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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Lies Fox News (And The Rest of the Media) Are Telling Us: Govt. Shutdown Day 2

Driving from home to the train station each morning is usually an opportunity to listen to the various news networks to discover what happened during my sleeping hours.  More than usual, today's headlines were quite disturbing, not for the news itself but how it was portrayed.

Rightfully so, most of the stations I flipped through had the government shutdown as their lead story. Fox News described it as "Neither side is backing down," CNN lead with the President Blaming the shutdown on the GOP's ideological crusade,  and followed up with Democrats and Republicans persisted in talking past at each other without actually talking to each other, on a local station Harry Reid was blaming everything on those "Tea Party Anarchists."

The NY Daily News which was being sold at the train station, had a picture of the WWII Memorial that veterinarians had to force their way onto yesterday because the White House refused to allow them access, on their front cover.  Inset into that picture were pictures of Ted Cruz and John Boehner, next to them a headline, "What did YOU do for our country?" As if it were the two Republicans who stopped the veterans from entering the memorial.

Actually that cover was much better than yesterday's (see above) which had a picture of the Speaker sitting in Lincoln's place in the Lincoln Memorial with the headline, "House of Turds."

The media is telling us a big lie. The two sides are not eye to eye, talking past each other refusing to back down. The GOP is not on and ideological crusade being led by the Tea Party anarchists, who in the words of Cookie Roberts are trying to kill Obamacare because of the color of the President's skin.

The House Republicans sent three versions of the CR to the Senate, the first (and the only one which Harry Reid allowed a vote on) was to totally defund Obamacare. On each subsequent CR the House tried to compromise by backing off a bit.  The second one called for a one year delay of the entire program and to kill the medical device tax which raises the price of things like pacemakers and wheel chairs, the third offer delayed just the individual mandate for a year and took away the government funding of 75% of the health exchange costs for Congress, their staffs and members of the White House and department staffs.  The delay of the mandate put individuals on the same plane as corporations who were given a year delay and the 75%  kick in put Congress on the same plane as individuals who have to pay the full freight of their healthcare exchange costs.  The Democratic Senate refused to vote on either, instead tabled the bills so their records would not reflect the fact they voted for Obamacare again.

After the three failures, House Republicans voted for a conference committee. Essentially telling Harry Reid to "send a few of your guys, we'll send a few of ours, and let's throw them into a conference room and tell them to negotiate a solution." Harry Reid said no, he had no interest in negotiating.

Now does that sound like the two sides talking past each other refusing to back down, or does it sound like the GOP side trying different ideas every day in the attempt to come up with a compromise and the Democratic side stuck on its ideological crusade refusing even to talk?

The GOP has sent over three bills funding the entire government the Democrats voted no on one and refused to consider the other two.  They sent over a bill that would guarantee paychecks for our active military which was passed and signed.  Three other bills funding for veterans, national parks, and the City of Washington DC (which is really the City's money not the federal government's), were rejected by the House Democrats and were threatened with vetoes by the President. Does that sound like anarchists who hate the government?

While it is true that ideologically most people in the tea party, indeed most conservatives oppose Obamacare, but it is not ideology which drives the GOP's effort. Looking at the chart below (an update of the Real Clear Politics average of polls displayed on this site the other day).

Americans are still opposed to Obamacare and by a wide 12% margin.

When one adds to the broad opposition the fact that people are losing income because of being let go or laid off due to Obamacare, the skyrocketing healthcare costs due to Obamacare and most recently the absolute cluster-fark  that is the Obamacare exchanges, fighting this bill is the only righteous thing a representative can do if truly listening to and/or protecting the interests of their constituents.

This is not an ideological battle it's a simple battle between people who are protecting the interests of the people who voted for them verses people who are protecting the interests of the corporations, special interests and lobbyists who wrote some of/fought hard for this government takeover of the health care industry.

Unfortunately the mainstream media, including Fox News has taken the corporation, special interest, lobbyist side against the people. Some are subtlety skewing the story by appearing to be fair (neither side is backing down), or by letting the President's and Harry Reid's false charge go unchallenged.  Others are being blatant by calling it a GOP shutdown, or like the Daily News covers of the past few days, through headlines and photographs.

Either way we are being told lies by the mainstream media and they must be challenged. 

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