On his Fox News program, Sean Hannity falsely claimed that "a parliamentary procedure called reconciliation" would allow the Obama administration to pass legislation "without any Republicans even having an opportunity to vote." In fact, according to the House Rules Committee's description of the budget reconciliation process, the version of reconciliation legislation agreed to during the conference process is then "brought back to the full House and Senate for a vote on final passage. Approval of the conference agreement on the reconciliation legislation must be by a majority vote of both Houses."
On Special Report, Bret Baier stated: "Following news Mr. Obama picked North Carolina to win the NCAA championship, rival coach [Mike] Krzyzewski responded: 'Somebody said that we're not in President Obama's Final Four, and as much as I respect what he's doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets.' " But Baier -- and other media figures -- did not report Krzyzewski's following comment in which he praised Obama, saying in part, "I love the guy, and I think he's gonna be great."
Have you noticed how the press has been trumpeting the end of President Obama's "honeymoon" nearly every day since he took office? Talk about a prolonged annulment. I'm not even sure they ever made it to the chapel as this great new video illustrates. If the last two months are the media's idea of a honeymoon, all I have to say is good riddance.
Be sure to check it out, give it a rating, add it to your favorites and share it with your friends.
Fox News' Sean Hannity falsely claimed that under House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, "Republicans can't offer amendments; they can't offer alternative bills." In fact, in the 111th Congress, the House has voted on several Republican-sponsored amendments to various bills.
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Contradicting its own prior reporting, The Washington Post asserted that when Bill Clinton "took office, he fired all U.S. attorneys at once," while George W. Bush "took a different approach, slowly releasing several of the prosecutors." But the Post previously reported that "Bush and ... Clinton each dismissed nearly all U.S. attorneys upon taking office." Indeed, Bush moved to replace almost all of Clinton's U.S. attorneys within the first five months of his term in office, according to a 2001 Justice Department press release.
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Recently, the media have highlighted claims that President Obama's "plate" is too "full," suggested he has "bit off more than he can chew," or otherwise given credence to the accusation that the president has loaded his agenda with unrelated items when he should be focusing on the economy. In many instances, the media have simply run teasers to this effect, reinforcing the idea without challenge; in other cases, they have highlighted the accusation, while also providing responses by the Obama administration.
Rush Limbaugh purported to favorably contrast his repeated statements that he wants President Obama to "fail" with Democratic strategist James Carville's statement -- prior to learning of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that "I hope [President Bush] doesn't succeed." In fact, whereas Carville reportedly retracted his statement immediately upon learning of the terrorist attacks and subsequently urged Democrats to support Bush's anti-terrorism efforts, Limbaugh has repeated his desire to see Obama fail throughout the current economic crisis and has gone so far as to say that he "hope[s]" Obama's stimulus package "prolongs the recession."
Credit ABC's Jonathan Karl and Luis Martinez for taking the time to actually look into the details surrounding Judicial Watch's comical claims this week about Nancy Pelosi's air travel; claims the Noise Machine mindlessly repeated.
The ABC duo concludes [emphasis added]:
The treasure trove of documents obtained by Judicial Watch from the Department of Defense regarding Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's use of military aircraft doesn't seem to prove the organization's allegation that Pelosi has made "unprecedented demands" for the flights. In fact, it appears that Pelosi uses military aircraft less often than her predecessor, former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.
ABC found that virtually none of the Judicial Watch claims stand up to the slightest bit of scrutiny. Oh, don't act surprised.
UPDATE: Newsbusters plays dumb, ignoring the fact that the Bush White House and Pentagon demanded, after 9/11, that the Speaker of the House fly on military planes. The only way the pointless Judicial Watch story works is if you pretend it was all Pelosi's idea, which Newsbusters eagerly does:
The mainstream media has completely ignored Pelosi's diva-like demand for a $38 million (in 1998 dollars) luxury aircraft in which to fly home.
There's nothing in that sentence that's factual.
A New York Times article reported that President Obama faces a "threat from Senate Republicans, who earlier this month threatened ... to block his judicial nominees by filibuster." But the Times failed to point out that several of the same Senate Republicans who signed onto the letter "threaten[ing] ... to block [Obama's] judicial nominees by filibuster" have previously challenged the constitutionality of filibustering judicial nominees.
The online discussions Washington Post reporters participate in daily are becoming a frequent source of media criticism. Last week, Perry Bacon criticized the use of the "loaded" phrase "class warfare." Yesterday, Alec MacGinnis agreed that media reports about Obama "raising taxes" leave out important context (namely, that he's cutting taxes for the overwhelming majority of Americans.) And today, Ben Pershing says that the media focuses far too much on earmarks, which constitute a "small sliver" of government spending:
Earmarks, Smermarks!: The "earmarks" account for less than 2 percent of the bill. Chump Change. Come on guys! Keep your eye on the ball!
Ben Pershing: Earmarks definitely do get a disproportionately large amount of press coverage, given the relatively small sliver of federal spending they represent. I bet if you asked the average voter how much of federal spending is earmarked, they would guess a number a lot higher than it actually is. Which I suppose is the fault of us in the political press for doing a poor job explaining.
Maybe I should switch jobs with Howard Kurtz.
President Obama today signed a document countermanding some documents signed by his predecessor and saying he won't sign so many other documents like that called signing documents.
Bill Clinton actually used signing documents way more than George W. Bush. But No. 42 is a Democrat and his wife currently works for Obama. So No. 44 is on a big tear right now to distance himself instead from No. 43, the Republican, who's back in Texas and doesn't care but just hearing his name trashed makes Democrats feel good.
Oh, really? That's why people have focused on Bush's signing statements? Or could it be that Bush's signing statements have been substantively different from Clinton's? Here's what a September 2007 Congressional Research Service report has to say:
At first glance, it does not appear that President Bush has departed significantly from prior practice in the signing statement context, having issued 152 signing statements as compared to 381 during the Clinton Administration. However, the qualitative difference in the Bush II approach becomes apparent when considering the number of individual challenges or objections to statutory provisions that are contained in these statements. Of President Bush's 152 signing statements, 118 (78%) contain some type of constitutional challenge or objection, as compared to 70 (18%) during the Clinton Administration.37 Even more significant, however, is the fact that these 118 signing statements are typified by multiple constitutional and statutory objections, containing challenges to more than 1,000 distinct provisions of law.38
UPDATE: Steve Benen adds:
Did Clinton use signing statements "way more than George W. Bush"? It's a highly misleading claim, based on a count of the individual documents, instead of the number of provisions to which the signing statements have been applied. In reality, Bush "broke all records" while abusing this presidential tool, "using signing statements to challenge about 1,200 sections of bills over his eight years in office, about twice the number challenged by all previous presidents combined."
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