“Wingnut Debt Ceiling Demands;” Not Even Trying to Hide Their Bias Anymore (Update: Flushed Down the Memory Hole!)
[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here. Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]
Update: Well, I predicted it, didn’t I? So far they have only scrubbed the headline, but they have changed it. See below the fold for details.
Okay quick quiz folks. Where would you expect a piece called “Wingnut Debt Ceiling Demands” to be published, labeling Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Marco Rubio as the wingnuts?
1) At Little Green Footballs when Charles Johnson is off his meds.
2) At the Daily Beast when Andrew Sullivan is off his meds.
3) In a random Daily Kos diary, when they are off their meds.
4) Jeanne Sahadi at Cnn money (unsure if she is on meds at all).
If you guessed 1-3 you were wrong.
Yes, that is an actual headline at Cnn money. Yes, really. Go look at the link and you will hardly believe it (and I have screenshots, anticipating a full scrubbing of this).
And, I will note, there isn’t anything there labeling it an editorial. And even then, wingnuts? Really? Seriously, did you read Frank J. Flemming’s piece because I think not calling people “wingnuts” was in there somewhere. Right?
Okay, it isn’t there, but it should be.
As for the piece, it argues that:
A lot of politicians are weighing in with demands before they’ll support raising the debt ceiling. Most of their conditions are related to debt, such as put in place a debt reduction plan or cut spending.
But some conditions can’t even claim to be third cousins once removed. Punish union defenders. Drill, baby drill. Revolutionize federal regulation.
As for examples of off-topic demands, the author fails right out of the gate. Here is her first demand that is supposedly unrelated to the debt:
Stiff the NLRB: The mostly staff-free GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said recently he thinks lawmakers should insist in the debt ceiling talks that funding be cut for the National Labor Relations Board.
Oh, so according to her reducing spending is unrelated to the debt? This is an author in the economically-focused branch of Cnn, mind you. Call me a wingnut, but I think I can see how reducing funding for the NLRB can be said to be related to reducing the debt.
The remaining “wingnut demands” fare little better.
Overhaul the regulatory structure:… Writing in a Wall Street Journal opinion article this spring, Rubio’s list included several demands pertaining to the budget: entitlement reform, tax reform, discretionary spending cuts and a balanced budget amendment.
Putting aside for the moment that realistically speaking such a list is too large to be accomplished in a few months, Rubio then added an entirely extraneous demand: overhaul the regulatory structure.
Well, the editorial she is referring to appears to be this one. In it he complains about how “Federal agencies torment job creators with an endless string of rules and regulations” and then proposes the regulatory overhaul. And again, the Cnn piece is a failure because obviously the less regulation, the less regulatory agencies have to do and the less money they will spend. Plus, if our regulatory state unclenched a little, the economy would improve and federal revenues would go up.
Alas she goes on:
Former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin, who may or may not run for president, has said she would never vote to raise the debt ceiling because she – incorrectly – believes that doing so is just a sop for big spenders.
That is right, she links to an earlier piece making the false claim that it is impossible to just stop raising our debt and chides Sarah Palin for correctly recognizing it is not necessary. Seriously, again this is on Cnn money. Do I have to go through the metaphor again? Try this. Go into a bank. Tell them you would like a loan. When they ask you what its for, tell them it is to pay off a loan and avoid defaulting. Then tell them further that that loan was to taken out to pay another loan, and in turn that third previous loan was taken out to pay another loan, much like those Russian stacking dolls. Or a Ponzi scheme. And then report back to me at what point they started laughing or throwing you out.
Also while you are at it, call up your credit card company and let them know that you plan to raise your credit limit.
It is nothing less than unreal to pretend that we have no choice than to go further and further into debt.
Finally, she reaches Sarah Palin’s condition:
But if the cap is going to be raised, she said on “Fox News Sunday,” politicians “better get something out of it for ‘we the people.’ “
Palin suggested that Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska should allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge a condition of his vote to raise the debt ceiling.
Begich, who is on record as favoring the opening of ANWR, nevertheless told Politico that Palin is “not really on my radar screen to take advice from.”
Now this is admittedly the most tangentially debt-related item, but if we can produce gas domestically, we can reduce the price of gas which will help the rest of the economy which again increases revenue. I mean they did explain that over at Cnn money, right? You can’t collect taxes if no one makes any money.
And besides rather than some wingnutty comment, Palin’s answer was shrewd politically, because it made Senator Begich look bad to his constituents. But that would contradict too heavily with the image of Palin is a ditzy dingbat to note her shrewd political maneuver.
Update: So as noted they scrubbed the headline. I’ve got my own screenshots but I will borrow Weasel Zippers‘ instead.
And how exactly is that better? She is saying it is goofy to wish to cut back on the NLRB, on regulations or to drill in ANWR? How are those goofy proposals? Because she disagrees with them?
Wouldn’t it be better to call it, “off topic?” Or “unrelated?” I mean the article is wrong to suggest they are not related, but at least the title fits the content.
Update: Belated hat tip to JWF for trying to warn me of the scrubbing. I didn’t see his warning, but he was really trying to tell me, so there you go.
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]