Christina Romer, the former chair of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers on Friday offered a rather strong opinion concerning the announcement by Standard & Poor's that the credit rating agency downgraded America's debt to AA+.
Appearing on HBO's "Real Time," Romer said we're "pretty darn f--ked" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For the second week in a row, Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson got a much-needed education from Charles Krauthammer on PBS's "Inside Washington."
After Carlson gave the typical Keynesian response to Friday's unemployment report - "We’re cutting spending at a time when we should be adding spending to stimulate the economy and jobs" - Krauthammer without skipping a beat quipped, "The way it worked in ’09 and in ’10" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNBC's Rick Santelli had to explain the economy to MSNBC contributor Ezra Klein on today's Morning Joe (h/t Hot Air). Klein argued that another recession would "move money around in ways that are unfair."
An exasperated Santelli concisely described what was wrong with Klein's characterization of what recession does to an economy:
Last week, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said conservative views about the debt ceiling should be censored from news reports.
On Friday's "Morning Joe," Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) took this a step further calling on media to stop giving "equal time or equal balance" to Tea Party ideas that people like him consider "absurd" and "not factual" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
If we're to believe Paul Wiseman and David K. Randall at the Associated Press in their Wednesday afternoon report on the economy, all of the alleged solutions which might shake the U.S. economy out of its weakness either aren't available or no one has the will to try them: stimulus, infrastructure projects, jobs programs, or another round of quantitative easing. Oh, and governments are damaging the economy by "cutting at all levels."
There's nothing, they tell us -- nothing! -- besides those supposed tried and true prescriptions which could possibly improve things. To them, everything that happened in the 1980s under Ronald Reagan must be a mirage, a fairy tale that never happened. As a result, they note, our economy is starting to resemble Japan's. The fact that Japan has been in its current malaise since the 1990s because of rampant overstimulation just doesn't compute to them.
If all you knew about the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization controversy was what MSNBC's Martin Bashir told you on August 3, you'd only know that it exists and that House Republicans are at fault.
Bashir claimed the thousands of furloughed FAA workers should blame Republican intransigence, but the truth is that the Democratic-controlled Senate let funding for the agency expire over proposed changes to airline unionization rules and cuts in subsidies to rural airports, including one in Sen. Harry Reid's home state of Nevada.
Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer blamed the debt ceiling standoff for stocks falling on Wall Street: "All people can talk about is the whole slow down that Washington triggered, the 'manufactured crisis,' as the President mentioned..." Co-host Ann Curry wondered: "To what degree did the spending cuts called for in this bill have an influence in this perception?"
Cramer argued: "We've seen a trillion dollars lost in the stock market. Much of it is associated with companies that were doing well because of government – some people call it hand outs, I would say spending – and I think that, that is a huge part of the decline." Curry touted an over-the-top prediction: "One advocacy group, the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute, says the economy could lose 1.8 million jobs in the next year due to the cuts in this deal."
If the economy stagnates or falters in the coming months, it seems a metaphysical certitude Obama-loving media will do everything in their power to blame it on Tuesday's debt ceiling agreement rather than any of the other factors already in play.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews gave us a foreshadowing of such deception on "Hardball" when he blamed Tuesday's stock market collapse on the newly-signed legislation rather than the bad economic data announced in the morning (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The broadcast network evening newscasts on Friday night noted the very anemic second quarter GDP growth rate at 1.3 percent, but instead of stressing how it showed the weak economic state well before the debt ceiling showdown, they submerged it into warnings of how the delay in getting a deal is hurting the economy.
On ABC’s World News, Bianna Golodryga, aka Mrs. Peter Orszag, the wife of Obama’s former OMB Director, helped her husband’s ex-employer by failing to even mention the worst news of the day: the revision of the first quarter GDP down to a flat line 0.4 percent from the original 1.9 percent estimate. At least CBS and NBC considered that newsworthy.
The AP's coverage of the U.S. economy late Friday focused on high gas prices as the dominant, uh, driver of this year's anemic growth both visually and in its text.
As will be seen after the jump, the graphic at the AP's national site is of a gas price sign. The final sentence in the caption of the full-size version reads "High gas prices and scant income gains forced Americans to sharply pull back on spending."
The underlying report by Christopher Rugaber and Paul Wiseman predictably mentioned gas prices first and foremost, tagged debt-ceiling negotiations as a suddenly important contributor to economic uncertainty (where have they been while President Obama, his cabinet, his czars, and his hyperactive regulators have been injecting uncertainty in megadoses during the past two years?), and relayed Ben Bernanke's months-old warning that cutting back too much on government spending would hinder economic growth:
The folks at CNN should be really proud of themselves.
In less than 24 hours, one of their current anchors - Fareed Zakaria - flat out lied about deficits, the debt ceiling, and the U.S. credit rating before a former host - Eliot Spitzer - falsely told viewers of HBO's "Real Time" that George W. Bush "gave us the deregulatory craziness that led us over the cliff" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
This morning, Christopher Rugaber's coverage of the news from Uncle Sam's Bureau of Economic Analysis about the growth in the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at the Associated Press appropriately characterized it as indicative of a "sharp slowdown" and "extremely bad" (via a quoted economist).
Today's report carried an advance estimate of second-quarter growth of an annualized 1.3%. As a result of revisions going all the way back to 2003, the BEA's report also included a steeply reduction to 0.4% for the first quarter (down from the 1.9% reported last month), deeper contractions during the recession's roughest quarters, and net slightly lower growth figures since the recession officially ended in June 2009.
The big story Rugaber missed -- and which I suspect the rest of the media will also miss -- is that two full years after the recession ended, the economy, based on today's numbers, has not yet fully recovered, as seen in the following graphic (Source data: Table 3A at the BEA's full GDP report):
Appearing as a guest on Thursday’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC, the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein suggested that the budget plan that the House Republican leadership is trying to pass would harm the economy, and, as if the government did not take in lots of tax revenue already, referred to the absence of a tax increase as "no revenues." Stein:
The New York Times on Tuesday told its readers, "House Republicans have lost sight of the country's welfare."
In an editorial entitled "The Republican Wreckage," the Gray Lady disgracefully claimed, "They have largely succeeded in their campaign to ransom America's economy for the biggest spending cuts in a generation" dimming "the futures of millions of jobless Americans":
CNN's Fareed Zakaria Thursday called the debt ceiling battle a "sideshow" caused by the Tea Party.
Appearing on "In the Arena" as a supposed "astute observer of the economy," Zakaria proceeded to bungle economic and historic facts like a high school dropout (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Today on the 2:00 pm segment of CNN Newsroom, anchor Randi Kaye spoke with CNN political producer Shannon Travis about criticism directed at President Barack Obama:
TRAVIS: Yes, really, really quickly, billionaire Steve Wynn, you've seen his resorts all over Las Vegas. He's blasting President Obama. I'm going to read this quote from a call, an earnings call yesterday. Quote, "I'm saying it bluntly that this administration is the greatest wet blanket to business and progress and job creation in my lifetime". Those are from Steve Wynn.
We know there are a lot of businesses who have been on a hiring streak, Randi, but this is what Steve Wynn, billionaire real estate mogul in Las Vegas thinks about the Obama administration.
What hiring streak is Travis talking about? CNN Money.com reported last week that initial unemployment claims remained above the 400,000 mark for the 14th straight week. The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted in its June, 2011 report that there are now 14.1 million Americans out of work. The same agency pegged that number at 11.6 for January, 2009, the month Barack Obama took office.
Chris Matthews on Wednesday gave a lesson on utterly shameless fear-mongering.
In the final segment of MSNBC's "Hardball," the host said, "Failure to act on the debt ceiling will create a horror for our country, a horror we’ve never seen before" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
President Barack Obama and congressional leaders seeking to negotiate a deal to increase the legal limit on the federal government's debt, would need to agree to increase that debt by $615.865 billion between now and Sept. 30, just to keep the government going at current spending levels, according to the CBO's latest estimate of the fiscal 2011 deficit and the Treasury Department's latest accounting of the federal debt.
It is truly fascinating how liberal media members will do anything to protect the reputation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
On this weekend's "McLaughlin Group," Newsweek's Eleanor Clift revised history to largely absolve the two government-sponsored enterprises for last decade's mortgage collapse while predictably blaming it on Wall Street and of course George W. Bush (video follows with transcript and commentary):