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This isn’t anywhere near the worst example, but here’s yet another article about the terrifying, soul-crushing, Dante’s-inferno-grade hellfire inconvenience that a reporter was compelled to endure as part of the process of signing up for Obamacare:

Signing up for health care on the national exchanges … was an annoying and distasteful way to use my free time. I ended up spending several hours over the course of multiple days on HealthCare.gov, and I’m still not sure that I will be covered next year. I hope I’ll receive that letter—why not an email sent as I signed up?—soon.

Annoyance!? Distaste!? Several hours of effort… over literally multiple days!?!?? And he has to wait for a letter, not, gasp, a totally modern email!?!!!?!!

Get this man some laudanum and a fainting couch, stat!

Or, more appropriately: “Sack the fuck up.”

As usual, we see no caveat somewhere in the article about the relative unimportance of his inconvenience as compared to saving $1,500 on health insurance and, more importantly, contributing to process that now provides quality health insurance options to millions of Americans (like him) who had overpriced insurance but no options, or to people who had no options or coverage whatsoever.

We really don’t have any sense of perspective or proportionality in this country anymore…

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denied2Here’s an interesting exchange that took place on a friend’s Facebook wall — among his friends and, at the end, the CEO of a non-profit health insurance company.

My friend’s initial post:

I don’t post my opinion on here very often unless I am really annoyed. I just spent three days on the phone trying to transfer prescriptions from Express Scripts to CVS… Both require the other to send the prescription transfer and neither one will lift a finger to transfer your prescription.

I wouldn’t have had to deal with any of this if it hadn’t been for Obama Care. I first felt that this was a great idea and that providing healthcare to the masses was good. Now I realize that Obama Care was written by people who have no idea what they are doing. They should leave laws that affect peoples health to doctors not to lifetime politicians who are only concerned about the next election.

My response:

First world problems. 

Tell that to the thousands of working poor who die or lose limbs because they put off urgent medical treatment because they “can’t afford it right now”

No disrespect intended. 

Just getting tired of hearing about minor inconveniences that blind people to the enormous positive impact the Affordable Care Act is already having on the lives of millions.

One of his friends posted:

One thing to consider is that you now have real insurance that can’t be canceled by the provider. Under the old system, you had insurance until you really needed it – then you would never be able to buy insurance again in the private market. As someone who has had cancer, I am grateful that the old fiction of insurance has been replaced with a system where everyone can buy coverage.

Finally, later on, here’s the health insurance company CEO:

Most of the confusion, cancellations, and difficulties in the market right now are a carefully planned effort by insurance companies and health providers to make individuals blame Obamacare.  Insurers deliberately timed their notices to coincide with the rollout of the exchanges. Those notices deliberately did not notify recipients that their policy changes were due to the removal of abusive clauses and exclusions that the law made illegal, and did not tell policy holders that they could probably find better and cheaper coverage from insurers on the exchanges. PS, I am the CEO of a health insurance company. I like the direction we are headed under the law.

Regarding that last bit, I’m really surprised that I haven’t been thinking about all of the overblown media fooferaw through that lens.  It makes perfect sense.  The Affordable Care Act outlaws some inhuman and abusive insurance company practices and then the insurance companies get together to strategically lard the blame onto ACA.  And the media follows the pied piper wherever he goes.  As always.

Things like this always make me think of analogies involving commercial polluters astroturfing local populations into opposing EPA crackdowns because they would “kill jobs”.  … with nary a thought to the fact that the pollution is “killing people“, which is (call me crazy) kinda a bigger deal.

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Via Jon Chait, Tina “flashy crap over substance” Brown proclaims print is dead, along with a bunch of other stuff.

And, I tell you hwhut, when Tina Brown says it’s dead, you know it’s dead, because Tina Brown knows from dead.

“I think you can have more satisfaction from live conversations,” [Brown] said, adding we were “going back to oral culture where the written word will be less relevant.”

[…]

And with entertainment conglomerates buying up news companies, television too is in a poor state.

“TV is dead and now they are chasing a demographic they are never going to find,” said Brown. “We’ve reached a moment…‘my god the television is an ugly piece of furniture’.”

Reflecting on Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos taking over the struggling Washington Post newspaper this year, Brown viewed the enterprise with a whiff of cynicism.

“Owning news makes you important; it gives you a seat at the table. The number one way of becoming powerful in Washington is by becoming the Washington Post.”

Or getting elected to some sort of “government position”. I hear that’s still pretty popular.

(Noted wordsmith and peripatetic raconteur Sarah Palin must not have gotten the memo in re: the written word’s demise though — she’s hawking another 3 pounds of usta-be-a-tree. On the plus side, she’s reading it, too!)

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Even well-meaning journalists need to realize how important simple word choices in a political column can be:

Since the late 1960s, America has seen the growth of what the late Donald Warren in a 1976 book The Radical Center called “middle American radicalism.” … It ebbed during George W. Bush’s war on terror, but has re-emerged with a vengeance in the wake of the Great Recession, Obama’s election and expansion of government, and continuing economic stagnation.

See that bold bit?  It’s in a paragraph that perhaps might otherwise suggest that “some loony Tea Party people believe…” that Obama has presided over an “expansion of government”.

But that’s not how it reads.  It reads as if the author is making a factual statement, as suggested by the three other factual references that surround it.

So what’s the issue with the statement “…Obama’s … expansion of government…“, you ask?  Well, as everyone should know from the hard work we do here on the debunking of zombie Republican lies, Obama has actually presided over the biggest contraction of government in modern history:

to-start-total-government-employment-is-far-below-where-it-was-when-obama-started-office

So, yeah.  Word choice matters.  And we all wonder why the Sheeple are so misinformed.

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hostage-uncle-sam-271x300More responsible journamalism:

Obama tells Senate GOP he’s willing to talk ObamaCare changes

Senate Republicans emerged from a lengthy meeting at the White House Thursday saying the president had indicated he was at least willing to talk about changes to his signature healthcare reform law…

[Sen. John] McCain said he expects the White House could agree to some change to the medical device tax in any deal on the debt limit or government funding.

Hmm, let’s think about this.

  1. One of the GOP’s top priorities in taking the country hostage has been to establish that the President is willing to trade them things in exchange for not shooting the hostage.
  2. Republicans run out of a meeting with Obama shouting about how he totally kinda seemed willing to trade them things in exchange for not shooting the hostage.

So, obviously, the responsible thing to do is credulously report the Senators’ bullshit without including any huge disclaimers pointing out that what they’re saying is almost certainly bullshit.

Oh, and let’s definitely couple it with a nice juicy headline that doesn’t indicate who it was that said Obama is “willing to talk”.

Morans.

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This is pretty fascinating. One example:

time1

One obvious critique you could make here is that “Why Germany Won’t Even Try To Save The World” is a more important question to answer. But sarcasm aside, it’s again worth asking the question of why the United States ought to be taking an active role in world affairs given that our electorate shuns periodicals with international stories on the cover. Of course, my guess is that the public would be perfectly happy never to intervene into a foreign conflict ever again, and it’s just elites who need to work out their white liberal guilt by having us save (some) foreign people with freedom bombs that explains why this stuff keeps happening. But what the U.S. military does abroad, unfortunately, falls into that category of “international news,” which leads us back to the same problem.

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Was there a fox in the house of also-foxes? Not only did Fox News Executive Vice President and “communications chief” Brian Lewis get fired, but apparently he was fired “for cause”. From Fox News media chief Brian Lewis fired after internal investigation on the LA Times:

“After an extensive internal investigation of Brian Lewis’ conduct by Fox News, it was determined that he should be terminated for cause, specifically for issues relating to financial irregularities, as well as for multiple, material and significant breaches of his employment contract,” a spokesman for Fox News parent company 21st Century Fox said.

Per Gabriel Sherman over to the Daily Intelligencer, at one point Lewis and Roger Ailes were tight:

Lewis was one of the most powerful executives at Fox News — and a moderating influence on Ailes. Lewis was one of the few senior executives who would vocally challenge Ailes (although he was smart enough to do it privately). A frequent joke around Fox was that while everyone is scared of Roger Ailes, the only person Roger Ailes is scared of is Brian Lewis.

but their relationship had deteriorated over the last decade.

[…] signs of tension have been evident in recent months. Ailes, for whatever reason, had begun to rely less on Lewis’s strategic advice, instead consulting others such as his personal lawyer Peter Johnson Jr. and Fox contributor Jim Pinkerton, both of whom, sources said, were more likely to indulge Ailes rather than challenge him.

The article paints Lewis as a guy that knows where, like, 90% of the bodies are buried. To fire somebody like that…

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