Kossacks, of course, love to trash prominent Republicans -- freshman Texas senator Ted Cruz came in for some notable abuse this past week -- but they by no means neglect the party's rank and file and in some cases identify them as the root of the GOP's supposed madness.
As usual, each headline is preceded by the blogger's name or pseudonym. Daily Kos Week in Review will return in two weeks. Happy Easter!
Five days ago, this NewsBuster wrote that Harold Ford, Jr. "seems more interested in cultivating friends and avoiding offense than in saying anything interesting." On Morning Joe that day, Ford had managed to praise a trio of pols, even breaking out the old "my dear friend" line to describe one of them. When Ford employed the same shtick on today's show, Joe Scarborough eventually had enough, sarcastically asking Ford whether there's anyone he doesn't "like and respect."
This morning, Ford variously praised "the great Tip O'Neill," said he has "great respect" for Patty Murray, and even professed "I like Paul [Ryan] too." When Scarborough hit him with his pointed question, Ford responded by saying that he was a Christian who sees the good in all. That led to more ribbing from Scarborough and Willie Geist, who recalled a campaign ad from Harold's Tennessee days in which he posed in a church pew. View the video after the jump.
There are three major factors that stand in the way of entitlement reform and the other responsible budgetary measures that must be taken to avert an eventual national financial catastrophe, and they have a common source.
The first is that too many American people remain, amazingly, in the fog about the scope of the problem. The second is that a certain political ideology refuses to substitute a designated driver for the intoxicated entitlement state, which is driving the American bankruptcy bus. The third is that the leader of this noxious ideology has a further conflict of interest precluding a solution to the crisis, which is that he is hellbent on inflicting harm on the only political party pushing for reform and on successful entrepreneurs, who are critical to economic growth — a key component of any reform measure.
Al Sharpton joined the sequester scare-mongering squad on his MSNBC show this evening. Just one problem: the Reverend Al got one of his "facts" embarrassingly wrong. Sharpton claimed that the effect of the sequester would be to close Rep. Paul Ryan's hometown airport in Janesville, Wisconsin. Nuh-uh.
Yes, Southern Wisconsin Regional in Janesville is on a list of 200 airports, 100 of which would have their towers closed under the sequester. So for starters, contrary to what Sharpton suggests, the odds are only 1-in-2 that even if the sequester hits, there will be any effect whatsoever on the Janesville airport. But in any case, closing a tower by no means closes an airport. Is Al unaware that of the roughly 20,000 airports in the USA, only about 500—less than 3%—have towers? Even if the tower closes, flights will continue to flow in and out of Janesville. There are well-established FAA procedures that pilots follow to communicate with each other at non-towered fields. Shame on Sharpton for his false scare-mongering. View the video after the jump.
Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) made a comment on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday that is guaranteed to raise eyebrows on both sides of the aisle.
"If we had a Clinton presidency, if we had Erskine Bowles chief-of-staff at the White House, or President of the United States, I think we would have fixed this fiscal mess by now. That's not the kind of presidency we're dealing with right now."
Stop the presses! Stop the presses! Bill Maher on Friday actually said something well-reasoned and intelligent that conservatives - including members of the Tea Party - might agree with.
"We have 23.5 percent dirt bags in America," the HBO Real Time host surprisingly said. "It just seems like there’s less people pulling the wagon and more people in the wagon, and at some point the wagon is going to break" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As 2012 winds down, it's time to look back at some of the year's most egregious media bias, as documented by the Media Research Center's "Best Notable Quotables of 2012."
Much of what made this year unique was how the so-called "mainstream media" linked arms with the Obama campaign to denigrate and demonize conservatives and Republicans, even those as mild and moderate as GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
Stephen Colbert lent his Comedy Central television platform on Thursday to one of the left's favorite religious figures, Sister Simone Campbell, to promote her ongoing battle against Rep. Paul Ryan's fiscal ideas. Campbell slammed congressional conservatives to the extreme point of hinting that they would have treated the Holy Family worse than the innkeepers in Bethlehem [audio clips available here; video below the jump]:
"You gotta have hope; mustn't sit around and mope." -- "Damn Yankees"
Sitting in the room at the Jack Kemp Leadership Award dinner last week, listening to Senator Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, and Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican and of late the GOP vice presidential candidate, I sensed more than a generational shift in party leadership.
It’s the Republicans who are in a bind. They’re beholden to the will of the evil genius Grover Norquist. They’re scared to death of The Club for Growth. That's the trite liberal media narrative that CBSNews.com's Brian Montopoli furthered earlier this morning in a piece in which he forecast that the Republicans, and only Republicans, are in for a bruising in the coming weeks should a "fiscal cliff" deal not be finalized. But in doing so, Montopoli conveniently forgets that Democrats have their pressure groups that hold their feet to the fire against any significant spending cuts and/or entitlement reform.
Perhaps Montopoli doesn't watch his own network's evening newscasts. On the Tuesday Evening News, correspondent Nancy Cordes noted that Democrats and President Obama are digging in their heels against any proposed deal which addresses entitlement spending. In fact, forty-two Democratic members of the House have signed on to a bill that explicitly prohibits cuts to the welfare state.
Just when we thought Martin Bashir couldn’t reach a new low, he proved us wrong on Thursday on his self-titled MSNBC program. Bashir is known for making hyperbolic and incendiary comments towards Republicans, but his latest comments are a new low for him.
Speaking to a panel of fellow liberals, Mr. Bashir started his program off by calling Governor Mitt Romney racist and having “contempt for his fellow Americans” in response to post-election comments made by Mr. Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan. [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
The list of words MSNBC's Chris Matthews believes are racist if uttered by a conservative got longer on Wednesday.
You can now add "urban" which offended Matthews when Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said it during an interview Monday, but didn't bother the Hardball host in the slightest when Salon's Joan Walsh said it on his own program two days later (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
After Paul Ryan held that a voter turnout increase in "urban areas" hurt the Romney ticket, CNN's Anderson Cooper questioned if he was using racial overtones and hammered him with a "Keeping Them Honest" report claiming Ryan missed other reasons why Team Romney lost.
"Well, some critics jumped on those remarks, since 'historically urban' has often been used as a code word for African-American voters," said Cooper, who proceeded to "keep Ryan honest" by noting that urban areas weren't the only reason why Ryan and Romney lost. GOP strategist Alex Castellanos laughed at that assumption and called it "ridiculous." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Merica cited President Obama’s re-election as a spur to liberal groups to step up their attacks on the Roman Catholic hierarchy: “Emboldened by the re-election of President Barack Obama, a cadre of liberal Catholic activists and groups is waging a campaign alleging that America's Catholic bishops are out of touch with Catholic laypeople.”
ABC journalist Jonathan Karl on Wednesday lectured Paul Ryan about Barack Obama's reelection "mandate" and grilled the Republican about raising taxes. On Good Morning America, he declared, "If there was one issue that the President campaigned on, it was raising taxes on the wealthy." He added, "Doesn't he have a mandate there?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
When Ryan declined to support tax increases, the reporter hectored, "Butcould you see yourself supporting a plan that raises tax rates on the top two percent?...So you don't support a plan?" The Congressman retorted, "I don't want to get into negotiating with the media." In another version of the interview that aired on Tuesday's World News, Karl played a clip of Saturday Night Live "poking fun" at the former vice presidential candidate.
The Washington Post's Bob Woodward on The Chris Matthews Show Sunday not only called Democrat visions of balancing the budget by raising taxes on the rich a "fantasy," but he also said "there is a way to...raise more revenue and perhaps lower the rates" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"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:
How dare Catholic bishops use their teaching authority to speak out in favor of religious liberty! That was the thrust of University of Dayton theology professor Vincent Miller’s November 8 post on CNN’s Belief Blog (which has a tendency to attack conservative ideas) titled “Catholic Bishops’ Election Behavior Threatens Their Authority.”
Miller complained that: “The Catholic Church was well within its rights to conduct its campaign on religious liberty, but its “Preserve Religious Freedom” yard signs were clearly designed to be placed alongside partisan candidate signs.” He continued by bewailing the supposed partisan nature of the campaign: “The technically nonpartisan nature of the Church’s religious liberty campaign was further drowned out by a small chorus of strident bishops who left no doubt about how Catholics ought to vote for president.”
For Representative Paul D. Ryan, defeat is not the political career-ender that it is for Mitt Romney. For one thing, he still has his day job -- he won an eighth term from his Wisconsin district on Tuesday. For another, Mr. Ryan is now a household name who is situated, at age 42, at the forefront of the next generation of Republicans.
Former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller visited Rep. Paul Ryan's alma mater, Miami University in Ohio, to examine Republicans in their natural element for his Monday column "The Republican ID," and seemed very concerned about the mindset of a college that actually favored the Republican candidate.
This patch of southern Ohio between Cincinnati and Dayton is not the up-for-grabs Ohio you’ve read so much about. This is decided country, where House Speaker John Boehner is running for re-election unopposed, where “Defeat Obama” and “Romney/Ryan” lawn signs glisten in the chilly drizzle.
On Saturday, NewsBusters asked if it would be fascinating if Barack Obama's interview with MSNBC's Morning Joe ended up being an easier one than he recently got with the ladies of ABC's The View.
We got our answer Monday, and in the end, co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski asked absolutely nothing of the President that could be perceived as a hardball (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary).
"Paul Ryan Can't Lose," a 5,000-word cover story by Mark Leibovich, the New York Times magazine's chief national correspondent, conformed to the writer's history of cynical, unsympathetic profiles of Republican candidates.
According to Leibovich, Newt Gingrich is "among the more divisive political figures of recent decade," always threatening to become "Nasty Newt," yet former vice president Al Gore is a "compelling" "pop culture icon." Offered the fat target of Vice President Joe Biden, Leibovich instead buttered him up. Yet former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney didn't escape: "Critics deride him as a Prince of Darkness whose occasional odd episodes - swearing at a United States senator, shooting a friend in a hunting accident and then barely acknowledging it publicly - suggest a striking indifference to how he is perceived."
Leibovich even used his Ryan profile to take an arbitrary and snotty swipe at the "let’s say, knowledge-averse bent" of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.
At the end of an interview with vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie parroted Democratic attacks on Mitt Romney's foreign policy credentials: "John Kerry said, 'this is the most inexperienced foreign policy ticket to run in decades,' talking about you and Governor Romney. What specific national security experience qualifies Governor Romney to be commander in chief?"
At the top of an interview with Joe Biden only seconds later, fellow co-host Matt Lauer teed up the Vice President to slam Romney on the same issue: "[I] started by asking him if he thought Governor Romney is a qualified candidate when it comes to his vision and understanding of foreign policy." Not surprisingly, Biden declared: "No, he's not."
Jay Leno took a shot at the President's handling of the economy Monday.
During his Tonight Show monologue, after saying Obama Halloween masks are out-selling Romney masks by 30 percent, Leno quipped, "Well, that makes sense. I mean, what's scarier than four more years of this economy?"
A few days ago the liberal media was all abuzz over how Paul Ryan supposedly muscled his way into back of a soup kitchen in Ohio and started washing already-cleaned pots and pans as a photo op.
It turned out later, however, that soup kitchen staffers had left some dirty pots and pans for Ryan to wash. Yes, it was part of a campaign photo-op, but the pots and pans were actually dirty and Ryan actually cleaned them. NBCNews.com's "First Read" blog noted the crucial update to the tempest-in-a-teapot on Tuesday. But judging from today's Hardball, MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews doesn't read his sister network's website.
On Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer played the part of Obama campaign stooge when he promoted the President deflecting Libya criticism by slamming Mitt Romney: "...[He] firmly and pointedly chastised Governor Romney for politicizing a tragedy like this, a national tragedy. The father of Ambassador Stevens said, quote, 'It would be really abhorrent to make this into a campaign issue.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer then turned to Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan and sanctimoniously demanded: "So I want your response, not to the President, but to the father of Ambassador Stevens." Ryan responded: "What we owe Chris Stevens, what we owe these Americans who gave their lives, are to make sure that we get to the bottom of this so we can prevent something like this from happening again."