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):
On Tuesday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted an email I received from Obama For America -- I forgot to mention the subject line, which was "In honor of the GOP" -- that encouraged readers to give $3 or more to Barack Obama's reelection campaign and become entered to win dinner with the president and his wife. The email also promised donors that OFA would taunt (my word) a Republican acquaintance on their behalf with the fact that they just gave if they provided an email address to which to send the taunt. As will be shown later, establishment press coverage of this uniquely odious twist in campaign financing and conduct has been virtually non-existent.
In his commentary on the Obama campaign's childishness, the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto revealed that he had been forwarded a related OFA email targeting Facebook and Twitter users with another intensely annoying nuance. It reads as follows (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Late Friday afternoon, Todd Shields at Bloomberg News broke a story about some guy, who happens to be an Obama and Democratic Party donor (but not disclosed), against whom the Securities and Exchange Commission is formally considering an enforcement action (also not disclosed, though it was noted at the New York Times's Dealbook Blog five hours before Shields's report), whose "wireless service caused interference to 75 percent of global-positioning system receivers examined in a U.S. government test." Though it generated a fair amount of center-right blog discussion over the weekend, the establishment press largely ignored the stunning result.
Earlier this evening, Shields and Alan Levin reported even more troubling info (as carried at the San Francisco Chronicle; bolds are mine throughout this post):
This one definitely does not go into the "how to persuade people that your cause is right" file.
Obama For America's latest attempt to beg people to contribute $3 to enter a drawing for a dinner with POTUS and FLOTUS has a pathetic, insufferable, punkish and privacy-invading twist, wherein you get the opportunity to tell a Republican acquaintance that you just gave money to the Obama campaign.
In Hawaii today, according to an Associated Press dispatch filed by Ben Feller, President Barack Obama is reported to have told supporters that, in Feller's words, "everything they worked for and that the country stands for is on the line in his 2012 re-election bid."
Well, if what those donors have "worked" for is an inside track to government money, and if what the country stands for is crony capitalism, the President is right. The following excerpt from Peter Schweizer's new book, "Throw The All Out," provides the details in just one commercial arena (via The Daily Beast; HTs to Doug Ross, Conservatives4Palin, Victory Chronicles, and Heritage; bolds are mine; extra paragraph breaks added by me):
How vile is Mike Papantonio? For the second time in three days the trial lawyer-cum-radio host has actually made Ed Schultz look relatively reasonable.
Interviewed by Schultz on his MSNBC show this evening, Papantonio claimed that the Koch brothers had "purchased" Herman Cain in order to be able to "kill more people" with toxins. Video after the jump.
Consider this post the print and online follow-up to the report early Tuesday evening by Matthew Balan at NewsBusters on the failure of the Big Three TV networks to note the Democratic Party/Obama fundraising affiliation of former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, whose now-bankrupt MF Global financial firm has apparently admitted to diverting client money in a futile attempt to battle its financial free-fall.
Balan found that the Big Three's morning shows "omitted the party affiliation of Jon Corzine as they reported on the federal investigation into his brokerage firm," and that ABC didn't even mention Corzine's name. This is not surprising, as the wire services which provide much of the raw material for these shows for the most part similarly failed, and have continued to do so. A rundown of much of what the wires have produced, along with a look at several New York Times items, follows the jump:
On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer noted Herman Cain leading the Republican presidential field but wondered: "is he really aiming for the Oval Office or something else?" In the report that followed, correspondent Michael Isikoff proclaimed: "Herman Cain is facing new questions about whether he is profiting from his own campaign."
Isikoff reported: "Cain's campaign committee has used $100,000, collected from donors, to pay Cain's own company for thousands of these booklets written and self-published by Cain. That means profits for Cain himself and could run afoul of campaign laws, say watchdog groups." A sound bite was played of Craig Holman from the left-wing group Public Citizen declaring: "This has every appearance that Herman Cain is running for president largely to sell books and enrich his own company."
The Associated Press's seeming effort to go after every candidate except the guy who used to be governor of Massachusetts -- and imposed CO2 emission caps when he was -- went a different route tonight with a report by the wire service's Ryan J. Foley that Herman Cain, a believer in liberty and free-market capitalism, "has close ties" with the Koch brothers, who believe in liberty and free-market capitalism.
Knock me over with a feather. Here are several paragraphs from Foley's report (bolds are mine):
Politico's "Daily Digest" is an email the blog blasts out in the morning, touting the day's top stories. As a subscriber, this NewsBuster was struck by the left-friendly lean of five out this morning's six featured stories.
To be sure, "Post-recession income falls" is not good for President Obama, reporting as it does that Americans' incomes have fallen faster during his presidency than they did even in the depths of the recession. But every other story would surely be welcome at the White House. Here are the stories, in the order they appear in the email:
On the Chicago Tribune's Web site today appears Breaking News with the headline "Corruption sentencing delayed for Rezko, fundraiser for Blagojevich." Tony Rezko, convicted on corruption charges, did indeed raise money for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-IL). More significantly, however, he also raised many dollars for President Barack Obama in Obama's earlier political contests.
Trying to put his past with Antoin "Tony" Rezko behind him, presidential candidate Barack Obama on Friday said he never thought the now indicted Chicago businessman would try to take advantage of him because his old friend had never asked for a political favor.
But in a 90-minute interview with Tribune reporters and editors, Obama disclosed that Rezko had raised more for Obama's earlier political campaigns than previously known, gathering as much as $250,000 for the first three offices he sought.
So I figure that I need to catch up on the LightSquared saga. This is the company which, as Fox News reported on Thursday (the URL date is September 15, though the time stamp is the next day) is building "a nationwide, next-generation, 4G phone network."
The problem is, as Fox further noted, that there are concerns that "many, including (General William) Shelton, think (the network) would seriously hinder the effectiveness of high-precision GPS receiver systems, a product used most commonly by the United States military." Shelton told a congresspersons "in a classified briefing earlier this month" that he was asked by the Obama administration to change (but apparently didn't) his testimony about said dangers.
So I went to the Associated Press's main page at 9:50 this evening, did a search on the company's name, and got back the following:
Part 1 on the Associated Press's September 16 evening story ("Obama admin reworked Solyndra loan to favor donor"; saved here at my web host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) by Matthew Daly and Jack Gillum criticized the reporters and the wire service for making it appear as if all the findings in the story were the result of original work.
Two other paragraphs in the report in my opinion represent a blatant but clumsy attempt to give the impression that the bankruptcy of a major beneficiary of Department of Energy stimulus-driven loans was a bipartisan fiasco:
The public learned on September 3 from William McQuillen at Bloomberg (possibly earlier elsewhere) that now-bankrupt Soyndra's private investors restructured the company's finances in January by lending the company "$75 million." As a condition of doing so, they convinced the government to give the new loan senior status over all other creditors. Now taxpayers face a likely loss of hundreds of millions in Department of Energy loans, perhaps over $500 million.
But if you haven't stayed with or are unfamiliar with the story and read the Associated Press report this evening by Matthew Daly and Jack Gillum, you would think that the wire service did all of the dirty work to learn these things (credit-hogging language in bold):
The California solar company, Solyndra, heralded by the Obama administration as a prime example of how the Recovery Act created new jobs while promoting his vision of renewable energy, is closing their doors. Just over a year ago, Obama himself spoke at the facility, praising it as “a testament to American ingenuity and dynamism.” Once a beacon of solar light in the progressive green jobs agenda, Solyndra had received a $535 million federal loan with the help of newly minted energy secretary, Steven Chu, only to find themselves staring down bankruptcy and the release of more than 1,100 workers.
Lying within that massive federal loan was a number of sub-awards to other vendors, 40 payments of which were greater than $25,000 each. The largest sub-award went to another administration favorite, CH2M Hill, to the tune of $9.6 million for their construction engineering services. The company is a $6.3 billion consulting, engineering, and construction firm, and shares some similarities to the failed Solyndra. In fact, CH2M used the nearly $10 million sub-award to design Solyndra’s solar manufacturing plant in Fremont, California. Besides that amount, CH2M is also a major beneficiary of the stimulus, having been awarded four of the top ten contracts from stimulus funding last summer - to the tune of $1.2 billion. As of this April, the company boasts of $1.6 billion in contracts from the Recovery Act.
Linda Greenhouse, former Supreme Court reporter for the New York Times, posted her twice-monthly column Wednesday evening, on the dangers of today’s conservative Supreme Court going “Over the Cliff” in defending...the right to free speech. You read that correctly: A liberal Times reporter is faulting a conservative Supreme Court for being on a "dangerous path" and showing "arid absolutism" by expanding the First Amendment's protections to corporations.
Greenhouse jump-started the discussion with a rarely-cited 1978 Court decision, First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti:
Yo, Rev Al: thanks to Al Gore, we've got the internets. We can look things up. So when, on your MSNBC show this evening, you ripped Republican Paul Ryan for holding a $15-a-head fundraiser, of course we're going to check out how much President Obama pulled in per head at a recent do. Turns out it was . . . $38,500! So what's your point?
On the August 15 "Dylan Ratigan Show," MSNBC anchor Dylan Ratigan and the Washington Examiner's Tim Carney sparred over the extent to which Big Labor impacts the political process relative to other industries.
Ratigan, who has made a career out of bemoaning the influence that the energy, banking, health care, defense, telecom, and agriculture sectors exert on politics, omitted organized labor from his exhaustive (exhausting?) list. After Carney pointed out that labor unions collectively direct more campaign contributions to political candidates than any other industry in the country, Ratigan sternly corrected him: "That's not right. You can't invent facts...that's a great distortion of facts to make it look like labor controls the government."
It's no secret that most campaigns are heavily funded by big checks from lobbyists, PACs, and rich donors, but President Obama's campaign team is turning away from that assertion, instead showcasing the claim that it is 98-percent-funded by grassroots support. Jim Messina, Obama's campaign manager, said "we did this from the bottom up," pushing the idea that the $86 million fundraising figure released on Wednesday was fueled almost entirely by grassroots organizers.
While 98 percent of the checks may have come from grassroots donors, it doesn't mean that 98 percent of the money did. Many media outlets are taking the bait and are ignoring the two percent of donors whose contributions may turn out to be a far greater portion of Obama's campaign funds than Messina is making them out to be.
For comparison, eight years ago when then-President George W. Bush was ramping up for his re-election campaign, the media magnified a small fraction of extremely wealthy donors to be the image of his campaign.
The Federal Election Commission, which serves to govern the financing of federal elections, ended its second quarter for presidential fundraising on June 30. Of the Republican candidates who released their numbers, former Gov. Mitt Romney led the Republican presidential hopefuls with $18.3 million, trailed by Rep. Ron Paul with $4.5 million, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty with $4.2 million, and former ambassador and Gov. Jon Huntsman with $4.1 million. Earlier this morning, Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina previewed President Barack Obama's fundraising numbers and placed his fundraising sum at $86 million, far overshadowing any of his GOP competitors.
While the number appears ominous to his rivals, it isn't as staggering as it seems, and might even place Obama behind the mark of where he hopes to be. As National Review's Jim Geraghty explains, Obama's fundraising is actually behind his 2008 pace, and if he keeps the same pace for the remaining seven quarters, will not come close to achieving his goal of $1 billion. Check out more of Geraghty's analysis after the break, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Many people, including yours truly, believe that one of the primary reasons for the Politico's existence is to carry negative stories about Democrats and leftists which the rest of the establishment press then mostly chooses to ignore ("Why should we cover that? It's at the Politico already").
On Friday's Hardball on MSNBC, host Chris Matthews proposed a GOP conspiracy behind the indictment of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards: "Do you think there's politics in this prosecution? Was it just a Republican U.S. attorney going after this guy, sticking around to do the dirty work for the 'R's?" [Audio available here]
Matthews posed that question to Democratic strategist and former Edwards spokesperson Karen Finney, even she wasn't buying it: "You know, I don't know." Undeterred, Matthews continued his bizarre rant: "But this looks like one of those things you read about in third world countries or in India or somewhere or Pakistan, where they get someone who's been out of office a couple of years, get them while they're down, hit them with some incredible charge with campaign funding that nobody's ever heard of before and put them away for a while. It just looks like revenge against the party – against somebody that lost an election."
At the top of Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer touted objections to the indictment of former Democratic Senator John Edwards: "Some critics blast the government's case against the former presidential candidate. Why they say what he did may not have been against the law."
Introducing a later report on the scandal, fellow co-host Meredith Vieira similarly proclaimed: "There are growing questions over the indictment of former presidential candidate John Edwards for allegedly using campaign funds to hide an affair. Did the government overreach?" The headline that appeared on screen read: "Bad Guy or Bad Case?; Legal Experts Question Indictment of John Edwards."
The Justice Department is expected to indict former Senator John Edwards as early as Wednesday for violating federal campaign finance laws.
On this weekend's "Chris Matthews Show," the host along with Time magazine's Joe Klein and the Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan said the DOJ should leave Edwards alone (video follows with transcript and commentary):
UPDATE:As seen here, the very earliest AP reports appear to have identified Edwards as a Democrat (the age of the item may not correspond with when the AP subscriber actually received it), but the latest ones, including this item found at AP's home site (as of 12:59 p.m.), do not. UPDATE 2: A mixed bag -- The 6:55 p.m. report from the same AP reporters (pic here) notes that Edwards was the "2004 Democratic vice-presidential nominee," and waits until Paragraph 4 to note that the possible indictment stems from the 2007-2008 campaign.
In their 11:29 a.m. report (saved here in case it gets updated, and for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) on the apparently imminent indictment of 2004 and 2008 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, Associated Press reporters Mike Baker and Gary D. Robertson did not identify Edwards as a Democrat, nor did they identify any of his campaign associates (e.g., Andrew Young, Fred Baron) as Democrats. No form of the word "Democrat" appears in the report as it was posted at 11:29 a.m.
Here are the first seven paragraphs of the AP pair's effort:
Kind of disappointing--nothing about Republicans head-butting widows or knocking the crutches from the arms of the disabled. Even so, let's give Damon Silvers credit: the union boss did claim that Republicans "literally deny clothing to foster kids to give rich people tax cuts."
AFL-CIO honcho Damon Silvers made the hysterically hyperbolic claim on Cenk Uygur's MSNBC show this evening.
The paranoid propaganda coming from MSNBC much like a rabid dog is starting to foam from your TV set.
On Monday, Ed Schultz brought on a reporter from Mother Jones to assist him in spreading nonsense about a "vast right wing network [that] is pumping money into states to defeat the wage earners of America and the middle class" with ideas "inspired by none other than Ronald Reagan himself" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
At the top of Monday's Today on NBC, co-host Matt Lauer touted "breaking news" of President Obama announcing his re-election bid: "...the expected announcement comes with a prediction, he could become the first candidate ever to raise a billion dollars." Lauer then added: "Will Republican hopefuls sitting on the sidelines be compelled to dive in as well?"
While fill-in co-host Ann Curry noted the announcement was "not a surprise" the broadcast still lead with a full report on the topic. Like Lauer, White House correspondent Savannah Guthrie highlighted Obama's fundraising efforts while noting the lack of formal announcements from Republican candidates: "The President is already planning fundraising trips this month to Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, while the Republican race is still off to a slower start."