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By Noel Sheppard | January 7, 2011 | 11:08 AM EST

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and Washington Post associate editor Eugene Robinson said on national television Thursday that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has a history of saying "crazy-ass things."

After doing so on MSNBC's "Countdown," Robinson was offered $100 by Keith Olbermann if he would title his next article using exactly those words (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Kyle Drennen | January 7, 2011 | 11:07 AM EST

Appearing on FNC's Fox & Friends on Friday, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell reacted to the resignation of National Public Radio executive Ellen Weiss and credited the incoming Republican Congress: "NPR is hearing footsteps, their hearing the footsteps of Republicans, who are saying...what in the world are we doing spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year on this network that is completely unnecessary."

As NewsBusters' Tim Graham earlier reported, an internal review of NPR's firing of news analyst and Fox News contributor Juan Williams led to Weiss being forced out.
In addition, Bozell predicted that despite the resignation of Weiss, NPR would soon returned to its biased coverage. He explained: "This is the face of the intolerant left today...these people are utterly intolerant of any position other than their radical agenda and they will kneecap you, including their own, Juan Williams, if you do anything such as appear on Fox News." [Audio available here]

View video below

By NB Staff | January 7, 2011 | 10:25 AM EST

Yesterday it became clear that President Obama has picked JP Morgan banker anf Fannie Mae board member Bill Daley as his chief of staff. Daley will replace fellow Chicagoan Rahm Emanuel.

The pick says quite a bit about the state of the Obama White House. Fiscal conservative Larry Kudlow immediately praised Daley, saying he would ease the White House's anti-business image. Ben Smith concurred, dubbing Daley "right of center on policy." He is certainly right of the Obama administration, having opposed both ObamaCare and the Dodd-Frank FinReg bill.

By Tim Graham | January 7, 2011 | 8:43 AM EST

Just when conservatives think there's finally a little ideological balance in the Congress, the far-left diarists of the Daily Kos are convinced the country has dangerously shifted to the right, led by Obama, who's now a "hostage" to Republicans, and even is too "moderate left" for them. The blogger  Shutterbug thinks it's time to ponder the presidential psychosis:

If we accept that the ‘hostages’ Obama referred to when he justified the tax deal were indeed a section of the the American people, with the Oligarchs playing the role of hostage takers...

I'm pondering the existence of some electoral equivalent of the Stockholm Syndrome.

Could this have spread to, or from some of our leaders if it was incubated over several cycles?

What if a certain politician was already pre-disposed to something like this?...

By Brad Wilmouth | January 7, 2011 | 12:38 AM EST

 Appearing as a guest on Thursday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, Matt Taibbi - contributing editor of Rolling Stone magazine - ridiculously accused Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Tea Party activists of racism in the form of using "coded language" to refer to "Mexican immigrants and non-white inner city, Democratic-leaning voters" as he responded to a soundbite of Boehner talking about having a social safety net for those unable to work, but that should perhaps exclude those who refuse to help themselves.

After host Keith Olbermann played a clip of the House Speaker contending, "But do we have a responsibility to help those who won't compete? I would have serious doubts about that," Taibbi found it "amazing" that Boehner "would say it so openly," and went on to suggest that the House Speaker was showing signs of racism, tying in Tea Party activists. Taibbi:

It's amazing that he would say it so openly, but I know when I go to cover Tea Party events, I almost inevitably end up talking to people who are on Medicare or collecting unemployment insurance or government pensions, but they're railing against government welfare. I say, "Well, do you see any contradiction there?" "No, I deserve this. I work hard. It's those other people."

And we know who they mean when they say "other people." It's Mexican immigrants and non-white, inner city, Democratic-leaning voters. So that's, it's coded language when he uses that kind of language.

By Tom Blumer | January 6, 2011 | 11:52 PM EST

Well, that didn't take long.

AP reporters Calvin Woodward and Andrew Taylor answered the bell and came out swinging at the Republican House within hours after John Boehner was sworn in as Speaker, accusing the GOP of supposedly breaking a number of core promises.

As usual when the wire service covers Republicans, there's no shortage of inconsistency bordering on hypocrisy coming from AP's alleged journalists.

Here are selected paragraphs from this morning's report ("PROMISES, PROMISES: GOP drops some out of the gate"):

By Brent Baker | January 6, 2011 | 10:02 PM EST

In an “exclusive” interview with new House Speaker John Boehner for Thursday’s NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams told Boehner the promised vote to repeal ObamaCare has “been called a stunt,” pressed him to justify repealing it given many would not call it “the best health care delivery system in the world because they, by the millions, weren't getting it” and demanded to know “where are you getting the notion...the American people want it repealed” given polling was “very evenly split on that?”

Then he held Boehner responsible for a “birther” woman in the gallery who shouted out “except Obama” as a Congressman on the floor was reading aloud the part of the Constitution requiring the President to be a “natural born citizen”:

I'm curious as to how much responsibility you feel -- specifically, because of something that happened this morning. During the reading of the Constitution, Congressman Frank Pallone of New Jersey was reading a portion of the document interrupted by someone who heckled from within the chamber. It was to express doubt over the President's American citizenship.

By Matt Hadro | January 6, 2011 | 7:34 PM EST

Reporting that House Republicans will soon be voting to repeal President Obama's "job-killing" health care law, MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer wondered if the GOP should take a different route to save jobs. During her Thursday 12 p.m. EST news hour, she revealed a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report estimating that a repeal of the health care law will cost $230 billion over the next ten years.

