BBC Censorship And The Economic Delusions Of Mark Mardell

Andrew has already mentioned this (Pg. 3 of the open thread @ 9:28pm GMT) list of White House attack points on Rick Perry posing as an editorial blog post by Mardell, but now there’s a nice BBC censorship angle to add, so worth a full post.

The BBC US President editor wants you to know how to understand Rick Perry’s claims that his non-Left policies helped not only to keep Texas above water during the Recession/New Depression, but to actually become a business and jobs leader in the country. As Rick Perry is now more or less the leading Republican horse in the race (thanks at least in part to the President’s foolish desire to punch downwards), it’s Mardell’s duty to tell you not to believe what Perry says interpret the issues involved for you.

The main claim to fame here is that Texas creates lots and lots of jobs, right? Even the full power of the Mainstream Media and the White House propaganda machine can’t change that fact, so they need to instead spin it so that you think those jobs are not good and so don’t actually help the “miracle” Perry is claiming, or simply that Republican policies weren’t responsible at all for any success. So Mardell uses one of the older tricks in the book, and generalizes from a single anecdote.

He’s found a cardboard box manufacturer in Texas as his anecdote. The boss waxes enthusiastically about what a great business environment he’s found. Of course, as Mardell points out, his main reasons are geographical location and the availability of the labor he needs, neither of which Perry can possibly claim credit for. Hence the usefulness of this anecdote for the Narrative. The only policy one can point to as being a contributing factor is the clumsily worded “tax abatement”.

By itself, this is just an anecdote. Nothing else offered about any other businesses similarly successful no thanks to specific Republican policies. Yet Mardell expects that this is enough evidence, combined with his other White House talking points, that the Texas success story isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.



The other main White House talking point is that all those jobs Texas is creating are “low wages, in many cases.” Wrong. The fact is that, since the Recession/New Depression started, Texas has the 6th-highest rate of increase in hourly wages. This same piece at the PoliticalMath blog also shows why it’s a bit disingenuous for Mardell to point out that Texas’ unemployment numbers aren’t so hot. Many of the new jobs are taken by the hordes of people – legal US citizens from other states – who have flocked into Texas to find work. The unemployment figure is as high as it is because too many people who already live there aren’t getting into the workforce. You can probably look to the state’s southern border and guess why that might be.

Before any defenders of the indefensible try to tell me that the figures are being misrepresented because it’s the median and not the mean, and/or that merely adding a few millionaires and billionaires would skew the wages numbers in Perry’s favor, stop and remember that this is about hourly wages, not salaried folks and business owner income. So when Mardell says that the jobs are low paying “in many cases”, he’s the one being misleading, and deliberately so.

Amusingly, Mardell closes with this:

But there is a down side and a lot more to say. On Monday, I’ll write in this blog about those who highlight the problems, and those conservatives who see Texas as a model – not just for the US, but the whole world.

Um, if this blog post of his is supposed to be about the positives, I’d hate to see him discuss the negatives. Since it’s already Wednesday and he hasn’t come up with anything further, I’ll assume it’s proving a little more difficult than he thought to write about people who think a few positive lessons might be learned from Texas. Either that or he’s still recovering from the stunning blow of having to report that the President says regime change in Libya is a vital US interest. (Mardell didn’t actually attribute that to the President: he just stated it as fact. -ed)

The censorship bit? Well, a while ago, I posted about how the BBC censored news of a few US states which had actually improved their own economic situations with the lower-tax, spending reform policies espoused by the Tea Party movement and disparaged by the BBC. I said that it was wrong for the BBC to censor this news when it would have provided their audience with a very useful context in which to view the US debt crisis debate. I also posted about how the BBC similarly censored the same kind of news about Canada.

Now the BBC is censoring news about a US state which is heading for trouble because of the very tax-and-spend policies which inspired the Tea Party movement in the first place. Illinois lost the most jobs in the country in July, and unemployment numbers have been increasing for the last three months. Since the beginning of the year, 89,000 people have left the work force. Why? Because instead of cutting spending and reforming wealth redistribution, the Democrat Governor and Democrat Legislature increased taxes by a good bit in January: 46% increase on business taxes and a 66% increase on personal income tax. Do the math and say, “ouch”. By the way, no Republicans voted for it, as none were needed due to the Democrat super-majority of both houses of legislature. Does that sound familiar?

In short, the BBC is still censoring news that doesn’t support their Narrative on the US economy. And Mark Mardell is a dishonest broker of news on US issues.

Whither Canada? More BBC Censorship

Recently, I talked about a few states in the US that had actually taken strong steps towards fixing their own economies, even moving into surplus, by decreasing spending, entitlement reform, and tax breaks. The BBC censored all information about this, never told you. This is unfortunate, as it would have provided a useful context in which to consider the national budget situation. Ohio, Wisconsin, and South Carolina did exactly the same thing as what Mark Mardell claimed the extremist Tea Party movement forced into the national debate on how to deal with the budget crisis, and forced it on a President who wanted to spend, spend, spend, instead. Yet those states all seem to have made the correct decision. And the BBC remains silent, as it doesn’t fit the Narrative they want to tell about economic policy.

While the BBC is busily spreading blame around for the US budget fiasco and debt agreement (to everyone except the President, of course), it seems to have escaped the astute Beeboids’ notice that there’s another country in North America which seems to be doing a bit better. It’s right there in the title of the relevant section of BBC News Online: US & Canada.

Canada, as it turns out, is doing better than the US for pretty much the same reason. Has the BBC mentioned this at all? No they have not. It’s true that they didn’t have the same kind of sub-prime mortgage crisis, but as a largely resource-based export country, if others aren’t buying – particularly the US – they’re not going to do well either.

In April, the BBC had this to say about the major issues of the Canadian election:

Conservatives are seeking to make the economy the dominant issue in the election. Canada fared much better than the US during the recession, but unemployment is still high at 7.8%.

Mr Harper has promised to provide tax breaks for corporations and manufacturers and tax credits to encourage small businesses to hire new workers.

Mr Ignatieff opposes corporate tax reductions offered by Mr Harper, but Conservatives retort that eliminating the planned reduction in the corporate tax rate amounts to a tax increase, which would be harmful to the recovering economy.

Sounds familiar, no?


Liberals want to establish a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and are also seeking increased funding for social services including for poor seniors, carers and early childhood education.

Mr Ignatieff has unveiled a plan to promote affordable housing and reduce homelessness. But the proposed funding comes from a public-private partnership fund for infrastructure investment which Liberals say is unproductive, but which city governments around the country argue is an important funding stream.

Does this boilerplate sound familiar? It should, as it’s the same way the BBC always champions the farthest Left social policies. Like they did in their Q&A about the US debt agreement.

The chief sticking points have been Republicans’ resistance to tax rises and calls for much bigger spending cuts than the Democrats favour, and Democrats’ desire to shield healthcare programmes for the poor and elderly and the Social Security pension programme from cuts.

The poor and elderly. Just another version of the “poorest and most vulnerable” who are always hit hardest by the latest policy on offer from the Conservatives.

Notice, though, that in the above brief description of Harper’s plans, the BBC News Online sub-editor grants space to his opponent on the Left for a rebuttal. Yet when it’s time to outline the Liberal plans, not only do they get a lengthier, more detailed explanation, but no space is given to any objection from the Right.

Harper and the Conservatives won, obviously, so how is Canada doing now? Well, the Canadian dollar spiked a couple cents higher than the US dollar after Harper and the Conservatives won the election – funny that, eh, BBC? – and after dropping down to a more normal level, has recently come back up to dead even with the US dollar.

On a local level, the Province of Saskatchewan followed the kind of sound fiscal policy advocated by the supposedly extremist fringe Tea Party, and changed their economy. In 2007, the Saskatchewan Party won a majority, after 16 years of rule by the liberal New Democrats. They won on a platform of tax relief, entitlement reform and deregulation, along with pledges to use the cash gained on education and road infrastructure. It seems to have worked because the province has since had an increase in people moving in, more jobs. Instead of throwing the cash around as “stimulus”, they paid off their debts, and Standard & Poor’s raised their credit rating to AAA in May.

So this is yet more evidence that it can be done the way the Tea Party movement suggests. Again, the BBC is utterly silent on something that doesn’t fit the Narrative.

Nationally, Canada’s debt is down to 35% of GDP, and the only reason it’s that high is because Harper did throw some cash around a couple years back at the start of the recession. But now the jobless rate is the lowest it’s been in two years, since they started adding jobs again after the financial crisis. Wages rose as well. Imagine that. Canada allows certain resource extraction techniques – fracking, for example – that the US won’t because of fealty to the environmentals, and so creates more jobs, and produces more. These aren’t difficult concepts, but are anathema to the BBC ideologues.

Even the New Democrats slashed spending to reduce the deficit, which was so bad that at one point, 36% of revenue was used to pay off interest on it. Eventually, Canada reduced its deficit by a combination of economic growth – not spending, but actual growth – and spending cuts. No draconian taxes, no new crushing regulations, no massive spending increases.

Basically, Canada is on very solid footing now, while the US is in the toilet. Canada followed sound fiscal policy, very much like that advocated by the Tea Party movement, has reduced its debt substantially, and is thriving. The US tried the opposite, and tanked. The BBC tried to tell you that it was a crazy minority trying to force this stuff into the conversation for ideological purposes. Not once did Mark Mardell or Stephanie ‘Two Eds’ Flanders or any other Beeboid provide the example of Canada as something to consider while trying to understand the debate in the US. Not once were you told that there have been success stories which contradicted the President’s agenda.

They’re trying to push the White House Narrative that the downgrade and current mess is all the fault of the Tea Party, without ever acknowledging that things would be even worse had we not voted in some people with a clue and forced Congress to face reality. It wasn’t going to happen otherwise, and instead of telling you that, the BBC has spun it the other way.

In sum, the BBC has censored news of economic success caused by conservative fiscal policy because it does not suit their ideology and the Narrative they want to tell you. You’re not given the information you need to form an opinion, and in fact are at times told the opposite of what’s true.

