Honesty Apparently Not the Best Policy for Kevin Faulconer

February 5, 2014 by Andy Cohen

Alvarez 33

It can be demonstrated and proved that the Republican candidate for Mayor of San Diego lies in his latest campaign ad.

By Andy Cohen / San Diego Free Press

Source: Faulconer for Mayor Campaign Ad

I will certainly be grateful when this mayoral campaign is over and we can begin to move on to the 2014 midterms. That sounds weird coming from a reporter/columnist that thrives on these election cycles. This mayoral special election has certainly been the gift that keeps on giving, providing endless material for all of us San Diego political observer types to offer up to hungry readers.

Otherwise at this time of year we’d be struggling to find subject matter to fill our website with. For a weekly columnist that’s not always easy (but then again, as they say, if it were easy everyone would do it). For a daily columnist like my colleague Doug Porter, this mayoral special election is a godsend.

But what I’m tired of are the TV ads and the mailers that deliberately mislead their audience; the voters of San Diego. I’m absolutely disgusted by the TV commercials that attempt to rewrite history.

In other words, the candidate ads that LIE.

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The Stars Align, Send Chargers to the Playoffs

January 2, 2014 by Andy Cohen

After a series of fortuitous, near impossible events, the Bolts are on their way to the NFL playoffs for the first time since 2009.

By Andy Cohen / San Diego Free Press

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. And the 2013 San Diego Chargers certainly are very lucky.

Against all probability, the Chargers are headed to the playoffs after completing a 9-7 regular season. Two weeks ago I wrote a column calling the talk of the Chargers making the playoffs nonsense, even after their dominant week 15, Thursday night win over the #1 overall AFC playoff seed Denver Broncos in Denver. The Chargers, it seemed, had finally gotten their act together and were playing some of the best football in The League. The problem was that it took them 13 weeks to get there.

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San Diego’s Shadow Government Steps Into the Spotlight

December 27, 2013 by Andy Cohen

political-puppetsFormer Mayor Jerry Sanders steps back into the spotlight to undermine San Diego’s elected government

By Andy Cohen / San Diego Free Press

We often hear, particularly when a government entity is seeking to raise revenues for an important project (or, on occasion, a not-so-important project) that the associated revenues amount to a “jobs tax,” or a “job killing tax.” It’s a favorite meme of those of a particular political persuasion or economic status. Ordinance ‘A’ is a JOBS KILLER! We must not allow it to pass! Requiring health care is a JOBS KILLER! Any ordinance requiring a living wage is a JOBS KILLER! The minimum wage is a JOBS KILLER! Increasing the sales tax by one-half of one percent is a JOBS KILLER!

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Chargers and Aztecs: Please Stop With the Nonsense!

December 18, 2013 by Andy Cohen

No, the Chargers are NOT going to the playoffs, and no, the Aztecs should NOT replace Rocky Long.

By Andy Cohen / San Diego Free Press

Alright, so let’s have some fun. A little diversion from the world of San Diego politics for a moment.

Bolts Playoff Bound? Not a Chance!

First, let’s dispel any notion that the San Diego Chargers have any hope whatsoever at making the playoffs. Via Twitter yesterday, the Chargers issued a poll, asking followers whether, with two games remaining, will the team make the playoffs? They then joyfully tweeted out the results of the poll (a tweet that has oddly since been deleted….but thankfully someone else was smart enough to retweet the Chargers’ tweet) showing that 69% of respondents enthusiastically replied “Yes, the Chargers will make the playoffs!”

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California Nation

October 16, 2013 by Andy Cohen

California-State-Flag-2The national government arguably no longer represents the best interests of California.

By Andy Cohen

With the government shutdown entering its third week and the country on the brink of causing a worldwide economic calamity by defaulting on its financial obligations, the United States sits mired in a major political and economic crisis. It is a self inflicted crisis caused by a bunch of radical know-nothings who have deliberately set out to undermine our government and economy in a game of political brinksmanship. The entire nation is being held hostage so that 30 million Americans can be denied healthcare; because an ignorant and racist faction of the Republican Party has wrested control of the U.S. House of Representatives because they abhor the very idea of a black man occupying the White House.

I’m tired of it. We deserve better. And by “we” I mean Californians.

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Republicans Are Out To Destroy Our American System of Governance

October 10, 2013 by Andy Cohen

Holding America Hostage

And some Congressional Democrats are willing to let them.

By Andy Cohen

America’s entire system of governance is being threatened. Our Constitution, the presidency, the rule of law itself is under attack.