Disregarding the GOP arguments for repealing ObamaCare, Brewer wondered aloud about the merits of the $230 billion being invested in re-education of unemployed persons.

"What would happen," Brewer asked Prof. Robert Reich of the University of California at Berkeley, "if you took $230 billion and instead put that toward re-education of the nation's unemployed?"

By Geoffrey Dickens | January 6, 2011 | 6:55 PM EST

Chris Matthews has a new obsession for 2011 and her name is Michele Bachmann. Matthews has gone after Bachmann with the same fervor he used to reserve for Dick Cheney and on Thursday's Hardball he mocked the Minnesota Republican Congresswoman's new appointment to the House Intelligence committee as he snidely observed: "This is great irony here, on the Intelligence committee. I wonder what the rules are for getting on that committee? I guess they're pretty lenient."

Matthews also questioned Bachman's motives for getting involved in public service as he asked The Daily Beast's Shushannah Walshe about a profile she wrote about Bachmann that touched on her religious beliefs:

MATTHEWS: Well what is the religious piece here because I don't want to push it too hard, but is there a kind of Joan of Arc thing going on here? The way you write that piece makes it sounds like she's on a kind of crusade. I'm serious. Almost a Messianic goal here, which goes beyond what we normally consider politics in America.

(video after the jump) 

By Nicholas Ballasy | January 6, 2011 | 4:33 PM EST

Grammy award-winning country singer LeAnn Rimes said her performance at a Republican fundraiser on Tuesday  in Washington, D.C., was “a job” and that she was “not making a political stance.”

Via Twitter, asked Rimes, “What influenced you to participate in the GOP fundraiser tonight?”

Rimes replied, “It's a job! I'm entertainment, not making a political stance.”

By Noel Sheppard | January 6, 2011 | 4:24 PM EST

Anti-Semites around the world will be thrilled to learn that disgraced former White House correspondent Helen Thomas has landed a new writing position that will allow her to publish her disgusting opinions with total impunity.

The editor of Virginia's liberal Falls Church News-Press proudly announced his new hire Thursday:

By Ken Shepherd | January 6, 2011 | 4:02 PM EST

The first vote cast by the 110th Congress on January 4, 2007 was for election of Speaker of the House. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) won all 233 Democratic votes (including her own). All 202 Republicans voted for Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio. Two years later Pelosi secured 255 (including her own), and there was only one Democrat, one Rep. Gutierrez who did not vote. Minority Leader Boehner received every Republican vote, save for his own and three other Republicans who didn't vote.

By contrast, yesterday's vote for Speaker witnessed a total of 20 Democrats -- 10 percent of the party caucus -- defecting from the Pelosi line. Eleven voted for Blue Dog Democrat Heath Shuler (N.C.) while the other eight generally liberal Democratic defectors voted for other Democrats. And that doesn't include liberal Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, who made sure to absent himself from the chamber so as to not have to register a vote.

It was certainly an inauspicious way for Pelosi to enter the new Congress as minority leader, yet when the Post reported the story, it elected to bury the news in a 6-paragraph digest item on page A8.

By Scott Whitlock | January 6, 2011 | 4:00 PM EST

Hard-left comedienne Roseanne Barr appeared on Wednesday's Good Morning America and faced no questions about her controversial, often bizarre statements, such as in 2009 when she dressed up like Hitler and pretended to bake "burnt Jew cookies." Instead, Roberts fawned, "Buckle up, folks. Roseanne Barr is back, making us laugh."

An ABC graphic touted Barr: "Roseanne is Back! Past, Present and Presidency?" Keep in mind, this is a woman who once smeared that Republicans "cherish the freedom to have sex with small children."

Roberts downplayed the cover of Roseannearchy, Barr's new book, by blandly observing, "Clever little cover there." The "clever" cover features the comic dressed up like the communist Che Guevara. It was up to Barr to reference the radical nature of the book, noting, "I was thinking Rush Limbaugh, kind of. A left-wing, Rush Limbaugh kind of thing."

By Tim Graham | January 6, 2011 | 3:50 PM EST

On Thursday, the NPR Board of Directors announced it has concluded an internal review of the firing of senior analyst Juan Williams for comments on the Fox News Channel. In what a spokesman called “two distinct pieces of news,” the internal review came with the resignation of Ellen Weiss, NPR’s senior vice president for news, the one who fired Williams over the phone. Weiss, whose husband Rabbi David Saperstein is an adviser to President Obama’s faith-based initiative, told Williams he didn’t have enough remorse for his comments admitting fear of Muslims:

"She took the admission of my visceral fear of people dressed in Muslim garb at the airport as evidence that I am a bigot. She said there are people who wear Muslim garb to work at NPR and they are offended by my comments. She never suggested that I had discriminated against anyone. Instead she continued to ask me what did I mean and I told her I said what I meant. Then she said she did not sense remorse from me. I said I made an honest statement. She informed me that I had violated NPR's values for editorial commentary and she was terminating my contract as a news analyst."

Williams chose not to participate in the review (perhaps knowing his view of the firing was already quite public.) The idea that Weiss's departure is coincidental doesn't come across in the Board's findings:

By Jack Coleman | January 6, 2011 | 3:22 PM EST

I doubt it came as much of a surprise to anyone listening when Ed Schultz described how he broke the law by knowingly driving on a highway closed by police.

Schultz's New Year's Day jaunt caught the attention of Brian Maloney at the Radio Equalizer who asked yesterday, "Do road closures apply to MSNBC talkers?" --