Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times Drags Out All Recent Liberal Canards to Defend Obama

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Obama — Patterico @ 7:20 am

In a “news analysis” (read as: “front-page editorial”) titled More than healthcare rides on Obama’s speech, the L.A. Times shows that editors are worried that Obama is losing his grip on power . . . so they’re pulling out all the stops:

The summer left Obama in a weakened position. Once the dominant communicator in American politics, he has seen the healthcare debate sidetracked by false warnings that government “death panels” would be employed to snuff out Grandma. Distractions arose over past remarks made by mid-level aides. Even a benign back-to-school speech that Obama gave to students Tuesday became a vehicle for conservative activists to warn of presidential “indoctrination.”

Now wait just a damned minute.

First of all, there is nothing “false” about the argument that government-run health care — which is what a “public option” would inevitably lead to — will lead to rationing. Britain’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (bearing the Orwellian acronym “NICE”) provides an excellent example:

What NICE has become in practice is a rationing board. As health costs have exploded in Britain as in most developed countries, NICE has become the heavy that reduces spending by limiting the treatments that 61 million citizens are allowed to receive through the NHS. For example:

In March, NICE ruled against the use of two drugs, Lapatinib and Sutent, that prolong the life of those with certain forms of breast and stomach cancer. This followed on a 2008 ruling against drugs — including Sutent, which costs about $50,000 — that would help terminally ill kidney-cancer patients. After last year’s ruling, Peter Littlejohns, NICE’s clinical and public health director, noted that “there is a limited pot of money,” that the drugs were of “marginal benefit at quite often an extreme cost,” and the money might be better spent elsewhere.

. . . .

The NICE board even has a mathematical formula for doing so, based on a “quality adjusted life year.” While the guidelines are complex, NICE currently holds that, except in unusual cases, Britain cannot afford to spend more than about $22,000 to extend a life by six months. Why $22,000? It seems to be arbitrary, calculated mainly based on how much the government wants to spend on health care.

But any claim that government-run health care would lead to “death panels” is “false,” understand? At worst, you’ll get a panel that limits the amount of money available to extend your life. You see the difference, don’t you? You don’t? Then let me try to explain it again: shut up.

Second of all, the author of this article surely must know that the concerns about indoctrination did not flow from what was, ultimately, a “benign speech” — but rather from proposed lesson plans that required students to write letters about how they could “help the president.” Guess what? I don’t want to help the president as he destroys my country; I want to help my country — and I don’t want my kids told anything different.

Not once does this L.A. Times “analysis” mention the lesson plans.

Now let’s get back to these “mid-level aides.” That’s a reference to Van Jones, as the piece makes clear:

On Sunday, environmental advisor Van Jones resigned. He had been targeted by conservative talk show hosts, including Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, as a “radical” associate of Obama’s. Jones came under sharp criticism for coarse comments he had made about Republicans and for signing a petition questioning whether the U.S. government had a hand in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Ah, I see. He was “targeted” by the damn conservatives — and the word “radical” is put in quotation marks. The paper seems to be unclear on the fact that Jones actually declared that the government was behind 9/11, saying immediately after the attacks: “The bombs the government drops in Iraq are the bombs that blew up in New York City.” I guess the left no longer considers this a radical view, hence the scare quotes around the word.

As a collection of current liberal canards, today’s front-page piece is instructive. As “news analysis” it is considerably less successful, to say the least.

51 Responses to “L.A. Times Drags Out All Recent Liberal Canards to Defend Obama”

  1. If tax payers are going to foot the bill it seems entirely reasonable at some point they say “no more”.

    This is an argument against having taxpayers foot that bill rather than an argument against death panels.

    Soronel Haetir (2b4c2b)

  2. It’s what they want to be true, Patterico. Feelings over facts. The President represents the smart, well-informed, cool kids to them…a group that the MSM believes is their own.

    High school crush, in the face of dissenting facts.

    Eric Blair (721b15)

  3. And they say journalism is dead/dying. The LAT’s just emptied a full clip into the decomposing corpse.

    Chris (a24890)

  4. Why are the majority of liberals such lying sacks of Millorganite?

    PCD (02f8c1)

  5. I predict Obama will give a ‘great’ speech with (seemingly) many specifics. The MSM will applaud; legs will tingle; analysts will laud ‘No Death Panels’; economists will praise the large cost savings; pundits will nod that everyone is covered.
    And that’s where most people get their information. The polls will show a swing back toward acceptance – and some forms of the bills will pass.
    And if you think we’re too far in debt now…

    Corwin (ea9428)

  6. Two points of disagreement:

    1. I read Can Jones’s 9/12 statement as being more “Chickens coming home to roost” than “Reichstag”. Either his beliefs evolved, or he is of two minds on the subject.

    2. The other path socialized health care can take is for funding to continue to rise until it sucks up all the oxygen in the budget. That would forestall the death panels, right?

    fat tony (b033b3)

  7. The fact that all of the different versions of the bill have one thing in common; it does not apply to congress is absolute proof that there are ‘death panels’ by other names and that the whole thing is a nightmarish abortion. Unless the bill applies to members of congress, the judiciary and executive branches, state and local governments and their respective judiciaries and legislatures and unions it is nothing more than a communist power grab. If the bill is so good why do they need to exempt themselves from it?

    cubanbob (409ac2)

  8. Yup, I caught the “false statement” whopper. They managed to get it on the front page of the Dog Trainer.

    I can write the lead paragraph in tomorrow’s paper reporting on the speech: “Last night in a speech for the ages, President Obama reenergized his base of support in Congress. He outlined his health plan in specific detail. Speaker Pelosi said that, with this new clarity, the House will enact the plan chop chop chop. Majority Leader Reid said that even those pesky Republicans were mesmerized by the Great One’s speech and will vote for the plan”.

    See–it’s easy to write for the Los Angeles Times. You can write your stories before the speech is given!

    Mike Myers (3b216c)

  9. The Obama magic smoke dispenser has run dry.

    bill-tb (365bd9)

  10. “Inevitably”
    You sound like Reagan’s 1962 screeds against Medicare.
    What do have against Medicare?
    The proposals are for A GUARANTEED MINIMUM COVERAGE
    Why do you think that leads to a guaranteed maximum?

    By your logic universal suffrage and legalized booze would lead to chaos. Less freedom, more order.

    Not the mention Bush’s death panels in Texas.
    One of you should at least have the guts to respond to that, finally.

    77 Percent Support “Choice” Of Public Option.
    It’s called choice

    What part of CHOICE don’t you understand?

    “Nationally, a quarter of firms cancel coverage immediately when an employee suffers a disabling illness; another quarter do so within a year,” the report states.Most of the medical debtors were well educated, owned homes, and had middle-class occupations, and three-quarters of them had health insurance. “Unless you’re a Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, you’re one illness away from financial ruin in this country,” lead author Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., of the Harvard Medical School, said in an interview. “If an illness is long enough and expensive enough, private insurance offers very little protection against medical bankruptcy, and that’s the major finding in our study.”

    Again: What do you have against Medicare, that its popular and solvent?

    And it’s Medicaid that’s in trouble, not Medicare.
    Some here don’t know the difference.

    JW Democrat (fcc189)

  11. JW Democrat, the guts to respond? We did. We already showed how your copying of Oliver Willis’ nonsense was dishonest. You ignored it. Doubling down is what we expect from you. On top of lying about not responding.

    Why do you continue to write falsehoods?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  12. JW, the people don’t want Obamacare. They have spoken.

    they don’t have a problem with Texas’s futile care law. There’s a big difference between that and Obama’s ‘death panel’.

    People want choice, as you say, they do not want Obama and the dems fining them for making the ‘wrong’ choice. Too many people have health insurance as it is. You don’t always need it.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  13. Comment by JW Democrat — 9/9/2009 @ 9:03 am

    And it’s Medicaid that’s in trouble, not Medicare.

    Your ignorance is simply astounding. Medicare is the program for those 65 and over. It’s funded by payroll taxes, and the government projects that the trust fund will run out of money in ten years. Medicaid is a program for low-income families and is funded by general revenue funds from both the federal government and the state governments. To the degree that the feds are running a massive deficit and many states who are not allowed to run deficits are struggling to pare back spending, one can easily conclude that it too is in serious trouble.

    But to Democrats, there is never such thing as a spending problem, excepting of course outlays for defense.

    JVW (d1215a)

  14. Patterico pretends that conservatives were not outraged about the speech, but only about the materials to be handed to schools.

    But the evidence proves Patterico wrong:

    -Florida Republican Party Chairman, Jim Greer, said children “””will be forced to watch the president justify his plans for government-run health care, banks, and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs, and racking up more debt than any other president.”” in what found to be a “pants on fire” claim.

    -Rush Limbaugh said (September 6 show), “”The theme of his speech, which was not the original intent of the speech, by the way — the
    original intent of the speech was a, you know, a ‘dear leader’ kind of thing, right out of the pages of that potbelly dictator in North Korea, Kim Jong Il. That’s what it was gonna be.”

    -Columnist Janet Porter of Worldnetdaily said, “”America demanded a rewrite of Obama’s speech he is to give to our children today.”

    Despite all these attacks on the speech, Patterido doesn’t mention this “plan B” theory.


    [Newt/Andrew, you were banned by Patterico. Stashiu]

    Newt (d9f97d)

  15. From Henry J. Aaron, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Brookings Institute (Sept 9, 2009)

    In the case of Medicare the prospects as indicated by the trust funds reports this week are far more serious than in the case of Social Security. […] Big changes are going to be necessary, probably mostly on the revenue side, but some in the form of economies and expenditures, in order to assure that the Medicare system is in balance.

    Medicare is in trouble. Federal Government is too big, over debted, irresponsible, too distant from reality. But on the asset side – they have JW and the MSM.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  16. The dishonesty and even the self delusion of the Democrats, the LA times, and their socialist fellow travelers is colossal. But it is a conscious and willing dishonesty, embraced and promoted to serve a lamentably transparent agenda. What is so sadly depressing is the ignorance of the legions who buy it all.

    MikeD (c83900)

  17. As for Newt – I agree with Obama’s assertion that children need to take more responsibility – stay in school and learn, etc. Several of the points/quotes you brought up were based on what was known before the speech was known. And given Obama’s track record, these weren’t unfounded thoughts. There were also plenty of conservatives who were NOT outraged by the speech before, during nor after it.
    Get a grip on reality, nut jobs come in all different colors, shapes and sizes. They associate with, become members of, and support people and issues from across the political spectrum. Don’t become one by using them as examples.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  18. This JW one is a particularly vile one, no? Copying and pasting from Oliver “I eat twinkies by the pallet” Willis, the Soros flunky is a freakin’ laugh-riot.

    That 77% claim on the pubic option has been debunked more times than it has been used to lie.

    My kingdom for more people like Leviticus and aphrael.

    JD (33d9a9)

  19. Newt, your quotes just don’t sound like outrage. you say you’ve proven Patterico wrong, but you’ve proven him largely correct. Conservatives, including those you mentioned, were relieved that they were able to force Obama to fix his speech.

    It’s not in dispute that Obama’s speech was controversial and offensive, because Obama admitted it. He admitted it when he changed the ‘what can you do for Obama’ lesson plan to something more intelligent. You can pretend that opposition to Obama is insane and crazy, but it keeps winning every argument. Obama keeps backing down. Either he’s backing down even though he’s right, and is therefore a total wimp and a jackass, or he’s backing down because he was wrong.

    I see Little Green Footballs has 80 posts in a row sarcastically pretending to be outraged at Obama’s speech. It’s boring, inaccurate, and weird. His site no longer has any criticism of Obama of any kind… ever, and you’re banned for asking why. It’s a good place to go to see what meme the Obama machine wants you to believe today. And today that meme is that the opposition to Obama’s speech was some kind of child abuse. the real reason is to get our attention off of health care.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  20. I think the Los Angeles Times advertisers need them a little taste of the Van Jones Glenn Beck treatment.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  21. Charles Johnson is a petty little monkey I think, and passive aggressive. And fat. He should go back to hunting tewwowists.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  22. Conservatives, including those you mentioned, were relieved that they were able to force Obama to fix his speech.

    You assume that he “fixed” his speech, without having an advance copy of it, or indication that he would talk about health care or non-educational issues.

    [Newt/Andrew, you were banned by Patterico. Stashiu]

    Newt (fe80b0)

  23. Yep.

    Because his speech referenced the materials, and the materials he changed, because they were extremely offensive and controversial, were not alluded to in the speech.

    Also, I’m older than 4 and can make realistic predictions based on Obama’s behavior. The democrats actually had investigations of Bush 41’s excellent speech, and these same dems are furious that the right told Obama not to demagogue and managed to hold Obama to it.

    Nothing you say now can change the fact that Obama changed the lessons surrounding the speech, and refused to give up a copy of the speech until the day before. He was obviously furiously rewriting the thing. Since he already was caught and admitted it and changed course, the burden’s on you to show that miraculously, the rest of the speech wouldn’t have followed suit.

    Why else would he wait so long to show us the speech? These are our kids and he promised transparency.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  24. So you think the Barack Obama planned from the beginning to devote resources during dirty socialist health care week to saying anodyne nothings to hapless public school children? If that’s true it’s very noob I think.

    I think he planned to tie it into an observation of September 11. That’s a national day of service, you know. Picking up trash on highways so the terrorists will know not to mess with us.

    But September 11 Barack seems to have forgotten about in his eagerness to ram his dirty socialist health care prong down the throat of our barely legal little country.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  25. oh. My question was for Mr. Newt.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  26. I wonder what Van Jones will have to say on September 11, 2009?

    I’m reasonably certain that he will not be picking up trash nor will he be exhorting terrorists not to mess with us.

    An apology to all Muslims? … hmmmm …. Oh and the JOOOOOS!

    BJTexs (a2cb5a)

  27. “What part of CHOICE don’t you understand?”

    The part where people with guns force me to pay for your medical care.

    Dave Surls (fb5e8a)

  28. not to get all snarky, but if I were to propose a speech on Topic A, and I send an outline of the speech out showing the various talking points, and then furious reaction occurs, and then I release my actual speech the day before I speak, and the speech I release doesn’t match the outline I released, then one of the following is true:

    a) I don’t know how to create an outline
    b) I changed my speech based on the reaction

    I think “b” is more plausible, don’t you? If you think “a,” I’d sure like to get insight into your way of thinking.

    It does show that the Republicans are – again – driving the conversation. It’s as if a thousand Palins have bloomed.

    steve miller (c5e78c)

  29. “What do have against Medicare?”

    This, for starters…

    “Everyone with Medicare, regardless of income, health status, or prescription drugs used, can get prescription drug coverage.”HHS site

    Old, rich people are part of the plan, young poor people have to pay for it…but, they don’t benefit from it.

    Dave Surls (fb5e8a)

  30. Again: What do you have against Medicare, that its popular and solvent?

    And it’s Medicaid that’s in trouble, not Medicare.
    Some here don’t know the difference.

    Comment by JW Democrat

    You obviously don’t what in the hell you are talking about. Scroll down to the chart, you idiot.

    Also, I heard Limbaugh say that the speech, as it was delivered, was conservative in content. The issue was the lesson plans, not the speech which was unknown until the day before it was given.

    We need better trolls.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  31. MikeK – We need better trolls.

    I’m beginning to think, MikeK, that the only people that still buy Obama’s BS are those possessing the low level of intellect shown by said trolls. Anyone with even a tiny bit of smarts (unless they’re on the payroll) is beginning to spot the ruse.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  32. Here’s why I think Bizarro world has melded itself over our poor blighted planet.

    The citizens of this country were sold a redistributive bill of goods. We were to pay into Social Security and Medicare because, someday, they would be there for our benefit and the gub’ment would guarantee their existence in perpetuity.

    Boy, howdy! That’s worked out so well!

    Today Teh One and The Congresscritters (parody band name?) can’t even be bothered to promise payback for stealing investment. Now Max Baucus would like you to know that if you are young and healthy and choose not to carry health insurance, you will be fined because your very lack of participation imposes costs on everybody else.

    Then again, James Madison is sitting on my guest chair in my office crying uncontrollably. Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

    Seriously would someone explain to me why I shouldn’t be flaming pissed at this odious and outragious suggestion?

    BJTexs (a2cb5a)

  33. I watched about 30 seconds of CNN Tuesday morning. The two anchors were laughing at the Republicans for questioning the speech. One of them said, and the other agreed by nodding her head and laughing, (paraphrase) ‘back in 1991 Bush did the same thing and though I think the Dems complained it was nothing like this’. And then I get on Bart (the train, NTTAWWT) and read Byron York’s column about the GAO investigation instigated by the Dem Congress and the fact that the Dem Congress called the Secratary of Education to Congress to explain.

    It’s not just that the MSM is filled with Dems. It’s the fact that they’re filled with Dems hostile to Republicans.

    EBJ (2fd7f7)

  34. Here is my objection to the speech, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with content.

    Schools in this country are not federal. The president (and congress) should not have anything to do with their operation, success, or failure. Therefore Obama has no business talking to the nation’s school children in a special address.

    The president has no more right or privilege to address the nation’s school children than the pope, the Dali Lama, the Michael Jordan, or I do, which is to say, no privilege at all.

    Let me give another scenario – the president demands that each state legislature be called into session so that he can give a pep talk to them in these challenging economic times. What could be wrong with that? Well….everything. He has no right to do such a thing. They do not report to him, and are not appointed by him. He can address them via news conferences, or from the well of the senate, or in townhall meetings. but he cannot demand they assemble to hear his speech. He shouldn’t even be requesting it.

    What this incident shows me is that Obama has an over-inflated ego (everyone wants to see more Obama!) and at best a vague understanding of the proper role and limits of the presidency.

    Perhaps, instead of giving pep talks to school kids, he could focus on some of the requirements of his job, you know, the one outlined in the constitution.

    Geoman (db0384)

  35. they say HW Bush gave a speech to kids. Was it really piped into all schools simultaneously? Or was it some kind of thing 50 schools saw, or appeared on TV at home?

    Juan (bd4b30)

  36. Juan, there is a link to the Bush address in 1991 at the GHW Bush Museum website. Here is what the site says in a footnote to the speech:

    Note: The President spoke at 12:15 p.m. in a classroom at the school. His remarks were broadcast live by the Cable News Network, the Public Broadcasting System, the Mutual Broadcasting System, and the NBC radio network.

    This does not tell us the degree to which the White House promoted or encourage schools to show the speech. However, considering the generally liberal bent of public schoolteachers, I would hazard a guess that many more classrooms opted out of the Bush speech than did the Obama speech. Also, I would be surprised to hear that the NEA (which gives to Democrats over Republicans at a mere 19 to 1 ratio) had prepared advance materials to amplify the Bush address 18 years ago.

    JVW (d1215a)

  37. My apologies on Medicare but not on the Texas Futile Care law, and the death of Tirhas Habtegiris. Google her name

    Here is what the projections indicate. Over the next four decades, government spending on all entitlement programs other than Medicare and Medicaid will increase negligibly as a share of national output—by only about 1 percentage point of GDP. That change is the difference between a projected increase of roughly 2-percentage points in the share of income going to pay social security benefits and a nearly 1-percentage point drop in spending on other non-health entitlements.

    Meanwhile, Congressional Budget Office projections indicate that national health care spending will skyrocket, rising from 16 percent of gross domestic product to 37 percent by 2050. Aging of the baby-boomers explains some of the increase—the old cost more to care for than do the young—but not much. If population aging were all that is going on, national health care spending would rise by less than a quarter as much as current projections indicate.

    And here is how the deficit breaks down It’s all a question of priorities. On Social Security: raise the ceiling slightly on wages subject to SS tax (now a bit over $100,000), and the problem goes away. I was dead wrong on Medicare. My batting average has dropped to 900.
    damn. But here’s the news of the Public OPTION.
    it saves money
    But that depends on how its done, and Obama is behaving like a coward. I’d love to blame the Republicans for that, but nobody likes a loser and if the Dems have no spine even after their victory and the public approval for the policies then I have noting to add. 20% of the population despises Obama and they’re loud. Loudness isn’t reason but that doesn’t matter much. Too bad.

    JW Democrat (213e20)

  38. JVW – You actually misunderestimate their mendacity. The NEA came out in opposition to the speech from Bush the Elder.

    JD (74e7ad)

  39. JW Democrat, you are once again showing your dishonesty. Your batting average is zero, linking to obsolete stories about CBO scoring, and ignoring the later stories about CBO scoring ( as if anyone trusts CBO scoring given their past failures ).

    SPQR (26be8b)

  40. JW Dhimmi – That was a good start on apologizing for your lies. Only about 879 to go.

    JD (c13155)

  41. “public approval for the policies ”

    That refers to things like the 77% approval for the strong public option. The Democratic base is close to the middle, but all the Dem leadership hears in the screaming of the republican base, and the Dems wimp out. Give yourselves a pat on the back.
    Nothing else to say.

    JW Democrat (213e20)

  42. Nothing else to say.
    Comment by JW Democrat — 9/9/2009 @ 2:13 pm

    If only.

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  43. Also, regarding Juan’s question about who watched the Bush speech, think back to 1991. There was no steaming video over the Internet and most schools probably weren’t wired for cable TV (mine certainly wasn’t) so watching the speech live on CNN was out. That means that students either had to watch it on PBS or listen to it over the radio. I have a sneaking feeling that not too many ended up tuning in.

    JVW (d1215a)

  44. It is hilarious how JW Democrat hangs onto one line in a poll, ignores all the other items in the same poll that contradict his fantasy, and ignores all of the other polling that shown that a majority oppose the Democrats’ legislation.

    That kind of wilful blindness, together with Oliver Willis links, is among the more hilarious of our trolls.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  45. How can we not believe JW Democrat when he cites the holy trinity of The Brookings Institute, the New York Times, and the New Republic? Yep, three very objective sources with no open or hidden agenda there.

    JVW (d1215a)

  46. “But here’s the news of the Public OPTION. it saves money”

    I haven’t laughed so hard in years.

    Dave Surls (fb5e8a)

  47. You like that JW Democrat cites to obsolete and wrong reports of CBO scoring? I find it typical.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  48. Anyone that quotes Oliver Willis should be institutionalized. His daily table scraps could feed the southern hemisphere.

    JD (e7c77f)

  49. “Also, I would be surprised to hear that the NEA (which gives to Democrats over Republicans at a mere 19 to 1 ratio) had prepared advance materials to amplify the Bush address 18 years ago.”

    NEA response to Bush’s 1991 address:

    “The National Education Association denounced the speech, saying it “cannot endorse a president who spends $26,000 of taxpayers’ money on a staged media event at Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington, D.C…”–Washington Examiner

    Dave Surls (fb5e8a)

  50. There are treatment programs for people like me I’m barred from, because I only qualify for straight Medicaid. These programs require dual Medicare/Medicaid coverage where a person does not qualify for Medicare alone.

    I could benefit from those programs. Every doctor I’ve talked to about it has said I could benefit from them. But because I’m a straight Medicaid recipient I can’t participate in them. If that’s not rationing, I have to wonder what reality are you from?

    Alan Kellogg (c3aa1e)

  51. […] debate sidetracked by false warnings that government ‘death panels’ would be employed to snuff out Grandma.” Naturally, genuine concerns about rationing of health care were not discussed in this […]

    Patterico's Pontifications » Patterico’s Los Angeles Dog Trainer Year in Review 2009 (e4ab32)

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