What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 13, 2011

Jack Kelly Sunday

From the beginning of Jack Kelly's column this week we know we're in for a "No, no, no. I'M not biased, THEY'RE biased" ride. And on the way we get some tried and true right wing bamboozle

Take a look at Jack's N-KB3:
The U.S. budget deficit for February was $223 billion, the largest monthly deficit in history. It was substantially larger than the deficit for the entire 2007 fiscal year ($161 billion).
His endgame play is the same bamboozle. Take a look:
The last fiscal year for which Republicans were completely responsible for the budget was 2007, when there was a $161 billion deficit. The next two years, with a Republican president and a Democratic Congress, the deficits hit $438 billion and $1.4 trillion. The deficit rose to $1.42 trillion in the first year in which Democrats were entirely responsible for the budget and is projected this year to reach $1.48 trillion.

If America falls off the fiscal cliff, it'll be clear which party pushed us.
This is a recent right wing spin - the Democrats are responsible for the deficit.

Need evidence? Here's Sean Hannity from a few days ago (transcript from mediamatters):
Let me see if I can give some perspective -- and maybe I'm wrong, but I think Americans are getting lost in millions, billions and trillions. Three-point-seven trillion is a lot. In three years Obama accumulating nearly five trillion dollars in debt is a lot of money. At the end of fiscal year 2007 -- not that long ago, right? -- our budget deficit was $161 billion for the year. For the month of February, this past month, the budget deficit for the month was $223 billion. Not quite twice, but almost twice what it was for the entire year in 2007.
Hardly surprising that Hannity, Jack and the rest of the right wing media have it completely wrong. 2007 is, of course the last year before the Bush era recession (aka the Great Recession) began. From the National Bureau of Economic Research:
CAMBRIDGE September 20, 2010 - The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research met yesterday by conference call. At its meeting, the committee determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in June 2009. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion. The recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II. [Emphasis added.]
Not that the economy is doing well since the end of the Bush recession of course. The Bureau continues:
In determining that a trough occurred in June 2009, the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather, the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month.
So things went down the toilet the last full year of Bush's watch and have been pretty bad (though getting better) ever since - so of course the deficit is Obama's fault. This is the (scent of apples) and (drawings of) oranges comparison Jack, Sean and the rest of the right wing media want you to think is exactly fair and honest.

Need more evidence? Here's Justin Fox, financial writer for the Harvard Business Review. He envisions a scenario where the meltdown of 2008 didn't happen and that the fiscal practices just before it continued:
In my no-financial-crisis, no-bailout, no-recession, no-stimulus scenario, spending kept growing at 6.22% a year, and revenue kept growing at 3.45%. You can see from the difference between the two numbers that this was an unsustainable path. But it clearly could have been sustained for a few more years.

Where would it have left us in fiscal 2010? With $2.843 trillion in federal revenue and $3.270 trillion in spending, leaving a deficit of $427 billion. The actual revenue and spending totals for 2010 were $2.162 trillion and $3.456 trillion. So spending was $186 billion higher than if we’d stuck to the trend, and revenue was $681 billion lower. In other words, the giant deficit is mainly the result of the collapse in tax receipts brought on by the recession, not the increase in spending. Nice to know, huh?
This is Jack's skewed frame for his attack on NPR.

Here's Jack's swiss cheese version of events:
Mr. Schiller and Betsy Liley, NPR's director of institutional giving, thought they were having lunch at a posh Georgetown restaurant with Ibrahim Kasaam and Amir Malik of the Muslim Education Action Center to discuss a possible $5 million grant to NPR.

Mr. Kasaam and Mr. Malik described MEAC as an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood. They said they were considering giving money to NPR, in part because "the Zionist coverage is quite substantial elsewhere."

Mr. Schiller told Mr. Kasaam and Mr. Malik he doesn't find "Zionist or pro-Israel ideas" at NPR. "It's there among those who own newspapers, obviously," he said.

Mr. Schiller also said the tea party movement is dominated by gun-toting racists, and that it has "hijacked" the Republican Party.

We know about the conversation because Mr. Kasaam and Mr. Malik were in reality confederates of conservative film maker James O'Keefe, who posted a videotape of the luncheon online Monday.
Alas, this scam's part of a pattern. Ilyse Hogue of The Nation:
Indeed, the recent attack on Planned Parenthood provoked a sickening sense of déjà vu. Seemingly out of nowhere, undercover activists secretly film an employee of a major progressive institution making embarrassing statements. The resulting video makes news and inflames the debate around federal funding of the organization’s services. It was the ACORN attack all over again.
Simply replace Planned Parenthood with NPR and you've got the next story.

The fact that the video comes from James O'Keefe should be a red flag to anyone interested in the truth. We've seen O'Keefe before. He's the "citizen journalist" who faked his identity as a pimp on the now infamous ACORN prank and then dishonestly edited the video that followed.

And so now we have a video about NPR. Why should we take it seriously? Luckily a healthy debunking has already taken place at The Blaze. Jack refers to a section of the video where Schiller says that the "tea party movement is dominated by gun-toting racists" but does it really?

The Blaze:
NPR exec Ron Schiller does describe Tea Party members as “xenophobic…seriously racist people.”

This is one of the reasons why he no longer has a job!

But the clip in the edited video implies Schiller is giving simply his own analysis of the Tea Party. He does do that in part, but the raw video reveals that he is largely recounting the views expressed to him by two top Republicans, one a former ambassador, who admitted to him that they voted for Obama.
The reason they voted for Obama, Schiller says, is because they believe the GOP was hijacked by people they believe are scary and racist. Take a look at O'Keefe's manipulation of reality:

4 Racist tea Party from Naked Emperor News on Vimeo.

And then there's the part about federal funding. From The Blaze:
Let’s look now at one of the other sections most featured in news reports about the original video — the comments about federal funding for NPR.

Schiller says that NPR, “in the long run,” would be better off without federal funding and that most of the stations would survive a loss of such funding. The implication is that Schiller does not believe federal funding for NPR is important. In the raw video, however, Schiller explains the risk to local stations in more detail and why NPR is doing “everything we can to advocate for federal funding.”
But take a look at what they leave out:

6 Fed funding from Naked Emperor News on Vimeo.

O'Keefe edited out how Schiller says that whole the loss of federal funding would be "negligible in the short term" many stations in rural areas would have to close.

Granted, Schiller gives then an easy target (which is why he's out of a job), but these convenient edits of O'Keefe's just as easily undermine the credibility of the whole.

Why should we believe anything James O'Keefe posts? Indeed, why should Jack?

What's left of Jack's column?

Not much, my friends. Not much.


BUSANA said...

Three-point-seven trillion is a lot. In three years Obama accumulating nearly five trillion dollars in debt is a lot of money. At the end of fiscal year 2007 -- not that long ago, right? -- our budget deficit was $161 billion for the year...i think this blog, nice information,,cool n i like ur site,,

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Heir to the Throne said...

Nice of Dayvoe to overlook the part where he "at the end, he signals his agreement".

BTW The Blaze is Glenn Beck's site.
I thought Glenn Beck gets nothing right.

I love how progressives will embrace a talking point.
How quickly they flipped from "What's the problem? Schiller's right!" to "Schiller was only quoting some OTHER guy!"

rich10e said...

...still pimping for ACORN!!!

Joshua said...

You forgot about the "Jewish-controlled media" comment, which in itself is a fireable offense. I can't believe how much the rest of the media is whitewashing that.

Heir to the Throne said...

More from
On the Blaze’s Accusations of Misleading Editing by O’Keefe
The next time someone cites that Blaze post, point them here. Ask them how, in light of the full context, they could possibly argue that Schiller doesn’t agree with every word of what he said about Tea Partiers.