Organizing For Action claims that its mission is to "support President Obama in achieving enactment of the national agenda Americans voted for on Election Day 2012." Presumably, on a day-to-day and month-to-month basis, that means it's able to divine the President's priorities and follow them (you see, OFA is "independent," so there can't pooooossibly be any communication between its officials and the White House, cough, cough).
Well, if OFA really is following the President's priorities, one of those priorities is decidedly not the economy, despite Obama's promise in his weekly address on Saturday to "spend every minute of every day doing everything in my power to make this economy work for working Americans again." And yes, I would expect a vigilant establishment press, which we definitely don't have, to notice, and of course they haven't. Edward-Isaac Dovere at the Politico has a list of OFA's "Action August" key event days, which follows the jump:
Just over a week ago, MSNBC's Melissa Harris Perry claimed that Detroit's bankruptcy is a result of "when government is small enough to drown in your bathtub," and analogized it to "exactly the kind of thing that many Republicans would impose on us."
The truth, of course, is that Detroit has had quite a large government. It also had and still has frightening rates of violent and nonviolent crime, incredibly awful schools, and a race-based culture that the press once praised. What is far less appreciated is what Detroit did to chase citizens and businesses out of the city in the form of sky-high taxes.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews apparently forgot that at the beginning of the year, a variety of tax increases hit virtually every wage earning American.
Fortunately for the limited number of Hardball viewers Thursday, former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele was on the set to offer the truth telling his clueless host, “Everybody’s taxes went up at the beginning of the year, so don’t sit in this little bubble and act like it didn’t happen” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"The liberal media’s refusal to cover the IRS scandal – more than the NSA scandal, more than DOJ’s surveillance of journalists, more even than the tragic loss of life in Benghazi – cuts to the very heart of their corruption," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell charged in a statement released this afternoon with radio host Rush Limbaugh and three other leaders of the conservative movement.
"No fair, objective journalist can look at the facts of this flagrant abuse of power and not conclude that it is a massive political scandal deserving of constant, merciless scrutiny," they concluded, arguing that "Any ‘so-called’ journalist who says otherwise is at best an ethically bankrupt shill for the administration and at worst thinks conservatives should be persecuted by the government for their beliefs." You can read the full Media Research Center (MRC) press release below the page break:
Scott Pelley devoted a minute and a half segment to the IRS scandal on Wednesday's CBS Evening News, the first time that the Big Three newscast had mentioned the issue in a month. Pelley asked Treasury Secretary Jack Lew if "any political appointee had oversight of the decisions that were made around the Tea Party applications", and reported on some of the recent developments in the scandal.
Mere hours later, Thursday's CBS This Morning didn't even cover the IRS portion of the Lew interview, but did play a clip of Pelley asking the Cabinet official about the economy.
Yesterday, President Obama gave another warmed-over version of the same economic policy speech that’s been given for the past five years at Knox College in Illinois. He saved the automobile industry. He’s overseeing an economic recovery. Republicans are intransigent. And he’s the best person to ever breathe oxygen on this planet. Yada, yada, yada.
Now with polls showing a record number of people calling for the repeal of ObamaCare, the president needed to pivot towards, well, jobs – again. Not that the liberal media have noticed the maddeningly repetitive same-old, same-old of it all. We’re getting to the point where the media should be calling the president out on this tactic, although with very few exceptions, no one's doing that.
When on today's Morning Joe, Obama spokesman Jay Carney had the chutzpah to call the IRS mess a "phony scandal,"Joe Scarborough ripped into him, calling Carney out for using "talking points," instructing him to "answer my question" and informing Carney that "I'm not somebody you talk down to from your podium." Ouch! H/t NB reader cobokat.
Scarborough reminded Carney that he hadn't told the truth when he initially claimed that the scandal was limited to low-level employees in the IRS Cincinnati office, that it now appears that it may go at least as high as the IRS Chief Counsel, appointed by President Obama, is involved. Carney continued to slough off the scandal, claiming it was a diversion and that the President wants to focus on the economy, blah, blah, blah. Things got heated, as you'll see from the video, after the jump.
CBS's Bob Schieffer got a much-needed lesson in recent history Sunday.
During a Face the Nation discussion with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.), after the host wrongly claimed sequester was "the creation of Congress," Boehner interrupted him saying, "That's wrong. Who insisted on the sequester? The President of the United States" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
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.
Emmy Award-winning actor James Woods had some harsh words for the President Friday.
Shortly after Barack Obama finished his address concerning race and the George Zimmerman verdict - which included comments about people locking their car doors when black men walk by - Woods tweeted, "The only reason people lock their car doors when Obama walks by is they are afraid he'll tax them to death":
All three networks on Thursday night and Friday morning avoided key factors in the bankruptcy of Detroit, skipping the city's astronomically high tax rate and ignoring Democratic dominance for the previous half century. (Detroit's last Republican mayor left office in 1962.) Instead, ABC, NBC and CBS acted as though the bankruptcy, what Brian Williams called "the slow-moving tragedy of decline," was something that just happened.
On Good Morning America, Betty Liu gently summarized, "What happened here? Well, people have been leaving the city for years. Back in the 1950s, you had almost two million people, at the peak, living in Detroit. Now, just 700,000. So they've lost half their population." She added, "When you have fewer people living in the city, you're collecting less income and property taxes." Why are people fleeing the city? Lacking curiosity, Liu didn't bring that point up. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
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 Monday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes complained about Republicans trying to increase the number of border agents and to bar illegal immigrants from collecting Social Security benefits based on taxes they've paid into the system.
After recounting the time when he worked with several illegal immigrants in a bakery who paid Social Security taxes, and the efforts by Republicans to make the border with Mexico "one of the most militarized places in this country," Hayes concluded:
On their website, Politico insists that it exists "to prove there's a robust and profitable future for tough, fair and fun coverage of politics and government." While promising to remain objective, the goal is really to provide "a distinctive brand of journalism that drives the conversation." Of course, the paper repeatedly fails to be fair and balanced and repeatedly succeeds in steering liberal media conversation, and always with a meme that accords to the liberal media's desire to bash conservatives and boost liberal Democrats.
Take today's Jake Sherman piece, "The dysfunctional House," which lambastes House Republican leadership for being bested by a conservative faction of 62 Republicans who helped to doom the "farm bill" in a floor vote yesterday. But Sherman's goal wasn't so much to defend a bill that is 80 percent pork but to set a narrative that paints the House GOP as obstructionist and uninterested in governing, thanks to a minority of renegade conservatives. That of course will feed into a larger narrative the media hope to drive prior to the 2014 midterms:
The Big Three all punted on covering the Capitol Hill "Audit the IRS" rally on their Wednesday evening and Thursday morning newscasts. CBS This Morning played a four-second soundbite of Senator Ted Cruz addressing the thousands of Tea Party activists in attendance, but CBS, along with ABC and NBC, didn't air a full report or news brief on the protest.
The CBS morning show also stood out for spotlighting how the "IRS is under fire again...it's paying $70 million in employee bonuses, despite a White House order." CBS This Morning devoted 47 seconds of coverage to this latest IRS controversy, while ABC and NBC ignored the development.
The Washington Post's Jim Tankersley today gave the George Soros-funded liberal Center for American Progress (CAP) 14 paragraphs of puffy coverage devoted to CAP's tax-heavy plan "aimed at recharging the U.S. economy." The liberal wish list is "meant to boost beleaguered middle-class workers," Tankersley noted.
In his June 13 story headlined "Plan aims to accelerate economy," the Post economic policy correspondent hailed how "The 250-page report, '300 Million Engines of Growth,' appears to be the most comprehensive effort yet by a think tank of any ideology to bridge what was the most glaring economic policy divide of the 2012 election." Tankersley then gushed that "[t]he core of the plan is the notion that economies grow and thrive best when prosperity is broadly shared." Yeah, you know where this is going, but Tankersley waited until the 8th paragraph (out of a 14-paragraph story) to note that it comes with, wait for it, "a parade of new or increased taxes" such as:
Ira Stoll of FutureofCapitalism.com has a great piece over at TIME magazine's website which makes an interesting observation about the late U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who died from complications from viral pneumonia this morning.
In his 30 years prior to first entering the Senate, Lautenberg made a fortune with a company that is now called Automatic Data Processing, Inc. or ADP. Along with Paychex, ADP is one of the nation's top payroll contract firms. Although Stoll didn't quite put it this way, it seems Lautenberg's fortune earned at ADP was made in no small part possible by the mind-numbing complexity of the U.S. tax code which drove millions of businesses to pay ADP to take care of the hassle for them:
Time magazine's Michael Grunwald got to thinking about how to end IRS abuse of power when it comes to reviewing applications for tax-exempt status. But somewhere along the line he opted for the ol' liberal standby: more TAXES!
In his commentary piece, "One Nation, Tax Exempt," Grunwald held out the idea of completely eliminating tax-exempt status for non-profits:
Individually, Americans do not deserve to be subservient to such a fear-mongering, intimidating and powerful agency as the Internal Revenue Service; but collectively, we do. Let's look at it.
Since the 1791 ratification of our Constitution, until well into the 1920s, federal spending as a percentage of gross domestic product never exceeded 5 percent, except during war. Today federal spending is 25 percent of our GDP. State and local government spending is about 15 percent of the GDP. That means government spends more than 40 cents of each dollar we earn. If we add government's regulatory burden, which is simply a disguised form of taxation, the government take is more than 50 percent of what we produce.
As we've documented time and again, Newsweek global business editor Daniel Gross has a history of anti-business and pro-big government bias.
Gross stayed true to form in his latest attack on a successful American business enterprise in his May 29 Newsweek feature, "Is Apple Too Clever By Half?" Gross's answer, unsurprisingly, was yes, and that the company was greedy because it has followed U.S. tax law scrupulously in a manner that lessened its tax bite.
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.
"We have a tax problem; we are not collecting enough tax revenue -- period," Porter approvingly quoted the University of Michigan's Jim Hines, who whined, "we are never going to finance what we need with corporate taxes." Picking up on this thread, Porter lamented that the United States is "the only advanced nation that does not have a value-added tax, which is similar to a sales tax and can raise lots of revenue." Apparently the $2.5 trillion raised in federal revenue each year just can't cut it, according to Porter and Hines.
Does L.A. Times reporter Michael Hiltzik read the news? Apparently not, since he penned one of the most lapdog press-worthy articles praising the IRS to bubble to the surface in the wake of the news that it targeted conservative Americans. Hiltzik’s column published in the May 25 Business section labeled the targeting as “supposed,” noted that for a small budget – the IRS does a pretty “good job.”
“Showing some love after the ‘witch-hunt,” Hiltzik insinuates that the current fiasco is rather peripheral since the IRS has done such a great job collecting revenue throughout its history. He noted that the changes made back in the Clinton administration, which shifted the agency from enforcement to a greater focus on treating the taxpayers like customers, is the epicenter of the trouble caused two administrations later. Hiltzik also lamented a that the shift away from enforcement led to a “brain drain” within the agency, and that real criminals, tax evaders, were left to operate freely. As for the bipartisan outrage over the scandal, Hiltzik wrote:
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):
"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):
In real life it's near impossible to find anyone who pities the IRS. That's what the New York Times is for. In a Business Day section front-pager for Thursday's paper, the Times's Michael Shear lamented that the CEO of Apple received relatively kind treatment from a Senate panel this week while IRS officials have been grilled.
"One thing became clear this week on Capitol Hill: It is better to be a tax dodger than a tax collector," whined Shear in the opening paragraph of "Torches and Pitchforks for I.R.S. but Cheers for Apple." "Plenty of good will for iPhones but only disdain for the tax collector," lamented a pull quote on the jump page which appeared underneath a picture of Apple's chief Tim Cook. Apparently Shear, and his editors at the Times, are perplexed that congressmen hold a government agency that abused its power to target Americans for their political beliefs in lower regard than a company which employs thousands of Americans and produces products loved the world over, by people of every political stripe, including those lovable hippies of the Occupy Movement.
As the media, by and large, ignores the train wreck that is on the horizon with ObamaCare, yet another union has jumped ship on the president’s health care overhaul. Back in April, you may recall, the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers officially said thanks but no thanks to the president’s plan.
Well, now, a major labor union in the grocery industry is balking at the policy. According to The Hill:
You just knew this was bound to happen. Some on the left are trying to blame George W. Bush for Obama's IRS fiasco. Take for example Mediaite's resident Obama apologist Tommy Christopher, who wrote a much ado about nothing post on May 16 insinuating that this egregious abuse of government power stems from former Bush appointed IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman – and that credit for clearing this whole thing up will go to Obama.
Christopher penned this piece using Martin Bashir’s May 16 broadcast, which featured Joy Reid of the Grio and Republican strategist Ron Christie. During the exchange, Christie was forced to admit the Shulman was a Bush appointee, but so what? This scandal happened under Obama. The IRS executed this plan in 2010, and Shulman –and his successor Steve Miller– knew about it since the spring of 2012. There is no doubt the agency lied about their knowledge of their employees’ malfeasance, and it happened under the Obama administration. Nevertheless, Christopher dutifully wove his spin, concluding: