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By Clay Waters | | November 29, 2012 | 7:52 AM EST

Wednesday's lead New York Times story from California-based Adam Nagourney strongly suggested that tax hikes promoted by Gov. Jerry Brown (and Nagourney himself) were paying off in economic resurgence in the already tax-high state: "California Finds Economic Gloom Starting To Lift."

After nearly five years of brutal economic decline, government retrenchment and a widespread loss of confidence in its future, California is showing the first signs of a rebound. There is evidence of job growth, economic stability, a resurgent housing market and rising spirits in a state that was among the worst hit by the recession.

By Randy Hall | | November 29, 2012 | 1:00 AM EST

While the reliable and original formula for the government to calculate who lives in “absolute poverty” is still in place, another measure has been introduced that enables the government to determine how many people live in “relative poverty,” a term often used to describe the concept of “income inequality.”

According to Mickey Kaus of the Daily Caller website, this new “supplemental” concept is “an audacious, slimy bait-and-switch by liberal activists inside the government anti-poverty bureaucracy.” And, as would be expected, it's gone almost totally unnoticed in the establishment left-wing press.

By Tom Blumer | | November 28, 2012 | 9:43 PM EST

In what would appear to be a sure sign that the Obama administration's leftist allies, perhaps with the President's go-ahead, are preparing to throw current U.N. ambassador Susan Rice under the bus, Alex Guillen at the Politico reported at 6:14 p.m. on information that has from all appearances been public for at least three months, but which the National Resources Defense Council's On Earth blog noted about an hour earlier.

Rice's offenses? She "holds significant investments in more than a dozen Canadian oil companies and banks that would stand to benefit from expansion of the North American tar sands industry and construction of the proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline." That's indeed troubling, but it was just as troubling when leftists up to and including the editorialists at the Washington Post were accusing anyone objecting to Rice's potential nomination of being presumptively racist. Excerpts from Guillen's report follow the jump (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | | November 28, 2012 | 8:34 PM EST

In a story the New York Times appears not to have touched, Hunter Walker at Observer.com's Politicker ("about" page is here) reported on Tuesday that Thomas Lopez-Pierre, a black Harlem activist, "circulated an email" Monday night "in an attempt to plan a 'private meeting' to 'discuss the potential damage to the political empowerment of the Black and Hispanic community if Mark Levine, a White/Jewish candidate was elected to the 7th Council District in 2013.'" So we see that black Chicagoland establishment officials trying to ensure that the successor to the recently resigned Jesse Jackson Jr.  in Illinois' 2nd Congressional District are not alone in seeing a political office as somehow "belonging" to them.

The Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required) has also picked up the story ("Race, Religion Used as Basis For an Attack"). Verbiage from the Politicker report, along with separate comments from James Taranto at the WSJ's Best of the Web, follow the jump (internal links are in originals; bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Jack Coleman | | November 28, 2012 | 7:43 PM EST

Remember when a person had to actually betray our country before he or she would be labeled a traitor?

Now all it takes is steadfast aversion to higher taxes during an era of nosebleed government spending and debt. (video clip after page break)

By Noel Sheppard | | November 28, 2012 | 7:29 PM EST

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that President Obama has come out in support of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) plan to reform the filibuster.

This goes counter to Obama's view of this parliamentary procedure when he was a part of the Senate minority in 2005.

By Matthew Balan | | November 28, 2012 | 7:20 PM EST

Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose tossed softball questions at Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar on Wednesday's CBS This Morning on the looming fiscal cliff, just two days after they hounded Republican Senator Bob Corker on the same issue. Rose casually mentioned to Senator Klobuchar how "the President believes you can't get there by deduction. You have to raise [tax] rates. Is that your view?" O'Donnell merely asked, "Is this posturing on the fiscal cliff, or is there real work being done? What's your sense?"

By contrast, Rose tried to get Senator Corker to "forgo the [anti-tax hike] pledge because it is outdated and the country's problems are too big." O'Donnell followed up by asking the Tennessee Republican if he was "willing to also raise the capital gains rate." The morning show anchors failed to make similar demands of the Minnesota Democrat to cut spending.

By Matt Hadro | | November 28, 2012 | 6:39 PM EST

When tens of thousands of pro-life advocates peacefully marched in Washington D.C., CNN gave the rally two brief mentions. Contrast that with seven naked protesters who stripped in House Speaker Boehner's office on Tuesday, who received an almost five minute-long interview on Wednesday's Starting Point.

"So how did you get naked into the Speaker's office?" host Soledad O'Brien obliged the group with an ice-breaker for her first question. Yes, those who engage in public indecency in a House office building and demean the dignity of Congress will get quality air-time on CNN, apparently.

By Ryan Robertson | | November 28, 2012 | 5:12 PM EST

In an interview with CBS News anchor Scott Pelley last week, Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein immediately brought up a highly sensitive subject that liberals in the media and highest levels of government refuse to acknowledge: entitlement spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are unsustainable at their current rate and need significant reform to ensure those programs exist in the future.

In response to the clip, MSNBC host Ed Schultz and Teamsters President James Hoffa were beside themselves on Tuesday night's Ed Show -- offended that Blankfein would voice such a "misinformed" view on national television. The only son of the notorious Jimmy Hoffa was ardently opposed to the idea that there is anything currently wrong with the system as is, to suggest otherwise is just "outrageous" he thundered. [ relevant video & transcript below ]

By Matt Hadro | | November 28, 2012 | 4:45 PM EST

On Tuesday, Piers Morgan lashed out at "intransigent" Republicans and lectured RNC chair Reince Priebus that now is the time to compromise and increase taxes "to the benefit of the American national interest."

"But you Republicans led by Grover Norquist are absolutely intransigent about allowing any raise in taxation, and yet the American public want you to do it," Morgan lectured Priebus. Later on in his show, he smacked "implacable" GOP opposition to tax increases.  [Video below the break. Audio here.]

By Kyle Drennen | | November 28, 2012 | 4:25 PM EST

In an exchange with MSNBC Harball host Chris Matthews on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie pondered the possibility that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice lied about Benghazi: "...should she have been more direct that the information she was providing to the American people was at that point, not just preliminary, but incomplete? I guess the bottom line is, did she mislead?"

Matthews replied by wondering: "...was she a flack...just out there mouthing the words that somebody told you, or is she a thoughtful cabinet minister – to be a potential cabinet minister?" He then laid the blame entirely on the intelligence: "But from what I'm told, she got the facts directly unchanged, unspun by the White House, nobody changed anything. If anybody's at fault here, it's the intelligence community, for giving her incomplete information for their own purposes."

By Clay Waters | | November 28, 2012 | 4:24 PM EST

Wednesday's New York Times front page featured Susan Rice's failed attempt to assuage concerns of three Senate Republicans on her false statements about the Benghazi massacre in "Rice Concedes Error on Libya: G.O.P. Digs In." Inside was an unflattering photo of a peeved-looking Sen. John McCain. Posing Republican senator and Rice critic McCain as the bad guy, an on-line text box accompanying the article highlighted a reader comment from "Them or Us": "If you think these three Senators walked in with open minds and no agenda, I'd like to sell you a bridge that crosses the East River into Brooklyn. McCain's little kangaroo court is about as transparent as his anger." Meanwhile, on the back pages, two liberal Times columnists disagreed on Benghazi's significance.

In the front-page story, reporters Mark Landler and Jeremy Peters minimized the import of the policy scandal by focusing on the personal, portraying Rice, who may be nominated by President Obama to the post of UN ambassador, as offering an olive branch that "hostile Senate Republicans" rejected.

By Jeffrey Meyer | | November 28, 2012 | 4:12 PM EST

In what has become a daily occurrence on MSNBC, liberal hosts and pundits on the network continue to attack the GOP for their scrutiny of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s post-Benghazi spin for the White House on September 16 editions of the network Sunday interview programs. 

Appearing on Wednesday’sMSNBC Live, network contributors Joy-Ann Reid of TheGrio.com and Ari Melber of The Nation appeared on anchor Thomas Roberts's program to continue casting aspersions on Sen. John McCain and other Republicans who have dared to criticize Susan Rice as unfit for a promotion to Secretary of State. Melber and Reid threw in charges of racism and sexism and a conspiracy theory about electing Scott Brown to the Senate.  [See video below page break.  MP3 audio here.]

By Tom Blumer | | November 28, 2012 | 3:54 PM EST

The real news in today's new-home sales information published by the Census Bureau is that September's previously reported 389,000 in seasonally adjusted annual sales was written down by over 5 percent to 369,000. Hmm -- The higher figure, aggressively touted as the highest in 2-1/2 years by the Associated Press and other establishment media outlets, was reported on October 24, just 13 days before Election Day on November 6. Now we learn that it was a mirage, and that the revised figure was merely the same as the number turned in four months earlier and barely above February. In fact, the new home market, portrayed throughout the summer and early fall as recovering somewhat nicely, merely treaded water. That trend continued in October, as annualized sales came in at 368,000. Imagine that.

To his credit, the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger at least acknowledged the major prior-month revision in each of his first two paragraphs; however, the AP's headline writers ignored it. To Crutsinger's detriment, it's clear that he tried very hard to find someone who would pin a major portion of the blame for October's 0.3 percent drop on Superstorm Sandy. When he couldn't, he decided to take it on himself to make the point (bolds are mine):

By Liz Thatcher | | November 28, 2012 | 2:06 PM EST

Cash for Clunkers, the failed Obama scheme to try to save the auto industry, is still wreaking havoc. This time on a an American pastime: demolition derby. Many in the news media applauded the clunker of a program, including The Washington Post which repeatedly praised this program in 2009, trumpeting and increase in consumer spending. But many of those stories also ignored the problems of the program.

Surprisingly, in the Nov. 21 edition of The Washington Post magazine, reporter David Montgomery wrote an article about the possible demise of demolition derby, a popular pastime in rural areas where competitors rebuild old cars in order to see which lasts the longest after they smash into one another. A number of problems are facing derby participants, including a shortage of old cars strong enough to be able to compete.