"The United States of America does not quit once it starts on something. You don't quit, the American armed services does not quit. We keep at it. We persevere." -- Pres. Obama to US troops in Afghanistan, March 28, 2010
"Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is calling for the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. combat brigades from Iraq, with the pullout being completed by the end of next year. 'Let me be clear: There is no military solution in Iraq and there never was,' Obama said." -- Obama calls for immediate withdrawal from Iraq, AP, Sep. 12, 2007 [emphasis added]
There are lies, damned lies, and then the kind of brazen rewriting of what a man stands for that Barack Obama engaged in yesterday.
However, as MSNBC "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski suggested, discretion should be exercised with the amount of attention given to these radical components of the opposition to President Barack Obama's health care reform endeavors.
"Yeah, call it out but also I think we have to be careful along the way," Brzezinski said on the March 26 broadcast. "I think this happened during the campaign. I think this happened during the final hours of the health care debate where certain fringe, really minute members of it were highlighted."
Don't blame Mika—she was just obeying White House orders . . .
When Joe Scarborough tried this morning to comment on Pres. Obama's latest ObamaCare oration, Mika Brzezinski unleashed a series of seemingly serious kicks at his ankles. Having successfully silenced her sidekick, Mika proceeded to read off her Blackberry a statement extolling the glories of what PBO has vouchsafed onto a grateful people.
At one point, Mika said "I have some talking points from the White House." Being the naive and trusting person I am, I assumed Mika was kidding. Except that, upon a bit of Googling, it appears that she wasn't . . . [H/t reader Pam M.]
New York Times columnist Charles Blow and MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle traded liberal talking points like Topps baseball cards on today’s “Morning Joe.” Confident the American people care more about eliminating preexisting conditions and expanding health insurance entitlements than the $569.2 billion tax increase and the $1.2 trillion price tag, the journalists failed to substantiate their claims with anything more than their liberal impulses.
“Most people want what they have in this bill or more,” insisted Blow. “We cannot let Republicans take over that talking point, which is that most people don’t want this bill somehow because it is too liberal. That’s just a lie. That is just a lie.”
Really? The American people don’t think the largest tax increase in American history is too liberal? The American people don’t think an unprecedented expansion of government control in the health insurance industry is too liberal? Blow’s failure to back up his assertion renders it laughable.
Nancy Pelosi: you lie! Chris Hayes didn't take to the floor of the House to call the Speaker out. But the Washington editor of The Nation did "totally agree" when Joe Scarborough described as "a lie" Pelosi's claims that insurance companies hate ObamaCare. Added Hayes: "I think that's a completely disingenuous statement by Nancy Pelosi."
The pair were reacting to a clip of Pelosi's interview yesterday with Diane Sawyer in which the Speaker said of House Minority Leader John Boehner that "some people will do anything for the insurance companies." Pelosi cast the bill as tough regulation of the insurance industry.
Scarborough's point, in which Hayes concurred, was that far from punishing insurance companies, the bill that Pelosi piloted through Congress gave them the biggest prize of all: a law forcing all Americans to buy their product.
Update 9:35 AM: Larry O'Donnell "stunned" Stahl doesn't realize ObamaCare raises taxes. See O'Donnell video after the jump.
What kind of correspondents do they have at 60 Minutes? The kind who can't tell that the biggest tax increase in history is a tax increase at all. The kind who complain that even if it is a tax increase, Americans should be willing to pay it because ObamaCare is "really important."
Exhibit A: Lesley Stahl. On Morning Joe today, Stahl--her 40 years or so as a reporter notwithstanding--said she "can't tell" if ObamaCare raises taxes and that her "head is hurting" from trying to figure it out. But so what if it does? Stahl had a sudden bout of nostalgia for the good old days when people didn't mind paying "a little more" for "something really important in return."
As conservatives rally opposition to ObamaCare in the waning hours of the health care debate, MSNBC "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough didn't seem to think the upcoming health care vote is such a big deal. On his show this morning, Scarborough concluded that the outcome of the health care overhaul vote will not have a significant impact on the American health care system.
“People just need to take a deep breath,” insisted Scarborough. “We’re going to be fine. Whichever way it goes, we’re going to be fine.”
Scarborough employed hyperbole to mischaracterize those who argue that ObamaCare is fiscally reckless and a step toward a single-payer health care system.
New conservative spectator sport: watching MSM liberals lock horns over ObamaCare . . .
Today's Morning Joe offered a hugely-entertaining example. Larry O'Donnell, speaking from the Olympian heights of his omniscience of the legislative process, mercilessly condescended to Donny Deutsch. Ad-man Deutsch had earlier twice "guaranteed" that ObamaCare would pass. When O'Donnell appeared, he in so many words said Deutsch was so blissfully ignorant of the process that he didn't understand just what trouble the bill is in.
When O'Donnell later ostensibly "apologized" to Deutsch, he wound up pouring salt in the wound. Larry patronizingly portrayed himself as having "so much information" about the situation that he just doesn't see it "the same way that people with less information" do.
So much for the MSM refrain about Republicans having previously used reconciliation just as Dems are proposing to do now on ObamaCare . . .
Larry O'Donnell has emphatically proclaimed that the way Dems intend to use reconciliation is "unprecedented" and has "never, never, never" been so used before. O'Donnell's many off-his-meds rants notwithstanding [recent example here], he actually does understand the legislative process, having served as Dem Chief of Staff of the Senate Committee on Finance back in the HillaryCare day.
O'Donnell also criticized the MSM "group think" to the effect that Dems were obliged to pass some kind of health care legislation this year. Larry's uncharacteristically lucid observations came during his Morning Joe appearance today. [H/t reader Mike K.]
How much of a pickle is Pelosi potentially in? Enough that Dem loyalist Charles Blow had to resort to some truly twisted reasoning to explain away her delay in responding to allegations against Eric Massa.
Of all things, the New York Times columnist tried to excuse Pelosi's failure to act by blaming . . . "our crazy misogynistic culture." Huh?
Blow offered his odd opinion on today's Morning Joe . . .
"Let me tell you something," "Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough said on his March 11 program. "[Beck] was not on his heels. He just - he played straight-man and Donny Deutsch, he was - he did it very, very well.
Perhaps President Barack Obama might have preferred New York Times columnist Tom Friedman to reserve these comments for their golf outings together, but has Friedman recognized this path toward a larger government is unsustainable?
On MSNBC's March 5 "Morning Joe," host Joe Scarborough recounted his childhood in the early 1970s and the poor economy. He explained there was a different focus - that his family was hoping for the economy to turn around and could have cared less about the other issues of the day - Vietnam, Watergate, etc. It was all about the economy.
"You know Tom Friedman, I remember in the early '70s, my dad worked for Lockheed, got laid off and he was without a job for 18 months," Scarborough said. "This is in the middle of Watergate was blowing up on TV and in the middle of Vietnam, as it was grinding to a very bloody, messy ending. And my family, we just cared about one thing. When we watched Walter Cronkite at night, we wanted to know if the economy was turning around. And we didn't understand what was going on in the college campuses."
On Friday's Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy picked up an item reported on by NewsBusters on Wednesday about MSNBC cropping President George W. Bush's face out of the latest Newsweek cover. As Doocy explained: "...on MSNBC...They have cropped all of President Bush's face out. So why does the mainstream media have so much trouble giving him credit?"
Doocy discussed the issue with a political panel that included Democratic strategist Doug Schoen, who acknowledged: "What MSNBC did makes no sense." He later added: "...that makes no sense at all. Because to do that is just plain mean-spirited and wrong." Another panelist, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Karen Hunter, later admitted: "perhaps cropping him out completely may not be too fair."
On Wednesday's Morning Joe program on MSNBC a picture of the Newsweek cover was shown, but with only President Bush's arm visible, his face had been completely cut out of the original image.
Of all the networks Tom Hanks might have mocked during a little stunt on Morning Joe today, he just happened to settle on Fox. For good measure, he worked Tea Partiers and Ann Coulter into his mix. [H/t reader Ray R.]
Morning Joe had just aired a clip of an actual fistfight that broke out live-on-camera between two TV producers at an Italian TV station. Cut to Hanks in the Morning Joe control room, pretending to produce . . .
Someone submit the Morning Joe java to Henry Waxman for analysis. There seems to be something in it causing top Dems to experience serious delusions . . .
On today's show, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius claimed that the people of her home state of Kansas are "wildly supportive" of the substance of ObamaCare. Unfortunately, suggested Sebelius, they're just too ignorant to know what's in the blessed bill.
Later, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine didn't deny that the Obama admin had engaged in two sleazy patronage deals, involving Joe Sestak and Scott Matheson. Instead, the DNC Chairman laughed off the cynical, and possibly illegal, arrangements. "Life is life," smirked Kaine.
To Morning Joe's credit, the patronage deals and the Charlie Rangel situation were discussed throughout the show. The withdrawal of Dem Rep. Eric Massa from his re-election race, amidst allegations he sexually harrassed a male staffer, was also discussed, though not raised with Kaine. Would an RNC Chairman appearing on the show the day after the Mark Foley affair erupted have gotten a similar pass?
On Wednesday's Morning Joe on MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough pointed out the cover of the latest edition of Newsweek magazine, which proclaimed "Victory At Last; The Emergence of A Democratic Iraq" and featured a picture of President George W. Bush walking the deck of an aircraft carrier. However, the image of Newsweek that appeared on screen cropped out President Bush's face entirely (h/t George Miller).
The magazine cover showed Bush on the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in 2003, after making his "Mission Accomplished" speech following the successful invasion of Iraq. While Newsweek cropped the picture to include half of Bush's body and face, MSNBC further cropped the image to leave only the arm of the former president visible (See original Newsweek cover below).
One of Scarborough's guests, Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass, reacted to Newsweek's declaration of victory in Iraq: "Too positive....For sure. We're going to take months to see a new government formed and we don't know how well the new government's going to operate....Too soon to take out the champagne, if ever." Show co-host Mika Brzezinski added: "Still a lot of controversy as to why we went in."
What good is the liberal media's "truth squadding" or "fact-checking" when it doesn't reveal any facts and is completely divorced from the truth?
MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell gave a stark answer to that question this morning, when she appeared on "Morning Joe" to discuss yesterday's health care summit. O'Donnell heaped praise on the President for being "in command of some of the facts", like the "fact" that premiums would decline 10-13 percent under his plan. If she had actually looked at the CBO report she was citing, however, she would know that the plan is expected to raise, not lower, premiums for individuals by 10-13 percent.
So for all her "truth-squadding" and "fact-checking", O'Donnell is still confused about the difference between up and down. Either that, or she didn't truth-squad or fact-check anything, but simply said what she wanted to believe. Maybe she should spend less time devising her awkward hyphenated verbs , and more actually examining the facts.
"Are we on seven-second delay?"--Mark Halperin on Morning Joe, prefacing his criticism of Pres. Obama's performance at the health-care summit.
Halperin was surely being facetious, but the point about MSNBC's pro-Obama predilection was made.
The Time editor went on to rather comprehensively pan PBO's petulant performance. His comments were preceded by a clip of Pres. Obama rudely reminding Sen. John McCain of just who had won the presidential election.
If you're reading this or spending time at politically oriented, new media websites, you are adding to the caustic tone in Washington, D.C.
Such was discussed on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Wednesday during a roundtable segment wherein no one disagreed with this premise.
Joining Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were conservative contributor Pat Buchanan, Time's Peter Beinart, and NBC's Savannah Guthrie.
The topic of discussion was the evolution of partisan politics, and although Beinart pointed out how the parties have been much more greatly divided in the past than they currently are, the conversation continually referred back to the Internet being to blame for today's divisions (video embedded below the fold with transcript and commentary, h/t Story Balloon):
It's been almost three weeks since Sarah Palin addressed the Tea Party convention. More than two weeks since Andrea Mitchell did her taunting little imitation of Palin's hand notes. But there was Norah O'Donnell today, still milking the moment to mock Palin.
O'Donnell worked her hand-note reference into a discussion on today's Morning Joe of Scott Brown's vote for the "jobs bill."
Later, on a different subject, after criticizing socialism, Norah wryly observed "I sound like I'm on another network." See Bonus Coverage, below.
