The three network morning shows combined gave less than two minutes of air time to President Obama's proposed 2015 budget on Tuesday, though they all managed to highlight how the plan "will cut taxes for thirteen and a half million working Americans" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]. What the NBC, ABC, and CBS broadcasts all ignored was that the debt projections under the President's budget were off by $2.7 trillion compared to recent numbers released by the Congressional Budget Office.
As the Washington Post pointed out on Tuesday, "[Obama's budget] forecasts a dramatic reduction in deficits over the coming decade. The request paints a much rosier debt scenario than a report released by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office a month ago."
The Washington Post Editorial Board has long had a government agriculture policy position that is actually grounded in Reality.
Going back at least half a decade - to the passage of the last terrible Farm Bill - they have been rightly pointing out that the Crony Socialist, picking-losers-at-the-expense-of-winners matrix of taxes, subsidies and quotas is simply a disaster.
Perhaps I'm being too kind in describing the Associated Press as "The Administration's Press." Based on Jim Kuhnhenn's ridiculous "Don't worry, be happy" Saturday report on how unimportant he says the still growing national debt and the still historically large federal budget deficits supposedly are, maybe I should start calling the wire service "The Administration's Publicists" instead.
Kuhnhenn stopped just short of writing that the national debt ($17.41 trillion as of Wednesday, up from $10.63 trillion when Barack Obama took office 61 months ago, an average increase of $111 billion per month) and the annual federal budget deficit (on track to be over $500 billion for the sixth year in a row, four of which saw deficits of over $1 trillion) aren't worthy of attention, but it's clear that he believes we shouldn't be concerned about them in making electoral choices (bolds are mine):
Steve Hayes and Charles Krauthammer, on Friday’s Special Report with Bret Baier, scoffed at the Washington Post’s front page characterization that President Barack Obama’s expected budget proposal “will call for an end to the era of austerity that has dogged much of his presidency.”
Hayes marveled: “This is one of the funny things about reading mainstream newspapers and watching mainstream media report on this President, is they somehow are operating under the illusion we’re living in this age of austerity.” Krauthammer proposed, “we have talked about Obama’s assaulting the Constitution. This is an assault on the dictionary. This is a guy who ran $4 trillion of deficit in three years...”
Now for a dose of MSNBC-style conservatism from Nicolle Wallace, a frequent network contributor and former White House communications director under George W. Bush. On Tuesday’s Morning Joe, Wallace trashed Tea Party members and other conservative Republicans as children while praising House Speaker John Boehner and his moderate ilk as the “grown-ups” of the party. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
During a discussion about Republicans gearing up for the midterm elections, Wallace praised Boehner for caving in on the debt ceiling earlier this month:
The big story about the federal budget this week was the Republican Party's struggle to deal with raising the debt ceiling. Last year's big budget story was President Barack Obama and the Democrats coming to grips with the so-called sequester, a policy gimmick that modestly slowed the growth of federal spending.
Neither of these storylines came anywhere close to dealing with reality. The two teams of Washington insiders get hung up on these side issues because they're better at symbolism than substance.
On Fox News Sunday earlier today, George Will got in some tremendous rips at global warming/"climate change" alarmism.
Although Will's criticism was primarily aimed at politicians, we cannot overlook the fact that their enablers in the establishment press have made their immature "climate denier" and "flat earther" name-calling rants possible by unskeptically allowing their so-called "settled science" to be seen as explanations for Britain's recent floods and California's droughts. President Obama is pushing the drought nonsense, when it's bad man-made water policy which is to blame. Video and the relevant portion of the FNS transcript are after the jump (HT Mediaite; bolds are mine):
Candy Crowley is no stranger to injecting herself into political debates. Readers of NewsBusters will remember that her worst offense was during a 2012 presidential debate when she teamed up with President Obama to attack Mitt Romney over Benghazi.
Despite Ms. Crowley’s past offenses, Ms. Crowley continued to show her dislike of the GOP during her February 16 State of the Union program. Speaking to her panel, Crowley invoked the famous song from “The Sound of Music” to ask “How do they solve a problem like Ted Cruz in the Republican caucus in the Senate?” [See video below.]
There was some huffing at the Huffington Post on Wednesday over House Republicans’ reluctance to pass a clean debt limit increase. Contributing writer Mitchell Bard was glad that the increase was passed, but he was incensed that the vast majority of GOP congressmen (201 of 229) voted against it. He took out his frustrations in a post titled, “Lesson From the House Debt Ceiling Vote: The GOP Is the Tea Party.”
Bard railed against those 201 Republicans: “Voting against the debt ceiling isn't ‘conservative’; it's reckless, ideological, irresponsible and not something anyone charged with governing the nation should consider.” Following that logic, Barack Obama was reckless, ideological, and irresponsible in 2006 when, as a senator, he voted against a debt limit increase.
The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky has turned up the partisan hyperbole to 11. In a January 13 piece, the leftist writer claimed that, “the fight over unemployment benefits underscores the right’s extremism” with a picture of Tea Party Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) featured to illustrate his point.
The frequent MSNBC guest argued that because the GOP is demanding that for the first time in years any extension in unemployment benefits be offset by cuts elsewhere in the budget that “the party has been hijacked by extremists.” [Pro-tip: Never play a drinking game involving liberal journalists and the term "hijacking." You'll die of alcohol poisoning.]
Lee set about spinning the results of the latest Quinnipiac Poll, which shows President Obama sitting atop a 41 percent approval rating, up from a low of 38 percent in December, but still a net negative approval rating. Lee used the slight uptick in approval as a springboard to forecast that the president's economically liberal spending agenda could change his and his party's fortunes (emphasis mine):
In late October, continuing a four-year pattern of making such claims, MIT's Jonathan Gruber, who along with Ezekiel "Zeke the Bleak" Emanuel is considered one of the two "architects" of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, pointed to a study which claimed that "the Affordable Care Act is working even better than expected, producing more coverage for much less money." But, as Wingfield noted in his Friday column, Gruber sang a totally different tune when quoted in the Washington Post on Thursday.
Appearing as a panel member on the Monday, December 30, PoliticsNation on MSNBC to help assign the annual "Revvy" awards for the year 2013, MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams ranted that Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz is "the biggest fraud to have ever walked in the United States Senate," and went on to bizarrely claim that Cruz "wasn't supposed to be elected," even though the Texas Republican not only won the Republican runoff with over 56 percent of the vote, but even the general election by about the same percentage, beating the Democrat by 16 points.
After Sharpton asked for his choice of "biggest loser of the year," Williams began:
On Friday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton asserted that Republicans "don't care" about the unemployed whose unemployment benefits are expiring and went on to accuse Republicans of having a "heartless ideology that says if you're out of work, you're out of luck."
On Thursday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, during a discussion of Republican resistance to extending unemployment benefits, MSNBC political analyst Goldie Taylor charged that the GOP "almost single-handedly blew up this economy," and that it was "as if" they "blew up" the "bridge" and then "dared people to cross to the other side of the canyon on their own."
After host Al Sharpton played several soundbites of Republican elected officials and complained that they "act as though" the unemployed are "dependents, that they're some kind of beggars," he turned to Taylor who responded:
Today’s installment of the Media Research Center’s “Best Notable Quotables of 2013,” as selected by our 42 expert judges: the “Let Them Eat Dog Food Award, for Freaking Out Over the Sequester’s Puny Cuts,” and “The Kamikaze Award, for Disparaging Conservatives During the Shutdown.”
In late February, as automatic spending cuts were about to take a tiny sliver off of the $3.5 trillion annual federal budget, reporters mindlessly parroted the Obama administration's doomsaying about the consequences. Then in October, when conservatives attempted to block the implementation of the dysfunctional ObamaCare law, journalists blasted them as lunatic terrorists out to destroy America. (This year’s winners and videos below the jump.)
On the Monday, December 23, PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton led the show by accusing Republicans of "stinginess" and of being "grinches" because of GOP opposition to a further extension of unemployment benefits. With the words "GOP Grinches Steal Christmas" on screen, Sharpton opened the show:
Kelsey Snell "is a tax reporter at POLITICO Pro." Her output in a column entitled "Indiana lures 'Illinoyed' biz with tax breaks" makes one wonder how she arrived at her current position.
Snell's piece is riddled with striking omissions and lame progressive talking points. But the most jaw-dropping element in her report is her clear inability to detect erroneous numbers which she and her employer should know make no sense.
As would be expected, Associated Press reporter Martin Crutsinger Wednesday treated Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's announcement that the nation's central bank will reduce the amount of money it creates out of thin air from $1.02 trillion per year to $900 billion, i.e., from $85 a month to $75 billion, as "its strongest signal of confidence in the U.S. economy since the Great Recession." As will be shown, it's a sign of continued serious weakness.
