It's well known liberals don't particularly care for Fox News host Glenn Beck, but wouldn't be comparing him to al Qaeda be a bit much?
On Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Center claimed the lives of over 2,700 people. So what does that have to do with Glenn Beck? Well according to liberal talker Bill Press, Beck's plans to hold a rally at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28 are somehow akin to al Qaeda's worldview. Press demanded the National Park Service revoke permission for Beck to hold a rally where Martin Luther King had given his "I have a dream" speech 47 years earlier. (h/t Outside the Beltway)
"In a slap at both President Lincoln and Dr. King, not to mention the American people, the National Park Service has given Glenn Beck permission to hold a Tea Party rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28 - 47 years to the day after Martin Luther King gave his magnificent ‘I Have A Dream' speech," Press wrote in a June 16 post on his blog. "If you ask me, that's like granting al Qaeda permission to hold a rally on September 11 - at Ground Zero. What the hell were those bureaucrats at the Park Service thinking?"
You would think that if there were one thing people could agree on, despite their politics, it would be cheering for the United States in a sporting event. But no, not for Jeremy Scahill.
Scahill, a regular contributor for left-wing The Nation magazine, has dedicated the past several years of his life to an obsession over the defense contractor Xe Services LLC, formerly known as Blackwater. But apparently Scahill can't overcome his politics and take pride in his country's World Cup soccer team. In a series of posts on his Twitter account, Scahill vented his frustrations over cheering for the United States in the World Cup:
Imagine you're representing the AFL-CIO, going on Fox News and trying to make a case that the $787-billion stimulus last year wasn't nearly enough and that more is needed, despite the prevailing argument being that Keynesian economics doesn't work based on this example.
Well, Ron Blackwell - the chief economist for the AFL-CIO faced that on the June 25 broadcast of Fox News' "Your World with Neil Cavuto." Cavuto, asking some honest questions, pressed Blackwell, who was attempting to make the case for more stimulus, as to why the idea of more government spending to help the ailing economy was a legitimate one.
"You're not creating the jobs, with all this money you're wanting us to spend - then why should we keep digging?" Cavuto asked. "What's wrong with saying let's put the shovel down - that's not working?"
"Well, you know, it's all about, in my opinion, definition and choice," Santelli said. "Definition, I don't disagree with our guest, Richard [DeKaser, president of Woodley Park Research], about stimulus, but I haven't seen any stimulus. I've seen a lot of spending. And in terms of choice, austerity isn't something people are going to volunteer for. The creditors are going to force it on them. I think these issues are much different than we're selling them. You know, we don't have a new Hoover Dam. We don't have a new electric grid. We paid a bunch of salaries and benefits and extension benefits, unemployment with a lot of that money that you save jobs because you paid teachers because states couldn't afford it I don't think any of that really falls under a definition of stimulus."
Fresh off his Tea Party cover storyin the June 24 Weekly Standard, CNBC's Rick Santelli foresees what could be classified as an economic black hole for the United States of America.
On the network's June 24 broadcast of "Strategy Session," the CME Group reporter explained how the country could be headed down the same path and face the economic calamity the Japanese faced in what is known asthe "lost decade."That period, from 1991-2000, was one which the Asian nation failed to grow economically despite countless efforts by the government to intervene. But as Santelli explained - the U.S. version of Japanese economic policies could result in Greek-style austerity measures.
"The notion that we are turning into Japan has been something talked about on this floor for probably a year and a half," Santelli said. "What changes though, is that it is now a toss up between Japan and Greece and trust me the eventual solutions or recommendations for avoiding the pitfalls of either are completely different strategies. A lot of Japanese say, ‘More Keynesian, more stimulus, spend, spend, spend, spend, spend.' And the other side of the equation says, ‘Well then, you are going turn into Greece.' Where does the truth lie? One thing I can tell you is, is that demographics are a big issue in this story as well. The Japanese have a demographic time bomb similar to the U.S. in terms of underfunded pensions and liabilities."
It's already been documented that the media have, at least initially, ignored the allegation that global warming alarmist-in-chief and former Vice President Al Gore faced a sexual assault charge in 2006. But why?
Although not know for its enlightening commentary, ABC's June 24 broadcast of "The View" offered an answer for that question. Subbing as a moderator for the show's panel was MSNBC "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough, who explained their decision to ignore it was based on "insufficient evidence" despite the police report documenting the allegation.
"This is an interesting story," Scarborough said. "A 2006 police report surfaced of a masseuse claiming former Vice President Al Gore repeatedly attempted, quote, ‘unwanted sexual contact with her during a hotel room massage which lasted for three hours.' Detectives found insufficient evidence to support the allegations, which leads to my question first, Joy. Should we be talking about it at all? This was in The Oregonian. We decided this morning not to talk about it on ‘Morning Joe' because there was insufficient evidence. The Oregonian picked it up, then the National Enquirer. Everybody's going to be talking about it. Should we?"
