During the panel discussion on Sunday's Meet the Press on NBC, host David Gregory gushed over President Obama's Friday night address to the nation on the budget deal: "The message was clear. Here he was to save the day, that it was President Obama – and he went to the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday – that he was able to rise above the fray. That's the image they want Americans to see."
The rest of the political panel agreed with Gregory's assessment. Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver argued: "I think the President appears to be a mediator, and I think he, he rightfully gets some credit for averting the show – shutdown." CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer declared: "I think the President came out very much above this week, above the fray." New York Times White House correspondent Helene Cooper proclaimed: "[Obama] was trying very much to appear above the – above the fray....definitely did the political calculus that he has to appear above it all, presidential."
MSNBC's Ed Schultz began his show Monday talking about all the jobs President Obama has created since he took office.
Unfortunately, as he made the case about how terrible the Bush years were by comparison, the "Ed Show" host wrongly informed his viewers that Democrats took over in January 2009 (video follows with transcript and commentary):
I sure hope that the Associated Press's Jim Kuhnhenn has been working out, especially in his upper body. The volume of water he's having to carry for the Obama administration as a dutiful member of the state-compliant establishment press has to be getting very heavy.
This evening, Kuhnhenn and his wire service are expecting the AP's readers -- and ultimately its subscribing media outlets' readers, listeners, and viewers -- to believe that President Obama, who, with plenty of help from Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, will have run up over $4 trillion of steadily rising federal government deficits by the time we get to September 30, the end of the current fiscal year (after making appropriate adjustments to reverse obfuscatory accounting entries designed to mask the truth), has now seen the light, and is on board with the idea of serious long-term deficit reduction (certain bias words bolded by me; numbered tags are mine):
MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Monday spent much of show scaring viewers about Congressman Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) recently released budget proposal.
So apoplectic was the "Hardball" host that he told liberal guests Howard Fineman and Richard Wolffe that Ryan's Medicare reform plan "is going to kill half the people who watch this show" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NPR's Cokie Roberts hinted congressional Republicans were going to resort to extreme tactics regarding the debt ceiling on Monday's Morning Edition. Roberts noted the "rough votes" on the horizon in Congress, specifying the "debt ceiling that has to be increased, where Republicans have promised Armageddon."
Host Renee Montagne brought on the journalist to talk mainly about the recent proposed agreement on the budget between the Democrats and Republicans. Near the end of the segment, however, Montagne raised the other budget-related battles that are expected later in the year. Roberts dropped the biblical reference in her answer:
Clearly annoyed with conservative moves to cut the federal budget and, I suppose, with the success of conservative voters and the gun rights lobby, USA Today religion writer Cathy Lynn Grossman penned an odd entry entitled "Budget battles: Granny, get your gun," excerpted in full below:
Just hours before a last-minute deal was struck between Republicans and Democrats to prevent a government shutdown, CNN's Eliot Spitzer did some politicking of his own on Friday's "In the Arena."
The former Democrat governor of New York interviewed the wife of an army private and delved into the family's medical and financial information – a rather awkward spectacle – all to make the case against a government shutdown and cast a bad light on House Speaker Boehner's position on budget cuts.
After playing the father's good-bye message to his own family as he was leaving for Iraq, Spitzer thought that "John Boehner would cry if he saw that, no doubt," making an extra jab at the House Speaker's emotional temperament. "That's what he should be crying about, those army families not getting paid," Spitzer added for good measure.
Examine Calmes’s word choice: While she portrays Republican plans as involving a “shrinking of Medicare and Medicaid,” Obama “envisions a more comprehensive plan” that includes finding “savings in Medicare and Medicaid,” as if Obama was making a painless offer. Which phrase is more palatable to undecided voters nervous over the impact of budget cuts?
If Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite actually believed in Hell, she'd probably preach that Tea Partiers were headed there unless they repented and backed higher taxes and more government spending.
The liberal seminary professor and Washington Post/Newsweek "On Faith" contributor last Wednesday lashed out at the "fundamentalism" of Tea Party calls for fiscal restraint, insisting that conservative takes on the federal budget were un-Christian, "tribal" and racist in nature:
President Obama opened the week by calling on Democrats to embrace his re-election campaign. He closed it by praising Republicans for forging a compromise to cut spending this year and avert a government shutdown.
The juxtaposition made clearer than ever the more centrist governing style Mr. Obama has adopted since his party’s big losses in November and his recapture-the-middle strategy for winning a second term.
Actually, Zeleny has considered Obama centrist, or at least a “pragmatist,” from his first year in office, well before the 2010 election. Here's Zeleny on Obama the pragmatist in December 2009: “He delivered a mix of realism and idealism....he continued a pattern evident throughout his public career of favoring pragmatism over absolutes.”
Appearing on Monday's "Today" to discuss the debate over reducing the nation's debt, CNBC host Erin Burnett declared to co-host Matt Lauer: "The problem is our revenue, what the government takes in, in taxes. What you pay every month out of your paycheck is way smaller, in fact, it's only somewhere around $2 trillion a year."
After Lauer asked about the relationship between government spending and the debt, Burnett acknowledged: "They are related, but really, to tackle this issue, we do have to tackle entitlements. When you look at Medicare and Social Security, it's 40% of our budget." However, she quickly denounced Republican attempts to use a raise in the debt ceiling to cut such spending: "Those are the questions we have to answer, but not through playing chicken on the debt ceiling."
In New York Times-land, only Republicans can be ideologically motivated politicians. Michael Shear, chief writer for the paper’s political blog “The Caucus,” showed stark labeling disparity in two separate stories on the budget compromise averting a government shutdown, one focused on Democrats, the other on Republicans.
His Saturday morning post focused on Democratic disappointment about the budget deal: “Some Democrats Complain About Budget Compromise.” Yet of the six Democrats quoted (including President Obama) only one was ideologically labeled: “Representative George Miller of California, a veteran liberal member of Congress.” Neither labor secretary Robert Reich and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were called liberal.
In contrast, Shear’s pre-agreement Friday afternoon post, “Conservatives Urge Boehner to Cut a Budget Deal and Move On,” was full of ideological labels. Of the five Republicans Shear quoted, three were called “conservative” and two were called moderate, and the story opened with overuse of the C-word.
For days, the assumption has been that Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio was dug into his hardened position on behalf of the conservatives in his House caucus and from socially conservative voices in the Republican Party.
Emphasizing that all but one of the top 30 income earners in the United States are white males, Mika Brzezinski clamored that it is time for the wealthy to pay their fair share and help solve the budget crisis on Monday's "Morning Joe."
Co-host Joe Scarborough and liberal New York Times columnist Charles Blow were in the midst of a debate about cutting entitlement spending when Mika chimed in. After Scarborough argued that making cuts to middle-class entitlements is necessary for the country's fiscal health, Brzezinski quipped that the rich should be contributing more to solve the budget deficit.
On Friday afternoon, Time magazine religion reporter Amy Sullivan briefly blogged her complaint about what she sees as hypocrisy from conservatives who oppose federal monies for Planned Parenthood but support federal support for faith-based initiatives.
"Money is Fungible," blared her April 8 Swampland headline. Well, "[o]bviously," she agreed, then carped that:
On the same day a new poll found only 37 percent of liberals strongly approve of Barack Obama's performance as president, the New York Times's Paul Krugman bashed America's chief executive for being missing in action.
"What have they done with President Obama?" asked the Nobel Laureate. "Who is this bland, timid guy who doesn’t seem to stand for anything in particular":
A round-up from over the weekend of journalists denouncing Republican Congressman Paul Ryan for not including a big tax hike in his deficit-reduction plan and discrediting the Tea Party’s pressure on House Speaker John Boehner as a “far right” impediment to good government.
“He doesn't deal with the revenue side at all,” despaired Newsweek veteran Evan Thomas on Inside Washington, arguing: “We cannot survive on 18, his goal is to do 18 percent of GDP as revenue. That's not enough. We're going to have to raise some taxes...”
On HBO’sReal Time with Bill Maher on Friday night, Katty Kay, anchor of BBC’s World News America, echoed, “He does nothing on the revenue side,” fretting: “There is this allergy, amongst Republicans, about saying ‘you know what, we actually do have to deal with taxes too.’”
Juan Williams charged “the rich get off like scoundrels,” complaining onFox News Sunday that Ryan is “not doing anything in terms of raising taxes.” Williams also worried: “John Boehner now has the Tea Party wrapped around his neck like an albatross.”
Appearing on Sunday’s Good Morning America on ABC, This Week host Christiane Amanpour suggested that Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s perceived victory in recent budget negotiations with President Obama could be harmful in the long run as it will "give Republicans a lot more wind in their sail" and make it more difficult for both sides to compromise on the larger portions of the budget.
Co-anchor Bianna Golodryga set up the line of thinking as she posed the question: "Since both sides avoided the backlash that would have come with the government shut down that could have potentially taught them a lesson, is there risk that they'll overplay their hand on obviously this much more controversial debate over the debt limit now heightened?"
Amanpour passed on the view by some that the recent budget deal would hinder the negotiation of future agreements: "And some people are saying that with the victory, because many people are saying that this government shutdown deal was a victory for, by and large, Speaker Boehner, that that might give the Republicans a lot more wind in their sail at a time when analysts say that it really needs bipartisan work to get some of these huge, big issues sorted out."
There was a moment on this weekend's "McLaughlin Group" that is guaranteed to make conservatives all around the country smile from ear to ear.
After Newsweek's Eleanor Clift predictably attacked Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and his just-released budget proposal, National Review's Rich Lowry caught her in a serious contradiction and said, "With all due respect, Eleanor, you're talking out of both sides of your mouth" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Now that Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has submitted a budget that actually produces over $6 trillion less debt in the next ten years than what the President has proposed, the job of the Obama-loving media is to discredit him whenever possible.
NBC's David Gregory, ever the dutiful left-wing soldier, tried doing just that during his "Meet the Press" interview with Ryan Sunday even saying to his guest, "The problem that you've always had is that Republicans love to talk about you as a smart guy with really good ideas, but they don't actually support you" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ABC's Jonathan Karl last week asked Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) if his 2012 budget proposal is a "political kamikaze mission" that will "ultimately cost Republicans" their majority in the House.
After Christiane Amanpour played this clip and asked if Ryan is a "visionary or a villain" on Sunday's "This Week," George Will marvelously responded - likely to the dismay of all present! - "Paul Ryan is eight years younger than the President but vastly more experienced and conversant with these issues" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Reading almost directly from Democrat talking points, the so-called "news" network MSNBC spent most of its prime time programming Friday claiming that if the federal government was shut down as a result of a budget impasse, it was because Republicans wanted to defund Planned Parenthood.
Lawrence O'Donnell dutifully did his part in advancing this hysterical nonsense Friday, so much so that after reading a lengthy e-mail message from a poor friend of his that uses this organization's services, "The Last Word" host actually broke down in tears (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It's a favorite liberal parlor game: basking in the belief that they are smarter and more sophisticated than conservatives. Cenk Uygur couldn't have chosen a more inapt moment to play the game than last night. But like a moose to a flame . . .
On his MSNBC show last evening, Uygur had on a co-host of his Young Turks radio show to tout a study claiming to find anatomical differences between conservative and liberal brains. Liberal noggins are allegedly larger in the area that helps process conflicting information. Conservative brains, in contrast, supposedly have larger amygdalas--the area that recognizes threats or fear.
Cenk jumped on the study to claim it explains why conservatives tend to "campaign on fear." Oy, Ugyur. Someone should check the part of his brain dealing with memory. Cenk apparently couldn't recall that Dems spent the last week . . . fear-mongering the Republican budget proposal. Cenk, does Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's immortal "death trap" phrase mean anything to you?
Bill Maher and Eliot Spitzer on Friday's "Real Time" not surprisingly attacked Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) for his 2012 budget proposal.
Showing glimpses of the conservative that used to occupy his body many years ago, the Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan not only defended the Republican as deserving a lot of credit for his bold plan, but also exposed Maher and Spitzer as ignorant hypocrites when it comes to the nation's fiscal policy (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
And while we sleep, it will probably be spun around in quite a variety of ways.
What appears to have been the very first Associated Press report at 11:05 p.m. on the final-hour deal that averted a threatened government shutdown came from David Espo at the Associated Press (Espo's byline appeared at the AP's main site, but that report was supplanted by a second one to be discussed shortly; Espo's report is saved here in full as a graphic for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):
Congress, White House reach deal to avoid government shutdown
Perilously close to a government shutdown, congressional leaders reached agreement with the White House late Friday night on a deal to cut tens of billions of dollars in federal spending and avert the closure.
Although Barack Obama never proposed a 2011 budget, the folks on MSNBC think he's done an absolutely marvelous job in this regard.
After "Hardball's" Chris Matthews began a Friday segment about the looming shutdown saying, "[Obama's] the adult in the room and this is sort of a Washington fight among the Washington types," Time magazine's Mark Halperin put the cherry on top adding, "The White House has been brilliant and the President has been disciplined" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
During an interview of Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, CNN anchor Deborah Feyerick not only failed to ask Richards any tough questions about federal funding of the organization, but entirely misquoted the claim of Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) that 90 percent of Planned Parenthood services are abortions.
Feyerick began the segment attributing to Kyl a bizarre claim that 90 percent of Planned Parenthood's funding goes to abortions. Obviously, that was red meat for Richards who dismantled the faux statement claiming that no federal funding goes to abortions.
The following is what Sen. Kyl said on the Senate floor: "Everybody goes to clinics, to hospitals, to doctors and so on. Some people go to Planned Parenthood. But you don't have to go to Planned Parenthood to get your cholesterol and your blood pressure checked. If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that's well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does."Sen. Kyl did not say that 90 percent of funding goes to abortions at Planned Parenthood, but that 90 percent of its services are abortions, another argument entirely.
On Friday's Early Show, CBS's Betty Nguyen used the Statue of Liberty as a live backdrop to play up how "visitors would miss out on the Smithsonian and its 19 museums...even the National Zoo" if the federal budget impasse leads to a government shutdown. Nguyen also highlighted that the "Cherry Blossom Festival...[is] set to wrap up this weekend, but the parade may not march on if the government shuts down."
Fill-in anchor Rebecca Jarvis introduced the correspondent's report, which ran 10 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour, by outlining that the cost of a shutdown might be $8 billion a week "because there are so many government employees who won't be working, agencies that will shut down, and there are costs to restarting them, including our country's national parks, which is where we find...Betty Nguyen at Liberty State Park, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, with more on the expected impact at those locations."