Weekend Musing

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but I thought I’d look at what’s been happening over the past month.   It’s been interesting, seeing the media change (without acknowledging that) their narratives from the initial reactions, as well as watching various Republicans spinning around trying to find something to push the media outrage button one more time.

In October, I was talking about the misunderstandings about technology, as it related to the Healthcare.gov site.   So it’s been two months, what’s happened?  The site is working.  Far and away better, although there are still some problems.   The Republicans are still trying to spin this as “the Affordable Care Act is a failure,”  but as more and more people start signing up (there’s always a “lag”),  it becomes difficult – if not impossible – for them to roll it back.   Of course, they’re still trying to spin this as “a failure.”  The problem?  As more people are getting insurance, and often cheaper than they had before, the positive news stories are overwhelming the negative ones.   What the Republicans are also likely to find out is that there’s a political price to pay for their actions:

Obamacare advocates are actively recruiting those left out of the Medicaid expansion in Republican-controlled states to lobby state officials to change their minds and participate in that key provision of the health care reform law.

So far, the effort is most organized in Texas, which is also the state with the most people in that Medicaid expansion gap: 1 million. But it’s likely to pick up elsewhere as the Obama administration and outside advocates apply pressure to the 25 states that have resisted expansion for the first year.

In another post, I talked about CBS 60 Minute’s blundering with their Benghazi report.  Lara Logan has been suspended by CBS after an internal review, which was pretty damning.  Of course, various pundits are springing to her defense.  Yes, there should be ramifications and, yes, this story will forever be linked with Logan; but does that mean she has no remaining credit for everything else she has done for the network?  Hmm… nope.  The example they try to compare it with is:

To be clear: Her suspension is indefinite. If they wanted to send a message, they could have announced that she had been given a stern warning (as was ABC’s Brian Ross after he wrongly and preemptively suggested a connection between the Aurora shooter and the tea party). They could have even suspended her for a week just to make the point, but indefinitely? That sure sounds like if she is ever coming back to CBS, it’s not for a long while.

To be equally clear:  There is a big difference between broadcasting a supposition about motives during a situation where facts are not yet available and rapidly coming out, and spending “a year” (supposedly) developing a story.  In the Ross case, he made a guess without any facts to back him up, while in the second, they decided what they wanted to hear, then went and found a way to supposedly support it.  One is a blunder, the other is willful negligence.

Finally, I talked about the importance of voting.  As I look ahead to 2014, there is a chance that Democrats can not only keep the Senate, but take the House as well.  I’ve been seeing some pundits saying “don’t count on it,” since they’re looking at “historical models” which say that the Party in control of the White House usually loses seats in mid-terms.   But their assumptions are based on “lower turn out” and “dissatisfaction with the President.”  The difference next year?  The Republicans have had a really bad run this year.  Besides the government shut-down, the states they run aren’t doing as well as others, and there’s a lot of anger about their lack of action on any number of issues.   Mid-terms are base elections, the party that can best turn out its base is more likely to win.  In 2010, that was the Republicans, helped along by the frustrati telling everyone to stay home to “send a message.”  Next year?  We need to turn out the Democratic base, and not listen to any nitwit supposedly on “the Left” who says not voting is sending a message.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Weekend Musing

  1. aquagranny911

    Hola Norbrook! You covered most of the salient points over the last two months in your excellent cogent style. Your most important point, the 2014 elections cannot be emphasized enough.

    This is where the rubber meets the road for all us Dems. We need to GOTV and kick the asses of anyone who would suggest that not voting “sends a message!” Just saying…

    • One of the things that has stood out is that Republicans win when voter turnout is low. That’s why they’re investing so much in “Voter ID” laws, and doing their best to make voting difficult. It’s not just racism (although that plays a part), it’s keeping turnout down.

  2. I think for a lot of Democrats, 2010 was a wake-up call as to what can happen: a low-turnout mid-term election changed the country in a very bad way. Next year will *not* be low-turnout but it is too early to tell if the turnout will favor us. Teapartiers are still worried about libruls, probably even more so because of the fear ginned up by the NRA. Next year we have some governors to kick to the curb and hopefully their coattails will take a few House members with them (we have two guys in Wisconsin who are endangered). It is too early to tell (“generic ballot polls” are the most meaningless of statistics) and there are a lot of votes to be cast between now and November that might subvehiculate the Republicans. Unemployment benefits, immigration reform, maybe even commonsense gun legislation. We all need to do our part to GOTV and GPID (Get People IDs).

  3. Snoring Dog Studio

    There are a dozen or more Lara Logans waiting in the wing to take her place. Journalistic integrity is a rare thing to find any more – at least on our main stream networks. Limburger and Hannity get away with lying and distorting the news all the time. The public loves it.

    I have hope for the mid-terms! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a Tea Party and Republican rout.

  4. Dancer

    I so miss you when you are “away”…find your commentary astute and on the money always. I’m a bit confused as to why dem/progressive/liberal groups do not band together and make GETTING OUT THE VOTE their main focus for the next ten months. I also believe you are correct about positive stories overwhelming the negative…I do not agree that can be based on what are the “news” stories…some the LIE is LOUDER than the TRUTH! We should work harder to change that.
    PS…tell me you won’t be making it necessary to be on FB or other social media to comment here as far too many others are doing. Talk about ASSUMING!!!

    • Since I don’t have a Facebook account, or plan on having one, I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon. 😉 I do have Google Plus, but that’s not where I want comments, either. I like them right here. 😆

      • Dancer

        Will we be the last two holdouts…sometimes it feels that way?

        • I doubt it. 😆 Facebook is not growing quickly with new customers, since it’s no longer the “hot thing” among young people. The only reason I have a Google Plus account is that Google “thoughtfully” decided that everyone with a GMail and Google Drive account should have one, whether they wanted it or not. 🙄

  5. Dancer

    OOPS…meant to say “sometimes the LIE…” We need the Ds in Congress whatever their stripes so the president has a MAJORITY and the support needed to do the IMPORTANT business that Repugs have thwarted for years now.

  6. See above

    Welcome back miss you when you’re gone. To everyone, there are a lot of us out here GOTV and registering new voters. Talk to your church, club, friends neighbors, set up a table t

  7. See above

    at a farmers market or community event and don’t let anyone get by with the false equivalence pushed by the pundits and never listen to anyone who starts a sentence I’ve always been or I’ve always voted but……….