On Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, regular panel member Nina Totenberg of NPR incorrectly claimed that the "top tenth of one percent" of income earners in America "controls something like 20 or 30 percent" of the nation's income, and went on to characterize the economic situation as being worse than it has been in "hundreds of years," as she suggested income gaps were at a level that "people came to this country to avoid."
In reality, it is the top one percent - not the top "tenth of one percent" - that earns about a quarter of the nation's income.
As the group discussed the Occupy Wall Street protests, Totenberg made the following observations:
Just how far are the media willing to go to get Barack Obama reelected?
As conservative author Ann Coulter told Fox News's Sean Hannity Friday evening, "He will have the entire mainstream media bucking for him and they will lie about the economy. 'Oh, it's a turnaround, don't stop him now'" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich during Tuesday's Republican presidential debate once again went after one of his favorite targets - the media.
In response to a question about the Occupy Wall Street protests, Gingrich said, "Everybody in the media who wants to go after the business community ought to start by going after the politicians who have been at the heart of the sickness which is weakening this country (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):
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):
As shown in Part 1, this afternoon's report on long-term unemployment at the Associated Press by Sam Hananel attempted to create the impression but provided no actual evidence for the notion that complaints by many who have been unemployed for an extended time period that many employers are reluctant to consider and sometimes even refuse to consider their employment inquiries and applications equals support for provisions in President Obama's American Jobs Act which would for all practical purposes make them another protected class.
The AP reporter also completely failed to tell readers why the problem has reached an unprecedented post-Depression level, namely that the economy, largely due to failed public policy choices, has thus far taken three times as long to recover from its recession than it did during any other post-recession period after World War II. The following single paragraph is as close as Hananel got:
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):
Touting Sesame Street's newest muppet character, a young girl living in poverty, MSNBC host Martin Bashir on Wednesday slammed Republican efforts to curb spending and urged: "...perhaps they do well to change the channel just for a moment from Fox News to PBS.... on Sesame Street they will see the sad face of a hungry doll whose family doesn't have enough money to buy food." [Audio available here]
Bashir began his rant by announcing: "One in four children under the age of 6 now lives in poverty.....And it's gotten so bad, that even Sesame Street can no longer ignore it." Despite Barack Obama being in the White House, Bashir attacked the GOP for that statistic: "...as Republicans in Congress push to slash subsidies for home heating oil and work with all their might to cut off unemployment benefits..." [View video after the jump]
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 if I told you that the government put out a report today which would lead one to infer that the economy might barely have grown last year, and that it even may have contracted -- and that the reporter who appears to have been the only one who covered it didn't grasp its potential significance (or, conceivably, chose to ignore it)?
Today the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics released its annual "Consumer Expenditures Survey" for 2010. As of 8:30 p.m., a Google News search on "consumer expenditures government" (not in quotes, past 24 hours, sorted by date, with duplicates) returned 72 items (the first page says over 2,400, but it's really only 72). All relevant results represent Associated Press reports filed by Marting Crutsinger (Yahoo Finance version here).
Here are the key paragraphs from Crutsinger's report which gave away the problem -- or at least should have, if the AP reporter had made one obvious comparison:
In one of the least needed reassurances in modern political history, President Obama's top political man David Plouffe, "told Democrats late last week that the White House would not suffer from overconfidence. 'What I don't want to suggest is that we're sitting around and thinking everything is great,' he said."
With the White House's own economists predicting 9 percent or worse unemployment on Election Day, the president at about 39 percent job approval, college grads unable to find jobs, a quarter of American homes under water, no credible White House policy or strategy for changing things — and with most non-institutionalized Americans convinced we are in a recession that is going to get much worse — it is surpassing odd that Plouffe was worried that his fellow Democrats might think the president and his men believed everything to be hunky-dory.
Last Thursday, President Obama unveiled his "American Jobs Act" to a joint session of Congress with a new plan for job creation. The plan takes a Keynesian approach, much like his previous stimulus bills, but with little success from them, it seems that Obama's American Jobs Act is not so much an economic plan as a political plan for his reelection. Obama and his advisors recognize that they can trap Republicans as a do-nothing Congress if they don't pass any job plan, but know the Republicans will lose their public support if they do vote for Obama's plan, which includes another $500 billion in increased spending and temporary handouts financed by an additional $500 billion in permanent tax increases. As explained by Peter Ferrara at Forbes:
America was in a post-stock market bubble bursting recession, had just suffered its worst mainland attack in its history, and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman believes ten years later all would have been made right if the President of the United States on September 12, 2001, had raised taxes.
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):
As the discussion turned to the current anemic job growth numbers and Texas Governor Rick Perry's views on economics, Wolffe claimed that President Jimmy Carter had created more jobs that President George W. Bush as he blamed Bush and Republicans for the current economic slowdown:
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on Friday said one of those truly memorable lines he comes up with from time to time.
Speaking about Barack Obama's decision to give his jobs creation plan before a joint session of Congress next week, Krauthammer told the host of PBS's "Inside Washington," "The same way the Federal Reserve is debasing our real currency he’s debasing the currency of presidential authority and presence" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Somebody better tell incoming MSNBC host Chris Hayes the network giving him his own show later this month doesn't cotton to commentators disrespecting President Obama.
On Thursday's "The Last Word," Hayes told host Lawrence O'Donnell the current White House resident can't run his reelection campaign like Franklin Delano Roosevelt did in 1936 because FDR actually had a strong economic record to boast about (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Poor President Obama. There's only so much he can do to lift the economy. He's tried so much already, yet somehow it just hasn't worked. Now his options are limited by those darned Republican demands for "fiscal austerity" and a "tight debt ceiling" (of "only" $2.4 trillion) which was only raised by enough to get him through his reelection effort (in 14-1/2 months).
This is the utter garbage in a Tuesday morning report ("Obama faces tight restraints in crafting jobs plan") the Associated Press's Jim Kuhnhenn expects his wire service's readers, listeners, and viewers to swallow, and its subscribing media outlets to non-skeptically publish and broadcast.
In his Friday column ("Failing Forward"), published in Saturday's print edition, the New York Times's Charles Blow really blew it in attempting to relay an abortion-related statistic from the abortion-supportive Alan Guttmacher Institute. Blow wrote (shown here) that "the unintended pregnancy rate has jumped 50 percent since 1994."
The Times has since corrected the column to reflect what the Guttmacher Institute reported, which is that (italics are mine) "the unintended pregnancy rate among poor women has jumped 50 percent since 1994." LiveAction.org's Lisa Graas and Jennie Stone both noted Blow's blunder earlier today. Each also strongly and eloquently criticized Blow for his profoundly antilife attitudes. Additionally, the Times columnist used a "from 2000 to 2009" statistic about child poverty to mask the fact that most of the rise in that statistic occurred during the final year of that time period, i.e., the first year of the presidency of you-know-who.
In an early version of Julie Pace's coverage of President Obama's selection of Alan Krueger to be the next head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the following paragraph appeared (bolds are mine):
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):
Republican presidential candidates are meeting too many businessmen in their travels and too few unemployed folks or working-class wage earners, at least in the eyes of the Washington Post.
Post staffer Philip Rucker lamented in his 23-paragraph August 25 story that in a recent "50-minute session" with voters in New Hampshire that former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) -- who "is campaigning to be the jobs president" -- "hadn't heard from anyone who is unemployed, underemployed or simply clocks in for a working wage every day."
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: