The Partisan Hack vs the Objective Journalist (re: Healthcare Reform)

It’s hard to find good examples of this kind of stuff.  I’m well aware that being an “objective journalist” is something of a oxymoronic ideal, but it’s there to strive for, and the difficulty in reaching that ideal is no reason not to try.

Here’s a quick example of the difference between actually trying to be objective and doing your best to skew reality.

First up, the ojective dude.*

The first statistics are coming in and, to the surprise of a great many, Obamacare might just be working to bring health care to working Americans precisely as promised.

The major health insurance companies around the country are reporting a significant increase in small businesses offering health care benefits to their employees.


Because the tax cut created in the new health care reform law providing small businesses with an incentive to give health benefits to employees is working.

One of the biggest problems in the small-group market is affordability,” said Ron Rowe, who oversees small-group sales for the Kansas City operation for Blue Cross Blue Shied. “We looked at the tax credit and said, ‘this is perfect.”

Rowe went on to say that 38% of the businesses it is signing up had not offered health benefits before.

You can read the rest of that article (and the comments) for some insight on how some of the provisions from health-care reform are helping to bring healthcare to millions of more people.


…you can read the partisan hack version.  This one doesn’t include quotes from Ron Rowe, rather it is filled with the deceptive statistical proclamations of one Karl Rove.

A primary task for the new Republican House majority is to undo as many of the pernicious effects of ObamaCare that it can. One of these effects is the spectacle of employers going hat-in-hand to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for waivers from some of the law’s more onerous provisions.

BTW, one of the “pernicious effects” of “ObmaCare” that Rove refers to is reducing the country’s deficits.  Even Bruce Bartlett has called out the GOP for this long-term lie.  Rove, of course, doesn’t deign to mention how repealing HCR increases the debt, but he does start slinging doozies and baseless insinuations…

In September, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius began granting waivers to companies that provided workers “mini-med” coverage—low-cost plans with low annual limits on what the insurance will pay out. This followed announcements by some employers that they would have to drop these plans because they did not meet the new health law’s requirement that 85% of premium income be spent on medical expenses.

Rove *very much neglects to mention* that all of these “mini-med” waivers are holdovers until the full legislation kicks in in 2014. addressed this lie recently….

Q: Has the Obama administration allowed corporations to “opt out” of the new health care law?

A: No. The government has granted more than 200 waivers, but these merely give companies a temporary delay before being required to improve the coverage of cheap, bare-bones plans they currently offer.

Karl Rove, however, knowing that his reading audience for the WSJ is already largely suspicious of  certain groups getting special favors, plays that card immediately…

According to the department’s website, the waivers cover 1,507,418 employees, of which more than a third (525,898) are union members. Yet unionized workers make up only 7% of the private work force. Whatever is going on here, a disproportionately high number of waivers are being granted to administration allies.

Note this old-school hackery…”I don’t know what’s going on here, but I’m suspicious.”  This is pure hackery.  Sure, it could be pointed out that it’s comparing apples (private work force as a whole) to oranges (specific industries getting waivers), and one could also point out, like Politifact did, that…

But, as of Dec. 3, the federal government had approved a total of 222 one-year waivers that allow the insurance plans at companies like McDonald’s, Jack in the Box and Ruby Tuesday, and unions, to ignore the requirement on annual limits. Far from being “Obama’s buddies,” as the Internet post claimed, the restaurant industry, through the National Restaurant Association, opposed the legislation.

.,..but only someone honest would do that.  Rove doesn’t qualify.

It should also be noted here that unlike the impression one would get from Rove’s article, we are talking about plans here that barely, if at all, qualify as “health insurance”.    And did I mention the waivers are temporary?  I probably should twice, since Rove neglected to ever mention that salient fact.

In typical douchebag fashion, Rove finishes with the unknowingly ironic…

In a speech at the University of Iowa last March, the president heralded health-care reform as “a new set of rules that treats everybody honestly and treats everybody fairly.”

…which is precisely why Republicans hate it.  Right, Mr. Rove?

* It should be noted that he is writing for Forbes magazine.   Forbes…run by Steve Forbes…who wrote…

If reelected, Obama can go back to his power-grabbing ways by having the federal government intrusively dominate higher education via programs that will make college “free” to virtually everyone. Student loans are already under his thumb.

Rigid ideologists have long known how to make tactical maneuvers to further their ultimate goals. The most famous case was Vladimir Lenin in the early 1920s. While the Communists had won the civil war, the Soviet Union’s economy was moribund, threatening the Red regime’s survival. Entrepreneurs did not fear taxes and regulations; they feared for their very lives.

I mention that bit of retarded guilt by association to illustrate that while even the editor-in-chief  of  Forbes (Steve Forbes) is a “Obama is a commie!!” nut, not all of his editors are infected with the same delusion.   A lesson one Mr. Murdoch might take to heart if he wasn’t making so much money ignoring it.

A beautiful blonde, the CIA and America’s lies about Iraq

I hope that film can add its unique qualities to the journalistic record on this set of events, so that Americans can truly understand one of the most important, dramatic and personally intense intersections of principle and personalities in their own recent history — a history that is not behind us but that still comes home to us, wounded or maddened or accompanied by officials bearing a wrapped flag to loved ones, week after week after week.

Should be an interesting flick. The way the press attacked Wilson, while ignoring the data (or lack thereof) was shameful, and one of their worst failures in modern history.

UPDATE:  There is also an interesting aspect of the film, in that they actually get to explore what it was that Vallerie Plame was *doing* as CIA operative.  This isn’t something Plame can talk about, and hasn’t, and isn’t something the CIA will confirm or deny.  It is only in the creative world of cinematic reality that it can be explored.

And it should not be forgotten here, a man (well, a Scooter) got sentenced to prison for doing this.  Yes, I know, Bush commuted his sentence, but even Bush wouldn’t pardon the guy.  What they did was wrong, and it was done to silence critics and facts and sell a war of agression.

Karl Rove shows how it’s done because he is a Genius

This is a wonderful object lesson we have for us today. This is how you fling shit, and fling it well.

The Genius that is Bush’s Brain has spoken.


On the campaign trail last year, Barack Obama promised to end the “politics of fear and cynicism.” Yet he is now trying to sell his health-care proposals on fear.

Boom!  Right off the bat, Karl Rove is at it.

Obama is trying to scare you, Rove posits.  Immediately and to the point, get the big lie out first and quickly…Obama is a hypocrite for trying to reform health care.  Hypocrisy = Healthcare = Secrit Muslin = Obama.

Now, let’s back up a bit to quick little rant I tossed up the other day.  You can watch it, well, right here…yea, I move my arms around that much when I get a bit fired up.

So in that rant I talked about how you should ignore folks who try and make this about a man, rather than about a plan.  It’s a logical fallacy, a lie.  A big one.  Right out the gate, I tell ya, that Rove is a genius.

Healthcare is an important part of our lives, I don’t think I need to stress that point.  We have an aging population (*will be mentioned lated), the most expensive per capita by far system in the world.  We have 47,000,000 to 50,000,000 folks without health insurance, and those that do have it have seen prices skyrocket. 

It’s a huge, expensive, beauracratic, corporate, and already some government, system.  The idea is to make it better.

O.k. so….that’s why we’re having this debate.  Which has been going on for 17 or 18 years, recently, and even longer than that historically as the United States has expanded and matured as a culture.   Yes, it was rather inconceivable to the Founding Fathers that every black child, born in every shack, had the Right, as an American, to get essentially free health care for their entire lives.

It’s not such a far fetch idea nowadys, IMHO.  So it’s quite possible they overlooked that right when talking about the pursuit of happiness and how, say, polio can put a damper on it.

All I’m saying there is that we as a country have evolved a bit since the Constitution was penned.  A Constitution that gave us the ability to shape our government and our country as we see fit.

That’s how big a debate this is, and how important an issue we have here.

Let’s head back to Karl and see what he is adding to the conversation after starting out with a logical faux paus.

[Obama] said “Reform is about every American who has ever feared that they may lose their coverage, or lose their job. . . . If we do not reform health care, your premiums and out-of-pocket costs will continue to skyrocket. If we do not act, 14,000 Americans will continue to lose their health insurance every single day. These are the consequences of inaction.”

See, Obama used the word “fear” and said he wouldn’t.  Eeew, that Obamanation…

Note how Karl then doesn’t deal with the fact that costs are skyrocketing and 14,000 Americans lose coverage each day.   He goes straight to the stats.  Genius, I tells ya.

A Fox News Poll from last week shows that 84% of Americans who have health insurance are happy with their coverage. And because 91% of all Americans have insurance, that means that 76% of all Americans will be concerned about anything that threatens their current coverage. By a 2-1 margin, according to the Fox Poll, Americans want coverage from a private provider rather than the government.

84, 91, 76, Americans, 2-1,

Note how quickly we gloss over the fact that his first statistic comes from a Fox Online News Poll, compiled regarding the humble opinions of the folks that visit Fox New a lot.  Again, first the big lie.  Quickly and then on to the next.

91% of Americans have insurance Rove assures us.   With 300,000,000 Americans, and 50,000,000 (+14,000/day) without insurance, I’m seeing something more like 1 out of 6.  16.66 percent. The ratio of the devil.

Which makes 83.33% the real number, but hey, what’s 8% wiggle room after the first whopper.

Then ya just multiple the first two numbers to make up a third (.84 * .91 = 76%) which is totally unrelated to the fourth, which is another Fox Poll (which has no margin of error, it would seem) that says essentially, out of 300,000,000 Americans, 100,000,000 want government insurance and 200,000,000 want private. 

Right now, 250,000,000 Americans have private insurance.  So the poll is really saying 50,000,000 Americans want a public option for health insurance and to say screw you to the insurance companies and their heartless profit-obsessed culture and beauracracy.

So we have 50,000,000 who want a public option and 50,000,000 who have squat, and about half of ’em voted for Obama to try and fix this system.

So he told Congress to get to work, and now we are all calmly discussin various solutions, right?

Right?  Cool.

Discussin’ solutions, right…Karl?

Facing numbers like these, Mr. Obama is dropping his high-minded rhetoric and instead trying to scare voters.

Facing what numbers?   People want to fix the system, they voted for the guy.  Now we can all calmly discuss real world solutions, like legislators do.   Policy, right?

During last week’s news conference, for example, he said that doctors routinely perform unnecessary tonsillectomies on children simply to fatten their wallets. All that was missing was the suggestion that the operations were conducted without anesthesia.

Well, that suggestion is there now, isn’t it Karl?  I mean, I’ll bet that’s exactly what Obama is planning, along with the government kill squads that go after old people, convincing them to die “for the good of society”.  Just like in that Hollywood fantasy

What, you haven’t you heard about those grandma killing beuracrats?  Obama has been asked about them at least 5 different times (that’s I’ve seen).  Someone out there is spreading some FUD, that’s for sure.  [btw, here’s the factcheck on that, so you can know where it came from]

Anyway, back to policy, right Karl?

This is not a healthy way to wage a policy debate. It also risks making the president look desperate at a time when his proposals are looking increasingly too expensive for Americans to accept.

No, this is not a healthy way to wage a policy debate, Karl.  Why are you doing it like this?   Aaah, yes, to try and make the President (caps, Karl…) look “desperate” (desperate enough to choke Grandma with Lil’ Timmy’s Tonsils).

But now we are to the good part, let’s talk money.

Last weekend, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) demolished Mr. Obama’s claims that his plan cuts the growth of future health spending and won’t add to the deficit.

This is a fun one, actually.   Watch Karl work this…

Responding to a White House proposal to create an independent panel to recommend Medicare cuts, the CBO said on Saturday that “The probability is high that no savings would be realized” in the next decade, while entitlement spending would rise $1.042 trillion. The CBO did say there might be $2 billion in savings in the second decade of the program—a pittance.

Note how Karl uses the gross figure there, “entitlement spending woud rise $1.042 trillion in the next decade”, and then we start to see savings on the changes.

What Karl neglects to mention is that the health care reform legislation includes covering the vast majority of those 50,000,000 uncovered human Americans and another 100,000,000 old as hell Americans (Baby Boomers, who are only going to get more expensive).

So even with that…we end up spending what current projections look like.

That’s what is happening.  Here read the testimony itself. 

Elmendorf told members of the committee that his answer to Conrad shows only that the bill “adds to federal health spending, and that amount is difficult to offset.” 

In other words, it’s not that the health reform bills do not lead to savings for the federal government — just that those savings may not offset the added expense of subsidizing insurance for many more Americans.

And Karl spins it like a maniac.  Genius, I tell ya.

White House Budget Director Peter Orszag shot back at the CBO with a blog posting on the White House’s Web site arguing, “the point of the proposal . . . was never to generate savings over the next decade.” Really? The White House rolled out the proposal hoping to give cover to Blue Dog Democrats in Congress barking about the cost of overhauling health care.

Yea, really.  The point is to contain healthcare costs, insure Americans, and keep people living happy, healthy lives.  That’s the point.  And that’s what the CBO said it did.   And it did get the BDD’s some leverage and they cut into the bill pretty good.  Weakening it, but it continues on, as did Rove…

Here comes a good one.

