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By Tom Blumer | August 22, 2011 | 10:37 PM EDT

To borrow from a certain president's former preacher, the "chickens are coming home to roost" in Social Security's disability program. It's nearly bankrupt, and set to run out of cash by 2017.

In the Associated Press's writeup ("Social Security disability on verge of insolvency") of the situation occasioned by a congressional report repeating the obvious, Stephen Ohlemacher surprisingly and correctly retold a bit of the history which readers should find quite interesting, as it largely explains how the program got out of control (bold is mine):

By Mark Finkelstein | August 22, 2011 | 10:24 PM EDT

Did Al Sharpton just suggest that if Rudy Giuliani were ever to become Vice-President, the former Mayor of New York might try to murder the president?  It sure sounded like it.

On his MSNBC show this evening, Sharpton asked Bob Shrum: "would you ever want to be president with Rudy Giuliani as the Vice-President, given his ambition?" Video after the jump.

By Mark Finkelstein | August 22, 2011 | 8:47 PM EDT

It's got to be the hat . . .

In an entertaining interview with Tamron Hall on MSNBC this afternoon, Dem congresswoman Frederica Wilson of Florida cited "racism" first among causes of high black unemployment.  She also: called for a second stimulus; said now is not the time to criticize President Obama; took a sideways swipe at Maxine Waters; and asserted President Obama would be defeated for re-election if he tried to help the black community. Video after the jump.

By Noel Sheppard | August 22, 2011 | 7:21 PM EDT

It's not at all surprising the Obama-loving, anti-war media are gushing and fawning over what appears to be a rebel victory in Libya.

On MSNBC's "Hardball" Monday, the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman joined in the victory lap mocking skeptical Republicans by sniping, "If Barack Obama came out and said, 'You know, I really love apple pie,' they would say, 'Apple pie is a socialist plot'” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Matt Hadro | August 22, 2011 | 6:56 PM EDT

Former CNN anchor Eliot Spitzer is facing two libel lawsuits seeking a total of $90 million, Reuters reported Monday. The suits were filed Friday by two former employees of insurance brokerage firm Marsh & McLennan Cos. The plaintiffs argued that they were defamed in a critical Slate column by Spitzer, written one year ago on August 22.

The plaintiffs are William Gilman and Edward McNenney, who were not mentioned by name in Spitzer's piece about an insurance-rigging scandal. However, the complaint alleged that Spitzer defamed Gilman in his reporting on corrupt activity at Marsh, and in his accusation that "many employees" of the firm were sentenced to jail time – a claim the plaintiffs argued was false.

By Matthew Balan | August 22, 2011 | 6:08 PM EDT

On CBS's Sunday Morning, CBS's Anthony Mason bizarrely compared top Republicans to Soviet autocrats during an interview of President Obama.  After claiming that there was a "Cold War chill" between the two parties in Washington, Mason asked Obama, "Margaret Thatcher famously said when Gorbachev took power in Russia, 'I can do business with this man.' Can you do business with the Republican leadership?" [audio clip available here; video can be downloaded here]

The journalist asked mostly softball questions in the excerpts of the interview shown during the lead segment of the 9 am Eastern hour program. He first asked about the Democrat about his new armored bus: "How do you like your new bus?" The correspondent followed up by stating that the vehicle had a "slightly Darth Vader quality to it."

By Tim Graham | August 22, 2011 | 5:43 PM EDT

Right-leaning New York Times columnist Ross Douthat was thrown into the David Brooks chair on the weekly political roundatable on NPR's All Things Considered Friday. NPR anchor Robert Siegel insisted Rick Perry had a whole set of strange and anti-scientific statements that suggest he's "too far right" to be electable. Notice how NPR just rolls up everything they disagree with and loads it into one question for the "conservative" panelist:

By Kyle Drennen | August 22, 2011 | 5:32 PM EDT

On Saturday's NBC Today, White House correspondent Kristen Welker fawned over President Obama's 10-day excursion to Martha's Vineyard, declaring: "...his first public outing...A bookstore in Vineyard Haven where he, Malia, and Sasha bought eight books." A crowd outside the store could be heard chanting: "Four more years! Four more years!"

