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By Tim Graham | January 3, 2011 | 11:30 AM EST

If you thought perhaps the networks would focus in on how President Obama avoided blizzards by staying on vacation in Hawaii, or that anyone would ask how much his vacation might cost the taxpayer, think again. No one's interested in questioning Obama -- as London's Daily Mail did: "The 7,000-square foot home where the president is vacationing has five bedrooms, a media room and a secluded lagoon-style pool with tropical waterfalls and a spa." On her radio show Monday morning, Laura Ingraham played some audio of how CNN's Ed Henry kept it very light and food-focused on last Monday's Newsroom:

DEBORAH FEYERICK, anchor: Next, "The Stakeout." We're going to check in with Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry. That is, if he's not busy, let's say, surfing...Well, the weather has been terrible in Washington, D.C., but that's no problem for our senior White house correspondent, Ed Henry. Why? Well, listen to the music. He's hanging out with the president in Hawaii. It is a tough job. We know you're running out of sunscreen. Ed, I hope at least they're feeding you.

By Tom Blumer | January 3, 2011 | 10:13 AM EST

In his report on the escalating dispute between the State of Texas and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, one thing you cannot accuse Ramit Plushnick-Masti of the Associated Press of being is a master of understatement. He claims that "Both sides and conservation groups agree the battle has put the health of Texas residents and the environment at risk."

Really? The only problem is that the AP reporter never found anyone who is currently on the Texas side of the dispute who is saying anything remotely resembling that.

Here are the opening paragraphs of Plushnick-Masti's prose, followed by a much later paragraph representing the closest the writer gets to naming someone on the Texas side to worry about the alleged "risk" (bold is mine):

By NB Staff | January 3, 2011 | 10:02 AM EST

Starter topic: In an interview with Human Events editor Jason Mattera, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele defends himself against a number of criticisms of his tenture:

By Noel Sheppard | January 3, 2011 | 9:51 AM EST

What kind of an idiot must you be to believe that tax cuts have an equal dollar for dollar negative impact on a government budget as spending increases do?

The most obvious answer given the charge of this website is a liberal media member, and the Washington Post's E.J. Dionne nicely proved this point with his column Monday:

By Mark Finkelstein | January 3, 2011 | 7:45 AM EST

John Lindsay might have been the worst mayor in NYC history. Epitome of the limousine liberal, Lindsay nearly bankrupted the Big Apple. But that hasn't stopped Jon Meacham from lauding Lindsay as  "one of the greatest mayors in New York history."  The former Newsweek editor bestowed the honorific title while appearing on today's Morning Joe.

Meacham's comment came in the context of grouping Lindsay with Mike Bloomberg as another NYC mayor who didn't deal well with a big snowstorm.  But after noting that lapse, Meacham made amends with his GMINYH moniker.

After the jump, view the video and a description of Lindsay's absolutely disastrous record.

By Tim Graham | January 3, 2011 | 7:20 AM EST

Parade magazine, the Sunday newspaper supplement, interviewed MSNBC host Joe Scarborough for its January 2 issue and praised him by reporting he has "happily confounded expectations. He's a die-hard conservative who has hosted the Morning Joe show on liberal-minded MSNBC for more than three years.  He's openly critical of both President Obama and his own party." They didn't explain Mr. Die-Hard Conservative complains about both from the left, which doesn't confound anyone's expectations about MSNBC. Scarborough shared his usual arrogant thoughts about how this is "the Republican Party's last chance," and how Palin stinks:

You wrote a blistering piece on Politico about Sarah Palin in November. Did you hear from her?
No. I will say I flinched when I wrote it, because I know the personal impact words can have on candidates’ kids and spouses. But I just know she’s not qualified to be president. By the way, I don’t think she’s going to run. I don’t think it was a coincidence that a lot of that presidential talk came when she was releasing her book. As Newt Gingrich said, “Tell people you’re going to run for president—it helps move books!”

By Dave Pierre | January 2, 2011 | 8:02 PM EST

In a stunning ten-page declaration recently submitted to the Los Angeles County Superior Court, veteran attorney Donald H. Steier stated that his investigations into claims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests have uncovered vast fraud and that his probes have revealed that many accusations are completely false.

Counselor Steier has played a role in over one hundred investigations involving Catholic clergy in Los Angeles.

By Tom Blumer | January 2, 2011 | 6:17 PM EST

From the New York Times on Thursday, in an item put together with the help of a half-dozen Times reporters ("Inaction and Delays by New York as Storm Bore Down"; bold is mine):

... Harry Nespoli, president of the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association, said the problems late Sunday (during the initial stages of the Northeast's post-Christmas snowstorm -- Ed.) underscored how the city could not rely on outside contractors to help with snow removal and other jobs in such storms, particularly during a holiday weekend.

 

“You can never count on the privates, because they don’t have to show up,” he said. “What obligation do they have? The mayor can’t order them out. The commissioner can’t order them out.”

That's quite an interesting assertion, given the following item carried in the New York Post today:

By Tom Blumer | January 2, 2011 | 10:35 AM EST

A brief January 1 item from the Associated Press's Barry Massey on the inauguration of Susana Martinez ("Martinez becomes NM gov as new year starts") began as follows:

Republican Susana Martinez has claimed her place in history as New Mexico's first female governor, taking office with the start of the new year.

If it weren't for the "place in history" part, I might have blown right by it without hesitation. But speaking of a "place in history," especially at a wire service that sometimes seems overly obsessed with race and racial milestones, it's more than a little odd that the AP dispatch failed to note what the AP's Jesse Washington reported on Election Night in November:

Minorities ride GOP wave to groundbreaking wins The Republican wave produced groundbreaking results for minority candidates, from Latina and Indian-American governors to a pair of black congressmen from the Deep South.

By Mark Finkelstein | January 2, 2011 | 9:44 AM EST

You might have thought that Mike Bloomberg—with his trans fat and smokes snatching—was the epitome of nanny staters.  But the Big Apple mayor's got nothing on another New Yorker--Nicholas Kristof.

In his New York Times column of today, Equality, A True Soul Food, Kristof preaches the urgent need for income redistribution as a means of . . . improving our souls.

According to Kristof, "the toll of our stunning inequality is not just economic but also is a melancholy of the soul."  And hey: what says soul improvement more than . . . raising taxes?!

More excerpts and analysis after the break.

By NB Staff | January 2, 2011 | 9:00 AM EST

For general discussion and debate about politics, the economy, sports, or whatever else tickles your fancy this first Sunday of 2011.

By Noel Sheppard | January 2, 2011 | 8:53 AM EST

Despite the bipartisan tax cuts orchestrated by the White House and Congress - and heralded by most Wall Street analysts! - in December, calls for tax hikes by liberal news outlets will be prevalent in the new year.

Confirming this was the New York Times on Sunday pounding this drum with predictable certitude in an editorial simply titled "The Economy in 2011":

By Tim Graham | January 2, 2011 | 7:24 AM EST

On the night of New Year's Eve, CNN produced a clip show called "All the Best, All the Worst of 2010" with some CNN personalities, a few other journalists, and some comedians. With its quick cuts and splashy color, it may have looked more like VH-1 than CNN, but it produced the same conventional liberal "wisdom." This gave Kathleen Parker yet another opportunity to dismiss Sarah Palin as not a serious political figure: 

TOM FOREMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Best pounding of the pundits.

SARAH PALIN: Whoo, Nevada.

FOREMAN: Sarah Palin.

JULIA REED, NEWSWEEK: A borderline lunatic.

By Brad Wilmouth | January 2, 2011 | 3:17 AM EST

 On ABC’s World News Saturday, correspondent John Hendren filed a report marking this year as the first time since 1947 that no members of the Kennedy family will hold public office in Washington, D.C. The piece began:

JOHN HENDREN: The sun has set on the Kennedy era. When Congress reconvenes next week, it will be the first time in 64 years that there has not been a Kennedy in office.

KATHLEEN KENNEDY TOWNSEND, DAUGHTER OF ROBERT F. KENNEDY: I think it's sad. I think that we need a Kennedy.

Hendren went on to recount the death of former Senator Ted Kennedy, "the Lion of the Senate," and the decision of Rhode Island Representative Patrick Kennedy to retire, as well as the shuffling of office space with the arrival of newly-elected Republicans. The ABC correspondent also noted that Tea Party-backed Rep. Ron Paul and Senator-elect Rand Paul are the only family members serving who will be serving concurrently in Congress.

Hendren concluded by offering a ray of hope for those would like to see the Kennedy family in government again:

By Brad Wilmouth | January 2, 2011 | 1:40 AM EST

 On Saturday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Bob Orr filed a report on the incoming Republican congressional freshmen, and, after noting that Rep.-elect Allen West was taking a "hard line" on federal spending, and after showing a clip of the Florida Republican raising doubts about compromising "your principles," the CBS correspondent used the cliche "partisan bickering" as he warned that such views could end the recent "collaborative spirit" in Congress, and plugged President Obama’s call for "cooperation." Orr:

It's a warning of sorts that the collaborative spirit of the recent lame duck Congress may soon dissolve into renewed partisan bickering. President Obama, vacationing in Hawaii, today made a preemptive bid for continued cooperation.

After soundbites from Republican Rep.-elect Ben Quayle and the Politico’s David Mark, Orr concluded his report predicting that Tea Party Republicans could "cause trouble" within the Republican caucus: