Barack Obama, secret deficit hawk? New York Times White House reporter Jackie Calmes showed her usual pro-Obama sympathies in Monday’s enormous front page tick-tock story on the Obama team’s debate over a big deficit reduction plan the president has long promised but failed to deliver: “Obama’s Deficit Dilemma – Adopting a Panel’s Ideas, While Seeming Not To.”
Calmes once again defended the president’s lack of budgetary leadership, though less aggressively than usual. Last February she hailed Obama’s brilliant budgetary maneuvers, and has consistently boosted Obama's stimulus package, while insisting against all history that Obama-care will actually save money.
New York Times White House reporter Jackie Calmes habitually makes excuses for President Obama while praising his big-spending budgets as serious proposals, defending his "stimulus" as successful, and insisting against all history that Obama-care will actually save federal money. She gave out some more in the latest edition of the PBS talk show Washington Week, which aired last week on PBS, talking of Obama's "investments" (i.e., spending) and agreeing with the administration that its broken promise on reducing the deficit really isn't its fault.
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on PBS's McLaughlin Group Friday voiced predictable praise for President Obama's just released budget claiming you can't "drastically cut a deficit before you invigorate the economy or you’re going to look at a lost decade."
National Review's Rich Lowry quickly refuted this nonsense telling his progressive co-panelist, "This isn’t a Keynesian budget. It’s a flat out tax and spend big government liberal budget” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Calmes invariably sees Obama’s big-spending budgets through rose-colored glasses. This time last year, she was covering Obama's fiscal year 2012 proposal under helpful headlines like this one: "Obama's Budget Focuses On Path To Rein In Deficit." Calmes portrayed it as just right in its balance of spending cuts and tax increases and gave him a pass for putting off tough choices. But now that Obama has forsaken deficit reduction for 2013, Calmes puts the issue on the back-burner and instead emphasizes how the new budget plan may work for Obama politically. Obama’s broken promise on deficit reduction wasn’t broached until paragraph 20 of 22.
Despite the fact that the national debt has topped $15 trillion, the three network morning shows on Monday managed to only provide a total of 47 seconds to the Obama administration's newly released budget plan.
NBC's Today gave the most time to the news – a whole 26 seconds – but also completely glossed over criticism of the plan, with news anchor Natalie Morales declaring: "President Obama is sending a new budget to Congress today in a bid to reduce the deficit by some $4 trillion over the next decade. The spending blueprint outlines his plans to cut government spending and raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans."
According to the Heritage Foundation Barack Obama’s policies, in just two years, have resulted in the number of Americans who rely on a federal program spiking by 23 percent to 67 million. Yet there was no mention of this grim figure on the Big Three network (ABC, CBS and NBC) evening or morning news programs. Since the study was released on Wednesday only Fox News and CNN have mentioned the increase in government dependents was the biggest two year jump since Jimmy Carter was president. (video after the jump)
Today at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, in response to the Congressional Budget Office's release today of an awful 10-year baseline outlook, Andrew Taylor made sure that his first paragraph was only about the projected "dip" in the fiscal 2012 deficit, and dedicated his second paragraph to the bad things that will happen if "the Bush tax cuts" are extended and Congress fails to live within "tight" spending "caps" (when did those happen?). Towards the end he spoke of the deficit-cutting wonders ending "the Bush tax cuts" might bring about. What follows are the first two paragraphs of Taylor's report, followed by the "Bush tax cut" passage:
In today's "How Can Someone So Dumb Have His Own Nationally Televised Show" segment, HBO's Bill Maher said Friday the federal debt has only increased by $1.5 trillion since Barack Obama took office (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
This critic of the President analyzed the contents of so-called conservative Andrew Sullivan's piece and has come to the conclusion that it is he and the unashamedly liberal magazine he writes for that are lacking in intellectual capacity and/or integrity.
All one needs is read the following from Sullivan's third paragraph to understand the absurdity on display:
Even with recent "improvements" which are still weak when compared to other post-World War II recoveries and which, as shown yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), are less substantive than December's two major reported numbers (unemployment rate of 8.5% and seasonally adjusted job additions of 200,000) would indicate, it seems fairly likely that the nation's unemployment rate will be higher than it has been on the eve of any presidential election since World War II.
