On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith seemed skeptical of the legal reasoning of a federal judge who ruled part of ObamaCare was unconstitutional: "The thing that he objects to most strenuously is this idea that everybody has to be insured. And the Republicans are jumping up and down, they're ready to have a party. Do you think they have a legal leg to stand on?"

Smith directed that question to Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, who used the softball setup to declare: "I think the law is sound, and when Eric Cantor on the Republican side says, 'Let's repeal ObamaCare,' he wants to repeal the protection Americans want against the discrimination against them for pre-existing conditions. I think that's a losing political position."

Some red hot chili peppers are on tour, and they're emitting a lot of greenhouse gases. But it's not the California rock band emitting carbon on a worldwide concert tour; it's seeds from chili peppers traveling to the "doomsday" vault in Norway.

A bipartisan congressional delegation visited the Svalbard Global Seed Vault July 11 as a side trip during the 19th Annual Session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly. Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., among others, delivered New World chili pepper seeds to the vault, a "fail-safe back-up plan to protect the existing world food supplies from destruction in the event of a large-scale catastrophe."

"As we manage the impact of climate change and other natural and man-made disasters around the world, the seed vault in Svalbard will be the safety deposit box that ensures we can keep that food supply intact," Cardin said in a statement.

Cardin, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is outspoken about environmental issues ranging from green jobs to clean energy. Despite Cardin's positions, his trip to Norway left a giant carbon footprint - bigger than the footprint left in an entire year by the average American.

MSNBC's Chris Matthews framed Sen. Jeff Sessions' criticism of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan as a "brutal assault," during MSNBC's live coverage of the Senate hearing Monday afternoon.

"It's a brutal assault on this nomination," Matthews complained about the Alabama Republican's remarks.

Matthews also seemed to cast Sessions as an unsophisticated country bumpkin challenging Kagan's prestigious Ivy League background.

"It's a strong cultural shot at her, and she does represent, if you will, academic excellence of the highest degree, coming from the best schools, dean of Harvard Law," Matthews crooned. "It's hard to get above that, to a person out in the country, from Alabama, like Jeff Sessions represents. That is probably a pretty rich target."

He accused Sessions of describing Kagan as pro-terrorist and tried to get liberal Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to say that Sessions' "assault" would whip up a storm.

At first glance it appeared Today viewers were in for a balanced segment with NBC's Meredith Vieira interviewing both Republican Senator Jim DeMint and Democratic Senator Dick Durbin about the health care bill bill on Wednesday's show. However Vieira saved her most slanted questions for DeMint as she mocked his earlier prediction of an Obamacare defeat being his Waterloo, "Is it now your party's Waterloo?" and after selectively citing one poll that showed a favorable view of the bill questioned which party was really "out of touch with the public?"

First up, in addition to Vieira throwing DeMint's previous "Waterloo" comments back in his face, she included (most likely) David Frum's criticism at DeMint:

VIEIRA: Senator DeMint, if I could start with you, back in July you said, "If we're able to stop Obama on this," meaning this health care reform bill, "it will be his Waterloo, it will break him." Well, the bill is now law and a former speech writer for former President George W. Bush has said Republicans messed up big by adopting the "Hell no!" approach to this bill. So do you still feel it is the President's Waterloo or is it now your party's Waterloo?

There was something very important that I did not see on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning.

The very first bump-in on the show was a montage of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.):
COBURN: What the American people ought to pray, is that somebody can’t make the vote tonight. That’s what they ought to pray.


DURBIN: I don’t think it’s appropriate to be invoking prayer to wish misfortune on a colleague.  And I want him to clarify that.  I’ve invited him, I’ve tried to reach out to him.  He is my friend, and I have worked with him, but this statement goes too far.  The simple reality is this: We are becoming more coarse and more divided here [...].
This, of course, is political gamesmanship.  But it goes further than that.  In the entirety of Morning Joe, I did not note a single mention of the following statement from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) -- hat tip to Kerry Picket for catching this:

Peter Demenocal, Columbia University; & Kiran Chetry, CNN Anchor | NewsBusters.orgMonday’s American Morning on CNN covered the ClimateGate scandal extensively, but slanted towards those who deny that the exposed e-mails amount to much. Anchor John Roberts let the interim director of the Climate Research Unit at the center of the controversy give his talking points without question. Out of the four segments on the scandal, two featured skeptics of the theory of manmade climate change.

Roberts, reporting live from the University of East Anglia, home to the CRU, led the 6 am Eastern hour with a preview of the program’s ClimateGate coverage: “I am in Norwich, England at the University of East Anglia and behind me here, this cylindrical building, is the Climatic Research Unit which finds itself at the epicenter of what’s being called ‘ClimateGate.’ Four thousand e-mails and documents were hacked out of the Climatic Research Unit’s server system...Some of those e-mails were looked at by skeptics, and are now being used to cast doubt on all of the science surrounding global warming. Skeptics claiming that some scientists were manipulating data to further their cause.”

When outrage erupted this week over a government panel's recommendation that women have fewer mammograms, health and human services secretary Kathleen Sebelius was prepared with the Obama administration's favorite talking point: It's all Bush's fault.  Appearing Wednesday on CNN's The Situation Room, Sebelius told anchor Wolf Blitzer:
This panel was appointed by the prior administration, by former President George Bush, and given the charge to routinely look at a whole host of services to make sure that new preventive services which had benefit were being looked at by health care providers and that things that they felt did not have as much benefit as we move forward were also looked at by health care providers.
Senate majority whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) continued the theme on Friday as reported by Politico:
“The recommendation by this medical panel has been rejected by virtually everyone, including the current administration,” Durbin said. “They were appointed by President Bush.”

On March 3, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., took the Fairness Doctrine and its often overlooked potential threat to Christian radio to the Senate floor.

The Oklahoma senator gave a lengthy floor speech and mentioned that Sen. Jim DeMint's effort to force an up-or-down vote on the Fairness Doctrine issue, which passed 87-11 in the Senate, was a good beginning.

"Last week's vote was the first nail in the coffin of the Fairness Doctrine, but it was not the end of the attempt on the part of some people to regulate the airwaves," Inhofe said. "Now, I have long been outspoken on this issue, and it gives me great satisfaction that so many of my colleagues voted in favor of free speech over government regulation last week, but the debate has changed."

He warned that an amendment offered by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., which passed 57-41, was equally as threatening.

Law may allow preemptive, premature rescission of broadcast licenses

NewsBusters.org | Media Research Center
By Any Other Name Still Stings

Yesterday by a whopping 87-11 vote, the Senate added as a rider to the passed DC voting rights bill the Broadcaster Freedom Act (BFA).  The BFA, if also passed by the House and signed by the President, would kill once and for all the Censorship Doctrine -- also mis-known as the "Fairness" Doctrine. 

Much Conservative celebration ensued.  However, the revelry is misplaced and premature.  It means only that the Left means to destroy Conservative and Christian talk radio by other means.

Because another rider was added via a party-line 57-41 vote.  Written by Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, S.160's Purpose is "To encourage and promote diversity in communication media ownership, and to ensure that the public airwaves are used in the public interest."

Here's news the traditional media will work very hard to ignore.

According to data released by Uncle Sam's Bureaus of Labor Statistics today, the unemployment rate in Illinois is the fifth-highest in the country.

The Land of Lincoln had a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 7.3% in July, up 2.2% from the previous year's 5.1%. That puts Illinois, along with California, in a tie for fourth place in the worst state unemployment rate derby, behind only Michigan (8.5%), Mississippi (7.9%), and Rhode Island (7.7%).

Illinois' 2.2% year-over-year unemployment rate increase is the third largest in any state, behind only tiny Rhode Island's 2.7% and smaller state Tennessee's 2.3%. Over 80% of Illinois' deterioration has occurred in the last three months, as its March unemployment rate was only 5.5%.

Meanwhile, in Arizona .....

My late father, who worked with the toughest kids in a Brooklyn high school, used to say that when a person's reaction is disproportionate to the stimulus, something else is causing it. So when Obama campaign co-chair Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) dramatically reserved the "hottest ring in hell" for those who would go after Michelle Obama, my antennae went up. Interviewing him, MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell also seemed a bit taken aback by the forcefulness of Durbin's response.

O'Donnell broached the subject by quoting from Maureen Dowd's NY Times column of this morning:
It’s good news for Obama that Hillary’s out of the race. But it’s also bad news. Now Republicans can turn their full attention to demonizing Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama is the new, unwilling contestant in Round Two of the sulfurous national game of “Kill the witch.”
View video here.

Screencap of Sen. Durbin (D-Ill.) from Chicago Sun-Times Web page (May 20, 2008) | NewsBusters.orgNews Flash!: Liberal politician decries price gouging, vows to use government to fix problem, mugs for cameras to hog credit.

Oh wait, that's not really news at all. Unless you work for the Chicago Sun-Times.

The online edition of the paper gave Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin a virtual press release with a 9-paragraph story by reporter Maureen O'Donnell. Here's an excerpt:

The Second City has become first in the nation for high gas prices, with consumers struggling as oil company profits soar, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Monday.

"We've got to stop the price-gouging,'' Durbin said.

He took credit for a new Federal Trade Commission probe into record fuel prices as he spoke before a BP station at Roosevelt and Wabash with regular gas selling for $4.25.

At no point did O'Donnell mention that previous FTC studies on price gouging have given liberals little if any ammo on the price gouging charge. Perhaps most notable among them the spring 2006 FTC study conducted to probe if there was price-fixing after Hurricane Katrina (available here as PDF).