August 7, 2009

Pro-Lifers To CBS On ObamaCare Abortion Coverage: It’s In There

ObamaCareSymbolWhat follows is not meant in any way to make light of a literally life-and-death issue. It is instead meant to perhaps (we can always hope) drill a little truth into the thick heads of the establishment media’s alleged “journalists” who continue to refuse to see what’s right in front of them in ObamaCare (or in many cases to even read the legislation in the first place).

You see, abortion coverage in ObamaCare is analogous to the pasta afficionado’s expected set of ingredients in Prego Spaghetti Sauce, as presented in this popular 1984 commercial — that is, “It’s in there.”

On Sunday, in an alleged “Fact Check” piece on ObamaCare, the Associated Press tried to pretend abortion coverage isn’t in there. Two days later, prodded by Steven Ertelt at LifeNews.com and others in the pro-life community, the wire service specifically backtracked and admitted that yes, it’s in there (“Gov’t insurance would allow coverage for abortion”).

Now it’s Stephanie Condon of CBS who is pretending that abortion coverage is not in there in ObamaCare. LifeNews.com and pro-lifers are once again out there pushing back, while deliciously reminding the network of a 2004 story that wasn’t all there — or was only there in the vivid, anchor-ending imagination of Dan Rather (link to CBS story within excerpt added by me):

CBS News has become the latest mainstream media outlet to come under criticism from pro-life advocates for covering up the abortion funding tucked away in the government-run health care plan. The Associated Press had covered up the abortion funding but recently flip-flopped and admitted it exists.

In a Thursday news article posted on its web site titled “10 Health Care Reform Myths,” CBS News lists number five as “Health Care Legislation Mandates Taxpayer Dollars Pay for Abortions.”

“Nothing in the legislation, however, has ‘mandated’ that abortion services be included in the benefits package,” CBS News claims.

CBS News contends the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved an amendment by pro-abortion Rep. Lois Capps, a California Democrat, “that would prohibit taxpayer dollars from funding abortions.”

….. The “factcheck” concludes by saying that Congress “has yet to determine” how the abortion funding issues will be resolved.

Referring to the infamous Bush Air National Guard memos CBS published that later turned out to be fake, Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee says the new factsheet “demonstrates that their analytic and forensic skills have not improved much since that episode.”

Johnson tells LifeNews.com that CBS News’ analysis of the Capps amendment is off base.

….. “In reality, under the Capps Amendment, the federal government would run a nationwide insurance plan that would cover abortion on demand,” he explained. “Abortionists would perform elective abortions on government-insured clients, send the bill to the government plan, and get checks from the government to pay for the abortions.”

This surreal and contradictory sentence is in Ms. Condon’s report:

It (ObamaCare) requires at least one plan from the federal health insurance exchange in each region of the country to cover abortion, and at least one of the plans to not cover abortion.

So according to CBS and Ms. Condon, if you stir in a abortion coverage ingredient in the left section of the pot, and put in an abortion-free ingredient in the right section of the same pot, and then mix it all up, voila! — suddenly it’s not in there. Give me a break.

Maybe the I-see-nothings at CBS should ask the Associated Press why eating crow wouldn’t be such a bad thing (though even AP has never formally corrected its original “Fact Check” story). While not pleasant, chowing down on blackbird pie is still preferable to losing whatever shred of credibility one still might have. Because if the network doesn’t pull back, its credibility on anything relating to ObamaCare is one thing that will definitely not be in there.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Not News: AFP Runs Stale Obama-Supporting Health Care Poll Done Before House Bill Even Debuted

AFPpicSidebarOnObamaPollStory080409.jpgAbout the only thing you can conclude about the Agence France-Presse wire service’s August 4 “news” item about a health care poll result (“Majority back Obama on health care reform: poll”) is that they couldn’t find anything more recent than three weeks old to provide the result they were looking for. So AFP went back to a poll done between July 9-13 — an online one no less. As NewsBusters colleague Noel Sheppard would say, “I kid you not.”

The House Democrats’ 1,018-page health-care plan wasn’t even released until late in the day on Tuesday, July 14. To say that the AFP report and its related poll results are worse than worthless to any current discussions is almost to praise them too much.