Vice President Joseph Biden's very public wearing of ashes, a Lenten practice for Catholics, on Wednesday led to several befuddled reactions from the mainstream media. Sky News's Kay Burley had to apologize after confusing the ashen mark for an injury. More egregiously, ABC News's Karen Travers omitted the past controversy over his support for legalized abortion, and portrayed him as a devout Catholic.
The Vice President bore the ashes on his forehead as he introduced President Obama at a White House event celebrating the one-year anniversary of the so-called Recovery Act. Burley asked Greg Milam, Sky News's US correspondent, about the mark as they monitored Biden's remarks: "What's happened to his head? I'm sure that's what everybody's asking at home." After a short pause, Milam replied, "Yes, I don't know. It's a simple answer. Maybe we'll get a chance to find out a little later." Burley then remarked, "It looks like he walked into a door, doesn't it? I'm sure that's one of the questions that the networks will be asking him." (video clip above is from Thursday's Morning Joe on MSNBC; audio available here).
New York Times columnist Gail Collins appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Thursday, to worry about "scary," fringe conservatives who will be appearing at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington D.C. Picking out certain panels at the three day event, she fretted, "But, suddenly, we're back to nullification. All this sort of succession stuff. That part of it is very scary." [Audio available here.]
Collins portrayed those in the conservative establishment as simply trying to keep pace. The columnist dismissed, "The rest of it, you almost sort of a feeling [sic] that the movement has passed these people by, that these are sort of the '90s conservatives, who you know, are not quite- trying to race to catch up."
Scarborough derided the selection of conservative host Glenn Beck to be the keynote speaker for the 2010 CPAC. He allowed that there could be some "good people there," but added, "...They have Glenn Beck, a guy that called the President a racist who hated all white people, as their keynote speaker. And you sit there going, 'Really, is that who you want to project as the most important person of the conservative movement?'"
Poor Barack Obama. Hasn't put a foot wrong. Policies just fine. It's just that he's been dealt the cruel fate of . . . being President of the United States.
That was the essence of what Jonathan Capehart, WaPo editorialist, whistled past the liberal graveyard on Morning Joe today. Confronted with the prez's crumbling poll numbers [by 52-44 margin people don't think PBO deserves to be re-elected], Capehart blamed anti-incumbent fever. It's not that Americans are opposed to the Dems' policies, suggested Capehart: they're just frustrated by how little has been accomplished.
Why don't we play a little game of political prognostication? Imagine that, far from being ineffective, Obama/Pelosi/Reid had managed to push through their entire agenda in the last year. Let's focus on three matters:
I don’t know when or where or even if Joe Scarborough’s radio show airs in my area, nor do I care. The other night a friend caught this clip from his radio show and sent it to me. It’s about a blog which is published by the organization I head.
"NewsBusters, which just loves writing negative articles about me, I don’t know why, a lot of really false ones and I don’t know what’s actually gotten into Brent Bozell, but he actually goes out of his way to write false articles about me now…They just distort the news for their own purposes."
Now I know why MSNBC hired Joe Scarborough. He’s about as accurate and honest as everyone else there.
False articles? Here’s something Joe knows, because he and I have had this conversation privately already: I’ve never written a bloody article about him. Ever.
As for conservative bloggers at NewsBusters writing false articles about him, that is equally untrue. Have they sometimes been negative? Guilty as charged – and for good reason. Increasingly he’s making statements that are stupid, or reckless, or provocative, or insulting, or a combination of all the above.
On Thursday's Morning Joe on MSNBC, CNBC's Maria Bartiromo appeared as a guest and recounted some of President Obama's anti-business, anti-wealthy stands as she informed host Joe Scarborough and the panel why some see Obama as anti-business despite his support of bailouts on Wall Street. Responding to Scarborough's declaration that "there has been a redistribution of wealth since Barack Obama has ... been President, it’s the largest redistribution of wealth in the history of mankind, but it’s gone from main street to Wall Street. If I were a Wall Street banker, I’d love this guy," Bartiromo responded:
No, I mean, I don’t see it that way. ... I think that at the end of the day, there has been a feeling out there that he’s anti-business, that there are higher taxes on business and they’re coming, even higher taxes are coming on business and on the wealthiest individuals and the highest earners, so that hasn’t changed.