Well, this is awkward.
Undermining most of what the business press has done to try to portray the post-recession U.S. economy as performing adequately under President Barack Obama, Bill Daley, Obama’s former chief of staff, told CNBC today that Hillary Clinton "can’t run as the third term of Barack Obama economically," because the recovery has been "uneven" and has only benefited "a small slice" of U.S. households.
Imagine if a Republican or conservative U.S. president told an audience — on foreign soil, no less — that he didn't properly warn Americans about how long it would take for the economy to recover from a recession. "So-and-so Admits He Lied About the Economy" would be headlined everywhere.
At the University of the West Indies in Jamaica on Thursday, President Barack Obama essentially admitted that the he knew that the economic recovery would take far longer than advertised, but chose not to tell us. There's no other way to interpret the following answer to a student's question seen in the video following the jump. But somehow, this isn't news.
On Friday, Jim Kuhnhenn at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, seemed to enjoy President Barack Obama's rant against Republicans and others grossly dissatisfied with the economy's performance on his watch. He described Obama as "taunting Republicans" in his speech at the Democratic Party's winter meeting in Washington.
The wire service itself seems less enamored of Kuhnhenn's less than presidential portrayal of Obama. Based on a search on "taunting," the first word in his report, it is no longer present at the AP's national site.
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.
In a flawed Sunday morning report on the wave of "Unaccompanied Alien Children" — that's the Department of Homeland Security's term — illegally crossing the nation's southern border, the Associated Press's Alicia Caldwell passively noted that the influx "is widely perceived as becoming a humanitarian crisis." Then, in her very next sentence, she wrote that "The system is now so overwhelmed that children are being housed in Border Patrol facilities ill-equipped to handle them." Is that statement a real or "perceived" fact, Alicia?
The AP reporter, supposedly revealing the results of a wire service "investigation," blamed the situation on "an overburdened, deeply flawed system of immigration courts and a 2002 law intended to protect children's welfare." Amazingly — well, it would be amazing if this wasn't the Administration's Press — this clueless collection of Inspector Clouseaus assigned no blame to the most obvious culprit, namely President Barack Obama's unilaterally imposed and widely reported (including by Caldwell herself) "Deferred Action for Child Arrivals" (DACA) policy in 2012. Two weeks ago, the administraion extended DACA.
Perhaps I'm being too kind in describing the Associated Press as "The Administration's Press." Based on Jim Kuhnhenn's ridiculous "Don't worry, be happy" Saturday report on how unimportant he says the still growing national debt and the still historically large federal budget deficits supposedly are, maybe I should start calling the wire service "The Administration's Publicists" instead.
Kuhnhenn stopped just short of writing that the national debt ($17.41 trillion as of Wednesday, up from $10.63 trillion when Barack Obama took office 61 months ago, an average increase of $111 billion per month) and the annual federal budget deficit (on track to be over $500 billion for the sixth year in a row, four of which saw deficits of over $1 trillion) aren't worthy of attention, but it's clear that he believes we shouldn't be concerned about them in making electoral choices (bolds are mine):
At the Associated Press, aka the Admininstration's Press, reporter Jim Kuhnhenn predictably and dutifully reported that President Barack Obama "reiterated his vow not to negotiate with Republicans over raising the borrowing limit."
As usual, the AP and Kuhnhenn didn't look back at how U.S. Senator Barack Obama's debt-ceiling posture in 2006 sharply differed. Today, Mark Knoller at CBS New, after setting up Obama's plans for the day, which included speaking to Business Roundtable CEOs, did so in a series of tweets (HT Twitchy; bolds are mine):
I guess we should acknowledge a tiny improvement when an ordinarily in-the-tank apparatchik like Jim Kuhnhenn at the Associated Press expresses even the slightest bit of skepticism about a White House claim.
But let's not take it too far. Kuhnhenn is reporting in a brief "Big Story" item this morning that President Obama "is laying claim to an economic turnaround and warning Republicans not to risk a backslide by threatening a government shutdown or a debt default." Kuhnhenn's skeptical points are that "The economic scorecard is mixed. ... Growth has been tepid and unemployment remains high." His five-paragraph report, reproduced in full for fair use and discussion purposes, follows the jump.
As has been demonstrated many times, including in its recent cover-up and weaselly non-correction of his "Gulf ports" gaffe, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, continues to do its level best to keep President Obama's misstatements and misleading statements from wider public visibility.
Two such instances occurred in one speech on Friday in Binghamton, New York, where Obama told the audience at a "town hall" meeting that "we don't have an urgent deficit crisis," and that the deficit has "now dropped at the fastest rate in 60 years." Neither statement made it into Julie Pace's onsite coverage of Obama's visit. Later that day back in Washington, the AP's Jim Kuhnhenn was still running cover for Obama (bolds are mine):
While the the front page of today's Washington Post is actually reporting significant developments in two of Barack Obama's trifecta of scandals, the Washington Post Company-owned free tabloid the Express is busy lamenting if the president will ever get "A Break from the Storm?"
Perhaps, as "advisers say," he "should stage a major economic speech to drown out the noise [emphasis mine] of recent scandals," Express editors helpfully offered in a caption for their front-page photo illustration, which depicted a grimacing President Obama getting drenched in a downpour [see image below page break].
To be clear, this criticism is not of President Obama. It is directed at the Associated Press's Jim Kuhnhenn, who seems to think that the impact of any and all events in the nation and the world on the status of Obama's "presidency" is more important than any other consideration.
Darn that economy. Why won't it behave? Doesn't it realize that Barack Obama has more important things to do than worry about its health and well-being?
That's the tone I get from a story headline at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, about how "ECONOMIC JITTERS COMPETE WITH OBAMA AGENDA." The poor guy; he has to pay attention to something he must have thought he could keep at bay with continued but consistent tepid job and economic growth. Trouble is, yesterday's report from the government indicated that the economy contracted at an annualized rate of 0.1% during the fourth quarter of last year. The underlying writeup by the AP's Jim Kuhnhenn also treats the economy as an annoying distraction or possibly even a threat to his gun contral and immigration de facto amnesty efforts (bolds are mine):