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By Matthew Balan | April 13, 2011 | 4:09 PM EDT

On Tuesday's Early Show, CBS's Bill Plante forwarded the liberal impression that the proposed budget compromise includes "big spending cuts," despite only reducing $38.5 billion from trillions in spending. Host Erica Hill also urged Republican Congressman Eric Cantor for "a little give and take" in the budget negotiations, hinting that taxes needed to be raised to deal with the debt.

Plante's report on President Obama's upcoming speech on reducing the debt led the 7 am Eastern hour. Near the end of the segment, the correspondent touted how "the President's goal today is to appear as the voice of reason, and to set the stage for the next big debate, which is going to be over raising the federal debt limit, something the Republicans say they won't vote for unless there are more big spending cuts."

By Clay Waters | April 13, 2011 | 3:28 PM EDT

New York Times reporter Mark Oppenheimer on Tuesday documented some of the strange conservative allies of African dictator Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast, who is a Christian: “A Strongman Found Support in Prominent Conservative Christians in the U.S.

But some of the labeling was overheated: “A secretive evangelical Christian organization that some say has a right-wing agenda.” When the Times says “some say,” it almost always means “liberals say,” and indeed, Oppenheimer’s source, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) tends to target conservatives with their complaints.

The Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo, who was finally captured on Monday, defied nearly everybody: the United States, the European Union and the African Union. But right to the end, Mr. Gbagbo had defenders in the West, and they notably included several prominent conservative Christians.

By Noel Sheppard | April 13, 2011 | 2:49 PM EDT

On Saturday, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Lisa Jackson will be giving the keynote speech at the Energy Action Coalition's Power Shift 2011 conference, a meeting of potentially 10,000 green youth activists in Washington, D.C.

According to the schedule, President Obama's former green jobs czar Van Jones will be speaking Friday evening, and members of the International Socialists Organization will be hosting a panel discussion Saturday:

By Scott Whitlock | April 13, 2011 | 2:44 PM EDT

Writing in the April 10 edition of Parade magazine, former Newsweek editor Jon Meacham commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Civil War by linking modern conservatives to the old Confederacy and bigotry against African Americans.

The journalist hinted, "This year, as the 2012 presidential campaign gets under way, two powerful forces will intersect: the commemorations of the Civil War and the opposition to President Obama’s policies."

After explaining that the Sons of Confederate Veterans in South Carolina hosted a "Secession Ball," Meacham predicted that "the rhetoric of resistance to Washington will inevitably resonate."


By Clay Waters | April 13, 2011 | 2:38 PM EDT

It's becoming a habit. The New York Times's chief economics writer David Leonhardt once again called for higher taxes in his column on the front page of Wednesday's Times, especially on “the rich,” in the name of deficit reduction (and also because, hey all civilized countries do it). Wednesday A1, “Do-Nothing Congress as a Cure.”

It’s as if tax increases were a mere technicality in any deficit-reduction plan. In reality, finding a way to raise taxes may well be the central political problem facing the United States.

As countries become richer, their citizens tend to want more public services, be it a strong military or a decent safety net in retirement. This country is no exception. Yet our political culture is an exception. It has made most tax increases, even to pay for benefits people want, unthinkable.

By Tom Blumer | April 13, 2011 | 2:16 PM EDT

This is about as weak as it gets.

This morning as seen here (saved here at my web host for future reference), an unbylined 90-word Associated Press report at 9:57 a.m. told readers the following, in part:

By Jack Coleman | April 13, 2011 | 1:39 PM EDT

Ed Schultz really hates hoggish behavior. Except when he's planning to engage in it.

On his radio show yesterday, Schultz trotted out his new label for Republicans, one that he clearly labored to create, and with Schultz providing helpful porcine sound effects at the unveiling (audio) (more audio clips after page break) --

By Lachlan Markay | April 13, 2011 | 1:16 PM EDT

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. But there's another "civil war" of sorts on the horizon, this one between the ultra-liberal wing of the Democratic Party, which has thus far steadfastly refused to accept cuts to entitlement programs in the name of fiscal solvency, and the party's more moderate members (which include, amazingly, President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi) who recognize that such cuts are all-but-inevitable.

But true to form, most of the media, fond of labeling GOP infighting a civil war, has yet to brand Democrats' budget feud with that label. This despite the increasing uneasiness of liberal legislators and organizations who are worried the president has already caved to conservatives on the budget battle.

By Kyle Drennen | April 13, 2011 | 12:43 PM EDT

Interviewing Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer pushed for tax increases in the 2012 budget: "...the President's expected to call for raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans – some estimates say that could raise some $700 billion, why couldn't that money be used to pay down the debt?"

Moments later, Lauer added: " Congressman Ryan is suggesting, Medicare needs to be revamped....that affects the elderly and the poor...why shouldn't the burden be equally shared? Why shouldn't we put some of that burden on the wealthy and corporations?"

By Rich Noyes | April 13, 2011 | 12:10 PM EDT

Reporters are eagerly anticipating President Obama’s budget speech this afternoon, with NBC’s Chuck Todd assuring viewers of Wednesday’s Today show that now, finally, “the President’s going to add his voice to this, debate, essentially, over what to do about the ever-growing deficit and debt.”

But over and over again over the past two years, the media have painted Obama as a leader committed to “slashing” the deficit, only to have the absurdity of such spin later revealed by the administration’s actual policies.

Let’s start the trip down memory lane with coverage of President Obama’s first budget speech in February 2009, which reporters claimed would include steps to aggressively reduce the deficit. ABC’s David Muir began the February 21, 2009 World News by pitching how the President was “slashing the deficit by at least 50 percent by raising taxes on the wealthy, people making $250,000 and above, and cutting war spending by bringing troops home from Iraq.”

By Scott Whitlock | April 13, 2011 | 12:09 PM EDT

If there has been one constant in George Stephanopoulos' journalistic career, it's repeatedly calling for higher taxes. So, it's not surprising that while talking to Paul Ryan on Wednesday about the debt, he lobbied the Republican Congressman, "And if you're not willing to at least discuss new revenues, aren't these negotiations dead before they're even born?"

Not getting the answer he was looking for, the former Democratic operative turned journalist chided, "I understand you're not a fan of new taxes. But, as a matter of negotiations and a matter of discussion, don't they need to be on the table in order to get the negotiations started?"

In a previous segment, previewing President Obama's speech on ways to cut the deficit, reporter Jake Tapper simply repeated White House talking points: "But [Obama will] say, you can try [cutting taxes]. But you do that on the backs of the most vulnerable in our society because you can only do that, he'll say, by eliminating health care for seniors and the poor."

By Ken Shepherd | April 13, 2011 | 11:56 AM EDT

Doing it's level best to push the meme that Planned Parenthood is a crucial provider of basic medical services for poor women -- and hence deserving of federal taxpayer support -- today's Washington Post devoted one-eighth of page A5 in today's print edition to a photo entitled "Relying on Planned Parenthood."

Depicted is a 24-year-old woman, one Minah Khan, having blood drawn "during a checkup at Planned Parenthood in Washington."

By Matthew Philbin | April 13, 2011 | 11:47 AM EDT

On Tuesday, April 13, the Media Research Center’s vice president for business and culture appeared on the NBC ‘Today’ Show to discuss a recent controversy involving a J.CREW ad featuring a little boy wearing pink toe nail polish.

The two minute five second video segment provided a not-so balanced look at the nationwide debate surrounding the ad and the question of whether or not J.CREW executive creative director Jenna Lyons is exploiting her son’s favorite color to sell nail polish and clothing through her employer.

Video below the fold.

By Noel Sheppard | April 13, 2011 | 10:35 AM EDT

When Democrat presidential candidate Walter Mondale announced in his October 1984 debate with former President Reagan that he would raise taxes if elected, his  campaign was over, and he ended up losing one of the biggest election routs in American history.

As Barack Obama prepares to offer the nation his deficit reduction plan Wednesday, it is widely believed he is going to recommend tax hikes on at least the upper wage earners in this nation.

If this is true, is he repeating Mondale's mistake less than nineteen months before Election Day? Are Americans hungrier for tax increases now than they were 27 years ago?

By NB Staff | April 13, 2011 | 9:09 AM EDT

Nancy Pelosi really misses the days when there was little discernable difference between the two major parties. She told students at Tufts University that Republicans should "take back" their party - presumably to a posture that didn't place so much importance on quaint notions such as rule of law ("Are you serious? Are you serious?") and fiscal solvency. Check out a longer excerpt from her speech after the break, and give us your thoughts in the comments.