"Look, folks, we love the filibuster when Democrats use it against Republicans, but really hate it when Republicans use it against Democrats."
If the New York Times editorial board were completely honest, that's exactly what they'd admit in print to their readers. Instead the Gray Lady keeps shifting her point of view on the parliamentary maneuver depending on whose ox is gored. On January 1, 1995, the Times gave the incoming Republican majority a new year's resolution: substantially trim back the filibuster to fall in line with the proposal of liberal Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin (emphases mine):
President John F. Kennedy was assassinated 50 years ago by a Communist sympathizer, yet Friday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC ran a package that emphasized right-wing hate in Dallas while failing to mention Lee Harvey Oswald or his ideological leanings. The package, narrated by Brian Shactman, focused on the “unspoken speech” that President Kennedy was planning to give on the day he was shot.
Shactman just couldn’t help but mention those hateful right-wingers: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today on Friday did their best to downplay Senate Democrats' Thursday move to curtail the Republican Party's filibuster power. The two newscasts devoted a combined 39 seconds to the controversial vote, which ABC's Dan Harris labeled a "bold move". GMA apparently thought the potential marriage of serial killer Charles Manson was more important, as it devoted over two minutes of air time to that eyebrow-raising story. [audio of the ABC and NBC coverage available here; video below the jump]
By contrast, Friday's CBS This Morning spent nearly three minutes on the "historic change in the Senate", as Norah O'Donnell put it. O'Donnell also wondered, "Will Democrats regret invoking the nuclear option?"
HealthCare.gov is so insecure that IT experts say they wouldn't use it themselves. The supposedly firm November 30 deadline for the web site's repair and recovery really isn't. Back-end problems abound. Earlier this week, Henry Chao told a congressional committee that "the back-office systems, the accounting systems, the payment systems, they still need be built." That is, they apparently haven't been started.
This is the time the New Yorker Magazine has chosen to publish a column (HT James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web) by former Bill Clinton speechwriter Jeff Shesol officially entitled "The Republican War on Competence." The browser window title is even funnier: "Obamacare and the Republican War on Competence." You can't make this up. Shesol's content is just as hysterical.
Morning Joe sidekick Mika Brzezinski hurled a favorite liberal accusation at Republicans on Thursday’s episode. She started by presenting it merely as a question that she and Joe Scarborough received often during his book tour: “One of the points [Joe] makes [in his book] was illuminated in a question that we get everywhere we went, which is why do Republicans not want Americans to have health care? That’s what they think.”
Nicolle Wallace, a former Bush White House staffer, unfortunately accepted the premise that Republicans don’t want people to have health care. The supposedly conservative guest replied with just the answer Brzezinski wanted: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Wednesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe credited Hillary Clinton with a "monumental effort" in "recovering from" the Bush administration's alleged mistakes as he responded to conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer's assertion that the former Secretary of State had no significant accomplishments she could point to in a presidential run. Wolffe:
CNN's Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan cautioned against MSNBC suspending or firing host Martin Bashir for his latest broadside against Sarah Palin, on Thursday's New Day. Cuomo actually asked if he wasn't just trying to make a "rhetorical point" rather than be "hurtful" to Palin.
Bashir had clearly stated that Palin was "the outstanding candidate" to receive a certain punishment for slaves – defecating in their mouths – for her remarks on slavery. Despite the gravitas of his words CNN gave him some benefit of the doubt while ignoring his history of vile smears of Republicans, the worst of which is documented below.
If only "Republican" Nicolle Wallace would be as critical of Democrats as she is of members of her own putative party . . . On today's Morning Joe, Wallace—adviser to Sarah Palin during the 2008 campaign—decided that in order to praise Republican governors, she had to pound Republicans in Congress.
Wallace took her shot at congressional Republicans in the course of discussing Chris Christie ascension as head of the Republican Governors Association. Wallace praised Republican governors as "our stars . . . the people that can speak English." In contrast, according to Nicolle, "you go to Washington and somehow Republicans are speaking another language." View the video after the jump.
