YES, WE CAN
“Obama is still popular, but polls show the public losing faith in his policies,” Chicago Sun-Times columnist Steve Huntley writes.
“Another indicator was a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit lampooning Obama for the major accomplishments of his administration — ‘jack and squat.’ If the honeymoon is ending with the American voter, it isn’t for obsequious elements of the mainstream media. CNN prostrated itself by fact-checking the ‘SNL’ comedy skit,” Mr. Huntley said.
“But that’s harmless compared to the virulent campaign against Obama critics carried out by the denizens of MSNBC. Its Obama acolytes seek to demonize opponents of Obama’s policies by focusing on most marginal corners of right-wing politics like, for example, the ‘birthers’ who deny Obama is a natural-born citizen. The larger scheme is to imply Obama critics are racists.
“That’s the backdrop to the story of Rush Limbaugh getting booted from a group bidding to buy the St. Louis Rams. He was smeared on CNN and MSNBC with false accusations of making two racist comments. He is an abrasive critic of Obama, so he must be racist, or so goes the left-wing story line. ...
“Recently, an MSNBC personality accused the U.S. Chamber of Commerce of lobbying for policies that amount to being ‘treasonous to this country.’ Remember how liberals roared in outrage at any hint of their patriotism being questioned for criticizing the Iraq War? ...
“The MSNBC blast against the chamber appears to dovetail with what the Politico newspaper reports is a White House and Democratic effort ‘to marginalize’ the business organization. That echoes the administration assault on the Fox News Channel: It says Fox isn’t a news organization.
“The White House trying to dictate who’s a news organization. Democrats out to gut a business group. Obama media allies damning Americans as racist, unpatriotic and treasonous. Is this the America Obama promised when he campaigned to end the cynical and divisive politics of the past?”
“The Congressional Budget Office has said the same thing, but the Obama apparat went nuclear. At the behest of Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, Medicare’s administrators menaced Humana with fines and regulatory punishments, and even told all insurers participating in Advantage to shut up, too — or else.
“In its Friday ruling, Medicare slapped Humana on the wrist for disseminating information that it claimed was ‘misleading to beneficiaries’ — even though it was perfectly true — but also lifted the gag order. Insurers will be allowed to communicate with enrollees, provided they get permission. This is basically a concession that the critics are right, especially considering that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius defended the policy as recently as two weeks ago while refusing to answer questions about this raw political coercion from a supposedly impartial federal bureaucracy.
“Meanwhile, the administration is now threatening to strip the insurance industry of its