There's really little opportunity for the spirit of bipartisanship to exist when you have a part-time operative for the Obama administration/cable network political commentator throwing bombs about the GOP for not catering to the Obama administration's wishes on health care reform.
"Well, it is kind of preposterous," Begala said. "The Republicans bit is, ‘Well, we'll work on health care if you stop and end and scrap all the progress we've made over the course of a year.' Well no, actually. The health care bill already has 213 Republican-sponsored amendments - 213. And for that they got zero Republican votes. I guess they got one in the House, David [sic - Joseph] Cao."
Time after time, the Obama White House has demonstrated a desire to control the message and flow of information, whether it's issues on health care, the economy, bailouts and the latest - climate science.
But AccuWeather.com's chief long-range and hurricane forecaster Joe Bastardi, who appeared on the Fox Business Network's Feb. 9 "Cavuto," warned there are other implications with the government having an expanded role in climate forecasting. According to Bastardi, it could lead to an effort to shut out other opinions.
No matter what former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin does, she's not going to win any friends in the mainstream modern feminism activist movement in the United States. But that might not be a bad thing.
On HLN's Feb. 8 "The Joy Behar Show," Eve Ensler, the writer of the infamous "The Vagina Monologues" appeared on the broadcast to promote her new book "I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World." During the interview, she was asked by the show's host Joy Behar what she thought about Sarah Palin, her political prospects and her belief system.
"Back with me is a woman who has done more for the vagina than the Brazilian wax - the talented Eve Ensler," Behar said. "You know, I must talk about Sarah Palin quickly with you because you do mention her in one monologue in the book. And you say a woman running for U.S. vice president believes in creationism but not global warming. What were you driving at there? May I ask?"
With Washington, D.C. buried beneath at least 20 inches of snow, and with more in the forecast, common sense would suggest global warming alarmists look elsewhere to make the argument to raise awareness for their concerns.
But no, Dylan Ratigan thinks it's ridiculous to suggest all the snowfall totals could cast doubt on the theory of anthropogenic global warming. On MSNBC's Feb. 8 "The Dylan Ratigan Show," Ratigan criticized those who would dare express misgivings about climate change based on the so-called "snowpocalypse."
"Here's the problem - these ‘snowpocalypses' that have been going through D.C. and other extreme weather events are precisely what climate scientists have been predicting, fearing and anticipating because of global warming," Ratigan said.
Even though, the day after it aired on the Super Bowl broadcast, the consensus on the Focus on the Family advertisement featuring former Florida quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow was that it wasn't as bad as the left had feared, at least one person that isn't going to let it go.
On MSNBC's Feb. 8 "Morning Joe," host Joe Scarborough made the point that the TV spot played during the Feb. 7 game was inoffensive and painted the opponents of it as being upset about nothing.
"One other thing too, talking about the soft touch - Focus on the Family's ad with Tim Tebow was soft, it was subtle and it made all the people who criticized it over the past week look like shrill idiots," Scarborough said. "It was a mom talking about a son she loved - her take with soft music."
If you're a follower of conservative politics and also a user of the social networking tool Twitter, you've more than likely have noticed the use of "#tcot," for "top conservatives on Twitter" associated with certain posts that pertain to that subject matter. But it all didn't happen by accident. In the early stages, it was a concerted effort.
And most of it was because of the work of Michael Patrick Leahy, the author of "Rules for Conservative Radicals," which is a takeoff on Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals." And as Leahy explained, the origins of the acronym ‘tcot' and its use on Twitter were the creation of him, an Orange County, Calif. software engineer and a 78-year-old Texas grandmother.
And Leahy, who is the third cousin of Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., explained to a group assembled by Sandy Horwitt, author of an Alinsky biography, "Let Them Call Me Rebel: Saul Alinsky: His Life and Legacy" at a Washington, D.C. Chinatown restaurant on Feb. 4, how he got the ball rolling on the who "tcot" concept.
After hearing the wit and wisdom of Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., one has to wonder how modern media corporations could stay in business without the expertise and guidance of those elected to the U.S. Senate.
Sarcasm aside, Franken did admit during a Feb. 4 hearing he didn't necessarily have legal expertise to address the Comcast-NBC Universal merger, but he could more than make up for that shortcoming through his experience in show business. Franken, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Antitrust Subcommittee, explained he was bothered by the merger.
"As some of you may know, I'm on the Judiciary Committee, I'm not a lawyer," Franken said. "But I used to be in show business. In fact, I worked for years for NBC and I really feel that I owe a lot to NBC. But what I know from my previous career has given me reason to be concerned - and let me phrase that, very concerned about the potential merger of Comcast and NBC Universal."
As the old cliché goes, you don't use a sledgehammer to crack a nut, but according to Rick Santelli, that's exactly what it appears the Obama administration is doing terms of financial regulation and fiscal discipline.
On CNBC's Feb. 2 broadcast of "Fast Money," host Melissa Lee proposed that taxing the wealthy is not the path to "economic prosperity and fiscal stability." Santelli, the network's CME Group floor reporter, agreed.
"Well, you're right," Santelli said. "But I also think you're going to see when the Bush tax cuts expire, a lot of middle class write-offs and exemptions and various tax benefits will also fall by the wayside. Not the least of which to mention, I have so many friends that work for the financial industry. And they've learned from the government, even if you only make $25,000 to $125,000 a year, one firm says if you leave to go into another job or whatever, anything outside retirement, they're going to keep 10-to-20 percent of the stock they took from you following the government's directives."
If someone's going to play speech police, one might think it would be wise to make sure her own house was in order prior to hurling charges. But, for Arianna Huffington, editor of The Huffington Post, there are two sets of rules.
"Yes, well, first of all, there's a big distinction between who your anchors are, who are your employees and what they are saying and what your bloggers are saying," Huffington said. "And in our case, of course, what he said, what our blogger he was quoting said, was started by Roger, because he never called him a tumor. He said Fox was a tumor, on American society, which is a legitimate view that many people hold."
Want proof low taxes work? Just take a look at the state of New Hampshire, as MSNBC "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough astutely pointed out.
On the Feb. 2 broadcast of his MSNBC program, Scarborough interviewed Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. Shaheen's home state was hosting a jobs town hall put on by President Barack Obama and Scarborough used the occasion for a teachable moment.
"Now, usually none of us would celebrate unemployment rates of 7 percent," Scarborough said. "But that is not only well below the national average, but your neighbor, Rhode Island, to the south of you now sitting with a 13 percent unemployment rate. What's New Hampshire doing right?"
The government's traditionally enforced safety standards on automobiles sold in the United States. But the government didn't always own a car company. So you'd expect the media to take a hard look when the government's roles as regulator and competitor converge.
"We've got a fabulous Toyota engine plant in Alabama," Sessions replied. "They've been doing very well. It seems that they've recognized they're going to fix this problem and it's going to take some effort."
And one of the most bizarre and egregious examples of this desperation to defend the President at all costs came from MSNBC "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann. On his Jan 28 program, he singled out Erick Erickson of RedState.com, John Stossel, host of the Fox Business Channel's "Stossel", Jay Nordlinger of National Review, former Bush speechwriter and Washington Post contributor Marc Thiessen, John Hood, also of National Review and Fox News host Glenn Beck as racist for criticizing the president's demeanor during the Jan. 27 State of the Union address.
"But our winners, these guys, assessing not the speech, but the president himself," Olbermann said. "Erick Erickson, ‘cocky.' John Stossel said he hoped the president would admit he was, quote, ‘arrogant.' Jay Nordlinger, ‘looks arrogant whether he is arrogant or not.' Marc Thiessen, ‘defensive, arrogant.' John Hood, ‘flippant and arrogant.' Glenn Beck, ‘like a punk.'"
President Barack Obama encouraged some business interests by mentioning nuclear energy and offshore drilling during his Jan. 27 State of the Union speech. Those less popular energy solutions joined the usual alternative rhetoric of wind, solar and bio-fuels.
But on CNBC's Jan. 28 "Street Signs," Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's "Mad Money" noted something was missing - an important onshore energy source, natural gas. And as for the nuclear energy signals - he wasn't convinced Obama was serious.
"I mean, I want to point out I thought the nuke thing was just the boilerplate nuke," Cramer said. "[Energy Secretary Steven] Chu is a research director, the Energy Secretary, really is more of a professor. Offshore oil and gas, the issue is onshore. Natural gas wasn't mentioned, got to be really careful about that."
Since Ron Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan, would probably be the first to admit his political view are widely divergent from his father's it seems strange that he would put words in the Gipper's mouth about current events.
It was initially thought the election of President Barack Obama was just going to hit your pocketbook in the form of higher taxes. But if the past several days are any indication, the president has found another way to hit it - by attacking your stock portfolio.
On CNBC's Jan. 25 "Mad Money," host Jim Cramer advised his viewers to be aware of this and to strategically position their stock portfolio with an eye on Obama and Washington's expanded role in the private economy.
"In the last week the world of investing has been turned upside down by Washington," Cramer said. "We can no longer afford to look at stocks the same way we did before the GOP upset in Massachusetts. With the Obama administration now on an anti-shareholder rampage, we now have to factor in political risk when we evaluate different sectors. And the risk may be higher than anytime since Jimmy Carter, who truly hated profits, especially if they were big. In the midst of earnings season, suddenly politics has become just as important as revenue growth or market share gains or earnings' beats. So we need a new prism for valuing stocks."
It's curious to see people in the mainstream media try to make sense of the Tea Party movement. The New York Times, which once called the Tea Parties a psychological phenomenon rather than a political movement, has now changed its tune.
In the wake of the stunning upset by Scott Brown in the Jan. 19 Massachusetts special election to fill the seat vacated by Ted Kennedy's death, the Times is attempting a more analytical look at the so-called "tea party tiger." Specifically, the Times looked at some key figures in the movement, Sen. Jim DeMint, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Fox News host Glenn Beck and CNBC CME group reporter Rick Santelli.
CNBC ‘Squawk Box' co-host Joe Kernen told Santelli about the Times story on Jan. 25.
Is the luster finally wearing off the love affair between the White House press corps and President Barack Obama? It is, if CBS White House correspondent Chip Reid's analysis of President Barack Obama's latest Wall Street proposals is anything to go by.
"Well, you know, it's really the same as it's all been," Reid said. "That there's some unease about both of them, but the President has been satisfied with the jobs they've done. Behind the scenes, they both still have a lot of control. They lost this battle to Volcker, but now they're on board on this new plan for Wall Street, although it really sounds more like politics than a real plan because it's hard to believe it would get through."
The guy has an hour-long television show that isn't the highest-rated program on cable television, but does fairly well considering the circumstances. Yet, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who has expressed his own "unhinged" anger about the Supreme Court ruling that corporations have a free speech right to participate in elections, says there is a deficiency of anger about the ruling.
Olbermann, on the Jan. 22 "Countdown," launched into another one of his abbreviated tirades, or what he calls is a "Quick Comment" and blasted his colleagues in the media for not being as "enlightened" as he thinks they should be.
"I worked full-time in sports for about 20 years and I've worked full- time in news for about 10 years," Olbermann said. "And after yesterday, I must finally say aloud what I have long thought but have been reluctant to voice. The average person in the American news industry appears to be about one-fifth as plugged into the world he or she covers, as does the average person in the American sports industry.
CNBC "Squawk Box" co-hosts Joe Kernen and Becky Quick get it. Unfortunately, their CNBC colleague that covers Washington, D.C. for the network doesn't.
On the Jan. 22 broadcast, Harwood appeared on the program to give a status report on the current version of health care reform being negotiated in Congress and what it means in the aftermath of Scott Brown's filibuster-proof busting election victory in Massachusetts on Jan. 20. Kernen suggested that the health care bill might have been forced through if not Brown's election and the public fervor it revealed.
"I think it's unbelievable that it would have gone through and they would have definitely jammed it through if this weird, serendipitous seat hadn't opened up and if there hadn't been a special election, 17 percent of the economy - based on what they wanted to do, based on what these elected officials wanted to do, against what the public wants - they would have just rammed it through, either way," Kernen said.
But according to "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace, efforts to spin this in a positive way are futile. Wallace appeared on the Fox Business Network's Jan. 21 "Imus in the Morning" program to explain their efforts to alter the news coverage to a favorable tone in the wake of this news is not the proper course of action.
"I think it means a big deal and I have to laugh, you know, somebody was saying yesterday, there's some events that are just un-spinable," Wallace said. "They're just too big, too dramatic, too obvious - you can't spin them and yet the White House clearly is trying to spin this."
"These bank bonuses, I would say, are a sin of Biblical proportions," Wallis said. "But to pick on the banks alone misses the point. It's a symptom, I think of a real erosion of societal values because new maxims have taken us over - ‘greed is good,' ‘it's all about me and I want it now.'"
One might think a start would be to tone down some of the rhetoric, take a step back and consider retooling the strategy, instead of lobbing more bombs. But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has employed the same protocol as some of the radical fringe elements on the left in attacking Richard Hanna, a candidate for New York's 24th district (h/t Ben Smith of Politico). [emphasis added]
"While making today's announcement that he will once again run for Congress in New York's 24th district, Hanna also launched a new campaign website where he shamelessly touts his ties to the CATO Institute, a right wing extremist group that has long been a vocal advocate for extremist, unfair trade policies that would allow companies to ship American jobs overseas," the Jan. 20 release said.
But Ted Turner, founder of the first truly 24-hour cable news channel, doesn't see anything wrong with the channel's heading. CNBC's Joe Kernen asked Turner if he had any problems with CNN's direction during a "Squawk Box" appearance Jan. 14.
"I know you love CNN," Kernen said. "It's your baby. I know you're not involved in running it anymore, but when you look at the way Fox News in 10 years has sort of risen above CNN in terms of ratings and profitability and other metrics, would you advise - should CNN stay the course with their idea it's just straight news, or do they need to change with the times and become more opinion-based."
Brzezinski was asked by a member of the audience why she is sometimes reluctant to be more vocal with her ideologically liberal views on their show. She explained that wasn't necessarily her role.
"There's a lot of different things going on with my role," Brzezinski said. "You know sometimes, see - and most of the time, he's taking on three Democrats at the table and I find myself more moderator, making sure the voices are all being heard and that civility prevails, which is something that is really important to us."
It hasn't been in the limelight recently, but it is coming. According to CNBC contributor John Kilduff of Round Earth Capital, we will soon see the price of reach $100 per barrel.
On CNBC's Jan. 11 "The Kudlow Report," host Larry Kudlow asked Kilduff what it would take for the Obama's administration to change its energy policy to allow for more oil exploration and drilling.
"Oil is hitting a 15-month high at $83 a barrel and it was $30 about a year ago," Kudlow said. "So, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar rules drilling of oil and gas out of bounds for federal lands. No drilling. So, how high does it go before we go back to drill, drill, drill?"
Just in time for what they call "bonus season," ABC's "World News" treated its viewers to a little anti-Wall Street populism Sunday night.
On "World News" Jan. 10, weekend anchor Dan Harris explained there was "backlash" against Wall Street for bonuses that haven't even been paid out yet. But the ABC report made no mention of bonuses paid to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives.
"This week on Wall Street, it's the start of the bonus season, when the big banks dish out big bonuses," Harris said. "This is happening despite all the taxpayer bailouts and all the economic pain on Wall Street. The backlash has already begun."
While countries like China, Brazil and India are on the path to ascendency, the United States appears to be heading in the opposite direction, according to the former CEO of a major U.S. bank.
In a segment on the Jan. 7 broadcast of the Fox Business Channel's "Stossel," John Allison, the former CEO of North Carolina-based BB&T Corporation (NYSE:BBT), the 10th largest bank in the United States, warned of dark times ahead if the country continues on its current course.
"Now, it's a long-term trend," Allison said. "We will have some kind of economic recovery and we'll have some economic growth. I think the most likely intermediate scenario is stagflation like the 1970s."
Given the well documented "revolving door" between the media and the Democratic Party (particularly the Obama administration), it's hardly surprising that MSNBC "The Ed Show" host Ed Schultz has been approached about a run for the Senate from North Dakota. But it's still hard to swallow the left's hypocrisy concerning who can make the jump from journalism to politics.
"After talking over how he arrived at this decision to retire, he did ask me one question," Schultz said. "That was, how old am I. I thought, uh oh, here we go. Then, this morning, I got a phone call from a good friend, Merle Boucher. Merle is the House Democratic leader in North Dakota. He officially asked me to consider to run for the U.S. Senate seat in North Dakota. All right. I'm flattered and I'm honored and I can't say I'm even considering it right now. I've worked, as many people know, very hard to get where I am in my career. To go from Fargo to 30 Rock is a dream come true for any broadcaster. I've invested a lot of years, a lot of time and effort, as an opportunity to use the microphone to advocate for the middle class in this country." [Emphasis added]
The liberal intelligentsia are often all too eager to accuse conservatives of being fear-mongers, purveyors of hate speech, etc. But when they engage in what they accuse conservatives of doing, it's a different set of rules.
"The problem, I think, we have now is sort of crystallized by former Vice President Cheney's role in this debate," Alter said. "And I think that he has actually gotten to a place where he is emboldening the terrorists. If you have a former vice president who is saying that our current president is weak - by the way, that's the first time in American history that's ever taken place, that a former president - a former vice president has said the sitting president is not protecting the country. Never happened before, must end."