Logrolling In Our Time, Jim Fletcher Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've documented that one of Jim Fletcher's duties as a WorldNetDaily columnist is to crank out rave reviews of WND-published books. He does this yet again in his Feb. 14 WND column:
America has endured epic crises in her history: the Great Depression, world wars, even internal strife. Perhaps none, though, compares with the current Thing in the White House. David Kupelian has it right in his spot-on new book, “The Snapping of the American Mind: Healing a Nation Broken by a Lawless Government and Godless Culture.” Kupelian, whose books are correctly defined by an endorser as “fearless,” has that rarest of virtues: he doesn’t care what critics think when he says things that need to be said.
In fact, Kupelian starts off early in “Snapping” by correctly defining the agenda of the Obama administration, calling it a “largely concealed agenda.” This key understanding, of course, is markedly different from those in the majority who lament the “incompetence” of Obama.
“The Snapping of the American Mind” is the kind of book that mavericks write and produce, and I dare say if we didn’t have independent outlets, the average American would know next to nothing. Because people do know what’s going on, thanks in large part to researchers like Kupelian, the country has a chance to survive the Marxist-in-chief. In fact, Kupelian also keenly understands what other fighters like David Horowitz understand: Our opponents have contempt for the “niceness” that has gripped the Republican Party.
Kupelian is having none of it. An example of how he skillfully dismisses ideological opponents: “To my liberal friends: Do me a favor and don’t tell me, ‘But the ’50s had racial segregation.’ Yes, and today we dismember, poison, vacuum, crush the skulls of, chemically burn, or decapitate three thousand beautiful human babies every single day. So just drop it.”
Every single chapter in “Snapping” is gold. The reader will learn not only why we are where we are, but also he points to the ultimate solution: not the false messiah so many are embracing, but the Real One.
(One final note: I love books with an index. This one has one; just an added reason to get it, read it, absorb it.)
Fletcher fails to mention even once that not only is the book published by WND, Kupelian is WND's managing editor. Yet every single mention of the book's title in this purported review is linked to WND's online store. Hype over substance!
MRC-Mark Levin Business Arrangement/Love Affair Watch Topic: Media Research Center
It says something about the business relationship the Media Research Center has with right-wing radio host Mark Levin that the lead story on MRC's "news" website CNSNews.com yesterday was Levin starting a TV channel, with the giant patriotic handout shot of Levin that being the lead story entails (screen shot above). And CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman has all the fawning details:
Best selling author, talk-radio giant, and conservative leader Mark Levin is branching out further in the digital media world by launching LevinTV, through the media company CRTV. The first episode of LevinTV will air on March 7.
Levin, who reaches millions of people daily through his radio program, The Mark Levin Show, will expand his audience through this digital based television platform, which is described as “America’s new televised Town Hall meeting,” in a statement from CRC Public Relations.
“I have the greatest audience in the world and I give them my best every night,” said Mark Levin. “I am thrilled we are expanding our Town Hall meeting place for patriots, by taking TV broadcasting to a new level on multiple platforms where I will speak directly to my audience -- uncensored, without middlemen, and commercial free.”
Chapman didn't mention that the MRC is apparently one of those platforms where Levin can speak "uncensored, without middlemen, and commercial free." Nor did he mention that Levin's PR firm, CRC Public Relations, also does work for the MRC.
But that wasn't enough Levin boosterism for CNS. It followed up with an article by Susan Jones that's nothing more than a transcription of a speech by Levin.
WND's Farah Denounces Jewish Profiling, Hides That WND Columnist Did It Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah writes in his feb. 16 WorldNetDaily column:
It’s been going for decades in Washington – especially in the military and intelligence sectors.
Jews and former Israelis continue to be negatively profiled for government employment and contractor positions, especially those that involve security clearances.
Impossible you say?
No, it’s a dirty little fact and hardly a secret in Washington.
How can this be so when Barack Obama and the Washington establishment consistently denounce the idea of “profiling” people?
The sad fact is there is a growing bias against Israel in Washington, under the Obama administration, on college campuses where Israel defenders are often denied a forum to speak, in short, wherever so-called “progressives” reign supreme.
Farah didn't mention that one of his own WND columnists engaged in a more vile form of Jewish "profiling" -- to the point that it's arguably anti-Semitism.
WND columnist Ted Nugent proclaimed earlier this month that gun control was some kind of Jewish-led conspiracy, posting on his Facebook page pictures of Jewish politicians that included a small Israeli flag stamped on each individual’s face. He later defended the post, ranting, "What sort of racist prejudiced POS could possibly not know that Jews for guncontrol are nazis in disguise?" White nationalists loved it.
Yet Farah and WND has been silent about this offensive behavior by one of its columnists. Then again, Farah is too gutless to drop Ann Coulter's column no matter how offensive she gets gecause WND needs the clicks she brings.
(P.S. Two days after Farah's column appeared, Nugent finally apologized for the post, though it's still live on his Facebook page. WND hasn't mentioned that, either.)
NewsBusters Channels WND, Frets Over Hillary Coughing Fit Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein loves his conpsiracy theories -- he will forever be associated with his claim that a checkered scarf worn by NBC host Matt Lauer might very well be a "Palestinian support scarf."
So it's not really a surprise to see Finkelstein channel his inner WorldNetDaily in a Feb. 16 post:
How can we put this politely? "Choked up," our hind quarters . . . In the most blatant case of the MSM covering for a liberal candidate with a potentially serious health issue that this NewsBuster can remember, CNN's Brianna Keilar has described a Hillary Clinton coughing fit as a case of Clinton getting "choked up."
Readers are urged to watch this clip from Hillary's speech in Harlem today. This is someone experiencing a serious, extended, coughing fit. Yet on Don Lemon's CNN show this evening, Keilar described this as Hillary being "choked up so badly that she struggled to speak for a few minutes and they actually cheered to fill the time." Rightttt.
This isn't the first time on the recent campaign trail that Hillary has suffered a serious coughing bout.
We're not kidding about the WND reference. Here's what WND wrote about the same incident:
Yet again, Hillary Clinton’s messaging to a supportive audience has been interrupted by a severe coughing fit.
A video posted online shows her at a recent appearance before a supportive fan base at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York.
Part way through her address, she starts coughing.
The hacking continues for half a minute while she's virtually unable to talk, then she gets out a cough drop. She sips water. She still coughs.
She tries to continue, with a voice like a bad case of laryngitis.
At a minute-and-a-half, she's still coughing.
At two minutes.
At nearly three minutes, she's recovering but still clearly affected.
WND had reported only about two weeks earlier on her issues with coughing.
WND's Scalia Conspiracy Theory Fail Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's attempt to forward conspiracy theories about the death of Antonin Scalia seem to be running out of gas -- and it's not just because it's hiding inconvenient facts that refuse to play along.
In a Feb. 16 WND article, Cheryl Chumley highlights how the conspiracy has been "stoked" by the revelation of John Poindexter, who owns the Texas guest ranch where Scalia died, being -- gasp! -- pictured with President Obama and had "received an award from Obama for his Vietnam military service." Chumley then quoted a fringe blogger adding, "Coincidence? That will be for you the readers to decide."
Somehow, Chumley overlooked the fact that, as the Washington Post reported, Scalia's stay at the ranch was free, seemingly in appreciation of the Supreme Court declining last year to take up an age discrimination lawsuit involving a company Poindexter owns.But then, that conspiracy isn't as juicy as the one Chumley is trying to push.
WND followed that with an unbylined Feb. 17 article complaining that Scalia conspiracy theorists like itself -- er, "skeptics" -- are being mocked as conspiracy theorists. The article made sure to present the conspiracy as credible, highlighting how "Justice Scalia was found dead by millionaire Democratic Party donor and Obama ally John Poindexter near America’s unsecured, dangerous, porous, and cartel-controlled Southern Border" and lamenting that "If foul play or accidental poisoning was involved with the death of Scalia, much of that evidence has already been destroyed or corrupted when his body was washed and embalmed at a funeral home less than 24 hours after his body was discovered."
WND didn't mention the Poindexter case before the court, nor did it note that even Scalia's son rejects the conspiracy theories: "Our family just has no doubt that he was taken from us by natural causes. ... We accept that. We’re praying for him. We ask others to accept that and pray for him."
WND is having trouble finding people who aren't fringe whackjobs to keep the conspiracy going. Not a good sign for a "news" organization trying to pretend it has some journalistic credibility.
The Media Research Center -- which doesn't exactly like gays in the first place -- has been on a bit of a tear with anti-gay sniping the past few days.
In a Feb. 14 post, Dylan Gwinn cheered an episode of "Family Guy" in which cartoon protagonist Peter Griffin being glad his son sent sent a picture of his gential to a girl instead of a guy: "So how about that, huh? An expression of relief and joy that your son isn’t gay on major network television? Not necessarily something you see every day. So that would be good."
