Latest from Matt Vespa
"Summer’s in full swing, and unless your family is rather Romney-esque, there’s a chance you’ll be spending some time in one of the country’s hundreds of national parks. " That's how Washington Post "In the Loop" columnist worked in a gratuitous swipe at the presumptive GOP presidential nominee in today's "In the Loop" column in which he interviewed Jonathan Jarvis, the head of the National Park Service.
It's tempting to think this was an out-of-the-blue snark by Kamen, but you will recall that on June 25 he asked his readers for their input on where the Obamas should vacation, cheekily noting that it was "our civic duty" to help pick the next vacation spot for the first family -- although it appears Kamen never had such a contest when President Bush was in office.
In the wake of revelations that Chief Justice John Roberts switched his vote on the constitutionality of ObamaCare, former CBS journalist and Fox News contributor Marvin Kalb appeared on Tuesday's Fox & Friends and flat-out rejected the notion that the media influenced the Roberts opinion or that media influence, especially from left-wing networks, has any adverse impact on national politics.
Nevertheless, he squeezed in a comment stating that the Obamacare decision was “truly important” in his interview with Gretchen Carlson, and also said it pained him as a old CBS hand to slam CBS reporter Jan Crawford, but that's what he "reluctantly" did.
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision that upheld the Affordable Care Act as constitutional under the taxing powers of Congress, the Obama administration can’t seem to call it a tax. Instead, they’re trying to peddle the “tax” as a penalty. White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew did his run through the Sunday morning talk shows with this entertaining spin. Even former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos was unconvinced: “As you know, President Obama denied all along that this was a tax. Is he now prepared to defend it?”
Mr. Lew stuck to the "not a tax" spin: “I think we have to take a step back. What is in the law is a penalty. It starts by saying all Americans have a right to health insurance. For Americans who buy health insurance or who can't afford it and get it through a government program, there is no penalty.”
The day before the Supreme Court ruled ObamaCare's individual mandate constitutional -- as a tax, not as an exercise of the commerce clause -- the mostly-liberal panel at the brand-new 3 p.m. program The Cycle explored the question of what, in the view of the panelists, that government should consider making Americans do against their will.
For her part, panelist Krystal Ball insisted that America should be more like Australia, which forces its citizens to vote in it federal elections or else to pay a fine. Unsurprisingly, Ball's fellow liberal panelists Toure Neblett, and Steve Kornacki were sympathetic to the proposal, with only conservative panelist S.E. Cupp denouncing it as antithetical to the notion of political liberty.
It's almost July and the president hasn't yet announced his family's vacation plans yet. So of course Washington Post columnist Al Kamen felt obliged to direct his readers to kindly offer suggestions for vacation spots for the laid-back commander-in-chief.
“[I]t’s time to do your civic duty by suggesting where the first family should vacation this year. Deadline for submissions is Friday, June 29," Kamen told his "In the Loop" readers in today's paper. "Our five favorite entries will win coveted Loop T-shirts -- perfect for wearing on your own summer vacation." Or for the 8.2 percent who are without work, on the unemployment line.
In their June 24 edition, the Washington Post published on its Outlook section front page a call by George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley to, well, pack the Supreme Court. Instead of nine justices, he envisions a high court with as many as 19 robed arbiters of the law.
The George Washington University public interest law professor claimed the current number of justices is just too small to have the final say on federal cases of landmark importance, such as Thursday's expected ruling on ObamaCare. It is part of the long temper tantrum the political left has been throwing over the assumed notion that the bill will be ruled unconstitutional.
Two separate Fox News anchors on Wednesday took NBC and MSNBC to task for liberal media bias and outright deception. Bill O'Reilly slammed the egregious actions of Andrea Mitchell and her selective editing of Republican Mitt Romney.
O'Reilly played MSNBC's version of Romney mentioning the fast food outlet Wawa and the one that conforms to reality. The host mocked the liberal cable outlet for "doctoring" the tape. Video of both can be found below:
A new economic report from the Federal Reserve doesn't offer much hope. On the front page of The Washington Post, Ylan Q. Mui underlined "the Federal Reserve said the median net worth of families plunged by 39 percent in just three years, from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. That puts Americans roughly on par with where they were in 1992."
Furthermore, "the data represent[s] one of the most detailed looks at how the economic downturn altered the landscape of family finance. Over a span of three years, Americans watched progress that took almost a generation to accumulate evaporate. The promise of retirement built on the inevitable rise of the stock market proved illusory for most. Homeownership, once heralded as a pathway to wealth, became an albatross." What's more interesting is that Mui's article doesn't mention Obama once -- in a front page piece during an election year -- right after he told reporters the private sector is "doing fine."
With the president's signature "achievement" on life support, The New York Times decided to bury the story in the Friday front-page article "Approval Rating for Justice Hits Just 44% in New Poll." Times reporters Adam Liptak and Allison Kopicki attacked the most prestigious institution in the country, claiming "the public is skeptical about life tenure for the justices, with 60 percent agreeing with the statement that appointing Supreme Court justices for life is a bad thing because it gives them too much power. One-third agreed with a contrary statement, that life tenure for justices “is a good thing because it helps keep them independent from political pressures.”
While the Times seems to insist the court is losing public prestige, it doesn't want to report on how ObamaCare is still a flop with the public. They save this for paragraph 16: "41 percent of Americans want the Supreme Court to overturn the entire health care law passed in 2010, while another 27 percent want the court to throw out the part of the law that requires most people to buy coverage. The poll, conducted by the New York Times and CBS News, reveals that more respondents disapprove of the law than approve, 48 percent to 34 percent."
Following his resounding victory in Wisconsin's recall election on Tuesday, Governor Scott Walker appeared on Wednesday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, where host Chuck Todd wondered if Walker's signature achievement was also his biggest regret: "Looking back, do you have any regret of going at the issue of collective bargaining itself?...any regrets on that front?"
Despite Walker's push for fiscal restraint in the state having been vindicated, Todd fretted over the Governor's success: "Because there are still Republicans who say, you know what? You poked a tiger that maybe looked like you were going for a political kill rather than focusing on the policy."