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Posts Tagged ‘David Axelrod’

Axelrod Fibs: “The Life of Medicare Will be Extended” while Meet the Press Stacks Deck with Dems

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Meet the Press had Democratic congressional leaders (Durbin and Clyburn) but no GOP congressional leaders on this morning, after starting the show with White House senior adviser David Axelrod

On the eve of perhaps the decisive week in Congress regarding Obamacare after over a year of debate, NBC’s Meet the Press managed to have solely Democratic politicians on this morning, with White House senior strategist David Axelrod first interviewed (very timidly) to start the show by Tom Brokaw, and then two Democratic members of Congress, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) and Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), answering Brokaw’s softball questions. Apparently, similar to the Obama Administration, NBC feels that only Democratic politicians have a say on Obamacare, as most of the program focused on building a narrative of  the “inevitability” of Obamacare passage and Brokaw repeatedly tossed Axelrod, Clyburn and Durbin softball after softball to allow a full, uncontested recitation of the latest Democratic talking points.

Anyone who is a true student of the year-long Obamacare debate learned absolutely nothing from Meet the Press this morning, and except perhaps to feel a tinge of embarrassment for the tottering Tom Brokaw, who hardly stirred in the face of several misrepresentations and even outright lies from his Democratic guests.

For instance, in response to Brokaw’s question about Scott Brown’s Saturday GOP message critiquing the continued Obamacare push as opposed to a focus on jobs by Democrats, Axelrod amazingly stated in part that “the life of Medicare will be extended” by Obamacare. This Democratic talking point, of course, has been completely debunked by the Congressional Budget Office and Medicare officials, as pointed out by Tennessee Senator Bob Corker (R-TN):

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee, is highlighting recent reports from the Obama administration’s own Medicare officials as well as the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) which conclude that the health care bill passed by the Senate on December 24 (The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, PPACA) counts $540 billion in Medicare savings TWICE – once to offset the cost of the bill and again to extend the life of the Medicare Part A trust fund. The reports further determine that Medicare savings will actually be lower under the bill and the life of the Medicare trust fund will not be extended.

“This comes down to elementary school logic: you can’t spend the same dollar twice,” said Corker. “Tennesseans have a lot of common sense and have understood from day one that taking over half a trillion dollars from Medicare to leverage a new entitlement would not make Medicare more solvent, and I’m glad President Obama’s own Medicare officials have now reached the same conclusion.

The double counting of the nearly $500 billion in Medicare cuts over 10 years in Obamacare as both paying for the hundreds of billions in proposed new entitlement spending and extending the life of the Medicare trust fund is Washington doublespeak at its worst, and, sadly, Brokaw approved of this explicit lie by Axelrod this morning despite the public documents, such as the CBO letter, which outline its falsity.  That CBO letter “explains to Congress that it can’t cut $500 billion from Medicare and claim to have extended Medicare’s  life by 5 years, while simultaneously using that same $500 billion to insure those who are currently uninsured.” The average, middle of the road American who is not paying close attention would falsely think, from Brokaw’s reaction, that Axelrod was being objectively truthful throughout the interview.

NBC’s form of “balance” was to have Karl Rove, and no present GOP politicians, and for less than a quarter of the air time provided to the present Democratic leaders Axelrod, Clyburn and Durbin, interviewed by Brokaw so that Brokaw could attack Rove’s claims about the Bush years in Rove’s new book. Of course, less than 2 minutes of Rove’s interview even discussed Obamacare, with the substantial majority dedicated to Brokaw spouting left wing talking points, such as a claim that the Bush Administration obtained authorization for the Iraqi war based on obtaining access to Iraqi oil, which is simply false and parrots hard-left claims of “blood for oil” during the Bush years.  In marked contrast to the softballs questions and muted response from Brokaw with his Democratic guests, Brokaw actually argued with Rove when Rove corrected Brokaw on that issue and several others, despite allowing explicitly false Democratic claims such as “the life of Medicare will be extended”, in fact all answers by the first three Democratic guests, to pass without comment or push back of any kind.

Then, Meet the Press concludes by having two New York Times columnists, David Brooks and Tom Friedman (both of whom are ardent supporters of the Obama Administration), on to “analyze” the health care issue and others.  Even Obama cheerleader Brooks couldn’t manage praise the cost-ballooning Obamacare, calling claims of reducing costs via Obamacare “”totally bogus”, and as lefty Tom Friedman nodded, noted that the only real cost control mechanism, the excise tax, has been gutted.  Brokaw then, of course, quickly changed the subject before Friedman weighed in on the health care cost issue, perhaps the most important part of the Obamacare debate.

