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."
GOP Gov. Rick Perry, who refuses to commit to Times-approved tax hikes, endured several stories from McKinley during his 2010 re-election battle cheering for his Democratic opponent. On Friday, McKinley again sounded more like an editorial writer than an objective reporter:
It is hard to overstate the budget-cutting furor that has gripped lawmakers in this capital, where the Republicans who control the Legislature and all statewide offices believe voters sent them an iron-clad mandate last year to shrink the size of government.
But the Texas government was already a relatively lean operation after years of conservative fiscal policies. So when the Texas House passed its budget bill last weekend, the depth of the cutbacks necessary for the Republican majority to stick to its promise of no new taxes became clearer. It was not a pretty picture.
In an interview with Democratic Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer on NBC's Today, Meet the Press host David Gregory, filling in for Matt Lauer, asked: "I wonder, as a Democratic leader, whether part of the strategy here is to cast Republicans as extremists and ultimately get a lot more of a winning political hand for the Democrats through this process."
With that setup, Hoyer proclaimed: "David, I think the Republicans are doing that to themselves very frankly. I don't think we have to cast them in that light. They're casting themselves in that light with the Tea Party coming to town and demanding that they either get 100% or shut down the government."
Update (14:30 EDT): Joe Schoffstall of NewsBusters sister site MRCTV.org has video of Moran berated a 27-year military veteran who asked Moran questions at last night's townhall. Click here to access the video.
In his 20-paragraph April 8 article* on a congressional townhall hosted by liberal Democrat Jim Moran (D-Va.), reporter Ben Pershing buried in the very last paragraph the complaint of at least one attendee about the failure of Democrats to approve the 2011 budget last year when they controlled both houses of Congress:
Even before finishing his opening remarks, Moran was sharply interrupted by members of the audience. One asked why Democrats hadn’t completed a spending bill for 2011 last year, when they still controlled both chambers of Congress. Moran didn’t answer but said he wasn’t there to “argue or defend any of this.”
Moran's district is a very safe Democratic seat, so it is instructive that this was the very first question Moran was posed in last night's townhall meeting.
Loretta Sanchez would need to double her maturity quotient to qualify as juvenile . .
During an interview on MSNBC this morning on the subject of the budget and possible government shutdown, the Dem congresswoman from California tried to drown out her Republican colleague from New York, Michael Grimm, by chanting "broke because of Bush."
Ironically, her infantile display came moments after host Richard Liu struggled with Sanchez's filibustering to ask whether the pair were "proud about the way this process is going forward as people watch the two of you debate the issues?"
Previewing the network’s “Black Agenda” special, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell dragged out one of the most liberal members of Congress on April 7 to demagogue Republican budget cuts as harmful to poor minority groups.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) turned what was supposed to be a conversation about the consequences of a government shutdown, which most members on both sides of the aisle want to avoid, into a screed against only $60 billion in cuts to non-defense discretionary spending.
“And so people need to know, people are going to bed hungry tonight,” fretted Lee, even though the government was still open yesterday and wouldn't close until at least tomorrow morning. “There will be more people poorer if the budget that the Republicans want passed gets passed.”
Prior to this week, President Obama had been so detached from the budget debate that some in his own party have openly criticized him. Obama, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin declared in early March, has “failed to lead this debate or offer a serious proposal for spending and cuts that he would be willing to fight for.”
Yet when the President chose to parachute into the budget talks earlier this week, most of the mainstream media neglected to remember his long absence, but instead acted like White House stenographers in praising his “adult” and “grown-up” approach — conveying the obvious implication that House Republicans and/or the Tea Party have been acting like children.
A video compilation of some of the more noteworthy these comments appears below the fold; a link to audio of remarks by CBS’s Chip Reid, CNN’s Gloria Borger and CNN’s Eliot Spitzer, all from April 5, is here.
Instead of being embarrassed by how their story generated a talking point for the President to use in a partisan political battle, ABC on Thursday night boasted of how President Obama cited Jake Tapper’s coverage to boost his argument. Anchor Diane Sawyer touted how “the President, last night, well, he noticed what Jake was saying.” Tapper recalled: “Last night on World News, we told you the story of Louisville, Kentucky's. J.T. Henderson, his wife and their adopted son, worried about not receiving the family's desperately needed tax refund because of the possible shutdown....And at least one negotiator was watching.”
That was Obama, who during comments in the White House briefing room on Wednesday night, cited the man Tapper featured a few hours earlier, the father of an adopted four-year-old from Ethiopia. Obama announced: “J.T. said if he could speak directly to all of us in Washington, he'd tell us that all of this political grandstanding has effects as it trickles down to normal, everyday Americans. There is no reason why we should not be able to complete a deal, unless we've made a decision that politics is more important than folks like J.T. Henderson.”
Tapper added: “Today, Henderson told us he appreciated the President hearing his concerns.”
Jennifer Steinhauer of the New York Times offered a story Thursday on already hypocritical freshman House Republicans favoring big-picture spending cuts, but fighting for local projects. The headline was "Gung-Ho for Big Cuts in Spending, Less Fond of the Ones That Hurt Back Home." Steinhauer reported: "While scores of congressmen and women are singing an ode to spending reductions with their Republican choir in Washington, back home, the tune sometimes changes...Such inconsistencies, while hardly new to this Congress, are political chum for Democrats."
That could be the slogan for The New York Times: "All the News That Is Political Chum for Democrats."
The first star of the story is Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler of Washington state, who campaigned against the "stimulus" and voted for the $61 billion cut, but now wants to help secure a $10 million grant for the Port of Vancouver. It’s true that trillion-dollar deficits can be built out of local projects. But Steinhauer was helpfully setting up local Congressman Steve Israel from Long Island to lecture:
NPR's Ari Shapiro slanted towards President Obama and two of his Democratic allies in Congress on Thursday's Morning Edition on the continuing battle over the federal budget, playing seven sound bites from them versus only three from Republican House Speaker John Boehner.
Shapiro highlighted the late night negotiations over the budget on Wednesday during his report, playing three clips from the President and one from Senator Harry Reid before even getting to his first one from Speaker Boehner:
During his Talking Points Memo at the top of Wednesday's O'Reilly Factor on Fox News, host Bill O'Reilly called out NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer for denouncing Republican efforts to cut spending on things like "climate control": "Are you kidding me, Lauer? Funding for climate control? Nobody can control the climate but God. So give a little extra at mass or services."
As NewsBusters reported, on Wednesday's Today, Lauer lamented: "...some of the things the Tea Party and others on the far right are asking for – no funding for Planned Parenthood, no funding for climate control, public broadcasting." In response, O'Reilly remarked: "Funding for Planned Parenthood and public broadcasting when the debt stands at 14 trillion? Have a telethon on the Today show for those concerns. Raise the money privately. This is nuts. The country's nearly bankrupt. China holds more than a trillion dollars of our debt and you guys want climate control funding? I feel a cold front coming on."
As the prospect of a government shutdown continued to make headlines today, MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer accused Republicans of exploiting servicemen's paychecks for political gain, even though the House approved legislation to fund the Pentagon in the event of a shutdown and President Barack Obama threatened to veto such a measure should it reach his desk.
Interviewing Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), the daytime anchor spun the debate over the 2011 budget as a false choice between paying the troops or defunding Planned Parenthood.
Along with other institutions and people who will be impacted by a government shutdown, CNN spotlighted, throughout the day Thursday, the "grave" plight of museums and parks that may be forced to a "screeching halt" in the "height of tourism season."
CNN devoted its entire 2 p.m. EDT news hour to the possible government shutdown and what its consequences would be. Anchor Randi Kaye began the 2:15 p.m. EDT segment casting the shutdown as a "grave" threat to the U.S. economy and tourism.
"This couldn't come at a worse time," CNN's Kate Bolduan ominously declared during the 10 a.m. EDT news hour. "This is the height of the tourist season for the Smithsonian, for Washington."
After NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer joined Senator Chuck Schumer on Wednesday in labeling the Tea Party as the cause of the budget stalemate in Congress, on Thursday, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell again provided a platform for Democratic talking points in an interview with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
O'Donnell, who spoke with Reid Wednesday night, began with a challenge: "If there were a shutdown, are you responsible? At least in part?" Reid replied: "How can we be blamed when we have given them everything they want and they won't take yes for an answer?" She then summarized the Democratic argument: "Reid said Republicans refuse to compromise....[his] answer is blame the Tea Party."
The repeal of Obamacare's nightmarish 1099 requirement has passed both chambers of Congress and is on its way to the President for his expected signature.
In reporting Tuesday on the repeal bill's progress, the Associated Press's headline writers assured readers that the original requirement in Obamacare was a "small" component of it. The AP's Stephen Ohlemacher also misstated current 1099 filing requirements, ignored the repeal bill's de facto tax increases (i.e., reductions of tax credits) that were crammed into the bill to "pay" for lost revenue that will supposedly result from repeal, and glossed over the fact that the requirement made it into law because almost no one read the Obamacare legislation in the first place. Other than that, the AP report isn't too bad. (/sarc)
Here are key paragraphs from Ohlemacher's report (bolds and number tags are mine):