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By Noel Sheppard | April 25, 2011 | 10:36 AM EDT

In the midst of all that ails our nation comes a story that has to make you feel good.

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) has been cleared to attend Friday's shuttle launch which includes her astronaut husband Mark (video of the annoucement follows with commentary):

By Julia A. Seymour | April 25, 2011 | 10:20 AM EDT

The average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline hit $3.86 on April 25, more than $1-a-gallon higher than a year earlier and less than 25 cents away from the record high price of gasoline set in July 2008.

In fact, per gallon prices are more than $2 higher than when Obama took office Jan. 20, 2009. Yet the president has been nearly exempt from criticism on the issue of rising prices, despite a six-month drilling moratorium and more regulatory hurdles for industry.

The Business & Media Institute found that out of the 280 oil price stories the network evening shows have aired since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, only 1 percent (3 stories) mentioned Obama’s drilling ban or other anti-oil actions in connection with gasoline prices.

By NB Staff | April 25, 2011 | 9:42 AM EDT

The Washington Examiner has a great editorial out today noting the cognitive dissonance that characterizes President Obama's foreign policy. On the one hand, it seeks to make the United States the protector of innocents and champion of freedom fighters, but on the other, it neglects, even undercuts, America's role as the world's dominant military force and leader in global affairs. Check out an excerpt from the editorial below the break.

By Noel Sheppard | April 25, 2011 | 9:32 AM EDT

A day before the liberal website Wonkette posted a truly disgraceful piece about Sarah Palin's Down's syndrome son Trig, the Los Angeles Times published an article calling the former Alaska governor a "special-needs case."

Columnist Meghan Daum's "Why Sarah Palin Doesn't Get What She Deserves" was just another in a long line of hit pieces on the woman from Wasilla the elite media love to hate:

By Tim Graham | April 25, 2011 | 8:46 AM EDT

Monday's Washington Post touted on the front page a story on "Pointed comedy: Laughing Liberally prepares to take its 'This Ain't No Tea Party' show national." Emily Wax's story on the front of the Style section utterly failed to find the funny: 

In a grungy basement comedy club on West 46th Street, Elon James White, 32, bursts onstage in a hooded sweat shirt, hip-hopistan baseball cap askew, and lobs an opening joke about Rep. Michele Bachmann.

"I’m a fan of Republicans. They are just so damn entertaining. They’re the best reality show — ever. Forget the Kardashians, I want to know what the Bachmanns are up to," he hoots.

"That’s right, everyone. I’m a Negro in a hoodie, and I know who Michele Bachmann is," he continues, as the audience claps and roars. "Sorry, but I’m paying attention!"

By Tim Graham | April 25, 2011 | 7:44 AM EDT

Liberal reporters just can’t seem to grasp the idea that making Christianity more "user-friendly" – that is, more liberal and "relevant" and free of conservative "dogma" that opposes divorce, abortion, and homosexuality – doesn’t end up attracting users. Just like liberal "mainline" Protestant churches are in decline, inside Catholicism, the Jesuit order is shrinking in America. On Easter Sunday, Washington Post religion reporter Michelle Boorstein never found anyone to notify her that it’s exactly the "user-friendly" liberalism that’s shrinking it.

Jesuit theology, which tends to be open and positive, is well suited to American spirituality in 2011, said the Rev. James Martin, a corporate executive turned priest and writer. He calls his order "user-friendly" and wrote "The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything" last year, aimed at a non-Catholic audience.

"The message that God meets you where you are is very appealing, because we are a very experiential crowd today," Martin said. "Seekers want real-life experiences of God; they don’t want just dogma."

By Noel Sheppard | April 25, 2011 | 1:38 AM EDT

If you had any questions about just how far to the left New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is, they were answered Monday when he expressed enthusiastic support for the Congressional Progressive Caucus's radical tax-hiking "People's Budget."

In his "Let's Take a Hike," the Nobel laureate left no doubt about his desire to swiftly redistribute America's wealth with little regard for the economic consequences:

By Tom Blumer | April 24, 2011 | 11:43 PM EDT bills itself as "pop culture amplified." It recently acquired a former Turner Broadcasting site called "The Frisky."

BuzzMedia's press release announcing the acquisition said that "The Frisky has struck a major chord with female audiences for its authentic voice and fierce sense of humor."

Last Tuesday, The Frisky "Guys" section contributor and Julie Gerstein, whose occupation per her profile is Style Editor, criticized another web site's 25 Hot Guys under 25 list. You see, Ms. Gerstein fiercely believes that's Number 13, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, should not have been on the list because -- and only because -- he is pro-life:

By Tim Graham | April 24, 2011 | 11:00 PM EDT

James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal editorial page finds it amusing that "Former Enron adviser Paul Krugman" (the columnist for the New York Times) is outraged that House Republicans seek, in their words, to make government health care more responsive to "consumer choice":

Here's my question: How did it become normal, or for that matter even acceptable, to refer to medical patients as "consumers"? The relationship between patient and doctor used to be considered something special, almost sacred. Now politicians and supposed reformers talk about the act of receiving care as if it were no different from a commercial transaction, like buying a car--and their only complaint is that it isn't commercial enough.

What has gone wrong with us?

By Tom Blumer | April 24, 2011 | 10:41 PM EDT

The establishment press's lack of interest in associating President Obama with the sharp run-up in energy costs has been thoroughly documented by several folks at the Media Research Center, including but not limited to Julia Seymour when gasoline hit the $3 mark, and more recently Brent Bozell.

Saturday, the Associated Press's Mark S. Smith took the gas-price propaganda to the next level. As anyone would predict, he failed to assign any blame for the energy cost run-up to specific Obama administration policies such as the Gulf drilling moratorium and other barriers to production, and paid relative lip service to the pain it is causing average Americans. To Smith, those are apparently mere trifles.

Smitty's real problem is that those darned gas prices might be hurting Barack Obama's reelection chances (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

By Noel Sheppard | April 24, 2011 | 10:15 PM EDT

As oil and gas prices head to new highs, we're hearing more calls from the President and his media minions about how this is all the fault of Wall Street investors.

On "Fox News Sunday," the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol said the two biggest speculators who have damaged the U.S. economy are President Obama and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tom Johnson | April 24, 2011 | 9:22 PM EDT

There was no truly salient issue this past week for Daily Kos bloggers. Instead, they took on a wide range of topics from the urgent need for a federal crackdown on Rush Limbaugh and other conservative "hate-talkers" to a portrayal of America as sort of a global Grampa Simpson. Each headline is preceded by the Kossack's name or pseudonym.
Stranded Wind: Congress must crush righty talk radio
...Convicted drug addict and probable sex tourist Rush Limbaugh leads a thousand bellowing buffoons on the AM dial, hating blacks, Mexicans, gays, Muslims, women, and any straight white male that dares disagree with his world views. That’s about 80% of America, and yet Congress has not crushed this pack of hate-talkers...

By Noel Sheppard | April 24, 2011 | 7:06 PM EDT

"A lot more Americans are going to learn to speak Spanish, and I think that's a fine thing."

So said Newsweek's Eleanor Clift Friday in the middle of a "McLaughlin Group" program devoted in its entirety to looking at how America is responding to a growing Hispanic population as well as an ongoing economic expansion in Latin America (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | April 24, 2011 | 4:18 PM EDT

There was a marvelous moment on this weekend's "Chris Matthews Show" when the host literally stuck his foot in his mouth claiming in front of four British journalists that former Prime Minister Tony Blair "was much closer emotionally and politically to Bill Clinton" than George W. Bush.

Guest's Andrew Sullivan of the Daily Beast and Gillian Tett of the Financial Times both immediately shook their heads as the BBC's Katty Kay and Matt Frei said "No" and "Wrong" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | April 24, 2011 | 12:06 PM EDT

ABC devoted its entire "This Week" on Easter Sunday to "God and Government," and not surprisingly the question of President Obama's faith prominently entered the discussion.

When it did, Cokie Roberts said, "The bad part about this is that it's acceptable to say that he's a Muslim because the same people won't say, 'I don't like him cause he's black'" (video follows with transcript and commentary):