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By Mark Finkelstein | October 3, 2011 | 10:14 AM EDT

As noted here yesterday, former Obama car czar Steve Rattner, in a Politico piece, lashed out at Ron Suskind, depicting Suskind's book on bad times in the Obama White House as a "drive-by shooting" of President Obama and his staff. That hardly seemed in the spirit of President Obama's pious call, in his much-touted Tucson memorial speech, for people to speak in a way "that heals, not wounds" .

Joe Scarborough called Rattner out on the matter on today's Morning Joe.  But Rattner blithely batted away Scarborough's depiction of "drive-by" as "harsh" and "rhetorically inflammatory."  Video after the jump.

By NB Staff | October 3, 2011 | 8:51 AM EDT

In a WSJ article today by NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton, Tarkenton imagines an NFL set up like the public school system:

...Each player's salary is based on how long he's been in the league. It's about tenure, not talent. The same scale is used for every player, no matter whether he's an All-Pro quarterback or the last man on the roster. For every year a player's been in this NFL, he gets a bump in pay. The only difference between Tom Brady and the worst player in the league is a few years of step increases. And if a player makes it through his third season, he can never be cut from the roster until he chooses to retire, except in the most extreme cases of misconduct.

What do you think of Tarkenton's comparison? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

By Tim Graham | October 3, 2011 | 7:44 AM EDT

Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi is finding a lot of unusual circumstances -- and unusual no-comments -- around Michelle Obama's razzle-dazzle distraction outing to Target after her latest controversy over wearing $42,000 diamond bracelets. He found "there might have been something to the notion of White House orchestration." Farhi's story did not note how the Post's own gossip columnists were eagerly orchestrated to coo over the photo (including on NBC).

Is the AP granting the First Lady a publicity favor to curb the Michelle Antoinette echoes that will give them increased access later in return? If the official White House photographer had taken these shots, Farhi noted, the rest of the press would have seen them as promotional. Somehow they weren't if AP put their prestige on the credit line instead. Farhi lined up all the improbabilities:

By Tom Blumer | October 3, 2011 | 1:01 AM EDT

If you only read Thursday's coverage of Bank of America's decision to impose a $5 monthly debit card fee by Associated Press Personal Finance Writer Candice Choi, you would have no idea that last year's "Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act" triggered BofA's decision. The legislation gave the Federal Reserve the power to limit debit card interchange fees. The Fed's limit -- 21 cents plus 0.5% of each purchase transaction -- basically cut the banks' fees by about half from their pre-Dodd-Frank level. estimates that the cap will reduce banks' fee income by $9.4 billion annually.

Ms. Choi only cited the existence of "a new rule" in her opening paragraph. She then waited until the ninth paragraph to vaguely cite the existence of "a regulation." It hardly seems accidental that most news consumers who didn't follow the fee fight a year ago will probably have the impression that banks are driving the fee increases, as the following excerpt will demonstrate (bolds are mine):

By Tim Graham | October 2, 2011 | 11:20 PM EDT

Liberal talk radio will say almost anything to attack Ronald Reagan. Lately, they've been in a dither over plans to curtail the Postal Service. So Reagan inspired shootings at the post office? On Thursday's edition of the Thom Hartmann Show, a caller insisted:  "When Reagan took over, the tension in the post office went up and you start[ed] havin' shootings...because of th[ese] draconian rules that they put these people under, and the stress. " Hartmann replied: "I wouldn't disagree with that, and Reagan began the war on workers."  

Hartmann lauded the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters as the rebuttal to Reagan: "By and large, this is a movement being driven by teenagers and people in their twenties who are looking at a world that thirty years of Reaganomics has handed them, or a country, anyway, that's a disaster explicitly because of crony capitalism, bought-off politicians, and supply-side economics."

By Tom Johnson | October 2, 2011 | 11:01 PM EDT

It's fair to criticize the Tea Party, or any group, for what it actually believes. Alas, many apparently bitter leftists still cling to the notion that the Tea Party's true agenda has more to do with racism than it does with the Constitution. Some of those leftists blogged for Daily Kos this past week. 
As usual, each headline is preceded by the blogger's name or pseudonym.

By Noel Sheppard | October 2, 2011 | 6:14 PM EDT

The New York Times reported Sunday that Nancy Reagan is "pushing" New Jersey governor Chris Christie to run for president.

George Will spoke to the former First Lady Saturday evening and told Christiane Amanpour on ABC's "This Week" that Mrs. Reagan "laughed merrily at that absurdity" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | October 2, 2011 | 4:45 PM EDT

Newsweek's Eleanor Clift made a rather shocking prediction on this weekend's "McLaughlin Group."

"Obama’s justice department took the, asked for healthcare ruling from the Supreme Court because they’re nervous that they’re not going to be in office a year and a half from now" (video follows with commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | October 2, 2011 | 3:37 PM EDT

On Sunday's "Meet the Press," Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne wheeled out the typical Democrat talking point that President Obama can't get anything accomplished because of Republican obstructionism in Congress.

Not buying this nonsense was the Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan who smartly responded, "A leader leads. Part of the president's problem is that he has never, from day one, been able to really pull in bipartisan support, either make Republicans afraid of him or want to follow him. He's never been able to do it" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Brent Baker | October 2, 2011 | 1:39 PM EDT

Three comments that caught my attention on the Sunday morning interview shows:

> ABC News White House reporter Jake Tapper recounted that whenever he has dinner with liberal friends “you can hear them making their peace with Romney,” saying “‘he seems centrist,’ or ‘you know, he’d be good at jobs,’” so “that's a problem for President Obama.”

> On the killing of terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen, liberal Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. admitted: “You’ve got to be honest and say, what would liberals say if George Bush had done this?”

By Mark Finkelstein | October 2, 2011 | 12:26 PM EDT

Did David Gregory realize just how much he was letting down the mask and revealing his liberal bias?   On today's "Meet The Press,"  Gregory stated as a simple declarative fact that Republicans have a "harsh stance" on immigration reform.

Did Gregory simply forget the "some say" fig leaf so favored by the MSM?  Or is the MTP moderator so lost in the liberal media cocoon that he can't imagine anyone disagreeing with his assertion that the GOP view is "harsh"?  View the video after the jump.

By Noel Sheppard | October 2, 2011 | 11:10 AM EDT

In 2006, the Washington Post lead a racially charged smear campaign against former Senator George Allen (R-Va.) involving the previously unknown word "macaca."

On Sunday, the Post prominently featured a 3000-word, racially charged, front page hit piece involving Texas governor Rick Perry and a decades old bit of graffiti reading "Niggerhead":

By Mark Finkelstein | October 2, 2011 | 10:39 AM EDT

"A refrigerator has never been hacked. An on-line virus has never attacked a cork board." -- from United States Postal Service TV commercial urging people to use mail.

Right. And a buggy whip has never had a broken transmission--so why don't we junk our cars?  Really, that was the kind of pathetic logic on display in the USPS TV commercial that aired during today's Fox News Sunday.  Video after the jump.

By Mark Finkelstein | October 2, 2011 | 8:28 AM EDT

"It's important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we're talking with each other in a way that -- that heals, not in a way that wounds." -- President Obama, speech at Tuscon memorial service, January 12, 2011.

"The [Suskind] book amounts to a drive-by shooting of a president and his key economic advisers who deserve encomiums, not unfounded second guessing and inaccurate revisionist history." -- Former Obama car czar Steve Rattner, writing at the Politico, October 2, 2011 [emphasis added].

Where have you gone, President Hope-and-Change? Less than nine months after President Obama pronounced pious words about talking "in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds," the Obama White House sends out a designated hitter to accuse a respected author of a "drive-by shooting" of the president and his advisers.  Nice. [Via Mike Allen's Politico Playbook.]

By Tim Graham | October 2, 2011 | 8:18 AM EDT

President Obama spoke to the National Dinner of the gay-left Human Rights Campaign on Saturday night and began by joking: "I appreciate the chance to join you tonight.  I also took a trip out to California last week, where I held some productive bilateral talks with your leader, Lady Gaga. She was wearing 16-inch heels.  She was eight feet tall. It was a little intimidating." Then he said he couldn't give a long speech, because "Cyndi Lauper is in the house.  I can't compete with that."

Overall, his theme was that a "big America" supports homosexuality, and conservatives favor a "small America." He took a shot at Republicans for failing to denounce about two boos at a debate for a soldier on tape demanding Rick Santorum not turn the clock back on gay liberation. "We don’t believe in the kind of smallness that says it’s okay for a stage full of political leaders -- one of whom could end up being the President of the United States -- being silent when an American soldier is booed. " Alert to PolitiFact: Obama lied by saying they've been "silent since."