As Barack Obama's second year in office comes to a close, a dark reality is starting to set in on his once adoring fans in the media: he is in way over his head.
The most recent press member to reach this conclusion is Time's Mark Halperin whose Monday column "Why Obama Is Losing the Political War" asserts that many of his colleagues now share this pessimistic view of the man currently sitting in the White House:
Bill Maher on Friday called former Alaska governor Sarah Palin a horse's ass.
In the opening monologue of his "Real Time" program on HBO, Maher brought up the recent brouhaha surrounding Alaska Republican senatorial candidate Joe Miller's refusal to express his support for Palin as a potential presidential candidate in 2012.
"So then Todd Palin, all pissed off, wrote him a bunch of emails full of like grammatical errors, spelling errors," joked Maher.
The comedian continued, "You mess with Todd Palin, you could wake up with a horse's ass in your bed, like he does every day" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Is Palin bashing a pre-requisite for an appearance on the new Parker-Spitzer show? Aaron Sorkin referred to Palin as an ‘idiot' and ‘jaw-droppingly incompetent' on Monday's show. And now, Tuesday's show featured Oliver Stone calling Palin a ‘moron'.
Kathleen Parker asks Stone about the prospect of making a movie about Sarah Palin, and he uses this as a launching point for a PDS rant.
Parker: Can you see making a movie about Sarah Palin? Is she movie fodder? I would think ...
Stone: It's a bad idea because I think you're already empowering her. She's a moron in my opinion. She doesn't say anything.
He wasn't nearly content to rest on those insults however (clip below)...
On Monday's premiere episode of CNN's Parker-Spitzer, pseudo-conservative Kathleen Parker targeted Sarah Palin, labeling her a "tease" for not announcing her candidacy for the presidency, and stated that the Republican is "also coy, which, after a little while, begins to feel dishonest." When co-host Eliot Spitzer accused Parker of being unfair to Palin, she replied, "I am not unfair to Sarah Palin."
The host devoted her first "Opening Argument" segment to the former vice presidential candidate. After her co-host called for the firing of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in his "Opening Argument," Parker replied, "Eliot, I want to talk about my favorite politician, Sarah Palin" and played a clip from a recent commercial made by Palin's political action committee. An on-screen graphic proclaimed, "Palin the Tease," and the new CNN host immediately launched into that theme:
Ed Schultz told the One Nation rally in Washington, D.C., Saturday that conservatives are holding the American people down and want discrimination.
"The conservative voices of America, they are holding you down," said Schultz. "They don't believe in your freedom. They want the concentration of wealth. They've shipped your job overseas...They suppress your vote."
Not sounding at all like a uniting force wanting "one nation," Schultz continued to disparage conservatives saying, "They talk about the Constitution, but they don't want to live by it. They talk about our forefathers, but they want discrimination" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
With what appears to be a devastating election looming for his party, is President Obama attempting to follow in the footsteps of one of his predecessors and moderate toward the center?
Not if choosing Pete Rouse to replace chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is any indication, according to CNBC’s Larry Kudlow. On the Oct. 1 broadcast of “The Call,” CNBC Washington correspondent John Harwood predicted Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wasn’t going anywhere, but Obama would take a pro-business tack with the leadership of Department of Commerce. However, Kudlow, citing a “deep political insider,” had a different forecast.
“The Commerce thing is a great idea and you're probably going to be right, but I know that you don't hear this,” Kudlow said. “But I had dinner last night with a deep political insider who told me that Michael Bloomberg is the next Treasury secretary. I heard that. All I'll say is this is a serious insider who said the deal has been done and that Bloomberg is the next Treasury secretary.”
Ed Schultz must have had the shock of his life Thursday when a jobless advocate told him, "It was the Democrats that caused us to be in the situation that we're in."
Mignon Veasley-Fields is a 61-year-old Los Angeles grandmother who has been out of work since June 2008. Her unemployment benefits ran out over three months ago.
Since then, she has been bringing attention to the long-term unemployed in this nation referred to as "99ers" signifying the number of weeks they received benefits before they stopped.
In recent weeks, a new group has emerged called the 99er NOVOs: they are so angered by Washington that they are refusing to vote in the upcoming elections.
On Thursday's "Ed Show," Schultz did his darnedest to get Veasley-Fields to encourage the NOVOs to cast ballots for Democrats in November despite their economic woes (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
Check out the treatise on the state of “white America” from the Village Voice’s Steven Thrasher. In a long-winded Sep. 29 piece full of invective, Thrasher contends that the “white brain, beset with worries, finally goes haywire in spectacular fashion.” Why? He insisted it was because of the election of Obama and a realization “white America” had lost grasp of the control power in the United States. (h/t @DLoesch)
“About 12:01 on the afternoon of January 20, 2009, the white American mind began to unravel,” Thrasher wrote. “It had been a pretty good run up to that point. The brains of white folks had been humming along cogently for near on 400 years on this continent, with little sign that any serious trouble was brewing. White people, after all, had managed to invent a spiffy new form of self-government so that all white men (and, eventually, women) could have a say in how white people were taxed and governed. White minds had also nearly universally occupied just about every branch of that government and, for more than two centuries, had kept sole possession of the leadership of its executive branch (whose parsonage, after all, is called the White House).”
There I was this morning, innocently watching Morning Joe, when suddenly an NBC promo popped up, starring—you guessed it—the prez. It would have been bad enough if this had been a government PSA. But this was a promo for an NBC Universal initiative called "The More You Know," dedicated, its website informs us, to providing "critical" health messages. [You can be sure one thing it won't be "critical" of is . . . ObamaCare.]
CNN's Jack Cafferty may end up eating more than his words if Sarah Palin is elected the next president in 2012. After outlining how a current poll indicates "Obama's best hope of winning a second term just might be Alaska's dropout governor" on Tuesday's Situation Room, anchor Wolf Blitzer warned him that there's always the chance she may end up being elected. Cafferty replied, "If Sarah Palin is the next president, Wolf, I will eat this building I'm talking to you from one brick at a time" [audio clip available here].
The commentator devoted his regular 5 pm "Cafferty File" segment to a recent Politico/George Washington University poll that found that only 38% would vote to re-elect President Obama, and 44% would vote for his hypothetical opponent. Besides these poll numbers, Cafferty noted that "by double digits, they disapprove of his new health care law. They trust congressional Republicans to create jobs more than they trust Mr. Obama."
Chris Matthews thinks American businesses are refusing to spend money in order to intentionally harm the economy as part of a long-term plot to "screw" President Obama.
Such political paranoia was actually uttered on Monday's "Hardball" as the host chatted with Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post and Charles Mahtesian of Politico.
Readers are strongly advised to prepare themselves for the kind of conspiracy theory normally reserved for the likes of Michael Moore, Oliver Stone, and members of the far-left who actually believe George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had a hand in the 9/11 attacks (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
For the last several weeks there has been a debate raging over whether the grounds surrounding where the 9/11 attacks in Lower Manhattan are sacred and if it would be an appropriate place for an Islamic place of worship to be built. But if it isn’t appropriate, would it be an appropriate place for a Tea Party rally to be held? Possibly not.
But whether that’s the case or not, Newsweek’s David A. Graham would have you believe there will be a so-called “Election Day Tea Party rally” held at Ground Zero, led by former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, as an effort to shore up support for a 2012 presidential bid.
"I've said many times before, we're all held to a high standard here."
- Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner
...except when our players are engaged in sexist conversations.
Fresh off the heels of a locker room controversy involving reporter Ines Sainz, in which Goodell referred to New York Jets players as engaging in ‘unprofessional conduct' toward a female reporter, we have a couple of star NFL players discussing their thoughts on seeing Sarah Palin pose in Playboy.
Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco of the Cincinnati Bengals have been debuting their new show in short clips on the Versus network, the self-proclaimed ‘nation's fastest growing sports network.' The program is called The T.Ocho Show. Ochocinco brags of the edgy programming saying.
"Versus is taking a big risk giving us this show. It's gonna be dangerous. Watch with care."
That said, the Versus website is promoting a video clip in which the NFL stars are asked, "Would you rather see Sarah Palin in the White House or in Playboy?"
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough – who when a Republican congressman voted to impeach President Clinton – seems to believe that a former President should be able to legally run for office again after taking "a term or two off." His comments followed a gushing slew of praise for former President Bill Clinton, and he noted that many viewers "are just sitting there thinking 'Why can't [Clinton] run for President in a couple of years?'"
"It seems so short-sighted, just because the Republicans were upset that FDR was President for four terms," Scarborough complained of the 22nd Amendment, ratified during Truman's second term but passed out of Congress four years earlier in March 1947. Republicans did control both houses of Congress then, but the amendment would have excluded then-President Harry Truman and was supported by some Democrats.
Co-hosts of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski conducted a glowing interview of the former president at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City.
On Wednesday's Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty revisited his anti-Sarah Palin obsession and somewhat predictably, grouped U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell with the former Alaska governor, stating it "feels like Sarah Palin all over again....O'Donnell has some big question marks on her resume, just like...Palin." Most of the viewer e-mails Cafferty read bashed the two politicians.
The commentator devoted his 5 pm Eastern hour commentary to the two Republican women. After his "feels like Sarah Palin all over again" line, Cafferty recounted O'Donnell's emergence on the national political scene, and wasted little time in outlining her negative similarities to Palin: "Suddenly, everybody can't seem to get enough of her. This is despite the fact that O'Donnell has some big question marks on her resume, just like Sarah Palin. She's come under fire for allegedly misusing campaign funds for personal expenses-just like Sarah Palin."
CNN's Suzanne Malveaux led Friday's Situation Room by labeling the social conservative Value Voters Summit a "traditional showcase for hardcore conservatives." Later in the same segment, senior political analyst Gloria Borger stated that the Tea Party movement was "anti-health care" and bizarrely referred to Ronald Reagan as "the most secular president we've known in our lifetime."
Malveaux used her "hardcore conservatives" line as she introduced a segment on Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell's speech to the Summit. Just before this, she stated how "some are calling her [O'Donnell] the new poster girl for the Tea Party phenomenon" and later continued that she apparently "preached a new kind of gospel at the Values Voter Summit: the Tea Party's anti-government mantra."
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday’s Larry King Live on CNN, comedian Bill Maher picked up on a recent contention by Newt Gingrich that President Obama is motivated by anti-colonialism which his Kenyan father felt as the Real Time with Bill Maher host smeared the potential 2012 Republican presidential field as racist:
How are they going to out-firebreathe each other? I mean, where this rhetoric has gone to at this point. It’s only 2010, and we’re having Newt Gingrich, as we were talking about before, calling him an anti-colonial Luo tribesman. ... That’s the new Kenyan, Larry. And Kenyan, of course, was code for n*****. But that’s where they are. They can’t say it out loud. But that’s where this whole campaign is going to be. You asked about racism. It’s all about racism. They cannot fathom this idea that there is a black President. And that’s what they are going to fight about.
Maher also declared that, while he personally likes Delaware GOP senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell because she is a "nice person" who used to be a frequent guest on his Politically Incorrect show in the 1990s, that he was also cheering for her and other "tea baggers" to win GOP primaries, declaring that "she's going to get her Christian ass kicked in the general election."
And, as the topic turned to the Ground Zero mosque, while Maher acknowledged that there is a substantial amount of Islamic extremism in the world, he believed using the military against it makes it worse, and suggested that, because 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has already been captured, America should declare victory and New Yorkers should "forget about it." Referring to the 9/11 mastermind, Maher declared:
Interviewing White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett yesterday, The View's liberal co-hosts repelled Elisabeth Hasslebeck's tough questions on President Obama's failed economic agenda by changing the subject and ignoring their conservative colleague's criticism.
