October 21, 2014

WSJ Fails to Explain Graph Showing Biggest Right/Wrong Track Gap In at Least 28 Years

Elizabeth Williamson’s coverage at the Wall Street Journal of the latest WSJ/NBC News poll has a very strange omission.

It contains a graph showing “right track/wrong track” polling percentages heading each midterm election going back to 1990. But Williamson, while addressing why the American people feel as they do right now in larger historical context, never commented on the graph’s specific message, which is about as damning as it can get:

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Will Press Note WH Deletion of Obama’s Mention of ‘Unpaid Bills’ in Ill. Speech?

Josh Lederman’s report this morning at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, treats President Barack Obama’s return to Chicago as a trip down memory lane: “Obama got glimpses of a simpler time when his life was for the most part, normal: the unpaid bills on his desk, the volunteers who pitched in on his first Senate campaign, the day he marched in seven Fourth of July parades.”

The reference to “unpaid bills” is from the President’s remarks at a DNC event at a private home in Chicago. But the speech transcript now posted at the White House web site has scrubbed the related passage, as Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard noted early this morning. There may have been an additional development since that post appeared.

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October 20, 2014

Politico’s Epstein Can’t Understand Why People Left Obama Sunday Rally Early

The story filed by Politico’s Jennifer Epstein after President Barack Obama’s campaign appearance in Upper Marlboro, Maryland yesterday seemed evenhanded enough.

Unlike Josh Lederman at the Associated Press, who, as I noted yesterday, failed to report that it happened at all, Epstein even got around to describing how many of those in attendance left the event early: “… once the president started speaking, the crowd began streaming out, a few at first, but then by the dozen once Obama was about 10 minutes into his talk. Still, the vast majority of the large crowd stayed for the full event.” However, given that Time’s Zeke Miller described “a traffic jam next to the pool’s tables as folks tried to exit the gym,” Epstein may still have been sandbagging her readers. More remarkably in a 6 p.m. tweet, she acted like a frustrated campaign worker instead of like the reporter she allegedly is (HT Twitchy):

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October 19, 2014

Arizona’s Dem Candidate For Governor: 14 Year-Old Shouldn’t Need Parental Consent to Abort

To the relief of sex offenders throughout the state, Arizona Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred DuVal, during a Tuesday forum at Redemption Church in Gilbert, said that, in the words of an unbylined Washington Free Beacon story, “he is opposed to mandating parental consent for a girl as young as 14 years old to get an abortion.”

This is a non-story in the establishment press, which made it a mission to take out two GOP U.S. Senate candidates two years ago over abortion-related remarks with far less real-world impact. Based on a search on “DuVal parental consent” (not in quotes) at the Arizona Republic, the paper hasn’t done a story specifically noting DuVal’s outrageous position — even though it did manage to notice that DuVal, like Ed FitzGerald, the Democrat who is running for Governor in Ohio, has been known to drive without a valid driver’s license, though far less often or brazenly.

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Reuters: People Left Obama’s Speech Early; But at AP, It Was a ‘Rowdy Rally’ (See Update)

One would think, based on comparing dispatches from Reuters and the Associated Press, that President Barack Obama must have spoken at two different events in Upper Marlboro, Maryland today.

The two dispatches are so radically different in tone and content that they it doesn’t seem possible that they both could be from the same event. But they are. Jeff Mason at Reuters (saved here for future reference and fair use purposes) observed “early departures of crowd members while he spoke underscored his continuing unpopularity.” Josh Lederman at AP (saved here) described “a rowdy crowd of about 8,000 people” attending “a rally that had the feeling of a gospel service.” A more detailed comparison follows the jump:

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AP Relays WH Howler: $483 Billion Deficit Is ‘Return to Fiscal Normalcy’

The White House is apparently feeling pretty full of itself over the fiscal 2014 federal budget result it has just reported.

Reacting to the news that this year’s deficit was “only” $483.4 billion, White House budget director Shaun Donovan crowed that “This is a return to fiscal normalcy.” The press, of course including Andrew Taylor at the Associated Press, has accepted all of this with little challenge, including the administration’s misleading “percentage of GDP” assertions, which completely ignore how much more the national debt has grown than the reported budget deficits. Taylor went one step further, blatanty deceiving readers as to how much money the federal government borrows for every dollar it spends.