During a discussion on the Martin Bashir program Wednesday, The Daily Caller's Matt Lewis decided he had simply had enough. Fellow panelist and Georgetown professor Dr. Michael Eric Dyson was holding forth about how President Obama's political opposition was grounded not in criticism of his ideology or his (lack of) leadership but, you guessed it, racism.
Fed up with conservatives constantly being insulted on MSNBC as racist for opposing the president, Lewis interrupted Dyson and took him to task for refusing to deal with the actual merits of President Obama's policies and job approval, both of which are underwater in recent polls. To that, Dyson angrily shot back that Lewis was trying to cash in on his "white privilege" to "silence a black man" on the issue of race. [watch the video below the page break; listen to the MP3 audio here]
Ed Schultz knows nothing about misdemeanor sentencing guidelines . . . Playing the race card over the arrest and conviction of Republican congressman Trey Radel for cocaine possession, Ed Schultz has claimed there is "no doubt" that an African-American who committed the same crime "would be facing jail time."
Really? Radel's crime was a misdemeanor, and he was a first-time offender. It would be highly unusual for anyone pleading guilty under such circumstances to be sentenced to jail time. DC jails could not possibly hold all the low-level misdemeanor drug offenders. View the video after the jump.
On Tuesday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe accused Texas Senator Ted Cruz of "encouraging, inflaming and yes, flirting" with "fringe elements" who are "very ugly" and "racist" as he responded to a clip of the Texas Republican suggesting that the House could have grounds to impeach President Obama.
Host Al Sharpton set up the segment by recounting birther conspiracy theories against the President before moving to a completely unrelated clip of Senator Cruz, and then brought aboard wolffe for comment. Wolffe griped:
Wednesday's CBS This Morning stood out as the only Big Three morning show to spotlight Henry Chao's stunning revelation to Congress – that a significant portion of the I.T. infrastructure needed to support HealthCare.gov has yet to be built. NBC's Today completely ignored Chao's testimony, while GMA aired a 19-second brief that vaguely summarized the hearing. Meanwhile, the ABC show devoted a 1 minute and 45 second report to a puppy that sleeps with a baby.
Major Garrett reported that Chao "told Congress Tuesday the team making emergency repairs still has another major task to accomplish: building 30 percent to 40 percent of the web systems needed to make payments to insurance companies." Garrett also featured two soundbites from the testimony of a panel of cyber-security experts, who warned that the ObamaCare website remains vulnerable to hackers: [audio available here; video below the jump]
Appearing on Tuesday's Tonight Show, former President George W. Bush got a laugh from the audience with this one-liner: "We've always had such great relations with NBC." Host Jay Leno added to the joke by taking his own shot at the network: "I'm glad one of us has." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The brief exchange was prompted by Leno asking the former commander-in-chief and former First Lady Laura Bush about their daughter, Jenna Bush-Hager, being a correspondent for the Today show: "And Jenna is on the Today show...Is that fun?" Laura Bush replied: "It's fun. It's fun for us. We love to watch her."
Never one to let facts get in the way of the proabort narrative, Mark Sherman at the Associated Press characterized today's 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow Texas's abortion law to stand while on appeal as one rendered by "the court's conservative majority."
Really? Anthony Kennedy is one of the justices in the critical "Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), which reaffirmed in principle (though without many details) the Roe v. Wade decision recognizing the right to abortion under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment." That's hardly "conservative," though Sherman at least applied the "liberal" label to the four dissenters. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Can anyone imagine a top Bush 43 adviser, say Karl Rove, telling a reporter that his boss couldn't attend an important American historical anniversary event because "he's too busy trying to save the Republican Party"?
Dan Pfeiffer is "Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Advisor to the President for Strategy and Communications." Today, in response to a tough but fair question tweeted by Ron Fournier at the National Journal, Pfeiffer said that President Barack Obama wasn't attending the ceremonies surrounding the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address because "there's this whole website thing that someone suggested might destroy the Dem Party." The exchange would surely generate a great deal of press coverage if it involved a conservative or Republican presidential adviser, but the only story other than at Fournier's National Journal was at the Hill, a popular burial ground for such stories. The Fournier-Pfeiffer exchange, with some external razzing, follows the jump (HT Twitchy):
Appearing as a guest on Monday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, syndicated columnist Cynthia Tucker charged that Republicans "pandered" to "bigot" and "homophobes" in the 2004 presidential election, and later threw in the word "racists" as well, as she and host Al Sharpton responded to Wyoming Republican Senate candidate Liz Cheney's dispute with sister Mary over the same-sex marriage issue. Tucker began:
When conservatives appear on MSM shows, they regularly get raked over the coals. Frustratingly, the conservative guests rarely call their interviewers out for their obvious lefty bias.
So it was refreshing to see Republican Congressman Chaffetz of Utah refuse to let Luke Russert's liberal slant slide. In the guise of a question, Russert, subbing for Andrea Mitchell on her MSNBC show today, confronted Chaffetz with a contentious bit of editorializing against the "Ted Cruz, Mike Lee rabbit hole." Chaffetz called Russert on it: "That was a loaded question there, Luke!" View the video after the jump.
I don't want to go overboard here, but most of the print establishment press deserves a bit of grudging credit in the Arne Duncan "white suburban moms" controvery.
Most of them aren't characterizing the gutless attempt by Barack Obama's education secretary to back away from his spiteful, condescending, bigoted comment Friday as an apology — because it wasn't. In a Monday post at the Department of Educations's Homeroom blog (how courageous — not), Duncan only admitted that "I used some clumsy phrasing that I regret," and that "I singled out one group of parents when my aim was to say that we need to communicate better to all groups," while repeating many of the tired lies which have accompanied Common Core's imposition from its inception. There was no admission of wrongdoing, and nothing resembling an "I'm sorry." Predictably, Stephanie Simon at the Politico was among those who considered Duncan's dumbness an apology (links are in original; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose unsurprisingly conducted a hostile interview of Scott Walker on Monday's CBS This Morning. The two anchors, who have a long record of hammering Republican/conservative guests, badgered the Wisconsin governor on ObamaCare, the 2016 presidential race, and over the immigration issue.
O'Donnell, in particular, went after Walker, asking, "You have said that the next nominee has to come from outside of Washington – has to be a governor. Isn't it a bit presumptuous to rule out people like Senator Marco Rubio; Senator Rand Paul...Congressman Paul Ryan?" She later rephrased this same question, and hinted at her liberal slant on the immigration issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
With the wheels coming off of ObamaCare, liberals are desperately searching for a way to go back on the attack against Republicans. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Zerlina Maxwell of TheGrio.com trotted out a months-old strategy: attack Republicans for pushing the supposedly “phony” Benghazi scandal.
Asked for her opinion on the Republicans’ investigation of the Benghazi attack, Maxwell spit out the liberal narrative that we heard a lot of earlier this year: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Monday's CBS This Morning is the sole Big Three newscast so far to cover the firing of William P. White, a day after the now former D.C. official criticized President Obama's plan to let insurers temporarily restore canceled health insurance policies for a year. Nancy Cordes revealed how "D.C.'s insurance commissioner was abruptly fired by the city's Democratic mayor...after he warned that reinstating canceled plans 'undercuts the purpose' of the new health care exchanges." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Cordes's mention of Mayor Vincent Gray sacking the commissioner came a day after the Washington Post buried their story on the firing on page C7 of its Metro section on Sunday.
Appearing as a guest on Friday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry asserted that Republican opposition to ObamaCare was "creating a faulty levee system in our health care" as she tried to argue that the ObamaCare disaster should not be referred to as President Obama's political equivalent of Hurricane Katrina. Host Al Sharpton posed:
Just when I complimented my friends at The Salt Lake Tribune for being authentic for owning the cause of anything other than Mormon and Republican in Utah, they have to go and act like their journalistic editorial standards trump their politics – which is, of course, nonsense.
