Monthly Archives: June 2012

Mainstream Media Keep Interviewing the Same “Small Business Owner” — Who’s Being Put on the News by ALEC-Linked Group


This morning, NPR’s Yuki Noguchi wanted to know how an ordinary small business owner feels now that the Obama health care law has been upheld. So she turned to this guy:

The law will give some small businesses tax incentives to pay for employee health care. Starting in 2014, those with 50 or more employees will be required to provide it.

That requirement is bad news for businesses like Perfect Printing in Moorestown, N.J. The company’s president and CEO, Joe Olivo, says he now has 48 employees, for whom he pays some health care coverage.

But he’s intensely aware of crossing that 50-person threshold and will think very hard before hiring more people so he can avoid hitting government requirements that he says will raise his health care costs.

Last night, Anne Thompson of NBC News wanted to know the same thing. So she turned to … the same guy:

ANNE THOMPSON: For small business owners like Joe Olivo, it is the unknown cost of the law that could impact his printing business….

Olivo offers health care to his 48 workers. If he goes to 50, he says the law would require him to provide more comprehensive and expensive care or pay a penalty. He says the penalty makes more sense.

JOE OLIVO: The penalty is far below my premiums. It’ll be cheaper for me to allow the employees to go and purchase insurance on the exchange by themselves.

Wow — two news organizations covering the same story scoured the nation for a random small business owner to comment on that story — and they both found the same one! How’d that happen? What are the odds?

Well, as it turns out, Joe Olivo of Perfect Printing turns up quite a bit in public discussions of this and other issues. Here he is testifying against the health care law before House and Senate committees in January 2011. Here he is on the Fox Business Network around the same time, discussing the same subject. Here he is a few days ago, also on Fox Business, talking to John Stossel about the law. Here he is discussing the same subject on a New Jersey Fox affiliate.

And here he is in July 2010 discussing small business hiring with Neil Cavuto on Fox News. Here he is opposing an increase in the minimum wage in an MSNBC debate a couple of weeks ago.

Go to many of these links and you find out something about Joe Olivo that NPR and NBC didn’t tell you: he’s a member of the National Federation of Independent Business. NFIB’s site and YouTube page promote many of Olivo’s public appearances. He was the subject of an NFIB “My Voice in Washington” online video in 2011.

NFIB, you will not be surprised to learn, is linked to the ALEC and Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, and to the usual rogues’ gallery of right-wing zillionaires.

So Joe Olivo isn’t just some random business owner — he’s dispatched by NFIB whenever there’s a need for someone to play a random small business owner on TV.

Thanks, NPR and NBC — you asked us to smell the grass, and you didn’t even notice it was Astroturf. Or you noticed, but you didn’t want us to.

Humor: The Borowitz Report

Trump Says John Roberts’ Birth Certificate Is Fake

Traces Chief Justice’s Birth to Village in Kenya

NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report) – Controversy swirled around John Roberts today as billionaire Donald Trump claimed that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court had a fraudulent birth certificate.

Mr. Trump said that these are the findings of a team of personal investigators he retained just after ten o’clock yesterday morning.

According to these investigators, Justice Roberts, who claims to have grown up in Indiana, was actually born in a mud hut in a tiny rural village in Kenya.

Furthermore, Mr. Trump claimed, “So-called John Roberts’ father was a village witchdoctor who forced all of the villagers to submit to his shamanic treatments, whether they wanted them or not.”

While most of the mainstream media seemed skeptical of Mr. Trump’s allegations, Sean Hannity of the Fox News Channel called them “very concerning,” adding, “It’s time that the American people learned the truth about John Hussein Roberts.”

Which Party Has a Better Record on the Economy?

In a new book, Richard J. Carroll lays out a new analysis of presidential economic performance since Truman. The results are unambiguous:

Five out of six Democrats reduced the national debt as a percentage of GDP, while four out of six Republicans raised it. The story is similar on budget deficits, with five of the top six performances recorded by Democrats and four of the bottom five recorded by Republicans. With respect to GDP growth, three of the top four performers were Democrats and four of the bottom five were Republicans. In reducing the poverty rate, the top three were Democrats and two of the bottom three were Republicans. The Democrats also had a better record on employment. Republicans had better records on reducing inflation, achieving four of the top five performances, while Democrats had four of the bottom five showings. Republicans also did well in lowering tax revenue as a percentage of GDP, claiming the top five spots.

How does Obama fare?

When all of the indicators are combined, [Obama] ranks ninth out of 12, one position below Reagan but above Bush 41, Carter and Bush 43.

Mario Piperni on Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio’s Idiot Quote of the Day

June 29, 2012 By

Mitt Romney has twisted himself into a pretzel on numerous occasions defending his criticism of the Affordable Care Act in light of his own Massachusetts health care law which was the model for the ACA. His main argument against the individual mandate has been to claim that while it was the right thing to do for his state, it was the wrong approach at the national level. Why? Just because, that’s why. Romney won’t tell. He wants you to just take his word for it.

Now one of his surrogates, Marco Rubio, has put his own ridiculous twist in defending the Romney individual mandate.

But what a big difference. He supported it on the state level. Which means if you didn’t like it in Massachusetts, you could move to another state.

