Reporting on President Obama's speech to the Chamber of Commerce Monday, MSNBC's Contessa Brewer sloppily labeled the Chamber as "conservative" in narrating the conflict between the business federation and the President. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, though it may have enjoyed the "conservative" label in the past, has supported major liberal legislation over the past few years in the name of being "pro-business."
"Two years, big business and President Obama were at odds," Brewer introduced the segment. "The boiling point – when Obama accused the conservative Chamber of Commerce of refusing to disclose the millions it spent on campaign ads to defeat Democrats."
The Chamber sent a letter to the U.S. Senate in February of 2009 imploring it to pass the Stimulus bill, H.R. 1. "The legislation is not perfect," the Chamber confessed, adding that "parts of the bill should be modified or eliminated. However, the Chamber urges the Senate to approve H.R. 1, and encourages Congress and the Administration to work on a conference report that provides timely, targeted, and temporary economic stimulus."
The search for ways to rehabilitate the Obama administration in the eyes of the public is seemingly a never-ending enterprise at the Associated Press.
Oh, they slip up occasionally. Late last week (covered yesterday at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), in an item primarily about how Congress really, really can't stop planned stimulus spending (uh-huh), the wire service's Brett J. Blackledge let slip that President Obama's stimulus program is "politically unpopular." In noting that the government wasn't able to spend the funds as fast as intended, Blackledge also indirectly confirmed an obvious truth the President admitted to the New York Times that he needed almost two years to learn: "there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects."
So what do you do if you're "The Essential Global News Network" and need to recover? Why, you find something that appears to be working (sort of), and rename it "stimulus." Voila! See how easy that is?
MSNBC's Ed Schultz began his show Monday railing against American corporations sitting on trillions of dollars of cash while refusing to exhibit "economic patriotism" by using those funds to add to their payrolls.
In a demonstration of classic liberal hypocrisy, the host of the "Ed Show" finished his program calling AOL's purchase of the Huffington Post "a big f-in deal" while not once asking the website's editor Roy Sekoff if any new jobs would be created with the $315 million the owners are receiving or if all the writers would finally be paid for their contributions (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
According to Brett J. Blackledge at the Associated Press, when it comes to unspent stimulus money, cue the MC Hammer ("U Can't Touch This") and go away.
In a Friday "analysis" in the wire service's "Spin Meter" category (HT Sweetness & Light), Blackledge, using words which clearly communicate which side he's on, in essence tells those whose goal it is to reduce federal spending to a more sustainable level that they're going to have to go somewhere else to find money that can't be spent.
There are a couple of silver linings in Blackledge's otherwise leaden analysis. First, he admits in his very first sentence that the stimulus program is "politically unpopular." Second, he notes that the government wasn't able to spend the money as quickly as promised in the heady days of February 2009, when passage of the stimulus bill that no one had time to read was supposedly the only thing preventing economic Armageddon:
As NewsBusters previously reported, CNBC's Rick Santelli was very disappointed by Friday's jobs report from the Labor Department showing a surprising decline in the unemployment rate to 9.0 percent.
Disappointing is hardly the word I would use for buried inside the numbers was another huge decline in the size of the American labor force that should have economists and government officials fearing for our ability to ever balance our budget or be able to fund our rising expenditures without issuing more and more debt.
As the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Employment Situation Summary stated (emphasis added):
David Gergen not surprisingly believes that increased federal spending on education - or "investments" as Democrats like to say - is essential irrespective of our nation's current fiscal crisis.
On "Anderson Cooper 360" following the President's State of the Union address, former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer did his darnedest to explain to the CNN senior political analyst that our mammoth budget deficits should first be brought under control before any additional outlays are considered (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The President that expanded the role, scope, and size of the federal government more than all that came before him or since is unquestionably Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Yet on Tuesday, moments after calling Congresswoman Michele Bachmann a "balloon head," MSNBC's Chris Matthews actually said FDR "bailed out capitalism in the '30s" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Despite virtually all economists and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve finding Friday's unemployment report disappointing, MSNBC's Ed Schultz parroted President Obama's take that the numbers released by the Labor Department were good news.
The "Ed Show" host crowed so gleefully about the much-maligned data that he even said it was evidence the 2009 stimulus package worked (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Despite the bipartisan tax cuts orchestrated by the White House and Congress - and heralded by most Wall Street analysts! - in December, calls for tax hikes by liberal news outlets will be prevalent in the new year.
Confirming this was the New York Times on Sunday pounding this drum with predictable certitude in an editorial simply titled "The Economy in 2011":
On Saturday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Bob Orr filed a report on the incoming Republican congressional freshmen, and, after noting that Rep.-elect Allen West was taking a "hard line" on federal spending, and after showing a clip of the Florida Republican raising doubts about compromising "your principles," the CBS correspondent used the cliche "partisan bickering" as he warned that such views could end the recent "collaborative spirit" in Congress, and plugged President Obama’s call for "cooperation." Orr:
It's a warning of sorts that the collaborative spirit of the recent lame duck Congress may soon dissolve into renewed partisan bickering. President Obama, vacationing in Hawaii, today made a preemptive bid for continued cooperation.
After soundbites from Republican Rep.-elect Ben Quayle and the Politico’s David Mark, Orr concluded his report predicting that Tea Party Republicans could "cause trouble" within the Republican caucus:
The morning after a contentious vote in which over 100 House Democrats revolted against the Democratic president's proposed tax package, NBC congressional correspondent Kelly O'Donnell chose to frame the debate as a resounding victory for the White House.
Appearing on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" today, O'Donnell was only willing to admit "some" Democratic opposition to the extension of current tax rates for all Americans, which will prevent an across-the-board tax increase in January.
