Christina Romer, the former chair of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers on Friday offered a rather strong opinion concerning the announcement by Standard & Poor's that the credit rating agency downgraded America's debt to AA+.
Appearing on HBO's "Real Time," Romer said we're "pretty darn f--ked" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As has been expected, despite the recently reached debt deal, America's debt got downgraded tonight by credit ratings agency Standard and Poor's.
In an analysis posted on its website, S&P explicitly stated that it "takes no position on the mix of spending and revenue measures," however that is a fact that will likely be glossed over by the self-described mainstream media.
There is much more in the analysis, but since you won't likely see this info in the big media outlets, I am reproducing portions of the report which repeatedly mention excessive spending as a problem:
For the second week in a row, Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson got a much-needed education from Charles Krauthammer on PBS's "Inside Washington."
After Carlson gave the typical Keynesian response to Friday's unemployment report - "We’re cutting spending at a time when we should be adding spending to stimulate the economy and jobs" - Krauthammer without skipping a beat quipped, "The way it worked in ’09 and in ’10" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
While the liberal media scoffed at George W. Bush's "compassionate conservatism" in 1999 and 2000 as gimmicky and insufficient compared to traditional big government social welfare spending binges, they're starting to miss it now.
We are engaged in a long war — actually two long wars. The first and most commonly accepted of our wars is the long war against Islamofascists. It is not a war against vast armies. Comparatively speaking, it is just a war against a handful of thugs, but they want to strike at our heart, wherever we are ill-prepared, and if they can they will cause incalculable destruction. This we discovered on September 11, 2001. We are on the hem of wiping al-Qaeda out, but there are other thugs waiting. We must be vigilant against them. It will be a long war.
The second long war is at home on budgetary matters. That both the left and the right are in a fury about an early battle in that war, the debt-ceiling battle, suggests just how long that war will be. We have little consensus on this war. Yet a war it is, and a very long war I fear it will be. It is a war to balance the budget, putting the economy on a sustainable course, ensuring growth and jobs. It is a war to get the country back to a federal budget that accounts for 20 percent of GDP rather than the 25 percent of GDP that President Obama has snatched from us while we were not looking.
The New York Times on Friday downplayed results in its own poll that found 44 percent of respondents think the cuts in the debt deal didn't go far enough, versus only 15 percent who said "too far." In an article starting on the front page, writers Michael Cooper and Megan Thee-Brenan didn't mention this fact until the ninth paragraph of page A-14.
Last week, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said conservative views about the debt ceiling should be censored from news reports.
On Friday's "Morning Joe," Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) took this a step further calling on media to stop giving "equal time or equal balance" to Tea Party ideas that people like him consider "absurd" and "not factual" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Running through the findings of a new CBS News/New York Times poll, on Thursday’s CBS Evening News Chip Reid highlighted how, after weeks of media hostility the Tea Party has lost popularity, as he also located people to illustrate how more wanted, and still want, taxes raised over spending cuts alone.
Reid ignored, however, how far more – Republicans, independents, and even Democrats – believe the spending cuts “didn’t go far enough” over “went too far.”
According to the website Politico, Vice President Joe Biden agreed "with a line of argument made by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) at a two-hour, closed-door Democratic Caucus meeting" that congressional tea party members "acted like terrorists" in the way they stood against attempts to raise taxes and force spending reductions as part of the debt-ceiling deal.
Biden denied making the comparison. Given the heated rhetoric behind and in front of the scenes, the use of such a phrase, particularly in light of Biden's known salty language, has credibility.
CNBC's Ron Insana asserted on today's "Andrea Mitchell Reports" that the United States does not have a debt problem. "We need more stimulus. We have a growth crisis in this country, not a deficit crisis," argued Insana. He also insisted that Europe, which also has debt problems, should not pursue austerity measures. "I think people might be looking at Europe and saying listen, they need austerity. They don't need austerity either," said Insana.
Good Morning America's Jon Karl on Thursday placed the blame for a partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration on House Republicans, ignoring the role Senate Democrats have played.
4000 thousand FAA workers have been furloughed, construction projects have been stopped, but Karl complained, "What's the hold up? Republicans are insisting on cuts to a program that subsidizes flights to small rural airports."
The media attacks on the Tea Party are becoming truly deplorable.
On Wednesday, MSNBC's Martin Bashir actually brought on an addiction specialist to analyze the nation's most powerful conservative movement, and his opinions were nothing less than vile (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The debt deal, if it sticks, is a triumph for the bipartisan, status quo-clinging Washington establishment. Here is a prediction: Between now and January 2013, total actual spending cuts will be minimal. That will result from the following: (1) The $900 billion deficit reduction is almost all back-loaded to the years beyond 2012. (2) The select committee created by the budget deal will fail to pass a "second tranche" deficit-cut package of an additional $1.5 trillion. (3) The "trigger" will be pulled that will identify an additional $1.2 trillion. (4) The pulled trigger won't require any more deficit reductions to go into effect until 2013, when a new Congress and either a new president or a re-elected President Obama will be able to re-decide (or repeal) all these decisions. That president will also have to decide what to do with the expiring Bush tax cuts, which if extended would be scored to increase deficit by $3.5 trillion over ten years. (5) The debt ceiling will not need to be raised until 2013.
Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer blamed the debt ceiling standoff for stocks falling on Wall Street: "All people can talk about is the whole slow down that Washington triggered, the 'manufactured crisis,' as the President mentioned..." Co-host Ann Curry wondered: "To what degree did the spending cuts called for in this bill have an influence in this perception?"
Cramer argued: "We've seen a trillion dollars lost in the stock market. Much of it is associated with companies that were doing well because of government – some people call it hand outs, I would say spending – and I think that, that is a huge part of the decline." Curry touted an over-the-top prediction: "One advocacy group, the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute, says the economy could lose 1.8 million jobs in the next year due to the cuts in this deal."
In June, the Treasury Department announced that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was considering resigning once the debt crisis was averted. With the debt limit deal passed yesterday, the speculation of his departure date is once again making the airwaves.
Leaving now would allow Geithner to leave on a much better note than he could have, but could also create a vacancy in an important cabinet position in an already weak economy. Do you think now is the best time for Geithner to resign? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Joe Scarborough on Wednesday railed about House Republicans that opposed Monday's debt ceiling agreement.
Although he agreed the final package "when it comes to actual debt savings [was] a real nothing-burger," the host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" said GOPers that voted "No" are "going to have to understand if they’re going to stay in the majority they’re going to have act more responsibly than that" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Framing a shortcoming in the debt deal as a liberal would and does, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley on Tuesday night regretted the how “the last time the President and the Congress compromised on a major spending bill, Republicans got tax cuts and Mr. Obama won an extension of unemployment benefits,” but this time “there are only budget cuts and no relief for those suffering in this economy.”
If the economy stagnates or falters in the coming months, it seems a metaphysical certitude Obama-loving media will do everything in their power to blame it on Tuesday's debt ceiling agreement rather than any of the other factors already in play.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews gave us a foreshadowing of such deception on "Hardball" when he blamed Tuesday's stock market collapse on the newly-signed legislation rather than the bad economic data announced in the morning (video follows with transcript and commentary):
You can tell the liberals are really sweating the politics of the debt-limit talks when NBC puts on a special “Dateline NBC” devoted to politics. This is normally a time slot devoted to “news” topics like Casey Anthony or Lindsey Lohan. But last week, viewers were “treated” to anchorman Brian Williams actually covering a real news topic. It’s just too bad he forgot he was supposed to be a reporter, not an editorialist, spinning furiously against conservatives trying to rein in Obama’s incredibly reckless flood of new spending.
The last time Brian Williams showed up in prime time for a splashy special on public policy was an enormous tribute to the new president, Barack Obama -- making a run for hamburgers with him, hailing how he displayed apples everywhere, and bowing to him and wishing him a pleasant evening after NBC chronicled his glorious day of saving America from recession. You know, just like Williams treated Bush.
Chris Matthews doesn't seem to be running out of violent imagery to use in his smears against the Republican Party. On Tuesday, the Hardball host bombarded the GOP, comparing them to "muggers" who assaulted Barack Obama during the debt limit standoff.
Explaining his current metaphor, Matthews slammed, "What we saw, what I saw at least, was one guy with a knife and the other trying to avoid being cut. It was a thug attacking a victim. It was a mugging." He acidly added, "Now, the good news...is that the victim did get through it."
As the debt ceiling “compromise” progressed on August 1, NPR revealed its slant against the bill in interviews with Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
But it was the phrasing of one particular question during Dreier’s interview that prompted more than 20 listener complaints that called it “hostile, “rude” and proof of “liberal bias,” according to the response by NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos. Schumacher-Matos described the question as “a virtual sucker punch.” (Listen to the interview here)
The “leading question” (by NPR’s own admission) Steve Inskeep had asked Dreier was, “Given that your speaker, in his words, said months ago that it would be a serious problem not to raise the debt ceiling, why did House Republicans spend this summer threatening to torpedo the economy by defaulting?”
CBS's Norah O'Donnell played the role of a clairvoyant on Tuesday's Early Show as she hinted that President Obama's reelection is assured in 2012. Anchor Erica Hill asked O'Donnell how the White House viewed the debt ceiling bill. She replied, "I think they feel like this was... not necessarily a victory for the President. He did get an extension of this debt ceiling through 2012 and through his reelection" [video clips available here; audio can be downloaded here].
Hill brought on the new CBS News White House correspondent, as well as Nancy Cordes, their congressional correspondent, to discuss the return of Rep. Gabby Giffords to the floor of the House of Representatives on Monday and their passage of the compromise debt ceiling legislation. Towards the end of the segment, after she and O'Donnell laughed it up about Vice President Biden's crack about Giffords being part of the "cracked heads club," the anchor asked her question about the White House's take on the bill. Her colleague replied with her off-the-cuff prediction:
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough on Tuesday mourned the "absolutely dreadful" behavior of journalists and politicians who have compared Tea Party Republicans to "terrorists," among other things. But as NewsBusters previously reported, the "Morning Joe" co-host repeatedly ignored such transgressions when they occurred on his own show.
On Morning Joe's coverage of the debt ceiling deal, Joe Scarborough trivialized potential defense cuts by joking that the money is needed to repel extraterrestrial invasion. "I understand why some neocons are very upset because the Martians could invade any time, and so do we need to have a bigger defense budget than every other country on the planet, because when the Martians do come, we want to make sure we that have our radar gun technology ready," said Scarborough.
On Monday, Politico reported that "several sources" in a private meeting of House Democrats confirmed that Vice President Joe Biden accused Tea Party Republicans of having "acted like terrorists." CBS and ABC completely punted the story on their evening and morning newscasts. NBC made mention of the controversy, but only to further Biden's denial of having made the comment.
CBS's omission was particularly stunning given that Evening News anchor Scott Pelley interviewed the Vice President on Monday. Politico noted that Pelley actually did ask about the 'terrorist' remark: "'I did not use the terrorism word,' Biden told CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley." However, Pelley's question and Biden's denial were completely scrubbed from the portion of the interview aired on Monday's Evening News or Tuesday's Early Show.
One of the most striking facts about the course of the Obama presidency so far is that Obama has no constructive solutions for anything, which is one reason he campaigned on vague promises. It's why he established bogus metrics, such as "saved or created jobs."
It's also why he's always pointing the finger of blame on others for his policy failures. Everyone knows by now that Obama's reckless and corrupt stimulus package failed to restrain unemployment as he had promised and that instead of accepting responsibility for it, he blamed Bush.