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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Obama's Press Conference: Lies, Blame Shifting and Speechifying!

And even the mainstream media starts to understand.

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12 questions in 55 minutes left plenty of time for President Obama to do what he does best: make a speech. Yet this time, the teleprompter couldn't paste the words up fast enough so the President did what he does second best: ramble incoherently in search of a thought. Along the way he sprinkled in a good dose of disinformation and outright fabrications.

And if you think it's just conservatives saying this, you would be wrong.

Shortly after Obama finished his monologue, Ben Smith at the Politico penned this:
At big moment, President Obama goes small
By BEN SMITH
Politico7/23/09

President Barack Obama came alive about 50 minutes into Wednesday night’s news conference — when somebody finally changed the subject.

The president’s remarks on his chosen subject, health care, were cautious and choreographed, hemmed in on one side by the calculations of his professional wordsmiths, on the other by the delicacy of negotiations with two houses of Congress.
He never detailed his own plan or named a single victim of America’s broken system, and he spoke largely in the abstractions of blue pills, red pills and legislative processes. It’s not easy to turn delivery system reform into a rallying cry for change, but at times, it was as if Obama wasn’t even trying.

His dryness was all the more striking by contrast with the press conference’s conclusion, when he suddenly re-engaged with a question that he’s spent much of his life mulling: race, in the form of the arrest of a black Harvard professor.
Yep. Give him a chance to do some race baiting and he's on fire!

But back to the main topic. Obama used the word "inherited" three times (transcript)in a continuing campaign to blame everything on President Bush. What a shame reporters threw nearly all softball questions last night. A good one in response to the blame Bush theme would be: Unemployment is now much higher than when President Bush was in office. Your stimulus bill which you claimed would hold unemployment under 8% has failed. Why shouldn't the American people blame you for those millions of jobs lost since you took office?

More from Ben Smith:


[I]nstead of shaking the rafters, he spent most of his hour just checking rhetorical boxes, with language so poll-tested and focus-grouped, it was bleached of life.

[Obama] rarely seemed deeply emotionally engaged with the human facts of health care and kept his remarks to a level of abstraction that recalled the old knock on Obama the candidate — too aloof, too detached."
...
He described a hypothetical child having an unnecessary tonsillectomy because of perverse insurance incentives but didn’t make clear whether he was talking about an actual child.

He added in a puzzling abstraction about cost containment: “If there’s a blue pill and a red pill, and the blue pill is half the price of the red pill and works just as well, why not pay half price for the thing that’s going to make you well?” he asked.

And Obama repeatedly made the case that cost savings would be found in rationalizing health care without any painful sacrifices.
And as always when Obama speaks you need a Fact Check. This one comes from the Associated Press:


FACT CHECK: Obama's health care claims adrift?
ByCalvin Woodward And Jim Kuhnhenn
Associated Press
Thu Jul 23, 2009

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama's assertion Wednesday that government will stay out of health care decisions in an overhauled system is hard to square with the proposals coming out of Congress and with his own rhetoric.
...
OBAMA: "We already have rough agreement" on some aspects of what a health care overhaul should involve, and one is: "It will keep government out of health care decisions, giving you the option to keep your insurance if you're happy with it."

THE FACTS: In House legislation, a commission appointed by the government would determine what is and isn't covered by insurance plans offered in a new purchasing pool, including a plan sponsored by the government. The bill also holds out the possibility that, over time, those standards could be imposed on all private insurance plans, not just the ones in the pool.
...
OBAMA: "I have also pledged that health insurance reform will not add to our deficit over the next decade, and I mean it."

THE FACTS: ... White House Budget Director Peter Orszag told reporters this week that the promise does not apply to proposed spending of about $245 billion over the next decade to increase fees for doctors serving Medicare patients.
...
budget experts have warned about various accounting gimmicks that can mask true burdens on the deficit. The bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget lists a variety of them, including back-loading the heaviest costs at the end of the 10-year period and beyond.

OBAMA: "You haven't seen me out there blaming the Republicans."
[Mike: WTF?]

THE FACTS: Obama did so in his opening statement, saying, "I've heard that one Republican strategist told his party that even though they may want to compromise, it's better politics to 'go for the kill.' Another Republican senator said that defeating health reform is about 'breaking' me."

OBAMA: "If we had done nothing, if you had the same old budget as opposed to the changes we made in our budget, you'd have a $9.3 trillion deficit over the next 10 years. Because of the changes we've made, it's going to be $7.1 trillion."

THE FACTS: Obama's numbers are based on figures compiled by his own budget office. But they rely on assumptions about economic growth that some economists find too optimistic. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, in its own analysis of the president's budget numbers, concluded that the cumulative deficit over the next decade would be $9.1 trillion.

One point the AP fact checkers left out in that last Obama distortion is the phony assumption Obama used to claim savings on Iraq war spending. The war was won during the Bush years and yet Obama's phony budget assumes it would have continued indefinitely and falsely claimed the wind down as their "savings." The argument is about as phony and dishonest as Obama's claim to save jobs.

Americans Tuning Out Obama's Lies in Ever Greater Numbers

It's no surprise that the television ratings for Obama's press conference were much lower than his already low performance in April. With his popularity dropping daily in most, if not all, opinion polls, it's no surprise that viewers would rather tune in "So You Think You Can Dance" than watch Obama stand there and spin, spin and spin!

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