Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Obamacare Schadenfreude Grubnado III

The highlight reel. Everything after this is just icing:

However, as I've said before, I think a string of these videos are going to keep coming out, despite belated efforts to scrub the internet of 'incriminating' evidence:

Universities Are Now Taking Down Their Jonathan Gruber Videos
Universities that hosted Jonathan Gruber are now removing videos of the MIT professor from their websites after a series of candid admissions from the Obamacare architect ignited a firestorm against the health-care law.

Videos from college conferences and Washington think tanks over the last few years show Gruber bragging about the law’s deliberate complexity and belittling American voters’ intelligence.

Now at least two colleges who hosted the professor have tried to scrub Gruber from the internet. The University of Pennsylvania removed Gruber’s October 2013 panel appearance — in which he laughed about “the stupidity of the American voter” — on November 10, but quickly reposted the video after withering criticism.

On Monday the University of Rhode Island took a page out of Penn’s book,removing a 2012 discussion where Gruber explains how the law was passed to “exploit” the American voters’ “lack of economic understanding.” URI offered no explanation on its webpage as to why the video was pulled.
That's because universities in the US are all about freedom of information and transparency, and all that stuff.

Major media mostly giving Gruber 'stupidity' videos the silent treatment
Half a dozen videos have exploded online showing Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber calling the American people stupid, but most major media outlets are downplaying the controversy or portraying it as little more than partisan Republican noise.
Only a handful of major news organizations have devoted significant coverage to Gruber’s "stupidity" remark and his other admissions, including his saying the law’s “lack of transparency” was key to its passage by Congress and that the measure was vaguely written so the Congressional Budget Office would not score it as a tax.
The article goes on to cite a number of media portrayals of the Grubnado, which, while not totally supporting the idea that the media are embargoing it, certainly makes the case that they are carrying the administrations water on it.

Jonathan Gruber and the credentialed class
Jonathan Gruber (MIT BS '87, Harvard PhD '92) is in some trouble over several remarks he made following passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, particularly this passage:
This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. So it was written to do that. In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you get a law which said healthy people are gonna pay in — you made explicit that healthy people were gonna pay in and sick people get money — it would not have passed.
Just like, people… lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically — you know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever — but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass. And you know, it’s the second best argument. Look, I wish Mark was right, we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.Ah, "the stupidity of the American voter or whatever." 
How articulate of an economics professor -- at MIT, no less. The Valley Girl dismissive of "whatever" shows just the proper disdain for the voters that underscores calling them stupid.Doctor Gruber (he didn't go through five years of evil economics school to be called mister, thank you) used the same explanation for its passage, in 2012 at the University of Rhode Island, where he was slumming, perhaps for a hefty fee
. . .
You know who else was considered stupid? The people who could not see the Emperor's New Clothes in the Hans Christian Andersen story. Only when a boy shouted the emperor was naked did the crowd finally feel free to laugh at the buffoonery of their elite leader.

Obviously the boy did not attend MIT or Harvard.
Ripping a page from the Book of Clinton: New White House Gruber Spin: The Videos Are Old!
ABC’s Jon Karl quizzed White House spokesman Josh Earnest about the Gruber-gate videos during today’s press briefing.

Earnest re-iterated some of President Obama’s spin — that he disagrees with what Gruber said — and then launched into new spin that rests on two hooks.

One, the Republicans want to talk about Gruber to distract America from Obamacare’s alleged successes.

The problem with that spin is that Republicans didn’t dig up the Gruber videos. A regular guy dug them up. Plus, most Americans still oppose Obamacare and hardly anyone sees it as a “success.”

The second hook is an utter irrelevance, and mostly a lie. Earnest claimed that the videos are “6 to 8 years old.”

They are not. They date from 2013 back to about 2009. The only video in the Gruber-gate set that is 8 years old is the one in which President Obama, then a senator, admits to “borrowing liberally” from Jon Gruber.
Reporter’s Gruber question prompts Obamacare flack’s eyeroll
A Massachusetts Health Connector spokeswoman rolled her eyes when asked if the Patrick administration stands by embattled board member Jonathan Gruber — whose inflammatory remarks have given the GOP new ammo in the Obamacare debate — insisting state officials aren’t paying attention to the national firestorm.

“Some of your colleagues saw me roll my eyes,” spokeswoman Kim Haberlin told a Herald reporter who asked about Gruber during a press event and conference call today updating the progress of the newly launched Connector website, the state’s Obamacare portal.

Asked if the Patrick Administration still has full confidence in Gruber to serve on the Connector board — in light of a Tweet from former Obama and Patrick adviser David Axelrod yesterday that “if you looked up ‘stupid’ in dictionary, you’d find Gruber’s picture” — Haberlin said officials have been too focused on signing up Bay Staters for health insurance to take notice.
When the NYT public editor criticized Jonathan Gruber for failure to disclose his interest in a matter he was commenting on.
Back in January 2010, the New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt wrote:
Jonathan Gruber, a prominent M.I.T. health economist, wrote an Op-Edcolumn and was quoted frequently in other Times columns, news articles and blogs on health care reform before it came to light that he had a contract worth nearly $400,000 to analyze health proposals for the Obama administration....
The ideal expert source is entirely independent, with no stake in an outcome. But in reality, the most informed sources often have involvements, which is why they know what they know. Readers are entitled to disclosure so they can decide if there is a conflict that would affect the credibility of the information....
Video: How ObamaCare Was Built on Foundation of Fraud and Deception
A fantastic look at the fraud known as ObamaCare was sold to the gullible media and those in the public who bought it. Watch how willing media dupes like Ezra Klein and leading Democrats become one big circle-jerk to deceive the public. All the while nobody points out how the now notorious Jonathan Gruber was basically on the HHS payroll. The duplicity and fraud here alone is more than enough ammunition to repeal this catastrophic mess.

Key ObamaCare official used threats, 'tantrums' to push website launch despite concerns, email claims
A key ObamaCare official engaged in a “cruel and uncaring march” to launch the federal health care website last year and wasn’t open to seeking a delay despite concerns, according to a newly revealed email from her former second-in-command.

The damning email from Michelle Snyder, the then-chief technology officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, was released to ahead of a Wednesday House Science, Space and Technology subcommittee hearing on the security and botched rollout of

In the September 2013 email to Todd Park, the former Chief Technology Officer of the U.S., Snyder characterized her then-boss, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, as a temper tantrum-throwing, demanding official who vowed the website would launch on time "no matter what."
And so it was, and we know how well that worked out.

New term: ‘Grubering’ and how it applies to Climate Alarmism,” as spotted by the Watts Up With That climate Blog:
I think that no other word describes what we have seen in the climate debate quite as well as Grubering. The Climategate emails are full of discussions about how to “sell” the public on CAGW through a campaign of lies and exaggerations. There are many discussion about how the public could not possibly understand such a complex subject.

The late Stephen Schneider puts it succinctly:
On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.
Politicians lie. Even science politicians. It's what they do. Get over it.

Insurers 'will strenuously resist Republican efforts to dismantle' Obamacare
Remember how much President Obama and the Democrats portrayed Obamacare as a broadside to the special interests, especially the health insurers?

Nancy Pelosi said of the insurance companies, "They are the villains in this." Obama pitched the bill as an improvement on a system that "works well for the insurance industry, but it doesn't always work well for you."

This sort of talk happened because the White House figured out this was a way to sell the bill to the public. The Washington Post reported at the time:
The message is no accident, as the president's chief pollster made clear in a rare public speech last month. Joel Benenson told the Economic Club of Canada that extensive polling revealed to the White House what many there had guessed: People hate insurance companies.
As is typical of Obamacare, the language used to pitch the law has not proven true in fact.

"[S]ince the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, the relationship between the Obama administration and insurers has evolved into a powerful, mutually beneficial partnership," writes Robert Pear at the New York Times, "that has been a boon to the nation’s largest private health plans and led to a profitable surge in their Medicaid enrollment."
And by way of Wombat-socho's "Live at Five: 11.19.14" :

Megan McArdle: Reality Check On Obamacare, Year Two

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