Little more than a month after Alec Baldwin declared “goodbye to public life,” the liberal actor is back in the news after signing on as an executive producer of a documentary entitled Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank, which will debut on April 27 at the Tribeca Film Festival in lower Manhattan.

Barney Frank -- an openly gay, recently retired Congressman from Massachusetts -- “is a personal hero of mine,” Baldwin said in a statement regarding the project. “His legacy in Congress, and his historic importance as the first openly gay and married Congressman, are important for our country.”



Hey, did you know that Ed Schultz used to work as a TV meteorologist? They finally let him go after one too many references to racist cloud patterns.

Yes, I'm kidding, but it's not hard to envision this actually happening. When it comes to gratuitous references to race, Schultz is unrivaled -- except for all those other liberals inclined to do likewise. (audio clips after page break)



As the media push Republicans to raise taxes, anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist has been taking a pounding.

This may have reached a high point Tuesday when MSNBC's Chris Matthews and former Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY.) actually joked about Norquist drowning (video follows with transcript and commentary):



If you thought the Democrats would be satisfied with the fact that a solid phalanx of liberals have been chosen to moderate the presidential (and vice-presidential) debates, you would be wrong. Now they want to dictate what questions will be forbidden from being asked at the debates. I kid you not. The Politico reports on the question that the Democrats want to make taboo:

Some Democratic lawmakers want to make sure that one question does not get asked at the upcoming first presidential debate - about Simpson-Bowles.



Former Senator Alan Simpson (R-Wy.) went on quite an anti-GOP rant Sunday after admitting on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS, "I guess I’m known as a RINO now which means Republican In Name Only."

Before taking a shot at tax advocate Grover Norquist - who "[wanders] the earth in his white robes" - Simpson said, "Abortion is a horrible thing, but for heaven sakes, it’s deeply intimate and personal decision, and men legislators shouldn’t even vote on it" (video follows with transcript):



Bill Maher is either a blithering idiot, a pathological liar, or both.

On HBO's Real Time Friday, the factually-challenged financier of Barack Obama actually had the gall to say the President didn't support the recommendations of his National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (aka Simpson-Bowles) because - wait for it! - Republicans didn't support it (video follows with transcript and commentary):



Simpson-Bowles would have: raised taxes by $1.2 trillion--bumping to 21% the tax share of GDP from the typical 18%; relied largely on defense cuts to reduce spending; retained all $2.5 trillion in ObamaCare spending and done nothing to reform Medicare and Medicaid.  No wonder Luke Russert loved it.

Appearing on Chuck Todd's Daily Rundown on MSNBC today, NBC congressional correspondent Russert bemoaned Simpson-Bowles's overwhelming defeat in the House yesterday.  According to Russert, the measly 38 votes the plan garnered is emblematic of what's wrong with Washington.  Todd joined in the hand-wringing. View the video after the jump.



CBS “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer has a mid-week interview offered online called “Face to Face.” On Wednesday, Schieffer welcomed socially liberal former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson. He viciously attacked Rick Santorum -- Republicans "won't have a prayer" of winning with him -- and said the social issues will cause the voters to “take us all to Alaska and float us out in the Bering Sea or something.” Schieffer began by pointing out Simpson was one of his favorites: “I have to say, I'll let my biases be known, one of my favorite people to cover over the years when he was in the Senate and since, Al Simpson.”

Schieffer wondered why Mitt Romney couldn’t nail down the conservative vote, and then pulled out the hoary quadrennial media mantra that the Republican nominee will have to lunge toward the center in the fall to have any chance:



On Election Day 2010, then-CBS Early Show anchor Harry Smith posed a hypothetical question about newly-elected Republicans to Ann Coulter: “There’ll be a routine vote, for instance, to increase the debt ceiling and the Tea Party guys are going to say, ‘Over my dead body,’ and the government comes to a screeching halt. Then what happens?” The conservative author confidently predicted: “Well, the media will blame the Republicans.”

And that’s precisely what has occurred. A Media Research Center study of the Big Three network evening and morning programs finds that, when it came to assigning blame for lack of a debt ceiling resolution, ABC, CBS and NBC’s coverage has placed the overwhelming majority of the blame on Republicans’ doorstep.



Every once in a while the folks at MSNBC can get a thrill for a Republican. It just has to be one who's denouncing the right people, you see.

Take Contessa Brewer, who today yelled "Preach It!" in enthusiastic agreement after showing her audience a clip of  "truth teller" former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) excoriating the "homophobes" in his party:



Do you believe Rep. Paul Ryan when he says we only have a few years left to get our fiscal house in order, or we're going to face European-type austerity? How about the co-chairmen of the bipartisan deficit commission, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, who have essentially issued the same warning?

Have you taken a hard look at President Obama's 10-year budget with a view to whether it would marginally address the crisis? Are you aware of the gargantuan deficits it projects — averaging some $1 trillion per year — and that this is before considering the Congressional Budget Office's scoring that revealed that its projected cumulative deficits were understated by a staggering $2.3 trillion?



Looking for someone to investigate theft and questionable spending in government programs? Think twice about hiring Rachel Maddow. The earnest MSNBC polemicist has deemed such a thing impossible, at least when it comes to Social Security.

Reacting with the reptilian defensiveness of liberals whenever conservatives suggest Social Security is unsustainable, Maddow made this whopper of a claim on her show Sept. 1 in response to former senator Alan Simpson's pithy criticism of the FDR-created sacred cow --

MADDOW: Here's the broader context, what he said, it was in an email, what he wrote in that email, in which that quote, from which that quote was taken. This is what he said -- 'yes, I've made some plenty smart cracks about people on Social Security who milk it to the last degree. You know 'em too. It's the same with any system in America. We've reached a point now where it's like a milk cow with 310 million [tits]', thing that starts with T that rhymes with bits.