Instead of reporting that 112 Democrats turned against President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, O'Donnell emphasized that the votes were evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, 138 to 139, respectively. For O'Donnell, 45 percent of the president's party defecting represents only "some" opposition.
For Chrystia Freeland, the thought of only taxing wealthy estates 35 percent is "destructive to the fabric of America." The Reuters global editor-at-large went on a ear-piercing tear this afternoon on MSNBC's "Dylan Ratigan Show," stoking the flames of class warfare.
"[The wealthy] were just born–it's the lucky sperm club, right?" screeched Freeland. "I don't think American wealth should be determined by that."
Politics Daily contributor Matt Lewis, for his part, tried to maintain a civil discourse, but Freeland repeatedly interrupted him to interject her inflammatory rhetoric.
"I thought the philosophy was against a landed gentry," asserted an indignant Freeland. "I thought the philosophy was against an aristocracy. I thought the American way was you build it yourself and everyone was born equal."
Liberal media members opposed to President Obama's tax cut compromise plan have been making the case that it's hypocritical of the Tea Party not to be universally against the measure given its impact on the deficit.
After Ed Schultz and Bill Press not surprisingly took this view on Monday's "Ed Show," Michael Medved gave them both a much-needed education on the subject (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Charles Krauthammer on Friday scolded Mark Shields and other liberals for "moaning and bitching" about the President's compromise tax plan after months of demanding the White House implement a second stimulus package.
After Shields on PBS's "Inside Washington" predictably criticized Obama for agreeing to extend the Bush tax cuts on the so-called rich, Krauthammer marvelously struck back (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Charles Krauthammer on Monday said that when Barack Obama spoke to the nation hours ago to announce a tax extension compromise just reached with Republicans, "It was actually a speech addressed at Daily Kos, the New York Times, and MoveOn."
In Krauthammer's view expressed on Fox's "Special Report," "This was a speech aimed at appeasing the Left which is extremely angry over this" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
At the Associated Press late Sunday afternoon, reporter Paul Wiseman, who may have the most inappropriate last name in the history of business journalism, engaged in a brazen "It's really not that bad" excuse-making exercise on behalf of the economy Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Ben Bernanke have created. In the process, he joined a Reuters reporter in questioning the validity of the information Friday's Employment Situation Report.
From the same organization that gave us the ‘lives touched’ method for calculating stimulus job creation, the Department of Energy (DOE) has now stumbled upon a whole new way to increase employment.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced that they are investigating ‘an uncontrolled spread of radioactive material’ at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Niskayuna, New York. Elevated radiation levels have been confirmed in the air surrounding the site, as well as the Mohawk River which was deluged with over 600 gallons of radioactive water. The radiation stemmed from an incident in late September when workers attempted to take down a building – building H2 - at the site.
Worse, the DOE failed to notify local officials of the spill, leaving those who rely on their water supply from the Mohawk completely oblivious to the potential health and safety issues.
The Albany Times Union obtained a copy of a report filed by investigators for the DOE, which cited “an atmosphere of fear among the work force not to speak up about issues of concern”. The report reveals the main reason that workers for the Washington Group International (WGI), a private company contracted to clean up the Cold War-era facility, felt pressured to ignore safety issues:
The company was pushing to finish work three months earlier than first planned -- by September 2011 rather than December 2011 -- in order to receive an extra $32 million in federal stimulus funding awarded for the cleanup in April 2009.
In no uncertain terms, Rush Limbaugh (link will become unavailable in seven days) ripped into an Associated Press report today on the alleged perils of allowing unemployment benefits to expire for what the Labor Department says is nearly 2 million unemployed:
I have not had one class in economics since high school in the 1960s -- not one -- and I understand more about this through my own self-education than these wizards at the AP. And I'm still convinced they just repeated it. They just printed a fax from Pelosi's office or whatever. ... After 23 years and we still get trash like this in our major, #1 wire service. I guarantee you whoever wrote this story is an absolute, abject ignoramus. I don't know about you, folks, but I don't like being surrounded by stupidity.
The chief ignoramus in question whose name Rush didn't have is the misnamed AP Economics Writer Paul Wiseman, with the ignorant assistance of Christopher Rugaber. Behold their ignorance:
There are times when one has to think the Manhattan building that is the home of the New York Times doesn't have any windows, doesn't have any television sets, and doesn't have any doors that allow employees to venture out and actually see what's happening in America beyond the walls of 620 Eighth Avenue.
Consider that after the impact the Tea Party has had on our nation's politics the past 20 months, and the historic elections that just took place on November 2, Times columnist Tom Friedman actually thinks Americans aren't interested in reducing the federal deficit but are instead yearning for higher taxes and greater government spending:
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on Friday said the reason so many Republicans are opposed to the Federal Reserve's new monetary stimulus scheme of quantitative easing is because they really want the economy to stay weak in order to harm President Obama.
Readers are advised to strap themselves in tightly in preparation for the paranoid lunacy on display:
Gosh, what's a bigger story -- that to the extent it was ever happening at all the housing recovery "seems to have been aborted," or that according to the government there was very little inflation in October?
When you increase demand for something, its price should go up.
In the case of bonds, if the demand for them increases, their price should go up, and their effective interest-rate yield should go down.
That didn't happen on Friday when the Federal Reserve began executing its second round of "money from nothing" quantitative easing. Even though the Fed increased demand, bond prices went down and yields went up.
Why? If you read a late Friday afternoon report by the Associated Press's Matthew Craft you essentially get a bunch of blubbering "I don't know" statements (bolds after headline are mine):