It's hard to overstate the importance of the study released today by the Treasury Department ("Income Mobility in the U.S. from 1996 to 2005"; press release; full study PDF).
That's because it provides documented evidence of more, not less, economic mobility than in previous eras. Beyond that, taken in combination with an independent report I covered last week, it demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that the first four-plus years of the Bush economy were exceptional.
Tuesday's read-the-whole-thing feature editorial at OpinionJournal.com provides a great overview (bolds are mine), plus some tantalizing details:
In the most florid criticism I can recall a network "correspondent" leveling at a major party presidential candidate, MSNBC's David Shuster has branded Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) a border-control "fanatic."
The editorializing came in the course of Shuster's report during today's 5 PM ET "Hardball," which included an update on the GOP primary.
DAVID SHUSTER: No television commercial in Iowa is generating as much heat as the one just unveiled by Republican Tom Tancredo, a border-control fanatic.
It's probably not surprising to learn that when ABC correspondent Claire Shipman convened a panel of women voters to discuss Bill Clinton defending his candidate wife, the ladies mostly gushed over the political couple. Shipman, who reported on the segment for Tuesday's "Good Morning America," found one voter who lauded, "As a strong woman, like, there's a part of her that appeals to me, even though I don't agree...even though I'm, I'm a Republican." Not one of the females selected by ABC harshly criticized the '08 contender.
Shipman also spun Bill Clinton's comments in the wake of the last presidential debate, in which he accused fellow Democrats of swift boating Hillary, in the most generous terms. The GMA reporter fretted that "[Bill Clinton's] support could muddle her so far successful image of independent strength." Shipman recited the usual talking points that Bill Clinton is "obviously" a "brilliant strategist for her campaign." (The media always ignore pesky facts that would contradict the notion of Bill Clinton's brilliance, such as the fact that he never received 50 percent of the popular vote or that he was impeached.)
America will have no one to blame but itself if it doesn't seize the opportunity to elect Barack Obama. That was the essence of a comment Michelle Obama made to Mika Brzezinski in the course of an interview the MSNBCer conducted with the candidate's wife in Iowa over the weekend.
The comments aired on today's "Morning Joe" during the 6:30 AM ET half-hour.
UPDATE: 11-13 9:35 AM: Did Hillary answer a second planted question at the event? See foot.
What did Hillary Clinton know about the planted question in Iowa and when did she know it?
The Clinton campaign and apparently Clinton herself are denying she had any idea she was calling on a plant. But according to information in the New York Times, Clinton campaign aides had in fact prompted her to call on the plant.
At 10:51 AM ET this morning, MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall interviewed Hillary campaign co-chair Tom Vilsack, the former Dem governor of Iowa.
TAMRON HALL: Senator Clinton herself said she knew nothing about this and promised it would not happen again . . .
TOM VILSACK: Obviously Hillary Clinton does not condone the planting of questions; she did not know that this young person had been given that question.
In an interview with obscure Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul on Sunday’s "Face the Nation," host Bob Schieffer asked the Texas Congressman: "What is it that you see that the government ought to do besides deliver the mail?" This followed Schieffer’s description of Paul’s limited government philosophy:
Well, let me -- I want to just get your take on what you think the government ought to do. You've already said your anti-war. We know you're anti-abortion. You're anti-drug administration. You're anti-Medicare. I wrote all this down. Let's see. You're anti-income tax. You want to do away with that. You're anti-United Nations. You're anti-World Bank. You're anti-International Monetary Fund. And there must be some other things that you're against.
On Sunday's "Good Morning America," ABC co-host Kate Snow reported on the growing controversy over the Clinton campaign's planting of friendly questions at political events. At the same time, she ignored her own network's role in creating a similar cozy setting for the 2008 Democrat. In March of this year, GMA hosted a town hall event where Doctor Steve Eckstat, who was on Hillary Clinton's 1993 health care task force, just happened to be in the audience for the ABC event.
Co-anchor Robin Roberts, who hosted the March 26 event, spun it this way: "Somebody that was there, and wants to ask you what is different now, between what happened then, and he is Dr. Steve Eckstat. He is, he works at the free clinic of Iowa. Doctor?" Eckstat's challenging question to the Democratic front-runner? He wanted to know if the former First Lady would be "willing to try again to provide universal health care coverage for all Americans and make that at priority for your administration?"
A red meat speech to Gwinnett County, Georgia, Democrats was cause for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Rhonda Cook to whip up a 15-paragraph Max Cleland press release just in time for Veteran's Day. Not once were any Georgia Republicans quoted for balance in Cook's November 11 story, as the former senator and Vietnam veteran thundered about impending doom for Republicans both nationwide an in Georgia in 2008. But particularly offensive was how Cook uncritically relayed a tired, discredited liberal Democratic meme that Cleland was ousted from office in 2002 thanks to an ad questioning his love of country:
Democrats were especially angered by Cleland's loss to Saxby Chambliss five years ago because of an 11th-hour television ad in which the Republican challenger questioned the incumbent's patriotism.
Of course, Democrats and longtime Cleland supporters are welcome to think anything they want about the ads that questioned Cleland's voting record, but it's not objectively accurate, and neither Cook nor the AJC should uncritically further the Democratic talking point.
This is hardly the first time liberals have played the Max Cleland-as-a-victim-of-McCarthyism card. National Review's Rich Lowry capably addressed this three years ago (emphasis mine):
Sometimes, the smallest gestures are the most significant . . .
Have a look at the freeze-frame. It shows the moment at which the young woman in Iowa this weekend is retaking her seat after posing that planted question to Hillary about climate change. As you'll see, she's flashing someone a conspiratorial wink and smile. "Morning Joe" rolled the video of the moment at 6:43 and 7:01 AM ET today and MSNBC has been replaying throughout the day.
But for a driver's license and a wink, was a nomination was lost?
Guess I won't be calling Mika Brzezinski a "newsreader" again anytime soon. The "Morning Joe" panelist went to Iowa over the weekend and scored an in-depth interview with Michelle Obama that elicited a highly-controversial suggestion from the candidate's wife. According to Mrs. Obama, her husband isn't polling better among African-Americans because in the back of their minds, many blacks think "others" are better.
Should I be worried? I just agreed with something Neal Gabler said. On yesterday's Fox News Watch, the liberal media critic opined that the MSM is backing Benazir Bhutto over Pervez Musharraf in the current Pakistan crisis -- and not for the loftiest of motives.
And could Hillary fall prey to the scenario that brought down Michael Dukakis?
How overmatched were the two lukewarm-at-best Republicans that "Today" tossed in against two partisan Dems this morning? If NBC scheduled this unfair a fight for Sunday Night Football, Al Michaels would be calling the play-by-play between the New England Patriots and the proverbial Little Sisters of Mercy.
The Today show's farce of a "voter panel" was invited to discuss politics and the state of the country this morning. With tens of millions of voters to choose from, NBC can of course contrive any cross-section it wants. So the views expressed by the participants say relatively little about the mood of the country -- but a lot about the network's own political bias.
Students pose for a photograph with a cardboard cutout of Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) as they arrive for a speech by Senator Clinton at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts November 1, 2007. Wellesley College is Senator Clinton's alma mater. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Just two days ago, Gail Collins christened her column about the Pat Robertson endorsement "Pat Loves Rudy."
As I observed then, "a conservative columnist writing the equivalent might well be condemned for making an unsubtle appeal to homophobia. But Collins will surely get a pass in PC quarters, since it's a well-established fact that liberals are incapable of prejudice."
Then comes today's column -- and I'll be darned if Collins hasn't done it again.
For Rolling Stone’s 40th anniversary magazine, one of the celebrities interviewed was the atheist, leftist HBO comedian/pundit Bill Maher. Even as Maher has long professed his support for Bill Clinton's sexual freedom (remember this gig as Clinton's talking little Willy?), he still says of Hillary, "F— them and their Clinton baggage...when the Democrats want a sure winner, John Edwards looks like it." Whoever wins for the Democrats, Maher hopes they’re good at lying to the voters:
ROLLING STONE: What’s your best case scenario for the future?
MAHER: First of all, some Democrat better win it in 2008. Then that person should go for broke and say to the people, "Now I have to tell you the truth. I couldn’t do it when I was running, because you are a bunch of babies who can’t take the truth, and you know damn well you wouldn’t have voted for me if I said that. But we’re going to take these painful measures."
The sad part of it is, the money is there to do almost anything we want. It’s not as if you’d have to raise taxes so much. If you took the money being wasted on Iraq, corporate welfare and the drug war, you would have trillions of dollars to work with. That’s the core of it. Whoever is the next president has to get at this corporate state we’ve found ourselves living in.
Liberals wouldn't lift a finger to stop the torturing to death of an unborn child. But put a terrorist [or a baby seal, for that matter] in the block and watch them spring into sensitive-soul mode.
Rosa Brooks epitomizes the mindset in her current LA Times column, "Torture: the new abortion." Her notion is that among Republicans, the new litmus test for presidential candidates is not opposition to abortion but support for U.S. officials who order the "torture of prisoners."
On Monday, "Today" kicked off Green Week with an Al Gore interview in which he proclaimed there was no room for dissenting voices on global warming. Over at MSNBC the same day, an NBC environmental "correspondent" urged viewers to vote for candidates with an environmentalist agenda.
But this morning, "Green Week" at "Today" went out on a mysteriously innocuous note. Gone, at least during the crucial first-half hour, was the environmentalist crusading, replaced by little more than a travelogue. Instead of global warming, the focus was Ann Curry's personal accomplishment in Antarctica [note the screen graphic].
Being against the war after she was for it, could it be soon be time for Hillary to be for it again?
The question arises in light of the findings by Charles Franklin [pictured here] at Pollster.com. According to his November 6th Pollster.com analysis, there has been a "remarkable" shift, in a positive direction, in public opinion on the war in Iraq.
On Thursday, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet picked up on a story related by the Atlantic Monthly's Marc Ambinder that claims that a few months ago the Barack Obama campaign sought to place the Norman Hsu scandal in the press in an effort to create anti-Hillary buzz in the MSM. Such a political "dirty trick" would seem to be a juice story for members of the MSM, wouldn't it? So, why is Lynn Sweet the only one focusing on this one, anyway? With the sneaky actions of the Obama campaign, one would think that the MSM would be in an uproar for having been used so badly by a political candidate. And, were this a GOP "dirty trick," it would be sure that news creators the nation over would be wagging their fingers and clucking their tongues at this violation of their purported integrity and independence for being used so by a mere political campaign. But, so far the condemnation of the Obama campaign is nearly nonexistent with this barely even causing a raised eyebrow. Don't you wonder why that is?
Hillary Clinton is a "moral conservative." Don't believe it? Ask Amy Sullivan. The Time editor said so on this evening's "Tucker." Let's permit the dialogue between Tucker Carlson and Sullivan to speak for itself. But come back after the transcript to learn some interesting factoids about Ms. Sullivan's background.
On Thursday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Russ Mitchell introduced a news brief in which reporter Byron Pitts speculated on a potential indictment of former NYPD Commissioner and Giuliani friend, Bernard Kerik. Mitchell began the segment by exclaiming:
Republican presidential hopeful, Rudy Giuliani, has stood by his good friend and associate, Bernard Kerik, through good times and bad. But that could change now that Kerik maybe in some big trouble.
Despite the fact that no indictment had actually been handed down yet, that did not keep Pitts from furthering the speculation: "CBS News has learned former New York City Police Commissioner, Bernard Kerik, could face indictment as early as today on criminal charges, including tax fraud and other counts."
While the "Early Show" had no hesitation in reporting a possible Giuliani scandal, the morning news program failed to mention the Hillary Clinton fund raising scandal involving fugitive Norman Hsu even once. That was true even when "Early Show" co-host, Harry Smith, had reported the story on the August 31 and September 6 CBS "Evening News" broadcasts, while filling in for anchor Katie Couric.
It seems that no bad Hillary Clinton deed goes unresponded to.
As we are in the midst of a presidential campaign, this by itself is not an issue. That it is the national media that is leading this charge is. One need focus on but the latest corners of the Clinton pantheon to come to light to see the full court press the press puts on when their girl needs them.
In an October 10 Boston Globe interview, Senator Clinton let her socialism slip a bit, saying "I have a million ideas. I can't do all of them. I happen to think in running a disciplined campaign - especially when it comes to fiscal responsibility, which is what I'm trying to do - everything I propose I have to pay for. You know, you go to my website, you'll see what I would use to pay for what I've proposed. So I've got a lot of ideas, I just obviously can't propose them all. I can't afford them all. The country can't afford them all." (Emphasis ours.)
Over the course of his political career, Bill Clinton was literally and figuratively embraced by countless pastors, most of whom presumably went to their pulpits on Sunday to preach traditional values, including marital fidelity. If memory serves, neither Gail Collins nor other liberal pundits noted any irony in people of the cloth endorsing the spectacularly straying Clinton.
But let a preacher praise a Republican with a personal history, and Gail Collins thunders like Billy Sunday with a bad migraine. Here's the opening paragraph of her "Pat Loves Rudy" in today's New York Times [emphasis added]:
Smith teased the segment at the top of the show by declaring, "On the record, 21 Democrats officially call for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney, citing deceit in Iraq and covert operations in Iran." This declaration was preceded by a song that CBS managed to find on the internet with the lyrics: "Impeach Cheney first."
The top of the segment featured a report by Chip Reid, who explained, "The resolution accuses Cheney not only of alleged past sins regarding Iraq, but alleged current ones on Iran." Despite Cheney’s "sins," Reid also admitted the unpopularity of the proposal:
In the November 7 "Washington Post," in an article reporting on the Virginia General Assembly elections, staff writer Tim Craig adopted the liberal terminology of referring to government spending as "investing" as he relayed that Democratic Governor Tim Kaine hopes to get more support for his "agenda to invest more in education, health care, and the environment." The complete text of a similar article using the same line can be found on the Washington Post's Web site here. In the front-page article "Delays in Counting Slow Results in State, Local Races," after summarizing some of the early election results, including the plight of some Republican state senators running for re-election in Democratic-trending districts, the following one-sentence paragraph ran on page A12:
My October 20th item, "Obama: No Hand on Heart for National Anthem," focused on a "Time" photo of Barack Obama in Iowa in September at Sen. Tom Harkin's steak fry. In contrast with the other candidates, Obama was shown not placing his hand over his heart during the playing of the national anthem. A reproduction of the photo is seen here, as displayed on today's "Morning Joe." Video from November 5 "Morning Joe" (2:02):Real (1.50 MB) and Windows (1.26 MB), plus MP3 audio (952 kB).
I believe I may have been the first person in the blogosphere to discuss the story. Fox News subsequently made reference to the matter on a couple shows, but to my knowledge no other major news shows picked it up. Yet the story took on a life of its own. The item here continued to attract thousands of new readers every day [over 107,000 hits at last count], dozens of other sites picked it up, and emails began circulating that included the photo. I've received far more email about it than for any other item I've posted. Although some people have written to criticize the item, the great majority of the messages are critical of Sen. Obama. This story has clearly touched a nerve with many Americans.
In a rather odd teaser for an upcoming Bill O’Reilly interview with co-host Hannah Storm on Wednesday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith remarked, "And looking for love in all the wrong places. Here's Bill O'Reilly in the studio this morning." What? Who’s "love" is O’Reilly looking for and why is the "Early Show" the "wrong" place to find it? Smith certainly made no such comment when he welcomed the ultra left-wing Dennis Kucinich earlier on the program.
For his part, O’Reilly had some odd responses when Storm asked about Hillary Clinton’s latest debate performance and charges of sexism against other Democratic candidates, "What do you make of Bill Clinton criticizing Hillary Clinton's Democratic rivals, saying that they were swift-boating her?" O’Reilly responded, "You see, I don't believe anything the press writes about Bill and Hillary Clinton at all...We tracked it yesterday, and we couldn't find any swift boat reference."
Facts apparently don’t matter when they get in the way of ideology on "The View." The same show that never corrected the record when they falsely claimed Vice President Cheney opposes gay marriage, made another false claim about the "Swift Boat" ads in the 2004 election.
Discussing former President Clinton’s charge that Democratic opponents were "swift boating" Senator Hillary Clinton, co-host Joy Behar made this false statement about the "Swift Boat" ads.
"But with John Kerry, and when they swift boated, here’s a man who was a hero in the Vietnam War. And they turned it around to make it that he was a coward and that he wasn’t- and the people who swift boated him, namely the Bush administration, and their cronies, are never even went into the war. They all got out of the war."