I’ve been commenting for years on NPR’s slanted-toward-the-Republicans reporting. The right wing’s contention that it’s part of the liberal media is just a smoke screen. However, this morning NPR’s Morning Edition hit a new low with its hit piece on what it insists on calling Obamacare, which is the Republican-devised epithet for The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), or Affordable Care Act for short. Because the job given to NPR by persons or persons unknown is to keep pushing the myth that the ACA is unaffordable and that is why millions of people are risking federal tax fines by gleefully dropping it. If the ACA is unaffordable for millions of people it is due to the concerted efforts of the Republicans, as I show below.
I don’t know who is ultimately responsible for this hit piece. What I do know is that Steve Inkeep’s lead-in is misleading. What I also know is that typically, the written text underneath the audio link to a news story is identical to the audio story. In this case, the audio version barely resembles the written text. Inskeep intros the story “Millions of Americans have found the Affordable Care Act to be unaffordable.” Thus the story is framed that the ACA is essentially a failure, especially where lower-middle class individuals are concerned. Contrast this with the actual written headline to the story: “Obamacare Deploys New Apps, Allies To Persuade The Uninsured”. Now it’s a story about how the Obama administration is attempting to get more uninsured people the health insurance they lack.
Another difference between the audio and written stories: the audio leads off with sound bites from Dave Egbert of Huron, South Dakota, stating that he and his partner, Rich Davis, dropped Obamacare because it was too expensive. In the written version, Egbert and Davis are buried near the bottom of the story. The audio story says that there are only three insurance plans to choose from. But the story doesn’t explain why and this is where the slanted reporting comes in.
The fact is that Republican South Dakota governor Dennis Daugaard and the Republican-controlled state legislature refused to expand Medicaid in that state on February 24, 2014. Expanding Medicaid in all states was a primary goal of–what else?—the Affordable Care Act. Just about all—if not all—Republican-controlled states refused to expand Medicaid even though the federal government was picking up the tab for the first few years. So Egbert and Davis should be blaming Governor Daugaard and their state legislature—people they most likely voted for in prior elections—for the lack of affordable healthcare in their state, along with the paucity of health plans to choose from. That’s under the control of your state, gentlemen, not the Feds.
This hit the working poor, like Egbert and Davis, hardest of all. Had state Republicans not blocked this expansion, it is very likely Egbert and Davis among 25,000 other people would have had the affordable healthcare Davis needed at the time. I have no information to back this up but I wonder if both Egbert and Davis are Republicans? What I do know is that NPR contacted Egbert after he posted a comment on its Facebook page. Whether or not they vetted Egbert and his story is unknown.
Something else I do know is that, right before next year’s elections, South Dakota has now decided to expand Medicaid and has gotten the initial “go ahead” from a health official in the Obama Administration. http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2015/09/29/medicaid-expansion-plan-gets-initial-go-ahead-dc/73067220/
So, Messers. Egbert and Davis, and the other 25,000 uninsured inhabitants of South Dakota, it looks like with your South Dakota state government finally embracing Obamacare just before election time, you will get your affordable health insurance. And if it gives you gentlemen any solace, Obamacare started off as Romneycare (an advisor to then-Gov. Romney re-worked it for the Obama administration) which had its genesis with a plan devised by the Koch Brothers own Heritage Foundation as far back as 1989.
So, gentlemen, stop seeing Red over Obamacare. And in next year’s elections, start feeling Blue.
And you, Steve Inskeep and all at NPR Morning Edition, have you no shame? Apparently not.
Like many other Democrats, I was angered by the GOP’s near-sweep of national and state races. There were pockets of Democratic victories but by and large the United States will be much redder starting January 2015.
I said I was angered, but I wasn’t surprised. In fact, none of us should have been surprised. All the signs were there and this GOP victory had been predicted months in advance. Besides, this has been years in the making. Young Republican college students like Grover Norquist hooked up with the Koch Brothers back in the 70s and formulated the basics of this plan, revising and expanding it over the years. The Kochs had enough money and enough time to take the long view for achieving their goal of total dominance over the American political system. And, based on last Tuesday’s elections, it looks like the plan is working. Karl Rove has been quoted as saying his plan to lead and to keep the GOP in political dominance extends to 2020, which happens to be the year in which it is predicted that Hispanics will make up the majority of the populace in Texas and perhaps in other areas.
