YES, WE CAN

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - / Bruce Tins­ley

“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

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