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."
New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman claimed to document the "Senate's Long Slide to Gridlock" on Sunday's front page, but his history was tilted toward blaming obstructionist Republicans, though historically Congress has been dominated by Democrats. He even seemed to pine for the days of Democratic congressional barons, laying the fault of dysfunction on C-Span cameras and Republicans Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum back when they were conservative congressmen.
Senator Bob Dole had just assumed the mantle of Senate majority leader, after the Republican landslide of 1994, when he confronted a problem.
Piles of Republican legislation from Newt Gingrich’s self-styled “revolutionary” House were stacking up in a narrowly divided, more deliberate Senate, and Democrats were threatening to gum up the works with amendments that would stall the bills.
Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell sung from the same liberal sheet music on Monday's CBS This Morning as they tried to get Republican Senator Bob Corker to commit to higher federal taxes. Rose wondered if the Corker was "prepared, as others are doing, to...say, I'm going to forgo the [anti-tax hike] pledge because it is outdated and the country's problems are too big." O'Donnell asked the Tennessee politician if he was "willing to also raise the capital gains rate."
O'Donnell also cited "independent analysis" by the Tax Policy Center, but omitted that it is a project of two liberal organizations - the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution.
This morning the Obama administration's "National Economic Council & Council of Economic Advisers" jointly released "The Middle-Class Tax Cuts' Impact on Consumer Spending & Retailers." Among the howlers in this non-economic political document: "Independent Economic Analysis Clearly Demonstrates Why We Need to Extend the 2001/2003/2010 Tax Cuts for the Middle-class." But not everyone else? Don't high income-earners spend money too?
The primary thrust of the administration's release is that, in regards to negotiations to avoid the "fiscal cliff," is the predictable class warfare clarion call, complete with kidnapping-related rhetoric: "There is no reason to hold the middle-class hostage while we debate tax cuts for the highest income earners." The word "hostage" appears three times in the first two pages of the document. The subtext, of course, is that the hostage-holders are the Republicans in Congress, particularly the House of Representatives. At the Politico, Byron Tau ignored this classless, tasteless partisan tack by supposed professionals:
Armed with so-called 'facts' disguised as the same liberal talking points we're all too familiar with, MSNBC's staff of bloggers published an article yesterday that detailed the top 10 comebacks that are guaranteed to confound and demoralize any Republican relative who dares to speak ill of Obama at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
The "Lean Forward" network won't let their bias take a rest even for the holidays, nevermind that politics is hardly polite conversation for the dinner table on any given holiday, let alone Thanksgiving. But family harmony is a small price to pay for dutifully defending President Obama to your relatives who aren't buying into the hope-and-change mantra.
Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned from office today. The timing of the Democratic congressman's resignation (even beyond it taking place on Thanksgiving Eve) is convenient, coming just two weeks after his reelection and prior to what in apparently an imminent indictment. The former enables Democratic Party kingpins in Chicago and its south suburbs to ensure that the seat stays with someone they like and can control (a general election situation with a preceding mini-primary might have been more problematic), while resigning before an indictment makes it likely that Jackson will be eligible for a congressional pension he might have lost had he still been in office when charged.
We are told that Jackson is too distraught to get through a publicly spoken resignation and that he cancelled a conference call with his staff. His resignation letter (original here; Washington Post transcription here) to House Speaker John Boehner, our best potential window to his current state of mind, reveals a man who is utterly full of himself and his wonderfulness. In the process of building this monument to himself, Jackson delivered several self-evident falsehoods the press would never let a Republican in a similar position get away with making without sharp criticism. Since it's a public document, the letter follows the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
It's been over a week since the Michael Bastasch at the Daily Caller exposed EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's use of alias email accounts to conduct official business. A Monday evening Investor's Business Daily editorial noted that this practice is more than likely illegal, because "Federal law prohibits the government from using private emails for official communications unless they are appropriately stored and can be tracked" -- something which can hardly be done if non-flagged Jackson accounts are under names like "Richard Windsor."
Despite the obvious journalistic hot buttons of government secrecy and stonewalling (the Competitive Enterprise Institute has been trying through freedom of information requests since May and a lawsuit filed a few months later to get the EPA to reveal the contensts of "certain correspondence on the secondary email account assigned to" Ms. Jackson), establishment press coverage has been virtually non-existent.
During Friday’s broadcasts of the PBS's NewsHour and NPR’s All Things Considered, liberals continued with their narrative about the fiscal cliff, and how it’s not all that bad. Previously, Mark Shields and E.J. Dionne agreed with New York Times-style Republican David Brooks that they would go off the cliff. The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne equated it with the “will of the people.”
But now, the Post’s Ruth Marcus and E.J. Dionne insist that the cliff isn’t a cliff. It’s actually a well-defined “slope." But in the words of Joe Biden, “this is a big f***ing deal.”
On November 14, the Hill reported that "Senate Democrats, feeling confident from their net gain of two seats in last week’s election, say any deficit-reduction package negotiated in the coming weeks must include stimulus measures." Alexander Bolton's writeup quoted Senator Chuck Schumer publicly asserting that "We have to do something because the economy is not growing fast enough in the first year or two." Although Schumer was referring to 2013 and 2014, the "not growing fast enough" characterization fits the U.S. economy under President Barack Obama's and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's "stimulus"-oriented policies ever since the recession officially ended in June 2009.
The fact that Democrats insist on more so-called "pump-priming" after four years of trillion dollar-plus deficits accompanied by tepid growth, thereby increasing the chances that the deficit streak will hit five years or more, even with tax hikes, while growth remains anemic, is something one might consider to be, well, news. But apparently not at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, or the Politico.
A congressional investigation into a failed venture capital firm run by a prominent former governor has faulted said governor for the debacle, which famously lost some billions in investor funds which, to this day, have not been accounted for.
No, it wasn’t Mitt Romney – it was former Democratic Governor of New Jersey Jon Corzine. One mystery that plagues this investigation is Mr. Corzine’s David Copperfield act that wiped $1.6 billion from MF Global’s client fund, which occurred days before the whole firm crumbled. Dina ElBoghdady of The Washington Post reported in the November 15 paper about this episode in financial malfeasance that cost people their jobs, and their savings – but it wasn’t too important for the paper's editors, who buried the item on page A18.
Earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how several reports from the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press (here, here, and here) buried the major news about President Obama's opening demand to Congress over resolving the "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes scheduled to take effect on January 1. His demand for $1.6 trillion in tax increases over the next ten years is twice what he sought during the August 2011 debt-ceiling negotiations. You have to go to middle or near-ending paragraphs to get that from the three AP reports linked above.
Those three reports also each contain an additional paragraph which allows the administration's misstatement of its alleged "balance" between tax increases and reductions in projected levels of spending (falsely characterized as "cuts") to stand unchallenged:
Note to Chris Matthews: when seeking to slam Republicans for their supposed ignorance of science, try not to expose your own. On Tuesday's Hardball, Matthews—mocking the Republican congressmen vying for the chairmanship of the House Science Committee— committed this whopper: "As we all learned in grammar school—young people watching—trees absorb carbon monoxide."
As even an MSNBC host might know, carbon monoxide is a toxic gas produced when there is insufficient oxygen to permit complete oxidation. Think running car in closed garage. The greenhouse gas to which Matthews was presumably referring—and which trees are famous for absorbing—is carbon dioxide. Perhaps it was just a slip of the overworked Matthews' tongue, but when it comes to a guy who likes to jump down any available Republican throat, turnabout is fair play. View the video after the jump.
Unless today is a total surprise and runs contrary to most of what we've seen during the past four years, President Obama will go through another "news conference" without a great deal of difficult or aggressive questioning from the assembled press corps.
Carrie Budoff Brown and Josh Gerstein at the Politico seem to think otherwise, and have produced a lame list of seven questions they think Obama will be asked -- so lame that one of them has to do with recently passed marijuana-legalizing initiatives in the states of Washington and Colorado:
Suddenly discovering something that anyone with eyes could see before the election, Josh Gerstein at Politico tells us that "Obama's foreign policy team hits turbulence."
Please. For over a week after September 11, the administration was pretending that a video which wasn't relevant at all caused protests which never occurred were what supposedly led to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya which killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. We had different people in the administration taking blame (but not really), and learned that but for the heroics of two of the men who died, dozens of others might have perished. But only now is Gerstein discovering "turbulence." Read on for a narrative which would be funny if it were not so sadly symptomatic of a see-no-evil press corps:
The government's October 2012 Monthly Treasury Statement was released at 2 p.m. It tells us that the government took in $184 billion ($21 billion more than last year) while spending $304 billion ($43 billion more), leaving a $120 billion deficit. That's 22% higher than the October 2011 shortfall of $98.5 billion.
The early report from the Associated Press's Martin Crustinger predictably tells us that discussions over changing this ongoing situation and addressing the "fiscal cliff" involve how "to prevent tax increases and deep spending cuts from kicking in Jan. 1." "Deep"? October 2012 spending annualizes out to $3.65 trillion, which if continued, as seen in comparison to figures for the past five years which follow, would be an all-time record.
On everyone's mind this morning was the resignation of CIA Deputy Director David Petraeus on Friday. Liberal radio talk show host Bill Press did his best to catch his listeners up on the details of the scandal, but then went on a rant asking why it's even an issue.
At no point in his defense of the former Army general and CIA chief did Press bring up the impending hearing concerning Libya on Capitol Hill that Petraeus was scheduled to appear before, nor did he think an FBI investigation was necessary -- despite the confidentiality agreement Petraeus submitted to before accepting one of the highest, if not the highest-level security clearance job there is in the federal government [ video below, MP3 audio here ]:
As if she half-expected conformity, the Grio's managing editor Joy-Ann Reid expressed doubt on MSNBC's Now with Alex Wagner that conservatives will ever be enlightened enough to move enough towards the center to win an election.
Diversifying the messengers beyond white men and women simply isn't good enough to Reid, who condescendingly described Black and Hispanic Republicans as "window dressing" and "decoration": [video below, MP3 audio here ]
As of shortly before 1 p.m. ET, at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, there is no story about what the Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday evening about just-reelected Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., namely that he " is in the midst of plea discussions with the feds probing his alleged misuse of campaign funds." There is also no story on the home page at Politico.
Selected paragraphs from Michael Sneed's Sun-Times report follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Bob Schieffer poured cold water on President Obama's victory during CBS's post-election coverage on early Wednesday morning: "He's not going to have a mandate here. The President has been re-elected, but nobody's put the stamp of approval on his program. I mean, when the vote is this close...he's going to have a very, very difficult time."
Schieffer repeated these same points on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, and pointed out that the incumbent liberal "almost lost the popular vote...so people are going to step back, and they're going to say, why should I cooperate with him?"
Though it occupies four web pages, it's hard to avoid thinking that Alex Isenstadt at Politico is hoping news consumers only look at his story's headline ("Democrats' drive to retake House falters") and not its damning yet still woefully incomplete content.
The headline would make you think that Dems will gain seats, but not enough to achieve a majority. Isenstadt bravely concludes early on that "Democrats are expected to pick up five seats at best ... (and) might even lose ground and drop one or two seats to the Republican majority. But the rest of his writeup virtually screams "double-digit losses," and fails in several respects to properly assign blame for what appears to be an impending Democratic Party debacle (bolds are mine):
In their third Presidential debate analysis, the Jurassic Press Media last night and thus far this morning have failed utterly in their role as fact checker and record-corrector - at least when it comes to what President Barack Obama had to say.
As but one glaring example, there were the President’s absurd assertions regarding the auto bailout and China.
Saturday evening, via Emerson Marcus and with the Associated Press contributing, the Reno Gazette-Journal, which I hope doesn't try to describe itself as a family newspaper, published an irony-free a 500-word story (HT to a NewBusters tipster) on an appearance by Sandra Fluke earlier in the day "in front of about 10 people at the Sak ‘N Save in north Reno." You can't make this stuff up.
The story is currently the "Most Popular" at the paper's rgj.com home page. The Gazette-Journal seems to have been determined to hype Fluke's appearance no matter what so it could take shots at Rush Limbaugh and employ the "s-word" ("slut") Rush Limbaugh used (and then apologized for having used) to describe Ms. Fluke. It even employed the word in promoting her upcoming appearance in advance in one of two items dated Friday which were apparently meant for Saturday's print edition.