Melissa Harris-Perry, one of the panel guests on MSNBC's "Now" program on Friday, managed to tie Detroit's bankruptcy to small government, i.e., "when government is small enough to drown in your bathtub," and to analogize it to "exactly the kind of thing that many Republicans would impose on us." Really.
On Thursday's All In show, as Chris Hayes complained about the vote by House Republicans to separate the food stamp program from the farm bill, the MSNBC host accused GOPers of taking the action "so they could focus solely on the farm stuff and really embrace not caring about the poor."
Hayes also charged that Republicans had "jettisoned 47 million hungry Americans." The MSNBC host began the segment:
How does a multi-millionaire plutocrat earn good press from the New York Times? Apparently, espousing some of the far-Left's most radical economic theories is a good start.
This morning's paper (B-1) carries an adoring profile of Warren Mosler, who reporter Annie Lowrey brands as a "card-carrying member of the 1 percent....But his prescriptions for economic policy make him sound like a warrior for the 99 percent."
Lowrey, who visited Mosler in the U.S. Virgin Islands, explains:
Well, it’s Washington Post official: the sequestration wasn’t all that bad after all. In fact, you could classify it as a dud, according to none other than Ezra Klein, a favored pet pundit of many a liberal MSNBC panel.
In a June 30 item at his Wonkblog, Klein concluded that the experts were “mostly wrong” concerning the impact of the cuts. At the same time, conservatives saw from the beginning that the actual amount of cutbacks, which was only $44 billion, would have a de minimis impact on the economy. However, government spending increased over the past year, just at a lower rate of growth than originally planned, so in real terms, there were no real cuts to speak of in real terms.
Before the government released its first estimate of first-quarter economic growth in late April, the establishment press, particularly Bloomberg News and the Associated Press, salivated at the chance to report the then-predicted "robust" annualized growth of 3 percent and to describe how the economy had "accelerated" from the previous quarter's pathetic 0.4 percent. When that first estimate came in at only 2.5 percent, most news organizations at least had the integrity to pronounce the news disappointing. But not Martin Crutsinger and Christopher Rugaber at the AP, aka the Administration's Press, who opened their coverage by saying that "the American economy quickened its pace early this year despite deep government cutbacks."
The government's second estimate in May was little changed at 2.4 percent. But Wednesday's third and final estimate (pending annual revisions going back several years, the next of which will appear in July) came in at 1.8 percent, a 40 percent drop from so-called experts' original predictions (1.2-point difference divided by the original 3.0 percent). The AP's reaction was to produce a terse three-paragraph blurb which was gone from its national web site within 24 hours, followed by a late afternoon report which blamed higher Social Security taxes and "federal spending cuts":
On Tuesday June 25, Penny Pritzker became the 38th Secretary of Commerce after the Senate voted to confirm her 97-1. Oddly enough, Pritzker has a Romney-esque business background. The well-connected friend of Obama is worth millions, has previously understated her income, and is not well liked by Big Labor. She also benefited from offshore tax havens. Despite all that, in the end, her confirmation process was a love fest and the media have been completely AWOL, failing to hit the president on the nomination.
Where was the outrage? That’s what, to it's credit, Politico has asked concerning this nomination. After all,the $80 million which Pritzker didn’t declare in income is much less than the $34,000 that Tom Daschle forgot to declare back in 2009 when he was nominated by the president to be HHS secretary.
A search at Google News on "households food stamps record" done at 9 p.m. ET (not in quotes, sorted by date, with duplicates and similar items) returned three items. Two are at the Daily Caller (here and here); and the other is at Reason.com. Program statistics for March, the latest month available, show that a record 23.12 million households -- one in every five in the U.S. -- received food stamp benefits. At 47.73 million, the total number of persons receiving benefits was only 65,000 below the record set in December. In 2008, average participation was less than 29 million.
That search result shows, despite the fact that records are supposed to be news, that the establishment press is completely uninterested in communicating the fact that the food stamp program continues to grow, though very slowly, even as the economy supposedly recovers. There is one number that the press has been citing frequently, namely the number of people who might be removed from the food stamp rolls if language attempting to limit the program to people who are truly in need remains in the otherwise bloated disaster known as the farm bill.
Saturday's CBS Evening News ballyhooed the "enormous strain on resources" that the budget sequester has apparently put on extinguishing a massive wildfire in Colorado. Carter Evans played up how, in addition to fighting the flames, "federal firefighters are facing another challenge: a loss of $50 million, mandated by the budget sequester. That forced the Forest Service to cut 500 firefighters and 50 engines, just when they're needed most."
The CBS evening newscast was actually late to the game, as the network's Big Three competitors also spotlighted the same figures earlier in June.
On Thursday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC host Al Sharpton complained about "shameless" Republicans trying to cut food stamp benefits and creating "a whole bunch of ugly names for people who need a little help," as he was joined by MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe and Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia. The MSNBC host grumbled:
It’s become a pretty much a staple of modern Democratic political rhetoric to say that today’s Republicans have departed from their predecessors in being more obstructionist toward liberal policy objectives. Since it’s something Democrats say a lot, it’s also a frequently repeated talking point in the self-described mainstream press as well.
Even some Republicans, like Bob Dole for instance, appear to believe this notion. Too bad it’s entirely a myth.
Although there are stories at Fox News and the Daily Caller, there appears to be almost no interest on the part of the establishment press in covering the Treasury Department's failure to report over 99% of its conference costs when Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn asked for an itemized listing a year ago.
The Politico, the repository for stories which cause Democrats and the left discomfort that the rest of the press would prefer to ignore ("Oh, the Politico did something with it, so we don't have to"), buried the item in a "Morning Tax" report Thursday. Writer Lauren French held off as long as she possibly could presenting how the $50 million in omitted IRS costs dwarfed the measly $500,000 which was reported (paragraph breaks added by me; bolds are mine throughout this post):
The Wall Street Journal's David Wessel channeled the Obama administration's doom and gloom about the sequester on NPR's Morning Edition on Monday. Host Renee Montagne turned to Wessel to give a "reality check" on the sequester's current and future economic impact. The journalist cited how unnamed "economic forecasters...say they're worried that the effects of this spending restraint may have bigger negative effects" later this year.
Wessel harped on the "lots of little ways" the sequester has impacted people around the country, including the "bathroom in a national park where the toilets have been closed in some places" and how "the military is mowing grass less often at bases."
While the Associated Press may get something wrong – and omit things on occasion – they’ve admitted one thing that the big three has yet to confirm: Obamacare will cost Americans their health care coverage. In a story by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar that was published on May 29, he noted that Americans might find themselves stripped of coverage this fall since their current plans don’t meet the requirements dictated by the president. Hence, they have to find a new plan, and small businesses are in the same situation. The result could be confusion on a biblical level.
It seems Obama is reneging his promise of allowing Americans to keep their coverage if they like it. As a result, unions have begun to have buyer’s remorse over this bill; Sen. Max Baucus (D-Montana) has said he feels like a “train wreck” is coming, and the Society of Actuaries has reported that individual premiums will rise 32% under Obamacare. As small businesses are firing more than they’re hiring, it’s added to the anxiety over the impact of this law through the various tax increases that are on the horizon. Yet, most in the media have omitted these developments, and with the AP, IRS, and Benghazi scandals engulfing this presidency – the effects of the Affordable Car Act are bound to blindside the country.
The pity party for furloughed federal employees should be toned down. A story at CNNMoney.com notes something I don't expect will be only rarely be reported anywhere else, namely that there has been a concerted and likely largely successful effort on the part of federal employee unions to ensure that as many of their members as possible will be eligible to collect unemployment benefits during their time off. I would expect that those who don't have union representation are also attempting to imitate what the unions are doing whenever and wherever possible.
It's pretty safe to say that extra spending on unemployment benefits wasn't treated as a partial offset to estimated savings resulting from sequestration. CNN Money's coverage of one instance of this kind of maneuvering makes it clear that the total dollar amounts aren't small in a federal workforce of 4.4 million. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Talking to CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer on Wednesday's NBC Today about signs of improvement in the economy, co-host Matt Lauer wondered about past media fearmongering: "[What] we talked about over and over again over the last year was the sequester and whether it would pour a lot of cold water over our recovery here. Has that happened?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Cramer replied: "No, it didn't. It didn't even hurt the defense stocks, those are the hottest stocks there is. So the stock market is terrific, housing's good, spending is going to increase. Things are going to get better."
Martin Bashir on Tuesday said New York Times columnist Paul Krugman "deserves the Nobel Peace Prize."
Yes, the MSNBC host said Peace Prize - not one for economics - all because the perilously liberal economist has advocated more deficit spending and even more federal debt to stimulate the economy (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
On Monday's NBC Today, correspondent Tom Costello fretted over the impact of modest reductions in government spending: "401 parks, battlefields, monuments, seashores, volcanos, and deserts make up the National Park System....But the parks and their future are under stress....The Park Service budget hasn't changed since 2006....Now the sequester is forcing another $153 million in cuts just as tourist season begins."
During a similar report on Nightly News that evening, Costello warned viewers: "Park advocates say for years the parks have been underfunded. Now some are in trouble....Despite rising costs, the Park Service budget has been flat for seven years and now has lost another $153 million in the sequester."
On Friday's All In show on MSNBC, host Chris Hayes recounted the recent activities of several Republican political figures which he regarded as examples of GOP members "being jackasses," and coined the Hayes-ism "jackassery" as he used some variation of the word "jackass" 11 times during the segment. After teasing the show, the MSNBC host immediately got to attacking Republicans:
"Pay attention to Senator Cruz because he is the unsmiling, contemptuous face of the wild, nasty, hard-right fringe of a Party that once competed with the Democrats to be the country’s governing Party."
So said MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Friday's Hardball (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On the Wednesday, May 22, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell show on MSNBC, host O'Donnell called for the defeat of a "vicious" Senate amendment pushed by Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter which would bar people convicted of some violent crimes from receiving welfare benefits.
The MSNBC host complained that the children of a criminal would "pay for his crime by going hungry," and called for "human decency" to defeat the measure. O'Donnell began the short segment:
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, open Obama supporter Gayle King strongly hinted to Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn that he would face voter backlash for seeking cuts in the federal budget to pay for tornado disaster relief: "You voted against relief plans for Hurricane Sandy, and it sounds that you would do the same if it was raised in Oklahoma. Do you worry about alienating your constituents?"
The Republican politician shot back that he didn't want the next generation to foot the bill for the recovery from the EF-5 tornado that devastated Moore, Oklahoma on Monday, and then strongly criticized the multi-billion dollar Hurricane Sandy relief package audio available here; video below the jump]:
In an interview with Congressman Tom Cole on Wednesday's NBC Today about the tornado that devastated his hometown of Moore, Oklahoma, co-host Matt Lauer saw an opportunity to hit congressional Republicans for daring to oppose pork barrel spending shoved into the Hurricane Sandy relief bill: "Back in January, you did something that a lot of your Republican colleagues did not do. You supported that bill for federal assistance, money for the victims of Hurricane Sandy." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Liberal comic Dean Obeidallah, a regular CNN commentator, flubbed the facts on Tuesday trying to expose an Oklahoma state representative for not wanting to mandate tornado shelters in schools because it would be "government interference."
An outraged Obeidallah hit Rep. Mark McBride (R) for hypocrisy, and tossed in his liberal tidbit on guns: "Shocking to hear elected official in Okl say doesn't want 'govt interference' requiring tornado shelters at schools. But guns in school ok?" However, this actually wasn't what the representative told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Tuesday.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) wants any federal disaster relief sent to his tornado-ravaged state to be offset by other spending cuts, but CNN's Carol Costello thinks his stand to be either "extreme" or very untimely.
"This is either extreme fiscal responsibility or a raging case of 'this is not the time,'" Costello mocked on Facebook and Twitter. The Senator is sticking to his fiscal principles, since he has in the past demanded the same be done with federal aid to other states, but the liberal CNN anchor decided to inject her own bias into the story.
Appearing as a guest on Thursday's PoliticsNation show on MSNBC, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank mocked House Republicans for repeatedly holding unsuccessful votes to repeal ObamaCare as he suggested they should continue to "waste" time so "they'll be less of a harm to the country" because that way "they're not cutting food stamps." Milbank:
ABC, the network that has been relentlessly pushing an apocalyptic view of what sequester could do to America, on Wednesday suggested that a lower deficit could be a bad thing. Good Morning America's Josh Elliott relayed the news that a budget surplus in April could lead to a lower 2013 deficit by $200 billion.
Elliott lectured, "But some do worry this may actually hurt the economy because it may tempt Congress to delay a long-term budget deal." Elliott didn't explain who the "some" are, but the attitude shouldn't be surprising. In April, after sequester started, GMA's hosts warned of a dark future, of "airport armageddon" and "airplane apocalypse."
Having two months ago said that his high taxes were leading him to consider dumping liberalism, HBO's Real Time host said Friday, "If you’re rich you should be begging the government to redistribute your wealth" (video follows with transcript and commentary):