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By Noel Sheppard | July 26, 2011 | 9:16 AM EDT

The New York Times on Tuesday told its readers, "House Republicans have lost sight of the country's welfare."

In an editorial entitled "The Republican Wreckage," the Gray Lady disgracefully claimed, "They have largely succeeded in their campaign to ransom America's economy for the biggest spending cuts in a generation" dimming "the futures of millions of jobless Americans":

By Brent Baker | July 26, 2011 | 3:14 AM EDT

Acting as if he were trying out for a MSNBC gig, Piers Morgan used his half hour of CNN’s prime time, following President Barack Obama’s 9 PM EDT speech on the debt ceiling and House Speaker John Boehner’s response, to hit his guests from the left, presuming Obama holds the reasoned moral high ground while Boehner represents an obstinate and selfish position. 

“A lot of people blame the financial crisis on Bush tax cuts and expensive wars,” Morgan told GOP Senator Rob Portman of Ohio in repeating a liberal talking point, demanding: “Isn't it time you guys took one for the team, the team being America?”

By Noel Sheppard | July 26, 2011 | 12:31 AM EDT

MSNBC's Chris Matthews appears to have a serious case of Fox News envy.

In a special installment of "The Last Word" following Barack Obama's debt ceiling address to the nation Monday, the "Hardball" host said, "I thought the President used a couple of words we’re familiar with: 'Fair and balanced.' It was like a Fox commercial" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tom Blumer | July 25, 2011 | 11:42 PM EDT

In his White House speech tonight, President Obama renewed his call for a debt-ceiling impasse solution which requires "the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to give up some of their breaks in the tax code and special deductions." In other words, he wants tax increases, even though earlier in the day, he backed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's "plan" (using the term loosely, as explained here and here) which, according to two separate reports (USAT; ABC), includes no tax increases.

In other words, the President, from all appearances, changed his mind -- again. Calling the President's performance in the debt-ceiling matter during the past several weeks "Jello-like" would appear to be an insult to the referenced food product.

Two items I've seen on President Obama's speech tonight -- David Jackson's "live blog" item at USA Today and David Espo's coverage at the Associated Press -- did not recognize this seemingly clear point.

By Noel Sheppard | July 25, 2011 | 7:17 PM EDT

Barack Obama might give Chris Matthews a thrill up his leg, but the bromance MSNBC's "Hardball" host has with former President Bill Clinton knows no bounds.

On Monday's program, Matthews finished by nominating Clinton as Secretary of the Treasury, "Because in many ways it’s a life saver" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By NB Staff | July 25, 2011 | 6:42 PM EDT

After returning from asking Washington, D.C. tourists about the government-mandated phase out of incandescent light bulbs that begins in 2012, our friends at MRCTV got a first hand lesson in how the government expects Americans to handle the impending switch to mercury-laden compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs).

 

By Matthew Balan | July 25, 2011 | 6:28 PM EDT

On Sunday's Weekend Edition, NPR's Jeff Brady spotlighted the first same-sex "marriage" in New York State and how local political and business leaders in Niagara Falls, where this first ceremony took place, hope to cater to the homosexual community. Only one sound bite during Brady's report came from an opponent to such ceremonies, and the correspondent failed to mention the protests against the new law across the state.

The correspondent devoted the first half of his report to Kitty Lambert and Cheryl Rudd, two lesbians from Buffalo who were the first same-sex couple legally recognized by New York State. According to Brady, the two have been "advocating for gay marriage for at least seven years," and, unlike many couples, chose to have their cake-cutting and dancing before the actual ceremony.

By Scott Whitlock | July 25, 2011 | 5:59 PM EDT

Former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman on Monday berated Tea Partiers for engineering a "slow motion succession" in relation to the budget impasse in Congress.

Appearing with Hardball host Chris Matthews, Fineman summarized the conservative position this way: "This is an ending of the social compact. This is two, three generations worth of agreement about Social Security, about Medicare, about the role of the federal government. The Tea Party people are saying, we want to secede from that society."

By Aubrey Vaughan | July 25, 2011 | 5:14 PM EDT

In an interview, MSNBC president Phil Griffin made some rather strange characterizations of his network, insisting that it "come[s] from a progressive stance" while it is simultaneously "not ideologically driven."

Those two concepts would seem contradictory in the minds of most people--but not to Griffin, who seems to believe that his staff of "smart people" who "do their research" is up to the task.

