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):
You've got hand it to some (probably most) of the reporters at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press. Their story is that the economy is all right, and by gosh, they're sticking to it.
Tom Raum's dispatch yesterday is a case in point. Along the way, he pulled out several of the tired spin-driven claims which have long since been taken down but which haven't yet penetrated the skulls of low-information voters. Raum and AP seem puzzled that the supposedly okey-dokey economy doesn't seem to be helping President Obama or Democrats' 2014 congressional and senatorial election prospects (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
The email announcing the supposedly momentous occasion of another column by the Politico's Glenn Thrush arrived in my mailbox with the following headline and subhead: "Obama: Hey guys, I'm still here -- The president's press conference brimmed with frustration and was filled with tantalizing promise."
On clickthrough, I learned that the online website's massagers-in-chief changed those items (but not the underlying URL, which reflects the email) to the following in the published article: "President Obama: I’m still relevant -- Obama finds himself hemmed in by the familiar constraints of partisanship and world events." Thrush's text identifed another problem supposedly hemming Obama in, complete with a slavery analogy: "the shackles of his own commitments." Poor guy; he has to deal with the world as it is, not how he'd like it to be, and those darned things he promised to do to get elected and reelected. Gosh, life is just so unfair, isn't it? Excerpts following Thrush's theme follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Global warming alarmists are becoming more and more laughable in their feeble attempts to make the American people concerned about climate change. The recent scare tactic: global warming will force women into prostitution!
According to the Hill, left-wing Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California, along with "a dozen other Democrats," say that:
the results of climate change include drought and reduced agricultural output. It says these changes can be particularly harmful for women.
“[F]ood insecure women with limited socioeconomic resources may be vulnerable to situations such as sex work, transactional sex, and early marriage that put them at risk for HIV, STIs, unplanned pregnancy, and poor reproductive health," it says.
So, it follows I suppose, that if you oppose big government attempts to curb climate change, then, you're anti-woman, since global warming will escalate prostitution andwith it unplanned pregnancies and "poor reproductive health." We'll see if the "war on women" network, MSNBC, follows this thread, although my guess is that this line of argument may be even a bit much for the folks at the Lean Forward network. But then again, you never know.
President Barack Obama will take to the podium in the White House press briefing room at 10:30 a.m. Eastern for a press conference. The occasion: today is the 100th day of his second term in office. We at NewsBusters will be watching and I'll be live-blogging the questions from reporters. Pardon my inaccuracies as I'll be transcribing on the fly.
In the comments section, leave some question that YOU would ask if you were in the room. Which questions should be asked but likely won't?
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's attempt to keep his state's agencies from releasing detailed data on the use of the public-assistance system by the Tsarnaev family, whose sons, one dead and one in custody, are accused of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, appeared to be successful last week.
Ah, but Patrick, apparently feeling some heat, did agree "to release the information only to a House oversight committee where it will remain a secret." Except it's not a secret any more, at least in the aggregate, based on a report in the Boston Herald by Chris Cassidy which, based on when story comments first began appearing, went up during the middle of the afternoon today:
Have any of the liberal journalists who have bellyached over the sequester's supposedly draconian cuts -- which amount to a mere $44 billion -- considered that it pales in comparison to the amount of money that Medicare fraud costs the taxpayer every year?
That would be as much as $300 billion a year, or three times what the U.S. government spends on education, as Chris Parker of the Houston Press noted in an April 25 story:
Given how often such blatant thievery goes undetected, no one's sure how much fraud there really is. Conservative estimates place the bill at $100 billion annually. The more adventurous peg the figure closer to $300 billion — three times what the feds spend on education.
It has left federal health care little more than an unlocked home, where street punks and gangsters, doctors and even states walk right in and help themselves to whatever's inside.
Parker also observed that some people who were involved in Medicare fraud look mighty familiar, like Democratic Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee of Texas. Houston Riverside General Hospital, the medical center she vouched for after it was hit with cuts, was found to have committed $116 million dollars in Medicare fraud – and her husband, Elwyn Lee, was once on the board.
Medicare malfeasance is, alas, a bipartisan fiasco. Florida Governor Rick Scott (R), you may recall, was CEO of a hospital company that also has engaged in felonious Medicare transactions.
While liberal journalists like E.J. Dionne have been squawking about how disastrous the sequester cuts -- in truth they are actually reductions in the rate of spending --are, the fact of the matter is they are a drop in the federal budget bucket, and are significantly less than money we as taxpayers lose every year thanks to fraud in Medicare, a program which needs fundamental reform to prevent insolvency in a few decades time.
The Democrats blinked in the sequester tussle -- by wide margins Congress passed, and the president promised to sign, legislation that would end the furloughs for Federal Aviation Administration employees, which had caused flight delays that Republicans claimed were politically motivated by the Obama administration.
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Chip Reid forwarded the talking points of "some Democrats [who] say less vocal victims of the budget slashing have been left out in the cold ". Reid asserted that "millions of Americans harmed by the sequester [are] wondering what Washington plans to do for them" after Congress expedited the passage of a bill that ended the furloughs of air traffic controllers.
CBS News political director John Dickerson also spotlighted how "these across-the-board cuts have affected...all kinds of things – kids getting their Head Start, meals for poor people, even cancer treatments for Medicare patients – but they haven't been able to put the pressure on lawmakers that happened in this case."
The left's media-echo chamber just got louder. On Thursday morning in a claimed exclusive, the Politico reported that "(Former presidential adviser and campaign official David) Plouffe will appear regularly on Bloomberg Television to offer analysis and commentary on political and business issues as they impact the intersection of Wall Street, Main Street and K Street and will lend his expertise to the discussion of technology, demographic changes and crisis management."
That day at his new place of work, in response to a "kerfuffle" over errors in an academic paper which showed that, throughout history, government debt levels have held back economic growth -- errors which the authors insisted in a New York Times op-ed did not alter the fundamental validity of their conclusions, Plouffe delivered exactly what one would expect of a "former" lead Obama apparatchik:
What is it with Martin Bashir and his tendency to talk dirty to women guests?
A couple of months ago, we noted the MSNBC host claiming to guest Karen Finney that Senator Marco Rubio, in his questioning of a hearing witness, was seeking to show that he had "very strong testicles." This evening, taking things a vulgar step further, Bashir told another Dem woman that Americans so detest Congress that they "would rather contract gonorrhea" than show respect for that institution. View the video after the jump.
As news of a deal in Congress to end FAA furloughs of air traffic controllers broke Friday morning, a panel of NBC hosts on Today immediately fretted over other government programs affected by the sequester, with Willie Geist touting Obama administration fearmongering: "...some of the other things that are hurt by the sequester, namely Head Start, preschool for low-income families....By the White House's account, 70,000 preschoolers will not have Head Start because of what's happening due to sequestration." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Geist worried about the "imbalance" of the congressional deal only benefitting airline passengers. Fill-in co-host Tamron Hall agreed: "Now we're seeing this piecemeal, where, like you said, the air travelers, many of them business folks, are able to complain....Squeaky wheel gets the most attention and gets results. And do we really want our country to run that way? It's crazy....And there's the silent victims."
On Wednesday's NBC Today, news anchor Natalie Morales complained about having a flight delayed due to the FAA furloughing air traffic controllers in the wake of the sequester: "I was traveling to Boston yesterday, which is a 50-minute flight, shuttle. And it took me about two and a half hours to get there....the pilots got on and they said, 'It's not the airline's fault....you can go online and sign the petition to end the furloughs.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The account echoed a similar report from CNBC's Jim Cramer, who on Tuesday's Squawk Box explained: "We were about to take off and the pilot comes back and doesn't see me initially, CNBC. And says, 'look, we just got word the FAA says that we don't have enough air traffic controllers to take off. It's part of the sequester.'"
Showing how difficult it is to make the smallest reductions in federal spending, New York Times personal finance reporter Tara Siegel Bernard's latest "Your Money" column criticized, as hurting the old and poor, a proposed change in how inflation is calculated that would slightly curb the annual increases in entitlement spending. The proposal is generally supported by conservatives and reviled by liberals.
At the top of Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams eagerly parroted Obama administration talking points when it came to blaming the sequester for sporadic flight delays: "The traffic jam starting to build up at our airports. Flight delays just beginning to emerge today as those budget cuts in Washington begin to hit home." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later on the broadcast, Williams again declared the delays to be a sign of "the impact of Washington all across this country" and predicted: "Now the American people as a whole just might take further notice because now the sequester is responsible for delaying airline flights across this country."
ABC won't let reality get in the way of good hype. Good Morning America on Tuesday doubled down on the "airline apocalypse" allegedly caused by sequester. Reporter Matt Guttman actually lumped in weather delays with a shortage of Federal Aviation Association (FAA) air traffic controllers. On Monday, George Stephanopoulos warned of an "airport armageddon." The next day, Gutman seemed to contradict this, admitting, "[We] didn't really find an airline apocalypse." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
However, using a slight of hand, he quickly moved on: "But all those little delays, either caused by a shortage of FAA controllers or by the weather, started to snowball into delays of four and five hours." Using hyperbole almost identical to Stephanopoulos, Gutman hyperventilated, "But Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warns ABC News, we might yet see an airplane apocalypse." Airport armageddon? Airplane apocalypse? The GMA journalists offered such over-the-top alliteration, despite this concession from Gutman: "So far, several hundred flights delayed. Far less than the agency's prediction of 6,700 daily flight delays."
It's no surprise that the liberal media are ignoring poll after poll showing widespread discontent, even among Democrats, with ObamaCare. But what's utterly inexcusable is the man-bites-dog story coming out of a labor union this week, which is now calling for ObamaCare's repeal.
Janet Adamy of the Wall Street Journal noted on April 16 that the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers is the first union to call for the repeal of Obamacare. Why? Because it could lead to members losing their existing coverage:
Weeks after White House hype over the budget sequester fizzled as the policy went into effect, on Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams signaled a new media push to scare viewers about the modest reductions in government spending: "On the subject of air travel, sooner or later the so-called sequester in Washington is going to affect all Americans." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In an exclusive interview with President Obama aired on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie began the exchange by fretting over gun legislation in Congress "hanging by a thread" and scolding the President for not pushing for gun restrictions sooner: "You are asking Democrats in conservative states to take a tough vote politically, something you, yourself, did not do. You didn't run on this in 2008 or 2012, not after Tucson, not after Aurora."
Later in the discussion, Guthrie helped to portray Obama's budget plan as a centrist compromise that riled both Republicans and Democrats: "[Republicans] say it's not enough and they say it's not enough to make a deal....you've got Democrats a little mad at you, too, saying you've cut Social Security and Medicare and now this is going to come back and haunt them in their races." The President touted: "It does not give Republicans everything they want, frankly it doesn't reflect everything that I would like to see."
The old adage "better late than never" might not apply in the case of President Obama's tardily filed budget.
It's one thing to habitually arrive late for scheduled appearances selfishly to build suspense and annoy those in attendance, but it's another to present this document two months late and after both the House and Senate have passed their own respective budgets.
We’re living through an important moment in U.S. political history, and thankfully we have ABC’s chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl to tell us just how momentous it is. Karl appeared as a guest on Charlie Rose’s PBS show Thursday night to chat about gun control and the president’s budget, among other things. The veteran ABC reporter lamented the fact that neither Republicans nor Democrats on Capitol Hill appreciated President Obama’s budget very much:
"I mean, the Republicans didn't give him really any credit at all. And then you have on his liberal flank people like Barry Sanders [sic] saying this is outrageous that the president is, in the words of some progressives, stealing money from seniors, stealing deserved benefits. So it's hard to find somebody up on Capitol Hill that was truly ready to give the president credit. And to praise his budget." [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Legendary British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has passed away, and given that she was a conservative, PBS can’t let her go without finding some way to criticize her. On Tuesday evening’s PBS NewsHour, Time Magazine’s Rana Foroohar was brought on to discuss Thatcher’s legacy. Why Foroohar? Well, according to anchor Gwen Ifill, not only does she cover economics and business, she also lived in Britain for nine years.
Foroohar got right to work, describing Thatcher as a “very divisive character” and a “very, very polarizing figure.” Ifill asked her if there are presently any heirs to Thatcher’s world view, and Foroohar responded that Thatcher’s heirs reside in the developing world and emerging markets. These countries are at a stage where Thatcher’s ideas of privatization and free markets can help them, according to Foroohar.
Any time you see an establishment press reporter fail to use quotation marks in characterizing something said by a subject of his or her report, be on the lookout for misdirection, misinterpretation, and downright distortion, especially if the person is a conservative or Republican. A story at Politico by Donovan Slack early this afternoon about the reactions of House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to President Obama's budget is a case in point. Slack pretended that Boehner said something he simply did not say.
Slack wrote: "House Speaker John Boehner hit President Obama's budget for failing to cut enough spending while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed it as 'just another left-wing wish list.'" Slack didn't quote Boehner. Boehner didn't come anywhere close to saying what Slack claims he said, as seen in the complete text of the Speaker's statement (video is at the link) following the jump: