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Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

FLASH: 23,000 American Jobs Lost in March 2010 “Unexpectedly”; UPDATE: Geithner Yesterday: America on “Verge” of “Sustained Period of Job Creation”

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Unemployment continues to rise in America as 23,000 American private sector jobs were lost in March 2010

Despite oft-repeated claims by many economists in the establishment media that 50,000 private  jobs would be added this month, the American private sector lost 23,000 jobs in March 2010, again throwing cold water on the Obama Administration’s repeated claims that their policies are creating jobs.   Bloomberg has the story:

Companies in the U.S. unexpectedly cut payrolls in March, according to data from a private report based on payrolls.

The 23,000 decline was the smallest in two years and followed a revised 24,000 drop the prior month, data from ADP Employer Services showed today.

Apparently America’s companies, both big business and small business, simply do not believe that the Obama economic recovery is any more than “just words” and accordingly they are not hiring:

Companies are still hesitant to add workers until they see sustained sales gains and are convinced the economic recovery has taken hold. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News anticipate the government’s report April 2 will show payrolls increased by 184,000, in part due to temporary hiring by the federal government to conduct the 2010 census and because of better weather compared with February.

“The economic recovery has not been long enough or strong enough along the way yet to produce the kind of rapid employment that people are hoping for,” Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers LLC in St. Louis, which produces the figures with ADP, said in a conference call with reporters after the report.

The ADP figures were forecast to show a gain of 40,000 jobs, according to the median estimate of 35 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Projections ranged from a loss of 20,000 to a 100,000 gain.

Economists also predicted job creation in February 2010, and were wrong, but, amazingly, blamed the weather. The Obama Administration picked up on that weather excuse and has run with it for the entirety of March while claiming that March 2010 would see very substantial job creation. Now that ADP, the nation’s largest private payroll processor and premier private jobs data source, has “unexpectedly” shown yet more private job loss, it will be interesting to see what type of spin or excuse the Obama Administration creates to explain away the latest evidence of the failure of their economic policies.

Sadly, Americans can expect the Obama Administration to hail the coming Labor Department March 2010 jobs report as evidence of the success of their job creation policies, despite the fact that any gain there will be the result of the massive short-term (three month) hiring of census workers, not actual job creation:

Stock fell early Wednesday after a payroll company’s report provided a sobering reminder that the job market remains weak.

ADP said employers slashed 23,000 jobs in March. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast the report would show employers added 40,000 jobs during the month.

The ADP report is seen as an early indicator of the Labor Department’s employment report due out Friday. However, there can be wide variations because ADP only accounts for private-sector jobs.

Economists expect the Labor Department’s report to show employers added 190,000 jobs in March. It would be only the second monthly increase in jobs since the recession began in late 2007. The number could be somewhat inflated because the government hired temporary workers to conduct the 2010 census.

UPDATE: Ed at Hotair points to a WSJ story also using the well-worn “unexpectedly” framing for yet another piece of evidence that private sector job creation just is not occurring. Further, just yesterday Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner claimed “sustained job creation” is here as a result of Obama policies, which today’s report of private sector job loss in March 2010 unequivocally disproves:

During an interview yesterday with CNBC, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said, “I think you can say generally that as the economy is getting stronger — and the economy is getting stronger. You know, we’re probably just on the verge now, of what we think to be a sustained period of job creation, finally.”

The Obama administration will keep up its efforts to “reinforce that recovery” and also preserve recent gains in financial stability, Geithner also said.

As it is almost certain the hundreds of thousands of three-month temporary Census worker jobs will result in an overall jobs report that shows job creation in March 2010 on Friday (the DOL release), it is clear from the ADP data today that sustainable, private sector job creation has not been spurred by 14 months of Obama economic policies, notwithstanding Obama Administration commentary from Geithner and others. Even CNBC, well-known Obama Administration cheerleaders, admits this:

ADP said employers slashed 23,000 jobs from payrolls in March, which came as a surprise to economists, who had expected to 50,000 jobs were added last month.

The ADP report is closely watched ahead of the government’s jobs report on Friday. Economists currently expect that report to show 200,000 jobs were added to nonfarm payrolls in March. And, that report could still show job growth, largely due to heavy hiring of government workers to conduct the Census.

The bottom line is that the establishment media will ignore the ADP private sector jobs report from today, and herald Friday’s DOL report as evidence that the Obama Administration jobs policies have succeeded, despite the clear evidence to contrary that only temporary Census workers will artificially push up the jobs numbers. The key question now is whether the American people, who feel the pain of continued private sector job loss every day, will buy what the Administration and establishment media are selling.

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54% of Americans Say Repeal Obamacare as Key Dems Admit “Redistribution of Wealth” as Motive

Monday, March 29th, 2010

President Obama certainly scored a victory by obtaining the passage of Obamacare, but will the American public support the new massive law as key Democrats admit Obamacare is intended to redistribute wealth?

As the dust settles after the passage of the historic comprehensive health care reform package known as Obamacare, the American public appears to favor its immediate repeal as 54% support such a repeal while 42% oppose repeal:

One week after the House of Representatives passed the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats, 54% of the nation’s likely voters still favor repealing the new law. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 42% oppose repeal.

Those figures are virtually unchanged from last week. They include 44% who Strongly Favor repeal and 34% who Strongly Oppose it.

Repeal is favored by 84% of Republicans and 59% of unaffiliated voters. Among white Democrats, 25% favor repeal, but only one percent (1%) of black Democrats share that view.

Americans also simply do not believe the Obama health care talking points, strongly repudiating the main claims made by Obama about the benefits of Obamacare by a wide margin:

Only 17% of all voters believe the plan will achieve one of its primary goals and reduce the cost of health care. Most (55%) believe it will have the opposite affect and increase the cost of care.

Forty-nine percent (49%) believe the new law will reduce the quality of care. Sixty percent (60%) believe it will increase the federal budget deficit. Those numbers are consistent with expectations before the bill was passed.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, notes that “the overriding tone of the data is that passage of the legislation has not changed anything. Those who opposed the bill before it passed now want to repeal it. Those who supported the legislation oppose repealing it.”

As noted by Scott Rasmussen above, little has changed regarding public opinion Obamacare since its passage, repudiating the media’s “conventional wisdom” that the Democrats would see a surge in public support after its passage. The ABC/Washington Post poll confirms Rasmussen’s findings that few Americans believe Obama’s health care talking points and that majority opposition continues that is “virtually identical to the pre-vote split” regarding Obamacare:

More people see the changes as making things worse, rather than better, for the country’s health-care system, for the quality of their care and, among the insured, for their coverage. Majorities in the new poll also see the changes as resulting in higher costs for themselves and for the country.

Most respondents said reform will require everyone to make changes, whether they want to or not; only about a third said they believe the Democrats’ contention that people who have coverage will be able to keep it without alterations. And nearly two-thirds see the changes as increasing the federal budget deficit, with few thinking the deficit will shrink as a result. The Congressional Budget Office said the measure will reduce the deficit.

About half of all poll respondents said the plan creates “too much government involvement” in the health-care system, a concern that is especially pronounced among Republicans.

Senior citizens, who typically make up about one in five midterm voters, represent a particularly valuable but tough audience on this issue. More than six in 10 of those 65 or older see a weaker Medicare system as a result of the changes to the health-care system. Overall, seniors tilt heavily against the changes, with 58 percent opposed and strong opponents outnumbering strong supporters by a 2-to-1 ratio.

Considering these numbers, President Obama has a steep uphill climb to convince Americans that this broad claims that Obamacare will be a “historic” deficit reduction plan, that Americans can keep their doctor and plan if they like it, and that Obamacare will reduce costs and increase the quality of American health care. Key Democrats are not making the President’s job easier by explicitly stating that the true intent of Obamacare is to redistribute wealth in America, something that went unmentioned by Democrats prior to the passage of Obamacare.

Americans strongly oppose, by a 84%-14% margin, government policies that attempt to bring about wealth redistribution in the American economy

Indeed, such wealth redistribution policies are strongly rejected by Americans, with 84% rejecting that approach according to Gallup:

When given a choice about how government should address the numerous economic difficulties facing today’s consumer, Americans overwhelmingly — by 84% to 13% — prefer that the government focus on improving overall economic conditions and the jobs situation in the United States as opposed to taking steps to distribute wealth more evenly among Americans.

First, Democratic Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) announced that Obamacare is intended to redistribute wealth:

It seems Senator Max Baucus let slip the real purpose of health care reform efforts – the redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor. Baucus said of the health care bill, “This legislation will have the effect of addressing that mal-distribution of income in America.” According to the influential Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, “The last couple three years, the mal-distribution of income in American is gone up way too much, the wealthy are getting way, way too wealthy and the middle income class is left behind.”

Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean then chipped in on Thursday March 25, 2010 by admitting that “this is a form of redistribution” and Obamacare is intended to cause wealth redistribution in the American economy because the economy is “like a machine. You always got to tune it right.” Of course, as the establishment media is well aware such explicit Democratic admissions that Obamacare is intended to tinker with the economy to bring about wealth redistribution would be damaging to Obamacare’s popularity, so the claims of Dean and Baucus have gone virtually unreported in the media. However, Americans continue to oppose the Obamacare package, as evidenced by today’s poll showing 54% favor its repeal.

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Unmitigated Disaster: Unemployment Rises in 27 States in February 2010

Friday, March 26th, 2010

A Picture from the Winter of 1933 in NYC During the Great Depression

The unemployment crisis in the United States continued unabated in February 2010, as new statistics compiled by the Department of Labor show that unemployment rose in over half of the states in America last month:

March 26 (Bloomberg) — Unemployment increased in 27 U.S. states in February and dropped in seven, a sign the labor market needs to pick up across more regions to spur consumer spending and sustain the economic recovery.

Mississippi showed the biggest jump in joblessness with a 0.4 percentage point rise to 11.4 percent, according to figures issued today by the Labor Department in Washington. Nationally, unemployment held at 9.7 percent in February for a second month and employers cut fewer jobs than anticipated, figures from the Labor Department showed on March 5.

Today’s report indicates broad-based hiring is yet to develop following the loss of 8.4 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007. Florida, Nevada, Georgia, and North Carolina set record levels of joblessness last month.

“Until we see improvement in employment in a fair number of U.S. states, it’s not going to do a heck of a lot for the recovery,” said Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto. “The worst seems to be over, but there’s a huge amount of work to be done to create jobs. It’s going to be a long, winding road.”

Payrolls dropped in 27 states, led by Virginia. The state’s loss of 32,600 jobs last month, the largest in records going back to 1983, was also the biggest decline among states. California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Texas also reported large decreases in employment, the report said.

These results, over a year into the Obama Administration’s reign and its vaunted Stimulus plan, provide yet another piece of evidence that the Obama economic program is failing to turn this country’s economy around.   After all, the Obama Administration did predict that the passage of its Stimulus legislation would result in a steady decline in unemployment from the Summer of 2009 onward – a prediction that is proven false by every unemployment release since then.  Indeed, the newly announced Obama initiative to order banks to reduce or waive monthly mortgage payments due from the unemployed will only exasperate the ongoing unemployment crisis, creating another incentive for the individual to become or remain unemployed so as to qualify for the new federal mortgage payment reduction/waiver program.

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Dems Complete Nullification of Scott Brown’s Election Via “Unprecedented” Reconciliation Switch

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Senator Scott Brown (D-MA), who won a special election in late January 2010 on a platform of opposing Obamacare in the most liberal state in America, has seen his election nullified by Senate Democrats by the midstream switch to reconciliation

By a vote of 56-43, with three Democrats, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Sen. Mark Pryor and Mary Landrieu (D-LA), joined by all 41 Republicans, failing to put the breaks on a large package of changes to the existing law known as Obamacare.   Every vote taken on Obamacare in the past few weeks has had the same character: bipartisan opposition failing to stop the remaining majority of Democrats from passing the legislation – hardly what the average American would expect on the signature legislation of President Obama, as the media-created Obama Brand is one of a “bipartisan” “pragmatic” “centrist” leader.   Indeed, the only thing bipartisan about the legislation is the opposition to it from centrist Democrats and the entire Republican Party.

Obama and the Democrats had tried to avoid making any changes to the House reconciliation package, but the Senate Parliamentarian ruled some parts of it out of order under reconciliation rules, forcing the Senate Democrats to make some changes and  sending the entire reconciliation Obamacare package back to the House for a final, final vote tonight.   The Dems and GOP House members are going back and forth with short speeches in the House now.

It looks like the House will vote shortly to bring the Obamacare legislating to a close:

The Senate approved a package of fixes to the health care reform law Thursday, drawing to a close the chamber’s year-long effort to overhaul the nation’s insurance system.

But the work isn’t done quite yet.

The bill passed 56 to 43, with Vice President Joe Biden presiding over the chamber. Senate Republicans forced a pair of changes to the reconciliation bill overnight, sending it back to the House for a final vote later Thursday.

Democrats believe the minor changes – to language regarding Pell Grants for low-income students – won’t derail House passage, meaning that Democrats are set to finally conclude the legislative struggle needed to make health reform a reality.

As you can see from the prose above from Politico,the establishment media is in a state of near orgasm over the imminent final passage of the Obamacare package, as the average left wing journalist is overjoyed to “finally conclude the legislative struggle needed to make health reform a reality.” That is actually fairly tame compared to the NYT, who declares just now that

The NYT, in a moment of candor, admits that the procedural trickery engaged in by Senate Democrats was successful in avoiding the will of the American people as embodied by the election of Senator Scott Brown (D-MA) in January 2010 on a platform of explicit opposition to Obamacare and a promise to be the “41st vote” to stop Obamacare in the Senate.

The Senate action appeared to be the penultimate step in a series of intricate legislation maneuvers that Democrats were forced to undertake after a Republican, Scott Brown, won a special Senate election in Massachusetts on Jan. 19, stripping Senate Democrats of the 60th vote that they needed to surmount Republican filibusters.

In a sane world, the “paper of record” in the United States would be troubled by Congress’s manipulation of its procedural rules to avoid the electoral will of the American people, but alas, the NYT has no such concerns, as in the very next paragraph the Times slips into its well-worn role as fawning Obama cheerleader, praising him for engineering the entire process of “intricate legislative maneuvers that the Democrats were forced to take” to subvert the will of the American people as expressed by the election of Scott Brown:

Many Democrats credited the president with having saved the legislation from the brink of collapse. He held a remarkable, day-long televised forum with Congressional leaders of both parties, lobbied for the overhaul in campaign-style rallies around the country, attacked abuses by private insurance companies, and repeatedly told the stories of everyday Americans who had suffered in the existing health system.

The Times appears to be a cheap date regarding the lavish praise it tosses out above for Obama, as everything they list as Obama’s “remarkable” actions are just standard, scripted political events that require little by way of unique or “unprecedented” skill sets to accomplish. It is odd for the “paper of record” to so explicitly celebrate the use of “intricate legislative maneuvers” and staged, scripted political events by DC officials to avoid the logical result of recent election results.

Indeed, the fact that the Democrats did indeed manage to make history by switching, midstream, from a bill passed via regular order to a reconciliation bill, would have merited a mention from the “paper of record”. However, the NYT fails to note this “unprecedented” legislative trickery by Obama and the Demcrats, but it was noted by ardently ideological leftist Lawrence O’Donnell.  The entire uncut O’Donnell appearance on Morning Joe on March 12, 2010 can be seen here.  O’Donnell notes the “unprecedented” nature of the Democrats’ plan to switch gears after Scott Brown’s Senate victory and pursue reconciliation to pass Obamacare:

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Will Democrats get health care passed?

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: I’m going to say what I’ve said all along in my humble approach to this subject.  I, having worked on this kind of legislation on the Senate floor, trying to get it passed, and in committee.  I do not see how they can do this.  Now, and part of that is because it’s never been done before. And they have moved into a legislative territory that has never previously existed.  The Republicans have not been very smart about trying to describe this. It’s difficult to describe.  But this is unprecedented, using reconciliation this way. Because what they’ve done, is that they’ve abandoned a bill in mid-conference. The Senate passed a bill, the House passed a bill. They were in mid-conference negotiating this bill, in conference, and they said it’s going to be impossible for us to pass it now because of Scott Brown, so we’re going to abandon conferencing this bill and move over to another legislative vehicle, called reconciliation.  To handle something you’ve already been legislating another way, now, that’s never occurred before.

SCARBOROUGH: That’s never happened?

O’DONNELL: Never, never, never.

When the history books are written about the passage of Obamacare, perhaps this unprecedented legislative trickery, now completed, by Democrats to accomplish a nullification of the election of Scott Brown (R-MA) will garner more attention.  For now, the establishment media is sure to continue in near orgasm mode, with lavish praise for media hero Obama and his merry band of Democrats.

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Flash: Dems Reject GOP “No Viagra for Sex Offenders” Amendment to Obamacare

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Senate Democrats, led by Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Have Just Now Rejected a Ban on Federal Funding of Viagra for Sex Offenders via Obamacare

In a Senate Obamacare vote that is certain to end up in 2010 GOP campaign commercials, Senate Democrats rejected a GOP amendment to Obamacare that would have banned the use of federal money to pay for Viagra for sex offenders:

Democrats killed an amendment by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn to prevent the newly created insurance exchanges from using federal money to cover Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs for rapists, pedophiles and other sex offenders. The amendment failed 57-42

“The vast majority of Americans don’t want their taxpayer dollars paying for this kind of drug for those kind of people,” Coburn said.

Democratic Sen. Max Baucus urged his colleagues to defeat the amendment.

“This is a serious bill. This is a serious debate. The amendment offered by the senator from Oklahoma makes a mockery of the Senate, the debate and the American people. It is not a serious amendment. It is a crass political stunt aimed at making 30-second commercials, not public policy,” he said.

The Democrats appear intent upon ramming through the entirety of the separate House reconciliation amendment to Obamacare without any changes, including the maintenance of the use of federal funds to pay for Viagra or other erectile dysfunction drugs for sex offenders.  Considering the fact that a substantial majority of Americans, at least 62%, agree that the GOP should continue to fight Obama and the Democrats to obtain changes to the Obamacare package, the present Democratic strategy of “no amendments” may end up backfiring.

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At Least 25,000 Protesters Descend on Congress to Protest Obamacare; UPDATE: More Pics Added From Rally

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

Protesters stretch throughout the lawn in front of Congress today protesting Obamacare

10's of Thousands of Obamacare Protesters Rally in Washington, DC today

Part of the 10's of Thousands Protesting Obamacare In Front of Capitol Hill

So far today, at least 25,000 protesters have arrived in Washington DC to show disapproval of the pending Obamacare legislation

In a rally against Obamacare called for only twenty four hours ago, at least 25,000 Americans have now arrived in Washington, DC to protest the potential House passage of the comprehensive health care reform package known as Obamacare.   Right now, various speakers are talking to the growing crowd in front of Capitol Hill as every major highway into Washington DC remain jammed with cars, trucks and buses carrying yet more protesters to join the rally against Obamacare. Of course, the establishment media is ignoring this growing flash protest on Capitol Hill and instead only reporting on the claimed momentum of undecided votes turning in favor of Obama’s gigantic comprehensive health care plan. The President’s media allies, of course, are under-reporting the turnout for the Obamacare protest, with NBC claiming that only 2,000 are on the lawn in front of Capitol Hill, which is obviously false based on the few pictures we’ve posted here. We’ll be updating this post and creating new ones throughout the day as more Obamacare protesters arrive in DC.

Protesters Waive Flags today in front of Capitol Hill opposing Obamacare

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Hope for Obamacare Opponents? Stupak-Pelosi Deal Collapses For Now; UPDATE: NBC and Politico Report Pelosi Says No Deal

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

Pro-Life House Dem. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), seen here with President Obama, apparently stated this morning that he is "finished with Pelosi"

In what may be the most encouraging sign for opponents of Obamacare since the 222-203 House vote in favor of the “Slaughter Solution” (which “deems” the Senate bill “passed” without an up or down vote), Democratic congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) has cancelled his 11AM press conference and told some House GOP colleagues that any deal regarding abortion language with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has collapsed:

Two pro-life GOP members close to Stupak tell NRO that any Stupak deals are off. They just spoke with him and they said he’s finished with Pelosi. They rejected his enrollment corrections proposal.

It appears that the potential Stupak-Pelosi deal regarding strict language to eliminate any federal funding of abortion services in Obamacare has been scotched by pro-abortion House Democrats who reacted with outrage that Pelosi was even discussing such a deal with Stupak:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday evening met with a visibly angry Pro-Choice Caucus amid rumors from Democratic aides that the Speaker was working on a last-minute deal with Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) to give his abortion language a separate vote.

Leadership aides, including those in the Speaker’s office, would not comment, but a senior Democratic aide directly involved in the abortion debate said Pelosi appeared to have agreed to give Stupak a vote on an “enrollment resolution” offered by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), a key Stupak ally.

Cutting against any hope for Obamacare opponents is the opinion of longtime non-partisan political veteran analyst Larry Sabato, who tweeted that

This will be a spectacular weekend as spring is sprung. Don’t waste it watching media counts on health care. It’s over. Bill will pass House.

The news that the leader of anti-abortion Democrats in the House, Bart Stupak, may be “finished with Pelosi” provides a bit of hope for opponents as most vote counts for Obamacare include at least half of the dozen or so anti-abortion House Democrats that have followed Stupak’s lead on this issue in the past, such as the first vote in September 2009 on Obamacare in the House.     However, Fox News and others are reporting on the air that Stupak’s spokeswoman is stating that talks are “ongoing” so whether a deal is to be struck between Stupak and Pelosi is anyone’s guess.

Regardless of your opinion on the all-important, historic vote to be held tomorrow on Obamacare in the House, Americans should make their views known to Congress by calls to their representatives both today and tomorrow as the last few hours expire before perhaps the most important vote in the House of Representatives in many decades.

UPDATE: Moments ago, NBC News reported via twitter that there will be no deal between Pelosi and Stupak regarding more stringent language to stop federal funding of abortion:

Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.) says there will be no additional abortion language in health care bill to placate Rep. Bart Stupak (D–Mich)- NBC

Politico adds the following confirmation that Pelosi has chosen to cease all negotiations with Stupak and try to find 216 votes another way:

Anti-abortion Democrats renewed their threat to sink an overhaul of the nation’s health care system Saturday, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided not to give them a separate vote that would have implemented a strict ban on federal funds subsidizing abortion.

House leaders chose not to give Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) a vote on making the anti-abortion fix to the bill and will instead try to muster the 216 votes needed to send a health care overhaul to the president without his help, a Democratic aide confirmed.

Pelosi said Saturday that she plans to allow no changes outside of a possible leadership-written manager’s amendment.

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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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Unemployment Surges, Reaches All-Time High in 5 States in January 2010

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Unemployment Rose in 30 States in January 2010

Despite the claims of various politicians in Washington, D.C. that the recession is over and a recovery is well underway, unemployment continues to surge throughout the United States, as shown in the release of detailed information today by the Labor Department regarding the January 2010 jobs situation.    While 30 states reported an increase in the unemployment rate, five states reached all-time highs in unemployment rates:

Unemployment rose in most states in January—even breaking records in several states, according to government data released Wednesday.

Joblessness in five states—California (12.5 percent), South Carolina (12.6 percent) , Florida (11.9 percent), Georgia (10.4 percent) and North Carolina (11.1 percent)—hit a record high. The District of Columbia, at 12.0 percent, also reached a record high.

In all, 30 states and the District of Columbia saw their rates increase in January over the previous month. Nine states reported a decrease and 11 states had no change in their unemployment, according to the Labor Department.

One disquieting, and unreported, detail of the extended January 2010 report is that all of the above numbers are “adjusted” figures and actual unemployment is actually higher. Overall, the American job market appears to be “frozen”:

“It shows that the labor market is virtually frozen,” said Nick Colas, chief market strategist at the ConvergEx Group. Although the data is from January, he said that “there has not been any dramatic change in these past six weeks.”

Many economists and other observers have pointed to the uncertainty caused by the push to fundamentally alter the health care delivery system by the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress as a potential cause of this “frozen” labor market. Business owners and operators, both small and large businesses, are less likely to hire new employees while facing potential higher costs in the near term from a possible employer mandate and associated tax on employers who do not provide health coverage to employees.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has famously claimed, with no discernible substantive basis other than a far left wing think tank report, that passing Obamacare through Congress will “almost immediately” result in a gain of 400,000 jobs in America, with 4 million jobs to be created overall by Obamacare. Even Obama-worshipper and Washington Post writer Charles Lane admits Pelosi’s claim is ludicrous, especially considering the main cost-cutting mechanism, the so-called “cadillac tax”, has been removed until 2018 at earliest, hence postponing any job creation gains from lower health care costs well beyond “almost immediately”:

Here’s my problem, though: For Pelosi’s scenario to pan out, health-care reform must actually produce substantial cost savings. And that is more doubtful now that President Obama has offered a version that postpones the strongest cost-containment provision in the Senate bill — the “Cadillac tax” on high-value insurance plans — until 2018. That’s like postponing it this long. The president did this largely to appease organized labor and their allies in the House Democratic caucus — led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Such claims by Speaker Pelosi are especially odd in light of her statement yesterday that its uncertain what is actually in the bill as she advised reporters that “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Regardless, considering the uncertainty and outright hostility being generated amongst business owners about the Democratic health care reform efforts, it is much more likely that hundreds of thousands of jobs will be created in America if the partisan effort to comprehensively reform health care is officially shelved by President Obama. Providing this certainty to business owners of the future near term cost of hiring an employee, and not increasing such costs and federal regulatory liability as Obamacare would, could be the single greatest thing Washington, D.C. could do to help the American unemployed find a new job.

Indeed, average Americans overwhelmingly agree with this proposition, as recent CNN polling shows 73% want Obama and the Dems to either stop or start over instead of passing the present comprehensive plan and yesterday’s AP polling shows 68% want Obama and the Dems to continue to work with the GOP to make a deal instead of pushing through the present comprehensive plan without GOP support. A full 57% of Americans believe that Obamacare will hurt the economy – just 25% think it will help. It appears to us that the intuition of the American people and the great center of America have correctly determined that the giant new federal bureaucracy and new federal taxes associated with Obamacare would be a drag, if not an anchor, on the efforts of businesses to rebuild their workforces and the economy as a whole to recover.

Perhaps President Obama, Congressional Democratic leaders and the GOP leadership will all decide that the needs of the American people, regarding jobs and the economy, are more important that scoring political points (and “historical” ones for liberals) over health care reform and immediately shelve the present plan and pass centrist health care reform that would both help some uninsured, reduce costs and provide confidence to business owners so that hiring can begin again.

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All Out Media Assault on Eric Massa as Beck Interview Approaches

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Former Democratic House Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) Is Under All-Out Assault from the Establishment Media Today

As the hours count down until Glenn Beck uses his 3-4 million viewer platform today to amplify now-resigned Democratic House Rep. Eric Massa’s (D-NY) sensational claims that the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress forced him out of Congress over his opposition to Obamacare, the left-leaning establishment media is engaging in all-out effort to completely destroy Eric Massa in the eyes of the public.   A common beneficiary of Obama White House and Congressional Democratic leaks, the Washington Post, has just gone up with a new story alleging that Massa is under investigation for “groping” several male staffers:

Former Rep. Eric Massa has been under investigation for allegations that he groped multiple male staffers working in his office, according to three sources familiar with the probe.

The allegations surrounding the New York Democrat date back at least a year, and involve “a pattern of behavior and physical harassment,” according to one source. The new claims of alleged groping contradict statements by Massa, who resigned his office on Monday after it became public that he was the subject of a House ethics committee investigation for possible harassment.

Massa had said that the allegations were limited to his use of “salty language” with his staff. He apologized for making some inappropriate comments and argued he was being unfairly villified. Days later, Massa accused the White House and Democratic congressional leaders of trying to oust him from office to improve their chances of passing health care reform legislation. Massa could not be reached for comment Tuesday, and no one answered the phone at his home in New York or his campaign office. Staff at his former congressional offices declined to relay messages to him and said they did not know how to reach him.

CNN and MSNBC have been keeping up a steady hourly diet of attacks on Eric Massa all day long, at times asserting he is simply crazy, had “snapped” from the pressure, was “silly” or “ridiculous” or was just lying about the Obama Administration and Congressional Democratic leadership just to save his own skin. Considering Massa was fully embraced by such left-leaning media outlets in the recent past, the latest harsh, anonymously-sourced attacks are all the more jarring. The leaks from Democratic sources on the House Ethics Committee or perhaps the White House, published at 2:49PM today, up the ante somewhat as they attempt to paint Massa as a serial sexual harasser of male staffers based on anonymous sources. All told, the mainstream media appears to be reading directly from White House talking points on Massa, as repeated again by the Washington Post in today’s article:

Also on Tuesday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs dismissed Massa’s charges of a conspiracy to force him from office as “silly and ridiculous” in an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America. He urged looking at Massa’s erratic and changing statements about why he was resigning office.

“Last week, he, on Wednesday, was having a recurrence of cancer. On Thursday, he was guilty of using salty language. On Friday, we learned he’s before the Ethics Committee to be investigated on charges of sexual harassment,”Gibbs said. “So, look, I think, clearly, his actions appear to be in the appropriate venue in the Ethics Committees to look at, but we’re focused not on crazy allegations but instead on making this system work for the American people rather than work for insurance companies.”

It is unusual for specific details of Congressional ethics investigations to be leaked so widely, especially in seeming direct, immediate response to the member’s public comments, as the leaks to the Washington Post appear to be in response to Massa’s comments yesterday. Regardless, today’s interview on Glenn Beck’s show is certain to drive the news cycle this evening and perhaps into tomorrow as the Obama Administration and Congressional Democratic leadership struggle to find the votes to push Obamacare through Congress before the Easter recess.

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