Media figures repeated Sen. Tom Coburn's claim that stimulus funds are being used "to renovate an abandoned train station that hasn't been used in 30 years." But while the station house has long been closed, "[t]he station's platform currently serves more than 80,000 passengers a year," as Coburn's report noted.
Bill Sammon, Gretchen Carlson, and Investors Business Daily each claimed that the stimulus bill is funding what Sammon described as a "guard rail to nowhere." However, the Army Corps of Engineers has said that the project is "not going forward."
Joe Scarborough suggested that President Obama's remark that "we are out of money" was at odds with Obama's health care reform proposal. However, Obama has argued that health care reform is essential to the long-term economic health of the country.
The Hill again reported Senate Republicans' objections to the Democrats' use of reconciliation to pass health care reform without noting Republicans' past support for reconciliation.
Reporting on the Obama administration's budget, the AP purported to contrast the administration's "efforts to portray itself as tough on waste and spending" with the administration's spending proposals, but did not explain what specific spending constituted waste.
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On CNBC's Power Lunch, Minnesota radio host Jason Lewis repeated the false Republican talking point that ACORN received money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In fact, the recovery act does not mention ACORN or otherwise single it out for funding.
Mara Liasson falsely claimed that President Obama "vowed to eliminate" earmarks. In fact, Obama promised to reform the earmark process and cut wasteful spending, not "eliminate" earmarks altogether.
The Hill quoted objections by Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Judd Gregg, both Republicans, to the Democrats' use of the reconciliation process to pass health care reform legislation, but failed to note that Republicans -- including both Ryan and Gregg -- repeatedly supported the Bush administration's use of reconciliation.
The Politico's Jim VandeHei stated that Sen. Judd Gregg is "angry" because "Democrats were able to get this thing called reconciliation inserted into" the proposed 2010 budget, but did not note that Republicans, including Gregg, repeatedly supported using reconciliation to pass several Bush initiatives.
Print media have uncritically quoted Republican senators criticizing congressional Democrats' decision to use the budget reconciliation process to advance health-care reform and education initiatives as overly partisan, without noting that congressional Republicans -- including the senators quoted -- voted to allow the use of the budget reconciliation process to pass major Bush administration initiatives.
The Los Angeles Times reported Sen. Mitch McConnell's criticism of Democrats' potential use of the reconciliation process to pass health-care reform without noting that he repeatedly voted in favor of using reconciliation to pass the Bush tax cuts.
We gotta say the $100 million 'story' gave us a headache right from the get-go.
To recap: in a largely symbolic move aimed at reducing administrative costs, Obama urged his cabinet members to cut $100 million from their budgets. The GOP immediately pounced, mocking the White House's plan by stressing it would do little or nothing to reduce the federal deficit. (Hint: it wasn't designed to.) The press quickly piled on.
Laying on the attitude quite thick, the WH press corps mocked the WH for trying so save a measly $100 million by pretending that the symbolic effort to reduce administrative costs somehow represented Obama's entire initiative to save money. It didn't, but the press, egged on by the GOP, played dumb.
Watching the CBS Evening News, Andrew Tyndall made a great point about how Katie Couric's broadcast couldn't decide, within the span of just a few minutes and back-to-back Beltway reports, whether $100 million was a laughably small number (i.e. the Obama initiative), or whether it was a scandalously large amount of money.
The Evening News last night dutifully aired the Obama $100 million story, complete with the angle that, compared to the entire federal budget, it was a comically small amount of money to try to save. But then, in the very next report, CBS touted as a big deal news that Rep. Jack Murth (D-PA) supports $31 million worth of earmarks for ten companies that supported him at election time. Suddenly, that minuscule fraction of the total federal budget was breaking news.
So come on Couric, where does CBS Evening News stand? Is $100m saved so small that it demands a story? Or is $31m appropriated so large that it demands another?
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The Washington Post again reported GOP criticism of the Democrats' potential use of the reconciliation process to pass health-care and education bills without noting that Republicans repeatedly voted in favor of using reconciliation as a method to pass President Bush's tax cut bills.