While the media are attempting to grapple with the change in leadership of the Afghanistan war and what that all means, one thing that could be learned from this, which has been ignored, are valid criticisms of President Barack Obama and his ability to command the U.S. military.
Hastings was asked if McChrystal had perhaps gotten the whole strategy wrong, but Hastings explained it was the President that didn't know what he was really getting into.
"I think that ship had sailed last year," Hastings said. "I think once the decision was made to do a counterinsurgency strategy, they had a pretty clear idea in mind what they wanted to do and I think this is quite interesting. I think this is one of the issues Obama didn't really understand what counter-insurgency meant and when the military said they wanted to do a counterinsurgency strategy that that actually meant 150,000 troops. Obama thought he could get away with just sending 21,000 over and getting a new general."
The BP oil spill - millions of gallons of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico, coastal businesses from Houston to Tampa shuttered, the potential for higher energy costs across the country and untold ecological damage. But according to Mother Jones magazine's David Corn, there is a silver-lining in all of this - that is, if you're a Democrat.
MSNBC's June 21 "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" deviated from its usual efforts to blame the previous administration for the oil spill and instead gave thanks that the spill led to Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, apologizing to BP CEO Tony Hayward in a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing.
"I think it's every single Democrat in America - they're saying, ‘Joe Barton, you go for it,'" Corn said. "You keep that ranking member position. Don't - you know, stick to your guns. I mean, after all, I mean, you made this point, I've written about this, others have made this point - It wasn't a gaffe. Joe Barton said what he believed."
Usually when you see something on the Center for American Progress' Think Progress blog, you ignore it (or at best take it with a grain of salt) because you know its fundamental objective is to score some inane point against conservatives or the Republican Party.
But to former General Electric CEO Jack Welch such headlines really don't mean much. Welch, appearing on MSNBC's June 21 "Morning Joe," explained that yes China is about to take the manufacturing "crown" from the United States, what's important is the kind of products the Chinese are making.
"If you look at what China's manufacturing - they're manufacturing low value-added stuff and as long as it stays that way and we keep doing the high-end stuff and moving up the food chain, we'll be all right," Welch said. "Now, we have not moved up the food chain as fast as we should and we need more engineers and we need to be doing all that, but we are not going to be paying people $200 a month and beginning these low value-added products. It is not going to happen. I'm not that worried about it."
Wow, just wow. Never would have seen this one coming, but is one of the standard-bearers of the media elite recognizing the Obama administration's anti-business populist tone is inhibiting the U.S. economy?
"It is, certainly beyond Washington," Gregory explained. "You all know it talking to business leaders every day and I do speak to business leaders quite often as well and I hear it time and time again that what you got at the administration are two problems. One, you've got nobody in the inner sanctum of the President's advisers who has ever run a business - who have never run a business. And that's a real problem. I think there's a level of recognition about that being a problem in the West Wing as well. But the rhetoric and the policy substantively, a lot of people feel, is anti-business and getting to a point where it could really discourage businesses in the United States and certainly the multinationals working here as well. That's a problem and I think that element of criticism from Joe Barton, while off the reservation substantively, got to that larger point, which is this populist string."
The media reaction to the Obama administration's handling of the BP Gulf oil spill crisis has been a mixed bag. But it hasn't been good.
Some are arguing President Barack Obama has gone too far and overstepped his legal authority and some are arguing he hasn't gone far enough with the "boot on the throat" mentality. And on his June 17 Fox News Channel program, Glenn Beck played three separate examples of these differences you normally wouldn't associate with one another - CNBC's Matt Nesto, liberal flame-thrower and comedian Rosie O'Donnell and MSNBC's Ed Schultz.
"Even the people at NBC are noticing maybe something is not right," Beck said.
"It was just brought to my attention yesterday," she said. "This is part of a pattern. I know you reported on this before - the Playboy article. They have highlighted various conservative women and talked about very lewd, derogatory, hateful violent things that they wanted to do toward those women. I was one of those women and this is a concert series, as you said, where they're using degrading terminology. Also in Minneapolis, there's a comic book series that was written showing me in a similar light."
There has been a lot of criticism hurled at President Obama over his handling of the BP oil spill. Some on the left are upset the president hasn't been more forceful with the oil giant. Those on the right generally argue Obama's leadership has been inadequate.
Rarely has the president been criticized for specific actions on this issue. But on "Closing Bell" June 16, CNBC's Matt Nesto was asked whether BP acted appropriately by agreeing to the White House's terms by cutting its dividend payments and agreeing to a $20 billion escrow account.
Nesto argued that the administration was circumventing the legal system with such acts.
Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann isn't exactly known for her reticence on the news of the day. And when it comes to the White House's handling of the BP oil spill disaster, Bachmann had some harsh words for President Barack Obama.
"The thing that we're all focusing on today will be the president's remarks that he'll be giving tonight and it looks like an absolute opportunism moment for the president to try and advance the next stage of his legislative agenda," Bachmann said. "And I think the curious feature in all of this has been: this is a major disaster and yet it seems like every response that has been coming out of the White House has been about the president rather than about the disaster. That is odd to me. That seems extremely odd."
With the federal government - both on Capitol Hill and in the White House - beginning to take investigative and punitive action against BP (NYSE:BP), the future of the company, at least in the United States, is in peril.
On CNBC's June 14 "The Kudlow Report," John Kilduff, a CNBC contributor and the vice president of MF Global was asked by host Larry Kudlow about a potential debarment from eligibility to be awarded government contracts, which have been very lucrative for the embattled oil giant.
"John, this would effectively be debarment," Kudlow said. "This is something we talked about a week ago, and the prevailing attitude was there would not be debarment because that hardly ever happens in American commercial history. Is President Obama having this as a Sword of Damocles over BP?"
"Rep. Ron Paul is captivated by gold," O'Hara and Keating wrote. "Over the past two decades, he has written books about the virtues of gold-backed currency. He has made uncounted speeches about the precious metal. He even took a leadership post on the House subcommittee that oversees the nation's monetary policy, mints and gold medals."
Sometimes even the seemingly most unreasonable characters as far public policy goes can be reasoned with if the circumstances are right. Just sometimes it takes someone like Steve Forbes to pull it off.
"Well, when you engage in binge spending and the idea that going to revive an economy, you just get in a spiral on that," Forbes explained. "In terms of countries like Greece what should be done, in addition to the necessary austerity, is they haven't put in place policies, Joe that we did in the early '80s that enabled this country to get back on its feet.
"Good news, comrades! Finally, after years of struggle the Industrialization of the Soviet Union paid off. From the creators of the Communist Manifesto, the October Revolution and the Perestroika comes the best Soviet Union product since Kalashnikov - iStalin! Finally the people will have the privilege to create Soviet posters themselves and spread the communist glory!"
It's called "Left, Right and Center," which claims to be a "civilized yet provocative antidote to the screaming talking heads that dominate political debate." But there's not a whole lot of truth in advertising for KCRW Santa Monica's radio program, which is also podcasted on the Internet.
The show normally features Robert Scheer, editor of the left-wing investigative Web site Truthdig.com and a former Los Angeles Times columnist, representing the left. Matt Miller, a former Clintonista and senior fellow at the left-wing Center for American Progress represents the so-called center. And former Washington Times editorial page editor and visiting senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation usually represents the right. And for whatever reason, HuffPo editor Arianna Huffington is included to represent what they call the "independent progressive blogosphere," as if that is somehow different from the "left."
For the June 11 edition of this show, both Blankley and Miller were away and replaced with David Frum, a recently terminated fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, representing the "right" and Lawrence O'Donnell, of MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" fill-in fame, representing the "center." And it was on the broadcast Frum used the platform to take a shot at the Club for Growth.
"The idea that there is a pro-Israeli bias in the broad media - whatever ‘the media' means at this point, I strongly disagree with," Meacham said. "I think if anything you run into a very strong feeling on the Palestinian side."
That led another panelist on Maher's show, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow to protest by asking who is pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel in politics or media.
Not this again. There is obviously not enough going on in the world for Newsweek magazine this week because once again Sarah Palin is on the cover.
Palin, the former governor of Alaska and the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee was also on the cover of Newsweek back in November 2009, in running shorts. This time she is featured as "Saint Sarah: What's Palin's appeal to conservative Christian women says about feminism and the future of the religious right" in Newsweek's June 21 issue. Palin is depicted with halo on the cover for the story written by Lisa Miller, which attempts to rationalize Palin's convictions about the issue of abortion and her Christian faith.
However, Palin didn't think too highly of Newsweek's gesture. She responded on Fox News' June 11 broadcast of "On the Record with Greta van Sustren."
"Haven't seen it, but if the title and what I hear about the content is any indication of where Newsweek is going, it is no wonder Newsweek is doing so poorly," Palin said. "People are not reading that stuff. It is not relevant. It's not interesting stuff that they are making up and writing and that's why they are going down."
Reports are surfacing that BP is finally considering a suspension of its shareholder's dividend, but what could have been done differently to avert the public relations nightmare BP is facing? Two CNBC hosts had some ideas about that, and about what could have happened if BP chose not to play ball.