I always say you can’t trust the BBC on US issues, but now it seems that there’s not much to trust them on for anything to do with North America.

Speaking of which, Mark Mardell’s official title is “BBC North America editor”, yet when was the last time you heard him mention anything about Canada? In fact, when was the last time you heard him talk about anything other than the President and His plans and speeches? It’s been a while. Time for a new, more appropriate title for him. I’ll leave it open to everyone else for suggestions.

U.S. Downgraded – BBC Reporting Fails

It’s happened. Standard & Poor’s has downgraded the United States’ credit rating to AA+ for the first time in history. Worse still, they have a negative outlook on the country fixing things in the near future enough to restore AAA confidence. Earlier this week, Moody’s re-affirmed its AAA rating for the US, but also placed a negative outlook on maintaining that status. Fitch takes the same unhappy view.

Let’s be very, very clear here, clear enough to counter all BBC propaganda and ideological commentary (I hesitate to call it “reporting” at this point) on the debt agreement, and the entire process leading up to where we are now. As I’ve been saying for some time now, both S&P and Moody’s have stated explicitly that the debt agreement does not do anywhere near enough to lower spending enough to maintain their confidence in the country’s ability to right the ship.

Moody’s:

In assigning a negative outlook to the rating, Moody’s indicated, however, that there would be a risk of downgrade if (1) there is a weakening in fiscal discipline in the coming year; (2) further fiscal consolidation measures are not adopted in 2013; (3) the economic outlook deteriorates significantly; or (4) there is an appreciable rise in the US government’s funding costs over and above what is currently expected.

First, while the combination of the congressional committee process and automatic triggers provides a mechanism to induce fiscal discipline, this framework is untested. Attempts at fiscal rules in the past have not always stood the test of time. Therefore, should the new mechanism put in place by the Budget Control Act prove ineffective, this could affect the rating negatively. Moody’s baseline scenario assumes that fiscal discipline is maintained in 2012, despite pressures for fiscal relaxation that often precede general elections and the difficult negotiations that are likely to arise due to the scheduled expiration of the so-called “Bush tax cuts” at the end of that year.

“Fiscal discipline”. “Fiscal consolidation”. No mention of tax rises, no demand for increased “revenues”.

Fitch:

While the agreement is clearly a step in the right direction, the United States, as in much of Europe, must also confront tough choices on tax and spending against a weak economic back drop if the budget deficit and government debt is to be cut to safer levels over the medium term.

The increase in the debt ceiling and agreement on the broad parameters of a deficit-reduction plan support Fitch’s judgment that, despite the intensity and theatre of political discourse in the United States, there is the political will and capacity to ultimately do the right thing. In Fitch’s opinion, the agreement is an important first step but not the end of the process towards putting in place a credible plan to reduce the budget deficit to a level that would secure the United States’ ‘AAA’ status over the medium-term.

“A step in the right direction”. Does this sound like what the BBC told you on Tuesday? No, it does not. To them, this was forced on the President by the extremist Tea Party movement, out of a desire for “purity”. Notice they don’t say “raise taxes”, only that we must face “tough choices on taxing and spending”.

The review will focus on the U.S. sovereign credit fundamentals relative to ‘AAA’ peers and medium-term economic and fiscal prospects in light of Sunday’s agreement on cuts of nearly USD1 trillion over 10 years on discretionary spending and the establishment of a bipartisan, bicameral Congressional committee that will identify an additional USD1.5 trillion of additional deficit reduction by year-end.

Cuts in “discretionary spending”. Not bleed the rich.

And finally, Standard & Poor’s (Actual statement is in a PDF file)

We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and will remain a contentious and fitful process. We also believe that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration agreed to this week falls short of the amount that we believe is necessary to stabilize the general government debt burden by the middle of the decade.

“Containing the growth in public spending”. “Fiscal consolidation”. Yes, they alone talk about raising revenues, but don’t say how or how much. In fact:

Standard & Poor’s takes no position on the mix of spending and revenue measures that Congress and the Administration might conclude is appropriate for putting the U.S.’s finances on a sustainable footing.

Revenues increase not only when the government raises taxes, but when business and industry pick up. Reaganomics – not Stephanomics – proved that. So S&P doesn’t particularly mean only that taxes must be drastically increased. And let’s be honest: only the massive, insane tax increase that the President was threatening not long ago would even put the tiniest dent in the trillions of debt. One could forcibly take all the wealth of every billionaire in the country, and that would barely even cover the one year’s worth of interest payments. Then next year, there won’t be any billionaires left, so that well will have run dry. Who else do you tax then? It’s simply not possible to do anything with the simplistic “tax the wealthy” prescription coming from the President in His speech on Tuesday, and from the BBC most of the time.

As a matter of fact, S&P is quite capable of upgrading a state when they reduce spending and get their house in order: like they did for Ohio. But that’s because a Republican Governor took care of things. There has been growth over the last year and more in Ohio because he reduced the regulatory burdens and extra taxes on business. The result is more revenue, and a stabilization of the state’s economy. So anyone who claims that S&P’s lowering of the US rating means specifically that the solution is to increase taxes is simply not telling the truth.

Most importantly, S&P says this:

Our revised upside scenario–which, other things being equal, we view as consistent with the outlook on the ‘AA+’ long-term rating being revised to stable–retains these same macroeconomic assumptions. In addition, it incorporates $950 billion of new revenues on the assumption that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for high earners lapse from 2013 onwards, as the Administration is advocating. In this scenario, we project that the net general government debt would rise from an estimated 74% of GDP by the end of 2011 to 77% in 2015 and to 78% by 2021.

Yes, if the evil Bush tax cuts on the wealthy expire, they project not quite $1 trillion more in revenue. And that’s a rose-tinted glasses view, hoping against hope that the business will actually still be there to provide that much. It obviously won’t be, the way things are going. Even then, even in this ideal situation, the debt will still rise and rise and rise. Not much of a solution, and no consideration given to how it might actually kill the business these taxes are meant to milk. In short, this is at best a drop in the bucket. And that’s their “upside scenario”, for heaven’s sake.

In fact, S&P was hoping for $4 trillion in cuts. Cuts. The debt agreement, the one the BBC screamed bloody murder about for a week or more, barely achieves 6o% of that, and that’s only if the ensuing meetings and negotiations achieve the absolute best, most-perfect case scenario. In other words, while the agreement is a step in the right direction, it’s barely half of one.

And hell, it’s not even a real step. It just starts the conversation we so desperately needed.

Now, let’s review the “reporting” of the BBC on the matter.

Mark Mardell:

“He’s been forced off His agenda. Remember, He came to office promising hope and change, and talking about spending to stimulate the economy, and to change the way America was.

Instead, He’s been forced down a path of spending cuts. He didn’t want any of this.

Yes, and thank goodness He was forced off this path of destruction. As we’ve seen, every single ratings agency would have trashed the country’s credit rating if we kept on spending like Mardell thought we should. Yet when a few US states fix their own economies with Tea Party-inspired policies (reduced spending, reduced burdens on business, entitlement reform, no new crushing taxes), the BBC pretends it doesn’t exist.

For the last two weeks, we’ve heard from the BBC that the Tea Party is wrong, that spending more – or the Ed Balls line of not cutting too much too soon – is the way to go, and that the Tea Party-backed Republicans were the ones being intransigent, an angry, extremist minority trying to force things their way. And thank @@#$ing God they did. Without them, things would be much, much worse. There’s really no other way to put it.

A review of the above statements by all three major ratings agencies shows very clearly that more spending cuts were and are desperately needed. And which party refused to cut more out of intransigence, BBC? Which party’s ideology prevented them from achieving the level of deficit reduction we desperately need? Why have you been championing the President’s ideology when it’s all turned out to be the wrong idea?

Most people here have watched the Tea Party movement rise from a smattering of tiny, local gatherings to a nationwide phenomenon that changed the face of Washington in less than two years. Most people here have also watched the BBC ignore it, then denigrate it, then ignore it again, then really lay into it in the most negative fashion. We were called everything from racists to extremists to nutters to teabaggers. Oh, how the Beeboids laughed and sneered. In contrast, every time a Left-wing organization started up, pretending to be grass roots or non-partisan, the BBC leapt into action immediately to inform you.

What do you say now, BBC? Your reporting and opinion-mongering has been proven 100% wrong about all of it. It’s time to get rid of the entire newsgathering operation in the US. They serve no purpose other than to be a foreign mouthpiece for the White House. All at your expense.

Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord

We all know what happened yesterday in the United States Congress, and that the President signed a debt relief bill that nobody really likes. We all know how the BBC spun it, and they continue to spin it that way today. Mark Mardell, BBC North America editor and faithful White House nunzio to Britain, was beside himself with anger that his beloved Obamessiah was made to look bad in all this. Anyone who caught his appearances on the News Channel would have seen him spluttering with rage.

“He’s been forced off His agenda. Remember, He came to office promising hope and change, and talking about spending to stimulate the economy, and to change the way America was.

Instead, He’s been forced down a path of spending cuts. He didn’t want any of this. He’s won some minor victories along the way, stopped it from being worse for Him than it could otherwise have been.

But I think the Tea Party are the big winners, that they…they don’t necessarily feel that, but they have forced this onto the agenda and got a lot of what they wanted.”

– Mark Mardell, speaking on the BBC News Channel on August 2, 2011, at 6:04pm GMT

No, Mark. Reality forced this on the agenda. All the ratings agencies said we needed to cut spending. The Tea Party just forced Him to deal with it, rather than continue the fantasy that is bankrupting our country.

Fortunately for the faithful, once it was all over, the President gave a nice class war speech, expressing His determination to raise taxes on the rich, and to focus on jobs. His faith rekindled, Mardell came out swinging with a new blog post about it.

Is it about the next step for the country, where Congress must go now, or what the next phase of the debate will be? Is it about the reaction of the US public, the mood in the country on which Mardell is tasked to report and inform you? No, of course not. As always, everything in the US is seen through the prism of The Obamessiah. How does this affect Him? How will He respond? Who cares about anything other than how the President is doing now? Is that really proper reporting? Is that responsible journalism?