The House version of ObamaCare adds to the deficit even though the new taxes to pay for part of it begin two years before the program itself kicks in. That head start puts ObamaCare in the black through 2013. But net new spending after that overwhelms future revenue to add to the deficit each year.

Keith Hennessey, who was a National Economic Council director for George W. Bush, estimates the annual deficits in Mr. Obama’s plan will grow to $64 billion a year by 2019.

It’s important to keep these two points together.  Pointed out in the bold.  See..when you run in the black for four years, then run small deficits increasing to a palty $64 B (out of $1 T, or 0.064%) for six years, YOU END UP EVEN.

Oh,and since when did “National Economic Council director for George W. Bush” carry weight?   Bush projection’s had us swimming in oil and money by 2009, if you’ll recall. 

Anyway, sorry…just had to Bush Bash for a moment.   Recall, everyone, that this article I’m spending so much time playing with was penned by one Karl Rove.   Karl was Bush’s brain.  And y’all know what Bush did.   Genius.

To continue…

And this assumes that Mr. Obama gets all the tax increases and Medicare cuts he wants.

Yup, Obama is increasin’ your taxes and cutting your Medicare!  Scared yet?


Let’s a put the last few of these together, I’m sure you’re getting as bored with tearing apart Karl as I am, but here’s a few more nice zingers…genius.

Damaging reports from the CBO had earlier provoked some Chicago-style intimidation, with the president summoning CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf to the Oval Office. It’s safe to assume that they didn’t talk about the Chicago White Sox.

Ooooh, that’s old schoold Chicago policitcs, talking directly to someone who releases a report at your request.  I think it’s also safe to assume they probably, oh, I don’t know…TALKED ABOUT THE PROJECTED COST OF THE HEALTH CARE PLAN?

From what I’ve seen of Obama and heard of him, he likes to know stuff, and he’s pretty sharp.  So what came out of that conversation?  Here come the air-quotes…

Imagine if Mr. Bush had done that after the CBO released numbers that undercut the centerpiece of his domestic agenda. “White House thuggery” and “intimidation” would have been the theme of nearly every editorial writer in the country.

Interesting that now they are only coming from one editorial writer in the country.  Sucks not to be in control anymore, doesn’t it Karl?   Note how he used the quotes as if to say that he’s actually quoting an editor.  Nope, just making shit up, Karl-style.

Team Obama’s pressure, however, might have caused the CBO to release its latest missives on a weekend, when fewer people are paying attention to the news.

Ohh, yea…you loved doin’ that one, didn’t ya?   Why do you think folks like myself tend to wait until Friday night to talk about the week that was?  We learned it from watching you, Karl. 

Note how the alleged “quoted” intimidation has now been succressful in Karl’s narrative.

Mr. Obama’s problem is that nine out of 10 Americans would likely get worse health care if ObamaCare goes through.

Wait, what?  ObamaCare?!  9 out of 10…where from was this statistic pulled and why does it smell like processed burritos?

Of those who do not have insurance—and who therefore might be better off—approximately one-fifth are illegal aliens, nearly three-fifths make $50,000 or more a year and can afford insurance, and just under a third are probably eligible for Medicaid or other government programs already.

You gorram asshole.  This whole discussion, this whole times we’ve been talking about Americans, and now you’re talking about those damned illegals that came to your house to protest you being an asshole.

So everyone else is illegal, solidly middle class or already covered.  Wait, what?  It’s stat-mash-up time, folks, and where does it end?

For the slice of the uninsured that is left—perhaps about 2% of all American citizens—Team Obama would dismantle the world’s greatest health-care system.

Down to 2%.   We’ve gone from 50,000,000 people to only 6,000,000…all with the power of Karl Rove’s statistics.

So now you know a little bit more why Bush made such horrible decisions.   This is the guy that was feeding him data.

And the coup-de-grace, the final big lie.  Book-end them, for his pleasure.

That’s a losing proposition, which is why Mr. Obama is increasingly resorting to fear and misleading claims. It’s all the candidate of hope has left.

Hope or Fear.

Obama or Rove.

Gosh, that’s a tough call.  After all, Karl Rove is genius.  He just made 44,000,000 people disappear with statistics.

There’s no problem here.  Nothing to fear.  Move along, citizen. 

And get that cough checked out at the emergency room.

Mr. Rove is the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.

Enough said.

And the Hypocrisy Grows…

…I dunno about you, but I’m noting dangerous levels of hypocrisy coming from a certain direction. No, not the Whitehouse. I’ve already detailed the stench emanating from that direction. This stuff is flowing down from the North, not the East.

Read more for the examples…

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