Look at what Koch and other wealthy right wing powerhouses have wrought: they virtually control the corporate media, they control the US Supreme Court, many state governments, most of the US District and Courts of Appeal, and now Congress. Under normal conditions, I would agree with some liberal columnists who claim that with the GOP in control of Congress, they will fail dismally as they always do, angering voters to the point where the pendulum will again swing leftward in 2016.
I’m not so sure that prediction will be borne out this time. As I said, for the first time people like the Kochs now control almost all political, legislative, judicial processes and the media in this country. So, they not only control what their minions see, hear, and read, I believe they just about control the election process as well which has given them control of everything else that I’ve mentioned.
This didn’t happen in a vacuum. Check the voting records of many Democrats over the years. How do you think the five Koch employees on the US Supreme Court were appointed? And all of the right wing judges in the US District Court and Court of Appeals systems? I don’t remember any Democratic filibusters against any of these nominations. The Democrats also supported all the takeovers and mergers which allowed just a few media companies to monopolize control of all communications in this country.
The Democrats have proven to be wimps, unorganized without the capability of creating and instituting a Liberal plan along the lines of the GOP plan which would wrest control of the political, legislative and judicial processes from the hands of the Kochs, et al. A successful, 50-state plan was created and managed by ex-Gov. Howard Dean after he became the Democratic National Committee chair in 2005. In return for this great plan and his successful fundraising work has been totally snubbed and discarded by the Obama administration and by the DNC. Under Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC has mismanaged Democratic campaigns and getting the Democratic message out to voters to such an extent that we now have a Republican-controlled Congress in fact. Since 2010, the GOP has had de facto control of Congress.
President Obama deserves his fair share of blame for the right wing takeover of corporate media. He has been no different from his Republican (and some Democratic) predecessors in appointing industry hacks to run and sit on the board of the FCC. The most egregious example of this is current FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Consequently, control of printed, broadcast, and telecast media along with cable systems are concentrated in very few but extremely powerful corporate hands, all of them run by CEOs and boards who lean very far to the Right. As I write this, the FCC is poised to introduce a proposal that ignores the will of 3.7 million protestors as it will virtually eliminate net neutrality, placing the internet under the control of those same very few but extremely powerful corporate hands. And there’s not one thing any of us can do about it. If the President ignores our protests, and the new Congress will certainly ignore them, what peaceful options are left to us?
So, in 2016 we will be entering a media and political environment totally hostile to Liberal and Democratic politics. The one and only goal of people like the Kochs will be to embed in cement GOP and right wing control of virtually all aspects of life in this country for their own personal political and financial enrichment. Expect more voter ID laws to pass in states controlled by the GOP since SCOTUS has placed its imprimatur on it; more GOP gerrymandering of state and congressional voting districts, and more control of the voting and vote counting processes. And, of course, SCOTUS effectively gave control of political campaign contributions to the GOP via Citizens United.
This is why I believe that approval of Congress could sink to 0% by 2016 and almost all Republican incumbents along with Republican challengers will still be elected. Maybe I’m being overly pessimistic and paranoid here, but the creeping grasp of the GOP hand over most of everything that happens in this country. What’s the answer? That’s for Liberals and Democrats to organize and figure out. The answer might be a totally new coalition of voters disgusted with both Democratic and Republican parties. That could result in candidates and voters in large enough numbers to offset the GOP control of our elective process. Or maybe not.
I’m a farlefty. My blog name validates this or it wouldn’t be called Farlefty. My world is ruled by logic, common sense, and deductive reasoning and opinions based on research. Then there’s the world of the ultra-farleftys in which President Obama is lying about ISIS/ISIL and the threat they pose to our American way of life. They claim he just wants to phony up a war in Iraq just like the Bush administration did. They also claim we are being lied to about the threat ISIS/ISIL poses to Syria along with the threat Assad poses to his own Syrian people. These people claim the puppet masters behind the marionette show which is Congress, SCOTUS, and the White House are hungry for more oil fields and the plentiful natural resources laying around all over the place in the Middle East and that’s what’s really going on. Well, I agree with that up to a point—especially about most of Congress and the five Koch Brothers employees on SCOTUS being puppets.
But here’s the problem as I see it with the overwhelming paranoia on the Far Left: If Obama is just as much of a liar as George W. Bush was, then this country is already lost to the likes of the Koch Brothers. It’s game over, folks; there’s no Blue and there’s no Red, just Purple. If this is to be believed, then there’s not a thing we can do about it because the game is rigged and no matter who you believe or who you vote for, you’re wrong. I believe Obama to be a basically good man of good intentions for this country, but it’s undeniable that for most of his presidency he’s been in the pockets of the likes of Goldman Sachs (look at how many people from GS he chose to fill White House and Federal Reserve Bank positions) and the banksters (Jaime Dimon being his good buddy). But given all this, Obama did sign into law bills that have helped—for the most part—consumers and homeowners.
These same ultra-farleftys also think Vladimir Putin is an innocent victim of worldwide disinformation intended to frame him as a despot intent on returning the Ukraine piece back to the jigsaw puzzle that was the Soviet Union. They claim that it’s Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine, who’s the real villain, trying to gain the world’s sympathy by falsely claiming Russian nationalists and operatives had invaded Ukraine and started shooting wars to capture and control the southeastern region of the country. Ultra-farleftys also point to interviews and articles on Russia Today (where else) that claim it was Ukraine that shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near Donetsk in the that the ensuing global outrage would result in a world war against Russia.
The world of the ultra-farleftys is like the Bizarro world in the Superman comics. The good guys are the bad guys and the bad guys good. Everything you know is wrong, which is true up to a point. I think that intelligent people who are also congenitally insightful are intuitive enough to discern truth from fiction, lies, and propaganda. When you read a book by Paul Krugman, you just know he is truthfully and accurately relating what went wrong with the financial system in this country and how to fix it. When you read books by Bill O’Reilly or Ann Coulter, you know they’re lying pieces of shit.
Ultra-farleftys may be intelligent folk—many of them seem to be—and some may well be well-meaning but unknowing purveyors of disinformation while others are in on the scam. I don’t know. But what I do know is that people on the far left can go so far to the left, and people on the far right can go so far to the right that both groups meet in the middle. It’s one thing to be faced on both sides with lunacy, but to be surrounded by it creates a vacuum empty of knowledge and truth. Nature abhors a vacuum but tyranny loves it.
Yesterday I started seeing an online Netflix ad for a Mitt Romney documentary, “MITT”, that it’s showing exclusively. It’s a chance to get to know the Mittens you never knew. And boy– are they right! Mitt’s showing us—hey, I’m just like you—with mussed hair above a pair of tired, faintly hopeful eyes looking at the camera as if saying, “Do you accept me now?” Mittens allowed tousling of his perfectly coiffed and dyed hair? Wow, it’s the FIRST thing I now know that I never knew!
But once the afterglow of discovery fades away, a gnawing question replaces it: why this documentary showing the “human” side of Romney now? If he possesses any reason—as opposed to intelligence—he’ll never run for president again. So, what could be behind this? Hmmm…Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick is ending his term this year and has announced he won’t seek reelection. Is Romney thinking that with the presidency forever out of his reach he just might try to return to the seat of his former glory? That would be very Mittens-like but since he hasn’t announced he’s running or set up an exploratory committee that I know of, it’s just conjecture on my part.
The Utah governor, Gary Herbert, just started his second term, but who wants to be the new governor of a state that officially refuses to recognize gay marriage and deprives little school kids of their unpaid lunches by throwing them in the garbage—right in front of them? That’s not the tousled-haired Mittens I know!
The House of Representatives is too small to hold a man of Romney’s wealth so that leaves the Senate. No open seats in Utah and I think Massachusetts voters won’t be venturing back into the dark Right side any time soon. So, this leaves the Massachusetts governor’s office as his only possible target. I mean, there had to be reason why Mitten’s guys paid Netflix all that money to run their vanity project. And the director of this epic, inside look at the Mittens we preferred to stay far away from as opposed to wanting to get up close and personal? Greg Whiteley, with only two other credits to his name: “New York Doll” which examined an ex-member of the New York Dolls who renounced his past when he became a Mormon, and “Resolved”, a documentary on high school debates that for some reason puts Koch Bros. employee SCOTUS Justice Sammy Alito front and center. Either he was one of the high school debaters or that’s how he got his judging experience.
It took six years to make this documentary. Why did it take so long? It probably took that long for Whiteley to film enough footage to make Mitten’s life look interesting enough to fill 90 minutes.
The pundits who in 2012 predicted tea partiers would claim Mitt Romney lost because he wasn’t conservative enough have been proven correct. I think this signals that tea partiers are positioning themselves to take over the GOP. The Tea Party is indeed the Frankenstein’s monster of Karl Rove and Dick Armey. They didn’t create it but infused it with a criminal but malleable brain. Now, despite a lot of evidence to the contrary, tea partiers feel Almighty empowered and invulnerable, exactly the way Walter White felt after he blew up Gus Fring.
At first it puzzled me why the Arizona GOP Party was firing the first Tea Party salvo at John McCain, who isn’t up for reelection until 2016. I think their strategy is to let him know that if he doesn’t fall into line and goosestep with the rest of them, he’s a lame duck. But while they’re patting each other on their shoulders for their assertiveness and take-no-prisoners approach to partisan politics, they might just have reawakened the sleeping maverick in McCain. If he decides that he doesn’t like to be dictated to by the likes of pipsqueaks who weren’t even born when he was in a Vietnam POW camp he’s gonna start sending messages “See how lame THIS duck is” by once again voting his conscience and not the directives handed down on high from the likes of Karl Rove and the Kochs or their agents—who have been the only GOPers McCain does answer to.
The Tea Party occupies a small tract of land at the very fringe of politics but still they believe that they can seize control of the GOP. That’s like Maine thinking it can overthrow the federal government and set up the United State of Maine. The Arizona GOP Party division of the Tea Party is gearing up for a fight with the GOP hierarchy as to who will control the party come 2016. The tea partiers will come armed with exaggerated feelings of supremacy and destiny, the GOP hierarchy will come armed with money boys ready to park north of $600 million, ruthless veteran strategists, Fox , and what they consider their own “mainstream” Republican candidates to primary and beat these upstart whippersnappers. I think it’s possible that we may be able to sit back, watch, and enjoy the GOP Civil War, coming to an internet and TV near you.
But a word to the wise to the Tea Party: Never bite the hand that feeds you. You’ll wind up with a mouthful of missing teeth.
Dear Chuck and Dave,
That’s some creative team you’ve got working for you there. Yeah, some creativity coursing through their little minds. No wonder you guys are such a potent political force with such creativity ready to be called upon at a moment’s notice.
Take this Generation Opportunity campaign targeted at young, healthy people—especially college students–in an effort to convince them to opt out of Obamacare. Stroke of genius, that. Obamcare needs young, healthy, low Obamacare-usage people in the income pool to offset the costs of paying for all the healthcare for older and much younger, not as healthy, high-Obamacare usage people. Problem is, you overlooked one tiny but ever so critical detail. You targeted young people—many of them college students–and by and large, young college students are in their early 20s. Under Obamacare, these young people don’t have to opt out of anything because they will already be covered under their parents’ Obamacare health plans until they are 26. What’s that Mr. President? The President just said, “Checkmate.”
And have you checked the statistics, fellas? Young people are more prone to drive fast and recklessly so they get into more serious auto accidents…where they would need healthcare coverage to pay their medical bills. Young people engage in contact sports like football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, soccer, and rugby. Young athletes get hurt, they get concussions, they need medical attention which would be paid for by…Obamacare. Ever watch “Jackass” or see the movies? Young people love to emulate these stunts because young people like to prove their indestructibility and immortality by performing stupid and potentially lethal stunts. The ERs are full of these young people and Obamacare will pay their bills. Young people—especially college students—like to drink alcohol—a lot. And when they’re drunk they may drive fast and recklessly, engage in contact sports, and perform “Jackass” stunts. And you want them to feed off their self-image of indestructibility and immortality and opt out of Obamacare under your imposed delusion that they don’t need it? Granted, not all young people are this prone to serious injury but enough of them potentially sure as hell are.
Is there no bottom to your sociopathic callousness and greed? I think that if we keep digging, we’ll reach China long before we hit bottom with you guys.