Category Archives: news

Washington Post offers press release for White House “deficit plan”

In the “news” item from the Washington Post about President Obama’s latest iteration of his same old “deficit reduction” plan, the hackery begins right up top in the title: “Obama’s debt-reduction plan: $3 trillion in savings, half from new tax revenue“.

And the item begins:

President Obama will announce a proposal on Monday to tame the nation’s rocketing federal debt, calling for $1.5 trillion in new revenue as part of a plan to find more than $3 trillion in budget savings over a decade, senior administration officials said.

….

About half of the tax savings would come from the expiration next year of the George W. Bush administration tax cuts for the wealthy.

But of course, raising taxes is not “savings”. The whole thing is written using Democratic Party language and talking points – “tax savings”, “tax cuts for the wealthy”, etc. The only thing missing is the official DNC logo at the top of the page.

Bloomberg Mistakenly Puts Editorial in News Section

On the Bloomberg website today, they seem to have put this editorial in the “News” section by mistake. It begins with a misleading assertion in the headline:

Boehner Builds Economic Case on Assertions at Odds With Markets, Studies

House Speaker John Boehner, giving Wall Street leaders his prescriptions for growing the U.S. economy and reducing the nation’s debt, built his case on several assertions that are contradicted by market indicators and government reports.

….

Sounds bad. Sounds like Boehner is just making stuff up, with disregard for undisputed facts.

But wait:

Boehner’s statement in his Wall Street speech that government spending “is crowding out private investment and threatening the availability of capital” runs counter to the behavior of credit markets.

“Look at interest rates. Look at capital spending,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist of IHS Inc., a research firm based in Englewood, Colorado. “It’s very hard to come to a conclusion that there’s any kind of crowding out.”

….

Still, some economists, including former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan and Stanford University Professor John B. Taylor, a Treasury undersecretary in Republican President George W. Bush’s administration, have argued that the deficits have been crowding out private investment.

Greenspan said the deficit is one reason that corporate investment as a share of profits is lower than historical patterns, in an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Dec. 3, 2010.

“Approximately one-third of the decline in capital investment as a share of cash flow is directly attributable to” the “crowding out by U.S. Treasury borrowing,” Greenspan said in the interview.

….

Boehner also repeated familiar Republican political criticisms that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government mortgage companies, “triggered the whole meltdown” of the U.S. financial system.

That differs from the conclusions earlier this year of the Democratic majority on the congressionally appointed Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. It reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “participated in the expansion of subprime and other risky mortgages, but they followed rather than led Wall Street and other lenders in the rush for fool’s gold.”

Three of the panel’s four Republicans, while faulting Fannie and Freddie, didn’t place the blame squarely on the two mortgage giants.

“They were part of the securitization process that lowered mortgage credit quality standards,” said a dissenting report by Keith Hennessey, Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Bill Thomas, former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. In a Wall Street Journal essay, the three said laying primary blame on government intervention is “misleading” and cited 10 reasons, taken together, for the crisis.

Only Peter Wallison, the other Republican commissioner, offered support for Boehner’s view that Fannie and Freddie caused the mortgage bubble and subsequent collapse. Wallison’s dissent put most of the blame on government housing policies that encouraged Fannie and Freddie to buy more subprime mortgages to promote home ownership among low-income people.

….

So “Boehner Builds Economic Case on Assertions at Odds With Markets, Studies” should really read something like, “Boehner Builds Economic Case on Assertions at Odds With Some Economists, and Many Democrats”.

They can call their Op-Ed anything they want, they shouldn’t call it a news story.

Obama on Meet the Press: Brokaw needs to hire a fact-checker

On Meet the Press this morning, veteran journalist Tom Brokaw regurgitated an old nutroots talking point in a question to President-elect Barack Obama about his appointment of General Eric Shinseki to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs:

BROKAW: He’s [Shinseki] the man who lost his job in the Bush Administration because he said we will need more troops in Iraq than Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld thought we would need at that time.

But Shinseki did not “lose his job”, he retired as scheduled. Don’t they have any staff to do basic fact-checking at NBC News? An intern maybe? Anyone? NBC News is thoroughly untrustworthy.

AP turns out to be wrong, again

From the AP:

They also include notes about the 2003 State of the Union address, during which President Bush made the case for invading Iraq in part by saying Saddam Hussein was pursuing uranium ore to make a nuclear weapon. That information turned out to be wrong.

Uh, no it didn’t.

The Washington Post finally notices “The Iraqi Upturn”

An editorial from the Washington Post today:

The Iraqi Upturn
Don’t look now, but the U.S.-backed government and army may be winning the war

THERE’S BEEN a relative lull in news coverage and debate about Iraq in recent weeks — which is odd, because May could turn out to have been one of the most important months of the war. While Washington’s attention has been fixed elsewhere, military analysts have watched with astonishment as the Iraqi government and army have gained control for the first time of the port city of Basra and the sprawling Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, routing the Shiite militias that have ruled them for years and sending key militants scurrying to Iran. At the same time, Iraqi and U.S. forces have pushed forward with a long-promised offensive in Mosul, the last urban refuge of al-Qaeda. So many of its leaders have now been captured or killed that U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, renowned for his cautious assessments, said that the terrorists have “never been closer to defeat than they are now.”

This should be kept in mind as the Democrats continue droning on with their partisan, year-old talking points that “the war is lost”, “the surge is a failure”, “the president’s Iraq strategy is a failure”, etc., even as their media allies find it harder to ignore the evidence of success.

The Post tries to instruct Senator Obama:

…the likely Democratic nominee needs a plan for Iraq based on sustaining an improving situation, rather than abandoning a failed enterprise. That will mean tying withdrawals to the evolution of the Iraqi army and government, rather than an arbitrary timetable…

When Mr. Obama floated his strategy for Iraq last year, the United States appeared doomed to defeat. Now he needs a plan for success.

But an arbitrary timetable for withdrawal without regard to the facts on the ground in Iraq is precisely what Obama has been promising. And Obama didn’t merely float a strategy “last year”, he continues ignoring the evidence even today. Senator McCain has said, “I’d rather lose an election than lose a war.” Senator Obama obviously doesn’t agree.

More comments from Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.

obama - words are cheap

DeMSM Bias Watch: WaPo Edition

In yet another show of the “balanced” reporting we can expect from the DeMSM this election cycle, the Washington Post describes the Republicans prospects in Congressional elections this way:

Since losing 30 seats and their 12-year stranglehold on power in 2006, House Republicans have kept asking themselves the same question: Can it get any worse?

“12-year stranglehold on power”? Note this is not an op-ed. Of course it’s no surprise to see this sort of loaded wording in a “news” item from the mainstream press. We’re just making a note. We expect them to work very hard to get their candidates elected in the coming months.

SEIU, Union of Big Government, Endorses Barack Obama

Lots of news outlets, like The Washington Post, The Hill, USA Today, and the AP, reported that the 1.9 million member SEIU union endorsed Senator Obama for the Democratic nomination for president.

The AP describes the union this way:

The politically active union represents workers in health care, building services and other industries. It has donated more than $25 million to candidates in the past two decades, most of it to Democrats.

Hmmm, what could those “other industries” be? What all these outlets failed to mention is that close to half (about 850,000) of the union’s total membership is made up of state and local government employees.

Imagine, say, a big defense contractor like Lockheed Martin endorsed a Republican candidate who was promising to buy a lot more Lockheed Martin products. It would be presented in the press as a direct conflict of interest or even as a sign of corruption. Recall all the grief Vice President Cheney got for simply talking to energy providers about energy policy after he was already elected. But a left-wing organization of government employees who will directly benefit from Democrats’ promises of ever more spending on government programs isn’t even worth mentioning. Presenting people that have a direct financial interest in bigger government as just another group of “working people” doesn’t present the full story.

CBS News reported:

Separately Thursday, Obama also won the backing of the United Food and Commercial Workers, a politically active union with significant membership in the upcoming Democratic battlegrounds.

The 1.3-million member UFCW has 69,000 members in Ohio and another 26,000 in Texas.The food workers also have 19,000 members in Wisconsin, which holds a primary Tuesday.

The union is made up of supermarket workers and meatpackers, with 40 percent of the membership under 30 years old. Obama has been doing especially well among young voters.

So it’s important to mention that the UFCW is “made up of supermarket workers and meatpackers”, but not to say anything about the makeup of the SEIU, where the membership is actually relevant.

AP regurgitates Democratic party talking points as “news” item

Our old friend Jennifer Loven, op-ed writer for the AP, has some company. AP writer Tom Raum begins this alleged “news” item by regurgitating the false Democrat talking point that President Bush has shifted the rationale for the war in Iraq as the situation has changed in that country.

But it isn’t true that the sole rationale for the war in Iraq before the invasion was the presence of WMD. There were multiple issues involved from the beginning. One need only review the October 2002 Iraq war resolution to know that. Perhaps Raum should do a little research before submitting his next opinion piece.

We have no problem with the AP producing op-ed pieces, they should just label them as such, and not keep trying to pass them off as news items.

North Korea tests nuke…

some immediately blame President Bush:

North Korea’s apparent nuclear test last night may well be regarded as a failure of the Bush administration’s nuclear nonproliferation policy.

Since George W. Bush became president, North Korea has restarted its nuclear reactor and increased its stock of weapons-grade plutonium, so it may now have enough for 10 or 11 weapons, compared with one or two when Bush took office.

So the North Korean’s is believed to have had nuclear weapons before President Bush took office, they continued to develop more after he took office, therefore the whole program is his fault. Brilliant.

When Bush became president in 2000, Pyongyang’s reactor was frozen under a 1994 agreement with the United States.

….

Many top U.S. officials were determined to kill the Agreed Framework, and when U.S. intelligence discovered evidence that North Korea had a clandestine program to enrich uranium, they had their chance.

A U.S. delegation confronted Pyongyang about the secret program — and U.S. officials said North Korean officials appeared to confirm it. (Pyongyang later denied that.) The United States pressed to cut off immediately deliveries of heavy fuel oil promised under the Agreed Framework. North Korea, in response, evicted international inspectors and restarted its nuclear reactor.

It’s President Bush’s fault the North Koreans started cheating on the Agreed Framework before the ink was dry? If they were cheating, then wasn’t it effectively the North Koreans who abandoned the Framework, not the president?

In the real world, what would have been gained by continuing to pretend the Framework was still in effect? Having make-believe agreements with outlaw regimes will not keep America safe. In labeling North Korea part of the “Axis of evil” and abandoning the Agreed Framework, President Bush told the truth; liberals wll never forgive him for it.

Other countries are not under United States direct control. They can and will do what they want, in spite of our best efforts to negotiate with them. North Korea’s nuclear weapon test is North Korea’s fault, not President Bush’s fault.

Update: The WaPo piles on (Bush, not Kim Jong Il).

WaPo: Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Hurting U.S. Terror Fight

The Washington Post reports on a new National Intelligence Estimate (which apparently comes as a result of yet another leak of classified material from the intelligence commmunity), that offers a grim assessment of the state of the war on terror today and the effect of the war in Iraq on the broader war on terror:

The war in Iraq has become a primary recruitment vehicle for violent Islamic extremists, motivating a new generation of potential terrorists around the world whose numbers may be increasing faster than the United States and its allies can reduce the threat, U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded.

A 30-page National Intelligence Estimate completed in April cites the “centrality” of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the insurgency that has followed, as the leading inspiration for new Islamic extremist networks and cells that are united by little more than an anti-Western agenda. It concludes that, rather than contributing to eventual victory in the global counterterrorism struggle, the situation in Iraq has worsened the U.S. position, according to officials familiar with the classified document.

First, isn’t it interesting how the president’s critics take as Gospel Truth any assessments from the intelligence community that they believe reflect negatively on the Bush administration, given that this is the same intel community that told us before the invasion that there were WMD in Iraq?

But this NIE assessment is really not a surprise at all. Of course confronting the terrorists is going to stir them up and make them fight back harder. The fight against Japan was harder after we responded to the Pearl Harbor attack too. Like trying to get rid of a hornets’ nest is likely to result in some stings, it’s a given that confronting the jihadists is going to result in some blowback.

The question isn’t whether there is an increase in the terrorist threat in the short term; we always expected that. What matters is whether we can change the dynamic in the Middle East to lessen the terrorist threat long term. The jury is still out on that question. But we know the old way of responding to individual terrorist attacks as crimes, but never confronting the broader threat head-on, was a failure; terrorist threats occurred regularly throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

So President Bush decided to confront that broader threat, to try to defeat Islamo-fascism once and for all. As the administration has argued repeatedly and consistently, this is a war that will take many years. The expected uptick in terrorist activity in response to our fighting back is not necessarily a foreshadowing of the ultimate outcome of the war.

More:
A good analysis from Ed Morrissey

And another from Rick Moran:

I am not disputing the conclusions in this leaked report. I am resisting the implications that some would draw from it; that if only we had not confronted the jihadists or worked to solve the root causes of terrorism, none of this would be true today.

I totally reject that notion. In fact, I believe it delusional thinking to say that we’d be any safer if we hadn’t invaded Iraq or if we had just lobbed a few cruise missiles at Osama Bin Laden following 9/11, or even if we had put enormous pressure on Israel to come to an agreement with the Palestinians. All of this ignores the one overarching truth about the nature of our enemies (and their tens of millions of supporters around the world); what they seek, we cannot give them.

UPDATE: Unsurprisingly, the Democrats have decided to use the report as another opportunity to play politics:

Dems use intel report to attack GOP

“Democrats on Sunday seized on an intelligence assessment that said the Iraq war has increased the terrorist threat, saying it was further evidence that Americans should choose new leadership in the November elections.”