Well, it’s Washington Post official: the sequestration wasn’t all that bad after all. In fact, you could classify it as a dud, according to none other than Ezra Klein, a favored pet pundit of many a liberal MSNBC panel.
In a June 30 item at his Wonkblog, Klein concluded that the experts were “mostly wrong” concerning the impact of the cuts. At the same time, conservatives saw from the beginning that the actual amount of cutbacks, which was only $44 billion, would have a de minimis impact on the economy. However, government spending increased over the past year, just at a lower rate of growth than originally planned, so in real terms, there were no real cuts to speak of in real terms.
Appearing on Friday's Political Capital show on Bloomberg News, Bloomberg View columnist Margaret Carlson -- formerly of CNN and Time magazine -- charged that Republicans are opposed to "giving dignity to immigrants" as she recounted reluctance by Republicans to entertain granting amnesty to illegal immigrants. Carlson:
Independence Day is the perfect day to remember that liberal Democrats want Americans to be dependent on government. Nancy Pelosi reminded Americans of that on June 27 with her remarks to the press about the national holiday, where she essentially argued that the Founding Fathers would have loved ObamaCare.
“[W]hen we celebrate Independence Day we’ll also be observing health independence. This week marks one year since the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. It captures the spirit of our founders, the spirit they wrote in the Declaration of Independence: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Pelosi said. (emphasis added).
On Tuesday June 25, Penny Pritzker became the 38th Secretary of Commerce after the Senate voted to confirm her 97-1. Oddly enough, Pritzker has a Romney-esque business background. The well-connected friend of Obama is worth millions, has previously understated her income, and is not well liked by Big Labor. She also benefited from offshore tax havens. Despite all that, in the end, her confirmation process was a love fest and the media have been completely AWOL, failing to hit the president on the nomination.
Where was the outrage? That’s what, to it's credit, Politico has asked concerning this nomination. After all,the $80 million which Pritzker didn’t declare in income is much less than the $34,000 that Tom Daschle forgot to declare back in 2009 when he was nominated by the president to be HHS secretary.
On a big day for news, two of the three major networks downplayed President Obama’s global warming speech on yesterday’s evening newscasts. ABC and CBS reduced the story to a brief anchor-read blurb, while NBC included a sound bite and a full in-studio report from a correspondent.
The speech, delivered at Georgetown University, was notable for Obama’s threat to bypass Congress by directing the Environmental Protection Agency to impose tougher pollution standards on existing as well as new power plants. But on ABC World News Tonight, anchor Diane Sawyer failed to mention this costly power grab, opting instead for an innocent and simplified version of events:
Charlie Rose forwarded the latest liberal spin about the IRS scandal on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. The anchor hyped how the agency apparently placed liberal groups on "be-on-the-lookout" lists, and asked Rep. Paul Ryan, "Does it look less partisan with this new information?"
Moments earlier in the morning newscast, correspondent Nancy Cordes reported that "groups were flagged for a whole variety of reasons when they applied for tax-exempt status, and Democrats say that's proof that there was no partisan agenda at the IRS." [audio clips available here; video below the jump]
Appearing on MSNBC moments after the Supreme Court handed down its decision on the Voting Rights Act, NBC News chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd wrung his hands over the prospect of Congress having to make adjustments to the 1965 law: "I don't think Congress is mature enough to do this right now, to be perfectly blunt. That the political, ideological, sort of the way some of these members conduct themselves, I am a pessimist on their ability to do something like this." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Was Todd referring to both Republicans and Democrats? His remarks seconds before that declaration seemed to reveal which political party was on his mind: "...inertia [against the Voting Rights Act] is going to be what, particularly some Republicans, who believe this should be left to the states, that there shouldn't be the federal government involvement that there is when it does have to do with issues regarding voting."
On Monday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes complained about Republicans trying to increase the number of border agents and to bar illegal immigrants from collecting Social Security benefits based on taxes they've paid into the system.
After recounting the time when he worked with several illegal immigrants in a bakery who paid Social Security taxes, and the efforts by Republicans to make the border with Mexico "one of the most militarized places in this country," Hayes concluded:
MSNBC anchor Alex Witt turned into a skeptic of federal government spending on Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, but before you get too excited, it was predictably in service of a larger liberal agenda. Witt questioned the wisdom of a $30 billion border security amendment that is now being debated in the Senate. This amendment to the larger Senate immigration bill calls for 20,000 additional border control agents, 700 miles of additional fencing along the southern border, and the expanded use of radar and drone technology.
Regarding the $30 billion cost of the amendment, Witt expressed her fear to U.S. News and World Report’s Lauren Fox: “[W]e're talking about a heck of a lot of money to help secure this border but will it actually accomplish that?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Saturday's Melissa Harris-Perry show, host Harris-Perry called the rhetoric from abortion opponents "villainous" as she fretted over Tennessee Republican Representative Marsha Blackburn being a woman who is pushing a House bill banning abortion.