In case there’s any doubt about Mardell’s focus and agenda, it’s all there even in the headline:

US debt limit: Barack Obama comes out fighting

Deal done. Crisis averted, a feisty president has come out fighting.

He’s been humiliated and blown off course by the Republican victory, compelling him and his party to swallow deep spending cuts.

But he used his short Rose Garden speech to insist that tax rises had to be part of the eventual solution.

Despite what the class warriors tell you, it’s simply impossible to raise taxes enough to make a dent in the debt. Even letting the Bush tax cuts for the evil rich expire would be a milliliter in the ocean. But never mind all that reality. Mardell has an agenda.

That is exactly why the Tea Party are grumpy about what looks like a clear win for them.

Not quite. The real anger is because the deal is, as we’ve discussed before, a wash, even in the best-case scenario. The amount of spending cuts might not even match the amount we’re now allowing the debt ceiling to rise again. That’s why Michelle Bachmann voted against it, and why a lot of non-Leftoids are not pleased with the deal, even as the Leftoid media is rending their garments in despair.

You see, they all take it as a defeat for the Keynesian, Socialist agenda, and for the President, because they weren’t allowed to spend even more. This deal doesn’t stop any of the ObamaCare expenses that are about to crush small businesses. It doesn’t stop any of the President’s Stimulus cash to Government General Motors’ unions, it doesn’t stop the subsidies to green energy boondoggles. In case Mardell has forgotten – or simply doesn’t understand – the debt ceiling was raised by a lot. Not because we need that money to pay the bills already due, but because the President and the Democrats already have these massive spending plans in motion for the next two years which will not be stopped. Is this a viewpoint you haven’t heard on the BBC? Do tell.

Maybe – maybe – the committee set up by the requirements of this bill will have something to say about that before 2012. But who knows? Yes, that does mean that Mardell is partially correct when he says this:

They fear tricks further down the line, and that after the special committee reports in November they will have to choose between tax rises swingeing cuts to defence spending.

This is dishonest, though. Mardell spins this as the Tea Party’s “fear”. He chose the word “tricks” because it makes the President’s opponents look paranoid and resentful. This isn’t honest reporting: it’s propaganda. Here’s what Mardell doesn’t want you to know:

It’s not the irrational fear of paranoid, angry extremists. The Democrats were saying that’s what they were going to do even before the President signed the bill.

“We live to fight another day in trying to get some additional revenues into this equation,” said Senator Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat.

President Barack Obama has recommended taxing the profit share — or carried interest — earned by private equity managers, venture capitalists and others at ordinary income tax rates and not the lower capital gains rate. He also has called for ending tax benefits for oil and gas companies and for capping the itemized deductions of upper-income Americans.

If that’s not enough for you, White House mouthpiece Jay Carney said it straight out:

“The suggestion that it is impossible for the joint committee to raise tax revenue simply is not accurate, it’s false,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday.

Yet Mardell plays games and tries to make you think it’s only the paranoid suspicions of Tea Party types. He then says this:

Mr Obama said that money couldn’t be cut too abruptly and that spending on education and science had to continue. He argued for a “fair” and “balanced” approach: getting rid of tax breaks for the rich and gas and oil companies.

This sounds like something Ed Balls would say, doesn’t it? No wonder the Beeboids are so sympathetic.

This was a red rag to make the Republican bull rage… and it was intended as such. The more the Tea Party boil and steam, the more Obama’s own party will feel that it is not such a defeat after all.

Wrong. I’ve already explained above why the Tea Party people think this wasn’t such a smashing success. Oh, yes: neither did Moody’s who downgraded the US to a “negative outlook” anyway. How much of a fantastic deal is this, then? It ain’t. Unless the BBC wants to tell us now that Moody’s and S&P are Tea Party extremist ideologues too.

We’re upset because of reality, not because the President’s latest bit of rhetoric has blinded us with anger. What a joke. Mardell understands so little. All praise goes to Him.

The president then promised to put job creation first, saying cutting spending was not the only thing that mattered, and called on Congress to reach agreement after the summer on extending middle-class tax cuts, something Congress wouldn’t put in this agreement.

Mardell swallows the President’s promise on jobs whole. Ah, the power of faith. Does this promise sound familiar? It should, as the President said that job creation was going to be His No. 1 focus in His State of the Union speech in 2010.

But I realize that, for every success story, there are other stories, of men and women who wake up with the anguish of not knowing where their next paycheck will come from, who send out resumes week after week and hear nothing in response.

That is why jobs must be our No. 1 focus in 2010, and that’s why I’m calling for a new jobs bill tonight.

How’d that work out, BBC?

*sound of crickets chirping*

The rest of it is Mardell telling you all not to worry, the President “bounced back”, and will come back fighting and strong. Again, not news, not information. Just propaganda on behalf of the leader of a foreign country.

I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing. I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles.

Oops, that bit isn’t from Mardell, although it ought to be. Remember back before the mid-term election, when he was traveling the country with his Hope poster, looking for signs of the faithful? Actually, the quote is Paul expressing his concern for the faith of the Corinthians (2 Corinthians XII: 11-12).

BBC Q&A On US Debt Deal Is Really Q&BS

I was going to leave this alone today, but it’s just too egregious to resist. Check out the BBC’s Q&A page for the debt crisis. We’ll just go Q by Q, as it were.

What is the proposed deal?

Under the the agreement, the US deficit will be reduced by at least $2.4tn over 10 years. The ceiling for US borrowing will be raised by about the same amount in two stages. A new Congressional committee to recommend further deficit-reduction measures is to be set up and report by November. Congressional leaders are hopeful the compromise will win the backing of both houses, but some Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives remain opposed for different reasons.

Even the White House’s own talking points have the debt reduction as $1.5 trillion. The BBC is using a worst-case (for Keynesians and Socialist fantasists) scenario. Funny, they’re usually much more accurate when parroting the White House dicta. In reality, the actual agreement doesn’t even hit the $1 trillion mark, and the rest of the spending cuts are hardly written in stone and may not even happen. All we know is that, like the People’s Front of Judea in a crisis, it will call for immediate discussion. So the BBC here is selling a molehill as a mountain. It’s more sexy that way, I guess.

What is the debt ceiling?

There is a legal limit on the total amount of debts the US government can can run up in order to pay its bills – including military salaries, interest on existing loans, and Medicare. The current limit is $14.3 trillion (£8.9tn).

The cap was reached in May. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was able to extend the expected day of reckoning to 2 August, by various tricks such as postponing payments into government pension schemes, and thanks to better-than-expected tax revenues.

Geez, BBC, why not just say the government bills include paying to keep puppies from being killed? How about mentioning all the various wasteful schemes like subsidies for cronies, instead of emotionally charged programs like Medicare and pensions? The way they have it, it makes all government spending seem absolutely vital.

Why can’t the Obama administration borrow more?

Because it is not in Mr Obama’s power. The debt ceiling is set by statute and can only be raised by Congress.

An overall borrowing cap was first introduced by Congress in 1917 to make it simpler for the government to finance its efforts in World War I.

Since then the ceiling has been raised dozens of times, and it is usually a formality.

Wrong answer. But the problem lies in the attitude behind the question. The BBC is asking this from the perspective that He should borrow more, full stop, no (other) questions asked. Instead, the question should be coming from the perspective that we’re deep underwater when it comes to debt and why shouldn’t He borrow more money, rather than why is He unable to save us all. This betrays the inherent far-Left mindset at the BBC.

And notice the tiniest, almost microscopic acknowledgment that there’s a fact outside of what they’ve been telling you about how raising the debt limit has been “routine”, and Mark Mardell’s lie on air that there has never been a vote against doing so. It’s now “usually” a formality. They still cannot bring themselves to tell you that every single Democrat – included The Obamessiah – voted against doing it in 2006 when Bush wanted to do it again. Come on, Beeboids, both the President and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have admitted they voted no as a political ploy, as have others. How about it, BBC? Oh, wait, not helpful to His cause right now, is it? And it would put the lie to how the BBC told you He would be above all that partisan ugliness and bring peace and harmony to Washington, etc. And it would reveal that they’ve been lying to you the whole time. BBC censorship still in force when they really need it.

But that’s not even the whole BBC answer. Here’s the best part:

Perversely, Congress also sets the government’s spending commitments and tax-raising powers.

This puts the Obama administration in the impossible position of being required to spend more than it earns, while also being prevented from borrowing the difference.

“Perversely”. Ever heard of Checks & Balances, BBC? The system was created for the exact reason that no branch of Government, especially the Executive, should have unfettered power to do things like this. There’s a reason Congress makes these decisions and not the President. This isn’t Parliamentary Britain. So the BBC thinks it’s mean. But guess what? It’s not the system which put the President in the position of being unable to borrow as much money as He desires: He and the Democrats and Ben Bernanke did. To the BBC, of course, He can do no wrong, an agnus innocentus trapped in a world He never made. They really, tragically, do not understand how the US system works, never mind why it was made that way.

The Government isn’t obligated to throw money around until the end of time, for heaven’s sake. We are in this position largely because of choices made by a series of Administrations and Congresses. It’s not an accident, and it’s not the system that put us here. But since it makes their beloved Obamessiah look bad, blame must be shifted. Again, this is all written from the singular Keynesian perspective that we simply must borrow more and it’s never going to be a problem. The debt ceiling has only become an abstract concept seemingly without consequences because a series of Congresses and Presidents have screwed it up that way.

What is the problem this time round?

The financial crisis and the US’s fragile economic condition have caused government spending to soar, while tax revenues have suffered.

This has caused a big rise in the government’s deficit – its rate of borrowing.

The Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, say they want to bring the deficit back under control, and have threatened not to raise the debt ceiling unless a deal is reached.