Welker noted how "no cameras were allowed when the President played golf." Though she was happy to report that "NBC News did capture him for a few brief moments from afar. Taking some shots, and doing a quick golf cart drive-by."

By Scott Whitlock | August 22, 2011 | 5:04 PM EDT

NBC has yet to cover a major shift by the Obama administration that would halt deportation of illegal immigrants who have not committed a crime. According to the Washington Times, up to 300,000 cases could be impacted by this decision.

Despite ignoring the development, NBC did find time to cover the story of Boris, the 550 pound pig. Natalie Morales explained, "His owners have him on a diet and he's dropped an impressive 75 pounds."

By Ken Shepherd | August 22, 2011 | 4:58 PM EDT

"The FCC gave the coup de grace to the fairness doctrine Monday as the commission axed more than 80 media industry rules," Politico's Brooks Boliek reported this afternoon:

By Mark Finkelstein | August 22, 2011 | 3:17 PM EDT

Want to watch an MSM version of Stand By Your Man?   Check out the video here after the jump.  Tamron Hall, theoretically an MSNBC show "host" and not a pundit, gets visibly upset with Michael Singh, a former foreign policy adviser to President George W. Bush.  Singh's sin?  Apparently being insufficiently enthusiastic in his praise of President Obama's handling of the Libyan situation.

The irony is that Singh is anything but an isolationist.  Singh supported the Libyan intervention and hardly came across as a hard partisan.  But apparently anything short of fully prostrated praise for the prez is enough to bring down the Wrath Of Hall.

By Tom Blumer | August 22, 2011 | 2:57 PM EDT

The opening sentence of Charles Babington's "objective report" about the possible extension of what was billed late last year as a "temporary payroll tax cut" reads like a Democratic National Committee press release: "News flash: Congressional Republicans want to raise your taxes."

It doesn't get any better until the final paragraph. Babington's babble is otherwise a long-winded, chidish taunt about the supposed hypocrisy of anyone who would like to see a program which, for all its very considerable faults, at least ran a cash surplus for several decades get into the neighborhood of where taxes collected almost equal disbursements.

By Clay Waters | August 22, 2011 | 2:38 PM EDT

Hard to say which was in worse taste: The vulgar, amateurish puns that marked “Youth Quake,” a story in the new Fall edition of the New York Times fashion magazine T, or the subject itself -- a look at the March riots in London (the earlier ones over school fees, not the ones of August) from a...fashion perspective. "What do you wear when protest and mayhem rock your world?" asked the subhead. (Photo by Facundo Arrizabalaga.) 

Perhaps the Times should have given the whole subject a pass in the wake of the even more violent, nihilistic London riots of August. Nonetheless, author Kabir Chibber is responsible for this Times-sponsored journalism:

By Clay Waters | August 22, 2011 | 1:44 PM EDT

A Monday New York Times story by Monica Davey, “After Months of Rancor, 2 Governors Alter Tones,” portrayed two first term Republican governors in the Midwest as on the defensive, even though both have emerged relatively unscathed in the face of fierce liberal opposition. Davey focused mostly on Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, though  Gov. John Kasich of Ohio also featured. Davey put the onus on the Republicans to kiss and make up to their Democratic and union opponents, or at least "show, at least publicly, a desire to play well with others."

Earlier this summer, the Midwest-based Davey co-wrote a hostile story on how fiscal conservatism was hurting Indiana, led by Republican governor and then-presidential hopeful Mitch Daniels. Davey also coauthored a story in March 2011 on the aftermath of Gov. Walker’s win in Wisconsin over the unions, portraying the unions’ defeat as a political victory: “In Wisconsin Battle on Unions, State Democrats See a Big Gift.” (It didn’t turn out that way.)

By Scott Whitlock | August 22, 2011 | 12:22 PM EDT

On his syndicated program, Sunday, Chris Matthews slammed Rick Perry for being too "nasty" to Barack Obama. The liberal host also wondered if the fact that Perry is not a Mormon gives southerners a "permission slip" to like him.

Speculating on the Texas Governor's popularity, Matthews theorized, "Do you think part of this southern appeal of this guy, who is to most of us this guy, Rick Perry, is he's not a Mormon. He's a Southern Baptist."