The New York Times on Friday once again proved itself to have absolutely no clue how budgets work.
In its editorial "Negotiating the Debt Ceiling on a Knife's Edge," the Times - like so many other math-challenged "news" organizations in America today - blamed the current debt ceiling woes on the Bush tax cuts and Republican refusal to raise revenues:
The sour grapes were incredibly sour on the Thom Hartmann radio show on Thursday when they led off with the news that Anthony Weiner was resigning. Broadcasting live from the Netroots Nation hootenanny in Minneapolis, Hartmann went right from an admitted sex scandal to an unproven old story from last November in the National Enquirer:
Looks like Anthony Weiner’s about to step down. John Boehner’s involved in a major sex scandal. It’s all over the page of the National Enquirer. Two different women, they’re naming the women. So this is this is shades of the John Edwards revisit.
You would think that in a tough economy with 9.1 percent of the population unemployed and most people seeing continued decreases in the value of their homes the revelation of a political leader experiencing a massive rise in her net worth would be newsworthy.
Apparently not, for the following report about former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) stunning one year financial windfall published by the Hill at 12:46 PM Wednesday received almost no interest from so-called "news" outlets from coast to coast:
On her Friday show, liberal talk radio host and that renowned economist Randi Rhodes – okay, she had no academic credentials and never went to college – but she insists that America urgently needs a second “stimulus,” but won’t get one because the Republican 2012 plan is “to starve you!...So be it, said John Boehner.”
The problem is the American people are getting hip to this - they're starting to figure it out, economists are writing about it, Wall Street Journal's written about it - the fact that we don't have a second stimulus is so ridiculously stupid, that we don't have any investment in our people.
Sunday’s Washington Post Magazine features House Speaker John Boehner on the cover, and next to his face are the words "While the SPEAKER battles against the Democrats, is his BIGGEST THREAT from his own party?" (All the words are capitalized, actually, but "Speaker" and "biggest threat" are much larger.)
Post reporter Michael Leahy spent several pages wondering if the "Young Guns" directly under Boehner will eventually overtake him if he’s not "feverish" enough for the conservative base. It’s accurate, even positive, to cast new House members as "feisty" and "aggressive," but beware those Tea Party hotheads when they’re "feverish" – metaphorically, not medically, of course:
When a liberal Democrat is Speaker of the House, everything they say is newsworthy, but when a conservative Republican is Speaker, the most newsworthy people are angry protesters of the Speaker. This came true on Sunday, when The Washington Post story on Speaker John Boehner's commencement address at Catholic University of America in D.C. by Katherine Shaver was all about the protesters, and Boehner's remarks didn't come up until paragraph nine. It began:
Katy Jamison strode toward her graduation from Catholic University on Saturday wearing the requisite black robe and mortar board — plus a neon green message to House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio).
"Where’s the compassion, Mr. Boehner?" said the 8-by-10-inch sign pinned to her chest.
Saturday’s The Early Show on CBS gave attention to a number of liberal faculty members at Catholic University who, in a letter, questioned House Speaker John Boehner’s Catholic credentials on helping the poor ahead of the Ohio Republican’s speech at the university’s commencement.
CBS’s Betty Nguyen noted that "not everyone" at the university "is looking forward to" his speech, and recounted that some faculty members accused Boehner of having "one of the worst records in Congress on programs for the poor," as the liberal professors recommended that he "re-familiarize himself" with the church’s teachings.
Speaker John Boehner will deliver the commencement address at the Catholic University of America on Saturday, inspiring a letter of protest from Catholic professors claiming the Republican budget resolution for 2012 "will hurt the poor, the elderly and the vulnerable, and that he therefore has failed to uphold basic Catholic moral teachings." New York Times religion reporter Laurie Goodstein filed a respectful story that made the front of Thursday’s National section, "Critical Letter By Catholics Cites Boehner on Policies."
Yet when President Obama delivered the commencement address at Notre Dame in May 2009 amid protests that the preeminent Catholic university shouldn't be honoring a president who supports partial-birth abortion, the Times' response was snippy and dismissive. And abortion is a clear-cut issue for the Catholic Church in a way that budget levels for government welfare programs are not – even under Republican budget constraints, those programs are not going away.
