Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos on Sunday parroted Barack Obama's talking points, insisting that a shutdown of the government would wound a "weak" Republican Party for a "generation." On Good Morning America, Stephanopoulos touted the President for "cutting his vacation short" due to unrest in Egypt.
After allowing that Obama has "little leverage" over House Republicans, he narrated that the White House believes "the Republican Party is in an even weaker position, that if they shut down the government, say, over their calls to defund Obamacare, they will relegate themselves to minority status for a generation." Playing the role of administration cheerleader, the journalist pointed out that Obama has a big autumn coming up, "which is why he cut his vacation short. He only went eight days this year instead of the normal two weeks." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
A November 15, 2010 blog post by Michael S. Derby at the Wall Street Journal ("San Francisco Fed Official Says QE2 Is Working") told us that "The Federal Reserve‘s recently announced plan to buy $600 billion in Treasury securities to improve economic growth is having a positive effect on growth." The Fed official involved also predicted "the U.S. gross domestic product to come in at 2.5% this year (2010), and at 3.5% next year and 4.5% the year after that."
Uh, not exactly. Actual GDP results: 2.5% in 2010 (that was a gimme), followed by 1.8% and 2.8% in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Almost three years letter, the San Fran Fed's acknowledged result of that effort at "quantitative easing" — it "added about 0.13 percentage point to real GDP growth in late 2010" — is starkly different, and is only "positive" if you think a football team managing one field goal in four quarters is "positive." Of course, though it should be, the news is getting very little coverage.
In the actual story, one expects at least a feeble attempt by writer Hadas Gold to come up with a tangible reason as to why Detroit doesn't deserve its status as an perfect-storm exemplar of the failures of liberalism, public-sector unions, a race-based political model the elites once praised, and corruption. Instead, the objections Gold cites are vague. Because of that, apparently contrary to the headline's apparent intent, we're left with a pretty strong compilation of valid criticisms relating to the Motor City's fall from riches to rags. Excerpted after the jump are primarily the pathetic attempts at leftist defense saved for the final story's three paragraphs (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
What do you do when you're the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, and you're trying to do your level best to described a floundering economy without incurring the wrath of the Obama administration? You search for positive-sounding words to describe what is in reality a marginal situation.
The AP seems to have settled on "steady" and "steadily."
One thing which is arguably worse for one's health than Obamacare is the act of reading a Paul Krugman column at the New York Times.
In his latest equivalent of a DNC press release on Thursday published in Friday's print edition, Krugman lambasted GOP Senator Rand Paul and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor as "politicians who gleefully add to the misinformation" the general public allegedly has about "the deficit" (more on that shortly). But "somehow," he a delusional statement made by Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu to a veteran earlier this month, as recounted by Army Lieutenant Colonel Andre Dean Benton (bolds are mine; note the weak headline more than likely chosen by the paper and not Benton):
At the conclusion of his report on the federal government's July Monthly Treasury Statement, the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger wrote that federal spending through the first ten months of the current fiscal year is "down 2.9 percent from a year ago," and that the decline "reflects, in part, automatic government spending cuts that began taking effect March 1."
Those "automatic cuts" represent only a very small part of the decline, as will be seen after the jump.
It's fair to say that about the only holdouts against the idea that part-time work is up and that employee hours are being reduced around the economy are the Obama White House and a few Obama White House alumni. It's also fair to say that there are very few holdouts against the idea that the cause for this is Obamacare's 30-hours-per-week definition of a full-time employee, which is causing far more businesses than usual to cut existing workers' hours and to limit their hiring to part-timers. Even Obama-sympathetic NBC did a report on Obamacare's impact earlier this week. The White House dismissed what NBC found as "merely anecdotal."
All along, everyone — yes, this includes yours truly — has been concentrating on overall changes in the average work week, which have been very minimal. But Jed Graham at Investor's Business Daily, doing work which apparently no one else in the business press has been willing or discerning enough to do for all these months as the issue has raged, identified four industry sectors where average weekly hours have dropped significantly, and where it's hard to claim that anything except Obamacare could be the culprit.
Economists, business owners and employees are worried that the Affordable Care Act is resulting in fewer hours for workers.
The networks had been ignoring this shift toward part-time work and its relationship to Obamacare earlier this year, but NBC has let the cat out of the bag. On the Aug. 13, “Nightly News” Lisa Myers reported on an NBC News investigation into the issue.
On Friday, Eric Holder's Department of Justice gave the memory-hole treatment to wildly inflated statistics released last October about the number of cases and the amount of money involved in DOJ's mortgage fraud enforcement efforts.
Bloomberg News reporters who had discovered that the original numbers were suspect had been getting stonewalled for months in their efforts to get answers to their queries, and finally got them through the document-dump route. The differences are stark.
An August 6 opinion column at the Politico labeled co-authors Jared Bernstein and Paul Van de Water as "senior fellows at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities." CBPP, that oxymoron known as a "leftist think tank," went unlabeled. The Politico also must have thought that Bernstein's background as the Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden from 2009 to 2011 was irrelevant.
