Obama's first post-election press conference, if you could call it that, tells us a great deal about his attitude and the approach he intends to pursue in his second term, which is the same failed policy mix on steroids.
Obama's re-election, of course, gives him the right to pursue these policies, but it doesn't deny elected Republicans the right or relieve them of the duty to oppose them.
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]
"After months and months and months" of Barack Obama "stiff-arming the press," the president was treated softly on Wednesday's press conference, NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham told Fox Business Network's Stuart Varney on the November 15 edition of Varney & Co.
True, "we got a Benghazi question from Jon Karl of ABC, although he pitched it as 'please yell at [Sen.] McCain.' And we got a Benghazi question from Ed Henry of Fox News, which he [President Obama] stiff-armed," but other than that, the questions were soft. "This is their ferocity?!" Graham asked rhetorically. [watch the video below the page break]
The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus over an extramarital affair has raised and will continue to raise a number of questions.
First among them (OK, maybe not first, national security being more important, but stay with me) is why should he have resigned? I am always amused when journalists use the words "sex scandal" when writing about such things. Having abandoned most standards for what used to be called "upright behavior," culture now "tsk-tsks" when someone is caught in a compromising position.
Rolling with the martial theme of the current edition of Newsweek -- "The Obama Conquest Lucky General or Master of the Game" -- writer Michelle Goldberg exulted in the GOP's defeat with her story, "The War on Women Backfires." "Republicans thought they could get away with the endless attacks on the fairer sex. They couldn't have been more wrong," thundered the subheadline (emphasis Newsweek's).
Of course, as we've noted here at NewsBusters, Goldberg conducted her own war on conservative women earlier this year with an attack on the "insufferable" Ann Romney. But conservative women, apparently don't seem to matter to Goldberg, who sees as misogynistic the notion of cutting off federal taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood, which of course happens to be the nation's largest abortion provider and hence largest murderer of unborn baby girls:
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 ]
As my colleague Tom Blumer noted, early this morning, Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown and Josh Gerstein posited seven "hard questions" they anticipated being raised at today's presidential press conference. "[W]hen he holds his first full-scale news conference in eight months Wednesday, Obama will have to explain how he plans to re-create his national security team, what he knows about the burgeoning [Petraeus] scandal and why he didn’t get wind of it sooner, " Budoff Brown and Gerstein noted, adding, "It’ll probably leave him longing to talk more about the fiscal cliff, the less titillating storyline of the week." The Politico writers then listed seven questions that they anticipated would be asked. Some of the predicted questions ended up being asked in some form or another, but I've excerpted below the ones which didn't get pressed in any fashion at all (emphasis mine):
We hear this from the liberal media every single time the Republicans don’t win something. They have only one solution for the Republican Party: don’t be conservative. It’s never about the failures of the candidates or a poor voter turnout effort. It’s that Republicans are too conservative – a false conclusion that ignores the successful campaigns of conservatives Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush.
The liberal media discourage candidates from being conservative because it helps their preferred liberal candidates. Mitt Romney didn’t embrace the conservative base and he lost, just like Bob Dole and liberal media sweetheart John McCain. The liberal media’s rush to scare the GOP away from conservatism is a deliberate attempt to divide the party. They don’t want Republicans to embrace conservative principals because conservative Republicans win.
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.
On everyone's mind this morning was the resignation of CIA Deputy Director David Petraeus on Friday. Liberal radio talk show host Bill Press did his best to catch his listeners up on the details of the scandal, but then went on a rant asking why it's even an issue.
At no point in his defense of the former Army general and CIA chief did Press bring up the impending hearing concerning Libya on Capitol Hill that Petraeus was scheduled to appear before, nor did he think an FBI investigation was necessary -- despite the confidentiality agreement Petraeus submitted to before accepting one of the highest, if not the highest-level security clearance job there is in the federal government [ video below, MP3 audio here ]:
Jimmy Carter is redeemed! The grinning dunce of yesteryear, who grew into the anile doddering figure of today, lecturing the civilized on all manner of statecraft, has been replaced by the saturnine gaunt prophet, Barack Obama. His sorry performance these past four years he lays to the administration of George W. Bush. The next four years will be a replay of the last four years, and an even graver crisis will confront us then with the domestic economy in a funk and foreign potentates all laughing at us.
