • Is your religion approved by the City of Houston, comrade?
  • All about the man recreating the 1918 flu strain that killed 40 million people
  • Remembering Aitazaz Hassan Bangash, whose sacrifice saved hundred from a suicide bomber in Pakistan.
  • This looks like it could be an interesting book.
  • Holly Hansen has the rundown on Round Rock ISD board candidates.
  • SXSW would like to to keep the peasants from exercising their annoying freedoms during their festival. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • What every President drank.
  • Alternative to What? Evidently Profitability

    Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

    Via Dwight comes word that alternative weekly the San Francisco Bay Guardian has ceased publication. Alternative weeklies used to have a market niche as carrier mediums of left-wing opinion, music gig listings and porn ads. The Internet has taken over the music and porn listings, and the left-wing opinion market is glutted not only online, but with MSNBC, New York Times, CNN, NBC, CBS, Washington Post, NPR, etc.

    But if you can’t make money with an alternative weekly in San Francisco, where can you? (And keep in mind that this was after they received a settlement from rival SF Weekly.)

    Well, probably Austin. At least as long as you have an enormous, money-making music festival attached to it…

    (Flashback: “I missed the Bay Guardian’s coverage of their investor’s indictment on child prostitution charges.”)