And panel members Irin Carmon of Salon.com and Aisha Moodie-Mills of the left-wing Center for American Progress both saw "misgyny" in the measure. After a clip of Rep. Blackburn promoting the bill, MSNBC host Harris-Perry responded:
CBS kept up its slanted reporting about the proposed border security amendment to the Gang of Eight's immigration bill on Saturday and Monday's CBS This Morning. Nancy Cordes trumpeted how "the plan, worked out by Senate Republicans, devotes even more resources to border security than conservatives were calling for". Cordes also spotlighted how "some Democrats called it overkill."
The correspondent later pointed out that "some are calling [the amendment] a border surge", which would end up "flooding the border with infrared cameras, radar equipment, and drones".
On her MSNBC show this morning, Melissa Harris-Perry vilified John Boehner as a "super-villain," a "bad guy" and "pitiful." His sin? Failing to pass the farm bill.
So who is MH-P's idea of a good Speaker? Why, Nancy Pelosi, of course. Harris-Perry praised Pelosi as "one of the most effective leaders in the House's history." So effective that, as a result of her disastrous leadership, Pelosi's Dem House caucus went down to crushing electoral defeat in 2010. View the video after the jump.
Netroots Nation, the leftist annual convention currently in progress in San Jose (next year it's in Detroit; can't wait), bills itself as a "connector of awesome progressive activists."
Based on Emily Schultheis's Saturday morning report at the Politico on the viewpoints of those in attendance, the gathering's slogan should really be, "Blame it on Bush and Boehner." The Politico reporter also professes surprise that these largely angry leftists aren't angry at President Barack Obama, as if anyone would have really expected that (bolds are mine):
In a tired Politico item on how President Obama plans to carry out his January State of the Union threat to go around Congress on "climate change" -- no surprise, his moves will be a "power plant clampdown," pouring more money into solar, wind, and geothermal, and micromanaging lamps and refrigerators -- Andrew Restuccia quoted a statistic on the production of certain "renewable" energy sources which actually understated their degree of increase during the past four years. He cited a "60 percent increase in renewable electricity produced from wind, solar and geothermal sources between 2008 and 2012."
The increase is much greater than that. But Restuccia shouldn't gloat. As seen after the jump, those three renewables still represent a pathetically small percentage of all U.S. energy production, and he should have informed his readers of that quite inconvenient fact:
The Democratic Party cheerleaders over at MSNBC just can’t get enough of Republican slip-ups. Whenever any Republican experiences a lapse in judgment and utters an offensive comment, you can bet the left-wing Lean Forward network will be all over the case. They will use that one person’s comment as an indictment of the whole GOP, regardless of whether the comment was made by a U.S. congressman or a county party chairman from Illinois, and regardless of how admirably and swiftly party officials move to remedy the situation.
Enter Jim Allen, GOP chairman of Montgomery County, Illinois. Allen wrote a despicable email attacking Erika Harold, a biracial former Miss America who is running for the Republican nomination for Illinois’ 13th congressional district. The email was horribly racist, tinged with sexism, and deserved to be condemned. And that’s exactly what Republicans did.
On Thursday's The Last Word on MSNBC, during a segment with food activist Tom Colicchio, substitute host Alex Wagner raised the left-wing activist's stated desire that those who oppose his agenda be labeled as "pro-hunger" as she seemed sympathetic to the idea. Wagner:
Norah O'Donnell boosted Politico's slam of the Republican-led House of Representatives on Friday's CBS This Morning, after the body voted down a proposed farm bill. The anchor made the attack in a question to CBS News political director John Dickerson: "John, one more sign of dysfunction in Congress and Washington – the farm bill, which, for two years straight, has failed to pass the House. Explain why this matters to people."
Dickerson hyped how the rejected bill "affects all kinds of different parts of the economy", and asserted that the vote "shows that basically, the House leadership is weak."
Thursday's CBS Evening News all but hinted that the border security measures included in a new compromise attached to the immigration reform bill in Congress was overkill. Scott Pelley emphasized, "To win over Republicans, negotiators today added a military-style surge for the southern border." NBC's Tamron Hall echoed Pelley on Friday's Today: "It [the bill] would involve fortifying the U.S.-Mexico border and flooding it with a military-style troop surge."
CBS correspondent Nancy Cordes also spotlighted how "the compromise...spares no expense to fortify the southern border....And it would blanket the border with infrared ground sensors, thermal imaging cameras, and drones."
Introducing a report on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer announced "a significant breakthrough in a bitter fight on Capitol Hill," followed by correspondent Kelly O'Donnell declaring that "immigration is pitting Republican versus Republican."
O'Donnell explained that Senate lawmakers "worked late into the night writing a new version of immigration reform with more border security," noting how, "Democrats want to get something passed with a dozen or more Republicans, and that's the hard part."
On their website, Politico insists that it exists "to prove there's a robust and profitable future for tough, fair and fun coverage of politics and government." While promising to remain objective, the goal is really to provide "a distinctive brand of journalism that drives the conversation." Of course, the paper repeatedly fails to be fair and balanced and repeatedly succeeds in steering liberal media conversation, and always with a meme that accords to the liberal media's desire to bash conservatives and boost liberal Democrats.
Take today's Jake Sherman piece, "The dysfunctional House," which lambastes House Republican leadership for being bested by a conservative faction of 62 Republicans who helped to doom the "farm bill" in a floor vote yesterday. But Sherman's goal wasn't so much to defend a bill that is 80 percent pork but to set a narrative that paints the House GOP as obstructionist and uninterested in governing, thanks to a minority of renegade conservatives. That of course will feed into a larger narrative the media hope to drive prior to the 2014 midterms:
On Wednesday's PoliticsNation show, MSNBC host Al Sharpton charged that Republicans are waging a "full-scale war against the poor" because of GOP efforts to reform the food stamp program, and went on to assert that "This party will stop at nothing to tear down the poor. Just as they have time and time again."
With the words "The Hunger Shames" in the background, the MSNBC host began the show:
Charles Krauthammer brilliantly and effortlessly raised an issue on last Friday’s Inside Washington that is near and dear to our hearts here at NewsBusters. It came during a discussion of the immigration reform effort now underway in both houses of Congress. Panelists Evan Thomas and Nina Totenberg agreed that if immigration reform fails to pass, given that many in both parties support it, it would be a sad commentary on Congress.
This prompted moderator Gordon Peterson to confront Krauthammer with some new Gallup poll data about Americans’ confidence in certain institutions, including Congress: “Congress ranks last out of 16 [institutions]. A 10 percent approval rating – 10 percent! The lowest level of confidence Gallup has ever polled. The lowest for any institution on record.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Wednesday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes again claimed that House Republicans are waging a "jihad" in trying to cut the food stamp program, asserting that "the GOP's jihad on those in need gets uglier every single day."
The MSNBC also fretted again over the possibility that violent felons may lose benefits while MSNBC contributor Joy Reid tried to link racism against minorities to the battle over food stamps. Reid:
The Big Three all punted on covering the Capitol Hill "Audit the IRS" rally on their Wednesday evening and Thursday morning newscasts. CBS This Morning played a four-second soundbite of Senator Ted Cruz addressing the thousands of Tea Party activists in attendance, but CBS, along with ABC and NBC, didn't air a full report or news brief on the protest.
The CBS morning show also stood out for spotlighting how the "IRS is under fire again...it's paying $70 million in employee bonuses, despite a White House order." CBS This Morning devoted 47 seconds of coverage to this latest IRS controversy, while ABC and NBC ignored the development.
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday'sAll In show on MSNBC, Newsweek senior writer Michelle Goldberg -- also of The Daily Beast -- observed that the House Republican push for a vote to ban abortion seems "wacky and counterproductive," and later asserted that "Most people intuitively know that an embryo is not a human being."
When host Chris Hayes raised the issue by asking why House Republicans were pushing for a vote, she responded:
On Tuesday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes complained about an "anti-food stamp jihad" by House Republicans, and attacked the GOP for putting on a "shameful spectacle" in trying to cut the food stamp program.
With the words "War on the Poor" and an image of House Speaker John Boehner displayed on screen behind him, Hayes railed:
A search at Google News on "households food stamps record" done at 9 p.m. ET (not in quotes, sorted by date, with duplicates and similar items) returned three items. Two are at the Daily Caller (here and here); and the other is at Reason.com. Program statistics for March, the latest month available, show that a record 23.12 million households -- one in every five in the U.S. -- received food stamp benefits. At 47.73 million, the total number of persons receiving benefits was only 65,000 below the record set in December. In 2008, average participation was less than 29 million.
That search result shows, despite the fact that records are supposed to be news, that the establishment press is completely uninterested in communicating the fact that the food stamp program continues to grow, though very slowly, even as the economy supposedly recovers. There is one number that the press has been citing frequently, namely the number of people who might be removed from the food stamp rolls if language attempting to limit the program to people who are truly in need remains in the otherwise bloated disaster known as the farm bill.
Craig Melvin typified MSNBC’s stance on abortion Tuesday morning. Filling in for Thomas Roberts as the anchor of MSNBC Live, Melvin conducted a rabid attack-dog interview with Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) about an abortion bill before the House of Representatives that would ban abortion after 20 weeks with a few exceptions, such as rape and incest. Minutes later, Melvin brought on hard-left abortionist Irin Carmon from Salon.com for a gooey softball interview which served as a platform for Carmon to rip into Blackburn's stance on the bill.
Melvin was ticked off that this abortion bill, proposed by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), only allows exceptions for rape and incest when those crimes are reported. He condescended to Blackburn: “Congresswoman, do you know how many cases of rape and incest go unreported in this country every year?” [Video below the break.]
It looks like some liberals in the media are now judging the Republican Party’s actions through the prism of the party’s supposed need to change. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Ms. Witt and MSNBC contributor Perry Bacon Jr. were scrutinizing the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference, held over the weekend, when Witt asked about the conference’s ability to help the GOP evolve. According to Bacon, the conference was not doing the job:
"I mean, if you look at the core problem – the RNC released this report earlier this year that says the GOP needs to really expand out to young voters and expand out to minority voters. You’re hearing very little of that at the conference. I mean, jokes about the IRS are not going to bring any new voters to the table." [Video below. MP3 audio here.]