Tuesday’s New York Times featured a rare excursion into print by Timothy Egan, liberal Times reporter turned leftist nytimes.com blogger, excoriating Republicans like Rep. Paul Ryan and the "Tea Party political illiterates" as greed-heads for wanting to reform the bankrupt Medicare system: "The Need for Greed."
The bet was audacious from the beginning, and given the miserable, low-down tenor of contemporary politics, not unfathomable: Could you divide the country between greedy geezers and everyone else as a way to radically alter the social contract?
But in order for the Republican plan to turn Medicare, one of most popular government programs in history, into a much-diminished voucher system, the greed card had to work.
Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich had a tough day on "Meet the Press" Sunday.
So troubling was his performance that syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer told "Special Report's" Bret Baier Monday, "He’s done...This is a capital offense...It's over" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
When an admittedly liberal Nobel laureate in economics thinks trying to balance the budget is holding America hostage, one has to wonder if there are any adults remaining on the left side of the aisle.
Consider what New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote Monday:
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said Sunday that Democrats should risk a debt default to avoid being blackmailed by Republicans that are holding a bomb "over our head" in the form of serious budget cuts.
This came moments after FDIC chair Sheila Bair told ABC's "This Week" panel, "I think maybe there's a little too much testosterone in this debate. It’s too much about winning and losing and not enough both sides are right, let’s come together and have a solution" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"Inside Washington" host Gordon Peterson on Friday joined the ranks of liberal media members claiming Republican calls for Democrats to stop saying the GOP is trying to destroy Medicare is hypocritical due to their support for Congressman Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) budget proposal.
When he got his chance to address this absurdity, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer marvelously set the record straight (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Saturday's World News on ABC highlighted complaints from Democrats about the Medicare reform plan proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan as the Wisconsin Republican seeks to restrain the growth of Medicare spending by having private insurers compete for seniors as customers.
Without delving into the Republican argument in favor of using private insurance, correspondent David Kerley recounted the complaints of angry constituents, showing clips of audience members shouting at Republican members of Congress during town hall meetings. Kerley concluded by passing on Democratic hopes of the Medicare plan being a political "gift" that would hurt Republicans. Kerley: "Democrats believe that Republicans have really handed them a gift with their vote to change Medicare. It's a vote that Democrats are already using in TV ads and fundraising calls as well."
Anchor David Muir then previewed an interview with Congressman Ryan for ABC’s This Week show and brought aboard This Week host Christiane Amanpour, who ended up referring to claimst that the Ryan budget proposal contains "drastic" cuts that other Republicans may need to back away from. After noting that Ryan is committed to the plan regardless of political consequences, Amanpour continued: "And many are now saying that perhaps the Republicans will start running away from the Ryan plan because of the drastic cuts he calls for in Medicare and Medicaid and other such programs."
Over the past few days the chatter about a potential presidential run by Rep. Paul Ryan has really heated up. Over at the Huffington Post, Jon Ward reports that RNC chair Reince Preibus - like Ryan, a Wisconsin native - might be put in an akward position give his closeness to the Budget Committee chairman, and has thus been testing the waters of a potential Ryan candidacy. At Reuters, James Pethokoukis offers some reasons that a Ryan candidacy may be in the cards:
CBS's Early Show on Wednesday played up how opponents of Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan shouted down GOP representatives at recent town hall meetings, but downplayed them as "less than friendly," and marveled at their apparently "poignant" questions. The network also omitted how liberal groups targeted these meetings, and trumpeted the "nasty national shouting match" at health care town hall meetings in 2009.
News anchor Jeff Glor noted how "House Republicans are back home for the first time since passing an aggressive deficit cutting plan, including the architect of that plan, Congressman Paul Ryan." Glor used the "less than friendly" label immediately before playing a clip of an unidentified protester shouting, "Ryan, stop lying!" outside a town hall meeting held by the Republican in Wisconsin, and another of a woman who directly accused him of "screwing our generation and the next generation."
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):
Picking up from flustered colleague Bob Schieffer, who on the April 17 Face the Nation demanded of Congressman Paul Ryan, “Why do these rich people need another tax cut? I mean, they're already rich,” CBS reporter Nancy Cordes on Tuesday night asked him: “Do you think that you would be getting more support out there if you didn't include this big tax cut for the wealthy?”
Cordes insisted “35 percent to 25 percent is a big cut,” though Ryan’s plan is meant to be revenue neutral, or even give a boost, as he explained the rate reduction is “in exchange for losing their tax shelters.”
Cordes pressed Ryan from the left on tax rates after her story featured soundbites of liberal hostility to Ryan and other Republicans at town hall meetings, some clips taken from video posted by a left-wing site, clips which included a woman screaming “your plan screws the next two generations!” and “You're a liar!” before video of a crowd yelling “Hands off Medicare!” and a close-up of this sign: “PAUL RYAN’S DEATH PANEL KILL MEDICARE, SOCIAL SECURITY.”
Once again, a presumably simpatico guest on "The Rachel Maddow Show" undermined a claim she made on the same show.
This occurred twice in the same week back in March, as I described at the time. It happened again Friday night when Maddow talked about Republican congressmen facing constituents angered by the GOP budget plan. Maddow compared this to the contentious public forums on health reform in August 2009.
Here's what Maddow said about the Republican budget's effect on Medicare, followed by her guest claiming something altogether different (video after page break) --
If you had any questions about just how far to the left New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is, they were answered Monday when he expressed enthusiastic support for the Congressional Progressive Caucus's radical tax-hiking "People's Budget."
In his "Let's Take a Hike," the Nobel laureate left no doubt about his desire to swiftly redistribute America's wealth with little regard for the economic consequences:
Everyone but the blind and reckless agrees that the United States faces a dire financial crisis. But only one of the two major political parties is offering a plan that has a reasonable chance of averting this crisis and restoring the nation to financial health.
Obama's ever-changing proposals, allegedly designed to tackle the problem, simply could not work. One of the following must be true: He doesn't agree that the crisis is grave, doesn't understand that his policies can't work, doesn't have the same vision about America as most of us, or doesn't intend for his policies to work. Some people believe he's intentionally damaging America, because they believe he's too smart not to know that we face a crisis and that his policies can't work.
On the April 21 edition of FNC's "Hannity," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell tackled how the media lapped up President Obama's talking points about the Paul Ryan budget plan and its effect on senior citizens.
"You know, Sean, this is some of the worst fear-mongering I've ever heard, and I think, personally, I find it despicable that this came from the president of the United States," the Media Research Center founder complained, adding:
Why is it that Donald Trump is a creditable candidate with a significant segment of Republican voters? In some polls, he runs ahead of all Republicans save Mitt Romney, and all I have heard him say is that he wants to see our president's birth certificate. Imagine if he would ask to see budget cuts from the president or revenue enhancements.
Frankly, I would like to see President Barack Obama's birth certificate, too. But on the other hand, I have in hand a copy of a notice of our president's birth printed Aug. 13, 1961, from The Honolulu Advertiser. That has to count for something, no? According to the notice, he was born Aug. 4, 1961, but there are a lot of other things about him I would like to know. For instance, I would like to see those aforementioned budget cuts and the revenue enhancements.
Brooks Thistlethwaite -- who previously hit Tea Party conservatives as tribalistic -- apparently believes that politically conservative Christians are trying to serve two masters, Jesus and Ayn Rand (emphasis mine):
If future historians look back on the ruins of the American economy after a U.S. bond crisis struck in the second decade of the 21st century, many causes will be noted. Obviously, it will be seen that for decades before the catastrophe, the U.S. was spending vastly more than it could afford on government health and retirement programs.
And, just as after the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor and Sept. 11, 2011, blue-ribbon commissions will be incredulous that all the telltale signs of the coming disaster were in plain view, yet were ignored.
Do you read Ayn Rand? Do you enjoy her novels? You do? Well then, you're clearly a proponent of - or at the very least sympathize with - domestic terrorism. That, at least, is the logic put forth by Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times reporter David Cay Johnston on last night's "Ed Show," in what may be the most absurd, laughable attempt to demonize Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to date.
Johnston insisted that Ryan, by requiring his staff to read Ayn Rand novels - a claim itself divorced from reality - was essentially endorsing terrorism by "hold[ing] out as a model people who commit felonies like blowing up buildings," a reference to Howard Roark, the main character of Rand's novel "The Fountainhead" (video below the break, via former NBer Jeff Poor).
I am beginning to wonder whether President Obama is so cocky about his 2012 re-election prospects that he thinks he doesn't even have to be serious in his budget plan offerings.
Unfortunately, the nation's unfunded liabilities aren't so casual as the president; they are growing by more than $10 trillion per year, which means that our looming debt crisis becomes far more problematic with each passing day.
Credit ratings agency Standand & Poor's Monday placed a negative outlook on the future of America's AAA debt rating as a result of looming budget deficits as far as the eye can see.
Later in the day, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer of Fox News's "Special Report" said this move by S&P was actually a negative review of President Obama's deficit reduction speech last Wednesday (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In my book "Crimes Against Liberty," I described President Obama as dishonest, hyper-partisan, a bully, a narcissist and a hard-core left-wing ideologue. Anyone who thinks my description is exaggerated or too harsh didn't hear his Wednesday speech on the budget.
One might have expected that a newly elected president who had "inherited" such a disturbingly high deficit, a growing national debt, and a forecast of unfunded entitlements soon to explode because of baby boomer demographics alone would roll up his sleeves and tackle this deficit and debt problem.
This week’s edition of MRC’s Notable Quotables newsletter is chock full of liberal media quotes showing reporters’ slanted approach to the tax and budget issues now at center stage. In fact, there’s so much bad material, we had to add an extra page to our usually three-page newsletter (you can view/download the PDF here).
The whole issue is up over at www.MRC.org. Here’s a baker’s dozen of the worst quotes (including two video clips), all collected in the last couple of weeks:
Days before his 2012 budget was released, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) predicted that he and it would be demagogued by the Left.
Doing its part is the New York Times which began its editorial Monday, "Six months after voters sent Republicans in large numbers to Congress and many statehouses, it is possible to see the full landscape of destruction that their policies would cause — much of which has already begun":
For the second week in a row, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift and National Review's Rich Lowry had quite a battle on PBS's "McLaughlin Group."
This time the fireworks started when Lowry called President Obama classless for the way he treated Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) at Wednesday's speech on deficit reduction which led Clift to ask, "What else would you expect from a socialist born in Kenya who’s hiding his birth certificate?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
“Why do these rich people need another tax cut?” Bob Schieffer demanded of his guest on Sunday morning’s Face the Nation, Republican Congressman Paul Ryan. Conveying his no-so-profound economic reasoning, Schieffer saw a pot of money to be absconded: “I mean, they're already rich. They seem to be doing pretty well as it is now. Why cut their taxes some more?” After Ryan explained his proposal would maintain current tax revenue levels while eliminating deductions and loopholes used by the wealthy, a baffled Schiefier ruminated:
I guess the part that I don't quite understand – and I take your proposal to be a serious one – but the part I don't understand is if the country is going bankrupt, if the country needs to borrow 40 cents of every dollar that it spends, how do you help that by reducing the amount of taxes that the richest people in the country pay? It would be seem to me that's where you get revenue. How do you justify that?
In the next segment, with Senator Mark Warner, Schieffer also hit the Democrat from the left on hiking taxes, after describing him as a “conservative” from “a very conservative state,” even though Virginia voted for Obama: “Senator, you are a Democrat, you are a conservative Democrat from a very conservative state, Virginia. Do you think that we can solve the deficit problem without raising taxes in some way?”
As NewsBusters previously reported, ABC's "This Week" invited on a number of Tea Party Congressman Sunday to discuss the budget debate going on in Washington.
Just before that segment, ABC's John Donvan did a brief report that concluded with him insinuating that this conservative movement is drinking tax cut Kool-Aid and President Obama is having none of it (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters has been reporting, since President Obama once again proposed letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the highest earning Americans, the media have been supporting it almost 24 hours a day.
Doing his part this weekend was Chris Matthews who after the introduction of the syndicated program bearing his name actually began the show, "Why is taxing the rich so hard?" (video follows with transcript and lots of commentary):