A $787-billion stimulus. Liabilities of $356 billion for the TARP bailout on the federal government's balance sheet. And that's in addition to other unfunded liabilities from federal entitlements like ObamaCare, Medicare, and Social Security.
But that doesn't mean the U.S. is heading down the path toward socialism because they were one-time expenditures, according to CNBC senior economics reporter Steve Liesman.
On CNBC's "Squawk Box" April 29, as jobless claims for the week was being released on the floor of the CME Group in Chicago, co-host Joe Kernen asked for Liesman's opinion.
Given the contentious debate over the proper role of religion in American public life, you'd think an important Supreme Court ruling on the issue would be a big story to the network news. But the Court's April 28 finding regarding a cross on a World War I memorial in the Mojave Desert elicited a yawn from CBS's "Evening News," a 78-word report from NBC's "Nightly News," and a one-sided segment from ABC's "World News with Diane Sawyer" that fretted if the Court "move[d] the bar on the separation of church and state."
The cross in question is part of a memorial built in 1934 in the federal-owned Mojave National Preserve to honor fallen WWI veterans. Lower courts ruled the cross unconstitutional and had it covered with a box, despite efforts taken in recent years by Congress to avoid constitutional questions over it by transferring that portion of the Preserve to private owners.
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled this was not a clear-cut violation of the separation of church and state.
"The goal of avoiding governmental endorsement does not require eradication of all religious symbols in the public realm," wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in the majority opinion. Kennedy noted specifically about this cross that it "evokes far more than religion. It evokes thousands of small crosses in foreign fields marking the graves of Americans who fell in battles, battles whose tragedies are compounded if the fallen are forgotten."
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that so-called payday loans probably aren't the most reasonable option when it comes to short-term borrowing. But according to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, it takes the federal government to let you know.
On her April 28 program, Maddow charged that these lenders engage in unscrupulous practices, despite offering a service that their clientele is willing to buy.
"Last week we did our best to explain payday lenders - who they are and who they are, who they - what they do and who they are, excuse me," Maddow said. "Payday lenders are basically loan sharks with nice store fronts. They specialize in turning what look like short-term loans into ongoing obligations that rollover every two weeks, piling up fees until they're ultimately collecting 400 percent annual interest."
If you try to sweep your problems under the rug, they'll go away, right? Michael Mann, a Penn State professor and a central figure in the Climategate scandal and best known for his "hockey stick graph" hopes so.
On Fox News Channel's April 28 broadcast of "Your World with Neil Cavuto," Elmer Beauregard of Minnesotans for Global Warming appeared to explain the reasoning behind a video that drew the ire Mann. The video mocked the Penn State professor's alleged attempt to cover up data from tree rings that would indicate there was no global warming.
"Well, I don't know if you remember, but last fall, Obama was pushing the no cap-and-trade to go through the Senate because he wanted to have something to bring to Copenhagen," Beauregard said. "And just then Climategate broke and the mainstream press really wasn't covering it, so the coalition got together and we tried to think of a way to kind of bring this into the forefront of the American public. And I said I could make a funny YouTube video. And so, I did it to the tune of ‘Draggin' the Line' by Tommy James and The Shondells and put it up on YouTube and it went viral. And then Rush [Limbaugh] played it on his show and it went supernova."
Shortly before 11 a.m. this morning, a sympathetic Monica Novotny interviewed anti-obesity activist Meme Roth about a new law in Santa Clara County, California, banning the distribution of free toys in kids meals at fast food restaurants.
That's right, the food police have a warrant out for Ronald McDonald.
But rather than include a voice of dissent to challenge Roth on the government-expanding, free enterprise-attacking nature of the law, Novotny tried to tinker around the edges, wondering if it might be better to encourage restaurants to put free toys in healthier kids meal options. [full interview embedded at right, click here for MP3 audio]
Roth dismissed that notion as a "bribe" to get kids to adopt healthier eating habits, although she also absurdly argued that:
The possibility of a suit was the topic on Fox News April 27 "America Live," hosted by Megyn Kelly. Kelly asked ClimateDepot.com executive editor Marc Morano if Mann would be able to prove that this so-called YouTube spoof wasn't true and therefore win his lawsuit.
On her April 26 broadcast, HLN's Joy Behar suggested the new Arizona immigration law that would allow local law enforcement to arrest immigrants unable to produce documents showing they are allowed to be in the U.S. is comparable to "World War II Germany."
"Well, Arizona has a new immigration law and to call it controversial would be to underestimate it. It requires police to stop an individual if there is reasonable suspicion that he or she is in this country illegally," Behar said. "Critics say the law will make Arizona feel more like World War II Germany than a part of the United States."
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell appeared on today's "Fox & Friends" to discuss how the media portray Tea Parties as hot beds of extremism and/or racism -- despite the fact Tea Parties have been peaceful affairs with no scrapes with the law -- while violence-plagued rallies held to protest the new anti-illegal immigration law in Arizona law are being defended in the media as "mostly peaceful."
About 45 minutes before that segment, the Fox News hosts mentioned a related April 26 story by NewsBusters contributor Scott Whitlock on the same topic.