Here is a mini-pic of the first several paragraphs presented for fair use, discussion, and repudiation purposes:

AFP080409on0713HealthPoll

More recent data indicates that opposition to ObamaCare is growing, and that the alleged support cited by AFP was disputable even at the time its poll was commissioned. CNS News reported the following on Thursday (links to polls added by me):

Last month, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll showed that 46 percent of Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of health care reform, while 41 percent approved. A Rasmussen poll last month showed 53 percent opposing the Obama-backed plan, up from 45 percent opposed in June, and the 49 (percent) opposed two weeks earlier.

Rasmussen’s polling was done July 20-21 (go to the very bottom at link), meaning that the “two weeks earlier” 49% level of opposition was present a few days before the Obama-supportive poll cited by AFP took place. The Journal’s poll was taken July 24-27. The Rasmussen result represents an astonishing 30-point swing from what AFP touted (AFP was +22; Rasmussen is -8).

A better AFP headline would have been, “Americans Liked Dems’ Health Care Plan Before They Learned What Was In It.”

There are still lingering strengths in ObamaCare’s support, as noted in a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday. Yes, it shows that “American voters disapprove 52 – 39 percent of the way President Obama is handling health care, down from 46 – 42 percent approval July 1.” But, among several troubling things, “62 – 32 percent (are) in favor of giving people the option of a government insurance plan,” and “61 – 36 percent (are) for higher taxes on high income earners to pay for health care reform.”

The “public option” result, though eight points lower than AFP, shows that ObamaCare opponents have not persuaded enough of the American people that the public option’s purpose is be the flypaper that attracts those who either won’t be able to find any private insurance due to a life event like a job change, or who will lose their company-provided coverage when their employers figure out that off-loading their employees onto the government is a cost-saving (and perhaps even survival) strategy. The “public option” is the roach motel of heath care; once you go in, the intent is you will never come out.

The tax-related Quinnipiac result demonstrates two things:

  • That not enough of the public understands the draconian nature of two-tiered tax federal income tax increases currently on the table. First, there’s restoration of the higher rate structure that was in effect before 2001. Second, there will be additional taxes of up to 5.4% of income on top of that. As shown here, these would increase the taxes paid by those affected by up to 31%.
  • That not enough of the public understands that the increases proposed, even if somehow collected (i.e., naively assuming no legal tax avoidance actions by those who do not wish to pay more), are not enough to fully fund ObamaCare’s ambitious and costly plans.

I would suggest that ObamaCare will have a chance of passage if the true statist intention and the fundamental immorality of the “public option” aren’t both fully exposed. Time is shorter than one might think.

In the meantime, the establishment media, as AFP, has shown it will tout alleged support for ObamaCare, even if it has to dig into ancient history to do it.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

The July 2009 Employment Situation Report (080709)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:08 am

The key seasonally adjusted numbers: The unemployment rate is 9.4% (down by 0.1%), and 247,000 jobs were lost.

That beat expectations of 9.5% or 9.6% and 320,000 jobs lost.

When I heard the White House and I believe even Obama himself start on Sunday and Monday with the “it’s going to get worse” stuff, I had a suspicion that they either had an idea what the real result was going to be, or that they looked at last year’s on-the-ground number and said “no way that happens again.” They created low expectations and either bet (or knew) that the result wouldn’t be as bad.

Of course, they’re not supposed to have this info; in fact, I’m pretty it’s illegal to get it in advance, because those who possess such advance information have the ability to take financial advantage of it. So let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.

I didn’t think the job-loss number would be worse than June’s revised -443,000 (it was -467,000), and I’m not surprised that it went down. That’s simply because when you look at the on-the-ground not seasonally adjusted numbers, you realize that for things to have gotten worse, a lot more than 1.4 million jobs would have had to go away in July:

USblsNotSeasAdj0709

The raw numbers above led to this seasonally adjusted result, including revisions to May and June:

USblsSeasAdj0709

Thus, in the 13th full month of the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy (which actually began during June 2008), now the POR Recession/”Repression” As Normal People Define It, what the administration will more than likely cite as a sign that things are getting recognizably better is in reality only a result that is 50% or more worse than any full month before the the POR economy began (the lowest ratio is July 2009′s 247K divided by April 2008′s 160 = 1.54).

We’re supposed to be impressed?

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, it’s obvious that for the monthly job-loss number to get to zero or to go positive, a lot of real net hiring is going to have to talk place on the ground. That will be the acid test of whether any recovery in the job market is really taking place. Never discount the American people’s ability to work around government-imposed barriers, but this administration has put so much FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) into the system that we shouldn’t be at all surprised if little if any net on-the-ground hiring takes place. Obviously, I hope that’s not the case.

_____________________________________________

Update: Joe C, in his comment below, had me look into the government element of the jobs change. It turns out that government dominates the traditionally largely negative on-the-ground July number, meaning that the White House could be pretty confident that the overall number wouldn’t get worse, and might get better.

Update 2: By the way, the assertion I made after June’s report that it was the worst June on the ground (not seasonally adjusted) since BLS has been keeping monthly records is still true. The 69,000 jobs lost as seen above is both the largest, and the largest as a percentage of the workforce, during June during all of that time.

Update 3: In the Something’s Gotta Give Dept. — The combined seasonally adjusted jobs-lost number for June and July , based on calls to employers, was 690,000, or about 0.44% of the workforce. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for May and July were both 9.4%. These two trends can only continue if a lot of people are on net leaving the workforce. Two months does not a trend make, but it bears watching. A couple more similar months and the conclusion that the workforce is shrinking will be pretty hard to escape. We may find that “going Galt” is not just a high-producer/high-earner phenomenon.

Latest Pajamas Media Column (‘ObamaCare as a Moral Clunker’) Is Up

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:29 am

It’s here.

It will, appropriately enough, go up on Sunday morning here at BizzyBlog (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

The column, in less faith-specific terms than the excellent post Carol McKinley of Voting Catholic/Lead Us Not Into Temptation generously provided on Monday (mirrored here at her place), makes the case that ObamaCare shouldn’t be primarily opposed because of its cost, though that is of course a very relevant consideration. It should be opposed because it is fundamentally immoral. It is fundamentally immoral even if abortion coverage were somehow miraculously excluded from it (which it isn’t anyway; even the AP admits it’s in there).

The best that can be said about the alleged Catholic and other supposedly religious organizations placing themselves behind ObamaCare is that they, like Obama himself, who recently said that he’s not familiar with a core provision of the bill, haven’t read it and therefore don’t understand what it is really all about. Sadly, I believe that assessment is in too many cases too kind.

Instead, these organizations are indefensibly supporting Obama’s version of state-run health care despite proof almost everywhere else that:

  • Statist health care systems cruelly ration care to the point where real flesh-and-blood people suffer and die — not by accident, not because of individual situational disputes, but by virtually irrevocable design).
  • State control of health care eventually, inevitably, and unconscionably subjects the continued existence of the weakest among us to cost-benefit analysis that denies the existence of basic human dignity.
  • State-run systems allow people who are at best indifferent to moral and ethical medical practices, or who are at worst imbued with philosophies straight from hell, including the one described here, to take ironclad control of the provision of medical care to a nation’s entire population, which then in all but the rarest of individual circumstances has virtually no recourse but to accept it. This is sadly and clearly the case in the Obama administration. Exhibit A of examples that probably go all the way to Z would be John Holdren.

Carol McKinley was right Monday when she wrote that too many of our alleged religious leaders, both Catholics and others, are by their silence or support committing the sin of scandal (paragraphs 2284-2287 at link).

Positivity: Shot Fish and Wildlife Officer: Coin Saved My Life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:38 am

From Brevard County, Floriday:

Updated: Thursday, 23 Jul 2009, 4:11 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 23 Jul 2009, 3:27 PM EDT

Eight days after being shot over and over again a brave Florida Wildlife and Fish Conservation Commission Officer Spoke to the media Thursday to share hear his story on how he survived an awful attack thanks to a lucky coin.

Officer Vann Streety says he remembers trying to arrest Christopher Eddy, chasing him to the front door of his car which is where he saw the suspect pull a gun. Streety says the first shot went through his right hand. “Which left me unable to draw my weapon and fight back. Then I just started running, creating distance between me and him…he continued to shoot at me.”

He got hit seven times: two bullets shattering his left shoulder, two in the back of his bullet-proof vest, and one in the wallet, where he always carries a coin representing fwc’s special operations group. It’s now bent, but the coin may have saved his life. “Between the coin and the other things in my wallet and my badge, it stopped that 45 caliber round. …..

Go here for the rest of the story.