New York Times notices Gruber comments and Obama's hypocrisy on amnesty executive order

Is Pinch Sulzberger on vacation? For some reason, the New York Times is starting to report news that is inconvenient to the Democratic Party, something normally it avoids. A news story compares the president’s previous statements that he lacks the authority to act alone on immigration to his current vow to do so.

In a Telemundo interview in September 2013, Mr. Obama said he was proud of having protected the “Dreamers” — people who came to the United States illegally as young children — from deportation. But he also said that he could not apply that same action to other groups of people.

 “If we start broadening that, then essentially I’ll be ignoring the law in a way that I think would be very difficult to defend legally,” Mr. Obama told Jose Diaz-Balart in the interview. “So that’s not an option.”

But Mr. Obama is set to effectively reverse position from that statement and now says he believes that such actions can be “legally unassailable,” as a senior White House official put it last week. Mr. Obama is expected to announce plans soon to expand the program for Dreamers to shield up to five million people from deportation and provide work permits for many of them.

The president insisted over the weekend that he had not changed his position. 

There may well be many readers of the New York Times to whom this comes as shocking news, insulated as they are in the blue bubble. So this breaking of a taboo by the paper is worthy of note.

The second lapse from normal practice is more understandable. It has been a week and a half since the Gruber tapes started breaking, and though the broadcast networks were able to ignore them for a week, the Sunday morning talk shows had to deal with them, so the Times editorial board felt it had to address the issue. And they did so by averring that Gruber was incorrect in claiming there was no transparency.

There was no lack of transparency. Two Senate committees and three House committees held extensive public hearings on versions of the bills and debated them for days on the floor. Republicans sat in on all the committee meetings and were well aware of what was in the bills.

That does not explain why Nancy Pelosi claimed, "You have to pass the bill to find out what's in it," does it? "Versions of the bill" is the key weasel phrase.

Mr. Gruber said that if the law had made explicit that healthy people would have to subsidize benefits for sick people it would not have passed. But everyone involved and the insurance industry itself understood that the bills would create risk pools of healthy and sick people to spread out the costs. It is true that Democrats did not make clear how many people would have to pay more for insurance, or how much more, but few politicians trumpet the downsides of their bills.

Mr. Gruber said further that the law was written in a “tortured way” to make sure that the Congressional Budget Office did not refer to the penalties for not buying insurance as “taxes.” The budget used the congressional language, and, in truth, the penalties were designed to push people into buying insurance.

This conveniently omits the notoriously false claims made by the president himself about keeping your insurance and doctor.

The Times also contorts itself trying to deny Gruber’s centrality to the project. Good luck with that, as video exists of the president claiming he stole ideas from Gruber, and he documented to have attended multiple high level meetings at the White House.

The editorial is less about honesty than about minimizing the impact of a story that has become too big to ignore. Typical Times behavior.

Is Pinch Sulzberger on vacation? For some reason, the New York Times is starting to report news that is inconvenient to the Democratic Party, something normally it avoids. A news story compares the president’s previous statements that he lacks the authority to act alone on immigration to his current vow to do so.

In a Telemundo interview in September 2013, Mr. Obama said he was proud of having protected the “Dreamers” — people who came to the United States illegally as young children — from deportation. But he also said that he could not apply that same action to other groups of people.

 “If we start broadening that, then essentially I’ll be ignoring the law in a way that I think would be very difficult to defend legally,” Mr. Obama told Jose Diaz-Balart in the interview. “So that’s not an option.”

But Mr. Obama is set to effectively reverse position from that statement and now says he believes that such actions can be “legally unassailable,” as a senior White House official put it last week. Mr. Obama is expected to announce plans soon to expand the program for Dreamers to shield up to five million people from deportation and provide work permits for many of them.

The president insisted over the weekend that he had not changed his position. 

There may well be many readers of the New York Times to whom this comes as shocking news, insulated as they are in the blue bubble. So this breaking of a taboo by the paper is worthy of note.

The second lapse from normal practice is more understandable. It has been a week and a half since the Gruber tapes started breaking, and though the broadcast networks were able to ignore them for a week, the Sunday morning talk shows had to deal with them, so the Times editorial board felt it had to address the issue. And they did so by averring that Gruber was incorrect in claiming there was no transparency.

There was no lack of transparency. Two Senate committees and three House committees held extensive public hearings on versions of the bills and debated them for days on the floor. Republicans sat in on all the committee meetings and were well aware of what was in the bills.

That does not explain why Nancy Pelosi claimed, "You have to pass the bill to find out what's in it," does it? "Versions of the bill" is the key weasel phrase.

Mr. Gruber said that if the law had made explicit that healthy people would have to subsidize benefits for sick people it would not have passed. But everyone involved and the insurance industry itself understood that the bills would create risk pools of healthy and sick people to spread out the costs. It is true that Democrats did not make clear how many people would have to pay more for insurance, or how much more, but few politicians trumpet the downsides of their bills.

Mr. Gruber said further that the law was written in a “tortured way” to make sure that the Congressional Budget Office did not refer to the penalties for not buying insurance as “taxes.” The budget used the congressional language, and, in truth, the penalties were designed to push people into buying insurance.

This conveniently omits the notoriously false claims made by the president himself about keeping your insurance and doctor.

The Times also contorts itself trying to deny Gruber’s centrality to the project. Good luck with that, as video exists of the president claiming he stole ideas from Gruber, and he documented to have attended multiple high level meetings at the White House.

The editorial is less about honesty than about minimizing the impact of a story that has become too big to ignore. Typical Times behavior.