Dennis Cauchon at USA Today has been one of a very few establishment press reporters willing to expose federal workers' disproportionate pay and benefits (previous examples here and here) as well as Uncle Sam's precariously dangerous financial situation.
Cauchon has two USAT items today on the latter topic (HT to NB commenter Gary Hall): "U.S. funding for future promises lags by trillions," which reports that federal obligations totaled $61.6 trillion as of September 2010, a $5.3 trillion increase from a year earlier, and "Government's Mountain of Debt," which itemizes those obligations by major source.
Unsurprisingly, 75% of federal obligations, or a combined $46.2 trillion (actually more, which will be seen at the end of this post), relate to Social Security and Medicare, which no one but a few deluded leftists believe (or pretend to believe) are sustainable in their current form. Unfortunately, at the end of his first story, Cauchon quoted one of them, Michael Lind, whom the USAT reporter described as "policy director at the liberal New America Foundation's economic growth program," who said the following:
Bai talked to the elder Cuomo, whose son Andrew is governor of New York, at his office at a Midtown law firm. The profile begins with Cuomo in charmlessly pedantic mode, with a lecture on the precise meaning of the word “proud.” Bai admired him as one of the liberal “titans of the day.”
If you were a kid in the Northeast during the 1980s, as I was, there is something awesome -- in the literal sense -- about sitting across a desk from Mario Cuomo, even if he now misplaces names and occasionally grasps for the point of an anecdote that has fluttered just out of reach. He was, at that time, the anti-Reagan, a powerful and resonant voice of dissent in the age of “Top Gun” and Alex P. Keaton. Cuomo, Ted Kennedy and Jesse Jackson were the three titans of the day who seemed to possess the defiance needed to rescue liberalism from obsolescence.
In contrast, Bai’s reporting shows hostility toward conservative ideas and people, notably a July 18, 2010 story in which he conjured up a fiction of “hateful 25-year-olds” hurling racial slurs at Tea Party rallies.
"Good Morning America" on Thursday highlighted 1982 as the year Chris Cuomo, the future news anchor of the program, would see his Democratic dad become governor of New York. The segment was part of a new series on the years that most changed the lives its ABC's hosts. The piece never mentioned the fact that Mario Cuomo was a liberal or a Democrat. (And while older viewers might likely know that, some younger Americans wouldn't.)
At the same time, the segment vaguely reveled in the accomplishments of the governor. "My father would expose all of us to remarkable history," the news anchor explained before a clip of Mario Cuomo at the 1984 Democratic National Convention played. After recounting the difficulties of being the son of a governor, Cuomo added, "...My father, my family, had been given an amazing opportunity to do what he told us mattered most, to help others."
To these ears, it sounded like a sophomoric line by, well, a sophomore seeking to impress classmates and perhaps his fuzzy-headed teacher. But MSNBC has proclaimed Mario Cuomo's call for a nuclear freeze because "peace is better than war and life is better than death" one of the greatest convention-speech lines ever.
In the run-up to this evening's keynote address by former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner and Hillary's much-anticipated speech, Hardball did a segment on some of the best Dem convention speeches of the past. Now, love it or hate it, it's hard to deny that the late Ann Richards' "born with a silver foot in his mouth" about George 41 was a pretty good zinger. And even Barack Obama's "there is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is the United States of America" wasn't bad either. No beef with those being included. But try out the excerpt from Maria Cuomo's 1984 speech that MSNBC selected as one of the "best of the best."
You'd think Chris Matthews might wish Howard Wolfson well on the news that the former top aide to Hillary Clinton has joined Fox News as a Dem analyst. Think again. The Hardball host has ungraciously predicted that the move to Fox could spell the end of Wolfson—and in doing so revealed his own pop-culture roots.
Here was Matthews on this evening's Hardball:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Fox News loves presenting itself as the alternative to the other news networks. Roger Ailes, the guy behind the network, figures that the Hillary campaign needs a new home, now that she's out of the race for president. So, abracadabra, Howard Wolfson, the voice of the Hillary campaign, has just been hired by—you guessed it—Fox News. Wolfson has just signed a contract as a regular contributor. He told the New York Times, quote, "it is important to have a strong progressive voice on the network." Well I think it's the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Reminds me of a movie: it's called Howards End.
The Time 100 list of the most influential people is out, and MSNBC on Friday afternoon was touting its own designated power broker, NBC Washington Bureau Chief and Meet the Press host Tim Russert. There’s only one problem. The gooey profile is written by former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. Russert worked for Cuomo as a counselor and media strategist in 1983 and 1984, but Time never mentioned that. Neither did MSNBC anchor Norah O’Donnell as she interviewed Time’s Adi Ignatius on the picks, and turned to ask him giddily which NBCer was honored. Ignatius replied:
It's Tim Russert. You know, I mean, part of the magic of this list is having interesting people write about the honorees. We had Mario Cuomo, former governor of New York, write the piece on Tim Russert. He said, whether you like Tim or not, whether you like his programming, the road to the White House goes through Tim Russert and his program. So he is, you know, practically a kingmaker in U.S. politics.