That's okay. Any reader could tell from the piece's headline and content that it was a shameless, reality-avoiding propaganda piece (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
One has to sift through the biased blather to get to it, but Mary Clare Jalonick's August 1 coverage at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, of the House's plans to rein in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, still popularly called "food stamps," contains an important admission which most of the establishment press has avoided as the program's costs and enrollment have skyrocketed, all in the name of preserving the false impression that the program is exclusively about preventing people from starving.
As usual, one of those distractions is the tired idea that what the House is proposing represents harmful "cuts," when what is really occurring is a long overdue and yet still watered-down effort to target benefits to the truly eligible and prevent their disbursement to people who either don't need them or shouldn't get them (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
The Washington Post’s August 9 front-page story about the brutal murder of Vanessa Pham is missing a critical detail. The young woman's alleged murderer is an illegal immigrant; a fact that is omitted entirely from Justin Jouvenal's story, even as Jouvenal mentioned Julio Miguel Blanco Garcia has a prior criminal record. It's not like Jouvenal was unaware of Garcia's being in the country illegally. This has been covered in other local news outlets previously.
What makes the story particularly of interest is that Pham was being a good Samaritan, giving Garcia and his infant daughter a ride to the hospital when Garcia allegedly flipped out and murdered her in cold blood in a fit of paranoia induced from PCP:
On Thursday, the Department of Labor announced that initial unemployment claims during the week ended August 3 rose to a seasonally adjusted 333,000, up from a revised 328,000 the previous week.
A "breaking" tweet from the Associated Press issued just a few minutes after the report's 8:30 a.m. (5:30 PT) release read as follows: "U.S. unemployment aid applications up only 5,000 to 333,000 - a level that signals steady job gains." The folks at Twitchy.com properly wondered how rising jobless claims can lead to more jobs. The wire service abandoned the tweet's claim only 19 minutes after its release, and went as far as admitting that "hiring lags" in a longer, late afternoon item.
The fix applied to the original story by Russ "Nobody's Fool" Bynum's is at least as weaselly as the original, especially when one realizes what will and will not end up in the historical record. The full correction, which based on the related video gives Obama a benefit of the doubt to which he is clearly not entitled, followed by the relevant portions of the story's revised content, are both after the jump.
The Washington Post’s Josh Hicks can’t be living under a rock, so his piece of the IRS’ postponement of their August furlough day is probably just fluff to fill space on the website. His August 8 story had no mention of the fact that the agency is under a congressional microscope from its past activities of targeting both conservative and progressive groups. This, along with the analysis done by NewsBusters’ Geoff Dickens, is another example of the news media giving the agency political cover.
Frankly, any interesting piece of news coming from the IRS should be about the scandal, especially since Hicks quotes Colleen Kelley, the president of the National Treasury Employees Union, who has a tenuous connection to the scandal itself. Last May, Jeffrey Lord at the American Spectator wrote that Kelley could be the “smoking gun” in the IRS scandal. She met with the president on March 31, 2010, and the alleged targeting began the next day. As Lord noted:
Mika to the barricades! Move over, Reverend Al. You're not the only MSNBC host who moonlights as a liberal activist. On today's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski announced that she will be not merely be covering a pay protest by fast-food workers in Detroit on August 29th--she'll be an active participant in it.
Joe Scarborough tried—in vain—to school Mika on Econ 101. But she did the equivalent of covering her ears and nattering "nah, nah, nah: can't hear you!" Scarborough said he'd also be at the protest--on the sidelines, with a bullhorn. View the video after the jump.
What's a little Justice Department spying between friends? Or, more accurately, between a master and his lapdogs?
In May, Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder admitted to obtaining phone records involving 20 business, residential, and personal lines used by over 100 reporters and editors at the Associated Press during April and May 2012. After some lawyerly whining for appearances' sake, the wire service more appropriately known as the Administration's Press is back to its old tricks, and then some. On Wednesday, as will be seen after the jump, reporter Russ Bynum disgracefully covered up a geographic gaffe by President Obama during his Tuesday appearance on Jay Leno's show.
George W. Bush should’ve waited to have a heart attack, hints Daily Beast contributor Kent Sepkowitz, in a story exploiting the 43rd president's emergency procedure yesterday to insert a stent in his coronary artery.
After a few paragraphs replete with medical jargon, Sepkowitz argued that Bush probably should’ve waited a while before having the procedure, and held out the quick treatment for the blockage as a prime example of how our health care system in America is "broken." Providing prompt preventative heart care for a 67-year-old man is evidence of a "broken" system?! Only a depraved anti-Bush liberal could use a possibly life threatening health condition as a commentary on health care politics – and sequestration, and that's precisely where Sepkowitz ran with his screed:
Joe Scarborough has yet again scaled his soap box to mock those of us in the conservative blogosphere. He described us today as a bunch of "very stupid people" living in their mama's basement who write "really stupid things" about him.
The thin-skinned Scarborough has often derided his show's critics as Cheetos-chewing cellar-dwellers. He was at it again this morning, depicting them as people who if not in mama's basement would otherwise be wandering the streets in their pajamas. View the video after the jump.
This past July’s dismal jobs report was no outlier. Job gains during the Obama recovery have been slow at best.
If monthly job gains going back to 1946 are ranked in order of best to worst, the difference between job growth during the first four years of economic recovery under President Ronald Reagan and Obama is astounding. Total job growth during the first four years of the Obama recovery has been 4,657,000 or just 97,020 jobs per month. That's not even enough to hit the breakeven level of 150,000 jobs per month when population growth is taken into account. (video after break)
Ed Schultz has spent weeks blaming Detroit’s recent bankruptcy filing on Republican policies, even though the city has been firmly in Democratic hands for decades. The bombastic MSNBC host has called the city a “conservative utopia,” arguing that Republican anti-union policies have “gutted Detroit.”
Schultz’s latest tirade came on Saturday’s The Ed Show, when the left-wing host bizarrely claimed that Republicans have “taken democracy away from Detroit.” Schultz further suggested that Republicans “circumvent[ed] local elections in this country” and “discard[ed] what people want and say about their communities.”
If ever a story had the earmarks of being agenda-driven from the get-go, Mackenzie Weinger's writeup at the Politico on Glenn Beck published Saturday morning fits the bill.
Weinger's premise is that Beck will never be as influential as he once was as long as he doesn't have a cable news program and continues to branch into entertainment-related ventures consistent with his beliefs. Excerpts, evidence which easily refutes Weinger's wishful thinking, and further commentary from yours truly follow the jump.
In this case, the old saying, "Better late than never" really shouldn't apply. In June, when the government's Household Survey used to determine the unemployment rate reported that there were 240,000 fewer full-time workers and 360,000 more part-time workers than there were in May, the establishment press, particularly the Associated Press, largely ignored or downplayed the result.
The AP's Christopher Rugaber broke the ice a bit in early July after June's jobs report, and the wire service has finally gone full-bore into noting the trend towards part-time work in the past two days. But while the press slept for months, center-right bloggers and many others have been chronicling the trend anecdotally since late last year, and gradually with solid numbers from the government's own reports as the year has worn on.
MSNBC contributors Jonathan Alter and Joy Reid sound much like a good metronome: their commentary never changes, marching on at an endless, fixed pace. Alter and Reid have made a career at the Lean Forward network out of comparing Republicans to slave owners, terrorists, and drunks.
Their latest assault on the GOP came on Friday’s Now, with Reid serving as guest host in place of Alex Wagner. Discussing the latest attempt by Senate Republicans to defund ObamaCare, Alter blasted the “suicide caucus” GOP, claiming “smarter conservatives understand” that shutting down the government over ObamaCare “is suicidal.”
MSNBC anchor Alex Witt continued the tradition of liberal media hand-wringing over congressional Republicans on last Sunday’s edition of her eponymous show Weekends with Alex Witt. At the end of a discussion about President Obama’s renewed focus on the economy, Witt erupted against the GOP in a question to Ana Marie Cox of The Guardian: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
"What do you think, Ana Marie, how does this president get past the folks who say no on everything, and is there no incentive for the GOP to work with the president on anything ever or do you think the disastrous poll numbers in terms of the congressional approval in this country, if those stay consistent people are going to be like okay, really, we actually do need to get something done because the American public is ticked off?"
On Tuesday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton complained that a "war on the poor" has been "launched" by the right, prompting Washington Post political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson to complain of a "dangerous tone" from conservatives and "antipathy towards Americans."
Setting up clips from Rush Limbaugh and FBN's Charles Payne, Sharpton fretted:
"It took the networks 13 days to run a single story" on the fact that Obama-appointed IRS chief counsel William Wilkins was "getting direct reports" on the IRS's review of conservative/Tea Party applications for 501(c)(3) status, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center (MRC) founder Brent Bozell told Blaze TV's Andrew Wilkow on the Tuesday edition of his Wilkow! program. Likewise, it took 15 days for the mainstream media to get around to covering the Obama/Holder Justice Department was "refusing to investigate any government employees who were improperly accessing tax records."
"This goes on and on and on. These are all breaking news stories that are leading to one of the largest scandals in modern American history where the most feared arm of government is completely abusing its rights, and it looks like it's coming from the Obama administration, and there's no coverage," Bozell concluded. [watch the full segment below the page break]
It was announced Wednesday that Barack Obama will appear on NBC's Tonight Show next Tuesday for the fourth time since he's been President. Jobs and the economy are to be the focus.
As NewsBusters has been reporting, despite host Jay Leno having been very hard on the White House resident in recent months, particularly on the economy, he has offered nothing but softballs to the Commander-in-Chief in his previous appearances.