The Prophet Obama has demonstrated that you can preside over a wobbly economy and be re-elected. Apparently it is not "the economy, stupid," as James Carville told us. You can suffer a foreign policy disaster (even in the midst of a campaign) and it will be ignored. Jimmy could have been re-elected in 1980 if it were not for the miracle of Ronald Reagan. Had the Republicans nominated a perfectly nice man, say a successful businessman who earned a fortune as large as John F. Kennedy or Franklin D. Roosevelt inherited, Jimmy would have won re-election and the economy would have continued to founder in stagflation and he would have been sending helicopters out into the desert to be destroyed; possibly he would be sending the fleet to be destroyed.
It's hard to imagine a major newspaper according Style section coverage to a 10-part documentary that was the brainchild of a conservative filmmaker with a penchant for conspiracy theories. But a left-winger, that's a different story. The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday today gave readers of the paper a 12-paragraph puff piece about "Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States" which premieres tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern on Showtime and focuses considerable attention on FDR's vice president Henry Wallace, a socialist who, had he been re-nominated in 1944 instead of Harry Truman, would have succeeded to the presidency in 1945 upon Roosevelt's death.
"Untold History" is a 10-hour-long documentary grounded "in indisputable fact," Hornaday assures readers, noting that Stone's collaborator in the project is an American University professor, Peter Kuznick.
"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:
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.
Here's one usage of the term gentleman: The gentleman helped the fallen lady to her feet. Here's another, one we might hear from a newscaster or a police spokesman: Tonight we report on the arrest of two gentlemen who raped, sodomized and murdered an 80-year-old woman.
During earlier times, to be called a gentleman meant one was honest, brave, courteous and loyal. Today "gentleman" is used interchangeably in reference to decent people and the scum of the earth.
As if she half-expected conformity, the Grio's managing editor Joy-Ann Reid expressed doubt on MSNBC's Now with Alex Wagner that conservatives will ever be enlightened enough to move enough towards the center to win an election.
Diversifying the messengers beyond white men and women simply isn't good enough to Reid, who condescendingly described Black and Hispanic Republicans as "window dressing" and "decoration": [video below, MP3 audio here ]
In his "Winners and losers from Election 2012" feature filed at his paper's website on Wednesday afternoon, the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza concluded that foreign policy in general was a "loser" in the campaign, failing to move votes (emphasis mine), "Despite all of the media attention that Libya drew in the final month of the campaign, foreign policy was an afterthought — at best — for most voters," he noted, adding that "Just 5 percent of people in the national exit poll said foreign policy was their most important issue. Interestingly, Obama won that group by 20+ points."
But as we've noted in numerous places on this blog, the administration's ever-shifting storyline on Benghazi failed to get scrutiny in the media, and new, damning revelations were downplayed or ignored, especially as the election drew closer and closer:
With President Obama's election win, the worldwide celebrations have commenced again. NBC's Today show documented as much as they possibly could on Wednesday morning.
Reporting from London, foreign correspondent Michelle Kosinski was tasked with narrating the story of how the election has been perceived and reported overseas. Eerily similar to four long years ago, jubilant residents from other sovereign nations were shown in a high spirits after a second term was guaranteed to Obama. [ video below, MP3 audio here ]
Obscure cable 'news' network Current TV's aptly named show, Say Anything with Joy Behar concluded an episode on Monday night by putting forth a different perspective on Mitt Romney that was of course related to all the worn-out liberal judgments of him.
Behar justified her endorsement of President Obama's re-election by comparing his Republican challenger to a "horny guy doing speed dating." You know the type, a man who is willing to "say anything to close the deal" and just wants to get in the pants of every girl he meets. But in this case, it's the collective pants of America. [ video below, MP3 audio here ]
During a November 6 chat with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell in which he handicapped the election, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) argued that Republicans had done themselves no favors by both having as many debates as they did in the primary season and turning those debates over to liberal journalists for moderating. "If you were going to have the debates, let them be sponsored by the Heritage Foundation or let them be sponsored by the Republican National Committee."
For her part, Mitchell was visibly upset by this charge and shot back that various state Republican Party organizations had co-sponsored those debates. "But they were controlled by the news media," Barbour reminded her. "But I am accepting your point," Barbour conceded, that the lengthy, debate-laden primary season hurt Romney's ability to campaign for independents' votes. [watch the video below the page break]
Presidential elections decide only who wins the White House and a congressional majority. They don't by themselves solve the nation's problems. George W. Bush had a majority Republican Congress and did little with it. President Obama had a majority Democrat Congress during his first two years in office, but appeared to let ideology trump solutions, causing additional harm to the economy.
What will happen if Mitt Romney wins the White House, but Democrats maintain a Senate majority? Even if Romney wins (likely) and Republicans capture the Senate (unlikely) and maintain their House majority (likely), will real change take place? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Mitt Romney's appeal for bipartisanship "laughable" and said he would block Romney's "severely conservative agenda." We can guess what Reid's agenda will be if Democrats maintain their Senate majority.
Whether Mitt Romney becomes the 45th president or not, Politico's Jonathan Martin insists that the Republican Party is on the verge of a looming crisis. Sticking with the same overgeneralized racist narrative, it is basically a 'fact' at this point that the GOP's conservative ideology and a lack of diversity will ultimately lead to its downfall.
Conversely, the Democratic Party is poised to dominate in future elections. Nevermind that we heard this before in 2006 and 2008, with Clinton acolyte James Carville forecasted 40 years in the wilderness for the GOP. No, Martin insists that demography is destiny, and the GOP is bound to shrivel electorally as older white conservatives die off the voting rolls:
In the quadrennially important swing state of Ohio, one of the Toledo Blade's featured front page stories on Sunday wondered if Mormonism would shape Romney's policy. Following an endorsement of Obama last week in which there was no mention of the president's beliefs, religion editor Timothy Knox Barger's penned a 2,500 word piece that resorted to scare tactics and conjecture.
Among them was a seemingly legitimate concern that Romney might try to impose a ban on certain things that he's known to abstain from himself -- like coffee for instance.
The official Obama 2012 campaign slogan is "Forward." The operational motto of the Obama administration is "Cheese." As in "say cheese." From hollow Greek columns to strategically released Situation Room candids, the Paparazzi President has put self-serving optics above all else.
What did we get after four long years of expertly staged Kabuki-theater-meets-Potemkin-village productions? Sixteen trillion dollars in debt, a pile of dead bodies, troops at increased risk and a gallery of tax-subsidized Kodachrome pictures creating the grand illusion of leadership.
Parkmobile, a company that runs an app by which smartphone users can pay for on-street metered parking, recently found itself bullied by a powerful liberal Democratic senator, simply for exercising its freedom of speech. The company found itself on the receiving end of Sen. Dick Durbin's wrath for having sent an email to its users in which it chalked up an increase in its transaction fees to "increased costs triggered by recent federal legislative reform enacted by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act's Durbin Amendment."
According to the Washington Post's Dina ElBoghdady, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) shot off a letter to the company hitting the claims as "grossly misleading." On top of that, Durbin sent another letter to Washington, D.C. Mayor Vince Gray, complaining that the company, which has a contract with the federal city's government to do business, "offer[ed] up incorrect, unsolicited legislative analysis while hiding behind poorly reasoned excuses for their own price hikes."
Election 2012 has had few surprises. So it's somewhat surprising that heading into the final weekend of the election season, we are unable to confidently project who is likely to win the White House.
All year long, the economy has been the No. 1 issue of the campaign. That hasn't changed. While Mitt Romney has a slight advantage when it comes to handling the economy, neither candidate has really convinced voters that they know what the nation needs.
Remember the good ol' days when folks in the media were fond of telling us that conservative evangelical Christians would exhibit anti-Mormon bigotry and fail to vote for Mitt Romney simply because of his religion?
Back in April, MSNBC's Martin Bashir charged Gov. Mitt Romney with being a liar, went on to quote Mormon doctrinal texts, and strongly hinted that the Republican presidential candidate was in danger of hellfire. In early December 2011, Bashir hinted at a similar pronouncement of anathema on GOP candidate Herman Cain.
But now with just five days left until the election, Bashir is infuriated by a TV ad cut by former Baptist minister and ex-governor Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) which simply reminds Christian voters that God is watching their vote and that their choices at the ballot box ring through to eternity. "Will you vote the values that will stand the test of fire?" Huckabee asks in the spot. Bashir, no biblical illiterate he, erroneously took this to be a suggestion that Huckabee was suggesting the "unpardonable sin" was casting a vote for Obama. Both a review of the full context of the ad [embedded below the page break] and a basic understanding of the relevant biblical text Huckabee alludes to shows it's nothing of the sort. [MP3 audio of segment here; video excerpt of Bashir segment also follows page break]