Still stinging from the large number of primary debates that often changed the momentum from one Republican candidate to another during the 2012 presidential contest and liberal moderators who all asked questions that favored Democratic incumbent Barack Obama over GOP candidate Mitt Romney, Republican officials are “quietly advancing a new batch of rules aimed at streamlining” what they call a chaotic nominating process.
Those claims are taken from an article written by CNN's Peter Hamby, who stated he received information from “multiple GOP sources” that “handpicked members of the Republican National Committee” have been working with party chairman Reince Priebus in Washington, D.C., since August to sanction “a small handful of debates” in which party officials will have “a heavy appetite” for a much stronger say over who will moderate any encounters of presidential candidates.
Well, it's not perfect, but it's a start — and it's certainly a far cry from what President Obama is now willing to admit.
In his report Tuesday on the congressional hearing for John Koskinen, Obama's nominee to be the next IRS Commissioner, Stephen Ohlemacher of the Associated Press wrote that Koskinen "told senators Tuesday he will work to restore public trust in the agency in the wake of the tea party scandal even as the IRS takes on new responsibilities administering the president's health care law." That's a remarkable admission, given that the word "scandal" does not appear in Koskinen's prepared remarks, and of course given that Obama's current opinion of what is better described as the "IRS conservative targeting scandal" is that it isn't one ("they’ve got a list, and suddenly everybody’s outraged"). As nice as it is that he used the "S-word," Ohlemacher's dispatch still contained serious oversights, including his failure to cite the change in Obama's public stance since May and his contention that no one outside the IRS knew of its targeting efforts until then.
Once again, the folks at MSNBC have whitewashed the bloody history of a Communist dictator in order to provide political cover for President Obama. Following video of President Obama shaking hands with Cuban dictator Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela’s funeral, the folks at the Lean Forward network jumped to President Obama’s defense.
Appearing on his daily MSNBC show on December 11, host Thomas Roberts mocked the controversy over the handshake while calling Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) decision to walk out during Raul Castro’s speech a “a stunt to make some attention and some news about himself." Cruz, is the son of a Cuban immigrant and doubtless found the notion of Raul Castro speaking deeply offensive.
After Brian Williams touted President Obama's handshake with Cuban dictator Raul Castro as "one of the better moments" at Tuesday's memorial service for Nelson Mandela, correspondent Lester Holt went further on Wednesday's NBC Today, hailing the encounter as "a true Mandela moment." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
A sound bite followed of Democratic Congressman John Lewis gushing: "It's the power of Nelson Mandela to bring President Barack Obama together and Raul Castro together here in South Africa." Prior to Williams on Tuesday, Holt had similarly declared that "the measure of Mandela [was] so great" that "America's presidents shared a stage" with Castro.
The New York Times is including all the Happy Talk That’s Fit to Print. Their latest poll came with the headline “Obama Sees a Rebound In His Approval Rating.” One might think it’s getting close to 50 percent.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Allison Kopicki wrote, “President Obama’s approval ratings, which hit his all-time low last month, have returned to where they were before the rollout of the health care law’s enrollment process.” Talk about your faint praise: Obama’s back up to 42 percent, compared to 43 percent in September....where it was right before the 2010 midterm elections.
ABC's Good Morning America provided the most positive spin it could from new Obama approval numbers, declaring that "he has stopped the free-fall" and reporting only the two least negative disapproval ratings for the President.
"And meanwhile, the President getting some new polls out this morning that show he may have stopped the bleeding from that botched rollout of the ObamaCare website," reported co-host George Stephanopoulos. ABC failed to mention Obama's 50 percent disapproval, just vaguely noting "his disapproval rating still higher than his approval rating."
Jay Leno took another shot at the President Tuesday night.
Early in his opening monologue, the NBC Tonight Show host commented about Kanye West wanting to be the Obama of clothing saying, “To achieve his goal, he's designing fashion nobody wants and offering it on a website that doesn't work” (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
The most defining moment of how MSNBC sees President Obama came when Chris Matthews sounded giddy the night before his interview with the president. “I got the Christmas eve excitement brewing right here at Hardball because tomorrow night at precisely this time...the President of the United States is going to join us."
This means that to Matthews, Obama is either the Christmas gift he’s always wanted, or he’s still the messiah figure to die-hards at MSNBC. Either way, this should not be seen as an interview that counts in anyone’s book as a press interview holding the president accountable.
Alan Gross, political prisoner. Those were four words missing from Emma Margolin's December 10 MSNBC.com story hailing the handshake between President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro earlier today at Nelson Mandela's memorial service in Soweto, South Africa. Gross, a State Department contractor, has been languishing in a Cuban prison for five years.
There was a reference to "genocide" in the story, but that was from a quote from a Cuban official railing against the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba (emphasis mine):
On CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Sunday, new host Brian Stelter turned to President Obama the press critic. At the end of his cakewalk “Hardball” interview last week, Obama called out the media for being divisive. “The American people are good and they are decent. And yes, we get very divided partly because our politics and our media specifically tries to divide them and splinter them.”
Stelter asked a decent question about whether that was an odd statement to make on divisive MSNBC. NPR television critic Eric Deggans shot that down, insisting MSNBC was a “great place” to attack cable news and plugged his book "Race Baiter" on the subject:
Tuesday's CBS This Morning swooned over President Obama's appearance at Nelson Mandela's memorial, hailing his "remarkable" speech as "the rhetorical and even emotional high point of this day."
Correspondent Bill Whitaker was particularly star-struck with the President's performance. "The crowd here sees him as a kind of hero. He has said that Nelson Mandela is a hero of his, but people here see some similarities between the two," he insisted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
To do so, she reinvented what it is to be "rich" or "affluent." It apparently has nothing to do with how it is normally defined, i.e., based on current net worth (assets owned minus debts owed). Ms. Yen's and AP's yearning is apparently to base it on whether you're in a household which has had annual earnings above $250,000 — ever. Really. The purpose of the piece appears to be to go after this segment of the population, such as it is, because they aren't knee-jerk supporters of limitless government spending, and won't spend money on consumption to improve the economy like Keynesians think they're supposed to. Be on the lookout for a clearly misused word (HT to emailer Alfred Lemire; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Reporting from South Africa on Tuesday's NBC Today about the memorial ceremony for Nelson Mandela, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams noted how the "dignitary section has some criminals, some thieves, some kings, some presidents" and that "Several have been life-long sworn enemies." He then proclaimed that President Obama's "handshake with [Cuban leader] Raul Castro was one of the better moments." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Williams gushed that oppressive dictators sitting side by side with democratically elected leaders of the free world was somehow part of Mandela's legacy: "What would Nelson Mandela say to all of them and say to all of this? Most of the speakers have urged the crowd, 'Go on, behave like him, live like him, be infused with his spirit going forward and maybe we could get some place.'"
As NewsBusters has been reporting, NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno has been very critical of the current White House resident in recent months.
Possibly his harshest joke yet came Monday when he said, "I tell you, this winter storm has left thousands without electricity. It's as if President Obama had taken over the power companies" (video follows with commentary):
This month, the Boston Globe and the New York Times have published items on the growth of homelessness in the state of Massachusetts and New York City, respectively. Based on the content of each, it's clear that the topic was ripe for coverage in 2012, but received little if any. I wonder why? (/sarcasm)
The Globe's regular-length news story by Megan Woolhouse and David Abel cited the state's "record numbers of homeless families" as "another example of an uneven recovery" from a recession which officially ended almost 4-1/2 years ago. The Times published the first of what will ultimately five parts on the plight of one homeless family, with special emphasis on Dasani, their 11 year-old daughter. The Globe cites "federal budget cuts" and "a legacy of the Great Recession" as negative factors. The Times's Andrea Elliott needlessly marred her otherwise compelling profile by hyping newly elected Mayor Bill de Blasio while taking swipes at "the wealthy" and "Reagan-era cutbacks," as excerpts after the jump will demonstrate (bolds and italicized comments are mine):
As a reminder, the Washington Post's Ezra Klein was the founder of the secretive JournoList group late last decade. Their objective was to put left-wing writers, perhaps with input from the Democratic Party itself and certain of its candidates for national office, on the same page in their coverage of the news.
That's useful to know, as on Saturday Klein published a column which might as well have been called "Obama administration talking points meant to convince readers that the President's 'If you like your health insurance plan, you can keep your health insurance plan, PERIOD' promise really wasn't that important" (Alternative title: "As the Goalposts Move"). Almost four weeks after Barack Obama owned up to the fact that his guarantee wasn't true for millions of private individual health insurance policyholders (he has yet to acknowledge the current impact on certain small employer group plans or the impending impact on large employer-sponsored plans), and given the fact that his broken guarantee is already an established fact in the historical record — no less than the Associated Press acknowledged this on September 30 — Klein's topic choice is odd indeed. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):
If you were bestowed the honor to perform at a presidential inauguration, wouldn't you want your parents in attendance regardless of their political beliefs?
Pop diva Katy Perry doesn't think so, for she told Marie Claire in an interview published Monday that because her parents are Republicans that didn't vote for Barack Obama, they couldn't watch her perform at his inauguration in January:
The folks at MSNBC are so comfortable at this point repeating White House talking points they don’t even try to hide it.
On MSNBC Live Monday, substitute host Brian Shactman, after reading administration propaganda about ObamaCare, asked a Democratic Congresswoman – who is also a member of the White House strike team pushing said propaganda – “What are we doing to get that message out there a little more?” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC’s Alex Witt just can’t get enough of President Obama. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, the host latched onto the president’s comment, made during his interview with Chris Matthews last Thursday, that a president’s job is to “push the boulder up the hill a little bit before somebody else pushes it up a little further.”
After playing a clip of that statement, Witt couldn’t hide her glee. Addressing Patricia Murphy of Citizen Jane Politics, Witt exclaimed, “What a great part of that conversation. Have you, Patricia, ever heard such an honest, contemporaneous assessment of the presidency like this before while in the presidency?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, host David Gregory used the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela to lecture American politicians: "Mandela refused to be consumed by hatred and insisted on working toward a common purpose with his political foes. That, seems to me, is what is missing from this era of argument in Washington." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
However, Gregory portrayed President Obama as the victim of such polarization, rather than one of its instigators: "The election of our 44th president was similarly an example of how countries can overcome their past....Yet, President Obama has struggled since he made history. He still aspires to achieve political consensus on some of the country's most pressing challenges."
On Friday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC's Karen Finney accused Republicans of practicing their own form of "apartheid" by "separating people and dividing people" as she and host Al Sharpton discussed comments some right-leaning public figures have made in the aftermath of Nelson Mandela's passing.
Referring to former Senator Rick Santorum comparing Mandela fighting against the oppresssion of apartheid to conservatives fighting against ObamaCare, Finney asserted: [See video below.]
Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace was not in the mood to put up with Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel's standard-issue leftist guff on Sunday. Last night, I noted that the pressed Emanuel until he forced a "yes" out of him to a simple question: "Didn't he (President Obama) say, 'If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.'" That move brought out Emanuel's ridiculous contention that what Obama somehow really meant was, "If you want to pay more for an insurance company that covers your doctor, you can do that. This is a matter of choice." Everyone but you and a few deluded leftists know that isn't so, Zeke.
A good example of Wallace standing up to what amounted to a bullying attempt by Emanuel, followed by a couple of other howlers delivered by Zeke the Bleak, are after the jump.
On Friday's edition of The Diane Rehm Show that's broadcast on many NPR stations from Washington, the host mangled her presidential history, but her guests and producers all humored her, like you might humor a nice lady who's 77. No one suggested a gold watch and an open space for a younger NPR liberal behind the mic.
As Rehm and a crew of reporters aerobically compared Barack Obama to Nelson Mandela, Rehm claimed Reagan was president in 1979 when she first took the microphone at WAMU-FM in Washington and he didn't want the U.S. involved in any anti-apartheid activities (video below):
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan made some rather ominous economic observations Sunday.
Appearing on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, Greenspan said, “[T]he level of uncertainty about the very long-term future is far greater than at any time I particularly remember.” He blamed it on “government intervention [that] has been so horrendous that businesses cannot basically decide what to do about the future” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
So it's come to this. During the past week, the Associated Press reported today, "Federal health officials," meaning "the Obama administration," began "urging" (i.e., "telling") counselors and navigators around the country to stop using paper applications for Obamacare coverage, "because of concerns those applications would not be processed in time." It seems that either Team Obama or AP (my money is on AP) doesn't mind risking criticism for waiting to let this news out until a weather- and sports-dominated Saturday. It's apparently okay to keep those who don't know any better, i.e., those who went to the trouble of printing a paper app on their own, in the dark.
So you shouldn't use paper. But the vastly under-reported but inarguable fact is that HealthCare.gov isn't secure; experienced IT security experts strongly warn against using it. So consumers shouldn't be going online either, meaning that there's no defensible way to apply for coverage before the end of the year. Of course, the Associated Press's Kelli Kennedy didn't tell readers that (no form of the word "security" is in her late Saturday morning story), just as she and Time Magazine's web site failed to do earlier this week (bolds are mine):
Mark Levin laid into Chris Matthews on his national radio show Friday night over the MSNBC host oozing on Now with Alex Wagner that South African F.W. deKlerk was more patriotic than Republicans because he "had treated Nelson Mandela so different than the way Mitch McConnell handled the election of Obama." Sharpton hailed the wisdom of Al Sharpton for saying the wisest thing in five years.
"The big dummy hasn’t heard something as smart in five years as something that came out of Reverend Al Sharpton’s mouth," shot back Levin. "Does that show you what a moron he is?" Levin couldn't stand the way media figures are trying to compare Obama to Mandela and the Republicans to apartheid-era racists:
The media's determination to pin anything negative on Texas Senator Ted Cruz apparently knows no bounds.
Even as the establishment press, with Politico's Reid Epstein being one of the more recent examples, attempts to give President Obama the Mother of All Free Passes for the disastrous rollouts of HealthCare.gov and Obamacare in general, Cruz, currently perceived as a strong 2016 presidential prospect, somehow deserves to be associated with comments left at his Facebook post on Nelson Mandela's death. At least that's what Anneta Konstantinides at ABC's "The Note" seems to want readers to believe; otherwise, why would she engage in the effort at all? Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine; HT Twitchy):
The ongoing effort to insulate President Barack Obama from the negative consequences of his "signature achievement," not only with the HealthCare.gov web site but also his false "If you like your plan-doctor-provider, you can keep your plan-doctor-provider" guarantees, is a sickening sight to behold.
Reid Epstein at the Politico contributed one small chapter in that exercise. He decided to "report" on the portion of the President's interview with MSNBC sycophant Chris Matthews (some related NewsBusters posts are here, here, and here) concerning whether Obama's "management style" contributed to "problems with the Obamacare rollout." The predictable answers: Of course not, he doesn't need to change anything, and there's no reason why a reporter should even be the least bit skeptical. Oh, and it's really all Congress's fault (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer had some harsh words for Barack Obama Friday.
Appearing on Fox News’s Special Report, Krauthammer said, “It's as if this guy discovers everything late, as if he wandered into the White House on a White House tour and discovered himself in the Oval Office as president.”