By Alex Fitzsimmons | July 25, 2011 | 5:09 PM EDT

Quoting a British politician who claimed "right-wing nutters" pose the most serious threat to the international financial system, MSNBC's Martin Bashir asked his conservative guest on Monday: "He's right, isn't he?"

The MSNBC anchor posed this question at the end of a contentious interview with Tea Party Nation Founder Judson Phillips, after asking Phillips four times whether he wanted the U.S. to default on its debts.

By Ken Shepherd | July 25, 2011 | 5:02 PM EDT

Frank Schaeffer -- the embittered liberal progeny of the late evangelical Christian scholar Francis Schaeffer -- appeared on MSNBC's "Martin Bashir" program this afternoon where he availed himself the opportunity to spew forth more venom against American evangelicals, who tend to vote for conservative Republicans.

Schaeffer was ostensibly brought on to react to new polling data that show 56 percent of Americans believe it's important for presidential candidates to have strong religious beliefs, even if those beliefs don't square with the voter's personal views.

In the process of the interview, Schaeffer indirectly compared evangelical Christians to the Taliban as he slammed "faith-based politics" (emphasis mine):

By Matt Hadro | July 25, 2011 | 4:56 PM EDT

Once again, Tea Party-critic John Avlon took aim at "hyper-partisanship" in Congress but focused the blame squarely on House Republicans while saving a tiny bit of blame for Democrats. In a July 25 op-ed for CNN.com, he hit Republicans for walking away from a generous deal by President Obama to settle the debt ceiling debate.

"We are learning that activists and ideologues pushing anti-tax pledges have nothing to do with the responsibility of governing," Avlon berated Tea Party members of Congress, while accusing them of opposing the bipartisan plan set forth by the "Gang of Six" simply because Obama approved of it.
 

By Jack Coleman | July 25, 2011 | 4:31 PM EDT

You can already see the apologia coming on this one -- Rachel Maddow never actually said that seven towns in Wisconsin are named Union in homage to labor unions.

Which is true, she didn't. Instead, it could not be more obvious that Maddow implied this, with trademark smarm, and more than once at that.

Maddow did so for the first time on her MSNBC show back in February, during the battle over a proposed state budget, since enacted, that would limit collective bargaining by public workers. This was happening, Maddow said, in a place that has long epitomized labor rights. As evidence, Maddow showed a map of Wisconsin with arrows pointing to seven towns named Union (video after page break) --

By Kyle Drennen | July 25, 2011 | 3:32 PM EDT

Appearing on Saturday's NBC Today, CNBC's John Harwood solely blamed House Republicans for the ongoing debt ceiling gridlock: "Speaker Boehner and President Obama, were negotiating in good faith. They wanted a deal....the House Republican caucus...would not accept what President Obama needed to make a deal, and that is real and significant tax hikes as a component."  

Harwood argued conservative House members were intimidating Boehner and declared: "That's why Boehner left the talks. That's why the United States' risk of default, while still low in my opinion, is higher than it was 24 hours ago." Later, Harwood touted how "Independents are starting to side with Democrats" and proclaimed: "House Republicans are not playing politics on this. It's crazy politics, what they're doing, and Republican leaders think it may hurt the party. But it's what they believe, and that's why we're at this point."

By Clay Waters | July 25, 2011 | 3:17 PM EDT

New York Times international columnist Roger Cohen smeared Sarah Palin and Republicans in general in a politically opportunistic hit piece, ostensibly about the massacre in Norway, posted to nytimes.com on Monday, “Breivik and His Enablers.”

On one level Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian responsible for the biggest massacre by a single gunman in modern times, is just a particularly murderous psychotic loner: the 32-year-old mama’s boy with no contact with his father, obsessed by video games (Dragon Age II) as he preens himself (“There was a relatively hot girl on [sic] the restaurant today checking me out”) and dedicates his time in asexual isolation to the cultivation of hatred and the assembly of a bomb from crushed aspirin and fertilizer.

No doubt, that is how Islamophobic right-wingers in Europe and the United States who share his views but not his methods will seek to portray Breivik.

We’ve seen the movie. When Jared Loughner shot Representative Gabrielle Giffords this year in Tuscon [sic], Arizona -- after Sarah Palin placed rifle sights over Giffords’ constituency and Giffords herself predicted that “there are consequences to that” -- the right went into overdrive to portray Loughner as a schizophrenic loner whose crazed universe owed nothing to those fanning hatred under the slogan of “Take America Back.” (That non-specific taking-back would of course be from Muslims and the likes of the liberal and Jewish Giffords.)