A couple days later, Gwinn was distressed that boxer Manny Pacquiao, a candidate for political office in the Philippines, was being held accountable for likening gays to animals, lamenting that "Predictably, Pacquiao apologized for causing any offense in a Facebook video."
Gwinn sarcastically groused that "Pacquiao’s comments were greeted with warmth and understanding by the media and LGBT activists."But he quoted only Filipinos commenting on it, not Americans.
Meanwhile, Mairead McArdle picked Gwinn's anti-gay baton for a Feb. 15 rant attacking Adidas:
Adidas has jumped on the politically correct bandwagon with a Valentine’s Day Instagram post showing a same sex couple.
The picture of what looks like two women in a romantic embrace is captioned with the old Beatles line, “The love you take is equal to the love you make.” By Monday it had over 96,000 comments and counting.
Adidas responded to some of the displeased comments, “No, this is a day for love. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
Business Insider, Buzzfeed, Mic.com, and other news outlets rushed to lionize the company for standing up for LGBT people.
Adidas has been a vigilant promoter of the LGBT agenda.
Adidas and the other companies should keep in mind that the LGBT lifestyle is still hotly debated in psychological circles.
Note that McArdle is ranting over something that she says merely "looks like two women in a romantic embrace." The Adidas Instagram post in question shows only legs and is arguably ambiguous as to the sex of the people involved. Adidas never explicitly confirmed that it's a same-sex couple, and McArdle seems angry that Adidas would invoke "love" in defending it.
The screenshot of the Instagram post accompanying McArdle's post is weirdly and needlessly cropped, as if the upper thighs of what might be a same-sex couple were somehow offensive.
And McArdle's proof that "the LGBT lifestyle is still hotly debated in psychological circles" is of an article at the conservative National Review -- which convolutedly asks, "Is it possible to to avoid 'homophobia' (a deliberately imprecise term) while preserving 'heteronormativity' (which at least sounds more scientific)?" -- not the first place one would go to find a fair "debate" on the subject.
Remember the Shemitah? That's the prophecy theory promoted by WND friend Jonathan Cahn that various world disasters and cataclysms operate according to a biblically dictated 7-year cycle. When things didn't happen exactly to plan last year -- Cahn and WND had strongly hinted that the U.S. would suffer an economic calamity last Sept. 13 -- they moved the goalposts to claim that as long as something happened in, oh, the next year or so, the Shemitah prophecy was fulfilled.
Cahn takes full advantage of this in a Feb. 14 WND column, in which he declares that "I shared how the Shemitah of 2015 caused stock markets to collapse all over the world, wiping out trillions of dollars from the global economy." He continued with the credit-taking:
Though it is one of the most overlooked and significant of stories, the Shemitah of 2015 caused global trade to literally collapse!
As the Shemitah began, industrial export orders in the world’s economic engine, China, began to crash. The collapsed continued throughout the Shemitah, month after month after month.
The Shemitah of 2015 collapsed the Baltic Dry Index to the point where it stood at its worst levels ever recorded since the index began! When 2014 began, the index was over 2,000. By the time 2015 had ended, it had descended to the 400s! The Shemitah of 2008 had pulverized world trade. The Shemitah of 2015 had now decimated it.
The Shemitah of 2015 caused global commodities to collapse. Demand dried up. Prices plummeted. Commodities were, in effect, abandoned. The Shemitah of 2015 caused global commodities to collapse so dramatically that it matched that of the Shemitah of 2008, and then exceeded it. The Commodity Index crashed to its worst levels of the 21st century.
One of the most important commodities in the modern world is oil. The effect of the Shemitah of 2015 could be seen every time one drove into a gas station. The decline in trade and production caused a collapse in the oil market. What was welcomed by those filling up their cars was bad for the global economy. During the Shemitah of 2015, the price of oil plunged, and the average energy stock collapsed by 52 percent!
Cahn's explanation of falling oil prices runs counter to the facts. The idea that a "decline in trade and production" of oil caused prices to decline doesn't make sense. In fact, what happened is that Saudi Arabia increased oil production specifically to drive down prices to the point that high-cost producers like fracking operations in the U.S. would be forced to halt production, thus preserving Saudi Arabia's share of the oil market.
We don't know enough about the commodies market to know if Cahn's being accurate about it, but his misinformation about oil is not a good sign.