Speaker John A. Boehner, a Republican who grew up in a Roman Catholic family in Ohio [note: The initial online version read "devout Roman Catholic family"] is scheduled to give the commencement address on Saturday at the Catholic University of America in Washington, a prestigious setting in church circles for its affiliation with the nation’s bishops.
But now Mr. Boehner is coming in for a dose of the same kind of harsh criticism previously leveled at some Democrats -- including President Obama -- who have been honored by Catholic universities: the accusation that his policies violate basic teachings of the Catholic Church.
In an interview with Speaker of the House John Boehner on Tuesday's Today on NBC, co-host Matt Lauer fretted over the upcoming debate on raising the nation's debt limit: "...after the news surfaced that Osama bin Laden had been killed there was this – a good feeling in this country....Are we going to see that unity shattered in the coming weeks when we start to debate things like the debt ceiling?"
Boehner explained the importance of addressing the issue: "45 of the last 50 years we spent more money than what we brought in. We cannot continue to do that without imprisoning the future for our kids and grandkids. So this is the moment, now, to address those problems as adults." In response, Lauer quoted Boehner's recent call for cutting trillions in spending and wondered: "When you look at the gut-wrenching negotiations that took place to get $39 billion in cuts for the 2011 continuing resolution, how in the world are you going to get trillions of dollars in cuts?"
There are times when I watch MSNBC and truly can't understand how a major American television news network could possibly have assembled such a group of ignoramuses to act as commentators.
Take for example Lawrence O'Donnell who on Monday's "The Last Word" actually said, "The Founding Fathers would have understood [raising the debt ceiling] would be imperative to maintain the credit rating of the United States of America" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Ed Schultz's pattern of accusing Republicans of lying moments before lying himself continued Tuesday evening.
Just moments after calling House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) and Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) liars, the host of MSNBC's "Ed Show" misinformed his viewers about Medicare (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ABC's Jon Karl on Monday railed against the "obscene" profits of the oil companies and demanded to know what House Speaker John Boehner plans to do about it. World News anchor Diane Sawyer alerted viewers that "the five behemoths of the oil industry" are announcing record profits this week.
Using a highly judgmental word, Karl complained to Boehner, "Is there something obscene about gas company, oil and gas company profits being that high when Americans are struggling just to fill up the tank?"
Can you imagine liberal media members in 2007 or 2008 blaming George W. Bush's sagging poll numbers on the public's dismal view of the Democrat Congress?
On Friday, the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman actually told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell "the fact the Republicans and Congress are so poorly regarded, that the whole system is so poorly regarded, drags everybody down, including the president" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Howard Kurtz is either astonishingly naive or so strongly in the tank for Barack Obama that he's willing to ignore the totally obvious to assist the President's reelection efforts.
On Sunday's "Reliable Sources," Kurtz actually discussed with far-left guests Joan Walsh of Salon and John Aravosis of Americablog.com - without ever disclosing the painfully inconvenient truth! - why the "so-called liberal media" don't report divisions within the Democrat Party especially left-wing disappointment with the current White House resident (video follows with transcript and lots of commentary):
The $1.8 million grant George Soros gave to NPR was for local reporters in every state capital. But that doesn't mean NPR isn't also beginning to look like a Soros-pleaser on the national scene. Once again on Monday, NPR media reporter David Folkenflik went after Rupert Murdoch, and a voice-mail-hacking scandal at his U.K. tabloid News of the World. In England, the socialist newspaper The Guardian has been all over this story of disreputable media conduct, but The New York Times also filed a story on April 8.
Folkenflik found dramatic former Murdoch employees, like Andrew Neil, who made Watergate analogies. Folkenflik insisted the damage to Murdoch may not be contained, and then quoted Neil: "Who knew - the old Watergate question - who knew and when did you know it?" It began like this:
ROBERT SIEGEL: One of Britain's most popular newspapers has admitted that it hacked into the private voicemails of celebrities and politicians. NPR's David Folkenflik reports that the story underscores close ties between the authorities and Rupert Murdoch's media empire.
Appearing on Sunday’s Good Morning America on ABC, This Week host Christiane Amanpour suggested that Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s perceived victory in recent budget negotiations with President Obama could be harmful in the long run as it will "give Republicans a lot more wind in their sail" and make it more difficult for both sides to compromise on the larger portions of the budget.
