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By Tim Graham | February 14, 2011 | 5:09 PM EST

NPR has a strange way of celebrating Valentine's Day. It's trying to "help" fans with corporate Valentines from NPR including this beauty: "You might have a face for radio, but I love you just the same."

Sounds like a one-way ticket to sleeping on the couch. It's less surprising that NPR would use Valentine's Day as another day to celebrate identity politics and social liberalism with a Monday Morning Edition story on "Greeting cards that celebrate a rainbow of loves."  NPR producer Selena Simmons-Duffin celebrated Valentine's Day cards for the "lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender community," and a card company called "A Little to the Left." 

 

By Scott Whitlock | February 14, 2011 | 5:04 PM EST

Of the three morning shows on Monday, only ABC's Good Morning America aggressively pushed the Obama administration on a lack of substantial cuts in the 2012 budget. NBC's Today and CBS's Early Show either downplayed the issue or didn't fully explain the President's new spending.

ABC's Jake Tapper declared that Obama's plan "shows that the President will not take the lead in any aggressive measures to reduce the debt." He also pointed out, "President Obama's budget projects at least $1 trillion in deficit reduction over ten years, but it still creates $7.2 trillion in new debt, pitting the President on a collision course with Republicans who are already saying this budget does not take the deficit seriously enough and deeper cuts are needed."

NBC's Chuck Todd ignored the new spending in the budget and instead asserted that the White House is "join[ing] the battle" with its new plan. Todd blandly repeated Obama's talking points on the cuts.

By Julia A. Seymour | February 14, 2011 | 4:37 PM EST

Infidelity. Adultery. Those aren't exactly words that come on typical candy conversation hearts. Valentine's Day is after all a traditional holiday of love and romance, not of cheating and betrayal.

Yet, Bloomberg Businessweek used the holiday to highlight AshleyMadison.com a website that helps married people (7 out of 10 on the site are men) have affairs. The company's motto is "Life is short. Have an affair."

Like Ashley Madison, Bloomberg Businessweek must be counting on the idea that "sex sells." The magazine's offensively sexed-up cover design showed a woman's spread, fishnet-clad legs and was clearly an attempt to grab readers. On the newsstand copy those legs take up a little more than a quarter of the page, but an image on the BusinessWeek website shows a much larger image of legs taking up the entire cover.

By Ken Shepherd | February 14, 2011 | 3:05 PM EST

ObamaCare's individual mandate is perfectly constitutional, arguments to the contrary are nonsensical "tea party stuff," and Chief Justice John Roberts shouldn't be counted as a solid vote against the health care purchase mandate when the case comes before the Supreme Court.

That's the perspective of former Reagan solicitor general Charles Fried.

In a February 14 story, Washington Post Supreme Court reporter Robert Barnes cited Fried as a scholar with no dog in the ObamaCare fight:

By Jack Coleman | February 14, 2011 | 3:02 PM EST

Words of wisdom from a Greek restaurant owner who employed me in my youth after I messed up an order for moussaka or souvlaki -- once OK, twice stupid!

Associated Press reporter Liz Sidoti might want to take this advice to heart.

In a CPAC roundup story written yesterday and picked up by The Huffington Post, Sidoti wrote this, initially referring to post-Tucson calls for civility --

By Kyle Drennen | February 14, 2011 | 1:02 PM EST

Discussing the state of the Republican Party with political analyst John Dickerson on Saturday's CBS Evening News, anchor Russ Mitchell concluded: "...it has been a tough week for House Republicans." On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Meredith Vieira made an identical observation, declaring : "It has been a rough, rough week for the Republicans, to say the very least."

Mitchell explained his assertion: "Of the four bills planned for votes this week, only one passed. You also had a Republican congressman resign in a scandal." Speaking to Meet the Press host David Gregory on Friday, Vieira made the same points and wondered: "How big of a setback is this for the party?" On Saturday, Mitchell saw the possibility for more GOP difficulties: "As Republicans gear up for this budget battle with the President, do all these problems this week lead to trouble down the road?"

By Scott Whitlock | February 14, 2011 | 12:29 PM EST

According to a new History Channel special on Ronald Reagan, the profound economic recovery of the early '80s can be credited to "the Reagan tax increases." The February 9 program contained this odd assertion while highlighting the President's path to reelection in 1984. Of course, the Economic Recovery Act of 1981 actually cut the top marginal rate from 70 percent to 50 percent.

Despite this, narrator David Jeremiah asserted, "By 1984, Ronald Reagan is cruising toward re-election. After enduring a recession that threatened his hopes for a second term, the economy, thanks in part to the Reagan tax increases, is bouncing back."

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Ken Shepherd | February 14, 2011 | 12:02 PM EST

Update (12:08 p.m. EST): Brewer just made this her question of the day on her MSNBC Live program.

MSNBC's Contessa Brewer injected a bit of liberal commentary to a link she posted Monday morning on her Facebook page.

"You know it's overfunded when even the Pentagon pushes for spending cuts. Why is defense such a sacred cow?" lamented Brewer in a comment posted above a link to a Wall Street Journal article on Obama's fiscal year 2012 budget blueprint.

I don't know, Contessa, maybe because the primary mission of the federal government is defending the nation from foreign enemies?

By Ken Shepherd | February 14, 2011 | 11:21 AM EST

Yesterday afternoon veteran Time reporter Joe Klein hacked out a three-paragraph blog post that practically complained that young conservatives at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) are selfish spoiled brats, at least in contrast to altruistic veterans of the Teach for America (TFA) program.

Noting that the annual TFA alumni conference was going on across town in Washington, D.C. from CPAC, Klein praised attendees of the former while dismissing the political concerns of the latter:

By NB Staff | February 14, 2011 | 10:09 AM EST

For general discussion and debate about politics, the economy, sports, or whatever else tickles your fancy.

Did anyone really want to see Lady Gaga emerge from an egg?

By Noel Sheppard | February 14, 2011 | 9:36 AM EST

The 2011 budget shortfall, which is the responsibility of the previous Congress, is now projected to be $1.65 trillion.

If accurate, this means that since the Democrats took over Congress in 2007, we have posted over $5 trillion in deficits.

By Clay Waters | February 14, 2011 | 8:30 AM EST

“Gray Lady Down – What The Decline And Fall Of The New York Times Means For America” by William McGowan (from Encounter Books), is a carefully researched and devastatingly convincing critique of the New York Times losing its commitment to objective reporting.

It opens with the 2006 funeral of the paper’s famed Executive Editor Abe Rosenthal, who retired in 1986. Though bad tempered and with a propensity to play newsroom favorites, Rosenthal is considered by McGowan the last lion of the paper’s once-serious commitment to journalistic objectivity, “allergic to Woodstock” and other left-wing pieties, holding the line against the left-ward drift seemingly inherent to a Manhattan newspaper. A 1970s anecdote on a recurring nightmare by Rosenthal (waking one “Wednesday morning” with no New York Times) reminds us that concerns over the decline of newspaper reading among the young didn’t start with the Internet.

McGowan flags the “Southern guilt” of Howell Raines, the editorial page editor who became executive editor in 2001, felled by the favoritism he showed toward young black reporter Jayson Blair, who came to the Times via a minority-only internship program and proceeded to disgrace it. The most blunt parts of “Gray Lady Down” involve race: “The Times racial script...has come to resemble the journalist equivalent of reparations.” McGowan delved into the paper’s archives to show what the paper thought of Malcolm X in 1966 and came up with the striking headline “Black Power Is Black Death.” Can you imagine that at the top of the Times editorial page tomorrow?

By Tim Graham | February 14, 2011 | 8:03 AM EST

The Los Angeles Times rushed to report yesterday that the "hot news" from NBC's Meet the Press was that Speaker John Boehner wasn't angry enough to denounce the "birthers" in the conservative movement, and the people who think Barack Obama's a Muslim (or at least, not a Christian). But, wait: what's news about that? NBC anchor Brian Williams pressed Boehner to denounce birthers when Congress came in, on January 6. Apparently, what's newsworthy is that the Obama apple-polishers at NBC are still hopping mad about Boehner's failure to satisfy in his January answer.

Meet the Press host David Gregory used footage of a Fox News focus group with Frank Luntz where a chunk of the group raised their hands when asked if they thought Obama was a Muslim. If NBC were fair and balanced, surely four years ago, Tim Russert pressed the Democrats to tell their own liberal base to stop spreading lies about George W. Bush on the Internet -- that he was a fascist, that he was a theocrat, that his family was tight with the bin Ladens (thanks, Michael Moore), or that his grandfather helped finance Hitler's rise to power. Well, no: Russert pressed Boehner to denounce conservatives who were mocking Nancy Pelosi's demands for a bigger cross-country plane. Here was Gregory's outrage yesterday:

By Tim Graham | February 14, 2011 | 6:42 AM EST

The national media often don't like covering when liberals fight each other. On Sunday, Washington Post reporter Darryl Fears found the fossil fuel-haters are furious that Obama's Energy Department has kicked the "Solar Decathlon" off its grand stage on the grass of the Mall in Washington...because it makes a mess: 

The decathlon has taken place on the Mall four times, most recently in 2009, and each time federal officials were stunned by the mess it made. Heavy trucks and cranes that put two-story houses in place cracked walkways and tore up grass, they said. The houses sat for about two weeks in 2009, leaving dead grass by the time they were removed.

The standoff sets the stage for a green-vs.-green fight over who will be allowed to use what is quaintly called "America's front yard." Although the Energy Department is the event's sponsor, and its chief, Steven Chu, strongly supports it, the department is standing firm on the eviction.

By Mark Finkelstein | February 14, 2011 | 5:36 AM EST

Muammar Gaddafi has resorted to the oldest trick in the Arab-dictator book: distract attention from authoritarian rule at home by beating the Palestinian drum.  Nothing new there.  But what is noteworthy is how Reuters seems happy to march to the Libyan strongman's beat.

Reuters' article "Gaddafi tells Palestinians: revolt against Israel" [h/t Drudge], fails to note the irony of an iron-fisted dictator calling for "popular uprising" and "revolution" . . . elsewhere.  Indeed, the Reuters article, authored by Ali Shuaib and Salah Sarrar, fails even to identify Gaddafi as the dictator he is, referring to him respectfully as the Libyan "leader."

And speaking of respect . . .