Although you can hardly turn on Fox News these days without hearing about the hosts’ oh-so-deep concern over “accountability” and honesty in the Affordable Care Act, that same concern vanishes now that the discredited slimebucket, James O’Keefe, has resurfaced with another selectively edited, gotcha video. This one’s about ObamaCare navigators. It’s proof, in case you needed any, that Fox News only cares about “accountability” from Democrats or liberals.
To refresh your memory, this is how I described O’Keefe in a previous post after he was accused of harassing a woman named Nadia Naffe:
He’s already been arrested when he was caught trying to improperly gain access to Senator Mary Landrieu’s telephones. He was caught trying to seduce and humiliate then-CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau. He was punked to accept crackpipe money and in an effort to uncover voter fraud, he likely committed it himself. Now Mediaite is reporting that a woman named Nadia Naffe has started a series of blog posts about O’Keefe called, “My Time as an Accomplice to Convicted Criminal James O’keefe.” Naffe previously filed a criminal harassment complaint against O’Keefe (dismissed on jurisdictional grounds). Her latest accusations echo the Boudreau incident.
Since then, O’Keefe has forked over $100,000 to a former ACORN worker illegally recorded and then falsely portrayed as an enabler of underage prostitution in one of O’Keefe’s previous “sting” videos.
Last night, Sean Hannity was a vision of sanctimony as he led off his show with two like-minded Republican lawmakers who accused President Obama of committing “massive political fraud” worthy of criminal charges. Why? Because he promised you can keep your health insurance plan and doctor under the Affordable Care Act.
But when it comes to O’Keefe, who has already pled guilty to real criminal charges, Hannity was silent. He introduced last night’s discussion of O’Keefe’s latest project by saying it was made by “the conservative group known as Project Veritas.” Hannity didn’t mention that Project Veritas is known as O’Keefe’s operation. Hannity gave no hint that there might be a question about the trustworthiness of the videos.
If there weren’t enough problems emerging about the president’s health care law, there is now undercover video of government employees actually encouraging people to lie on their health care applications. That’s right, the conservative group known as Project Veritas captured the following hidden-camera footage of the so-called ObamaCare navigators who were on duty at a national Urban League cite in Texas. Watch this:
Just as in the ACORN videos, O’Keefe presented two supposedly criminal customers with the suggestion that they were somehow typical or likely. And that the sting targets were somehow complicit in illegal activity instead of, say, not knowing how to deal with these anomalies.
Unfortunately, Democrat Ellen Qualls, who seemed so otherwise smart and well-informed, fell right into Hannity’s trap on the first question. He alleged that there is “no background check” on the navigators, then added, “Is that a wise thing to do?” Instead of pointing out that he was promoting the same conceit as O’Keefe (that there is rampant illegal activity going on based on two, questionable, cherry-picked incidents), Qualls answered, “I think there is a background check. They can’t police every one of them.” She went on to say that “as a Democrat, …these folks shouldn’t be doing this.”
Quall did have some great answers but she played along with Hannity’s agenda of questioning the navigators’ integrity and, therefore, the Affordable Care Act’s integrity. She could have and, in my opinion should have, reframed the argument by delegitimizing Fox News’ integrity with a suspect video from a criminal source. It wasn’t until about three minutes into the discussion that she pointed out that O’Keefe “is somebody who even Glenn Beck has discredited for editing videotape falsely.” It was a great line. If only she had come out of the starting gate with it and demanded Hannity defend his indefensible source.
Even worse, Hannity browbeat her with his “question,” “If people want their plan, who are you to tell them that they ought to go to a better plan that costs them more money? …Who are you? Why do you get to decide that? Why does the government get to decide that? Don’t you, aren’t you pro-choice?”
Qualls said sarcastically, “You got me there, Sean.” But she could have said something to the effect of, “Who I am is the person who honors the American public’s choice. The Affordable Care Act was democratically enacted legislation, upheld by the Supreme Court, affirmed by the voters when they decisively re-elected President Obama and which polls show Americans do not want overturned. Why do you hate democracy?"
Instead, Hannity triumphantly announced, “Checkmate” before ending the discussion.
By the way, it’s not just Hannity. Our friend at Debunker in Chief caught Bill O’Reilly promoting the same sting video with the same lack of skepticism. And, as Debunker pointed out, despite the wrongs of the ObamaCare navigators, it’s not at all clear that there would have been any material effect from them in the long run.
