Reporting on the Minnesota Senate race, Shannon Bream stated that "election law experts say" a Supreme Court challenge "may be the only way to satisfy everyone." However, Bream cited only one "election law expert" -- a controversial former Bush appointee to the FEC.
Fleisher appeared on Fox News this afternoon to criticize Sen. Arlen Specter's decision to jump to the Democratic Party today.
Specifically, Fleisher thought Specter's move was dishonorable and that Specter should have done what Sen. Joe Lieberman did in CT when he faced a tough inner-party challenge: take his lumps in the primary and then run as an independent in the general election.
You know there is a case where somebody actually did it honorably, and that was Joe Lieberman. He stood his ground, stood his principles, lost his primary and said I have more to offer, and ran as an Independent in a 3-way race, and the people of Connecticut elected him. Sen. Specter could have chosen that path. It would have been the more honorable, principled path.
Slight problem. According to PA election law, a candidate who loses a primary challenge cannot run in the general election, even if he/she becomes an independent.
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With Arlen Specter's switch to the Democratic Party, Al Franken will be the 60th Democratic Senator Senator caucusing as a Democrat when he is eventually seated. That has led to a lot of media speculation that Norm Coleman, the Republican Senator Franken defeated last Fall, to continue to drag out his lawsuits, preventing Franken from being seated for as long as possible. Now Politico's Glenn Thrush reports that Coleman's campaign has released a statement "regarding Sen. Specter's party switch" in which Coleman's campaign manager insists they will "keep on fighting."
So, it seems pretty clear that Coleman is not "fighting" to win, but rather to keep Franken from being seated for as long as possible (why else would they have a statement on Specter's switch?) And the media knows this; that has been clear in their comments about Coleman today. So when will they begin asking and investigating the obvious question: What's in it for Coleman? What does he get in return for delaying Franken's seating as long as he can?
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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.
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Molly Henneberg falsely claimed, "Reconciliation was last used in 2001 by Republicans to pass the first Bush tax cuts." In fact, Republicans used the budget reconciliation process to pass several Bush initiatives after 2001, and it was used as recently as 2007.
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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."
Politico reported that Larry Kudlow "confirmed his interest" in running against Sen. Chris Dodd in 2010 and quoted Kudlow saying: "I'm thinking about it, that's all I can say ... it's the kind of thing where I'm talking to friends, talking to strategists, talking to my wife, and praying on it." Less than three weeks earlier, however, Kudlow suggested in his capacity as a CNBC host that Dodd should be "impeached," saying that Dodd "has yet to divulge fully his sweetheart mortgage deals with the former Countrywide. He's re-fi'ed his mortgages, but we don't know those documents, either. Instead of being impeached, he's still around."
A couple weeks ago ABC News shanked one badly when it concocted the phony premise that it was somehow hypocritical of Obama to criticize executive pay on Wall Street (which often reaches into the tens of millions of dollars annually) because he made a lot of money as POTUS (i.e. $400,000). ABC News somehow saw a connection between the two sets of salaries.
Now ABC's Jonathan Karl returns with a similarly harebrained premise, which is this: Some members of Congress recently criticized CEOs for their use of corporate jets, but Congressmen are sometimes flown overseas for free by the Air Force while conducting official government business.
Period. That's it. Although ABC News treats it as a very big deal. Here's the unintentionally humorous headline, "Congress Travels Free on Taxpayers' Dime."
Honestly, does that come as news to anyone in America? Do voters actually think that Congressmen, and their wives, pay their own airfare and fly commercial flights when they're part of a Congressional delegation visiting, for instance, Afghanistan or Iraq or even Europe? I mean really, how dumb does ABC News think Americans are?
The sheer stupidity of the report is just jaw-dropping, though. Here's an example:
Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., has taken four taxpayer-financed trips to nine countries over the past four years, despite criticizing corporate executives for flying on private jets to Washington and asking for taxpayer handouts.
Follow? Ackerman has taken four trips in four years (as a reader you're supposed to be outraged), even though Ackerman has criticized "corporate executives for flying on private jets to Washington and asking for taxpayer handouts."
But what's the connection? In an extraordinary move, CEO's of private companies recently turned to the federal government for billions in bailout assistance and caught flak for using corporate jets to fly to D.C. Ackerman though, is a Congressman paid by the government and approximately once a year takes government-paid flights overseas to represent the United States, just as Congressmen have done for decades.
How on earth are those two set of facts even remotely connected? And why did Karl embarrass himself by pretending he couldn't tell the obvious differences between the two?
P.S. Note that ABC reports the airfare practice is bipartisan, but for some reason only Democrats get mentioned by name in the report.
Remember how during the stimulus debate, the media kept insisting that Republicans had "taken control of the debate," were "driving the message" and all those other phrases journalists love to use in order to pretend that something is happening other than the media deciding to pay more attention to the GOP's arguments? How we kept hearing that congressional Republicans got their groove back by effectively painting the Democrats as big-spending coastal liberals?
Well, earlier today, Politico's Glenn Thrush noted a new Gallup poll that he thought showed that approval of congressional Democrats had spiked, while approval of Republicans had dropped. Turns out, Thrush misread the poll; it didn't measure approval of the two parties.
But it led me to wonder what the public does think of the two parties' congressional leaders. Is all that noise we've been hearing about Republicans having The Big Mo legitimate, or is it another case of the media being badly out of touch with the American people?
If you guessed "out of touch" -- and, really, why wouldn't you? -- you nailed it.
CNN conducted a poll just a little more than a week ago that found 60 percent approval for Democratic leaders in congress, and 39 percent disapproval, for a net of +21 points. Republican leaders in congress, however, had won the approval of 44 percent of the public, while 55 percent disapproved, for a net of -11 points.
That's a 32 point gap between the net approval for the Dems & the GOP. That's huge.
But the Republicans have produced a web video featuring a 32-year-old Aerosmith song, so get ready for several days of cable news pretending the GOP is, indeed, "back in the saddle again."
CNN, along with much of the Beltway press, was busy yesterday hyping what might happen when Democrats in the House and Senate met to negotiate the final stimulus bill:
Now that the Senate has passed its economic recovery package, it's time for the really hard part -- trying to reconcile the differences between House and Senate versions of the plan without losing the support needed to pass the final version in both chambers. Senate Democrats are downplaying talk of a contentious battle ahead.
Well, so much for for bitter negotiations battle. Reminds me of how the press was hyping the "bruising" battle that was supposed to unfold around Eric Holder's AG confirmation hearing. That too, never materialized.
The press sure likes to stress how badly things might get for Dems, no?