Could Republican politicians be any more out of touch with regular folk? Who exactly is Rubio referring to when he talks about people quitting their jobs, packing their bags, leaving family and friends behind and moving out of state over an issue like individual mandates?

It boggles the mind to think of how well Republicans have bamboozled their followers into setting aside all reason and common sense and get them to vote for sleazebag politicians of the Rubio/Romney type – politicians who work against the very interests of middle class America.


(h/t: DailyKos)

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Ezra Klein on What Has Changed

The big news today is that little has changed. The Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land. The individual mandate remains as part of it. The Obama administration will continue working to implement it. And yet, somehow, nothing is settled.

The Supreme Court has shifted far enough to the right that Randy Barnett, a libertarian Georgetown law professor who was dismissed as a fringe opponent of the legislation when he began his campaign to get it overturned, could say, truthfully, ”We won. All the arguments that the law professors said were frivolous were affirmed by a majority of the Court.” But it has not shifted so far to the right that a majority of its members were willing to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

While the law is on solid constitutional footing, its future remains uncertain. If Obama is reelected, it is sure to survive through 2014. That means it will begin insuring tens of millions of Americans, and at that point, its repeal will be nearly impossible. If Mitt Romney wins, he promises he will begin the process of repealing it on “day one” of his presidency, and while that schedule might be ambitious, he can, alongside a Republican Congress, get pretty far, pretty quickly, using the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process.

The reality is that both of these questions will be decided by the presidential election. The winner will clearly decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act, if only by deciding whether it survives to 2014. And he will likely get the opportunity to appoint one or more justices, which could decide whether the Supreme Court continues its rightward shift or swings back towards the left. So while little changed yesterday, it was a reminder of how much could change in November.

Mario Piperni on Repug Outrage

Supreme Court Ruling and the Right-Wing Freak-Out Begins

June 28, 2012 By

What happened? I leave for a couple of days and come back to find that all hell has broken loose. My favorite website, the Daily Mauler Caller had this headline to greet me:

Congratulations, Americans: The government owns your bodies

Wow. Being forced to give up ownership of one’s body to a tyrannical government is serious stuff. Hoping to find better news at my second favorite website, I moved on to World Nut Net Daily. Not good. Right below this headline,

Muslim mob stones Christians – in U.S.!

I was shocked and dismayed to find this headline:

Ruling awakens ‘revolutionary fervor’

The World Nut Net Daily is a serious source for honest and balanced news, so when they talk of “revolutionary fervor’, watch out. Any website that gives Chuck Norris and Jerome Corsi space to blog their demented trash, err, enlightened views, knows what they’re talking about. Yes, sir, a revolution is on the way.

Twitter didn’t make me feel any better.

The end of America. Scary. And to let you know how serious he is, Shapiro states that he’s not exaggerating. Very cool of him.

Sigh. Checked in with my favorite right-wing talk radio guy, Limbaugh. I was hoping he could put a positive spin on it all. Nope.

Obamacare is nothing more than the largest tax increase in the history of the world…as of today, the American government can and will seize your private property if you don’t purchase and/or sell what’s been ordered. It’s really breathtaking, what happened today. And it is breathtaking to watch ignoramuses who don’t really understand what happened celebrate it. We have been betrayed and deceived by Congress. We have been betrayed and deceived by the Supreme Court.

There you go. Right-wing response to the Supreme Court ruling in a nutshell: betrayal, revolution and the end of America.

Poor babies. Well at least some of the brighter wingnuts now know what they’re going to do.

And they call them idiots. I wonder why that would be?


My, my, they’ve really gone off the deep end. Here’s a comment from a Washington Times piece about Republican governors planning on ignoring the Supreme Court ruling on the ACA. The comment is typical of the madness that has overtaken the right beyond what we’ve witnessed over the last 4 years.

All three Branches of the Federal government are now operating outside their Constitutionally enumerated powers.  Therefor, by the Founding Fathers own concerns, the Federal government is null-and-void.  The individual States are now in charge of our government.

Each State should enact Marshal law, withholding all Federal withholding taxes from transfer to Washington!

“Marshal law”(???)…now there’s a wonderful idea. These sad fools really don’t know any better. They’re spouting the same crap they hear on Fox and other conservative media. In my more compassionate moments, I almost feel sorry for them.


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Humor: The Borowitz Report

Romney Blasts Supreme Court, Calling Healthcare Act ‘Worst Idea I Ever Had’

Vows to Repeal Own Law

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – Just minutes after the Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney slammed the Court, calling the law “the worst idea I ever had.”

“I vow to repeal this law on my first day in office,” he told a crowd at a campaign rally.  “Until then, I will work tirelessly to make people forget that I used to totally love it.”

At the White House, President Obama greeted the news of the Court’s decision in muted fashion: “I haven’t been this pumped since I smoked bin Laden.”

Dissenters in the 5-4 decision included Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote, “The only medical procedures the government should pay for are forced transvaginal ultrasounds and exorcisms.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also had harsh words for the healthcare law, telling reporters, “Under Obamacare, you will be forced to marry a gay doctor.”

But perhaps the most negative appraisal came from Speaker of the House John Boehner: “This is a dark day for America. If we are forced to have healthcare, it’s only a matter of time before we have education.”