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By Jack Coleman | December 30, 2011 | 2:17 PM EST

Leave it to a fringe leftist to tout a rarely-defended plan proposed by Franklin Roosevelt.

Angered by Supreme Court rulings that blocked many New Deal initiatives, Roosevelt in 1937 came up with what he considered an ingenious scheme to get around the court -- increasing it from 9 to 15 justices, the additional six most assuredly sharing Roosevelt's politics. (audio clip after page break)

By Mark Finkelstein | December 30, 2011 | 1:57 PM EST

Has Andrea Mitchell appointed herself hall monitor of the 2012 elections?  On her MSNBC show today, Mitchell asked Mitt Romney whether he had "an apology to make to the voters" for the negative ads against Newt Gingrich being run by Romney-friendly Super PACs.

For good measure, Mitchell scolded: "is that the kind of campaign you want to run: a negative campaign?" Video after the jump.

By Tim Graham | December 30, 2011 | 1:46 PM EST

On Thursday, the Associated Press reported "Four-star general-turned-CIA director David Petraeus almost resigned as Afghanistan war commander over President Barack Obama's decision to quickly draw down surge forces, according to a new insider's look at Petraeus' 37-year Army career." Network coverage? Zero. Nexis searching showed nothing on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today.

But NPR's The Two-Way Blog noted one reason: the insider author, Paula Broadwell, said AP was mistaken. She replied on Twitter: "#Petraeus did NOT consider quitting, though mentors/friends encouraged it". It's obvious that if Bush were still president, this report and this author would be red-hot and high-profile. Are they waiting on this story until a real "news cycle" emerges? Or is it more Obama Defense Syndrome? No Bob Woodward treatment here?

By Clay Waters | December 30, 2011 | 1:07 PM EST

The New York Times’s slanted political personality reporter Mark Leibovich returned to the Times pages Thursday after a long book-leave absence to file a campaign trail story from Iowa on GOP candidate Newt Gingrich, aka “Nasty Newt”: “On Trail, Gingrich Strains to Show Nice-Guy Side.”

By Brad Wilmouth | December 30, 2011 | 12:29 PM EST

Imagine the media attention that would be garnered if any non-Muslim in the U.S. did something as sensationalistically violent and dramatic as to dress as Santa Claus and commit a mass murder against his own family at a Christmas gathering.

But this past weekend, a Muslim man in Texas who was reportedly angry at his family for becoming too westernized committed just such an egregious act, resulting in the deaths of seven people, as documented this morning by FNC's Fox and Friends. (Video below)

By Matt Hadro | December 30, 2011 | 11:45 AM EST

Reporting on the campaigns in Iowa on Friday's Early Show, Times political correspondent Jeff Zeleny belittled candidate Michele Bachmann as "a little bit combustible and volatile."

Zeleny added that "Anyone knows what she could do," in response to CBS anchor Jeff Glor's question about the potential for a candidate to do something before the Iowa Caucus to change the GOP race.

By Matthew Sheffield | December 30, 2011 | 10:50 AM EST

As surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, it seemed inevitable that moonbat cable news personality Keith Olbermann would soon do something to sour his relationship with his current employer, obscure cable channel Current TV. After all, he still remains the same man who famously spent days in the bathroom in fits of rage rather than report for work.

We don't know what that something was, but it appears that the former ESPN-MSNBC-Fox Sports-MSNBC anchor has managed to commit it for, as noted by New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter, Olbermann does not appear to be part of the channel's lineup to cover the Iowa caucuses or the New Hampshire primary election. Instead, viewers will be treated to performances by Current's usual stable of failed politicians and MSNBC rejects:

By NB Staff | December 30, 2011 | 10:18 AM EST

You would think given the utter failure that Democratic presidential campaigns have had with class warfare rhetoric--John Edwards, John Kerry, Al Gore, and Walter Mondale come to mind--that their strategists would have realized long ago that the politics of envy just don't work.

Unfortunately, however, that hasn't been the case, as President Obama has embraced with abandon attacks on his fellow Americans (while at the same time keeping an open door for the very richest to give and receive favors). This time around, class warfare is not working too well, either, as political analyst Michael Barone writes:

By Mark Finkelstein | December 30, 2011 | 9:41 AM EST

Joe Klein waited till the very end of 2011, but has managed to make a strong bid for Most Asinine Assertion of the Year.

Appearing on Morning Joe today, Klein claimed that Iran's interest in getting nukes would "just be to deter Israel" and Pakistan.  Certainly when it comes to Israel, this has to be among the most hideous instances of blaming the victim in recent memory.  Video after the jump.

By Rich Noyes | December 30, 2011 | 9:32 AM EST

Back in 2008 and 2009, the Media Research Center’s year-end awards for the Best Notable Quotables were dominated by journalists fawning over the greatness of Barack Obama. In 2008, our winner for “Quote of the Year” was Chris Matthews for his on-air exclamation that upon hearing Obama give a speech, “I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often.”

By Brad Wilmouth | December 30, 2011 | 9:32 AM EST

It's no secret that the media have given significant attention to GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's history of marital problems and whether this facet of his past will undercut him with socially conservative Republican voters, but on Friday's Today show on NBC, correspondent Peter Alexander went so far as to refer to Gingrich's wife as his "third wife" in a story that otherwise had nothing to do with his marital history. (Video below)

Below is the relevant portion of Alexander's report from the Friday, December 30, Today show on NBC:

By Mark Finkelstein | December 30, 2011 | 7:57 AM EST

With not one Republican primary vote cast yet, we're getting way ahead of ourselves by speculating about whom Mitt Romney might pick as his vice-presidential running mate.  But Willie Geist did invite Politico's Mike Allen to make his "bold predictions" for 2012.  And Allen delivered, prognosticating that Romney would pick Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman as his ticket-mate.

Mark Halperin strongly seconded Allen's assertion.  View the video after the jump.

By Tim Graham | December 30, 2011 | 7:45 AM EST

In the ongoing left-wing parade of charges that conservatism equals racism, add Daily Kos blogger Chauncey de Vega, who on Wednesday night hailed a article on the avoidance of slavery talk as another opportunity to weave together “the tapestry that is historical memory, the slave-holding South, and contemporary conservatism.”

“Adults who dress up in Colonial era period clothing, believe that the Constitution is divinely inspired, and take the metaphor of ‘a shining city on the hill’ as a get out of jail pass for America's shortcomings both at home and abroad, have little use for such facts," de Vega lectured. “Selection bias, Fox News, and an embrace of a fantastical view of political and social reality, protects the Tea Party GOP faithful from any experience of cognitive dissonance.”

By Tim Graham | December 29, 2011 | 11:14 PM EST

Before he tweeted “Merry Mythmas everybody,” HBO host Bill Maher rubbed Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow’s face in the dirt on Twitter, but somehow Tebow’s the “notorious” one. Maher posted, “Wow, Jesus just [screwed] #TimTebow bad! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere in hell Satan is tebowing, saying to Hitler ‘Hey, Buffalo’s killing them.’” But on, reporter Ken Lombardi described Maher as simply a “comedian," but Tebow as a “notorious evangelical Christian.”

The word “notorious” has synonyms like “infamous,” “shameless,” and “disreputable.” But CBS didn’t care, insisting  “And Maher’s in hot water again for a now-controversial tweet on Christmas Eve referencing famed quarterback and notorious evangelical Christian Tim Tebow.”

By Mark Finkelstein | December 29, 2011 | 9:47 PM EST

Is Ed Schultz's expression of respect for Rick Santorum a Machiavellian maneuver designed to sow chaos in the Republican field?  I actually don't think so.  

Watching the MSNBC host in action this evening, I got the sense that Schultz, out on the Iowa campaign trail with Santorum, came away with a sincere respect for the former Pennsylvania senator, calling him "impressive" among other things.  Watch the video after the jump and be the judge.