If not an unmitigated frozen-flying-pig-in-Hades moment, then certainly something noteworthy for its rarity, coming from the lips of David Gregory . . .
On today's Morning Joe, the Meet The Press moderator, in one surprising swoop, managed to praise a statement from Mitch McConnell while simultaneously seeming to acknowledge that President Obama's economic program has failed. Video after the jump.
MSNBC's Martin Bashir tag-teamed with liberal pundit Jared Bernstein to slam Herman Cain and Rick Perry's tax plans today, insisting that both are a sop to the "rich" and an act of "class warfare" against the middle class. An onscreen bio graphic noted that Bernstein used to work for Vice President Biden, but that fact would go unnoted for any listeners to the program via MSNBC's SiriusXM satellite radio channel.
Also unaddressed by Bashir was that while Cain, Perry and the other GOP candidates are running against the Obama economic record, Bernstein had a hand in fashioning the 2009 stimulus package.
In a January 2009 memo co-authored with then-Obama economic advisor Christina Romer, the pair argued that a stimulus bill would stop the upward march of unemployment at 8 percent in the third quarter of 2009, with unemployment falling throughout 2011 and reaching around 5.5 percent by Election Day 2012 (see graph from that report below the page break).
MSNBC congressional correspondent Luke Russert today refused to parrot MSNBC host Martin Bashir's left-wing talking points about House Republicans and their proposal to boost the economy and spur job creation.
"This week, Eric Cantor will introduce a jobs bill of his own, so what exactly should we expect?" Bashir rhetorically asked viewers as he introduced his "Divided We Fall" segment, featuring MSNBC congressional correspondent Luke Russert live via satellite from the U.S. Capitol.
"Luke, aside from trickle-down economics, is there anything in Mr. Cantor's proposal -- and you're not allowed to say 'cut taxes and remove regulations' -- now answer the question," Bashir demanded of Russert.
A notable moment on Morning Joe today, as Joe Scarborough called out Mika Brzezinski on her double standard when it comes to criticizing politicians for their over-the-top remarks.
Setting Scarborough off was Brzezinski's defense of Joe Biden's allegation that crime, including rape, would increase if Republicans don't vote for President Obama's latest tax-raising stimulus plan. Joe claimed Mika would surely condemn a Republican, such as Michelle Bachmann, employing similar fear-mongering tactics. Video after the jump.
President Barack Obama’s new infrastructure spending plan “makes all of the sense in the world” and is an “eminently sensible idea,” ABC’s Christiane Amanpour enthused Sunday morning on This Week as if there is no rational reason to oppose the additional federal money and without a look at the impact of the already-spent stimulus spending.
Following up on President Obama’s boast that “when you got the AFL and the Chamber of Commerce agreeing on anything, that’s a sign that it’s a good idea,” Amanpour brought aboard the chiefs of those two organizations to tout the self-interested spending and fret over Republican opposition.
The easy catch in former Obama administration economic adviser Austan Goolsbee's Thursday interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," as reported by the Politico's Tim Mak, is that he believes that "if given a second chance he would not have backed the Cash for Clunkers program or the home buyer tax credit." Goolsbee's excuse for his changed position -- that the administration didn't think the recovery would take so long, when the administration's policies have primarily explain why the recovery has taken so long -- is characteristically lame.
Something else Goolsbee said is far more surprising -- so surprising that one wonders if famed supply-side economist Arthur Laffer somehow temporarily took over the former Obama adviser's mind and body. One also wonders why Mak saved what Goolsbee said for his report's final two paragraphs instead of headlining and leading with it.
CBS's Early Show on Thursday stood out as the only Big Three network program that covered what anchor Jeff Glor labeled as Vice President Biden's "controversial comments linking rape and the jobs bill," where he attacked the GOP for opposing the legislation. ABC and NBC's morning shows on Thursday didn't air anything on the story, and none of the networks' evening news shows on Wednesday reported on it.
Despite correspondent Bill Plante's full report on Biden's attack on the GOP, which included a sound bite of the Democrat standing by his comments after a question from Human Events editor Jason Mattera, Face The Nation host Bob Schieffer all but defended the Vice President's remarks: "I think the Vice President is just drawing things in the starkest possible terms...it is a little bit difficult to argue with the logic. If you have fewer police on the streets, you're probably going to have more crime."
Double standards on story placement in the New York Times? A “Political Victory” for the White House over trade deals that promise only “small” economic benefits was trumpeted in the headline to Thursday’s lead story, while a “major setback” for Obama and his jobs bill was buried on Wednesday’s inside pages.
On Thursday's NBC Today, after acknowledging President Obama's low approval rating, co-host Matt Lauer and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd cheered other results of the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, with Lauer proclaiming: "If there is some good news for the White House this morning it's that 63% of the people in this poll approve of his jobs plan."
Todd followed: "That's right. And also just about the same amount of folks, 64%, believe it should be among the wealthy and corporations that should be paying more money for government services and how we do this and whether it's for – to pay for the President's jobs plan. So philosophically, the President has the public on his side." But then lamented: "He's just not able to somehow convince Congress, not just Republicans, but all of Democrats, to take his position on this."
PBS's Charlie Rose opened last night’s Bloomberg/Washington Post GOP presidential economic policy debate by noting the round table format was like a “kind of kitchen table where families for generations have come together to talk and solve their problems.”
But through much of the debate it sounded more like Thanksgiving dinner with your liberal aunt and uncle as panelist Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post hammered the candidates from the left and moderator Charlie Rose used a 27-year-old Reagan sound bite to push candidates to come out in favor of tax increases.
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):
Interviewing Chicago Mayor and former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel on Sunday's Meet the Press, host David Gregory fretted over the 2009 stimulus not being big enough: "Do you think this president wasted it – the crisis you talked about – to do the big things at that moment, to really be a jobs president to create the demand in the economy that you're talking about through more government spending?" [Audio available here]
While Emanuel defended the stimulus package, Gregory continued to hit from the left: "What were the opportunity costs of not a big enough stimulus, of healthcare reform that hurt him [Obama] politically at a time when he now needs, as you say, more government spending, but he doesn't have the political capital to get it done, does he, Mayor?" [View video after the jump]
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:
You would think that an Associated Press story about the Congressional Budget Office's preliminary estimate of the federal government's full fiscal year results would include things like total federal collections and total spending during the year and how they compared to the previous year.
Don't be silly. If the AP let numbers that big -- and their direction -- get into its report, readers and listeners might start thinking that spending is outrageously high, and that increasing taxes to try to cover today's ridiculous levels of spending would crucify the economy. We can't have that, not when President Obama and Democrats are desperately pushing for taxes on "millionaires and billionaires" who earn $250,000 or more per year. What follows are excerpts from the writeup, followed by important and obvious facts AP chose not to report:
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):
For the 33rd consecutive day, ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday omitted any mention of the Obama administration's Solyndra scandal, even though co-host George Stephanopoulos asked the President about it in an interview on Monday and elicited a newsworthy defense of the more than $500 million loan to the now-bankrupt company.
Tuesday's show instead focused on other questions from the ABCNews / Yahoo! online interview, like the best piece of advice the President has received from his wife and whether or not he would stop Bank of America's new monthly debt card fee.
Barely a week ago, we noted that the Morning Joe crew was blowing off the Solyndra scandal. "There's no there, there," they sniffed. But facts are pesky things. A devastating email, which Mika Brzezinski read on the air today, has turned up, indicating that top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett was warned about Solyndra's possibly impending bankruptcy before PBO made his photo-op visit to the company. That compelled Joe Scarborough & Co. to acknowledge that the Solyndra story has legs.
Perhaps even more significant was a clip Morning Joe played of President Obama defending his administration's decision to fund the soon-to-go-belly-up solar panel maker. In stating his case, Obama revealed his fundamentally socialist mind-set. According to the prez, unless the government funds something, it's not going to happen. 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):
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.
Earlier this evening (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I cited a few of very many examples where the press has not hesitated during the Obama years, and really since Barack Obama became the frontrunner for the Democratic Party's nomination in 2008, to engage in uncalled-for creativity to avoid calling a statement made a lie or an unlawful action illegal. One of the lastest: A Raleigh New & Observer reporter concluded that in implying that North Carolina has bridges in imminent danger of falling -- specifically, by asking his audience: "Why would we wait to act until another bridge falls?" -- Obama "may have" merely "over-suggested the risk to public safety."
Jim Kuhnhenn's report at the Associated Press tonight on the President's visit to the Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River connecting Cincinnati to Covington, Kentucky appears to have taken the cover-up of the president's misleading statements to a new level, as seen in the following excerpted paragraphs (bolds are mine):
Bruce Siceloff at the Raleigh News & Observer had the task on Tuesday of writing up the results of his newspaper's follow-up investigation into the safety of bridges in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina area after Barack Obama's visit there last week. In a speech there, the President asserted that "In North Carolina alone, there are 153 structurally deficient bridges that need to be repaired. Four of them are near here, on or around the Beltline. Why would we wait to act until another bridge falls?"
I know this will come as a total shock to readers -- not -- but the president wasn't being truthful. Behold what Siceloff and his paper found, and how he felt compelled to come up with a new word to describe Obama's untruthful characterizations (HT to Rush Limbaugh, who brought this up on the air today):
New York Times White House reporter Jackie Calmes seemed to like President Obama’s new combative pose over his new big-spending, tax-hiking “stimulus” proposal. Her lead story Tuesday, “Obama Confirms New Hard Stand With Debt Relief,” framed the political battle as a personal conflict as a disrespected president betrayed by House Speaker John Boehner once too often.
With a scrappy unveiling of his formula to rein in the nation’s mounting debt, President Obama confirmed Monday that he had entered a new, more combative phase of his presidency, one likely to last until next year’s election as he battles for a second term.
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:
So I figure that I need to catch up on the LightSquared saga. This is the company which, as Fox News reported on Thursday (the URL date is September 15, though the time stamp is the next day) is building "a nationwide, next-generation, 4G phone network."
The problem is, as Fox further noted, that there are concerns that "many, including (General William) Shelton, think (the network) would seriously hinder the effectiveness of high-precision GPS receiver systems, a product used most commonly by the United States military." Shelton told a congresspersons "in a classified briefing earlier this month" that he was asked by the Obama administration to change (but apparently didn't) his testimony about said dangers.
So I went to the Associated Press's main page at 9:50 this evening, did a search on the company's name, and got back the following:
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):