The PBS NewsHour has yet to invite a strong conservative on the program to talk about the fiscal cliff. Tuesday night they had New York Times columnist, left-wing economist, and Obama cheerleader Paul Krugman to detail his view. Wednesday night they had moderately-conservative Sen. Bob Corker ( R-Tenn), but last night was the most interesting. PBS invited the Norquist of the left, Max Richtman, of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, who insisted we shouldn’t be in a rush to reform our entitlement spending.
After all, when the unfunded liability of both programs is around $100 trillion dollars, what’s the big hurry? Where’s the fire? Suffice it to say, none of Richtman's claims were met with skepticism by anchor Judy Woodruff. She continued with her interview, as if what Richtman said was fact.
After gushing on Wednesday over left-wing actress Ashley Judd possibly running for Senate in Kentucky, on Friday's NBC Today, the cast applauded liberal comedian Stephen Colbert suggesting in jest that he might replace outgoing South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, with co-host Willie Geist proclaiming: "I can tell you, having done a show with him [Colbert] in Charleston, he is an absolute rock star in that state."
Geist added: "It doesn't mean he will be a senator, but he could probably pull it off." Fill-in news reader Erica Hill remarked: "Doesn't mean he...won't be either." Fellow co-host Savannah Guthrie chimed in: "He's already run for president. I mean, this is really a downgrade." Weatherman Al Roker quipped: "Comedy concert with him and [Minnesota Senator] Al Franken, that would be fantastic."
Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) announced Thursday that he will be trading his Senate seat in January to assume the helm of the Heritage Foundation. Covering the surprising development in its Friday edition, Politico dismissed DeMint as a mediocre politician with an undistinguished record who is moving on to captain a conservative think tank that has become "predictable, uninspiring, and often lacking in influence."
Manu Raju and Scott Wong mocked DeMint's lack of credentials in their front-page story titled, "DeMint Departure Fallout." They described him as a popular senator who has actually "accomplished very little" in Congress because he "wasn't a legislator" and having "no signature laws to his name." Of course, this betrays an inside-the-Beltway way of thinking about success in Congress. Conservatives dedicated to shrinking the size and scope of the federal government are not going to be be known for legislative accomplishments, which more often than not are about expanding the federal government's size and scope, not dismantling old bureaucracies.
Nancy Cordes couldn't have made outgoing Senator Jim DeMint's conservative credentials clearer on Friday's CBS This Morning, labeling the South Carolina Republican "one of the most conservative members of the Senate." Cordes outlined that DeMint was a "Tea Party hero, who has raised more than $15 million...to help elect Tea Party senators...But he has also backed a series of losing far-right candidates."
However, the correspondent couldn't be bothered to identify Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert as a liberal, as she noted the comedian's efforts to get his fans to lobby South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to name him DeMint's replacement. She merely pointed out Colbert's persona as "one of the most conservative TV personalities out there - fake personalities, anyway." [audio clips available here; video below the jump]
In a panel discussion on Wednesday's NBC Today, the morning show cast excitedly touted the possibility of left-wing actress Ashley Judd running for senate against Mitch McConnell in 2014, with co-host Willie Geist declaring: "She was a delegate to the Democratic convention this summer, she's very involved in politics, she's outspoken." [Watch the video after the jump]
News reader Natalie Morales heaped praise on Judd: "She's a brilliant woman....Harvard, I think....she's a U.N. goodwill ambassador, speaks out on HIV/AIDS prevention. And also, you know, she's done so much good for public – public good and she's a great, very smart woman." Celebrity chef Paula Deen, a guest on the show, chimed in: "I've heard that she's an extremely bright woman." Morales added: "Very."
"Militantly non-partisan" Major Garrett sounded more like an Obama administration flack on Thursday's CBS This Morning as he spotlighted the President's latest P.R. stunt. Garrett noted Obama's plan to visit a northern Virginia middle-class family and claimed that the Democrat was underlining the "self-evident point that if the there is a deal and their taxes aren't raised by about $2,000, they'll be happier and spend more money."
The correspondent also uncritically pointed out how Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner signaled that the White House was willing to go over the fiscal cliff if their demand for higher taxes isn't satisfied.
