What do George Soros, labor unions and money-grubbing former GOP Rep. Steven LaTourette all have in common? They're control freaks. They're power hounds. They're united against tea party conservatives. And they all have operated under the umbrella of D.C. groups masquerading as "Main Street" Republicans.
LaTourette heads up the so-called "Main Street Partnership," which claims to represent "thoughtful," "pragmatic," "common sense" and "centrist" Republican leadership. Reality check: The pro-bailout, pro-debt, pro-amnesty, anti-drilling group founded by former liberal New York GOP Congressman Amory Houghton includes three liberal Senate Republicans (John McCain, Mark Kirk and Susan Collins) and 52 center-left House Republicans. LaTourette himself is a self-serving Beltway barnacle who held office for nearly two decades. Now he's leveraging his new tea party-bashing platform to benefit a family-operated lobbying business.
If it weren't for a shamelessly dishonest, hyper-protective liberal media, the American people would know, unanimously and without doubt, that Obamanomics is killing American jobs. There is no silver lining in the December jobs numbers.
Experts and analysts were expecting this latest jobs report, released Friday, to show 200,000 new payroll jobs in December, but there were only 74,000, which is 37 percent of the goal. Not 90 percent, not 80, not 70, not even 50 percent. Just 37 percent.
"Republican lawmakers Thursday blamed the Obama administration for the stunning resurgence of Iraq’s al-Qaeda franchise and called on the White House to take assertive steps to help Baghdad beat back militant uprisings in the country’s west." That's how Ernesto Londono opened his January 10 story "Republicans blame Obama administration for al-Qaeda resurgence in Iraq," a front-page-worthy story which Washington Post editors buried on page A10.
By contrast, the Post ran not one but two Chris Christie bridge-scandal stories on the Friday edition's front page. The other stories rounding out the front page centered on efforts to hash out a long-term security agreement with Afghanistan, the Washington Redskins announcing their new head coach, and privacy/data-collection concerns from dashboard computers in new cars.
In a strange way, you have to hand it to Timothy Noah. The msnbc.com contributing writer has found a way to twist the Chris Christie bridge scandal into a blanket indictment of "bipartisanship" and serve as an rally cry t to liberal MSNBC fans of the moral superiority of full-throated, left-wing Democratic partisanship. After all, the Lean Forward network is convinced it needs to energize Obama's base to limit the damage in this year's midterm elections.
With Republicans tying themselves in knots over the Democrats' destructive, but superficially appealing, demand that unemployment benefits be extended to two and a half years, I return to my suggestion that Republicans stop playing defense and go on offense.
For every issue that MSNBC loves to prattle on about, gloating that it will cost Republicans this or that demographic, there's an equivalent issue to use against the Democrats. (The difference is: Our proposals would actually be good for the country.)
Lee set about spinning the results of the latest Quinnipiac Poll, which shows President Obama sitting atop a 41 percent approval rating, up from a low of 38 percent in December, but still a net negative approval rating. Lee used the slight uptick in approval as a springboard to forecast that the president's economically liberal spending agenda could change his and his party's fortunes (emphasis mine):
"The New York State Legislature needs to Raise the Age of criminal responsibility, and they need to do it this year," demands the subheadline on MSNBC.com's landing page this afternoon for a story headlined, "Stop charging kids as adults." The column, co-authored by former NAACP president Ben Jealous and actress Rosario Dawson, promotes a push by the Citizens Committee for Children of New York [CCCNY] to change Empire State law so that minors aged 16 years old cannot be charged as adults.
Jealous and Dawson don't disclose to what age they believe the age of criminal responsibility should be raised, but they do include a reference to mental maturity which suggests they might be happy with it falling somewhere in the mid-20s:
Former Bush and Obama Secretary of Defense Robert Gates generally speaks warmly of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in his forthcoming memoir. But there is one passage in which he expresses his dismay at Clinton admitting that the reason she opposed President Bush's troop surge in Iraq was strictly political rather than based on a genuine disagreement with the policy.
But fear not, Hillary boosters, for the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza has your back, spinning away the admission in his 12-paragraph page A5 story in Wednesday's paper (h/t WMAL's Chris Plante, who addressed this on his January 8 radio program;emphasis mine):
Daily Beast political writer Patricia Murphy dutifully peddled Democratic spin on the economy and unemployment while singing the praises of Nevada Republican Senator Dean Heller who led a breakaway contingent of fellow GOPers to invoke cloture on a Democratic bill to extend unemployment benefits without any offsetting spending cuts.
The MSNBC gang's selective outrage about drug use and the liberalization of drug laws is abundantly clear in two stories on the network's website today.
"Americans change their minds on pot," blares the headline for item #4 in the top-stories lightbox. "Moral outrage is down and support for legalized marijuana is up," noted the caption teasing Jane C. Timm's story. The very next item in the lightbox, however, tut-tutted a disgraced Florida Republican. "Coke congressman to return to Capitol Hill," the headline alerted readers. "Rep. Trey Radel to return to Congress Tuesday after taking a leave of absence last year to attend rehab for his cocaine use," noted the teaser caption to Michele Richinick's January 7 story. [see screen capture below]
Do liberal journalists ever get tired of pretending to offer conservative Republicans sage campaign advice? The latest example is the Daily Beast's Jamelle Bouie, who insists that "barring catastrophe" the GOP's anti-ObamaCare message will prove "irrelevant" to Republican success in November.
"[I]nstead of rehashing the rhetoric of the last four years, Republicans should start to think a little harder about what–if anything–they want out of a health care system," Bouie concluded his January 6 story, after having explained why he thinks beating the drum against ObamaCare's failures won't help the GOP:
Fifty years after it was first waged by LBJ, the federal War on Poverty has worked, and not only that, it's been a "wild success," the Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky is insisting.
Great, that being the case, we can de-mobilize and drastically cut back spending on social welfare, right? Heaven forbid! No, Tomasky wants to double-down with efforts at tackling "income inequality." Of course, along the way he insists that things under Republican presidents -- but particularly Reagan -- were absolutely dreadful for the lowest-income earners in American society (emphasis mine):
"Marines delay female fitness plan after half fail pull-ups requirement. Is the test fair?" That's how the Facebook page for CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront teased a story on the topic to air on Friday's 7 p.m. Eastern program. [see screen capture below page break]
It remains to be seen how fair and balanced the story itself may be, but the tease to the story clearly presents things from a liberal perspective putting the U.S. Marine Corps on the defensive in service of a socially liberal objective: inclusion of women in front-line combat billets.
Whatever are you to do when you're a journalist who favors Team Obama but the administration is going up against an underdog that you'd have to be a monster to hate: the Little Sisters of the Poor. Well, you simply call the Obama administration the "U.S. government" and you structure your story in such a way that it sounds like those silly sisters are making much ado about nothing against a "so-called contraceptive mandate."
Even as he hailed Bill de Blasio's "progressive revolution," The Daily Beast's Michael Daly sought to downplay fears that the newly-sworn-in mayor was a radical leftist intent on soaking the rich. Instead Daly practically painted a picture of the Democratic politician as a drum major leading the "march" to a more "equal" New York.
While noting de Blasio was a "leader speaking much the same language" as the now moribund Occupy Wall Street movement, Daly insisted the left-of-center David Dinkins acolyte "was only asking [wealthy New Yorkers] to pay 'a little more.'" Heck, de Blasio "suggested that the city’s very wealthiest would be paying only $973 more a year," no big whoop:
After Martin Bashir lost his MSNBC job for making a vile anatomical suggestion, you might think that others at the "Lean Forward" network would be circumspect about engaging in comparable crudeness.
But that didn't stop John Heilemann on today's Morning Joe. Whereas Bashir's remark focused on the beginning of the alimentary canal, Heilemann's went to its other extremity. Asked how he'd deal with Senator Rand Paul's theory that extending unemployment benefits does the unemployed a disservice, Heilmann said "I'd tell Rand Paul to stick that where it belongs." View the video after the jump.
In his classic novel "1984," George Orwell warned about the evils of a totalitarian state dominated by a single ruling party with total power over its inhabitants. Oceania, his fictional superstate, is under complete surveillance by the authorities. The character known as "Big Brother" reminds everyone he is constantly monitoring the citizens of Oceania, mainly by "telescreen."
At the end of 2013, the federal government may not yet have telescreens, which in Orwell's imagination had the ability to eavesdrop on people's conversations and broadcast propaganda, but it does have the nonfiction equivalent -- data collection, drones and other technological invasions of privacy. Our government does have the National Security Agency.
Updated (15:25 EST): Fugelsang testily tweeted, "Hey, I deleted a NAFTA joke earlier cos someone politely asked me. Cue the jackal child-men of Newsbusters. NAFTA hurt them, too." To that, @bfinstock quipped in reply, "Probably best to keep 'child-men' out of a tweet in which you are describing the deletion of a 'NAMBLA' joke." | "NAFTA screwed a lot more people than NAMBLA," left-wing comedian and frequent cable news pundit John Fugelsang tweeted this morning.
Fugelsang has since deleted that tweet, but not before it was screen-captured, probably because NAMBLA, of course, refers to the North American Man-Boy Love Association, a group that wants to destigmatize or at least decriminalize pederasty [h/t Twitter user @bfinstock]:
I'm interrupting my series on Common Core State Standards for public schools to join the appeal to Iran and North Korea for the release of American hostages like imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini and missionary Kenneth Bae. And I'm also calling upon President Obama and Congress to step up their action, stand for religious freedom and fight for the release of these godly men, whose crimes were nothing more than exercising their faith.
For those who haven't followed the news on these men of the cloth, pastor Abedini was sentenced to eight years by an Iranian court last January for starting house churches in the 2000s, an era in which they weren't even regarded as a threat to Iran's security.
"Was Santorum Right About Polygamy?" asked a teaser headline on the Daily Beast's website this morning. "The Republican was once savaged for suggesting polygamy could become legal if the Supreme Court killed anti-sodomy laws. Now a judge has ruled against Utah's anti-polygamy statute," noted the teaser caption.
In the story itself, Daily Beast staffer Justin Miller answered the question in the negative, but did note that the court ruling in question did draw from the Supreme Court sodomy law case Lawrence v. Texas and that there's a strong political validation to the slippery slope argument from developments like these (emphases mine):
His book The Liberty Amendments made the New York Times bestseller list for weeks, and radio host Mark Levin has repeatedly discussed his proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution via a state legislature-called convention on his nationally syndicated program. But to the folks at Slate, the push to make Levin's call for an Article V amendment convention a reality is a "secretive campaign" to "rewrite the Constitution."
Slate writers David Weigel and Emma Roller set out on Tuesday to derisively dismiss the efforts of scores of state legislators meeting at Mount Vernon to discuss how to move forward in their respective state legislatures to push for such a convention (see Slate screen captures below the break; emphases mine):
Alan Gross, political prisoner. Those were four words missing from Emma Margolin's December 10 MSNBC.com story hailing the handshake between President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro earlier today at Nelson Mandela's memorial service in Soweto, South Africa. Gross, a State Department contractor, has been languishing in a Cuban prison for five years.
There was a reference to "genocide" in the story, but that was from a quote from a Cuban official railing against the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba (emphasis mine):
But not only did Palmer preach the merits of energy -- and money-saving -- LED bulbs, he also crunched the numbers and wrung his hands about the detrimental effects on Mother Nature of, wait for it, strands of popcorn strung around the ol' Tannenbaum (emphasis mine):
Kudos to the Daily Beast for running a feature today on six Americans who are detained in despotic regimes across the globe -- one in Cuba, the others in North Korea or Iran -- all of them held since President Obama took office in January 2009.
Writer Brandy Zadrozny noted she was writing her feature on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of Alan Gross's imprisonment in Cuba. Among those men is SaeedAbedini, a Christian minister who is serving an 8-year sentence in "RajaiShahr Prison, notorious for its brutal treatment of inmates."
In his December 4 story, "A bogus health care website, courtesy of the GOP," MSNBC.com's Geoffrey Cowley essentially compared a California Republican website which denounces ObamaCare to the numerous fraudulent scam sites cropping up which claim to sell health insurance but are ripping unsuspecting consumers off.
Cowley also seemingly lamented the inability of California officials to shut down the site, CoveringHealthCareCA.com, which he charged was a nefarious GOP plot to "undermine Obamacare" by "divert[ing] people" who were "looking for the [state] exchange site" (emphasis mine):
A Washington, D.C. childrens ballet troupe was given the boot last night and this evening thanks in no small part to President Obama and the folks at MSNBC.
The Washington Post's Roxanne Roberts reported this morning in her Reliable Source column how the Ballet Petite -- which is scheduled to perform The Nutcracker Suite on Sunday -- lost their use of American University's Greenberg Theatre for two nights after the university decided its contract with the dance troupe was not as important as playing host to Obama cheerleader Chris Matthews (emphasis mine):
Let it not be said that msnbc.com is solely concerned with being a PR operation for the Obama White House. It also has plenty of time to pour forth worshipful patter about Hillary Clinton.
"For Hollywood, awards season is three months away. For Hillary Clinton, it never ends," gushed MSNBC.com writer and Andrea Mitchell Reports contributor Erin Delmore at the open of her December 4 story, which she closed on an equally flowery note (see screen capture below the page break):