Republicans have shut down the government and are holding the government and the entire U.S. economy hostage, and are doing so for no apparent reason. They have insisted that President Obama “negotiate” with them, but they have absolutely no clue what they want from “negotiations.” House Speaker John Boehner has demanded that Obama have a “conversation” with House Republicans. All we want is a “conversation,” he said over and over again last Sunday on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos”, never once uttering the other “C” word, “compromise.”

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San Diego Bolts’ Brass Must Decide on Mathews’ Future

September 26, 2013 by Andy Cohen

Image Source:  ffoasis.com

Chargers and SDSU football teams have given San Diego little to cheer about early in the 2013 season.

By Andy Cohen

The state of San Diego football at both the pro and major college level is a pretty sad one as I sit here and type this. And it’s disappointing, because San Diego is one of the better football cities around. We deserve better here; a better pro/college stadium, and better teams that the fan base can be proud to support.

But we’re being seriously shortchanged here in “America’s Finest City.” Our pro team is apparently back to its maddeningly foundering ways with a star running back who the team doesn’t seem to trust with the ball. And our FBS college team….well, as much as I love my Aztecs (and yes, I am biased and not at all afraid to admit it), what’s happening out there on the field of play is nothing short of embarrassing. I expect much better from this program at this point in the program’s post-Chuck Long development.

Can’t trust star RB

In 2010, then General Manager AJ Smith traded up 16 spots in the first round to take Fresno State running back Ryan Matthews with the 12th overall pick in the NFL Draft. Matthews was talented to be sure, with plenty of speed and big play potential. Durability, however, was a major question mark.

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Olympic Bid is Perfect Opportunity to Address Chargers Stadium Quest

June 19, 2013 by Andy Cohen

Chargers-new-StadiumDiscussions should start now to plan for Olympic stadium, regardless of bid’s success.

By Andy Cohen

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner wants to bring the Olympics to San Diego. Actually, he wants to bring the Olympics to San Diego and Tijuana.

This is not exactly news if you follow local politics at all. Filner has been rather vocal about his desire to bring the 2024 games to America’s Finest City, and even more adamant about it being a bi-national effort.

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San Diego Professor Taking Global Warming Fight to the Markets With Campaign of Divesting from Fossil Fuel Stocks

June 7, 2013 by Andy Cohen
Thumbnail image for San Diego Professor Taking Global Warming Fight to the Markets With Campaign of Divesting from Fossil Fuel Stocks

A successful effort to convince California teachers pension system to divest in fossil fuel stocks would be first significant economic victory in fight against global warming.

By Andy Cohen

Most people accept that global warming is real and that it’s happening. But even for those who continue to willfully deny the facts right underneath their noses, it is getting more and more difficult to ignore the increased frequency and intensity of the superstorms that have devastated our landscape.

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It’s Official: DeMaio to Challenge Congressman Peters for 52nd Congressional District in 2014

May 31, 2013 by Andy Cohen

By Andy Cohen

It’s official. Carl DeMaio has announced his bid to challenge freshman incumbent Scott Peters for the 52nd Congressional District seat in central San Diego. The right wing/Tea Party conservative who lost his mayoral bid to one of the most liberal candidates ever to seek the top job at City Hall now has set his sights on the left-of-center consensus builder who took down long time Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray, who was only slightly less conservative than DeMaio.

Congress is broken, he tells us, and he’s just the guy to go and fix it.

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Ballot Initiative Seeks to Bring California In Line with Other Oil Producing States

May 6, 2013 by Andy Cohen

Lost Hills Oil Field

by Andy Cohen / San Diego Free Press

North Dakota does it. Louisiana does it. Florida too, and Alaska. Even Texas has an oil and gas severance tax, which largely funds state government there. Alaska is almost entirely dependent on their oil severance tax. But in California, no such tax exists. …

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Definitely Not Business As Usual at City Hall With Mayor Filner

April 11, 2013 by Andy Cohen

Bob-FilnerFilner commited to changing the culture of city government

By Andy Cohen / San Diego Free Press

Last spring, then mayoral candidate Bob Filner promised anyone who would listen that should he be elected Mayor of San Diego after 20 years in Congress, business as usual would no longer be tolerated by his office. The “Downtown Special Interests,” he said, had controlled San Diego for too long, and it was time to put it to an end.

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Congress’ Sequester Carries Dire Consequences for San Diego Innovation Economy

February 27, 2013 by Andy Cohen
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from the San Diego Free Press

Cuts to government funding for basic research–already at dangerously low levels–could have devastating long term economic effects nationally, locally

Our greatest responsibility is to be wise ancestors.–Jonas Salk

San Diego is home to one of the premier research universities in the country, doing pioneering work in health sciences, renewable energy, and information technology. With UC San Diego at its epicenter, combined with the growing research prowess at San Diego State University, biotech and clean tech have become the economy of the future for the region. A 2004 Milken Institute study determined the San Diego metropolitan area to be the number one biotech research cluster in the country.

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San Diego and the TMD

February 27, 2013 by Andy Cohen
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from the San Diego Free Press

It’s time for the San Diego City Council to work within the law instead of desperately searching for ways around it.

Can’t we all just get along?—Rodney King

On Monday the San Diego City Council heard comments on the city’s Tourism and Marketing District. You might have heard about it in recent weeks, because it’s been the source of a lot of controversy down at City Hall.

The TMD became a major news item last week when Mayor Bob Filner crashed a news conference called by City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. Let’s just say that the two men don’t agree on a whole lot, and the exchange was one of the more entertaining political back and forth’s in San Diego history.

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The Predictable Demise of the Plaza de Panama Plan

February 13, 2013 by Andy Cohen

Plaza de Panama Entry RenderingThe San Diego City Council arrogantly and knowingly ignored its own laws in supporting the planned Balboa Park renovation.

By Andy Cohen / San Diego Free Press

Last week Judge Timothy Taylor ruled that the proposed Balboa Park redevelopment plan put forward by the Irwin Jacobs sponsored Plaza de Panama Committee violated city law and could not move forward.

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California Gasoline Prices go Haywire, May Have Been Subject to Collusion

December 6, 2012 by Andy Cohen

Data suggests that price spikes in May and October may have been the result of market manipulation and not supply shortages.

Back in 2000-2001, California—and San Diego in particular—fell victim to the price fixing schemes of a virtually unregulated electricity market. Back then the state became the center of the nation’s attention when the state’s electricity markets went absolutely kablooey (that’s a technical term). Electricity providers SDG&E, PG&E, and Southern California Edison were forced to sell off their production facilities as a part of then governor Pete Wilson’s grand deregulation experiment, in which San Diego was the guinea pig. The new owners of the generating plants smelled opportunity, and they took full advantage of it.

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Time for a Change at Chargers Park

November 28, 2012 by Andy Cohen

Norv Turner is the convenient scapegoat, but not necessarily the problem.
I have generally tried not to be overly, publicly, vocal about sharing my opinions on what’s happening with the Chargers over the last few years. I have a platform to share my views with a wider audience than most, and yet I’ve been reticent to use it. And I’m reticent to use it now, because it will merely look like I’m piling on. Or sour grapes. Or something.

But enough is enough. Something’s gotta give out there in Murphy Canyon. This team has been in a sort of death spiral for several years now, and it’s painfully obvious that the current regime is incapable of preventing the Titanic from going down.

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Bilbray Is a No-Show at Ocean Beach Town Council Debate; Scott Peters Makes His Case

October 25, 2012 by Andy Cohen

Bilbray’s campaign had confirmed his attendance – no reason given for his absence.

Congressional candidates Scott Peters and Brian Bilbray were scheduled to square off in front of the Ocean Beach Town Council last night as a part of the council’s Candidates Forum, but apparently someone forgot to inform Mr. Bilbray. Instead, Democrat Scott Peters held the floor to answer questions from the audience.

It was noted that the council had invited Mr. Bilbray, and that he and his campaign had confirmed that he would attend. No explanation was given for his absence.

“I want to cut costs to save the program,” Peters said when asked about the attack ads by his opponent regarding his stance on Medicare. “Mr. Bilbray has voted to cut benefits and end the program.” He said that savings in Medicare can be achieved by allowing the government to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs, which it currently by law cannot do; by reducing fraud and overbilling; electronic record keeping that will help increase efficiencies; and taking it from “a sick care system to a healthcare system that incentivizes prevention.”

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Victor in Fight for Sherri Lightner’s District 1 Seat Will Determine Balance of Power on City Council

October 18, 2012 by Andy Cohen

The lone remaining City Council race is scrutinized

And then there was one. Out of nine city council districts—five of which were up for grabs in the June 5th primary—only one remains without a definitive answer as to who will be its representative to the city government. District 3’s Todd Gloria ran uncontested, as did District 5’s Mark Kersey; Marti Emerald cruised in the newly created District 9 taking 72% of the vote in the primary and winning it outright; and in District 7, Scott Sherman earned just barely enough of the vote with 50.09% to lock up his own election (in city council races, any candidate who earns 50% plus 1 of the overall vote is declared the winner outright, eliminating the need to carry on through the November general election).