Also of note: Cahn does not mention Obama once in his column. Which brings up the flaw in WND's economic philosophy: If the Shemitah is to blame for economic problems, then Obama cannot be. If the economic cycle is a slave to the Shemitah, as Cahn insists, then it's impossible for Obama to affect it.
WND cannot worship both God and mammon -- or in this case, blame a bad economy on both Obama and the Shemitah.
Posted by Terry K.
at 12:35 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 12:37 AM EST
AP Subscriber CNS Criticizes AP Over Cruz Photo, Doesn't Understand How AP Works Topic: CNSNews.com
Susan Jones complains in a Feb. 16 CNSNews.com article:
You have to wonder how long the Associated Press photographer waited for the chance to snap the photograph reprinted here -- the one that shows Republican Ted Cruz standing against the backdrop of a sign that reads "TRUSTED."
Except Cruz is blocking the "T," so the signed reads "RUSTED."
The photograph is one of two that accompanies an AP article about Cruz's experience arguing before the Supreme Court.
The "RUSTED" photo calls to mind an earlier AP swipe at Cruz.
In June 2015, the Associated Press published two photographs that appeared to show a large gun aimed at Cruz's head. Cruz was at a gun range in Iowa, standing in front of a large poster of a gun, but nevertheless, the image was jarring.
Jones leaves out a couple of important things here.
First, she apparently has no understanding of how the AP works. It's a news cooperative, not a media organization per se. While the AP has a website on which it publishes stories, its main business is making content -- hundreds of articles and photos per day -- available to its subscribers. And the subscribers have the final say on what gets used: The AP does not force any subscriber to use any article or photo.
Which brings us to Jones' second big omission: CNS is an AP subscriber. As we've noted, CNS parent the Media Research Center has long bashed the AP for purported "liberal bias," but still pays it to use AP content on CNS, presumably because it gives CNS the veneer of a real "news" organization.
If CNS really wanted to send a message to the AP for it purported bias -- Jones' unsupported accusation that the AP is deliberately trying to make Cruz look bad aside -- it would stop paying what is believed to be hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a month for access to AP's content. But it won't -- for all its hand-biting, CNS and the MRC apparently willing to put up with the occasional example of "liberal bias" in exchange for its assistance in masquerading as a real "news" organization.
WND Pushes Conspiracy That Scalia Was Murdered, Probably By Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
There are conspiracy theories floating around that Justice Antonin Scalia did not die a natural death, and WorldNetDaily wants to be at the forefront of promoting them.
The day after Scalia's death was reported, WND was quick to push a suggestion by far-right anti-immigration activist William Gheen that President Obama might have had Scalia killed:
“Anytime a head of state, member of Congress, or the most conservative member of the U.S. Supreme Court is found dead, an extensive autopsy and toxicology examination should be both immediate and mandatory,” said Gheen. “The horrid reaction and comments about his death expressed by many liberals online illustrate that Scalia was hated by many people.”
Gheen said Scalia’s death “hands the power of the Supreme Court to the modern left for the first time in American history.”
“The court can now vote, even without a replacement of Scalia, to radically change the United States of America,” he said. “Scalia’s death means the Supreme Court is now very likely to rubber stamp Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty orders, tear down Republican drawn districts in many states including North Carolina, and take deep left turns on abortion, gun rights, or anything the liberals have ever dreamed of. Scalia was a solid vote against Obama’s immigration orders to be decided by April of this year.
“We do not contend there is a conspiracy, we contend that there should be no doubts, and the way authorities and the media are rushing conclusions will leave major doubts and legitimate concerns about a death that could lead to a radical political transformation of America to the left,” said Gheen.
Sorry, Mr. Gheen, if you are suggesting that Scalia was murdered and that the president may have been involved, you are indeed pushing a conspiracy.
WND then noted a minor detail in an interview with the owner of the Texas ranch resort where Scalia died, in which he said that Scalia's body had "a pillow over his head" -- and elevated it as the focus of its own article.
On Feb. 15, WND published a rant from right-wing talker (and friend of WND) Michael Savage demanding "a Warren Commission-like federal investigation" to look into Scalia's death because he may have been "murdered." He too suggested Obama had a hand in Obama's death because Scalia was pronounced dead "by telephone from a U.S. Marshal appointed by Obama himself."
Interstingly, all three of these WND articles lack bylines -- apparently, even WND writers don't want to be associated with pushing wild conspiracy theories.
Bob Unruh, meanwhile, apparently has no such shame. His Feb. 15 article begins by stating that "A local official’s quick determination that a staunch opponent on the U.S. Supreme Court of the progressive social agenda died of 'natural causes' and there would be no autopsy even though a pillow was found over his head has prompted a multitude of conspiracy theories along with a political firestorm." Unruh then uncritically rounds up said conspiracy theories, including an "unscientific online poll" at a right-wing website where "nearly 80 percent of the more than 45,000 respondents said they suspected foul play in Scalia’s death."
Obviously, Unruh found the poll to be credible enough to highlight in his article.
CNS Censors The Truth About Schumer Remarks About Supreme Court Picks Topic: CNSNews.com
Eric Scheiner rushed to report the big news in a Feb. 14 CNSNews.com article:
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is describing current GOP calls to let the next president make a Supreme Court nomination “obstructionism”, but in 2007 Schumer said, “I will do everything in my power to prevent one more ideological ally from joining (Justices John) Roberts and (Samuel) Alito,” and recommended the Senate, “should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court except in extraordinary circumstances.”
“The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance,” Schumer told the American Constitution Society on July 27, 2007.
“With respect to the Supreme Court at least, I will recommend to my colleagues that we should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court except in extraordinary circumstances.”
“I will do everything in my power to prevent one more ideological ally from joining (John) Roberts and (Samuel) Alito on the court,” Schumer later added.
CNS being a very biased "news" organization, Scheiner left out a couple things. First, he failed to note that Schumer's comments were effectively hypothetical since no further Supreme Court openings occured during the Bush administration.
Second Scheiner failed to mention the Republican response to Schumer's comments. From a July 2007 Politico article:
A White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, said Schumer's comments show "a tremendous disrespect for the Constitution" by suggesting that the Senate not confirm nominees.
"This is the kind of blind obstruction that people have come to expect from Sen. Schumer," Perino said. "He has an alarming habit of attacking people whose character and position make them unwilling or unable to respond. That is the sign of a bully. If the past is any indication, I would bet that we would see a Democratic senatorial fundraising appeal in the next few days."
Somehow, we don't think Scheiner will remind Republicans that its current stance on opposing any and every Obama Supreme Court nomination in the next year was called "blind obstruction" and "disrespect for the Constitution" by Republicans.
NEW ARTICLE: Refined Race-Baiting At WorldNetDaily Topic: WorldNetDaily
The lesson WND learned from Google threatening to cut off ad revenue over its obsession with "black mobs": Be a little less blatant about it. Read more >>
MRC-Mark Levin Business Arrangement/Love Affair Watch Topic: Media Research Center
Last month, the Media Research Center was rushing to the defense of right-wing radio host (and friend of MRC chief Brent Bozell) Mark Levin over a mild swipe by a TV host. This month -- presumably brought on at least in part by the fact the MRC and Levin have a business arrangement to promote each other -- it's back to full-fledged drool mode.
Michael Morris devotes an entire Feb. 11 CNSNews.com blog post to telling us how "Westwood One just announced a 'lifetime extension' for 'The Mark Levin Show' hosted by nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin." Morris' only source is the press release issued by Levin and Westwood One, andhe makes sure to include the slobbering declaration that Levin is "one of the most important, popular, and trusted voices in radio."
But given that the MRC pretty much forbids criticism of Levin on his websites and aggressively attacks anyone else to dares to do so, rewriting a press release -- and the complete censorship of the MRC-Levin business arrangement -- was all one could hope for here.
WND Blames 'Obama Economy' For Capitalism At Work Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh declares in a Feb. 10 WorldNetDaily article:
The impact of the “Obama economy,” those ups and downs attributed to the tax-and-spend policies implemented by the president’s administration, is moving further into negative territory with the announcement that dozens of additional retail stores across America are being closed down sooner than planned.
WND had reported only a few days ago on the effective retail apocalypse that was leaving stores closed and, in some places, entire malls shuttered because of the downward spiral of the nation’s economy.
But the examples Unruh cites to back this up have nothing to do with Obama. For instance:
Most recently, CNN reported Sears, which owns the Sears chain as well as the Kmart string of stores, said this week it was accelerating the closing of at least 50 locations that are unprofitable.
The closures had been planned over coming months, but the company, which said it expects fourth quarter revenue of $7.3 billion, down from $8.1 billion a year ago, said it was hurrying those closures because of losses.
Inn fact, Sears has been a dying company for years. One analytics firm highlights how shopper preference for Sears has been plummeting over the past decade -- well before Obama took office -- and even its most loyal customers have ceased going there. And the company seems not to care.
Unruh also features analyst Michael Snyder claiming, "In impoverished urban centers all over the nation, it is not uncommon to find entire malls that have now been completely abandoned." That's true, but again, that has nothing to do with the "Obama economy." The conservative Daily Caller points out that "the mall itself is an inefficient system" and that shopping preferences have shifted to other types of retail, as well as the Internet.
Also, malls as a general rule are not built in "impoverished urban centers," as Snyder claims; they're mostly found in prosperous suburban and exurban areas.
Unruh ultimately concedes some of this, admitting that "online shopping, maxed out credit and other factors were creating a shadow for America’s retail climate." Again, that's not the "Obama economy" at work; that's capitalism.
CNS Oil Industry Stenography Watch Topic: CNSNews.com
The Media Research Center gets a significant amount of money from fossil-fuel interests, so its "news" division CNSNews.com is always happy to serve as stenographers for the industry. Here are the latest examples.
A Feb. 8 CNS article by Barbara Hollingsworth uncritically repeats spin from the American Petroleum Institute that President Obama’s proposal to impose a $10 per barrel tax on oil "increases the hostile campaign the administration is waging against the American consumer." Hollingsworth made no attempt to seek out a point of view in response.
CNS' chief oil industry stenographer, Penny Starr, used a Feb. 9 article to tout a claim by ExxonMobil that "in the 2040 market, oil, natural gas, and coal will meet 80% of the world’s energy needs and that carbon emissions should peak by 2030." Starr failed to disclose that ExxonMobil has donated more than $400,000 to her employer over the years.
This stenography -- press releases, really -- is obviously good for the API and ExxonMobil, but it does CNS' readers a grave disservice.
Another Dubious WND Doc Peddles Misinformation About Obamacare Topic: WorldNetDaily
Lee Hieb -- a former official with the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons who has issues with the facts -- claims to "recap the Obamacare reality" in her Feb. 5 WorldNetDaily column:
To the surprise of no thinking person, over the last year costs have skyrocketed. Government spending on Medicare has increased more in 2015 than in the first seven years of President Obama’s terms of office. People who previously had coverage have seen their insurance costs go up two and three and in some places fourfold – while accepting higher deductibles. How could it be otherwise when the government is creating a playing field of insecurity and over-regulation? Medicines have become vastly more expensive. Forteo – a bone-promoting injectable that prevents many expensive osteoporotic fractures – in 2011 cost $700/ month if paying cash. Now it is $2,700/month and for Medicare patients $700/month – so basically it is priced out of the reach of patients in need. My old-time thyroid medicine cash price has gone from $10/month to $90/month as have other drugs that have been cheap for decades. Even the veterinarians are feeling it. My local vet decried the price of sedation for animals rising from $8 a vial to over $40.
Let's break this down and see where Hieb gets it wrong this time:
-- The 2015 numbers for Medicare are not out, but the main reason spending is increasing is because more baby boomers are retiring. But increases in per capita Medicare spending have been much lower between 2010 and 2014 than they were between 2000 and 2010.
-- The main reason "medicines have become vastly more expensive" is because drug companies are increasing their prices arbitrarily, not because of Obamacare. Martin Shkreli, anyone? And Forteo was considered overpriced compared with its benefits as early as 2006, so that concern predates the existence of Obamacare.
-- And we're pretty sure Obamacare isn't responsible for increases in veterinary drugs.
Hieb goes on to blame Obamacare for a number of hospital closings in the past few years, but the answer is more complicated than that. One leading cause is cuts to reimbursement rates to hospitals that treat medicare patients, which began in the 2013 budget sequester and have been upheld in later budget deals between Obama and the Congress, most recently in the deal reached last November.
Also, part of the Obamacare plan was that states would expand Medicare eligibility, but several states -- most of which are controlled by Republicans -- have refused to do that, meaning that hospitals mostly aren't reimbursed for treatment of uninsured patients who might be covered had all states expanded Medicare.
In a follow-up column the next day, Hieb purported to offer "what to do about" all this, but she mostly whined that "Obamacare exists because we have at least one generation of Americans, if not more, who do not understand 'entitlement'" and cheered that "More doctors will continue to opt out of the system and practice for cash." The latter, of course, does nothing for people who can't afford treatment -- the reason Obamacare was created.