Obama administration officials, their designated flacks, and even President Barack Obama himself have spent the past several days defending the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Tuesday afternoon, Health & Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell visited CNN's Wolf Blitzer, who simply let his guest say what she wanted to without answering his questions, spouting half-truths and falsehoods in the process.
Never let it be said that the folks at the Associated Press aren't on top of the news, making sure that readers as well as subscribers who use AP copy in their radio and TV broadcasts learn the most important developments of the day.
That's sarcasm, folks. Friday evening, in a story primarily about the FBI's grant of immunity to longtime Hillary Clinton assistant Cheryl Mills, the AP's Michael Biesecker blandly informed readers — in Paragraph 22 of 25 — that, in regards to her illegal and improperly secured private server, "The new FBI documents (released Friday) also reveal that Clinton occasionally exchanged messages with President Barack Obama, who used a pseudonymous email address." That's it. Nothing unusual here. Now move along.
"Firsts" — first man on the moon, first black president, first state to legalize something which was previously a crime, etc. — are supposed to be a big deal, right?
Tuesday evening, the Houston Chronicle reported a first in the entire history of organized labor in the U.S., and the national press is ignoring it. That's likely because it's really bad news for Big Labor. The jury verdict in a lawsuit filed by PJS Janitorial Services against the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) represents "the first time that a jury has found against a union in a business defamation or disparagement case."
Tuesday morning, Fox Business's Stuart Varney appeared on Fox News Channel's Fox & Friends program to discuss what he called the "terminal decline" in the financial viability and even availability of health plans being provided under the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
Brian Kilmeade called it "the most under-reported major story in the country by far." A Friday Investors Business Daily editorial described the situation as a "market meltdown," and further noted that the Obama administration is putting a happy face on huge rate hikes by reassuring us that higher subsidies, i.e., more tax dollars, will cover the increases most customers see.
After 52 percent of voters in Great Britain cast their ballots in favor of leaving the European Union on June 23, financial commentators around the world, particularly in the U.S., predicted ugly economic tidings for the UK.
People who swallowed the gloom and doom whole must have been especially surprised early Friday morning when Bloomberg News published a piece headlined "Pro-Leave Economists Can Smell Vindication." Keeping hope for bad news alive, the caption underneath the piece's accompanying video reads, "Brexit Effect Missing So Far From U.K. Economic Data." Sorry, guys, it isn't just that bad news is missing. It's that the news out of the UK has been very good — "unexpectedly," of course.
The latest installment of the Associated Press's "Divided America" series on Monday focused on "climate change," aka "global warming."
Not surprisingly, even though there are only 17 percent of Americans (allegedly "the fastest-growing group," which seems doubtful given that getting to that tiny minority level has required at least a quarter-century) who "are alarmed by climate change and want action now," the AP's Seth Borenstein portrayed them most favorably, and burned a great deal of verbiage quoting outsiders trying to explain away climate skeptics as tribalists, conservatives and Tea Party types. He also accepted the supposedly settled climate science, which isn't settled at all, and ignored recent devlopments throwing the entire idea that the temperatures on earth will increase in the future into serious doubt.
Philip Bump and the Washington Post have apparently had a couple of pretty bad days. The Post had to endure having to cover, and cover for, an absolutely awful jobs report released Friday morning. That news made their beloved Dear Leader, who had just celebrated the allegedly wonderful economic accomplishments seen during his presidency on Wednesday, look quite foolish. Never fear: By Paragraph 4 of its related story, the Post found an "expert" who claimed that "This just does not square with all the other things we’re seeing in the economy." Actually, the job market has been virtually the only exception to otherwise uniformly weak data since the fourth quarter of last year.
Perhaps partially influenced by the bad jobs news, Bump, who toils at the Post's "The Fix" blog, came completely unhinged in reacting to a Thursday evening retweet by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
The establishment press has given an open mic to proponents of raising the minimum wage nationally, and has cheered $15-per-hour legislation passed in California and New York earlier this year as "historic."
The silence from those same quarters, e.g., the Associated Press, the New York Times and others, is deafening now that one of the predictions of those who have criticized such sharp increases, which take the minimum to double the current federal level of $7.25 and triple the $5.15 seen in early 2007, is beginning to come true. Critics have contended that employers would mechanize key processes to control their labor costs faster than they otherwise would have. That is exactly what The Wendy's Company, "the world's third-largest quick-service hamburger company," is about to start doing.
The press is protecting Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton from the true extent of the blowback over her expressed desire to see coal miners lose their jobs and her bogus attempt to "apologize" for what she said.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, appearing on Fox & Friends Thursday morning, identified a larger truth about Mrs. Clinton's callous disregard for workers and their families — people about whose well-being her party claims to be concerned:
Almost any time a government agency or program fails to perform, those involved complain that they don't have enough money to properly do their jobs. Unless the matter involves national defense, the press gullibly swallows their contentions.
The Transportation Safety Administration is the latest case in point. Lines at airport security checkpoints are already getting noticeably longer, and we haven't yet hit the summer travel season, with "all signs" predicting that "queues will far surpass those of years past." Items at, among other places, the New York Times ("tight budgets"), Bloomberg News ("budgetary limits"), and WABC News in Newark ("budget cuts") are all trying to help the agency get its hands on more taxpayer money. A Tuesday editorial at Investor's Business Daily — as usual, reporting facts beat journalists somehow never get around to reporting — tells us that more money hasn't solved the problem before, and that there's a better answer (links are in original; bolds are mine):
The editorialists at Investor's Business Daily have reported on the results of an important study by several George Mason University Mercatus Center economists showing what regulations have cost the economy in economic growth since 1980. The establishment press, which has been singularly uninterested in reporting anything that has to potential to slow the regulatory leviathan down — y'know, because its causes are so noble and righteous — is virtually ignoring the Mercatus study.
IBD tied the study's findings into the "new normal" nonsense the "mainstream" economics community and most of the business press has been foisting on us since it became obvious about 6-1/2 years ago that the U.S. economy's post-recession performance would likely be singularly underwhelming. What we've seen is the worst growth post-downturn economy by far since World War II.
On Tuesday, shortly after Governor Jerry Brown signed California's $15-an-hour minimum wage legislation, the Associated Press's Michael R. Blood and Don Thompson called the move "a victory for those struggling on the margins of the economy and the politically powerful unions that pushed it."
As seen in a NewsBusters post on March 31, it's definitely a win for union members whose wages are set at a multiple of the state's minimum wage. But it's not a "victory" for "struggling" workers who will lose their jobs or not be able to become employed at the higher rate. The AP pair would only concede that "the overall goal of helping the working poor might be lessened if some employers cut jobs or, worse, leave the state." Forget the "if" on employers cutting jobs, guys. That's because, as Jeb Graham at Investor's Business Daily reported on Friday (HT Hot Air), two states which have only raised their minimums to just over $10 have already seen seasonally adjusted job losses (bolds are mine):