Exploring the question, "Why Are Democrats Down in Pennsylvania?" Newsweek's Ben Adler determined the answer was fairly simple: not enough stimulus spending to benefit the rural areas of the Keystone State, which he says is "sometimes called 'Pennsyltucky'" by virtue of its being largely "white, rural, blue-collar, and poor":
The Washington Post is now farming out its liberal hit pieces to outside journalism groups. On the top of page A3 Monday was a story from the liberal Center for Public Integrity slashing Republicans (and conservative Democrats) as hypocrites for voting against the so-called “stimulus” but then sending constituent requests for “stimulus” support. This, by now, is a very tired White House talking point from February, but reporters John Solomon and Aaron Mehta were retreading it anyway:
Rep. Pete Sessions, the firebrand conservative from Texas, has relentlessly assailed the Democratic stimulus efforts as a package of wasteful "trillion-dollar spending sprees" that was "more about stimulating the government and rewarding political allies than growing the economy and creating jobs."
But that didn't stop the Republican lawmaker from seeking stimulus money behind the scenes for the Dallas suburb of Carrollton after the GOP campaign against the 2009 stimulus law quieted down....
Only the New York Times could burn through 2,500 words about Japan's economy and not use the word "stimulus." The Old Gray Lady's Martin Fackler did refer to Fed Chair Ben Bernanke's just-announced second attempt to "stimulate" economy, but dodged the central lesson: The government created the Japanese people's malaise, and our government, despite Japan's experience, seems determined to do the same to us.
The Times item is the first in a series, so I suppose Fackler may get around to it in subsequent reports, but it doesn't seem likely.
Here are some paragraphs from Fackler's report that show how intent he and the Times were on not getting to the real root causes of Japan's nearly two-decade malaise (bolds are mine):
There is a simple explanation for President Obama's dismal approval ratings, but ABC's George Stephanopoulos fails to comprehend it. Appearing on the October 13 "O'Reilly Factor," the former Clinton adviser peddled multiple theories to explain Obama's unpopularity, but neglected to consider the possibility that the president has simply failed to connect with the general public.
"As far as the problem with Democrats, they're upset about the economy, but he has also got a problem with liberals, who wish he would have done more on issues like gays in the military, on health care, on other issues," asserted Stephanopoulos.
The argument that Obama's approval rating is suffering because his policies have not been liberal enough shows just how disconnected this political flak-turned-journalist is with the public he ostensibly serves. Obama's approval rating is not hovering around 43 percent, as the latest Reuters poll indicates, because liberal activists, who represent a small percentage of the population, have been abandoning the president in droves. Rather, Obama is floundering because his support among independents and swing-voters has evaporated. In that same poll, according to Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, Obama has a 33 percent approval rating among Ohio voters.
It’s quite remarkable to think about and unfortunately it is true.
Throughout the 2009 stimulus debate early in his term, President Barack Obama and other Democrats argue it was time to put America to work with the aid of the government and so-called “shovel-ready jobs.” But in a startling admission in an interview with The New York Times’ White House correspondent Peter Baker, Obama said “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects.”
So after the American taxpayers were sold a stimulus bill that was supposed to repair the country’s ailing infrastructure and stem the rise in unemployment, the president’s economic policies haven’t lived up as advertised. On the Oct. 13 broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “Special Report with Bret Baier,” syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer offered a spot-on explanation.
NewsBusters sister site Eyeblast.tv hit the streets of Alexandria, Va., recently to see what average people think about some of the wasteful spending in the stimulus package. Needless to say people weren't too happy about how their tax dollars are being spent:
The Obama administration gave corporate giant General Electric—the parent company of NBC--$24.9 million in grants from the $787-billion economic “stimulus” law President Barack Obama signed in February 2009, according to records posted by the administration at Recovery.gov.
Europe isn’t socialist enough for ABC’s Christiane Amanpour, who pushed French’s finance minister about how “prominent” economists are urging Europe to abandon “austerity” since “it needs more stimulus to provide more growth,” and later during the This Week roundtable, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman ridiculed Tea Party candidates as “irrational” and “seriously strange” before he insisted that irrationality is demonstrated by their inability to recognize Barack Obama is a “centrist moderate President.”
Krugman asserted: “If we have a Republican Party that actually takes the White House, actually has control of Congress, but contains a large wing of these people, it's going to be incapable of making real choices. These are people who are as irrational as they seem in these ads.” He soon parodied the views of Tea Party enthusiasts:
There are times when you have to wonder whether liberal shills in the media are are just ignorant or dishonest.
Monday is one of those times.
Consider Nobel laureate Paul Krugman's most recent column in the New York Times entitled "Hey, Small Spender" wherein the man the Left considers to be one of the economic geniuses of our time argues that federal spending really hasn't increased under President Obama.
Most deviously, the Nobel Prize winner in economics never once actually referred to actual figures from the budget to prove his point:
George Will on Sunday once again proved how little Nobel laureate Paul Krugman actually knows about economics.
As the Roundtable segment of ABC’s “This Week” approached its conclusion, host Christiane Amanpour referred to French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde’s claim earlier in the program that her country’s economy is already growing and doesn’t need any further stimulus spending.
Krugman, who is always interested in government laying out more dollars it doesn’t have, bashed Lagarde’s view saying, “I think she's got a fantasy, which is a popular European fantasy, which bears no relationship to what's actually happening.”
With the ball nicely teed up, Will smacked a monster drive down the middle of the fairway that would make Tiger Woods proud (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing on Wednesday's CBS Early Show, business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis expressed disappointment in the lack of a new stimulus package, but hoped for other government action: "...while the government doesn't necessarily have the political will or the motivation to put a new stimulus into effect here in the United States, the Federal Reserve is prepared to step in and do that."
Co-host Maggie Rodriguez had asked Jarvis about possible reasons for why the stock market "sky-rocketed" on Tuesday. Jarvis touted possible intervention by the Fed as a reason for the stock "surge": "...many are anticipating that the Federal Reserve will take its own tools and do stimulative action."
Rodriguez then wondered: "Yeah, the Fed has been indicating that's it's going to step in and prop up the economy. But there's a lot of speculation about what exactly Ben Bernanke will do. What are the options?" Jarvis replied: "...one particular thing, and that is to start printing more money, put more money into circulation." While she acknowledged that such an action "decreases the value of the money in your pocket," Jarvis rosily predicted: "...it also can increase the value of things around you, like your home."
The second headline on washingtonpost.com Friday morning highlights "High marks for stimulus package." Oh, who gave it high marks? It explained underneath: "Massive program is coming in on time and under budget -- and with strikingly few claims of fraud or abuse -- according to a White House report."
On page A15 of the paper, the headline is "Positive review of stimulus package." Underneath that in smaller, capitalized type is "White House Report." Online, it's simply "Report gives stimulus package high marks." Lori Montgomery's story reads like a breathy Obama-Biden press release -- and it quotes no conservatives or Republicans.
Montgomery reported Team Obama had support in arguing their so-called stimulus "staunched the worst bleeding in employment and led the economy to rebound late last year. Many prominent economistsagree with that assessment." The Congressional Budget Office estimates it "may" be on track to "meet the administration's goal of preserving 3.5 million jobs by the end of the year."
Right after that, in the tenth paragraph, is where conservatives (and the vast majority of the public) are briefly acknowledged:
New York Times correspondent Thomas Friedman is clearly unhappy about the Tea Party, so much so that he considers the movement "not that important."
Instead, he envisions another group, "which stretches from centrist Republicans to independents right through to centrist Democrats," sitting silently out there in America waiting for the right leader to emerge.
Just posted this morning over at MRC.org, our latest edition of Notable Quotables, a bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media. Topics this week include: CBS's Bob Schieffer absurdly suggesting Republicans could face a landslide defeat this year, "very much like 1964," while Katie Couric frets (again) how "moderate Republicans are becoming an endangered species." Also in this issue, NBC's Meredith Vieira declares that the Bush tax cuts "didn't succeed, so what's so good about them," while CBS's Harry Smith lobbies for "a second stimulus" or even "something like a new WPA."
Oh, and Chris Matthews gets another “thrill” from hearing Obama speak — this time, it’s “all over me.” Video of that confession, plus three other clips after the jump.
At a minimum, taxpayers have spent $9.1 million as of July 2010 on signs advertising the Obama administration's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus law, according to federal officials reporting estimates to the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board.
But the cost is probably much higher since the six government agencies that spent stimulus dollars relied largely on sampling to get an estimate of how much money was spent on posting signs near Recovery Act projects.
Most of the signs read, "Putting America to Work," and they include the ARRA emblem along with the Recovery.gov Web address. While the Obama administration contends the signs provide transparency, Republicans believe the signs amount to taxpayer-subsidized propaganda.
ABC’s World News whored itself out Thursday night to a hapless effort by the White House to prove its “stimulus” spending created a lot of jobs. “Still ahead on World News,” an easily impressed Diane Sawyer hyped, “We have the list! That White House stimulus, the top success stories. An exclusive report.” Jon Karl proceeded to highlight “the greatest hits of the stimulus program,” including a payout to the owner of MSNBC, but the White House examples he touted totaled a piddling 418 jobs.
Sawyer announced the “President's stimulus program” of $818 billion was “designated to create or save millions of jobs” and though “Republicans say it's been largely unsuccessful,” the “White House is firing back, and our Jon Karl has a look at the top of the list, the ones that have worked the best.” Previewing a report to be released Friday by the Vice President’s office, “100 Recovery Act Projects that Are Changing America” (AP dispatch), Karl trumpeted how “the White House will detail the top 100 stimulus programs in the country. We have an exclusive list at what they considered the greatest hits of the stimulus program.”
Karl began with a project in New Jersey “where a toxic area contaminated by an old electronics plant is being transformed into a new industrial park, thanks to $30 million stimulus dollars” and, he raved, “the project has already created 68 jobs.”
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:
As NewsBusters has previously reported, liberal Internet publisher Arianna Huffington is breathtakingly ignorant when it comes to basic economic theory.
On Sunday, she proved it again by making an absolute fool of herself on ABC's "This Week."
With the "Roundtable" segment beginning on the subject of the economy, Huffington noted how the failure of the banking bailout to stimulate growth was "proof that the government does not work."
In a stunning display of both idiocy and hypocrisy, she moments later demanded more financial regulations, including a reinstatement of the Depression Era Glass-Steagall Act, to - wait for it! - stimulate the economy.
Adding insult to injury, George Will was available to really make clear what an absolute imbecile Huffington is (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
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)
Whenever President Barack Obama defends what his presidency to date, specifically on economic issues, he'll speak of inheriting a bad economy from the previous administration, and then assures listeners of his intention to make the economy his top priority.
So why hasn't he done it? Why have there been other distractions like cap-and-trade, ObamaCare, bailouts, etc. and not a push for a real so-called infrastructure stimulus, like the president proposed publicly earlier this week. On CNBC's Sept. 10 "Squawk Box," host Joe Kernen asked NBC "Meet the Press" moderator why the support from the president's own party isn't enthusiastic about Obama's new stimulus proposal.
"I am trying to figure out, where is the Democratic leadership?" Kernen said. "Were you not surprised that after the speech and after the proposals, I don't know of a single person in a leadership position that said, ‘Yes Mr. President, that's a great idea.' All I saw was [Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael] Bennet using the s-word, which he isn't supposed to use and isn't that surreal? I mean it's like - the president almost seems like he's lonely at this point with some of this stuff?"
It is crunch time for President Barack Obama and Democrats. The writing on the wall suggests the president and his party will suffer severe losses and will ultimately lose control of one, if not two chambers of Congress in November. And this was something Obama addressed in a Labor Day speech in Milwaukee on Sept. 6, but he also complained about how he has been personally treated by his critics, suggesting he has been talked about "like a dog." That was something former CNN anchor and syndicated radio host Lou Dobbs said it was time for Obama to get past.
"Megyn when you talk about the lies that are told - that happens in any political arena at anytime as you well know," Dobbs said. "But the lies aren't what are hurting this president. What is hurting this president is the truth. And it is - it's critically important to this administration, this White House, I believe, for this president to quit whining and start leading all of the people - not just groups, not just certain identities but all of the American people."
On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith touted President Obama's economic proposals and portrayed Republicans as obstructionist: "Obama's new plan. The President proposes to spend $50 billion on roads, airports, and railways and offers businesses a $200 billion tax cut. But the GOP says not so fast."
Later, Smith introduced a report by senior White House correspondent Bill Plante: "With unemployment at 9.6% and the midterm elections just two months away, President Obama is out and about this week promoting new ideas to get the economy moving again." Plante proclaimed: "Pumped up in full campaign mode before a crowd of union members in Milwaukee, Mr. Obama celebrated his administration's accomplishments and announced a new project to repair the nation's infrastructure." A headline on screen read: "Obama's New Deal; Announces $50 Billion Infrastructure Plan."
Following Plante's report, Smith spoke with CBS economics and business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis and political analyst John Dickerson about the President's plans. As Jarvis promoted the idea that more spending would create jobs, Smith asked Dickerson about Republican opposition: "...almost anything that the White House talks about, say over the last couple months or so, has met – had been met with a raspberry, I suppose we should assume this will be met with the same kind of reaction?" The on-screen headline changed to "GOP Rips New $50 Billion Infrastructure Plan."
As the not-so "recovery summer" draws to an end, many are scratching heads, wondering what it will take for the economy to pull out of this recession.
According to Maria Bartiromo, host of CNBC's "Closing Bell," it will be political change in Washington, D.C. In an appearance on NBC's Sept. 7 "Today," she said the best stimulus would be a Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
"This is probably the single most important catalyst for the stock market right now," Bartiromo said. "I think that the perception of confidence, the perception that perhaps we won't see tremendous change in terms of higher expenses in 2011 if we were to see the Republicans gain control of the House, it will probably be a positive for the stock market.
Erin Burnett, one of CNBC's famed "money honeys," exaggerated the relative strength of the economy Sunday in order to boost the success of President Obama's stimulus plan.
Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Burnett several times characterized this economic recovery as not only far stronger than any of the indicators suggest, but also "faster" than those in the recent past.
"Our recovery started more quickly than after any other recession in the past 25 years," the CNBCer told David Gregory and his panel.
Burnett later elaborated on this preposterous claim as fellow panelist Rich Lowry of the National Review shook his head on screen (video follows with transcript and commentary):
National Review's Rich Lowry on Sunday had a classic debate with Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne about whether or not the tax cuts implemented by former President George W. Bush should be allowed to expire.
Dionne agrees with President Obama that they should only be extended for folks making less than $250,000 a year; Lowry thinks that raising anyone's taxes right now could send the country back into recession.
With this in mind, NBC's David Gregory opened the panel segment of "Meet the Press" with a discussion about the current state of the economy and how this issue might impact the upcoming midterm elections.
As he tossed the baton to Lowry and Dionne, one got the feeling Gregory was intentionally lighting a fuse he knew would result in some entertaining fireworks (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
Obama administration Labor Secretary Hilda Solis (pictured at right with what I would guess is her ideal car of the future) shamelessly used Labor Day weekend as an opportunity to score political points.
In a presentation that was more a political stump speech than an informative presentation, Solis recited a litany of alleged accomplishments. Many of them have no relationship to what her department does, while some are also objectively wrong. Second, she set up a host of straw men in the form of "those who would" and "to those who want to" to make her department and the administration where she works appear as if they and they alone are the bulwark against rapacious employers and their political allies.
The YouTube video is present at this DOL page (direct YouTube link here). What follows are selected transcribed excerpts, with specific critiques:
Filling in for Bob Schieffer as host of Face the Nation, Early Show co-host Harry Smith brought his liberal sensibilities to the Sunday show, pressing his economic panel to agree the Bush tax cuts should not be extended, the stimulus was too small and so another would be wise – even suggesting a return to an FDR-era government make-work jobs program: “What about, say, something like a new WPA?”
Presuming the pre-2003 levels are the real rates, Smith questioned Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times: “Is now the time to continue cutting taxes if there is this overwhelming deficit out there?” He soon cued up White House economic adviser Laura Tyson to agree with his premise: “Should the Bush tax cuts stay in place for the middle class but be rescinded for the top wage earners?”
Turning back to Morgenson, Smith showed exasperation with public opposition to government spending programs as he wondered if the stimulus wasn’t big enough:
I want to go back to the stimulus because as so many of these Congress folks are going back out of their districts and people complain about the size of government, they're complaining about the deficit, they're complaining about TARP and who knows what all else. As we're standing here looking at it right now, just if you can step away, was the stimulus big enough?
New York Times columnist Tom Friedman on Sunday accused Barack Obama of badly misreading his Election Day mandate, and said the current White House is the worst communicating administration he's ever seen.
Appearing on the Roundtable segment of ABC's "This Week," Friedman blasted the President saying, "I'm for more health care. I'm glad we've extended it to more Americans. But the fact is there's a real, I think, argument for the case that Obama completely over-read his mandate when he came in."
Friedman continued, "He was elected to get rid of one man's job, George Bush, and get the rest of us jobs. I think that was the core thing, and by starting with health care and not making his first year the year of innovation, expanding the economy and expanding jobs, you know, I think looking back, that was a political mistake."
Moments later, the Times columnist said, "I've never seen a worse communicating administration" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):