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By Mike Bates | March 12, 2011 | 12:51 PM EST

Yesterday the Associated Press reported "Maryland gay marriage bill dies with no final vote."  The article begins:

A bill to legalize gay marriage in Maryland fell short Friday after supporters failed to find enough votes to overcome Republican opposition and misgivings by some Democrats in the deeply Catholic state.

Just in case any readers missed the point, seven paragraphs later:

Some predicted that, if passed, the measure would have been petitioned to referendum in the deeply Catholic state.

Message received.  But why does the AP writer characterize Maryland as deeply Catholic?

In 2009, the Gallup Organization produced an analysis of religious identity based on more than 170,000 interviews conducted earlier in the year.  24.3% of adult Americans identified themselves as Catholics.  In Maryland, it was 21.9%, less than the national average.  The Free State's percentage of Protestants and other Christians is 54.9, more than double that of Catholics.  Overall, more than half the states have a greater percentage of Catholics than Maryland does.

By Kyle Drennen | March 12, 2011 | 12:00 PM EST

Reporting on the passage of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's proposal to curb public union benefits and bargaining power, on Thursday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Cynthia Bowers referred to the union protestors in the state capital and declared: "After three weeks of relative restraint, passions ran over today."

That "restraint" has included threats against Republican state lawmakers (with an angry mob surrounding one of them), protestors storming the state capitol building, and signs comparing Governor Walker to Adolf Hitler. As a Media Research Center Media Reality Check detailed, the networks have failed to report on the most extreme actions of the protestors, while they were eager to condemn the "incivility" of the Tea Party.   

By NB Staff | March 12, 2011 | 11:01 AM EST

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

By Noel Sheppard | March 12, 2011 | 10:55 AM EST

After the public shaming of NPR this week, Nina Totenberg was given the option of taking a day off from PBS's "Inside Washington" so that she wouldn't have to face the music concerning the so-called "news organization" she works for.

Demonstrating admirable spunk, Totenberg showed up to "defend the product" her radio station produces only to have Charles Krauthammer say in the midst of a lengthy discussion about the issue, "If the product is so superior, why does it have to live on the tit of the state?" (video of entire segment follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tom Blumer | March 12, 2011 | 10:25 AM EST

The Associated Press's Jim Kuhnhenn's did some really heavy lifting this morning, carrying bucket after bucket of water for the White House and Barack Obama.

Wisconsin? Obama's letting his spokesman handle it while his national party "has played down its role." Death threats against Badger State GOP Senators? What death threats?

But Kuhnhenn's keister-covering for the administration goes into the red zone on Libya (note the adjective used to describe the country's murdering madman; bolds are mine throughout this post):

Some lawmakers in both parties want him to take a greater lead against Libya's idiosyncratic strongman, Moammar Gadhafi.

By Brent Bozell | March 12, 2011 | 8:32 AM EST

Today's installment of the Decline and Fall of Western Civilization comes from Hollywood – as if that’s a surprise. Tinseltown is demeaning Christianity again – as if that’s a surprise, too. But this time, it’s not some gutter-mouthed punk. This time it’s a network doing it, formally. ABC has approved a pilot with the title “Good Christian Bitches.”

Is this what Christian women – especially the good ones -- deserve? The first credit for this decision to offer offensive titles actually goes to CBS, which began this stupid trend with its awful sitcom “$#8! My Dad Says.” Now one of Discovery's cable channels has a show titled “Who the [Bleep] Did I Marry?” It chronicles women who have married vicious criminals.

But Disney-owned ABC (oh, the irony) has not one, but two B-word pilots in its outhouse of a production department. They're also considering a show titled “Don't Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23.”

Mickey Mouse should have his hands over his ears.

By Tim Graham | March 12, 2011 | 7:25 AM EST

Just as the insistent MoveOn.org lobbying campaign for PBS tells you something about  just whom PBS is pleasing, disgraced former CBS anchorman Dan Rather being sympathetically profiled for Mother Jones tells you that all Rather's patter about corporations ruining the integrity of the news has a ready audience on the hard left.

Mother Jones insisted "At 79, the former CBS anchorman is still kicking ass and winning Emmys." (Dan Rather Reports actually won a news Emmy in 2008, so someone is still trying to reassemble Rather's shredded reputation.) They also notice almost no one watches his HDNet show, but suggest that's a terrible shame. Freelance writer Jim Rendon recounted how Rather worked on a story about electronic voting machines, a favorite of the paranoid Janeane Garofalo left, that thinks both Gore and Kerry beat Bush:

The former CBS News anchorman is recounting a story he'd reported in 2007 about problems with electronic voting machines. "We found out that these wonderful, electronic, technological marvels were manufactured in what amounted to a sweatshop in the Philippines—the Philippines, exclamation point!" he says, in that ascending tone so familiar to generations of Americans.

By Noel Sheppard | March 12, 2011 | 1:22 AM EST

Former Clinton advisor and current CNN contributor Paul Begala thought he was being clever Friday evening when he took a cheap shot at George W. Bush on HBO's "Real Time."

Without skipping a beat, St. Louis Tea Party founder and Big Government editor Dana Loesch smacked down her CNN colleague with a delicious jab at his former boss (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | March 12, 2011 | 12:36 AM EST

For the second week in a row, "comedian" Bill Maher derogatorily compared Sarah Palin to Charlie Sheen.

On Friday's "Real Time," the host said the former Alaska governor is an "unemployed ego lunatic" just like the Sheen (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tim Graham | March 11, 2011 | 11:29 PM EST

On Thursday, Erik Piepenburg of the New York Times promoted Kathy Griffin's new Broadway show by noting her response to Sarah Palin's demand to lay off her kids:

“Sarah Palin is a has-been candidate, a has-been governor and a has-been reality TV star, like Kate Gosselin,” Ms. Griffin said Monday over breakfast at the Cafe Edison, the theater district coffee shop. “Actually I’d prefer Kate Gosselin for president. I’ve met her. She’s nice.”

As if Griffin valued Nice. Unsurprisingly, Griffin wallows in baiting and battling conservatives and Christians to keep her relevant and at least on her "D-List," especially now that her Bravo show has ended:

By Tom Blumer | March 11, 2011 | 10:53 PM EST

Yesterday, Washington Post syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer performed an act of journalism that anyone in the establishment press could have done -- and didn't -- for 17 days.

Krauthammer did a masterful job of taking apart Obama White House Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob ("Jack") Lew's ridiculous February 21 defense of Social Security and its alleged irrelevance to the deficit in USA Today.

But he went further. He caught Lew saying the exact opposite thing 11 years ago when he was -- wait for it -- Bill Clinton's White House Office of Management and Budget Director.

Here are key excerpts from Krauthammer's column on the fundamental truths about Social Security and the fundamental fib foisted on McPaper by Jack Lew (bolds are mine):

By Ken Shepherd | March 11, 2011 | 5:51 PM EST

Hundreds if not thousands of people are dead due to a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. But at least it gave Barack Obama an avenue to remind everyone he was born in Hawaii. That's the silver lining for MSNBC's Chris Matthews.

"Was this sort of a good opportunity for the president to remind everybody that he grew up in the United States and Hawaii?"

By Clay Waters | March 11, 2011 | 5:45 PM EST

Friday’s New York Times off-lead story from Madison by Monica Davey and A.G. Sulzberger, in the aftermath of a defeat for public-sector unions in Wisconsin, spun the win by Republican Gov. Scott Walker as a long-term political victory for Democrats: “Wisconsin Curbs Public Unions, But Democrats Predict Backlash.” The online headline was even more blunt: “In Wisconsin Battle on Unions, State Democrats See a Big Gift.” Walker has evidently awoken “the sleeping giant” of labor unions (as if they had previously stayed out of politics).

By contrast, there was no such wishful thinking or hunt for the bright side for the losers in the aftermath of the fiercely contested passage of unpopular Obama-care last year. Adam Nagourney’s front-page “political memo” of March 23, 2010, “For G.O.P., United Stand Has Drawbacks, Too,” suggested Republicans could pay a political price for opposing Obama-care. (It didn’t quite work out that way.)

By Matt Hadro | March 11, 2011 | 5:10 PM EST

On Friday in its 7 a.m. Eastern hour, MSNBC's "Morning Joe" headlined Thursday's congressional hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims – but only played clips of Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a Muslim-American who represents only one side of the issue. The show then interviewed him for nine minutes, a lengthy interview for one person on the morning show.

While Ellison received some tough questions, no clips were played of Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who is chairing the hearings, nor of Melvin Bledsoe or of Abdirizak Bihi, witnesses who testified about loved ones who were radicalized by Islamic extremists. Bihi's nephew joined a Somali Islamic militia while Bledsoe's son allegedly shot up an armed forces recruiting center in Arkansas.

Later on in the 8 a.m. Eastern hour of the show, "Morning Joe" hosted liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson to discuss the hearings. Robinson dismissed King's hearings in his March 11 column entitled "A Modern-Day Witch Hunt."

(Video after the break.)

By Jack Coleman | March 11, 2011 | 4:34 PM EST

Liberals rarely hesitate to express their disdain for Ronald Reagan, except when it's convenient to compare him to Barack Obama. 

Now comes a novel criticism of Reagan from radio host and environmental lawyer Mike Papantonio -- the Great Communicator as Almost A Mass Killer.

Here's Papantonio explaining this while guest hosting on Ed Schultz's radio show yesterday, to a caller skeptical of demands for nationwide strikes in support of  public-sector unions (audio) --