The lone remaining undecided city council race is in District 1, where incumbent Democrat Sherri Lightner finished a close second to Republican challenger Ray Ellis. Which is surprising, and then again not surprising, since of the four contestants in the race, two of them were Democrats.

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Who does Brian Bilbray really represent in Congress?

September 20, 2012 by Andy Cohen

The lobbyist in Bilbray carries over into his activities as a duly elected member of Congress.
Potentially earthshattering news came to light yesterday. It was news that for the Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, could and should be devastating, and earthshattering for the Republican cause nationwide. David Corn of Mother Jones broke a story late yesterday of a video that was sent to him that was taken at a private fundraiser with the candidate and a small group of very wealthy donors.

In his talk, Romney explicitly dismissed nearly half of the American electorate as shiftless leeches who contribute next to nothing to America and the American economy.

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Prop 36: Amending California’s “Three Strikes” Law

September 6, 2012 by Andy Cohen

Adjusting sentencing guidelines under three strikes will help alleviate prison overcrowding and help California’s budget.

In 1994, California voters approved a law that was rather revolutionary in its time……as Californians are wont to do. We’re trendsetters in that way. The purpose of the “three strikes” law was a noble one: Deter violent crime—particularly from repeat offenders—by making each subsequent conviction even more costly.

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Mayoral Candidates Debate the issues at Ocean Beach Town Council

August 23, 2012 by Andy Cohen
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DeMaio and Filner lay out their divergent views on the role of government in San Diego.

From the San Diego Free Press

The Ocean Beach Town Council welcomed San Diego’s two mayoral candidates to its monthly meeting at the Masonic Center last night in the latest in a series of debates ahead of November’s general election.

Not surprisingly a packed house gathered to hear what the two aspirants to the city’s highest elected office had to say about their plans for the city should they be elected.

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Polls Show Local San Diego Races up for Grabs; National Parties Ante Up

August 1, 2012 by Andy Cohen

DCCC reserves $1.65 million from national funds, NRCC pledges $1.6 million to Bilbray

It’s the end of July, and some important political races in San Diego are beginning to heat up. Two polls released yesterday started to bring both the San Diego mayoral race and the 52nd District Congressional race into focus for the general election campaign.

According to a report by Roll Call, a Washington, DC based publication, the race between Democratic Challenger Scott Peters and Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray is a dead heat with each candidate receiving 40% of the projected vote. The poll showed a significant 19% of those questioned as undecided.

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52nd Congressional District among the most competitive, most likely to turn from red to blue

July 24, 2012 by Andy Cohen
Thumbnail image for 52nd Congressional District among the most competitive, most likely to turn from red to blue

Peters campaign insists that they will be able to compete financially head to head.

As the race for the California 52nd District Congressional race begins to heat up between Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray and Democratic challenger Scott Peters, one of the more interesting and telling aspects of the race will be determining which candidate will have access to the most resources. It is widely assumed that Bilbray will have a sizeable funding advantage, as Republicans stereotypically do. After all, Scott Walker was able to outspend his Democratic challenger Tom Barrett in the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election by a margin of eight to one.

For the rest of this story, please visit the San Diego Free Press.

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The GOP: The Party that Doesn’t Care

July 18, 2012 by Andy Cohen

Republicans profess an unmatched love of country, but what they have is an unmatched disdain for the people who inhabit it.

There’s a line from the 1995 movie “The American President” starring Michael Douglass and Annette Bening that just keeps ringing in my head. I’ve used the line in past posts, and I’m sure I’ll use it again (and again, and again, and again) because it’s so incredibly and pointedly accurate. Even more so today.

A little refresher course: “The American President” is about a widower, Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas), who in the wake of his wife’s death from cancer manages to get himself elected President of the United States. He falls in love with a lobbyist, Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Bening), and they begin dating.

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“Save KLSD:” The Corporate Consolidation of America’s Airwaves

July 3, 2012 by Andy Cohen
Thumbnail image for “Save KLSD:”  The Corporate Consolidation of America’s Airwaves

San Diego’s last progressive talk radio station a victim of the loosening of media ownership laws

Talk radio has become big business in the last decade and a half, particularly conservative talk radio, which has seen an explosion in popularity and influence. Progressive talk radio? Not so much.

San Diegans have become accustomed to the conservative stylings of locally owned 760 KFMB and the not so locally owned KOGO 600. When you’re looking for news in this city, there are no other choices. You’re stuck with the nonsensical, anti-government, sensationalist, and sometimes maniacal ramblings of Rush Limbaugh and Roger Hedgecock. But that wasn’t always the case. For a brief while, San Diego did have a progressive talk radio station to call its own: 1360 KLSD (for “Liberal San Diego,” as we are informed by radio and television news personality Bree Walker).

KLSD at one point was the home of San Diego personalities like Stacy Taylor and Jon Elliott. It was also San Diego’s home to Air America Radio, the national syndication outfit that brought voices such as Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow, Randi Rhodes, and Al Franken, now a United States Senator from Minnesota, to the airwaves.

For the rest of this story, please visit the The San Diego Free Press.

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Dissecting the Supreme Court’s “Obamacare” Decision

June 28, 2012 by Andy Cohen
Thumbnail image for Dissecting the Supreme Court’s “Obamacare” Decision

In writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts is careful to note that upholding the act is not the same as endorsing it.

The Supreme Court today upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the signature legislative accomplishment of the Obama Administration in a 5-4 decision, a majority that included conservative Chief Justice John Roberts. This is a big day for the Obama Administration, and for Democrats nationwide. This was the day that the Affordable Care Act—an imperfect law with definite shortcomings, but a good start toward healthcare reform nonetheless—was ratified as the law of the land once and for all.

Since day one Republicans have assaulted the Act as unconstitutional on several grounds, spreading lies and misinformation about the Act in a propaganda campaign to ensure public opinion is squarely against it. Lies such as calling it a “government takeover of healthcare,” or excoriating the “death panels” that the law supposedly contained, or that those who already had insurance through their employer were going to lose it, or railing about the trillions of dollars it will add to the budget deficit.

None of those things are even remotely true. In fact, they’re all demonstrably false, but that hasn’t stopped the right wing from passing it all off as gospel.

For the rest of this analysis, please visit the The San Diego Free Press

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Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act !

June 28, 2012 by Andy Cohen

From San Diego Free Press

In a stunning turn of events, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, the signature legislative accomplishment of the Obama Administration.

In a 5-4 decision (more on that in a minute), the Court upheld the contentious individual mandate, determining that it was indeed constitutional under the commerce clause, justifying the requirement to purchase health insurance as a tax and therefore within the purview of Congress to enact.

Perhaps the most stunning development, however, was how the 5-4 decision came about. It was largely assumed that if the law were to be struck down, it would be along strict party lines with Justice Anthony Kennedy voting with the conservative members of the court. It was also widely thought that if the law were upheld–as it has been–that it would likely be a 6-3 vote with Chief Justice John Roberts joining Kennedy and the liberal members of the court to justify the law.

This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates. Go to San Diego Free Press

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Election of Birther to the Bench Proves Voters Unworthy of the Responsibility of Selecting Jurists

June 19, 2012 by Andy Cohen
Thumbnail image for Election of Birther to the Bench Proves Voters Unworthy of the Responsibility of Selecting Jurists

Asking voters who know nothing about judicial candidates, and usually fail to do any research of their own is a recipe for disaster.

Well, looks like we’ve done it, San Diego. The electorate has spoken, and the electorate has chosen a completely unqualified individual to serve as a Superior Court judge in San Diego County.

Gary Kreep is a lawyer who decided he wanted to be a judge. Relatively harmless in and of itself, until you find out a little more about him. First, he is the founder of the United States Justice Foundation, an innocuous sounding name (aren’t they always?) for an organization that is dedicated to TEA Party causes and the advancement of right wing religious causes. They are anti-abortion, anti-gay, all conspiracy theory all the time whack jobs. His endorsement list reads like a who’s who of the TEA Party.

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Mitt Romney Cheers as Public Sector Job Losses Hinder Growth

June 15, 2012 by Andy Cohen
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President Obama’s “gaffe” about the private sector doing just fine has whipped Republicans up into a lather.

Last week while addressing the media in the White House briefing room, President Obama made a “gaffe,” saying that the “private sector in this country was doing fine.” Ever since, that “gaffe” has been the favorite punchline of every Republican talking head to appear on cable TV to deliver their official Roger Ailes approved talking points.

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