Refuting the claim that the economy is "certainly moving in the right direction" despite dismal unemployment numbers, Hasselbeck asked Jarrett if Obama's $50 billion infrastructure bill represents an "admittance of failure on the $800 billion stimulus bill that didn't seem to work."
To sidestep Hasselbeck's question, Jarrett invoked incredulity, flawed statistics, and historical revisionism:
For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: Here's change you can believe in!
The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Barack Obama's watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty.
Census figures for 2009 - the recession-ravaged first year of the Democrat's presidency - are to be released in the coming week, and demographers expect grim findings. [...]
The anticipated poverty rate increase - from 13.2 percent to about 15 percent - would be another blow to Democrats struggling to persuade voters to keep them in power. [...] (more stats follow)
Despite unemployment at 9.5 percent and millions of people having lost their jobs since Barack Obama was elected, Chris Matthews just doesn't understand why anyone would miss George W. Bush.
Without naming this week's PPP poll finding Ohioans would vote for Bush over Obama by the tally of 50 to 42 percent if a presidential election was held today, Matthews in the first segment of "Hardball" asked his guests, "Why would you want that back?"
When Time's Michael Scherer tried to explain logically why voters are disappointed with what Obama has done since Inauguration Day, Matthews wasn't having any of it (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The author of a 10,600-word Vanity Fair hit piece on Sarah Palin is defending his work, claiming he set out to defend the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate, but that the resulting article "was forced on me by the facts."
Michael Gross appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Sept. 2 to discuss his article in the October issue of Vanity Fair. The piece depicts Palin as a volatile, vengeful, mean-spirited figure, although Gross only managed to find one person willing to speak critically of Palin on the record.
"The worst stuff isn't even in there," Gross said on "Morning Joe" when asked about the extreme picture he paints of Palin. "You know, I couldn't believe these stories either when I first heard them and I started the story with the prejudice in her favor. I have a lot in common with this woman. I'm a small town person, I'm a Christian. I think that a lot of her criticisms of the media actually have something to them and I figured she'd gotten a bum ride but everybody close to her tells the same story."
Yet for someone so supposedly enamored with Palin, Gross sure turned quickly. He said Palin is "a person for whom there is no topic too small to lie about," citing a speech in Wichita in which Palin contradicted other statements she'd made about finding out her son, Trig, would have special needs.
Another day, another media hit piece aimed at Sarah Palin. Surprise, surprise.
A 10,600-word article in the October issue of Vanity Fair reads like the rambling diaries of a spurned middle school student. Writer Michael Joseph Gross ran through a list of ill-sourced, hearsay attacks on Palin designed to depict her as a raging psychopath - a far cry from the down-to-earth "hockey mom" she portrays in public.
But in more than 10,600 words, Gross managed to cite just one person to criticize Palin on the record. Colleen Cottle, who served on the Wasilla City Council when Palin was mayor, complained that she "had no attention span" and "does not understand math or accounting." Heavy-hitting stuff, that.
None of the others Gross apparently interviewed were named, he said, "because they are loyal and want to protect her (a small and shrinking number), or because they expect her prominence to grow and intend to keep their options open, or because they fear she will exact revenge, as she has been known to do."
Politico Monday evening ran the following headline:
Tidal Wave? 10-point Poll Edge for GOP
Inside, the news wasn't much better for the liberal press:
The Gallup poll, coming at the end of a brutal August for Democrats and President Barack Obama, reinforces the rapidly forming prevailing view that the horizon is as bleak for Democrats as it ever has been.
The headline of the Gallup poll in question was also sure to elicit gasps in newsrooms from coast to coast:
GOP Takes Unprecedented 10-Point Lead on Generic Ballot
Howard Dean pulled off the rare twin-trashing this morning, dumping on both Glenn Beck and the people who respond to his message. He began by calling Beck crazy, saying he has "a few things the matter with him up here, up in the head there." Later, he compounded the calumny, calling Beck a "racist" and a "hate-monger." So who were the hundreds of thousands of people who attended the rally and the millions more who watch and listen to Beck? Why, according to Dean, they're "lost souls."