The pretense inherent in all of this is comparable to teaching a child how to ride a bike, raising the training wheels by one-eighth of an inch, and pronouncing him or her ready to roll. What should be troubling is that the tiny reduction means that the Fed will be financing a much higher percentage of next year's projected deficit and increase in the national debt than it has in previous years. That would seem to indicate that the nation is running out of other buyers who might be interested in purchasing Treasury securities, and that Bernanke's own words in July, namely that "the economy would tank" if he wasn't so obviously and artificially propping it up, are truer than ever.
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts, which hyped the sequester's "deep, across-the-board spending cuts" earlier in 2013, have largely been silent about the reductions in the annual cost of living increases for military veterans – part of the budget deal proposed by Republican Congressman Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray. But more egregiously, these programs have failed to notice that disabled veterans are not exempt from these cuts, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday.
As of Wednesday morning, Norah O'Donnell's question to Rep. Ryan himself on the December 12, 2013 edition of CBS This Morning is the only mention of the reductions in the veterans' pensions on the broadcast networks' news shows:
On the Friday, December 13, PoliticsNation, the Washington Post's Dana Milbank joined host Al Sharpton in complaining that conservatives "demonize" people who receive welfare benefits as the two discussed efforts to restrain welfare spending.
In an attempt to stir tensions within the Republican Party over the recent budget deal, on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, host David Gregory falsely claimed that Florida Senator Marco Rubio had denounced the agreement as "un-American." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gregory cited the fictional quote twice to Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, one of the architects of the deal: "On the Right, my colleague Kelly O'Donnell spoke to your colleague Marco Rubio. He calls this an un-American deal....when Senator Rubio says it's un-American, is that just because he's running for president, do you think?"
In mid-November, Americans for Tax Reform compiled a list of federal spending on state Obamacare exchanges totaling a breathtaking $4.5 billion.
One number on the list stands out from the rest — and it's not California's, though its $910 million amout is awful, disproportionate, and surely highly wasteful (before considering scalability concerns, the fixed costs of building a web site should be close to the same regardless of a state's population). The big eye-catcher is tiny Vermont's staggering $208 million. The nation's second-least populous state (626,000 as of 2012) has 0.2 percent of the U.S. population, but has received 4.6 percent of grants from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Though the Green Mountain State's enrollment numbers have been among the country's least embarrassing on percentage of the population, its exchange's rollout has in many ways been as bad, if not worse, than HealthCare.gov's, according to a December 10 Vermont Public Radio report which has garnered very little attention (HT Megan McArdle at Bloomberg News; bolds are mine):
Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose predictably conducted a hostile interview of Senator Marco Rubio on Friday's CBS This Morning, badgering the Republican for his opposition to a budget proposal from Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray. O'Donnell hinted that he was in the pocket of conservative special interest: "I want to ask you about the criticism that you may be more beholden to these conservative groups than to your own party."
The anchor later wondered if "these groups have too much power". Rose himself carried water for the supporters of the proposal: "Speaker Boehner has said, and others have said, is that it's going – it's the first step in the right direction, and you've got to find common ground and you've got to find compromise – otherwise, you'll have government shutdowns, which everybody loses." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Leading off Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams declared: "It's war. A private battle blows wide open in public as the most powerful Republican in Washington says he's had enough, coming out swinging against members of his own party." Moments later, he hailed House Speaker John Boehner's "rare outburst of candor mixed with anger and frustration" at conservatives critical of the new budget deal in Congress. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Williams contemptuously observed: "His problem has been the rise of the Tea Party faction, the newly arrived and highly motivated members who do not go along or get along with the wishes of the leadership....Now they've gone after a budget deal that represents real compromise and keeps the country running. The Speaker today decided he's had enough and he said so."
On Tuesday's Nightly News, after news broke of a budget deal in Congress, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell announced: "...the usual Washington dysfunction is on hold tonight." She touted the agreement to anchor Brian Willams by noting: "It would also roll back some of the harshest automatic spending cuts, the sequester for the Pentagon and domestic programs." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
O'Donnell cautioned that the deal "does not extend jobless benefits for those out of work the longest..." On Wednesday's broadcast, fill-in anchor Ann Curry picked up on that point and fretted: "While the agreement avoids another government shutdown next month, it also sidestepped dealing with the crisis facing 1.3 million Americans who've been out of work for a long time. And that means their unemployment benefits will stop at the end of the month unless Congress takes action."