Co-anchor Bianna Golodryga set up the line of thinking as she posed the question: "Since both sides avoided the backlash that would have come with the government shut down that could have potentially taught them a lesson, is there risk that they'll overplay their hand on obviously this much more controversial debate over the debt limit now heightened?"
Amanpour passed on the view by some that the recent budget deal would hinder the negotiation of future agreements: "And some people are saying that with the victory, because many people are saying that this government shutdown deal was a victory for, by and large, Speaker Boehner, that that might give the Republicans a lot more wind in their sail at a time when analysts say that it really needs bipartisan work to get some of these huge, big issues sorted out."
Now that Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has submitted a budget that actually produces over $6 trillion less debt in the next ten years than what the President has proposed, the job of the Obama-loving media is to discredit him whenever possible.
NBC's David Gregory, ever the dutiful left-wing soldier, tried doing just that during his "Meet the Press" interview with Ryan Sunday even saying to his guest, "The problem that you've always had is that Republicans love to talk about you as a smart guy with really good ideas, but they don't actually support you" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Reading almost directly from Democrat talking points, the so-called "news" network MSNBC spent most of its prime time programming Friday claiming that if the federal government was shut down as a result of a budget impasse, it was because Republicans wanted to defund Planned Parenthood.
Lawrence O'Donnell dutifully did his part in advancing this hysterical nonsense Friday, so much so that after reading a lengthy e-mail message from a poor friend of his that uses this organization's services, "The Last Word" host actually broke down in tears (video follows with transcript and commentary):
And while we sleep, it will probably be spun around in quite a variety of ways.
What appears to have been the very first Associated Press report at 11:05 p.m. on the final-hour deal that averted a threatened government shutdown came from David Espo at the Associated Press (Espo's byline appeared at the AP's main site, but that report was supplanted by a second one to be discussed shortly; Espo's report is saved here in full as a graphic for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):
Congress, White House reach deal to avoid government shutdown
Perilously close to a government shutdown, congressional leaders reached agreement with the White House late Friday night on a deal to cut tens of billions of dollars in federal spending and avert the closure.
NPR's Ari Shapiro slanted towards President Obama and two of his Democratic allies in Congress on Thursday's Morning Edition on the continuing battle over the federal budget, playing seven sound bites from them versus only three from Republican House Speaker John Boehner.
Shapiro highlighted the late night negotiations over the budget on Wednesday during his report, playing three clips from the President and one from Senator Harry Reid before even getting to his first one from Speaker Boehner:
According to World News' Diane Sawyer, House Speaker John Boehner is being "held hostage" by the Tea Party. Over two days and two shows, Sawyer and interviewer George Stephanopoulos hit the Republican as captive to an unreasonable base who want to shut down the government.
On Thursday's Good Morning America, after Boehner asserted that taxpayer dollars shouldn't fund abortions, Stephanopoulos chided, "If you hold on to that, the White House and Democrats have been very clear, there's no deal. The government is going to shut down."
He didn't make the obvious logical conclusion that the Democrats are being held hostage by a liberal, pro-abortion base. Later, the GMA host reiterated his point, arguing: "You know what the Democrats say. They say they can cut a deal with you. But you don't buck the Tea Party."
Ilario Pantano, a former sniper, sat in my office, rolling his shirtsleeve back down after showing me the United States Marine Corps tattoo on his arm. He wasn't showing off. He was making a point. "If my country is worth dying for, it's worth fighting for." Which is what brought him to Washington.
He's put his life on the line in the Marines, and now the North Carolina resident is in the embryonic stages of his second run for Congress. Last year, he fared reasonably well in a district that's been voting Democrat since the Reconstruction. The problems that called him to duty on the campaign trail have not gone away, and the people who had faith in him still deserve an alternative to their current representation. So Pantano feels like he owes them a second try. And with his national-security and economics experience available during a critical time in our history, he owes his country another effort, too.
Bill Maher once again spent a great deal of his HBO program Friday mocking Republicans.
In an opening monologue spoof of a new poll finding 51 percent of the GOP don't believe Barack Obama was born in America, the "Real Time" host said, "John Boehner wears bronzer and goes on crying jags. He just feels like a female to me. Maybe liberals should demand to see his penis" (video follows with transcript and commentary):