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Archive for August 4th, 2009

Orly Taitz Melts Down On MSNBC, Blames MSM “Brownshirts” (VIDEO)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 4th, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Orly Taitz Melts Down On MSNBC, Blames MSM “Brownshirts” (VIDEO)
The conventional wisdom is that August is the slowest month for news, thus it’s tailor-made for the “Birther” movement — crazies that come hand-delivered to the media in their month of need, like barrel-dwelling fish that shoot themselves.

Bill Scher: A Right-Wing Mob Is Not a Majority
We’re seeing more and more YouTube video of hostile constituents berating members of Congress to kill health care reform. Last month was the infamous Rep….

Stu Kreisman: Republicans, Healthcare and Money
After Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal made a big show of how independent he was by rejecting President Obama’s stimulus package, he’s now going around the…

Marty Kaplan: Mobs R Us?
Are today’s protesters on the right doing anything different from what the left did in the ’60s and ’70s to stop the Vietnam War?

AKMuckraker: Leave the Kids Alone! Except the Kindergarteners
“Leave his kids alone!” Thus spake the ex-almost-one-term governor of Alaska. She was talking about newly installed Acting Governor Sean Parnell and his “nice family.”…


Drudge, Fox Nation mischaracterize Obama remarks as supporting end to private health insurance

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 4th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Drudge, Fox Nation mischaracterize Obama remarks as supporting end to private health insurance

On August 3, the Drudge Report and the Fox Nation linked to a YouTube video with the headlines, “Uncovered Video: Obama Explains How His Health Care Plan Will ‘Eliminate’ Private Insurance” and “2007 Video! Did Obama Say He Wants to Kill Private Insurance?,” respectively. However, the video clip cropped Obama’s comments and mischaracterized them: Obama was not discussing the elimination of private insurance, but rather how health insurance could transition from a system of primarily “employer coverage” to a “much more portable system.”

Drudge, Fox Nation echo YouTube poster’s claim that in clip, Obama is “saying His Health Care Plan Will ELIMINATE Private Insurance”

From the Drudge Report on August 3:

drudgevideo

From FoxNation.com on August 3:

fnhealth

Posted video shows Obama was not discussing elimination of “private insurance” in general

Video mischaracterized footage of Obama discussing insurance options beyond employer-based coverage. While the video clip is posted on YouTube under the headline, “SHOCK UNCOVERED: Obama IN HIS OWN WORDS saying His Health Care Plan will ELIMINATE private insurance,” Obama does not discuss the elimination of private insurance during the clip. Rather, in the footage, taken from a 2007 forum on health care, Obama discusses how the health insurance system could transition away from a system of primarily “employer coverage.” In the video clip, Obama states, “I would hope that we could set up a system that allows those who can go through their employer to access a federal system or a state pool of some sort. … But I don’t think we’re going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately.”

From the video, posted on YouTube by the conservative video news site NakedEmperorNews.com:

OBAMA: My commitment is to make sure that we’ve got universal health care for all Americans by the end of my first term as president.

[…]

OBAMA: I would hope that we could set up a system that allows those who can go through their employer to access a federal system or a state pool of some sort.

ON-SCREEN TEXT: OBAMA admitting his plan will ELIMINATE private insurance (over time)

OBAMA: But I don’t think we’re going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There’s going to be potentially some transition process. I can envision a decade out or 15 years out or 20 years out.

Video crops Obama comments to suggest employer coverage would be “eliminated” by his plan

Contrary to cropped video, Obama did not suggest “employer coverage” would be “eliminate[d]” in 10 to 20 years. Obama stated: “But I don’t think we’re going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There’s going to be potentially some transition process. I can envision a decade out or 15 years out or 20 years out where we’ve got a much more portable system” [cropped comments in italics].

Obama stated during forum that under his plan, employers “still have the option of providing coverage.” Following the remarks included in the YouTube video, Obama stated that under that “much more portable system”: Employers still have the option of providing coverage, but many people may find that they get better coverage, or at least coverage that gives them more for health care dollars than they spend outside of their employer. And I think we’ve got to facilitate that and let individuals make that choice to transition out of employer coverage.”

Later in forum, Obama stated that under his plan, pooling options would exist “in addition to the employer based system.” Obama stated: “[O]ne thing that I think is important is to recognize that there are a lot of small employers who would like to get health care for their workers but they themselves can’t afford it because they don’t have access to large enough pools to allow them to save money. That’s why I think it’s going to be important for us in whatever system that we set up to make sure that in addition to the employer based system that we’ve got an alternative system that individuals who aren’t getting it through the job can access.”

From the March 24, 2007, health care forum (portions aired in the video in bold):

OBAMA: As I indicated before, I think that we’re going to have to have some system where people can buy into a larger pool. Right now their pool typically is the employer, but there are other ways of doing it. I would like to — I would hope that we could set up a system that allows those who can go through their employer to access a federal system or a state pool of some sort. But I don’t think we’re going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There’s going to be potentially some transition process. I can envision a decade out or 15 years out or 20 years out where we’ve got a much more portable system. Employers still have the option of providing coverage, but many people may find that they get better coverage, or at least coverage that gives them more for health care dollars than they spend outside of their employer. And I think we’ve got to facilitate that and let individuals make that choice to transition out of employer coverage.

[…]

OBAMA: And one thing that I think is important is to recognize that there are a lot of small employers who would like to get health care for their workers but they themselves can’t afford it because they don’t have access to large enough pools to allow them to save money. That’s why I think it’s going to be important for us in whatever system that we set up to make sure that in addition to the employer based system that we’ve got an alternative system that individuals who aren’t getting it through the job can access. Now, I just have to repeat something I said earlier. And I’m absolutely convinced of this. The most important challenge for us is to build a political consensus around the need to solve this problem.


On Wolffe P.R. Firm’s Client List: Exxon Mobil, Northrop Grumman, Republic of Georgia

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 4th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

On Wolffe P.R. Firm’s Client List: Exxon Mobil, Northrop Grumman, Republic of Georgia
It’s pretty questionable for anyone who works for a lobbying or public relations firm to also host a news show on which issues of interest to those clients’ are likely to be discussed — as we told you MSNBC’s Richard…

Congress To Bonner: We Want Answers On Forged Letters
Last week, we told you about Bonner and Associates, the D.C. lobby firm that was caught sending forged letters — purporting to come from local Hispanic and black groups — to a U.S. congressman, urging him to vote against the…


The Notion of a Birther (or Happy Birthday, President Obama)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 4th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

The Notion of a Birther (or Happy Birthday, President Obama)
Snopes Verifies Obama’s Hawaiian Birth Certificate & Condemns Kenyan B.C. as Forgery. Is This The Source of the Forged Kenyan Birth Certficate? By David Weigel, The Washington Independent, Aug. 3, 2009. (Similarities to Australian forms easily available online.) Also read: ‘Birthers’ Latch Onto Forged Kenyan Birth Certificate By the same author


A Polling Pandemic?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 4th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

A Polling Pandemic?
Walter Shapiro writes about how “the first flicker of Obama’s vulnerabilities in the national polls invited an over-reaction from Pollyanna to piranha.”

“A strong case can be made that these pile-on polls by themselves cause growing unease. Since the 1930s, polls have been part of the national political debate eagerly parsed by presidents and pundits alike. But never has their influence loomed larger. The rabid fascination with the 2008 election turned America into a nation of polling junkies with everyone from high-school students to elderly shut-ins loudly opining about sampling techniques and margins of error.”

White House Counsel Could Be Pushed Out
“Obama administration officials are holding discussions that could result in White House counsel Gregory Craig leaving his post, following a rocky tenure,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Mr. Craig, the top lawyer at the White House and a close aide to President Barack Obama, has helped lead the administration’s efforts on several national-security issues that once enjoyed popularity but have since become become political liabilities for Mr. Obama.”

“These include the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the release of Bush administration-era national-security documents, and efforts to find legal ways to indefinitely hold some detainees who can’t be put on trial.”


How I Reconciled My Diet With My Feminism

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 4th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

How I Reconciled My Diet With My Feminism

How can you be a fat-positive feminist who's trying to losing weight?

Do Hate Crime Laws Do Any Good?

There's no indication that getting hate crimes on the books actually prevents them.

Condemn CNN for Its Lou Dobbs "Birther" Fiasco

By continuing to sanction Dobbs' thinly veiled racism, the network is jeopardizing its status as America's "most trusted" news source.


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 4th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Presented By:

Putting the Poor Far Away
I have been struck by the fact that some recent studies found that relocating poor families to middle income areas had a limited impact on the education and career path on the children. I was skeptical of this finding,…


Sponsored Topics: Middle classEducationGoldman SachsChildren Youth and FamilyUnemployment


Bye-Bye Ryan Powers

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 4th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Bye-Bye Ryan Powers
ThinkProgress recently bid farewell to our good friend and colleague, Ryan Powers. For nearly a year, Ryan shared his enthusiasm for new media with ThinkProgress, and was always willing to lend a hand to other team members. Even as an intern, Ryan helped the team innovate and move forward. A look at some of […]

ryan ThinkProgress recently bid farewell to our good friend and colleague, Ryan Powers. For nearly a year, Ryan shared his enthusiasm for new media with ThinkProgress, and was always willing to lend a hand to other team members. Even as an intern, Ryan helped the team innovate and move forward. A look at some of his posts:

Rep. Hoekstra: Only I’m Allowed To Accuse The CIA Of Lying [Link]

Christian Right: Obama Is A Heretic For Observing Day Of Prayer In Private Just Like Most Other Presidents [Link]

Bachmann: The Six Muslim Leaders Detained In MN In 2006 Were On Their Way To Ellison’s Victory Party [Link]

Steele Laughs Off The Recession: ‘The Malls Are Just As Packed On Saturday’ As They Were Before [Link]

Steele Rejects Calls For His Resignation: ‘Not Me Baby! Not Happening’ [Link]

Obama’s Right-Wing Dinner Friends Rip His Stimulus Package: Worst Bill In ‘Galactic History’ [Link]

With New Season Of 24, Right Wing Falls In Love With Torture All Over Again [Link]

2008: Bush’s Last Year By The Numbers [Link]

10 Reasons Why Your Economic Pain Isn’t ‘Mental’ [Link]

Norquist: Bush’s Advisers Telling Him ‘Invade Iran. Then Everyone Will See How Smart We Are’ [Link]

Ryan is off to do political science research at the College of William and Mary. We’ll miss you, Ryan — you’ll always be a part of our team!


GI Bill in Effect, Obama Marks Occasion with Speech to Vets

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 4th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

GI Bill in Effect, Obama Marks Occasion with Speech to Vets
President Obama visited the electoral battleground of Northern Virginia on Monday morning to mark the implementation of last year’s GI bill granting higher education benefits to veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan and other post-Sept. 11 conflicts.

The Fix: Christine Todd Whitman’s Centrist Plea
Fifteen years ago, Christine Todd Whitman was widely touted as one of the bright young stars in the Republican party — having defeated Jim Florio (D) in the 1993 New Jersey gubernatorial election.

McCain Shot for ‘High Risk, High Reward’
Adapted from the book “The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election”



Is Economic Equality Worth the Loss of Prosperity?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 4th, 2009 4:29 am by HL

Is Economic Equality Worth the Loss of Prosperity?
Bill Frezza, RCM

How Wall Street Hurts America
Paul Krugman, New York Times

What’s So Great About Private Insurance?
Michael Hiltzik, LA Times

Your Guide to August’s Healthcare Debate
Jonathan Cohn, New Republic