In the wake of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan's criticism of Republicans for politicizing the Obama administration's response to the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight, Fox News guests and hosts have responded by attacking Brennan and the administration over its handling of the bombing plot. Fox has gone so far as to ask whether Brennan should resign, and has repeatedly hosted Republican Sen. Kit Bond to say that he should.
Fox News has seized upon reports that Canadian Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams is seeking medical treatment in the United States to criticize health care reform, claiming that his medical decision casts doubt on the Canadian system and that the Democrats' health care reform legislation would "change our system to be more like Canada's." In fact, the health care legislation proposed by both the House and Senate is not modeled after the Canadian single-payer system and maintains the majority of the private health care industry.
Red State's Erick Erickson has uncovered what he thinks is a shocking admission in President Obama's 2011 budget: that "the White House is now admitting" that funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are being distributed over the course of two years. Erickson has also determined their purpose. From Red State:
Washington was "unwilling to solve" the problems because 2009 was not an election year and 2010 is. The President of the United States refused to help get unemployment down in 2009 by design so he could get credit in the 2010 election year instead.
You can't blame Erickson for jumping to this conclusion. Who wouldn't accuse the President of prolonging economic hardships in order to rig elections when no other justifiable reason has been presented?
Except Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag discussed exactly this last July:
In designing the Recovery Act, we also recognized that the economic situation we inherited was so severe that we needed to assure producers and consumers that aggregate demand would be boosted not just for a few months, but for a sustained period. That is why we envisioned a Recovery Act that would ramp up rapidly in 2009, have its peak impact in 2010, and lay the groundwork for further growth thereafter.
And in January 2009, the Congressional Budget Office illustrated the fact that the stimulus money was designed to be distributed over two years:
Combining the spending and revenue effects of H.R. 1, CBO estimates that enacting the bill would increase federal budget deficits by $169 billion over the remaining months of fiscal year 2009, by $356 billion in 2010, by $174 billion in 2011, and by $816 billion over the 2009-2019 period.
CBO and JCT [Joint Committee on Taxation] estimate that enacting H.R. 1 would increase budget deficits by $526 billion over the 2009-2010 period (about 19 months) and by a total of $816 billion over the 2009-2019 period.
And, as Vice President Joe Biden wrote in a July, 2009 New York Times op-ed:
The care with which we are carrying out the provisions of the Recovery Act has led some people to ask whether we are moving too slowly. But the act was intended to provide steady support for our economy over an extended period - not a jolt that would last only a few months. Instead of quick-hit rebates, we are giving Americans a tax cut in each paycheck. Instead of pumping out all the state aid immediately, we are spreading it over the two years that it will be needed. Road projects, energy projects and construction projects are being started as soon as they pass review, contracts are competitively bid and reporting systems are in place.
On the February 2 edition of Fox and Friends, Glenn Beck claimed that President Obama's proposed budget contains "magic money coming from things like cap-and-trade, which we don't have." In fact, the 2011 proposed budget does not include estimates of cap-and-trade revenue.
In a February 1 editorial, the Wall Street Journal claimed that the U.S. corporate tax rate is 35%, which "is among the highest in the world," ignoring the effective corporate tax rate, which is lower in the United States than it is in several other countries.
The right-wing media are attempting to revive "bow-gate" by highlighting a picture that shows President Obama bending at the waist while greeting Mayor Pam Iorio of Tampa, Florida, during Obama's recent trip to Florida. The photograph is the latest in the right-wing media's obsession with Obama's purported "bowing," which began following his greeting of Saudi King Abdullah and Japanese Emperor Akihito.
Right-wing media are attacking President Obama for his criticism of the recent Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC during the State of the Union, calling it "unprecedented" and accusing the president of "intimidation." In fact, Obama's comments were not "unprecedented"; Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush have previously used the State of the Union to criticize judicial actions, including those of the Supreme Court.
Following conservative activist James O'Keefe's arrest for allegedly participating in an attempt to interfere with the telephone system at the New Orleans offices of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Media Matters for America review found that O'Keefe previously appeared at least seven times on Fox News and other Fox networks to promote videos he recorded of ACORN workers. During these appearances, O'Keefe said he was "willing to serve prison time" for potentially violating Maryland's two-party recording law, and asserted that he was "doing creative investigative journalism."
Although it repeatedly promoted the undercover ACORN videos made by conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe, on January 27, Fox & Friends devoted just one brief segment to his recent arrest. By contrast, Fox & Friends repeatedly discussed a blindfolded half-court basketball shot, including a live interview with the coach who made the shot.
On January 24, Dick Morris wrote an article for Newsmax entitled "Pelosi and Reid Plot Secret Plan for Obamacare," and Fox Nation linked to it under the headline "Exclusive: Reid & Pelosi's Secret Plot to Pass Obamacare":
According to Morris, he found out through "highly informed sources on Capitol Hill" that Democratic leadership has a "plan to sneak Obamacare through Congress." Morris reveals that this is a "secret" two part plan. First, the House will pass the Senate's health care bill, despite ideological differences. Next, Congress will modify the bill after passage through a Senate process called "reconciliation" which requires a simple majority vote in the Senate and is not subject to filibusters. Morris claims that through putting pressure on "a core group of 23 Democratic Congressman," this "secret" plot can be averted.
Morris is correct that this is one plan that has been floated as a possibility for passing health care reform, but his assertion that this is a "secret" plot between Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid is laughable considering that this very approach to passing health care reform has been reported on extensively by left-wing blogs, right-wing blogs, and the mainstream media since the election of Scott Brown in Massachusett's January 19 special election. For instance, here's CBS on January 22:
Scott Brown's victory in the Massachusetts Senate special election essentially obliterated any chance Democrats in the Senate had at passing a revised health care reform bill. In the wake of that blow to Democrats, two options for passing reform have emerged:
One option would be for House Democrats to pass the Senate bill -- on the condition that Democrats would make revisions to the legislation through a separate "fix it" bill passed in the Senate via reconciliation (a procedural step that only requires a 51-vote majority).
The Baltimore Sun on January 21:
Democratic leaders are still exploring whether the House could pass the health care bill approved by the Senate just before Christmas, obviating the need for another vote on major health care legislation in the Senate, where Democrats would no longer be able overcome a Republican filibuster.
The two chambers could then take up a separate package of changes to the Senate bill through a process known as budget reconciliation, which only requires a simple majority in the Senate.
The New York Times on January 21:
Another option considered by Democrats would be to use the procedural maneuver known as reconciliation to pass chunks of the health care bill attached to a budget measure, which requires only a simple majority.
You get the point.