Appearing on Friday's NBC Today, Meet the Press host David Gregory largely dismissed the possibility of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan entering the 2012 presidential race: "He's got some of his own problems in terms of being the intellectual force behind Medicare reform that is actually hurting the Republican Party."
While Gregory noted that Ryan "didn't close the door" to a potential run, he played up the idea that reforming Medicare would be a political loser in the campaign: "...as they [Republicans] found out in New York-26, in that upstate New York race, that this is an issue that Democrats are going to be able to use against the Republicans if they don't change their message about how Medicare's going to be changed."
Steve Israel had his talking points, and he was sticking to them. Republicans want to "end Medicare" in order to give tax cuts to the big oil companies. On Morning, Joe Scarborough repeatedly called out Israel, head of the Dem congressional campaign committee, on his demagoguery. Not that it stopped the Dem congressman from New York from repeating his rap.
For good measure, Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett appeared later and claimed that Medicare could be maintained without cutting a penny of benefits to seniors merely by finding various "efficiencies" in the program. Waste, fraud and abuse ride again!
Congressional Democrats pressed for a vote on the Ryan plan yesterday, and it went down to defeat 57-40, with five Senate Republicans opposing it along with the Democrats.
The House Republican Medicare plan would convert it into a subsidized program for the private insurance market. When they proposed it last month as the centerpiece of their budget plan, Republicans were confident that the wind of budget politics was at their backs.
The potential for over-the-top advertising from Democrats to defend Medicare is definitely there, Rachel Maddow told her MSNBC audience Monday.
She should know, since her show of late is little more than a Medicare commercial for Democrats.
As she talked about the next day's special election in New York's 26th House district, Maddow described Jim Martin, chairman of the 60 Plus advocacy group, stumping for Republican candidate Jane Corwin (video after page break) --
The New York Times provided big play to Tuesday’s special congressional election to fill New York's 26th congressional district near Buffalo, a race in which Democrat Kathy Hochul upset Republican Jane Corwin. Reporter Raymond Hernandez was quick to assume this one special race spells bad news for Republican plans to reform Medicare, and their prospects in the national elections 18 months away. But how does the Times typically react when Republicans win special and off-year elections?
Democrats scored an upset in one of New York’s most conservative Congressional districts on Tuesday, dealing a blow to the national Republican Party in a race that largely turned on the party’s plan to overhaul Medicare.
The results set off elation among Democrats and soul-searching among Republicans, who questioned whether they should rethink their party’s commitment to the Medicare plan, which appears to have become a liability heading into the 2012 elections.
All three network morning shows on Wednesday cheered Democrat Kathy Hochul winning the special election in New York's 26th congressional district and framed the outcome as a rejection of Republican plans to reform Medicare. On NBC's Today, news reporter Ann Curry proclaimed: "The race hinged on Hochul's opposition to a Republican-led plan to make deep cuts in Medicare." [Audio available here]
On ABC's Good Morning America, news reporter Josh Elliot declared Hochul's win to be "a seismic event in the political world" and a "shocking upset." Like Curry, he declared: "The GOP candidate lost after backing that Republican plan to cut billions from Medicare." In reality, the Republican budget plan increases Medicare spending from $563 billion to $953 billion ten years from now. That’s an increase of nearly 70%.
Charles Krauthammer said Tuesday that the press are so in bed with President Obama that they are actually supporting Democrat lies about Medicare and Congressman Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) plan to save it.
Appearing on the "O'Reilly Factor," the syndicated columnist also told the host that Fox News is "extremely powerful" because it "broke the monopoly that liberals had on all the media for about 30 years" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In an effort to counteract tactics that some Republicans fear could cost the GOP electoral victories in 2012, Rep. Paul Ryan lays out the facts behind his proposed budget, which he calls the "Path to Prosperity," in a follow-up to his first video on the plan. Check out the new one after the break, and let us know what you think.
This morning, Associated Press reporters Ricardo Alonso Zaldivar and Stephen Ohlemacher went back to an AP-GfK poll yours truly thoroughly discredited on May 11 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog). That's when the AP's Liz Sidoti and Jennifer Agiesta laughably claimed that President Obama's approval had jumped to 60%.
NBC's David Gregory must have thought he had performed another gotcha on a prominent Republican Sunday when he cited a poll to his "Meet the Press" guest Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) finding people aren't interested in reducing Medicare spending in order to balance the budget.
Without skipping a beat, Ryan marvelously educated his host saying, "I don't consult polls to tell me what my principles are or what our policies should be. Leaders change the polls" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
If you had any questions as to why Dylan Ratigan belongs on MSNBC rather than CNBC they were all answered Friday night.
Appearing on HBO's "Real Time," Ratigan presented himself as a far-left commentator telling the audience of devout liberals, "This entire rhetoric machine from the Republican Party is predicated on an abandonment of arithmetic and fact" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Ed Schultz on Thursday mocked Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) as a young, inexperienced kid who's never run a business, never had to meet payroll, and who offered up a radical plan that he doesn’t know the ramifications of.
As the host of the "Ed Show" whined, he clearly missed the irony that these very same things were said about the former junior senator from Illinois prior to Election Day 2008 (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Tuesday’s New York Times featured a rare excursion into print by Timothy Egan, liberal Times reporter turned leftist nytimes.com blogger, excoriating Republicans like Rep. Paul Ryan and the "Tea Party political illiterates" as greed-heads for wanting to reform the bankrupt Medicare system: "The Need for Greed."
The bet was audacious from the beginning, and given the miserable, low-down tenor of contemporary politics, not unfathomable: Could you divide the country between greedy geezers and everyone else as a way to radically alter the social contract?
But in order for the Republican plan to turn Medicare, one of most popular government programs in history, into a much-diminished voucher system, the greed card had to work.
When an admittedly liberal Nobel laureate in economics thinks trying to balance the budget is holding America hostage, one has to wonder if there are any adults remaining on the left side of the aisle.
Consider what New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote Monday:
The depths the shills on the Left will go to impugn their enemies knows no bounds.
On Sunday, the George Soros-funded organization Think Progress falsely accused Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tx.) of comparing Social Security and Medicare to slavery (video follows with transcript and commentary):
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said Sunday that Democrats should risk a debt default to avoid being blackmailed by Republicans that are holding a bomb "over our head" in the form of serious budget cuts.
This came moments after FDIC chair Sheila Bair told ABC's "This Week" panel, "I think maybe there's a little too much testosterone in this debate. It’s too much about winning and losing and not enough both sides are right, let’s come together and have a solution" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"Inside Washington" host Gordon Peterson on Friday joined the ranks of liberal media members claiming Republican calls for Democrats to stop saying the GOP is trying to destroy Medicare is hypocritical due to their support for Congressman Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) budget proposal.
When he got his chance to address this absurdity, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer marvelously set the record straight (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CBS gave President Obama over 26 and a half minutes to answer 12 questions related to the economy during a town hall aired on Thursday's Early Show. Obama got six uninterrupted minutes to answer one question about Medicare during the hour-long event. Host Erica Hill wondered how the Democrat could "change the mind-set from things are tough to things are turning around" with the economy.
Hill led the town hall with her concerned economic "mind-set" question, noting beforehand that "it seems that we have been hearing, whether it's on TV, at the office, around the kitchen table, things are tough," but continuing that "there's positive economic data coming through. Yet, sometimes it can feel like for every two steps forward, it's one step back. There's definitely a psychological component to this recovery."
Here's a safe prediction: The "bipartisan" group of congressmen led by Vice President Joe Biden will fail to solve the $14 trillion debt crisis.
Here's another prediction: The Heritage Foundation (www.heritage.org/) has developed a formula, made possible by a grant from The Peterson Foundation (www.pgpf.org/), that could balance the budget in 10 years, reduce the debt to 30 percent of gross domestic product within 25 years, cut the size of the federal government in half by 2036, reform the tax code, restructure Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, while protecting the most vulnerable, and not increasing taxes if -- and it is a very big if -- politicians prefer the solution to continued bickering.
Last November, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell admitted on air to being a socialist.
In a segment on "The Last Word" Tuesday addressing how Cuba - a country nearing economic ruin - is moving towards capitalism, O'Donnell said, "We are all socialists in this country who support public education, state funded universities, government-run hospitals, Medicare, Social Security, classic socialistic programs that have sensibly found their way into the American economy" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Last weekend, David Ignatius in his Washington Post column made a vital contribution to the debt and deficit debate: "Take the deficit pain now. It's a truth of economics and life that if you have bad news coming, take the hit early and get it behind you. You can't start building until the debris is out of the way."
Ignatius offers various examples from history (e.g., Fed Chairman Paul Volker's 1979 interest rate hikes that caused the recessions of the early '80s, but broke the inflation psychology and (I would add, with Ronald Reagan's policies) built the foundation for 25 years of prosperity.
Ed Schultz's pattern of accusing Republicans of lying moments before lying himself continued Tuesday evening.
Just moments after calling House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) and Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) liars, the host of MSNBC's "Ed Show" misinformed his viewers about Medicare (video follows with transcript and commentary):
If you had any questions about just how far to the left New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is, they were answered Monday when he expressed enthusiastic support for the Congressional Progressive Caucus's radical tax-hiking "People's Budget."
In his "Let's Take a Hike," the Nobel laureate left no doubt about his desire to swiftly redistribute America's wealth with little regard for the economic consequences:
On the April 21 edition of FNC's "Hannity," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell tackled how the media lapped up President Obama's talking points about the Paul Ryan budget plan and its effect on senior citizens.
"You know, Sean, this is some of the worst fear-mongering I've ever heard, and I think, personally, I find it despicable that this came from the president of the United States," the Media Research Center founder complained, adding:
According to MSNBC's Chris Matthews, "the only cuts that [Tea Partiers] seem to want are the cuts for the poor people." The Hardball host smeared the conservative protesters on Thursday while discussing planned reforms to Medicare and Medicaid.
Guest Jonathan Alter laughed at Matthews' attack, prompting the anchor to mock, "You're laughing because you know how right-wingers think."
Citing a Washington Post poll showing 52 percent of Tea Partiers support cutting Medicaid, he prompted the former Newsweek editor, "...Strong, zealous Tea Party people have brought themselves to willingness to cut poor people. That doesn't surprise me, but your thoughts."