On this morning's CNN Newsroom, anchor Heidi Collins gave Barack Obama some cover by characterizing the omnibus spending bill, larded with thousands of earmarks, as left over from the Bush administration:
A controversial $410 billion spending bill hits a snag in the Senate. This is the bill we've been talking about with about $8 billion in earmarks. Republicans and a few Democrats are mad about all that pork barrel spending. That led members from both parties to push President Obama to veto the bill.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid says the measure will be opened up for changes next week in an effort to gain more support. The bill is a hold-over from the last administration.
Collin's reporting comes straight from the Obama playbook. Last Sunday on "This Week," Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag defended his boss's support for the measure:
"This is last year's business. We want to just move on. Let's get this bill done, get it into law and move forward."
Time's Michael Grunwald got it right in explaining why the budget from last year is still pending, and it isn't President Bush's fault:
It was originally drafted last year, but congressional Democrats didn't want to send it to President Bush, so it will only fund the government from April through September.
Paul Kane at The Washington Post points out that the bill is "leftover from last year's congressional agenda."
And the Associated Press reported yesterday on Senator John McCain's attempts to defeat the spending bill:
McCain took aim at the $410 billion spending bill to keep the government running, specifically Obama's willingness to accept thousands of pet projects that it would fund. Orszag, McCain noted, called the so-called earmarks "last year's business."
"Last year's business? Does that mean last year's president will sign this pork barrel bill?" McCain railed from the Senate floor. "It is the president's business. It is the business of the president of the United States."
No, Heidi, the omnibus bill working its way through Congress isn't a hold-over from the Bush administration. Your saying so is evidence of what's become increasingly apparent: When it comes to covering up for Obama, the news readers at CNN are shovel ready.