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By Ken Shepherd | May 11, 2011 | 11:24 AM EDT

Yesterday liberal Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley (D) signed into law a measure allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities.

Covering the story today, the Washington Post offered this bland print edition headline on page B1: "O'Malley signs bill allowing immigrant tuition breaks."

The move "bucks trend in other states" and a "showdown with opponents is expected," subsequent subheadings trumpeted.

Yet staff writer Ann Marimow waited until paragraph 16 in her 23-paragraph article to get around to quoting one such opponent:

By Tom Blumer | May 11, 2011 | 11:16 AM EDT

The chefs in the kitchens at AP-GfK, a joint effort of the Associated Press and GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications, have been working overtime cooking up a scrumptious dish for fans of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

After tasting the output this morning, the AP's Liz Sidoti and Jennifer Agiesta could hardly contain their glee (also saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):

President Barack Obama's approval rating has hit its highest point in two years - 60 percent - and more than half of Americans now say he deserves to be re-elected, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll taken after U.S. forces killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

In March, the same poll had the president's approval rating at 53%. The graphic which follows, obtained from the the poll's "topline" at AP-GfK's web site, reveal that the AP pair enjoy feasting on empty calories:

By Lachlan Markay | May 11, 2011 | 10:16 AM EDT

During the 2008 campaign, much of the press succeeded in painting a portrait of Barack Obama that bore almost no resemblance to either the Chicago politician he was before, or the president he's been since. We were sold Hope and Change, but ended up with what Washington Examiner columnist David Freddoso decries as "Gangster Government" in a new book bearing that title.

Gangster government is "about governing without recognizing the legitimate limits of one's power," as Freddoso describes it. "It's about officials who use public office to make winners into losers and losers into winners; who bend, break and make the law to help their friends and punish their enemies."

Freddoso contends that the term describes Obama's administration better than any before it. The man cut his teeth in Chicago, the mecca of gangster government, by Freddoso's telling, and exported that brand of public policy - with the aid of a pair of complacent watchdogs in the news media and Congress - into the Oval Office.

By Noel Sheppard | May 11, 2011 | 10:10 AM EDT

Last November, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell admitted on air to being a socialist.

In a segment on "The Last Word" Tuesday addressing how Cuba - a country nearing economic ruin - is moving towards capitalism, O'Donnell said, "We are all socialists in this country who support public education, state funded universities, government-run hospitals, Medicare, Social Security, classic socialistic programs that have sensibly found their way into the American economy" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Brent Baker | May 11, 2011 | 9:38 AM EDT

Pedro Ramirez knows his “future depends on” President Barack Obama’s success in passing “immigration reform,” specifically the “Dream Act,” CBS’s John Blackstone asserted in a Tuesday night story which corroborated the need for Obama’s quest by holding up Ramirez as an innocent victim.

“He is student body president at California State University at Fresno where he'll graduate this month following years of accomplishment,” Blackstone heralded, “until his parents admitted to him they've been living here illegally since he was three years old. Last year he joined other young undocumented immigrants pushing for passage of the Dream Act. It would award legal residency to children brought to America before they were 16 as long as they graduate from high school and go on to college or the military.”

Linking Ramirez’s plight to Obama’s policy solution, Blackstone asserted: “On the Texas border today, the President called for those who want immigration reform to help push an entrenched Congress.”

By Clay Waters | May 11, 2011 | 8:55 AM EDT

The New York Times’s pro-Democratic election enthusiasm is showing. Metro reporter Raymond Hernandez has written two stories in two days about House Speaker John Boehner coming to aid a Republican candidate in a special election May 24 in upstate New York. Monday’s story previewed Boehner’s visit in support of Jane Corwin, who is running a "struggling campaign...for a vacant seat in Congress": "Tight Race For Congress Prompts Visit By Boehner – Upstate Trip to Help Struggling Republican."

The personal interest shown in the race by Mr. Boehner – who will host a fund-raiser for Ms. Corwin and also make a public appearance with her – reflects the growing concern among Republicans about a race that they had not expected to be so competitive.

The visit also comes as national Democrats, who had all but written off the race a few weeks ago, now view an opportunity to turn it into a referendum on the House Republican agenda in advance of the battle for control of the House in the election next year.

By NB Staff | May 11, 2011 | 8:49 AM EDT

The Heritage Foundation on Tuesday released its comprehensive budget proposal, titled "Saving the American Dream." The plan would reform entitlements and the tax code, and balance the federal budget in ten years. But while it is primarily an economic plan, it "has a higher moral purpose," Heritage writes. "If entitlements are not reformed, the next generation and future ones will have to pay punitive tax rates that will end liberty as we have known it." Check out some commentary on the plan below the break from columnist - and recent recipient of MRC's William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence - Cal Thomas.

By Mark Finkelstein | May 11, 2011 | 8:41 AM EDT

Left-wing Columbia Professor Jeffrey Sachs, a frequent Morning Joe guest, has accused US special operations forces of committing "high-tech murder on a large scale" for their targeted campaign of killing or capturing Al Qaeda Taliban forces in Afghanistan.

Sachs made his contemptible accusation on today's Morning Joe in the course of a discussion of the PBS Frontline documentary "Kill/Capture" on the JSOC operations.  Stephen Grey, a producer of the documentary, was a guest.

View video after the jump.

By Tim Graham | May 11, 2011 | 8:37 AM EDT

The Al Sharpton radio show always gets even stranger when radical Syracuse professor Boyce Watkins is a guest. (Last year, he suggested Limbaugh listeners and Fox watchers easily become violent.) On Monday, Professor Watkins told Sharpton that Herman Cain should run for president like Colin Powell, and never mind that Powell actually endorsed Obama in 2008. If he's like a Tea Partier, then Cain's a racist:

What I will say though is that I hope he does not make this into a black man’s circus, by basically building votes within the right wing by constantly attacking the President in unfair ways. It’s one thing to say that the President’s policies are inadequate or incorrect, but it’s another thing to start acting like a Tea Partier or one of the birthers in terms of building a campaign on a basis of nonsense.

So, I will respect Herman Cain a lot more if he approaches this election the way say Colin Powell would approach the election. Colin Powell is a Republican and he wouldn’t agree with President Obama on a lot of issues, but he would advocate from a position of love and respect for his constituency, as opposed to simply trying to bash away at another black man and to gain points by being a racist with a black face.  

By Tom Blumer | May 11, 2011 | 1:41 AM EDT

Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy has called himself the "anti-Christie" because of his willingness to raise taxes to help balance the Nutmeg State's budget. By contrast, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the object of Malloy's scorn, recently ruled out tax increases, as he has been doing ever since he became governor in 2010.

Malloy's recently passed taxes amounting to an estimated $1.4 billion annually include property tax hikes which according to a recent Wall Street Journal editorial (quoted at link's third item) amount to "$500 a year for the average homeowner."

But Malloy still needs to balance the budget by extracting significant cost savings from the state's recalcitrant employee unions, and guess what? Just like Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker, he's staring at the need to resort to layoffs if he can't reduce employment costs. But unlike the Associated Press's militant reporters in Wisconsin, the AP's Susan Haigh in Hartford is letting Malloy off relatively easy, as seen in these excerpts from her Tuesday evening report:

By Jack Coleman | May 11, 2011 | 12:18 AM EDT

Libtalker Ed Schultz told his radio listeners Tuesday that he's a defendant in a federal lawsuit filed by an NBC engineer who alleges he helped get Schultz on television -- a man who Schultz claims has stalked Schultz and his wife.

Schultz began the second hour of his nationally syndicated radio show describing the lawsuit filed by Michael Queen, who is described in a press release issued by his lawyer as an NBC broadcast engineer, labor official and Schultz's "former partner." Schultz is labeled a "self-proclaimed champion of labor unions and workers' rights."

Queen is represented by attorney Mark Lane, author of two well-known books on the JFK assassination, "Rush to Judgment" and "Plausible Denial."

According to the press release, Queen approached the late NBC Washington bureau chief Tim Russert to suggest Schultz for a television show, followed by Queen suggesting this to Schultz in January 2008. The press release claims that "Meet the Press" and "Today" show director Max Schindler joined the effort, "only to quit shortly thereafter, citing ethical differences with Schultz." The press release further states (audio of Schultz remarks after page break) --

By Tom Blumer | May 10, 2011 | 9:34 PM EDT

Just when you consider cutting the Associated Press a break for doing something right, they pull this.

Most people know that in the interest of "not spiking the football," the Obama administration has decided that it will not release photos of Osama bin Laden's dead body.

Shortly after the decision was announced, AP filed a Freedom of Information Act request for said photos. According to John Hudson at the Atlantic (HT to Jim Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web), the AP's Michael Oreskes claims that "This information is important for the historical record" and "It's our job as journalists to seek this material." So far, so good.

But you just knew they'd figure out a way to potentially ruin it. Here's Oreskes as quoted by Hudson:

By Noel Sheppard | May 10, 2011 | 9:20 PM EDT

Since the successful raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan nine days ago, MSNBC has been playing highly-edited snippets from George W. Bush's March 13, 2002, press conference to make it appear the 43rd president had dropped the ball concerning the former al Qaeda leader.

Chris Matthews did this Tuesday during a Bush-bashing segment on "Hardball" (multi-part video follows with complete transcript and commentary):

By Matthew Balan | May 10, 2011 | 8:05 PM EDT

NPR's Mara Liasson noticeably left out anti-illegal immigration conservatives on Tuesday's Morning Edition as she reported on President's Obama's latest push for "comprehensive" immigration reform. Liasson only played clips from the President, Democrat Rep. Luis Gutierrez, and Republican consultant Marty Wilson, who claimed that "the hardline approach on immigration...is not going to work."

Host Steve Inskeep introduced the correspondent's report by noting the President's forthcoming speech later in the day outlining his "principles for an immigration overhaul." He continued by recalling how "President Bush's immigration efforts encountered opposition from his own party, and many Republicans are also likely to resist President Obama's efforts."

Instead of turning to those who would be part of such a resistance, Liasson quickly turned to an excerpt from Obama's recent commencement address at Miami Dade College, where he proclaimed, "I strongly believe we should fix our broken immigration system...and I want to work with Democrats and Republicans, yes, to protect our borders and enforce our laws, and address the status of millions of undocumented workers."

By Jack Coleman | May 10, 2011 | 7:38 PM EDT

Ever notice how liberals trot out pseudo-profundities when talking about guns?

Latest example -- MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on her show Friday night, hanging out with Meghan McCain at the NRA convention in Pittsburgh.

NRA member McCain said that as a young woman and daughter of a prominent politician, she owns a gun to protect herself from those seeking harm (video linked here) --