Jim Cramer and Erin Burnett shared their thoughts on the "Stop Trading" segment of "Street Signs" June 11. According to the "Mad Money" host, Obama could have set a foul precedent for multi-national businesses if BP (NYSE:BP) didn't agree to make some concessions on how it is handling its day-to-day operations in the wake of this ecological crisis.
"I think that this is a, a stock that represents great value but you're dealing with the government," Cramer said. "I saw that Nancy Pelosi, she's the second most powerful person in our country, saying that they shouldn't be paying a dividend. I mean, this is one of those situations where I know, the president's approval ratings are down and what you got to do is you got to go after BP if you're the president. I'm not saying I would do it but I'm saying if I were the president of the United States, BP is public enemy number one and you're not even going to listen to what the British say. You just gotta say, ‘Guys, here's the deal, we're not, we're not going to have any dividends here. And just you know, take it or leave it, partner, because this is a company that needs U.S. ball play."
It's probably safe to assume that a lot of reporters in the mainstream media lean to the left side of the ideological spectrum. And it was seen throughout the health care debate over the past year and a half - that somehow we need to raise the rhetoric beyond hyperbole like death panels, etc.
"[T]he Post found itself in another potentially embarrassing and ethically compromised position on Wednesday after one of its most senior reporters abruptly canceled an appearance at her own book party, which was being sponsored by a public relations firm with strong ties to the Democratic Party," Peters wrote.
We all know the BP oil spill is a huge mess. It's going to be costly to clean up - but just how much? And while some outspoken critics are calling for BP to eliminate its dividend, they probably aren't realizing the residual effects.
"Couple of things - I mean, it is water under the bridge, it is over and you will have to live with it," Gheit said. "BP will have to live with it. We have to remember one thing -- BP bought 10 years ago, Amoco, Arco, a very large American corporation with a lot of people working for BP today. And the retirees are pensioners from the Amoco and Arco days. So by cutting the dividend we're penalizing completely innocent people that worked very hard for many years. And now, the dividend is the way they support themselves. So, I don't understand."
As Fox News is purportedly competing with Bloomberg for that front-row seat once occupied by the former dean of the White House press corps and Hearst Newspaper columnist Helen Thomas, Chris Wallace, the host of "Fox News Sunday," suggested there would be some sort of righteousness in his network taking that seat.
"They absolutely should get it," Wallace said on the June 10 broadcast of the Fox Business Network's "Imus in the Morning." "This is kind of interesting because -- and I think it would be the final sort of back payment for Helen Thomas, if this were to happen because obviously she was very far to the left-wing and if her seat were to be taken by Fox News, that would just be kind of poetic justice."
When a protectionist law is enacted and nearly a century later it is inhibiting a recovery from major ecological catastrophe, it's probably time to scrap it or at least temporarily waive it.
But instead a nearly century old provision known as the Jones Act of 1920 is wielding the wrath of unintended consequences. According to the Heritage Foundation, this protectionist measure was put in place to defend the American maritime industry, but is endangering far more jobs than it is protecting.
"The Jones Act, which is supposedly about protecting jobs, is actually killing jobs," Heritage co-authors James Dean and Claude Berube wrote in a June 8 The Foundry post. "The jobs of fishermen, people working in tourism and others who live along the Gulf Coast and earn a living there are being severely impacted. There are also additional private sector jobs which are NOT being created in the United States since the Jones Act effectively prices U.S. based companies out of the ability to be competitive on the competitive global market. As we strive to develop new technologies for a cleaner environment at sea, the Jones Act continues to hobble our own capabilities, sometimes with devastating results."
MSNBC's Chris Matthews's ratings lag far behind those of his competition, Fox News' Glenn Beck, on a regular basis. So is he perhaps trying to become the anti-Glenn Beck to bolster his stature in the cable news world?
"You know that Gadsden flag, the ‘Don't Tread on Me Flag' with a rattlesnake is so important," Matthews said. "They believe, a lot of people in the right - that the federal government has replaced the British as the occupying force in North America and they have to be ready to fight it. It's serious business."
There are a lot of people angry at BP for causing huge damage to the Gulf of Mexico. As a way to vent some of this emotion, some are volunteering their help to clean up where the oil has washed ashore. Others are petitioning lawmakers to clamp down on oil companies to ensure this doesn't happen again. However, there's one option that has proved to be pointless according to Penn Jillette, half of the famed Vegas duo Penn & Teller.
"Well, you know, I don't know there's many different takes to take on it," Jillette said. "I mean, it's just a horrible disaster and a catastrophe. What amazes me about it is on Facebook, they just, they put this thing up, you know, ‘Boycott BP.'"