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October 18, 2014

In Oct. 2008, AP Said Obama Would Inherit A Deficit of $700 Billion

On October 8, Andrew Taylor at the Associated Press wrote that “(President Barack) Obama inherited a trillion-dollar-plus deficit after the 2008 financial crisis.” In a NewsBusters post later that day, I pegged Obama’s true inheritance at roughly $245 billion as of when he was first sworn into office, and at about $600 billion if projected over the full fiscal year. The actual deficit for fiscal 2009 came in at just over $1.4 trillion due to deficit-increasing statements and actions taken by Obama and Congress.

I guess we’re supposed to forget about Taylor’s egregious falsehood, because AP’s national site has since replaced his story, perhaps more than one time. That’s not happening.
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Ohio Casinos’ Parent Is on the Rocks; Ohio Press is AWOL

This one appears to be heading for the “Be careful what you wish for” file.

Ohio has staked a significant portion of its future economic well-being on the gambling industry, and, with voter approval, removed legal barriers previously in place which prevented its growth.

Setting aside the moral hazard issues (which are of course quite relevant), gambling casinos have been sold as economic panaceas throughout the nation, and it’s simply not working out. They certainly didn’t save Detroit, and Atlantic City is dealing with extraordinarily hard times. Many other dominos may soon fall.

A major player in that industry is in deep trouble, and its apparently imminent implosion would almost certainly have Buckeye State impact:

AS DEBT MOUNTS, CAESARS IN TALKS WITH LENDERS

Caesars Entertainment said Friday it is prepared to start formal discussions with some of its bank lenders as it works to reduce its debt and stave off what some see as near certain bankruptcy.

In a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the casino company announced that it has reached out to some of its creditors – namely bank lenders – to find ways to ease pressure on its $24.2 billion debt.

That came a day after the company promised its creditors who are first in line a claim on cash held by its debt-strapped subsidiary Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. in case it defaulted. It’s been in formal talks with that group of creditors, too, for about a month.

…  The tricky part … is the creditors who are second-in-line.

… the company owes more than the company is worth to those who are first-in-line to be paid back. That leaves little for those second in line.

Those in the latter position have declared Caesars already in default of its agreements. The company dismissed the contentions in recent securities filings.

“It’s just hard to see everybody agreeing to a deal without a pretty long bankruptcy proceeding,” (Fitch Ratings financial analyst Alex) Bumazhny said.

The company has 52 casinos in the United States and abroad with most bearing the Caesars, Harrah’s and Horseshoe brand. About 68,000 people worked for the company at the end of 2013.

The company’s related press release is here.

Properties of immediate Buckeye State interest include Horseshoe Cincinnati and Horseshoe Cleveland.

The parent company lost $853 million on $4.2 billion in revenues during the first six months of this year. It had interest expense of $1.25 billion during that period.

None of this is news at the Cincinnati Enquirer, at least based on a vain search for the word “Horseshoe” on its home page, and the results (i.e., none relevant) of a search on “Horseshoe.”

Cleveland.com appears to be similarly devoid of news.

6-1/2 years of a miserable national economy, dating back to the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy’s inception, have left most Americans with little discretionary income. Ohio has over that period been harder hit and has recovered more slowly and unevenly than most other states. People with little discretionary income and a modicum of sense aren’t inclined to gamble away what little they have.

This doesn’t appear to be destined to end well. If it doesn’t, it will apparently come as a big surprise. It shouldn’t.

October 17, 2014

As It Cites Countries Successfully Fending Off Ebola With Border Closures, AP Won’t Question U.S. Decision Not To

In an all too typical unskeptical report, Jim Kuhnhenn at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, allowed President Barack Obama to claim, in Kuhnhenn’s words, that “health and security experts continue to tell him that the screening measures already in place for travelers are more effective” than “restricting travel to the U.S. from the three Ebola-stricken West African nations.”

I’m sure that readers would just love to know who these “health and security experts” are, especially given the fact that the AP itself reported Thursday that nations in Africa which have successfully kept the virus at bay have cited “border closings” as a critical element of their strategy.

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October 15, 2014

As CDC, NIH Cry Over Money, Press Ignores Their Waste

For years, government watchdog groups have chronicled numerous instances of waste and abuse — at the very least — at the Centers for Disease Control and its National Institutes for Health.

An establishment press corps doing its job, upon hearing the director of the National Institutes for Health claim that “if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine” for Ebola by now, and especially upon hearing leftist poltiticians then claim that it’s all Republicans’ fault, would look into whether part of the problem might be poor bureacratic stewardship. But they’re not doing their job.

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WaPo’s Kessler Gives ‘GOP Cut CDC Funding’ Four Pinocchios, Effectively ‘Cutting’ AP’s Disinformation to Ribbons

Early this morning, Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post’s designated fact-checker gave the left’s claims that Republicans alone were responsible for alleged “cuts” to Ebola research four Pinocchios (i.e., a “whopper”).

That’s nice, but it hardly undoes the damage news outlets like the Associated Press have inflicted on the truth in the apparent name of ginning up resentment among low-information voters. I’ll get to that, but first, here are the key passages from Kessler’s critique, which essentially gets down to who’s responsible for sequestration (the correct answer is that it was President Obama and the White House; bolds are mine throughout this post):

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October 13, 2014

Clinton Speechwriter: Bush 43 Is the One Who ‘Was Inarticulate Off the Cuff’

Apparently the folks at Vocativ, who took a look at over 600 presidential speeches going all the way back to George Washington, were a little reluctant to document what their “scientific” analysis of those speeches told them about this nation’s two most recent chief executives.

After finding that there is very little difference between the “sophistication” of speeches made by President Obama and former President George W. Bush, the former Clinton speechwriter the firm enlisted to comment on the results couldn’t resist taking a gratuitous and I believe false swipe at Bush 43, one which I daresay most readers here will find absolutely hysterical.

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October 12, 2014

Dempsey Tells ‘This Week’ ISIS Was 25 KM From Baghdad Airport; ABC Report Buries the Lede

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey’s told Marth Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week” that ISIS fighters got to within 16 miles of Baghdad’s airport in Iraq earlier this week. Framing that distance in a way those in the nation’s out of touch Beltway political class will understand, that’s the driving distance from the U.S. Capitol Building to Tysons Corner Mall in Northern Virginia. The U.S. had to call in Apache helicopters to prevent Iraqi forces from being overrun.

ABC’s Benjamin Bell, in preparing his 12:50 p.m. report on the Dempsey interview, saved that startling piece of information for his fourth paragraph and kept it out of his headline. It’s almost as if he was hoping that no one will want to watch the report’s accompanying video, which is nowhere near as blasé about that news.

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Austin Columnist: Davis’s Despicable Anti-Abbott Ad May Be ‘Daring Inspiration’

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis’s “wheelchair” ad, her latest and most despicable attempt to smear her Republican opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, got favorable reviews in a Friday evening column by Jonathan Tilove at the Austin American-Statesman.

Tilove, the Statesman’s chief political writer, wrote that the ad provoked “debate about whether it was an act of unseemly desperation or daring inspiration,” and asserted that it “breathed new life” into Davis’s flagging campaign. Cheerlead much, Jonathan? As seen in the excerpts which follow, Tilove also found a prominent University of Texas at Austin prof who characterized the Davis ad as “ballsy” (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

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October 11, 2014

Expect the Press to Ignore the Large Difference Between Deficits and Growth of National Debt

The federal government’s latest fiscal year ended on September 30. The final Monthly Treasury Statement for the fiscal year, will likely be published during the coming week or possibly a few days later.

From time to time, commenters at NewsBusters have pointed that Uncle Sam’s reported deficits don’t represent the whole story. They are certainly right, and the press routinely ignores the rest of the story. While the press is all excited over this week’s Monthly Budget Review released by the Congressional Budget Office, which contain an unofficial but probably accurate estimate that the fiscal 2014 budget deficit was “only” $486 billion, the national debt has grown by far more than that.

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