Clearly, when it comes to truth and accountability, Fox holds some people to higher standards than others. And that is by definition unfairness and imbalance.
BTW your idea that Walmart will have to sharply raise their prices if they pay their employees a decent wag, is not completely accurate. Walmart enjoys massive profits each year, while many of its employees earn so little that they need to make use of public assistance. You can’t possibly be defending that as a sustainable or defensible business practice. There are many ways Walmart could adjust to paying a proper wage to its employees. Walmart could accept a slightly smaller profit margin, something closer to the reality of the values they are providing. They could perhaps not reward their executives with quite as generous bonus packages. They could raise their prices, but at a much smaller amount than you’re insisting would be necessary, and people would accept that.
Your premise – that Walmart would have no choice but to skyrocket their prices and punish everyone – is simply not the case.
And none of this changes the fact that James O’Keefe’s videos are misleading and unreliable. And they’re just as mean-spirited as the nasty stunt Peter Schiff pulled here.
choosing the wage protestors over the mass of shoppers and future unemployed workers is more mean-spirited. potentially wal mart’s 2 million workers could receive pay raises (take it you’re arguing that all the company’s profits should go to the workers), but the loss of business from higher prices would require even higher prices, ergo fewer workers, and almost certainly fewer investors as profit margins and return on investment shrinks. the effect on wal mart, displaced workers and increasing # of shoppers unable to make ends meet would continue the ghettoizing effects of guns and butter in an economy falling further and further behind its competitors, that guts our productive infrastructure.
I don’t agree that o’keefe has chosen to focus the excesses on the small groups of progressives that he does, but these transfer abuses are very real, and they are wholly egregious when they benefit wall street and defense contractors and healthcare. both parties are complicit, and the use of video does not make one worse than the other (“keep your doctor/plan”).
schiff admitted that he might have raised $30-$40 from people actually prepared to contribute for the visit (took no money), but wal mart shoppers are there for a reason. you saw the responses. The video was edited, to but the comparisons to o’keefe end there.
It’s odd that you’re now trying to dismiss the antics of James O’Keefe as a discussion point, when in fact they are a major point of this thread. You and I may disagree all day long, but that’s not the same thing as a man trying to enrich himself by foisting fraudulent video pranks on the willing patrons of Fox News. Trying to equate the two is a truly unfortunate choice, which is another area in which I was hoping you would listen to reason.
Your unyielding claim to authority on the subject is heartily meaningless. Your facts that matter are wholly exxagerated, fitting the tired progressive, often official narrative that has worked to utterly distort the financial, investment and labor markets that is your emphasis for the right leaders, that have not been much different in either effect or are as outside the mainstream as the libertarians. At other intervals your posts are factually untrue; so, you can’t tell me there’s difference that really matters. I don’t care for either Solyndra or halliburton, acorn or Farmer subsidies.
I began my posts marking that more important than o’keefe is choice. I followed up that free enterprprise, not to be confused with being pro business, has been the most successful way to achieve choice, lower prices and raising standards of living. Explains china and india, south korea and vietnam more recently, and the diminution in the west. Drawing attention to O’Keefe is a top down red herring, akin to blaming oil companies for high gas prices or corporations for finding cheaper labor and regulatory markets to conduct business in. Full stop.
I must be misreading your statement equating my discussion here with the pranks inflicted by James O’Keefe. Is that your only response to the clear questions I have asked you here? To try to cast aspersions? I make very clear statements to you that directly refute your opinions, and your response is to say that this is somehow the same thing as O’Keefe shooting prank videos and then airing selectively edited versions? My attempt to educate you on a history I’ve lived through for the past 30 years is somehow the same thing as O’Keefe committing multiple criminal acts?
Even if I thought you were making a joke, I wouldn’t know the point of it.
No, i guess i don’t see the difference.
Here’s another: carter deregulated the s&L’s, and with all the tax breaks the economy under reagan’s first term contracted with the RE market, high debts/high inflation (johnson’s great society and Vietnam), as carter’s Volker took away the punchbowl through higher borrowing costs that consequentially made it more competitive among financial institutions to attract capital for financial institutions, resulting in offering higher deposit yields than they would be able to deliver on in a contracting economy. That’s Cyprus investors getting 8%, thinking there’s no risk, that’s YOUR bailout lib/GOP parties, democracy for sale.
I consistently say that again would be the idea currently (absent artificiaharrington or market interference, that is), not cause got-mine, not because you’re exactly henry paulsen trying your best ron paul/tea party/chicken little/pelosi impression that people died in the streets, on the verge of another depression, but because that has never been the case, not with industry changes, not with welfare reform, there are no wmds, because that’s the best way to retool as an economy.
Been researching this history from an economic view since 2002 easily. I suggest you view the free to choose series, especially parts 1-2, and see if Milton Friedman can reach you. i was more michael harrington (from ep. 1) when I got started, but intellectual honesty is important to me, and really the love of people.
Your argument about the New York Times being the equivalent of a con artist like O’Keefe indicates you may not understand the difference between actual journalism and prankster advocacy. Real journalists investigate their stories, talk to many people, and deal with facts. Pranksters like Breitbart and O’Keefe try to “gotcha” their victims with ambush videos and then selectively edit what they shoot to make it look as unpleasant as possible. It’s a pretty nasty practice, and the point of this thread is to show how Fox News is trying to exploit it once again.
The nytimes editorial board has an agenda, and their stories routinely refer to their advertisers, which is the model for media.
Careerist Politicians, and a few ideologues did not support ron Paul, but youth, the military and many that are exhausted with the 2-parties did for the same reasons you supported Nader. I would not support Nader, McKinney or McCain or Edwards or reagan. It would seem that for the same reason ron paul would not hold his nose and compromise on the lesser of two evils he could not ever vote yes against his principles for powers not authorized by law. That is why he voted against the encroachment on civil liberties too.
Many went to congress as tea parties, to get elected, but aren’t any more limited government than the rinos. But if you mean by not doing their job rubber stamping legislation or bipartisanship, clearly you are saying it’s because these policies are just worthy, in your infinite wisdom, perhaps the right policies to help a fragile economy. Reagan made bad choices. Bush made bad choices. Obama good. Got it. Nader: green. Paul: dark, cold, heartless cad.
Once again, the debts and size of government are at the heart of the accelerating boom bust cycles the last 15, and practically 40 years when developed nations sat on fortunes.
The response of the obama administration will give us the same asset bubbles the bush admin gave us, which is already many times larger – the theme – and will make many more people poorer than if nothing had been done. Unfortunately banks weren’t allowed to fail, where investors would have picked up assets at a discount and been likely to reset the terms of the debt, which would have actually provided a REAL mark-to-market bottom to prices, providing more wealth to borrowers (based on real values, reducing the mortgage and increasing net incomes.) I work in financial services, and I’ve been shorting the dollar (declining standard of living) since 2002.
Microsoft has to convince us of its claims. If they are winners they will be rewarded, and will use their resources to continue to add value to the Economy. Their success will influence competition and more wealth will be created both for winners and the economy.
I assumed your rejection to Paul was the newsletters, like you assume.the GOP/lib binary, or textbook reading of government’s taming of the animal spirits. I am familiar with your arguments, and unless you can cite an instance of fraud his compensation does not matter any more than. Lady gaga’s. Speaking engagements might be the short answer. You are always counting people’s money. Is there fair pay for some art and not others too? Is Jesse Jackson or Joan Baez’ compensation up for discussion? And you wonder where the czarist accusations come from…
There’s a big difference between the frauds committed by James O’Keefe and the work of legitimate newspapers like the New York Times. If you are seriously equating them, then it may difficult for us to find any common purchase here. This is exactly the problem that’s been warned about concerning the increased polarization of our society: you’re inventing facts and comparisons that don’t make any sense in reality. And then you’re using those opinions as the basis of a factual argument which then can’t hold up.
I’ll give you multiple examples of deregulation leading to a financial crash. The deregulation under Reagan led directly to the crash of 1987 and a major problem with the Savings & Loan industry. The deregulation under Clinton and Bush led directly to the massive recession of 2008, which could easily have turned to a depression had no action been taken. And I note that it was the libertarians who wanted no action taken. You could even argue that the Great Depression with the crash that happened in 1929 was a direct result of unbridled speculation and the lack of any regulation over what these people were doing.
I would agree that Ralph Nader has indeed been a fringe candidate, and he’s been proud of that status. I was very happy to vote for him multiple times, as he spoke directly to my questions and gave thorough answers that made sense. As for President Obama’s support, I’d agree that he’s gotten a lot for being the first black President of the U.S.. But I think it’s a bit disingenuous to imply that this is the ONLY reason people have supported him. Many voters, particularly younger voters, were impressed by the man enough to vote him into this office twice, despite the fact that he had far less experience than McCain in 2008 and many of the potential challengers that went through the GOP primaries in 2012.
I don’t have an issue with Ron Paul voting against the PATRIOT Act, and in fact I appreciate that he did so, along with many other votes he submitted while in Congress. But the issue with him is that he would simply vote a blanket NO against everything, and would regularly propose fringe legislation that nobody else wanted to approve.
Your proposal to take vital services private is troubling but not unexpected. The libertarian philosophy suggests exactly that – the idea that people can only have the education, policing, firefighting, medical care, that they can afford. And if they don’t have the money that you have, heck with them. As I noted, this kind of philosophy is morally questionable for obvious reasons.
Not sure where you’re getting the idea that immigrants flocked to the US came for “healthcare or aid”. They came because there were potential opportunities in the US that did not exist in their homelands. They came fleeing famines and various forms of persecution. But it would be disingenuous to suggest they found paradise in the US, by any means. Workers were brutally exploited, and it was this exploitation that led to the rise of labor unions. And the companies doing this exploitation responded with brutal violence until they had no choice but to accede to liveable working conditions.
You cite Walmart as an example of a smart company that uses “innovation”. I wouldn’t. I’d say that they’re a smart company that exploits their employees by paying them such low wages that it’s been documented that those employees have qualified for food stamps. That means they’re paying poverty level wages. And announcing that there are plenty of people applying for those jobs only points to the high unemployment in this country. It doesn’t mean that Walmart is a great place to work. It means that those people are desperate to find a job.
I agree with you that debtors run into trouble when they live beyond their means. And we’ve seen the result of that in 2008, thanks to the deregulation under Clinton and Bush, and thanks to people’s wish to buy that house they couldn’t realistically afford.
Your recounting of what happened under the Bush Administration completely ignores the central interaction that affected the national debt you’re concerned about. I’ll say it again. Bush, like Reagan, cut taxes and increased spending in a big way. When you do that, you generate a massive debt problem, as Bush did. When the economy then lurched into a collapse before Bush could escape office, they began taking measures to stop the descent. You say again that President Obama inherited the housing bubble, and I remind you again that the bubble had burst before he took office. He inherited the wreckage and has done the best he could to address the problems, without cooperation from the opposite side of the aisle. And if Ronald Reagan had been President with a Democratic opposition that stonewalled everything he did, you would not have seen the recovery we eventually saw in the 1980s. And granted, much of that was from credit card debt – but there were still levers moving that came from higher up, based on politicians working together to prime the pump.
Your notion of the virtue of the “tea party” sadly ignores the fact that the GOP congresspeople who came into office under that banner have steadfastly refused to do their jobs, steadfastly obstructed everything they could, and who put their ideology ahead of their duties to their constituents. It was this kind of thinking that resulted in a credit downgrade for this country, that has resulted in a record number of unfilled judicial vacancies, that has resulted in at least one governmental shutdown within the last year and possibly more to come. It’s all well and good for you to hold these opinions, but I wouldn’t hold them up as an advisable way for a society to govern itself. And we should keep in mind that for all the complaints about “tyranny” and all the other complaints I’ve heard from people like Beck and Ron Paul, the fact is that the government consists of people like you and me working together. And for over 20 years, it included a congressman named Ron Paul, who profited greatly from his many terms in office.
The current structure of public Ed and services are not the only way to provide vital services, nor do they have to be public. Longer discussion. I would do away with many of the departments and regulations that are definitely overkill in an information society, and never were as extreme cases were used to grab power or larger market share.
Reminding me that Paul sponsored many bills over the years to disempower legislators rather increase their powers does not surprise me. Voting against the patriot act et al are good things, and contrary to the system of voting on your own benefits, whether teacher or other special interest groups.
More people rose out of poverty in stages. In response to the competition for labor resources unions and other is from story laws were pushed through. China is presently growing faster than the us, but the quality of life remains better in the us. Walmart advertizes cheap prices, and wages are low to keep them low; yet 23,000 apply for 600 jobs. Because of their innovation wages are better able to keep up with prices. It’s how we become wealthier, but you will some day complain the working conditions were subpar, practically forcing slavery. Nations and individuals grow in stages. Nations and debtors generally atrophy when they attempt to live beyond their means.
To your most recent post next.