The video embedded at right shows both that mention and the Bozell interview (MP3 audio available here).
Back during the Bush administration Keith Olbermann made sure to insist that "we must not confuse dissent with disloyalty" and that "conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law". But that standard seems to have fallen by the wayside now that the dissenters are conservative Tea Partiers.
Cramer told MSNBC's April 26 "Morning Joe" that Goldman really has no defense if, as the government alleges, Goldman misled investors when it established a mortgage-backed security in 2007 for a hedge fund client looking to bet against the housing market. And that's in addition to facing heat from shareholders for not revealing that it received a Wells Notice from the SEC.
Whatever your view on homosexuality might be as it pertains to Christianity, there's probably one place one wouldn't go to seek clarity on the issue - a Jewish TV host that's in his seventh marriage.
However, CNN, the so-called most trusted name in news, had "Larry King Live" host Larry King tackle this issue on his April 23 program in a special broadcast entitled "Can You Be Christian and Gay?" King's special featured recently-out Christian singer Jennifer Knapp, embattled former evangelical preacher Ted Haggard and Horizon Christian Fellowship Senior Pastor Bob Botsford.
"Our intelligence analysts and our military folks tell us that environment factors, exactly -- environmental factors determine who we’re going to be fighting, where we’re going to fighting them, whether we’re going to be fighting them," said Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.). "And so for me, for my colleagues, climate change is a national security issue."
Last night, "back by popular demand," Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity interviewed Brent Bozell in a segment focused on media bias entitled "Media Mash."
Hannity led off with the April 15 video of TEA Partier Darryl Postell being interviewed by NBC's Kelly O'Donnell, who asked him if, as a black man, he felt uncomfortable at the rally. "No, no, these are my people, Americans," replied Postell.
"Let's examine the question a little more deeply, your reaction to that," Hannity asked.
However, Palin reacted on the Feb. 16 broadcast of Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" by asking why "Family Guy" would stoop to such a level.
"This world is full of cruel, cold-hearted people who would do such a thing," Palin said. "Look. I look at Trigg and he is going to face things as special needs children will be facing much more difficult than we ever will. So why make it tougher on the special needs community? When is enough enough? When are we going to be willing to say some things just aren't really funny?"
Comic legend and liberal activist Chevy Chase was invited on Thursday's Today show to promote his NBC comedy "Community" and advocate for environmentalism on this Earth Day, as he told viewers he'll be emceing a charity auction to benefit liberal greenie groups like the NRDC. In the process of noting some of the items to be auctioned off at the Christie's event, including a golf outing with Bill Clinton, Chase revealed none other than Today co-anchor Matt Lauer offered his own donation - a guided tour of the Today set. [audio available here]
The following exchange was aired on the April 22 Today show:
That was the takeaway from an April 22 CNBC "Squawk Box" segment in which the network's Washington correspondent John Harwood explained the upside for the Obama administration in taking an aggressive tack on financial regulation and pushing it through Congress.
According to Harwood, public opinion on this issue favors President Barack Obama. He explained that Wall Street is very unpopular and that's causing some Republicans to be willing to compromise with Democrats on the issue.
"He knows that things are rolling his way on this issue," Harwood said. "You had battle lines initially drawn - both parties took to the trenches, started firing heavy ammunition. But the throw weight is with the Democratic side on this. The public wants financial regulation reform. They don't like Wall Street, just as they don't like Washington. So this is a case where Barack Obama, instead of being the target of public anger, can direct some of it somewhere else. That is what causes Republicans at the end to say, ‘OK, it's time to negotiate, get serious about a deal.' And they're going to get some concessions in that bargaining in exchange for their votes. And they will then be able to stand up and say, ‘This bill was headed to be a bailout bill. We stopped the bailout and everybody can hold hands and say they did something good for the country.'"
Apparently HBO's advertising and marketing divisions don't know if Dr. Jack Kevorkian is a killer or not. Promos for the company's new movie, "You Don't Know Jack" feature actor Al Pacino as Kevorkian, along side the question, "Is this the face of a killer?" To HBO, the answer is no, he's not a killer, if the movie's synopsis and trailer are any indication.
"Provocative, obstinate and complex, Jack ultimately risks it all in his fervor to change the prevailing laws and challenge society's attitude towards the right to die," read the film's synopsis. The movie premieres April 24.
Throughout the trailer, viewers hear Pacino demanding, "When a law is deemed unmoral by you, you must disobey it. You must disobey it." Prior to that he stated, "What we're doing here today is groundbreaking" and "If a person's allowed to die, you do it quickly, painlessly, you don't let him whither away."
Viewers also hear actress Brenda Vaccaro, who plays Kevorkian's sister, defending him to protesters, "He's leading society to an age of enlightenment, you idiots!"
So you do your part and pay your taxes to the federal government. However, you feel you pay too much and you don't like how that same government uses that money. Do you have the right to petition and protest that government?
If it's on federal land that your tax dollars paid for, then your protest is hypocritical nonsense, according to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow. To her, the tea partiers, who protested on the government land of the National Mall, are hypocrites. Worse, they're getting unwarranted media coverage.
"In the case of the tea partiers, though, mainstream media coverage has been willing to almost assume that they're making sense, even in the face of evidence to the contrary," Maddow said on her April 21 program. "Because the idea of being in favor of smaller government, the idea that government is inherently wasteful and incompetent and should be shrunk, because that idea has shifted from a conservative movement talking point 30 years ago to centrist Beltway common wisdom today, sometimes we don't recognize the hypocrisy when it's right in our face. The conservative movement won the framing fight. It doesn't sound crazy anymore to rail against the federal government while standing in a national park until you really think about it."
Brent Bozell joined "Fox & Friends" on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day to discuss a new Business & Media Institute Special Report about the broadcast networks' distorted coverage of ClimateGate and other climate scandals.
Bozell highlighted the way the networks have barely reported ClimateGate and the other climate science scandals that have eroded the credibility of the global warming alarmism movement. Such stories were ignored because they didn't fit the "narrative" of the network news.
"What's been going on in the press; however, for a number of years is this systematic push to say that we can only have one point of view on this which is that it's settled science and it's over," Bozell told Fox News Channel.
Remember that $787-billion stimulus passed last year, the one that was supposed to keep unemployment from hitting double digits by invigorating a new green economy? Well it hasn't exactly worked.
Conventional wisdom would suggest not trying it again. Based on the nearly 10 percent unemployment, it's obvious Keynesian economic policies, where the government is a major force in an economy, don't work. However, MSNBC's "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough made the case for an even bigger trip down that route.
"We talked about Sputnik at the event we did last year," Scarborough said on his April 21 program. "I wrote in my book last year that Sputnik was the moment that Eisenhower, a Republican, leaned forward and created a new generation of engineers, a new generation of scientists. That led to the Mercury program, the Apollo program, a man walking on the moon and the Internet. Can we make that type of, again, long-term investment?"
During a speech to the winter conference of the Young Democratic Socialists the site Verum Serum found that ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis praised socialism and attacked conservatives. She even goes so far as to say that today's political atmosphere is worse than McCarthyism, the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, and Jim Crow segregation:
Over the past year since its inception, the media have worked hard to discredit and denigrate the tea party movement. News organizations employed various strategies, from dismissing the protests as astroturf, to using derogatory nicknames for participants, and finally labeling it as a violent extremist fringe. In their futile attempt to get something to stick, the media have become increasingly desperate and irresponsible in their coverage.
In the Media Research Center's special report, 'TV's Tea Party Travesty,' MRC Research Director Rich Noyes focused in on the slanted coverage of the tea parties by ABC, CBS, and NBC over the past year.
While mainstream media reporters are generally pretty supportive of the Obama administration, they bristle, and rightly so, at incidents where the administration is less than transparent or actively seeks to impede journalists from working.
Police chased reporters away from the White House and closed Lafayette Park today in response to a gay rights protest in which several service members in full uniform handcuffed themselves to the White House gate to protest "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
People who have covered the White House for years tell me that's an extremely unusual thing to do in an area that regularly features protests.
A reporter can be seen in the YouTube video above calling the move "outrageous" and "ridiculous."
Surprise: NBC finally found a business it likes - even a business decision it likes: companies that help homeowners who decide to walk away from their mortgages.
"New figures show foreclosures in the U.S. are up about 35-percent from a year ago," Matt Lauer kicked off an April 20 segment of "Today" that encouraged homeowners - even those financially comfortable - to simply walk away. "And a growing reason why are people who simply choose to walk away from their mortgage even when they can afford it."
"Experian, the credit-monitoring service, says 588,000 borrowers - or 18-percent of those who have defaulted on their mortgages in the past year - did it for strategic reasons and not because they're broke," NBC's George Lewis reported. "It's called a strategic default, walking away from a home and enduring foreclosure out of frustration with a bad investment."
On the scene with the Schreur family in Folsom, California, Mr. Schreur acknowledged in an interview that although his family was not in any financial distress, a sharp decline in house value incited the family to default, as any other option "made no sense."
It's pretty obvious that oftentimes the media and the Democratic Party work in concert to marginalize opposition of a common goal. ABC's George Stephanopoulos working with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was just one example. The question is, how far will the media and Democrats take it?
According to Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., if the passage of ObamaCare is evidence, they're willing to take it to achieve Draconian financial regulation and ultimate censorship of the Internet. On his April 19 Fox News Channel program, host Sean Hannity asked Bachmann if there were a double standard, or a coordinated attack as the "echo chamber" of the Democratic Party, including the media, seem to "singing from the same hymnal." And according to Bachmann, the attacks on former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and conservative talkers Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh over the weekend for so-called sedition were the latest evidence.
"Well, they are," Bachmann said. "If you look at all of the news shows over this last weekend, they used practically the identical language. They are talking about a war of words. They specifically identified Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin and they were, as you said, they're singing off the same hymnal. But essentially it is whoever they see as an effective voice, that's who they go after and attack right now."