Brooks made up for the apostasy of criticizing Obamacare in the rest of the segment, worshipping Obama again and again and condemning all of Obama’s critics, those on the left or right, for essentially lying about the “pragmatic reformer” Obama. Such commentary from Brooks is unsurprising considering Brooks fell in love with Obama years ago by viewing Obama’s “perfectly creased” pants during an interview. Perhaps not since the Clinton Administration, if ever, have viewers of Meet the Press had to endure a more ideological lineup of guests and questioning in favor of the party controlling the DC establishment, without any significant airing of the minority party’s response on the various issues of the day. Meet the Press has done a disservice to its viewers this morning by failing to have GOP and Democratic congressional leaders face off over Obamacare on this perhaps final Meet the Press before the all-important Obamacare vote and instead riggingthe show to be  an infomercial on behalf of the Obama Administration and its signature health care reform plans.

In summary, MTP had on four guests and two analysts to be questioned by Brokaw, and only one of those seven individuals, Karl Rove, can be fairly described as anything other than an Obama apologist. All in all, today’s Meet the Press is a microcosm of the overall tone of the establishment media’s coverage of the Obama Administration and the health care reform debate, a slanted, one-sided tone that basically ignores the explicit misrepresentations in the Democratic talking points. pushes the narrative of “inevitability” of passage of Obamacare and refuses to air dissenting conservative views.   Today’s MTP is just the latest evidence proving that the establishment media has cast its vote for the Obama Administration and Obamacare and is desperately pushing the public to fall in line.

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Fox Poll: 59% Say Scrap Bill if No Deal with GOP; 56% Disapprove of Obama on Health Care

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

President Barack Obama, shown here with his key White House advisors Jim Messina (left) and David Axelrod (right), faces an uphill struggle to push through his comprehensive health care plan as the health care summit winds down without a deal with the GOP

Fox News just released new polling done on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week which shows the lowest approval (37%) and highest disapproval (56%) of Obama’s handling of health care than ever before, a 19% net deficit. The only other issue in which President Obama scores worse with the public than his handling of health care is Obama’s handling of the federal budget deficit, where Obama faces a thirty point deficit (31% approve, 61% disapprove) with the American public. Obama’s 19% net American public disapproval on his handling of health care in the new Fox poll is matched by the 20% net deficit in public approval of Obama’s handling of health care (35% approve, 55% disapprove) found by the latest CBS/NYT polling on the subject. Finally, 59% of the public think that Obama and the Democrats should scrap the health care bill and pass nothing if a bipartisan deal is not reached with the GOP while 34% believe Obama should push through his plan without GOP support:

If President Obama is unable to reach a deal with Republicans at the summit, 59 percent think he should start from scratch later. Some 34 percent think he should go ahead and try to pass the current bill without Republican support.

By a 50 to 40 percent margin, more voters think the health care summit is a “sincere effort” on the president’s part to work out a compromise than think it is “just for show.”

Nearly seven out of 10 voters feel “fed up with” the health care debate, including most Republicans (82 percent) and most independents (70 percent), as well as half of Democrats (50 percent).

The national telephone poll was conducted for Fox News by Opinion Dynamics Corp. among 900 registered voters from February 23 to February 24. For the total sample, the poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

More voters than ever now disapprove of the job President Obama is doing on health care — 56 percent. That’s 19 percentage points higher than the 37 percent who approve.

Furthermore, on only one other issue does the president receive lower ratings than on health care — his handling of the federal deficit (31 percent approve and 61 percent disapprove).


If a compromise isn’t achieved at the summit, by a two-to-one margin Democrats think the president should still try to pass the bill without Republicans. Even so, 31 percent think the president should start over in this scenario.

For independents, it’s just the reverse, by more than two-to-one they support dropping the current bill and starting over. An overwhelming majority of Republicans say the current bill should be dropped if the health care summit fails to find bipartisan agreement.

The new Fox poll also found Obama’s overall job approval at 47%/45%, and interestingly found by a 62%/17% margin that President Obama is better at campaigning than governing, and half of the American voting public believes that the Obama Administration does not “get it” regarding voter anger at DC:

The consensus among American voters is Barack Obama is better at campaigning for the job than at doing the job, according to a Fox News poll released Thursday. In addition, half of voters say the Obama administration doesn’t “get it.”

As the president’s approval rating remains in the high forties, the poll finds that voters by a wide 62 to 17 percent margin think Obama is better at campaigning than at governing.

It isn’t surprising most Republicans feel this way (83 percent). What may surprise the White House is that nearly seven out of 10 independents say they feel the president is better at campaigning than governing, and so do more Democrats (albeit by a thin 6 percentage-point edge). More than one out of five Democrats was unable to choose between campaigning and governing and volunteered a “both” response (22 percent).

On Wednesday there were reports, dismissed by the administration, the White House is starting to make plans for its 2012 re-election campaign.

While 47 percent of voters approve of the job President Obama is doing, almost as many — 45 percent — disapprove.

Earlier this month the president received his lowest job ratings to date when 46 percent approved and 47 percent disapproved (February 2-3, 2009).

Vice President Joe Biden recently said the administration understands why American voters are angry and bluntly stated, “We get it.” Nearly half of voters agree with Biden (45 percent). Yet half — 50 percent — say no, the administration doesn’t get it. That includes over one of five Democrats (22 percent).

More than half of independents (52 percent) think the administration doesn’t “get it,” while 44 percent agree with the vice president that it does.

Finally, American voters disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy by a 56%/40% margin, while also disapproving of Obama’s handling of job creation by a 52%/41% margin. Hotair points out that the latest Gallup polling show similar problems for Obama regarding the public’s approval of continuing with a comprehensive plan if he cannot reach a deal with the GOP. With these grim new personal approval numbers, all double digit net negative, on the key issues of the day such as the economy, job creation, the deficit and health care, Obama faces an uphill struggle in gathering the needed 218 Democratic House and 50 Democratic Senate votes to push through his comprehensive health care plan.

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Obama 2012 Begins Operations: Hatch Act Violations?

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Senior White House Advisor David Axelrod (left) and Deputy White House Chief of Staff Jim Messina (right) have initiated Obama 2012 reelection activities according to the Politico exclusive reporting

Nearly three years before a possible reelection vote for President Obama in November 2012, Barack Obama has initiated 2012 campaign activities in the past few weeks according to an exclusive report from Politico’s Mike Allen.:

President Barack Obama’s top advisers are quietly laying the groundwork for the 2012 reelection campaign, which is likely to be run out of Chicago and managed by White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina, according to Democrats familiar with the discussions.

The planning for now consists entirely of private conversations, with Obama aides at all levels indulging occasionally in closed-door 2012 discussions while focusing ferociously on the midterm elections and health care reform, the Democratic sources said. “The gathering storm is the 2010 elections,” one top official said.

But the sources said Obama has given every sign of planning to run again, and wants the next campaign to resemble the highly successful 2008 effort.

David Axelrod, White House senior adviser, may leave the West Wing to rejoin his family in Chicago and reprise his role as Obama’s muse, overseeing the campaign’s tone, themes, messages and advertising, the sources said.

David Plouffe, the Obama for America campaign manager, described by one friend as “the father of all this,” will be a central player in the reelect, perhaps as an outside adviser.

“The conversations are beginning, but decisions haven’t been made,” a top official said. “If you look at David Plouffe’s stepped-up level of activity with the political organization [as an outside adviser on the 2010 races], that is obviously the beginning of the process.”

This disclosure of the ongoing Obama 2012 campaign work in the White House with “Obama aides at all levels indulging occasionally in closed-door 2012 discussions” could be construed as a possible violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activities. The key question regarding a Hatch Act violation would be if any of the “Obama aides” involved in “closed-door 2012 discussions” are outside of the exemptions of the Hatch Act, as such exemption covers federal employees paid via an appropriation for the Executive Office of the President or federal employees that are nominated and confirmed by the Senate.

If federal employees who are not subject to the exemption are shown to have participated in the nascent Obama 2012 activities, such activities may be in violation of the Hatch Act as non-exempt employees are prohibited from “doing political work while on duty, in uniform, in the office or in a government vehicle.” The exempt political appointees of the President can engage in political activities “provided their actions don’t amount to coercive use of the office to which they have been appointed. They cannot pay for political activities with taxpayer dollars, however.” The use of taxpayer dollars in furtherance of the Obama 2012 campaign by “Obama aides at all levels” during “closed door” discussions in federally-funded offices and/or travel to Chicago (where Politico reports Obama 2012 is based) could be violations of the Hatch Act.

Following this exclusive disclosure of these Obama 2012 activities by Politico, in the midst of the battle over passing Obamacare, the media is sure to attempt in the days to come to identify each and every one of the “Obama aides at all levels” who were engaging in such Obama 2012 activities and whether their political activities amounted to Hatch Act violations.

UPDATE: Hotair points out that Obama was just weeks ago talking about being a “great” one term President:

Didn’t The One tell us just a few weeks ago that he’d rather be a great one-term president than a mediocre two-termer? I guess he’s … planning for mediocrity, then?

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November Surprise? Auntie Z Story Takes Dramatic Turn

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

November Surprise?

November Surprise?

As most of America knows, Barack Obama is now poised to sweep to victory with at least 300 Electoral Votes, holding a massive eight point lead on average nationally over McCain at this late date. Several stories have bubbled up in the past few days, such as Obama’s comments on the coal industry, his alleged crude gesture towards McCain at a rally today and the identification of his Aunt as living in Boston, albeit without Obama’s knowledge according to his campaign. However, none of these stories seem to have the sheer force to push McCain up the giant electoral hill facing him tomorrow.

A late breaking story today could make the next 24 hours much more interesting as explosive allegations were published today in the American Spectator regarding Obama’s Aunt Zeituni Onyango (“Auntie Z”) confirming that the Obama Campaign and Mass. Governor Deval Patrick had knowledge of her illegal status and willful violation of the 2004 deportation order as early as 2007. If true, such actions by the Obama campaign and Patrick could constitute criminal acts according to Section 1324 under 8 U.S.C.A. 1324 (a)(1)(A)(iii) and (v).

The main source on for the published article regarding the Obama campaign’s knowledge of Auntie Z’s situation is an employee at AKP&D Message and Media, which is a political consulting firm employed by the Obama campaign. A secondary source for the fact that the Obama campaign was well aware of the status of Obama’s family members is an Obama campaign media aide. The gist of the allegations is that in early 2007, David Axelrod, the crack chief strategist for the Obama campaign, ordered a full investigation of all of Obama’s family members to prepare/defend against possible political attacks regarding Obama’s family during the campaign.

Obama’s position is that he had no knowledge of Auntie Z’s status as an illegal alien:

KATIE COURIC: you have an aunt who’s been living in this country apparently illegally, and your campaign says any and all appropriate laws should be followed. So would you support her being deported to Kenya?

SEN. BARACK OBAMA: If she has violated laws, then those laws have to be obeyed. We’re a nation of laws. And, obviously, that doesn’t lessen my concern for her. I haven’t been able to get in touch with her. But, I’m a strong believer that you obey the law.

According the main source at OBama’s political consulting firm, AKP&D Message and Media, here’s how Obama’s campaign came into knowledge of Auntie Z’s status and how it was dealt with:

Axelrod had actual knowledge of Auntie Z and all other relatives in early 2007, and decided to use Deval Patrick as a monitor over Auntie Z to make sure she stayed out of trouble and out of the media’s eye:

Back in early 2007, as Obama’s chief campaign strategist David Axelrod was organizing and planning the Obama campaign, he identified Obama’s unique family situation — a number of half-brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, some living overseas — as a potential problem, says an employee for Axelrod’s political consulting firm, and who has done work on the Obama campaign. “Given [Obama’s] father’s family history here and in Africa, David wanted the campaign to know who was who, where they lived, and what they were doing. No surprises. We knew she was here illegally. We knew her income levels, but I don’t think anyone from the campaign had had contact with her.”

Instead, according to the source, Axelrod reached out to his former client, Patrick, who had retained Axelrod’s firm for his run for governor. Onyango was living in a state-funded housing project, “so Patrick’s people could just as easily keep track of things, and could do it without drawing a ton of attention,” says the AKP&D Message and Media employee, who requested anonymity as he hopes to get a job in an Obama administration should the candidate win. “If we had Obama people around, the media would probably have found her much sooner. She was in [Obama’s] book, it wasn’t like she couldn’t be found.” Indeed, that is exactly how the London Times found her.

While the South Boston housing project is managed by the Boston Housing Authority, it is a state-funded facility, according to the BHA press office, and so it would not be uncommon for state housing officials to be on the grounds or in the area. “Patrick was the go-between, he’s trusted by David and Senator Obama,” says the aide.

An Obama campaign aide, the second source, at least partially confirms the AKP&D Message and Media employee’s account with respect to Axelrod’s knowledge of all Obama relatives:

Some Obama aides believe that Obama was briefed at least twice by Axelrod or campaign manager David Plouffe on the status of family members. “We tracked who was talking to the press, we kept in touch with some of these people,” says an Obama campaign media aide. “Anyone who thinks we didn’t doesn’t understand just how nervous we were about all of these people, particularly the members of [Obama’s] father’s family. Axelrod had everything covered.” The aide said she was never present for such a briefing, but “we all knew the candidate’s family was being taken care of, to protect their privacy and try to contain any damage.”

To summarize, according to the two sources quoted by American Spectator, the Obama campaign was well aware of Auntie Z’s immigration status and presence in America in early 2007. Furthermore, if true, the Obama’s campaign used Axelrod’s client and Obama’s ally, Patrick, to keep watch over Auntie Z until after the election. The allegations of the two sources is confirmed in part by Auntie Z’s quoted response to the British press before they broke the story:

“I can’t talk about it, I just pray for him, that’s all,” she said, adding: “After the 4th, I can talk to anyone.”

It is well within the realm of possibility that Auntie Z would have only known to refuse comment if she was told to say that, likely by the Obama campaign. The two sources, Obama’s political consultant’s employee and the Obama campaign media aide, bolster this likely occurrance. The importance to tomorrow’s election becomes whether or not such agreement between the Obama campaign and Patrick to “monitor” Auntie Z until the election is a vioation of federal immigration laws, namely 8 U.S.C.A. 1324(a)(1)(a)(iii) and (v), which prohibit as a felony:

(a) Criminal Penalties
(1)(a) Any person who…
(iii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation;…
(v)(I) engages in any conspiracy to commit any of the preceding acts, or

(II) aids or abets the commission of any of the preceding acts,

If the Obama campaign had knowledge of Auntie Z’s immigration status in early 2007, and then Axelrod worked with Patrick to suppress any uncovering of such status since then, there is an arguable violation of the statute above as such actions would each constitute an individual act which “conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien”, as spelled out in (iii) in the statute above. Any Obama campaign employees or Patrick staffers could be liable for conspiracy to commit violations of the Section 1324 and aiding and abetting violations of Section 1324 under subsection (v).

A review of case law regarding this matter tends to support the position that the Obama campaign’s activities, in conjunction with Mass. Governor Patrick, could have violated Section 1324. Indeed, the entire purpose of Axelrod’s alleged contacts with Patrick regarding Auntie Z was to suppress the public disclosure of Auntie Z’s illegal alien status and the lawful, immediate deportation under the 2004 Order. If true, the statements quoted in the American Spectator make out a prima facia case for a criminal indictment under Section 1324. As the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, U.S. v. Cantu, 557 F.2d 1173 (5th Cir. 1977) opines:

We agree with the conclusion in Lopez that section 1324 does not prohibit only smuggling-related activity, but also activity “tending substantially to facilitate an alien’s ‘remaining in the United States illegally.’ ” 521 F.2d at 441.

Jury instruction as to meaning of “shield.” Cantu requested that, in charging the jury concerning the meaning of “shield” as used in section 1324, the district judge include as a synonym the word “hide.” The judge declined to include “hide,” and Cantu contends that this refusal was error. Although “shield” and “hide” may in some contexts be synonymous, in the context of section 1324 they are not. Section 1324 forbids attempts “to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection.” Were “shield from detection” used synonymously with “hide” then “conceal” would be redundant. Therefore, the district judge did not err in omitting from his charge “hide” as a synonym for “shield from detection.”

If Axelrod coordinated with Patrick to keep watch over Auntie Z since early 2007, with knowledge of Auntie Z’s status as facing a deportation order, a prima facia case can be made under Section 1324 for a criminal indictment. Considering the seriousness of these allegations, CentristNet hopes that the mainstream media moves to ask these questions before America votes tomorrow. Moderate, centrist and independent voters will be on the edge of their seats to see what the Obama campaign and the mainstream media has to say about his interesting controversy.

The ultimate question is whether voters agree with Obama’s position that he had no knowledge of Auntie Z’s situation, or whether voters tend to distrust Obama’s position that he had no knowledge. Perhaps such issues will be irrelevant as Obama has promised not to speak wth the press until after the election. Regardless, the Auntie Z episode leaves many questions unanswered by the Obama campaign, and every centrist, independent moderate voter can only hope that the Obama campaign decides to provide information regarding their actions pertaining to Auntie Z prior to the election tomorrow.

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