When the Media Research Center in Washington, D.C., cited dozens of reports and editorials issued by the Tribune painting Utah Senator Mike Lee negatively throughout the drama over the shutdown of the federal government, the Tribune balked.
It’s good to see the left finally upset about treasonous threats to the United States. Never really able to get worked up about communist spies, domestic terrorists or radical mosques, lefties – at least the ones at MSNBC – are sounding the alarm over … The Confederacy.
Everywhere the hosts and guests of MSNBC look they see gray and butternut – secessionists and white supremacists, wild-eyed states’ rights absolutists and grim Confederate holdouts plotting to dissolve the Union. Driven by racism and distrust of Washington, they form a “confederacy of hate.”
Will yet another example of rhetorical intemperance by an Obama administration official get a free pass? So far it mostly has.
A Washington Post item by Valerie Strauss at its "Answer Sheet" blog quotes a dispatch from Libbly Nelson at the Politico, but does not link to it. I couldn't find a related original story by Nelson at her Politico archive or in a Politico search on Education Secretary Arne Duncan's name (not in quotes). Here is what the Post says Nelson wrote (HT The Blaze; bolds are mine):
In Animal House, when the members of Delta Tau Chi fraternity faced imminent expulsion for poor grades, they decided to take a "Road Trip!" to, as Wikipedia's plot summary indicates, "take their minds off their troubles."
The presidential keister-kissers at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, are in a similar quandary. Over the past seven weeks, they've seen their favorite president's "signature achievement" devolve simultaneously into an national joke (HealthCare.gov) and a national disgrace (millions of health insurance policy cancellations deliberately devised through regulations). This has led to their favorite party's national humiliation. We now know that its members' guarantee that "you can keep your plan-doctor-provider" — made by President Obama, 27 Democratic Party Senators, and surely dozens of leftist congresspersons and other party apparatchiks — was a deliberate deception. The party itself has been torn asunder, as patron saint Bill Clinton called on Obama to "honor his commitment." With all of this going on, the AP's Washington-based Charles Babington somehow decided that now would be the best time for a "Road Trip!" out west to show how awful the divisions are — in the Republican Party.
What followed was an attempt to demonize Tea Party leaders as the sort of apocalyptic prophets who most people consider crazy. McLean painted a picture of wild-eyed, dangerous right-wing fanatics through lines like this:
On the Thursday, November 14, PoliticsNation, MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor asserted that Republicans who are pushing Attorney General Eric Holder's impeachment are a "Bozo caucus" who are "fanning the flames of hatred and bigotry."
Host Al Sharpton raised the possibility of "racial elements" as he posed the question:
On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, Nancy Cordes zeroed in on the three Republican congressmen who grilled top administration officials during a hearing on ObamaCare, ballyhooing that "none of them were really able to explain why this product they worked on for years was so flawed". Cordes played extended clips from the hearing totaling 51 seconds – nearly twice the combined number of ABC's World News and NBC Nightly News, which each played 13 seconds from it.
The correspondent played up one clip in particular from White House chief technology officer Todd Park, who gave indications that HealthCare.gov might not be fixed by the target date of November 30 [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]:
A commenter at my post yesterday ("TomsonaNonGrata") about how a pair of New York Times reporters characterized President Barack Obama's false guarantee to Americans that "If you like your plan-doctor-provider, you can keep your plan-doctor-provider" as an "incorrect promise" — because they couldn't work up the nerve to call it a lie — noted that "All these people (in the press) that were so quick to call Bush a liar about WMD, when he was basing his decision on the intelligence available at the time, now can't bring themselves to call Obama a liar, when he specifically knew policies could/would be cancelled, and kept saying otherwise."
Point well-taken, especially given what the intrepid tweet trackers at Twitchy relayed from Washington Examiner columnist Charlie Spiering. Spiering fouund a Times editorial from 2008 which commented on the George W. Bush and weapons of mass destruction: