From Joe Scarborough to John Heilemann, Katty Kay to Mark Halperin to Willie Geist, it was unanimous on today's Morning Joe. Whatever the substance, whatever the policy, Republicans would be making a massive political mistake by opposing the possible nomination of Susan Rice as Secretary of State.
Summed up Scarborough the MJ zeitgeist: "do a bunch of old white guys want to make their first big battle, post-election, a battle going up against a younger woman of color?" View the video after the jump. H/t reader cobokat.
Out: hateful tweets to black actresses supporting Romney for president. In: hateful tweets to celebrities tweeting their support for Israel in its struggle against the Palestinian terrorist network Hamas.
The conservative website The Blaze, noted that comedian Jon Lovitz -- who famously lashed out earlier this year about President Obama's determination to hike taxes -- and reality show star Kim Kardashian were harassed this past weekend with profanity-laced tirades and death wishes.
Last week it was Republican strategist Steve Schmidt blaming Mitt Romney's loss on conservative "loons and wackos," this week on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, fellow Republican strategist Mike Murphy joined the media chorus demanding the GOP move left: "...if we don't modernize conservatism, we can go extinct....we've got to get kind of a party view of America that's not right out of Rush Limbaugh's dream journal." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Murphy explained how to "modernize" the party: "We alienate young voters because of gay marriage, we have a policy problem. We alienate Latinos – the fastest growing voter group in the country, because of our fetish on so-called amnesty....It's a fundamental rethink that begins with policy..." Moments later, he asserted: "...the biggest problem Mitt Romney had was the Republican primary. That's what's driving the Republican brand right now to a disaster."
Yesterday, AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka may have broken a modern record for chutzpah exhibited by a labor leader Friday in criticizing management's decision at bankrupt snack maker Hostess Brands to liquidate in the wake of irreconcilable issues with its unions. In a Friday afternoon report at Politico, Kevin Cirilli not only let Trumka get away with it; he also lent the labor leader's contentions additional misleading support.
Trumka blamed the company's apparently imminent demise on "Bain-style Wall Street vultures." He wants everyone to believe that it's greedy, eeeevil Republican private-equity types who are on the brink of putting yet another company out of business. The "clever" framing of that quoted phrase appears to indicate that Trumka already knew better. It seems very likely that Cirilli also knew better. Three hours before the initial time stamp of Cirilli's report, Zero Hedge re-exposed the heavy involvement of D-D-D-Democrats in Hostess's management and advisors originally documented way back in july at CNNMoney by David Kaplan (additional paragraph breaks added by me; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Nuns on the Bus tour leader Sister Simone Campbell appeared on MSNBC's The Cycle on Thursday afternoon to discuss her ministry, which predictably led to her left-wing agenda becoming the focal point of the conversation. The only host to take issue with her talking points was token conservative S.E. Cupp, who was armed with facts and figures that the good sister could not rebut except by adamantly insisting they were "really wrong." That's when it started getting a little tense. [ video below, MP3 audio here ]
For a second there, it sounded like David Gregory was onto something. But just as fast, he reverted to liberal form . . .
On today's Morning Joe, the Meet The Press host first argued that Republicans don't have to become more moderate—they just need to change their "tone." But within seconds, Stretch was singing Mitt Romney's praises for having favored, prior to the primaries, "massive [read: liberal] immigration reform." Gregory then bemoaned the fact that during the primaries, Romney "had to keep moving to the right." View the video after the jump.
In what was a transparent attempt to scrutinize how conservative a black actress can really be, the ladies of The View invited Stacey Dash on the program to substitute for Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Immediately following her summary of what was to come, Whoopi Goldberg inquired how Dash was doing after the vicious attacks she had endured on Twitter for simply endorsing Mitt Romney.
Without resorting to the same animosity, the liberal hostesses were seemingly just as incredulous. Why would someone like her -- a black woman who works in Hollywood -- vote for anyone but Obama? They made it their mission to find out, pushing her to explain herself. Perhaps they were too busy to read the 3-page essay that she posted online before the election. [video below, MP3 audio here]
In a series of reports following President Obama's Wednesday afternoon press conference, NBC News repeatedly portrayed Obama as a magnanimous victor "reaching out" to his opponents, while Republicans were tarred as uncooperative and on the attack.
On Wednesday's Nightly News, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd nearly ran out of positive adjectives to describe the President's demeanor at the presser: "It was a loose, confident, and at times aggressive President Obama....He even extended an olive branch and encouraged growing common ground between the two parties....he was genial and even reflective."
According to Todd's account, the only thing that spoiled Obama's sunny disposition was having to respond to "negative comments from Republican senators on the possibility that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice could become secretary of state." Comments that made the commander-in-chief "visibly angry."
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, open Obama supporter Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell repeatedly prompted liberal historian Doris Kearns Goodwin to equate the newly-reelected President Obama to Abraham Lincoln. O'Donnell wondered, "Is there a lesson for Obama now in his second term with Lincoln?" King hyped how Obama "sought out" the author and asked, "What did he want to know from you?"
Goodwin also bizarrely likened the sixteenth President of the United States to two popular liberal comedians: "I think what shocked me - he could be with Stephen Colbert. He could be with Jon Stewart - one-on-one. I would never have guessed that before."
Earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how several reports from the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press (here, here, and here) buried the major news about President Obama's opening demand to Congress over resolving the "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes scheduled to take effect on January 1. His demand for $1.6 trillion in tax increases over the next ten years is twice what he sought during the August 2011 debt-ceiling negotiations. You have to go to middle or near-ending paragraphs to get that from the three AP reports linked above.
Those three reports also each contain an additional paragraph which allows the administration's misstatement of its alleged "balance" between tax increases and reductions in projected levels of spending (falsely characterized as "cuts") to stand unchallenged:
When it comes to reporting on the what the White House wants to achieve in talks with Congress about averting the "fiscal cliff," one apparent theme at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, has been "Bury the lede about the size of Obama's tax increases." I'll cover another theme ("Let them get away with misstating the 'balanced approach'") in a later post.
President Obama now wants $1.6 trillion in tax increases over the next ten years, which is double the amount he sought during last year's debt-limit standoff. In ordinary times with a responsible press corps, such a massive change in posture would be headline-driving material, but not at AP, which appears to be doing its utmost to ensure that most Americans don't know about it while still being able to claim (sort of) that "Well, we told 'em."
Following a lengthy discussion of relevant topics like the president's first real press conference in almost eight months on Wednesday afternoon, MSNBC's The Cycle still found extra time on their hands for fluff. And so they brought on David Wasserman from the non-partisan Cook Political Report to present his statistical findings on, I kid you not, how handily Obama did in "Whole Foods" counties over "Cracker Barrel" ones.
The study goes all the way back to 1992, where Democrats have tended to frequent the environmentally-conscious organic grocery store -- whereas the typical Republican has an affinity for Cracker Barrel's old-fashioned American comfort food. The correlation of which is puzzling considering their differences, but the analysis went on to include the Tractor Supply Company vs. Trader Joe's and Apple vs. Golden Corral. [ video below, MP3 audio here ]
For adman Donny Deutsch, there's really no difference between pushing a political party or a bag of potato chips: it's all about the branding. S.E. Cupp, in contrast, is a conservative with bedrock principles.
Seated next to each other on today's Morning Joe set during a discussion on GOP strategy going forward, a blow-up was clearly in the cards. And clash they did, with Cupp arguing that the GOP doesn't need to re-brand itself, but rather to "spend more time explaining why their policies work for everyone." Deutsch, repeatedly trying to cut Cupp off, exclaimed that she "couldn't be more wrong" and that her anti-re-branding argument was "absurd." View the animated video after the jump.
Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell took turns hammering Senator John McCain on Wednesday's CBS This Morning over his promise to block any potential nomination of Susan Rice to be secretary of state. Rose grilled McCain after the Republican slammed Rice for blaming a "spontaneous" mob for the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi: "Didn't Susan Rice say that...all the information was not in, and she did not know everything there was to be known....what should she have said, based on what she knew at the moment?"
O'Donnell also tried to shift blame away from Ambassador Rice to a "failure with the intelligence coming out of the CIA." She later pointed a finger at former CIA Director David Petraeus and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. When the Arizona senator confirmed that Petraeus and Clinton deserved scrutiny, Rose interjected, "But why not wait for them before you make a judgment about Susan Rice?" [audio available here; video below the jump]
After Paul Ryan held that a voter turnout increase in "urban areas" hurt the Romney ticket, CNN's Anderson Cooper questioned if he was using racial overtones and hammered him with a "Keeping Them Honest" report claiming Ryan missed other reasons why Team Romney lost.
"Well, some critics jumped on those remarks, since 'historically urban' has often been used as a code word for African-American voters," said Cooper, who proceeded to "keep Ryan honest" by noting that urban areas weren't the only reason why Ryan and Romney lost. GOP strategist Alex Castellanos laughed at that assumption and called it "ridiculous." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In attempt to deflect the growing scandal surrounding former CIA director David Petreaus away from President Obama, on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd parroted administration spin on the controversy: "...they do believe they're a little insulated here, because Petraeus isn't considered an Obama guy. If anything, he's more of a Republican guy at the end of the day." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Anchor Brian Williams wondered about the timing of the scandal: "What if this had come out during the election campaign?" Todd described how relieved the Obama campaign team was that it didn't: "Well, look, it's something that the political team here at the White House is glad that they didn't have to test that hypothetical."
Unless today is a total surprise and runs contrary to most of what we've seen during the past four years, President Obama will go through another "news conference" without a great deal of difficult or aggressive questioning from the assembled press corps.
Carrie Budoff Brown and Josh Gerstein at the Politico seem to think otherwise, and have produced a lame list of seven questions they think Obama will be asked -- so lame that one of them has to do with recently passed marijuana-legalizing initiatives in the states of Washington and Colorado:
"The color of the world is changing day by day." -- "Les Miserables," the musical
A look at the electoral map indicates the Republican Party won in square miles. Unfortunately for them, electoral votes, not landmass, won President Obama a second term. Analysis from the Center for Responsive Politics estimated that total spending on federal elections would peak at nearly $6 billion, an all-time record. This spending included ads that carpet bombed swing states; yet we are still an almost equally divided nation. But America is rapidly changing.
During an exchange on NBC's Press Pass on Sunday, Meet the Press moderator David Gregory and BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith wrung their hands over political divisiveness on social media sites like Twitter, but only managed to cite a list of Obama critics as the worst offenders.
Gregory lamented: "We talk about how polarized the country is....we see this reflected in particularly nasty ways....Donald Trump on election night tweeting....Jack Welch talking about a jobless report....Tone, tenor, and message, really polarizing on Twitter." Smith added: "We did a post on election night of people, you know, demanding Obama's assassination....We got a lot of emails from folks on that list saying, 'Hey, could you please take me off that, I certainly didn't really mean to say that in public.'"
With all the gloating the liberal media has been doing since the election, one would think the margin of victory was comparable to that of Ronald Reagan's overwhelming win over Walter Mondale in 1984. From The Atlantic to Politico and various other outlets, there have been an abundance of columns published in the past week urging, as they always do after a rout at the polls, that the GOP must evolve to the left on key issues.
The underlying themes have all been indistinguishable, almost as if they are collaborating with one another. The Republican party is in trouble, and anyone who refuses to accept the reality of this is delusional, they insist. If you can't beat the Democrats at this point, join them wails the chorus of liberal writers -- or at least impose the Fairness Doctrine to get the ball rolling.
As former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum appeared as a guest on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, host Morgan brought up "some people" who are "blaming" the former Pennsylvania Senator for costing Mitt Romney the general election by forcing him to take "fairly right-wing, quite extreme positions," getting him into an "unholy mess." Morgan:
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Sharyl Attkisson filed a hard-hitting report on the possible ties between former CIA chief David Petraeus's resignation and the continuing controversy over the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Attkisson spotlighted how Petraeus told several members of Congress that "video of the Benghazi attack supports an element of spontaneity, as the administration first claimed."
Anchor Charlie Rose also hyped Rep. Peter King's theory on General Petraeus's resignation: "The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says the timing of the resignation suggests a cover-up. Petraeus was scheduled to testify to Congress this week about the attack that killed the American ambassador to Libya." [audio clip available here; video below the jump]
Sounding more like a Democratic strategist on Sunday's Meet the Press than NBC's political director, Chuck Todd urged President Obama to force congressional Republicans into a corner on the fiscal cliff: "...go do it with 65-70 members of the Senate, cut the deal, bring it over to the House....box Boehner in....did the President learn anything from his first term about how to deal with congressional Republicans? Which is don't do it through the leadership."
Moments later, liberal pundit and historian Doris Kearns-Goodwin described how Obama could "build his mandate": "...he has to mobilize that base. That base was energized on election nigh....It's there to bring pressure on obstructionists if they don't get a deal done from the outside in....The Tea Party pressured everybody that summer, why can't his coalition, which is bigger, pressure people from the outside in?"
No wonder why CNN's ratings are low – they're diagnosing a large part of their potential audience with a disorder. A CNN guest "expert" said conservatives' brains are more susceptible to fear and claimed many are suffering from "post-election stress disorder" brought on in part by the conservative media.
"And the amygdala, the region of the brain that processes fear was much larger in people with conservative beliefs. So that means they're like more sensitive to fear," said human behavior specialist Dr. Wendy Walsh. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Sunday’s Meet the Press featured a panel of five, none of them conservative (Congressman-elect Joaquín Castro, Republican strategist Steve Schmidt, author Doris Kearns Goodwin, the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and NBC’s Chuck Todd), to assess why Mitt Romney lost and “the future of the GOP.” And they agreed conservatives are the problem.
Todd, NBC’s political director, decided the GOP has become “a coalition of special interest forces” and fretted “the leaders in Washington can’t control the special interest groups” as Republicans, like Democrats in the past, “succumbed to their base.”
Didn't anyone ever tell Rachel Maddow that revenge is a dish best eaten cold?
Using the thinnest of pretexts, Rachel went on a Republican-taunting rampage on her MSNBC show last night. The supposed subject was the decision of Senate Republicans to elevate John Cornyn to the #2 leadership spot, despite the disappointing results for the GOP's senatorial campaign committee that he led. That gave Maddow an excuse to variously refer no fewer than a dozen times to Republican "failure", "catastrophe" and "disaster." View the video after the jump.
"We can all be thankful" that "after 30 years of taking Christianity hostage and claiming that the church was really the Republican Party at prayer, this election actually revealed that the church is owned by neither Democrats nor Republicans," MSNBC's Martin Bashir pontificated at the open of is "Clear the Air" commentary which closed his eponymous November 9 program.
Fortunately for Mr. Bashir, making straw-man arguments and spouting overheated political rhetoric is not a sin. What is, however, is hypocrisy. You see, Bashir has been fond of using the Bible as a cudgel to attack conservative Republicans for having allegedly unbiblical, even anti-Christian politics. Take his hostile interview with Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) back in May, in which Bashir slandered Barton by saying he was for slashing funding to Meals on Wheels and that cutting back funding to the program was unbiblical:
"Tone deaf" Republicans are too conservative, or so said CNN's panel on Friday's Starting Point. CNN's Don Lemon remarked, "I think unless the GOP becomes the GNP, which is the Grand New Party, they're on the verge of extinction because they're tone deaf."
All three guests agreed that the GOP needs to move to the center. How's that for intellectual diversity? Anchor Soledad O'Brien started it off by lauding "one of the very best tweets" from the election, CNN regular Abby Huntsman saying (surprise!) her dad Jon Huntsman should have been the party's nominee. [Video coming soon. Audio here.]
As part of a program run by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, representatives of over 60 emerging democracies from around the world were sent to the observe and report on how the election works in this country.
What they saw left them concerned at worst and puzzled at best at the way American elections are run, leaving gaping-wide holes through which voter fraud can be committed. The Foreign Policy Cable's Josh Rogin conducted interviews with some of them for his report.