Thus, Paul Wiseman of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, felt it necessary to show that what matters isn't the unemployment rate, but instead the rate's trend. In the process, he mischaracterized the state of the economy under Ronald Reagan in 1983 and 1984, ignoring the roaring economic growth which occurred during those two years, and gave only one sentence to a statistic -- number of jobs added or lost -- which has become as important as the jobless rate, if not moreso, in the intervening 28 years:
On December 31, 2003, looking ahead to the upcoming 2004 election year, an Associated Press reporter -- I think it would have been Jennifer Loven at the time -- wrote about how George W. Bush was going to spend as much of the next 10-plus months as possible figuring that "he no longer needs Congress to promote his agenda." Therfore, he would use "aggressive campaign fundraising and use executive action to try to boost the economy." Thus, his "re-election year will focus almost exclusively on executive action" at the rate of "at least two or three directives per week." Sadly, this meant that Bush's "election year retreat from legislative fights means" that his "term will end without significant progress on two of his ... campaign promises."
Oops, I'm sorry. That AP report never happened. The high-handed, non-governing, non-legislating, campaign-driven agenda is what Barack Obama, his White House apparatchiks, and his reelection campaign have said they will do in 2012 -- and Julie Pace at the Associated Press seems to heartily approve (bolds repeating what was quoted in the first paragraph above are mine):
There are press memes which won't go away no matter what, and no matter how often disproven. One, repeated in an Associated Press report a couple of weeks ago as our troops were about to leave Iraq, claimed that "No WMD were ever found" there. The truth: Yes they were — along with 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium found in Iraq after Saddam was overthrown, specifically “the stuff that can be refined into nuclear weapons or nuclear fuel.”
Another meme which won't die and fails to pass the truth test was in an AP item by Julie Pace about President Obama's decision to defer raising the debt ceiling by $1.2 billion today. In it, she repeated the leftist line about how the national debt has grown so large (HT to an NB emailer):
As Congresswoman Michele Bachmann made the point on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday that the national debt has increased dramatically under President Obama compared to under President Bush, host David Gregory interrupted and attempted to dismiss that fact: "Congresswoman, that just misstates the record....For accuracy, the debt exploded under the Bush administration." [Audio available here]
Bachmann tried to finish her point: "There's no comparison. We're talking-" But Gregory kept interrupting: "...the debt – wait a minute, Congresswoman." Bachmann replied: "David, let me just finish." Gregory claimed: "No, wait a minute. I just want to stop you for accuracy." [View video after the jump]
George Will on Sunday marvelously told liberal economist Robert Reich something that many conservatives have been dying to say for years.
During a fascinating Right vs. Left debate on ABC's This Week, after Reich predictably pined for higher income tax rates to solve all that ails us, Will struck back with the line of the weekend, "You are a pyromaniac in a field of strawmen" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CBS’s Steve Kroft challenged President Barack Obama a few times during the two-part 60 Minutes interview aired Sunday night, but managed to ignore the scandals (Solyndra, Fast & Furious and collapse of MF Global run by ally Jon Corzine) while mostly cuing up Obama to knock down criticism of him or pressing him with complaints from the left that he hasn’t done or gone far enough: “They thought that you were gonna be bolder.”
“Since the midterm elections, you made an effort at bipartisanship. It hasn’t worked out that way,” Kroft fretted in crediting Obama with the noble effort before seemingly conveying the liberal complaint the stimulus didn’t spend enough: “There’s a general perception that the stimulus was not enough. That it really didn’t work.”
For conservatives, one of the bright spots of the Occupy Wall Street protests was when millionaire investor Peter Schiff went down to Zuccotti Park with video camera and a sign reading "I Am The 1% - Let's Talk."
On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of speaking with Schiff by telephone in a sweeping interview about his experience at OWS, how the financial media are doing, and ending with his rather frightening view of the economy and the future of our nation (video follows with transcript):
MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Monday perfectly demonstrated that he is willing to contentiously debate issues with conservative guests without regard for the truth.
In the middle of a Hardball segment about the Democrat proposal to extend the payroll tax holiday, Matthews ignorantly accused the far more knowledgeable Ron Christie of "complicating" the discussion leading his guest to marvelously respond, "Of course, the facts get in the way of a good narrative" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Nobel laureate Paul Krugman - might he finally be realizing that our budget deficits can't possibly be solved by just eliminating the Bush tax cuts? - is now calling for marginal rates even higher than when Bill Clinton was in office:
It seems that everyone in Washington believes that there is zero chance of any kind of economic calamity befalling this nation until January 2013, even though the government is on track to stay on self-destructive autopilot until then. I do not understand how or why anyone can be that confident.
Jim Kuhnhenn at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, almost gleefully participated in that denial on Thursday in presenting the following paragraphs (bolds are mine throughout this post):
On last night's CBS Evening News, correspondent Nancy Cordes listed one and only one sticking point in the failure of the so-called "supercommittee" to reach a deal, and that was, she said, how "Republicans on the supercommittee were pushing to make the Bush-era tax cuts permanent for everyone."
And only one politician, Democratic Senator and supercommitee member John Kerry, was permitted to frame the story for CBS viewers. "This is not a tax cutting committee. This is a deficit reduction committee," Kerry asserted. "And we do not believe that the wealthiest people in America should get another tax cut."
When it comes to the MSM, it's hard to get more mainstream than Jon Meacham. Former Newsweek editor. Current Random House editor. Picked for a Pulitzer Prize.
So when someone of Meacham's genteelly liberal ilk unloads on Barack Obama in such stark terms, it's newsworthy. On today's Morning Joe, Meacham flatly stated his belief that President Obama "doesn't particularly like people and politicians who don't like people are kind of in the wrong business." Video and more after the jump.
While grilling Arizona Senator Jon Kyl on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, host David Gregory tried to bolster the argument for tax increases: "The Bush tax cuts...real deficit hawks, many of them happening to be Republicans....said let them all expire for everybody. For the rich, for the middle class. If you really want to get serious about the deficit, let the Bush tax cuts expire for everybody."
Here were Gregory's examples of GOP "deficit hawks": "...Alan Greenspan, former Fed chief; Michael Bloomberg, now the independent mayor of New York..." He also touted the expertise of "Democrats like Peter Orszag, who ran the Budget Office for this president..."
Highlighting Grover Norquist’s upcoming appearance on 60 Minutes, CBS’s Bob Schieffer, on Face the Nation, pointed to the anti-tax hike pledge Norquist asks politicians to sign as “one of the problems” undermining the failed “super-committee.”
After ruing the pledge with Republican Senator Pat Toomey, a super-committee member, Schieffer later also hit a Democratic Senator, Joe Manchin, from the left on taxes: “Would you be willing to raise taxes if that’s what it takes to get our financial footing?” Manchin: “You don't need to raise taxes.”)
Tea Party beat reporter Kate Zernike was back on the reporting scene in a Thursday afternoon “Caucus” post, “A Tea Party ‘Hearing’ in the Senate That Wasn’t.” Zernike surely used up her monthly quota of sarcastic quote marks in this snarky post mocking the unofficial hearings (sorry, “hearings”) held by congressmen who support the Tea Party.
By contrast, Times reporter Scott Shane was quite respectful of an unofficial hearing held on June 16, 2005 by a far-left anti-war fringe aimed at impeaching President George W. Bush.
Before being tapped to be one of the moderators at CNBC's upcoming Republican presidential debate, John Harwood was ranting against the GOP for causing the summer debt crisis. Appearing on NBC's Today in July, Harwood warned: "...the House Republican caucus...would not accept what President Obama needed to make a deal...It's crazy politics, what they're doing..."
When the U.S. later lost its AAA credit rating in August, Harwood again appeared on Today to proclaim that the downgrade had provided President Obama with "a tangible consequence to point to for Republican brinksmanship on the debt and deficit reduction deal.”
While Bob Schieffer spent a goodly amount of time on Sunday's Face the Nation discussing the allegations made against Herman Cain this week as well as Rick Perry's strange speech in New Hampshire, Liz Cheney was the voice of reason asking why he was wasting so much time on these irrelevant issues.
"With all due respect, you know, the American people are out there afraid. They're afraid that the economy is going off a cliff...I think that that's what we ought to be talking about" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The European Union might completely fall apart any day now as the countries in that region implode under their massive debt.
Despite this, CNN's Fareed Zakaria offered another America-hating love letter to the struggling continent Sunday actually claiming, "The American dream seems to be thriving in Europe not at home" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
America's richest man isn't going to make President Obama, the folks in the Occupy Wall Street movement, or their respective supporters in the media happy.
Appearing on ABC's This Week Sunday, Bill Gates laughed when asked about the Buffett Rule saying, "You can't raise the taxes we need just by going after that one percent...to really deal with the deficit gap we're talking about, that alone just numerically is not going to be enough" (video follows with transcript):
There was a truly marvelous exchange between syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer and NPR's Nina Totenberg on Friday's "Inside Washington."
When Krauthammer pressed her on why President Obama didn't embrace the Bowles-Simpson plan to reduce the budget deficit, Totenberg replied, "Don’t make me the spokesman for the White House," leading him to deliciously ask, "What would be new about that?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):