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By Tim Graham | July 9, 2011 | 7:24 AM EDT

In Thursday's Home section of the New York Times, they published an article by the fiction writer Charlotte Bacon, who fondly remembered her experiment in Third World living in Bali. It was titled "Lessons of a Grass House." She went to Indonesia for idealistic reasons -- "to develop a school that was based around a curriculum of sustainability" -- but was forthright about her liberal guilt:

It was a fantasy that strongly appealed to me. Growing my own lettuce in volcanic soil. Creating a community of teachers and students. Having my children learn another language and experience a vibrant part of the world. Hiring someone to give me a hand with the children so I could find more time to write.It called on the spirit of “Walden,” an intentionality of living, blended with a darker dose of the colonial: I could hire help for very little and not spend all day attached to a sponge.

By Brad Wilmouth | July 9, 2011 | 12:34 AM EDT

  On Friday’s NBC Nightly News, as correspondent Richard Engel informed viewers that many thousands of Egyptians are again protesting against the government in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, he noted that organizers of the original protests fear that the Muslim Brotherhood will have too much influence in the new government, and recounted the Islamist group’s increased power in Egypt since January.

He went on to highlight the "staunchly anti-Israel" views of the Brotherhood and showed a clip of one of the group’s leaders making an anti-Semitic statement accusing Jews of wanting to "live in war," claiming that it is their "history":

By Penny Starr | July 8, 2011 | 9:23 PM EDT

Education Secretary Arne Duncan issued a “Dear Colleagues” letter on June 14 advising federally funded schools about establishing clubs on campuses, specifically Gay-Straight Alliance clubs for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

The letter was issued from the department’s Office of Civil Rights for elementary and secondary schools and was sent to all school districts in the United States, according to Jo Ann Webb, spokesperson for the Department of Education (DOE).

By Noel Sheppard | July 8, 2011 | 6:19 PM EDT

Like so many members of the press, "Inside Washington" host Gordon Peterson wrongly thinks New York Times columnist David Brooks is a conservative.

When Peterson depicted Brooks this way on Friday, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer marvelously corrected him with surprising support from Politico's Evan Thomas (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tim Graham | July 8, 2011 | 5:24 PM EDT

Former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert appeared on Thursday night on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC to discuss how the death penalty demonstrates how America is marred by “such a macho culture, such a violent culture” that we would actually execute murderers and politicians haven't completely banned it.

For her part, Maddow tried to imply that there’s race-baiting politics involved, which is like preaching to Herbert’s choir. She insisted a new resurgence of tough-on-crime politics is typified by how Fox News is “trying to hype the issue of urban crime with racial overtones.”

By NB Staff | July 8, 2011 | 5:10 PM EDT

On Friday’s Fox & Friends, MRC president Brent Bozell appeared to discuss a piece by MRC’s Dan Gainor on the latest global-warming command-and-control blueprint from the United Nations –  specifically, their Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). They insist on a massive plan for a “green technological transformation” that would cost an estimated $1.9 trillion a year over the next forty years. As Gainor pointed out, that’s an enormous $76 trillion.

Bozell said this blueprint is not only ridiculously expensive, it’s a one-world socialist power grab of the kind that makes Americans wonder why they're sending their tax dollars to the UN. But he also pointed out that nobody in our national media – print or broadcast – has managed to report on this.

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Jack Coleman | July 8, 2011 | 5:10 PM EDT

In fairness to the man, prolonged exposure to unhinged daily rants will take its toll on the best of us.

Here is an example of the damage this has wrought on James "Holmy" Holm, longtime producer for bellowing liberal radio host and MSNBC action hero Ed Schultz.

Schultz and Holm were venting their disgust with President Obama over a Washington Post story on Obama's willingness to cut funding for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to reach a deal with congressional Republicans on the debt ceiling.

In arguably the single most bizarre criticism of Obama I've heard from the fringe left, Holm said this on Schultz's radio show yesterday (audio) --

By Eric Ames | July 8, 2011 | 5:02 PM EDT

MSNBC Morning Joe contributor Mike Barnicle repeated the Democrat mantra that repealing Republican tax cuts doesn't constitute a tax increase that he also spouted yesterday on Morning Joe. "The idea that reverting back to a tax rate that existed that people paid into, calling it now a tax increase, I just think that's politics at its worst," said Barnicle.

By Scott Whitlock | July 8, 2011 | 4:10 PM EDT

World News host Diane Sawyer swears she simply "brings the facts" and makes sure people "know what the truth is." The anchor appeared on Thursday's O'Reilly Factor to promote her new special on kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard.

O'Reilly pointed out that such stories of brutality infuriate him and are the reason he's a commentator and not a straight journalist. Asked if she ever shows anger as a reporter, Sawyer professed, "No, I get purposeful, which is different. I always think that my job is to marshal facts and bring the facts out and let the facts deliver whatever information there is to deliver."

By Tom Blumer | July 8, 2011 | 4:04 PM EDT

Looking for updates on the Connecticut state budget mess earlier this afternoon, I searched the Associated Press's national site on the last name of Democratic Nutmeg State Governor Dannel Malloy, and found nothing recent (graphic saved here for future reference).

But there were two stories originating from the state which the wire service, the nation's de facto news gatekeeper, deemed worthy of national attention. Brace yourself.

By Geoffrey Dickens | July 8, 2011 | 3:41 PM EDT

It was exactly one year ago today that Lebron James announced he was "taking" his "talents to South Beach" and today TV Newser is reporting that longtime CBS newsman Harry Smith is taking his "talents" of drawing low ratings at The Early Show to NBC News.

Of course Smith will be a good fit, from a liberal bias perspective at NBC, as he spent a good amount of time as host of CBS's morning news show criticizing conservative heroes like Ronald Reagan, while praising liberal icons Barack Obama and Al Gore.

Examples of Smith's bias over the years at CBS after the jump:

By Clay Waters | July 8, 2011 | 2:18 PM EDT

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is once again getting a disproportionate share of attention for alleged “gaffes” compared to President Obama. The latest, a dubious Democratic claim that Romney flip-flopped in his remarks upon the state of the economy during the Obama administration, made Wednesday’s print edition. It comes courtesy of Jim Rutenberg, following Romney on the campaign trail in New Hampshire: “Romney Questioned on Critique of Economy Under Obama.”

But as Mr. Romney has finally started to campaign in earnest over the past couple of weeks, the dangers of his perceived leading status are coming into view, with a more intense focus on his every word. And in the past few days, it has revolved around three words in particular: “things are worse.”

By Tim Graham | July 8, 2011 | 12:21 PM EDT

In a week in which Republicans have been compared to suicide-bombers and other violent Islamic militants, it’s only natural that the Daily Kos blog would go back to comparing the GOP to the Old Confederacy. A blogger called “Avenging Angel” proclaimed:

As the two sides met with President Obama at the White House Thursday in search of a debt ceiling compromise, it's clear, as Abraham Lincoln famously put it, "one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive."

By Julia A. Seymour | July 8, 2011 | 11:07 AM EDT

A senior political adviser to the Obama administration said on July 6 that in 2012, people won't be voting based on the unemployment rate, according to The Hill newspaper.

Of course, adviser David Plouffe said that two days before the June jobs report was released. Ahead of the jobs report, economists anticipated 100,000 or 125,000 jobs to have been added that month. Truth be told, on July 8, the jobs report showed only 18,000 jobs added and plenty of other "lousy" news.

By NB Staff | July 8, 2011 | 11:07 AM EDT

Tell us what's on your mind this Friday -- like the last space shuttle flight, or the budget talks.