Employing sanctimonious rhetoric to paint Senate Republicans as cruel and heartless for opposing a U.N. treaty on disabled rights completely redundant to the Americans With Disabilities Act, on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams lectured: "If you want to know how broken, how partisan our Congress and our government has become, all you need to look at is this one day in Washington....Senator John Kerry called this one of the saddest days he's seen in close to three decades in the U.S. Senate." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Kelly O'Donnell pointed to the GOP as the source of the sorrow: "For those looking for cooperation tonight, only disappointment, even real sadness over what happened with this treaty intended to help the disabled....Five Republican votes short of the 66 needed....it's unusual to see tears shed in the Senate chamber, I witnessed that today....I saw a woman in a wheelchair, leaving with tears rolling down her face."
Founded by Roy Beck in 1998, Numbers USA is a grassroots organization and an influential lobbyist group that concerns itself with immigration reform and the threat of mass amnesty. As the unemployment rate among the citizenry continues to grow, over one million permanent work authorizations are handed out each year to immigrants -- further saturating an already stagnant labor market.
Beck sat down for an interview with MSNBC.com's Jane C. Timm recently, only to find himself labeled as the "Grover Norquist of the immigration debate." With no intention of portraying him in a positive light, Timm argued that the 1.3 million grassroots members of Numbers USA will not allow Republican congressmen to moderate their stance on immigration reform. And rather than consider it an anti-amnesty organization, in predictable fashion she presented the group as "racist" in motivation.
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Major Garrett promoted a thinly-veiled version of President Obama's "Scrooge Christmas" attack on congressional Republicans. After spotlighting how White House Press Secretary Jay Carney maligned the GOP's fiscal cliff solution as "magic beans and fairy dust," Garrett added that the "Republicans answered back – bah, humbug."
The CBS morning newscast, along with NBC's Today, aided the President by failing to point out that his rejection of the Republican plan is a 180 from his position in 2011. That year, the Democrat called for "$1.2 trillion in additional revenues, which could be accomplished without hiking tax rates by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions."
During the December 4 edition of the PBS NewsHour, anchor Gwen Ifill decided to give a lofty eight minute and forty second interview to Obama cheerleader and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman so he can try to convince us that the fiscal cliff isn’t that big of a deal. Of course, in his estimation, Democratic proposals for higher taxes and higher spending were serious, while Republican alternatives to tackle the deficit were trivial. In fact, according to Krugman, “Obama is actually very serious in the real sense. It's just the notion he hasn't done anything on entitlement reform is totally unfair. He's done more than anyone has ever done before.”
And that’s why he needs $1.6 trillion dollars in tax hikes and $50 billion in additional stimulus spending to be "serious" about reining in deficit spending?!
On Wednesday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd proclaimed that despite fiscal cliff negotiations being "in such a bad state," one bit of "good news" was that House Republicans "realize they don't have much leverage right now" and predicted they would eventually sign on to tax hikes proposed by President Obama. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Moments later, co-host Savannah Guthrie declared: "Speaker John Boehner is probably in the most unenviable position because he has to get the deal, he has to sell it to the far right of his caucus in the House. Can he get that deal?"
New York Times's Sheryl Gay Stolberg profiled White House chief of staff and "fiscal cliff" negotiator Jacob Lew (who may be the next Treasury secretary) on Sunday's front page, calling liberal Lew "a policy nerd" who "morphs into a warrior" when it comes to helping the poor. Yet he's also a "pragmatist," just like his boss Barack Obama, and also makes "a mean potato kugel."
During the panel discussion on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer launched an assault against Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist for holding Republicans to a pledge not to raise taxes: "What this is about is avoiding a recession which is going to happen....You're going to sacrifice that on the cross of two percent. Is that what you want?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Norquist, a fellow panelist, shot back: "I'm supportive of the Republican position, which is we need to have economic growth, not higher taxes. If we grew at four percent a year instead of two percent a year, Reagan levels instead of Obama levels, for one decade we'd net five trillion in additional revenue. That would pay down the debt that Obama has run up with the Solyndra stimulus stuff."
New York Times Washington bureau chief David Leonhardt appeared on The Diane Rehm Show on NPR Friday and purveyed Washington's conventional wisdom about how Republicans were losing the battle of the "fiscal cliff." Leonhardt also foresaw "the end of the great era of American tax cutting."
After Laura Meckler of the Wall Street Journal brought up Republican Rep. Tom Cole taking Obama's position, Leonhardt responded: "And that is a very big deal because while the fiscal cliff talks at most have been happening behind the scenes, what President Obama has talked about the most in public is pushing Congress to vote on this extension of the Bush-era tax rates for, he says, 98 percent of the American people. The fact that Tom Cole is a powerful Republican in the House, has said, yeah, let's go ahead with that and then deal with the top 2 percent later. It would be a big victory for President Obama and something that I think many Democrats and outside observers did not expect him to get quite as easily is it looks like it might be on the verge of happening."
Just before Thanksgiving, the leftist think tank Demos issued a report by its own Catherine Ruetschlin advocating a $12 an hour minimum wage (stated as $25,000 per year by her) for those who work full-time in retail.
What's interesting about Ruetschlin's suggestion is that there is a retailer out there which is actually doing that and more -- and it's not Costco, which "pays starting employees at least $10 an hour." To be fair to Costco, rapid wage advancement is apparently quite common there, but that's off-topic. Perhaps surprising to the press, the company involved starts its full-time employees not at $12 an hour, but at $13. Perhaps if it spent less time trying to figure how to discredit this company, the establishment media might instead focus on how this company is able to be profitable under such a wage structure. Before identifying the firm after the jump, we'll first see in an open letter from its CEO why it's not getting favorable press attention (in full; bolds are mine):
Appearing on Monday's MSNBC Morning Joe, NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd shared some inside information: "So I threw the Lincoln analogy at a close aide to the President last week, and he said, 'You know, with this Republican – with the way politics of Washington are today, there'd still be slavery.' That Lincoln wouldn't have been able to navigate the polarization..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Rather than dismiss such a nasty partisan attack, Todd observed: "It was an interesting and depressing observation from this very smart White House aide."
As NewsBusters colleague Kyle Drennan noted today, the liberal media has mobilized their legions to defend embattled U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, complaining that the criticisms leveled by Republicans are motivated by racism, sexism or both.
But there most certainly is a double standard at play as Eliana Johnson of National Review noted in an excellent November 21 post in which she detailed how left-wing journalists and members of Congress attacked Condoleezza Rice as an incompetent Bush hack. Johnson wrote that:
In an attempt to dismiss Republican criticism of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's misleading September 14 Sunday show statements about Benghazi, on Thursday's MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus asserted: "I don't think this is really about some comments that were basically right, that she made on Sunday talk shows." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Marcus was prompted to make the declaration after Mitchell tried to paint GOP critics as a combination of sexist and racist: "There have been issues raised as to whether she was being attacked, criticized because she's a woman, because she's African-American....is there a double standard here? Have we had others who've gone on Sunday television talk shows, made mistakes, and not been punished as severely as Susan Rice?"
A search at the Associated Press's national website on Warren Buffett's last name at about 5 p.m. ET returned two recent items which are still present there. Each item (here and here) mentions the Obama Fan of Omaha's idea to "impose a minimum tax of 30 percent on income between $1 million and $10 million, and a 35 percent rate for income above that." Neither mentions the pathetically small amount such a tax would raise while seriously impacting the ability of high income earners who own or run businesses to expand them -- or in some cases causing them to shrink.
It's the same at other establishment press outlets. Two recent New York Times items found in a search on Buffett's full name (here and here, the latter item being Buffett's own op-ed on Sunday) fail to note how little money Buffett's proposed tax hikes would raise. So how little is "little"?
New York Times White House reporter Jackie Calmes celebrated President George H.W. Bush's 1990 budget deal "achievement" in her "Debt Reckoning" column Thursday, part of a new feature on the debate over the "fiscal cliff": "Looking for Lessons In the 1990 Budget Deal." The deal was blasted by conservatives as a disaster which failed to close the deficit as promised, because the proposed spending cuts never came, while income tax rates dutifully rose.
Calmes, who almost always takes the Democrats side in budget disputes, even took sides in her descriptions, calling former Democratic House Speaker Tom Foley "genial" while pronouncing former Republican White House chief of staff John Sununu "pugnacious."
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, new White House correspondent and former Fox News journalist Major Garrett bucked the "militantly non-partisan" label he gave himself over a year ago when he hyped the President's supposed populist stand in the fiscal cliff negotiations with top leaders in Congress: "President Obama is adamant about protecting existing income tax rates for middle-income earners and raising them on the wealthy."
Garrett later spotlighted how Obama "warned Republicans not to ignore his calls to protect middle-income households from higher taxes."
Striking a sympathetic tone toward the U.N. ambassador on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams lamented: "It was another one of those days for Susan Rice....who again found herself today in the middle of a power struggle between some Republicans on the Hill on one side, and the President..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell eagerly described a moment in a recent Obama cabinet meeting: "With Hillary Clinton nodding her approval, the President sent a strong message to Senate Republicans, 'Don't mess with my U.N. Ambassador.'" Mitchell observed: "For Rice, a welcome signal that her nomination is still alive, despite another brutal day on Capitol Hill."
Following the lead of NBC political director Chuck Todd lamenting House Republican committee chairs being "all white men," on Wednesday's Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams similarly declared: "...the GOP is dealing with the issue of optics and diversity in politics. Getting a lot of coverage, of the congressional committee chairs selected thus far for the next Congress, they are all white males." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Williams briefly noted the reason: "The leadership points out they were all selected for a reason, including seniority." He then proceeded to shill for the Democrats: "...on their side of the aisle, white men are now the minority among House Democratic members."
Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose tossed softball questions at Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar on Wednesday's CBS This Morning on the looming fiscal cliff, just two days after they hounded Republican Senator Bob Corker on the same issue. Rose casually mentioned to Senator Klobuchar how "the President believes you can't get there by deduction. You have to raise [tax] rates. Is that your view?" O'Donnell merely asked, "Is this posturing on the fiscal cliff, or is there real work being done? What's your sense?"
By contrast, Rose tried to get Senator Corker to "forgo the [anti-tax hike] pledge because it is outdated and the country's problems are too big." O'Donnell followed up by asking the Tennessee Republican if he was "willing to also raise the capital gains rate." The morning show anchors failed to make similar demands of the Minnesota Democrat to cut spending.
Taking a gratuitous shot at Republicans at the end of his Wednesday MSNBC show, The Daily Rundown, NBC political director Chuck Todd insisted on making this declaration: "By the way, though, all of the committee chairs in the House Republican conference....All white men....Picture of the party's potential problems." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd, who is himself a white man, was reacting to Democratic strategist Karen Finney making a "shameless plug" for the number of women elected to Congress, who she hoped would bring "a little bit of sanity to the process." As Todd hit the House GOP, Finney chimed in: "White men....Very representative."
The conventional wisdom has emerged that in order to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff,” politicians in Washington must agree to some method of tax increases (“revenue”) – which will be real, even if low taxes are not the cause of our ills -- alongside some kind of promise of spending restraint on entitlement programs, which is our problem, and which no one believes Washington will restrain.
The American left and our “objective” journalists – same thing, I know – are not helping the nation balance its budget. As usual, these partisan hacks are obsessed with tearing the Republican coalition apart, limb from limb. By empowering the GOP moderates, they drive the conservatives into exile. These liberals are dishonest, but not dumb. They have no intention of honoring a pledge to curtail wasteful spending. What they want is GOP civil war.
In his coverage of black Chicagoland Democrats' fears that the seat that was held by just-resigned Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. until last week, Politico's Alex Isenstadt initially wrote that Chicago is home of "the nation's first black president, Barack Obama, and the first black member of Congress, Oscar De Priest." Evidence of this original wording is seen at this Google search on the quoted sentence.
Apparently, someone helped Isenstadt get a grip on history -- but really, who didn't know that there had to be at least one African-American congressmen during the 19th century after the Civil War? The sentence now says that De Priest was "the first black member of Congress in modern congressional history." What a pathetic non-admission of an obvious error. Let's run down, courtesy of a congressional web site, how seriously wrong Isenstadt really was:
This is really too easy. Imagine the hue and cry in the press and elsewhere, which to be clear would be quite appropriate, if an accurate story about a special congressional election to replace a white congressperson began as follows: "White leaders are growing increasingly worried that a black candidate might seize the seat of former Rep. ____ in the upcoming special election."
Well, a story by Alex Isenstadt at Politico with a truth-obscuring headline ("Blacks fret free-for-all for Jesse Jackson Jr. seat"; the headline should be "Blacks fear a white person will win 'their' seat") clearly shows that Chicagoland's black establishment thinks it has first dibs on IL-02, and apparently believes that "Jackson's seat" (as if he ever owned it) can't be appropriately represented by a white person, even though the early frontrunner is clearly liberal on most issues (bolds are mine):
Well, if the President himself can call a sacked consulate and four dead Americans who deserved adequate security and didn't get it "bumps in the road," why not?
Monday morning, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, presented a story in advance of United Nations ambassador Susan Rice's meeting today with certain Republican senators -- a meeting from which Rice, who engaged in serial falsehood peddling during the weekend after the September 11 Benghazi attack, apparently falsehood-peddling Rice emerged today even worse-off than before. In that story, both the headline and first paragraph of Anne Flaherty's coverage characterized Benghazi as a "PR (public relations) disaster."