New York Times columnist Charles Blow had set the vitriolic tone during the show's first hour, accusing Beck of "hiding behind a cross" and participating in a "rhetorical assassination" of Pres. Obama.
In late July, a Government Accountability Office report circulated which analyzed stimulus funding being spent by the Department of Energy. The main gist of that report involved the cost of each job being generated by the stimulus bill - a staggering $194,000. Tucked away in that report was a phrase that was new to most of us, a way to calculate jobs through a term called ‘lives touched'.
Last week it was confirmed that some departments being funded by the stimulus are indeed using the metric ‘lives touched' - a regression from the absurd ‘jobs saved or created', which was already a step down from the incalculable ‘jobs created'.
A spokesperson from the CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company explains:
"Lives Touched" is a figure that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) uses to track the amount of people who have been positively affected by the Recovery Act funds. This total would include people who have been provided full time employment (i.e. saved and created jobs) through the Recovery Act and people who at some point have supported a project funded by the Recovery Act.
Essentially, the Obama administration had figured out another way to inflate job numbers to better fit their claims of success. And yet, the media has remained largely silent on this matter. Even as Vice-President Biden released a report on the Recovery Act yesterday, with a specific focus on the Department of Energy and job creation.
Below is an outline of how the administration and the DOE are collaborating to inflate their numbers by measuring the number of ‘lives touched' by the stimulus bill.
During the 3 p.m. MSNBC news hour Monday, anchor Chris Jansing asked the question and hosted an expert who supplied the seemingly desired answer. The question: Could President Obama make a mid-term comeback similar to President Reagan in 1982? The answer: Absolutely.
The two discussed the similarities of the situations faced by the presidents, and seemed to conclude that if the economy turns around, President Obama would almost certainly be re-elected.
It is a big if, but the short segment seemed quite focused on what would happen after the economy turns around. The two didn't bother to discuss what would happen if the economy continues to be stagnant, or takes a turn for the worse.
What kind of shameless shill do you have to be to claim the President is on a winning streak as his poll numbers plummet, the economy teeters on a double-dip recession, and his Party is facing historic losses in both chambers of Congress?
A Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and former managing editor of the Washington Post, that's who.
Consider that just days after numerous polls were released showing America's confidence in Barack Obama at an all-time low, and stallwart supporters such as CNN and the New York Times' Maureen Dowd claimed that even George W. Bush was better at delivering a coherent message to the American people, Eugene Robinson wrote the following Friday:
Scarborough predicted on Thursday that if the Mississippi governor is the Republican Presidential nominee in 2012, the media would smear him as a racist white man from the South running against the first black president. He particularly stated that "certain networks" would "maul" Barbour if he runs, resulting in an awkward moment on the set.
Could Scarborough possibly have meant MSNBC in that cast?
Joe Scarborough likes Haley Barbour. But he doesn't like the "optics" of the southern governor running for president against Barack Obama. Scarborough's worried that "certain networks" would "maul" the man Scarborough referred to as "Boss Hogg." [H/t reader Ray R.]
Interestingly, both the Politico's Jim VandeHei and Tina Brown of the Daily Beast were able to see more of an upside for Haley. VandeHei described him as best among Republicans at articulating conservative principles, while Brown saw the hands-on governor's potential as the "un-Barack."
On the heels of a new College Board report that the United States is struggling to compete with other countries when it comes to college completion rates, Vanity Fair's resident straight talker, Henry Rollins, has figured out the problem. The education system isn't struggling because of possible factors contained within the report, such as:
Inadequate funding of preschool programs
Poor college counseling programs for middle and high school aged children
High school dropout rates
A lack of international standardization for curriculum
Skyrocketing costs of education
No, Henry has stumbled onto the real, super secret reason why students are failing to finish their college work: Sarah Palin and George Bush.
To be accurate, it's not so much the direct fault of Palin and Bush - rather, it is those of you who support them, their stupid comments, and their intellectually uninterested ways. Their fans see them as real people and because of that, they feel comfort in an unchallenging environment.
Rollins explains why ‘America doesn't seem to value a college education the way it used to':