Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

At an event sponsored by Americans for Prosperity on Wednesday night, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said the U.S. government should find a way to “phase out” Medicare, the federal health insurance program for Americans aged 65+ and some disabled people, and “move to a new system.”

In a back-and-forth with an audience member at a New Hampshire town hall event on Thursday, Bush attempted to clarify his remarks, saying the government needs to “reform our entitlement system,” Politico reports.

“It’s an actuarially unsound health care system,” Bush told the audience member.

“The people that are receiving these benefits, I don’t think that we should touch that; but your children and grandchildren are not going to get the benefit of this that they believe they’re going to get, or that you think they’re going to get, because the amount of money put in compared to the amount of money the system costs is wrong.”

Repeating himself, Bush reiterated a talking point about social spending that some question. “Despite recent evidence that the program’s finances are secure, the former Florida governor suggested that Medicare isn’t solvent,” ThinkProgress reports.

At the event on Wednesday, speaking about Medicare, Bush said, “I think a lot of people recognize that we need to make sure we fulfill the commitment to people that have already received the benefits, that are receiving the benefits. But that we need to figure out a way to phase out this program for others and move to a new system that allows them to have something — because they’re not going to have anything.”

As usual, Jeb Bush means what he originally said. But this point actually does bear repeating, as Kevin Drum at Mother Jones reported this week: Medicare “spending is projected to slow down around 2040, and reaches only 6 percent of GDP by 2090.” Sounds like the entitlement program may be more stable than Bush cares to admit.

Photo: Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush answers a question from the audience during a town hall campaign stop at the VFW Post in Hudson, New Hampshire, July 8, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Blake Neff

Twitter screenshot

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

On July 10, CNN's Oliver Darcy reported that Blake Neff, the top writer for Tucker Carlson's prime-time Fox News show, had been anonymously posting racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and other offensive content on an online forum for five years. Neff used racist and homophobic slurs, referred to women in a derogatory manner, and pushed white supremacist content while writing for Carlson's show. Neff resigned after CNN contacted him for comment.

As Darcy reported, in an interview with the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Neff claimed anything Carlson read during his show was initially drafted by him. Darcy also found instances where there was "some overlap between the forum and the show," as sometimes the "material Neff encountered on the forum found its way on to Carlson's show."

During a 2018 appearance on Fox's The Five to promote his book Ship of Fools, Carlson mentioned Neff by name, calling him a "wonderful writer." Carlson also included Neff in the acknowledgments of the book.


s3.amazonaws.com


Before joining Fox News, Neff worked at The Daily Caller, a conservative news outlet that Carlson co-founded. The outlet has published a number of white supremacists, anti-Semites, and bigots.


Carlson has a long history of promoting white supremacist content on his show. His show has featured many guests who have connections to white supremacy and far-right extremism. Carlson has regularly been praised by Neo-Nazis and various far-right extremist figures, and he's been a hero on many white supremacist podcasts. Users of the extremist online message boards 4chan and 8chan have repeatedly praised Carlson.

The manifesto released by the gunman who killed 20 people in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 was strewn with content that echoed talking points from Carlson's show. Days after the shooting, Carlson declared that calling white supremacy a serious issue is a "hoax" as it is "actually not a real problem in America."

Carlson has been hemorrhaging advertisers following his racist coverage of the Black Lives Matters movement and the recent protests against police brutality. Now that we know his top writer was using content from white supremacist online message boards for Carlson's show, it is more imperative than ever that advertisers distance their brands away from this toxicity.