Yesterday, in a different post about long-term unemployment, I wrote: "Of all the reality-denying aspects of Obama administration press coverage, the usually implicit but occasionally explicit assertion that he and his people are just helpless bystanders in an economic calamiity is easily among the most annoying."
Bloomberg's Mike Dorning triggered the annoyance meter today with an "analysis" contending that President Obama's move from being a "conciliator" (quoting an alleged "expert") to supporting "populist causes" and sympathizing with the anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street assemblage "may provide some inoculation" against the continuing bad economy -- as if Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the their party bear no conceivable responsibility for current economic conditions. Here are the first seven paragraphs of Dorning's dreck (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Chicago Mayor and former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel went after GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney yesterday over the 2008-2009 state of the auto industry. Emanuel, as paraphrased by the Associated Press, believes that "had Republican candidate Mitt Romney been president the nation would no longer have an auto industry" -- though last time I checked, Ford Motor Company, which did not accept federal government bailout money, is still headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, which is still in the USA.
In his coverage of Emanuel's comments, the Detroit News's Dave Shepardson -- who infamously and falsely claimed in February 2010 that Toyota executives "bragged" and "boasted" about saving money on safety recalls when Japanese culture deeply frowns on the practice to the point of shunning people who engage in it -- headlined Emanuel's "no industry" howler, and committed several factual errors. In addition, he missed a quite relevant and critical March 2009 episode of support from Romney -- for better or worse (readers can decide) -- when President Obama engineered the ouster of General Motors' CEO. Here are excerpts from Shepardson's shilling:
CBS sided with supporters of the "Occupy Wall Street" protests on Monday's Early Show, bringing on former Democratic Senator Russ Feingold to boost the left-leaning demonstrations, with no Republican and/or conservative critics appearing as guests during the program. Feingold slammed Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain as "un-American" for his critique of the protests.
Near the end of her interview of the Wisconsin politician, anchor Erica Hill raised Cain's attack on the continuing anti-corporate rallies: "Republican candidate Herman Cain, weighing in over the weekend. He said that, basically, it's un-American to protest capitalism. Businesses have to make money, and if they can do a better job making money oversea- it's an unfortunate reality for many Americans- but they're concerned about their bottom line. Can there be some sort of common ground here?"
Being a proud cyber-card carrying, if non-contributing, member of the Democratic National Committee's email list, I just received a missive entitled "Test your knowledge: Take the Mitt quiz." Clicking along takes one to a DNC site called "WhichMitt.com" at which readers are asked to guess whether, on a variety of subjects from abortion to the Detroit bail-out, Romney said the first statement, the second statement which contradicts the first, or all of the above.
Of course the answer in every case is "all of the above." And there's no doubt that if nominated, and before, Mitt will have some 'splaining to do. What's less clear is just how the Dems really think they can exploit this: "vote against Romney--he actually has agreed with us on a lot of stuff!" is probably not going to work. Does the fact that the DNC is singling Romney out for attack long before the first GOP primary has even been cast suggest it sees him as the strongest electoral threat to President Obama? See more about WhichMitt.com after the jump.
CBS's Bigad Shaban failed to disclose the far-left politics of an "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrator on Monday's Early Show. Jesse LaGreca, a Daily Kos contributor who wrote in August that "Hurricane Irene is like having Christmas early" for Republicans, was identified on-screen as simply a "Wall Street protester." Shaban also barely devoted any time to critics of the nascent movement.
In a report filed at the Los Angeles Times's Politics Now blog earlier today, Washington Bureau reporter James Oliphant relayed a number of whoppers delivered by Vice President Joe Biden without anything resembling a challenge. In Part 1, I noted how Biden, who in August described Tea Party sympathizers as "terrorists" and in September as "barbarians," today spoke in complimentary terms of how much the Occupy Wall Street crowd has in common with them. In Part 2, I dealt with the Veep's hit at financially struggling Bank of America for having the nerve to try to recover some of what the Dodd-Frank "financial reform" legislation took away by charging some customers a $5 monthly fee for debit-card use.
This final part will deal with Biden's rendition of how the "bank bailout" portion of TARP operated, which is quite different from the reality. The relevant excerpt from Oliphant, which necessarily overlaps the first two parts, follows (bolds are mine throughout):
In a report filed at the Los Angeles Times's Politics Now blog earlier today, Washington Bureau reporter James Oliphant relayed a number of whoppers delivered by Vice President Joe Biden without anything resembling a challenge. In Part 1, I noted how Biden, who in August described Tea Party sympathizers as "terrorists" and in September as "barbarians," today spoke in complimentary terms of how much the Occupy Wall Street crowd has in common with them.
This part will deal with Biden's hit at Bank of America and its $5 monthly fee for debit-card use. The relevant excerpt from Oliphant's writeup follows the jump (bolds are mine throughout):
In a report filed at the Los Angeles Times's Politics Now blog earlier today, Washington Bureau reporter James Oliphant relayed a number of whoppers delivered by Vice President Joe Biden without anything resembling a challenge.
Breaking Biden's bilge into three sections, they involve his claim about the historical origins of the Tea Party, which Biden characterized as a collection of "barbarians" only a month ago (and as "terrorists" two month ago); his hit at Bank of America and its $5 monthly fee for debit-card use; and the nature of the "bailouts" which followed the passage of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in the fall of 2008. In this first part, I will go after what Biden said about the Tea Party. An excerpt from Oliphant's writeup follows the jump (bolds are mine throughout):
A number of Democratic members of Congress came out Wednesday throwing their support behind the protest known as Occupy Wall Street.
Fox News's Neil Cavuto interviewed one of them on Your World marvelously asking Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh.), "So why didn’t you celebrate when Tea Partiers were running around the country and protesting all the spending and protesting the budget and the debt getting out of control? I don’t remember you glomming on to that one" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As young, foolish, unemployed Americans Occupy Wall Street, liberals in the media have predictably cheered the protests.
Some, like schlockumentarian Michael Moore, participated in the goings on, telling the crowd last week that the folks inside the buildings surrounding them were solely responsible for the nation’s economic woes (video follows with transcript and extensive commentary):
What a curiously incurious Morning Joe bunch! Joe Scarborough says Solyndra "is just not a story I have focused on" and John Heilemann similarly admits to not having "drilled down" on the matter. Meanwhile, Harold Ford, Jr. assures us that when it comes to any potential Solyndra scandal, "there's no there, there" and that no one "has done anything illicit here at all."
A blasé Joe Scarborough grudgingly introduced "this Solyndra thing," citing those pesky "conservatives on Twitter" who keep raising it. The show deigned to devote under two minutes to the story, with nary a mention of the facts that the main driver behind Solyndra was a major Obama fundraiser, that the Bush admin blew off funding for Solyndra after concluding their products weren't competitive and that Solyndra execs are now taking the Fifth. View the video after the jump.
Sometimes, media bias is all about the headline . . . The New York Times has a decent piece this morning detailing the background that led to the approval by the Obama admin of more than a half-billion in loan guarantees to the soon-to-go-kaput Solyndra solar firm. The article paints a picture of an Obama admin that was eager to get the money out the door and was heavily lobbied by Solyndra and its major player who was a big Obama fund-raiser.
But check out the headline: "In Rush to Assist Solyndra, U.S. Missed Warning Signs." What do you mean, "U.S.", Gray Lady? That "U.S" suggests that perhaps the previous Bush admin also let itself get bamboozled by Solyndra. Except that the truth is just the opposite, as these paras from the article demonstrate [emphasis added]:
Let's note the likely reason why what Julia Seymour observed earlier today is the case -- namely, that network news reports have taken to calling the Solyndra situation an "embarrassment."
The use of that term probably dates back to September 16, which is as far as I can tell the first time the Associated Press filed a beyond-perfunctory report about now-bankrupt Solyndra, the beneficiary of over $500 million in Energy Department loan guarantees. In January, the government also gave Solyndra's principal investors preferential treatment in advance of what was a clearly inevitable bankruptcy. Tuesday evening, the AP's Matthew Daly went to the E-word again in the final paragraph of the excerpt which follows:
Fareed Zakaria's desire to give power to all countries except the one he currently resides - the United States! - is nothing less than appalling.
On the CNN program bearing his name Sunday, Zakaria actually said, "It might be necessary to make clear that Christine Lagarde would be the last non-Chinese head of the [International Monetary Fund]" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
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):
A day after the New York Times published an editorial praising President Obama for his "ambitious," "robust," and "far-reaching" jobs address the previous evening, the Gray Lady printed a front page story with the shocking headline, "Employers Say Jobs Plan Won’t Lead to Hiring Spur."
It's hard to figure out why Tom Krisher at the Associated Press bothered filing a report on the status of contract talks between Detroit's Big 3 automakers and the United Auto Workers. The only reason I can discern is that he wanted to brag about how he and his wire service pals have access to anonymously-sourced info about how the talks are going. Surprise: As has been the case almost always for about the past 30-plus years, It's coming down to the wire with the two sides supposedly far apart at two of the three companies. Knock me over with a feather.
Krisher failed to inform readers of three quite important sets of facts. First (seriously), he never told readers that General Motors and Chrysler workers have no-strike contract clauses prohibiting them from job actions until 2015, i.e., only Ford is financially vulnerable. Second, he failed to note that the government still holds a significant (and probably board-controlling) share of GM, or that a UAW healthcare trust owns 46.5% of Chrysler (down from an original 55%). Finally, because he didn't disclose the ownership stakes, he failed to note the obvious conflict of interest the UAW has in negotiating with Ford, or the possible government-influenced pressure on the union to drive a hard bargain with Ford on GM's behalf.
While the United States Postal Service has been facing financial concerns for some time, it has never been as close to the brink of bankruptcy as it is today, with a $5.5 billion payment due in September and a lack of resources to make the payment. Unless Congress intervenes, USPS could have to shut down operations this winter. As the postmaster general, Patrick R. Donahoe, remarked, "If Congress doesn't act, we will default." With less demand for the service than ever, though, could competition against private competitors actually be a good thing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Check out Labor Secretary Hilda Solis [she of the solicitude for the rights of illegal immigrants at the expense of American workers] on the CBS Early Show this morning. She ticks off a list of industries in which the government will make "investments" because "we know" they will be growing in future years. Kinda like the Obama admin "knew" solar energy was the wave of the future when it "invested" about a half-billion in taxpayer dollars in Solyndra, a company that backed by a major Obama fundraiser.
Participating in pure partisan politics, Solis claimed the unemployment rate in Rick Perry's Texas would be "much higher" were it not for the spending of stimulus money there. Right. That vaunted stimulus that for only $800 billion managed to keep the national unemployment to only 8%. Oh, wait, three years later it's 9.1%. Never mind. View video after the jump.
It appears one should never say in Christiane Amanpour's presence Barack Obama isn't ideologically flexible.
When former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin did so on ABC's "This Week" Sunday, the host pushed back, "Do you think that’s true that he hasn’t shown flexibility since he's, he’s sort of come completely to the Republican tenor of the debate?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On ABC's "This Week," the Nobel laureate told host Christiane Amanpour, "If Obama called for endorsing motherhood, the Republicans in the House would oppose it" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
George Will and Donna Brazile had a telling exchange on ABC's "This Week" Sunday.
After Will listed all the excuses President Obama makes for the poor economy, Brazile said, "I thought you were going to mention media" leading Will to smartly retort, "They're not his problem" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It often amazes that liberals in this country revere New York Times columnist Paul Krugman as being an expert economist.
Take for example Friday's intellectually challenged piece entitled "Bernanke's Perry Problem" in which the Nobel laureate accused prominent Republicans such as the Texas governor and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan of preventing the Federal Reserve chairman from enacting monetary policy that would save the economy:
As NewsBustersreported, America's media last week gushed and fawned over billionaire Warren Buffett's call for higher taxes on the rich.
On Monday, Harvey Golub, the former CEO of American Express, responded to the Oracle of Omaha in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that reveals a side of this tax story media refuse to share with the American people:
Economist Ben Stein had some harsh words for Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry on "CBS Sunday Morning."
Responding to comments the Texas governor made earlier in the week concerning Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Stein said, "I hope he'll get some moderation in his speech, and some lessons in economics, and soon" (video follows with transcript and commentary):