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By Scott Whitlock | | January 7, 2013 | 11:56 AM EST

Good Morning America's Martha Raddatz on Monday seemed perplexed as to why conservatives would oppose Chuck Hagel's nomination for Secretary of Defense. According to the journalist, one might think the former Republican senator is the "perfect choice," a man who "dared [to] speak out" against George W. Bush's troop surge in Iraq  -- the same surge that candidate Obama later admitted had "succeeded beyond our wildest dreams."

Raddatz mentioned concern about Hagel's stance toward Israel, but didn't explain what his "controversial" votes were. Instead, she blurbed, "You might think that a Republican Vietnam veteran, former senator with all kinds of foreign policy experience would be the perfect choice to ease the rancor on Capitol Hill." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Ken Shepherd | | January 7, 2013 | 11:11 AM EST

Because this year's presidential inauguration happens to fall on a federal holiday -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day -- Washington, D.C.-based federal employees this time around will not find the "extra paid holiday" that they enjoyed four years ago. Reporting this development, Washington Post writer Josh Hicks lamented in a January 7 The Fed Page article that [emphasis mine] "the historic event... will cost the region's government employees a quadrennial holiday, at least in terms of pay and leave."

That sound you're hearing now is the world's smallest violin. At no point in Hicks's 16-paragraph story did he see the occasion as a win, however slight, for American taxpayers:  one day's pay for thousands of federal workers is a drop in the ocean of red ink in which the U.S. government swims, but hey, we'll take what we can get.

By Tom Blumer | | January 7, 2013 | 9:35 AM EST

In a Washington Examiner column last night, Gregory Kane made several quite valid points in comparing the media firestorm over Rush Limbaugh's comments about Sarah Fluke to the virtual silence over Des Moines Register columnist Donald Kaul, who, if he were in charge, "would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner ... to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control." Kaul also wrote that he would, "If some people refused to give up their guns," make "that 'prying the guns from their cold, dead hands' thing" operative.

Confirming what readers here would expect, a search at the Associated Press's national web site on Kaul's last name comes up empty. Key paragraphs from Kane's column follow the jump (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine):

By Noel Sheppard | | January 7, 2013 | 9:25 AM EST

Is there anything that's "too gay" for Hollywood?

The answer is "Yes" according to Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh who recently told the New York Post that studios throughout tinseltown had no interest in his biopic about Liberace despite it starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon.

By Noel Sheppard | | January 7, 2013 | 8:46 AM EST

CNN media analyst Howard Kurtz isn't happy about Al Gore selling his failing Current TV to Al Jazeera.

In a piece published minutes ago at CNN.com, Kurtz elaborated while he missed potentially the greatest hypocrisy in the deal.

By Brent Baker | | January 7, 2013 | 3:21 AM EST

Sounds like a personal vendetta ahead of genuine regret. CBS Late Show host David Letterman admitted to Oprah Winfrey, in an interview first aired Sunday night, that he backtracked after outrage erupted following a sex joke he told involving Sarah Palin’s then-14-year-old daughter Willow, not because it was highly inappropriate, but primarily so he could continue ridiculing Willow’s mother:

I’ll tell you why I apologized. I felt like Sarah Palin was somebody I wanted to continue to be able to make fun of and I felt like if I don’t apologize, if I don’t sincerely express my regret, I will not be able to go forward making fun of her.

By Noel Sheppard | | January 7, 2013 | 12:12 AM EST

George Will had an interesting take on the fiscal cliff agreement reached by Congress and the White House last week.

Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Will said, “I think people will look back on this deal as where liberalism passed an apogee and went into decline” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Jack Coleman | | January 6, 2013 | 9:11 PM EST

Aww, I bet Joe Biden says that to all the moonbats.

Liberal radio host Bill Press is boasting of a recent encounter with Biden in which the vice president graced him with the f-bomb, according to Press, in a characteristically Bidenesque manner. (audio clip after page break)

By Noel Sheppard | | January 6, 2013 | 7:25 PM EST

George Will spoke an inconvenient truth about the media Sunday that should have everyone of its members sitting up and taking notice.

Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Will said, “The journalistic narrative about Washington today is 180 degrees wrong” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | | January 6, 2013 | 5:50 PM EST

CNN’s Candy Crowley asked a question of Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on State of the Union Sunday that should have all American wage earners quaking in their boots.

“Do you think that taxes have been raised enough on the wealthy?” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tom Blumer | | January 6, 2013 | 4:51 PM EST

One would think that a newspaper which in its view has largely made its reputation on publishing leaked government documents and revealing government secrets would have been a bit more excited about being the sole receipient of a report from the State of New York indicating that hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," is safe. The State had already sat on the report for a year.

The Times published the story on January 3, but on Page A19, while changing its original strong title ("Hydrofracking Safe, Says N.Y. Health Dept. Analysis" -- seen in the browser window) to a less descriptive, boring, and somewhat deceptive "Gas Drilling Is Called Safe in New York."

By Brent Baker | | January 6, 2013 | 3:36 PM EST

Getting reactions to the “fiscal cliff” deal/postponement from Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles – they of the much-cited “Simpson-Bowles Commission” – Meet the Press host David Gregory wistfully speculated on what might have been, had only Republicans agreed a year ago to raise income taxes.

He cued up Bowles: “Had Republicans conceded the point on revenue earlier, say, in 2011, could we have had a broader agreement along the lines that you think is necessary?”

By P.J. Gladnick | | January 6, 2013 | 2:37 PM EST

Imagine the situation of poor DUer NCTraveler. He makes a post at the Democratic Underground complaining about the increase in 2013 taxes that now takes a bigger chunk out of his paycheck. No big deal he must have thought. Just another post among thousands. In fact, he probably forgot about the post by the next day...until Rush Limbaugh read it for all the world to hear and laugh at. Now panic sets in and NCTraveler, desperate to avoid more mockery, self-deletes his post so as to remove the "incriminating evidence" of his laughable absurdity.

Too late. Rush Limbaugh not only read out his post on the air but placed a transcript on his website of his comments along with NCTraveler's tax complaint which preserved it in EIB amber for all eternity. Here is what El Rushbo said:

By Christian Toto | | January 6, 2013 | 12:19 PM EST

Fox News's Bill O'Reilly might dub Erik Jendresen a "pinhead" for his comments about the Tea Party - assuming the host wants to mock the man bringing O'Reilly's "Killing Lincoln" book to television.

Erik Jendresen, the writer and executive producer behind the upcoming NatGeo production, compared Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth to the conservative grass roots movement during a press gathering to promote the project.

By NB Staff | | January 6, 2013 | 12:18 PM EST

Terence Jeffrey at CNSNews.com reports that two days before Notre Dame will face off against Alabama in college football’s national championship game, the Washington Post has published a piece--“Should American Catholics cheer for old Notre Dame?”--in which Post reporter Michael Leahy discusses his understanding of how Catholics might view the game and expresses his belief that the Catholic Church is “dogmatic, frustrating change and stifling dissent.”

“But our coolness toward Notre Dame,” Leahy writes, “also reflected fissures within the Catholic Church, cracks widening to this day over birth control, abortion rights and the broader matter of whether any dissent--particularly tough questions of the Vatican--will be tolerated by the Catholic hierarchy.”