Wrong answer again. Some might say we should never have jacked up spending so many times to keep expanding government that we’ve had to raise the debt limit so many times. But that would never occur to a Beeboid, because they are Keynesians and Socialist fantasists who simply don’t understand the reality of what’s been happening. Their belief system is pie in the sky. And who caused all the spending increases, plus the massive economic burden of ObamaCare, which will hit us after next year? The Democrats, who were in charge of both Houses of Congress until last November. And they never passed a budget the whole time, which is why we’re here now. Which the BBC keeps forgetting to tell you. But here they mention only nasty Republicans as a cause for strife.

What have been the positions of both sides?

Both sides accept that cutting the deficit is vital. In recent weeks several plans have been floated by one side or another and been batted down.

The chief sticking points have been Republicans’ resistance to tax rises and calls for much bigger spending cuts than the Democrats favour, and Democrats’ desire to shield healthcare programmes for the poor and elderly and the Social Security pension programme from cuts.

A number of House Republicans – mainly newly elected staunch Tea Party fiscal conservatives – oppose raising the debt limit in any form.

Again, the whole thing is framed as if we must borrow and spend more, and only Republicans are the problem. How about the chief sticking point that the Democrats and the President want a ginormous tax increase, and not just on the evil rich? How about the chief sticking point that the Democrats want to spend, spend, spend, more than what’s physically possible? Nope, it’s all emotional shibboleths again, more images of Republicans holding a shotgun to the head of a cute kitten. What about the far-Left Democrats we’re hearing about today who want only more spending and are considering rejecting any plan if it cuts spending in their darling projects? Can this be any more one-sided?

The last three questions are hypotheticals about what would happen if we defaulted, etc. No need to go into that, as my real point here is the BBC’s bias about where we’re at now, and not in a hypothetical future. And it’s too aggravating to continue anyway.

We Have A Deal, But The BBC Casts Doubt On The Tea Party

So the US Congressional leadership has agreed to a budget deal – the first real one since the President took office, as it happens – to temporarily stave off a default and financial ugliness. The agreement will raise the debt ceiling by $900 billion, and create and a cut of $1 trillion in spending over the next 10 years. Most media seem to be qualifying it as an “immediate” cut, but that seems rather silly as the actual cuts won’t happen immediately, and will be spread out rather thinly over time. And it’s pretty much a wash, so nothing is really fixed. However, the key factor is here that the agreement also requires the forming of a committee within the year to come up $1.5 trillion more spending cuts. Now that means something.

And no tax increases. We’ll have to wait and see how the vote goes on Monday, of course, but it’s hard to believe that Boehner would agree to this if the party whips hadn’t come up with the votes to pass it.

Sounds pretty much like the Boehner plan, which Mark Mardell described as having basically vetoed itself by not raising the debt ceiling even more, or raising taxes. On Friday, the BBC North America editor informed you of the White House talking point that it was wrong.

President Barack Obama says there is a way out of the mess, and he is clear it is not House Speaker John Boehner’s proposal.

He says the Republican’s plan has no chance of becoming law. It’s odds on the president won’t have to veto it, as the Tea Party seems to have done the job for him. He’s again urging people to tweet, ring, email their members of Congress and push them to reach a deal.

Has the BBC reported that Twitter fail yet? Today, he wrote this:

The sort of deal we seem to be looking at is, objectively a victory of the Republicans.

The Democrats take a lot of pain and can only hope to avoid the worst political damage. But the Tea Party members don’t get everything they want by any means and are quite capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Mr Boehner’s people told me months ago that they knew there would always be a handful who would never support any deal. But that handful or rebels turned out to be a bucketful, sloshing with Tea Party enthusiasm. We will soon see the limits to their purity and the extent of their pragmatism.

So Mardell believes the vote could fail due to the “purity” concerns of the Tea Party movement. The negative connotations of that word really reveal his ideological bias.

Let’s how the vote turns out, and how the BBC covers it. Let this be the thread for discussion of the BBC’s coverage of the result.

An Alternative Perspective Not Heard On The BBC, And Context For The Debate

It seems like we’re about to get a deal of some sort to temporarily alleviate the debt crisis. I say temporarily, because there’s no telling how it’s all going to work out over the next two years. In any case, it’s not done yet, so it’s a couple days early to start mocking the BBC’s coverage with “Lo! The Conq’ring Hero Comes”. What I’d like to do is provide some examples of the exact same budget issue the country has been experiencing at the state level. The BBC has mostly ignored all of this. It’s important, though, to bring this up for two reasons.

1. Spending a moment on how individual states solved their problems provides some helpful context with which to understand the national debate.

2. The reality of what’s gone on at the state level basically puts the lie to what the BBC has been telling you about the national issue.

First up, Wisconsin. Many people here will remember the BBC’s wild-eyed coverage of what went on in Wisconsin a few months back, when a Republican governor was, as the BBC put it, trying to pass an anti-union budget. Searching this blog for Wisconsin-related content will provide plenty of evidence of the BBC’s biased coverage, telling you how awful Gov. Walker’s plan would be for honest public sector workers. I don’t even want to get into how the BBC censored all news of violent and hateful rhetoric from the Left, in stark contrast to the way they focused on every fringe outlier in the Tea Party protests they covered.

In any case, the state had the same budget crisis the country is facing: too much spending, not enough money coming in. The Governor and the Legislature decided to cut spending. The BBC wasn’t happy. So it’s important to check in now to see how things turned out.

Apparently, pretty well. It seems that, by saving money, the state was able to save lots of teachers’ jobs they were going to lose the way things were going. Not only that, but the state itself went from being deep in the red to nosing into the black. It’s possible, you see, if you don’t listen to the likes of Ed Balls or Harry Reid or Mark Mardell. I’ll let the Lt. Governor of Wisconsin, Rebecca Kleefisch, explain.

(After just looking at her and hearing the first three words out of her mouth, tell me Ms. Kleefisch wouldn’t absolutely drive the Beeboids like Justin Webb insane.)

Who’d have thought, eh? Not the BBC.

There’s something else they never told you about the situation in Wisconsin: the Democrats’ budget would have added $1.7 billion in spending, leading to a $1.4 billion deficit. Yet the BBC advocates against people who oppose this kind of thing. Mark Mardell has described the national version as borrowing enough money to continue governing. No other viewpoint on the issue is allowed without qualifying it as “extreme” or “right-wing” or “protecting the wealthy”. So Wisconsin is one example of the BBC’s ideology causing them to get it wrong when they reported on the beginning of the story, wrong in the middle, and then go silent when the result is something that goes against their ideology.

It would be very instructive in figuring out the national debate if one were to look at a concrete example of a success. No wonder the BBC censors it.

Let’s look at another example, one which the BBC barely touched on because there was no loud union agitating to support: Ohio. This state is worth looking at because it’s one of those bell-weather states, which many pundits watch to predict national voting trends (probably a variety of reasons for this, but that’s for another time).

Ohio hasn’t been doing well in recent years. Last year, unemployment was one of the highest in the country, and had a negative credit rating from Standard & Poors. However, last November, Republican John Kasich got elected – with the help of a Tea Party trend in the state, where they won a majority of Congressional seats and state legislature spots. Care to guess the result? The BBC won’t tell you, so I will:

After getting elected, Gov. Kasich (a former Congressman and then…*shudder*…a Fox News talking head) passed a budget which reined in spending. S&P raised the state’s credit rating.

Standard & Poors Ratings Services upgraded Ohio’s debt rating just one day after it put the United States on “creditwatch negative” on what it calls a rising risk of policy stalemate in the debt limit negotiations.

For Ohio, the rating was revised from “negative” to “stable” after Gov. John Kasich signed a new budget the ratings agency says will essentially balance the state’s finances for the next two years. S&P also said Ohio is experiencing a modest economic recovery which has stabilized revenue.

In making the upgrade, the agency also assigned a “AA+” long-term rating to Ohio’s $416.75 million general obligation bonds.

“After a significant decline through the recession, Ohio’s economy is steadily recovering,” according to S&P’s statement issued Friday.

Who could have imagined? No need to borrow more, no need for class war. Well, actually Ohio did repeal its estate tax. The class warriors hate that.

Contrary to the opinions espoused across the spectrum of BBC broadcasting, neither Wisconsin nor Ohio needed to borrow more money to continue governing, and spending cuts had positive effects. And none of that “too much, too soon” nonsense. Oh, and the credit rating went up not because of more borrowing but because of a solid short-term plan. Again, not what the BBC has led you to believe.

Texas, with its Republican governor and legislature, has had a budget surplus for like three years running. And that state has led the country in job creation by a long mile. And – oh, the horror – it’s a low-tax state. No wonder Rick Perry is a popular dark horse candidate for President these days. I know, the BBC never told you any of this.

How about Nikki Haley in South Carolina? Yep, now there’s a budget surplus. Is she a “Tea Party darling” too, BBC? Wake me up when they acknowledge her accomplishment. Same goes for Mitch Daniels in Indiana.

So there you have some reality, some context in which to understand the national debate on the debt crisis. Real solutions, real results, all the opposite of the BBC’s propaganda. Did any of these Governors send out the attack dogs like the President has? Did any of these Governors demonize their opponents the way the President has? No, for they are leaders, not mere instigators, and what’s more, have actual plans and sound policies, not just speeches and rhetoric.

This is the reality at the state level, and thank goodness the Founding Fathers had the wisdom to enshrine the level of state autonomy that they did. Too bad the BBC censors news of things that don’t fit their ideological agenda, while telling you the opposite is the only way to save the country.

Who’s being intransigent again, BBC?

The BBC Is A Foreign Bureau Of The White House Press Office

We all knew this was coming, ever since former BBC North America editor Justin Webb fretted that the US was in denial of our massive debt and that we were veering dangerously off the cliff of default. Last we heard from his successor, Mark Mardell, the President was taking a $4 trillion “gamble”, which even the current BBC North America editor recognized was a partisan stance and an attempt to roll the Republicans. He’s been on a vacation ever since, no doubt exhausted after having to watch a couple Republicans announce their candidacy for President, and even attending a Sarah Palin rally. Hopefully he had plenty of scented handkerchiefs to hand.

First of all, let’s recognize the sickness, prejudice, and partisan bias which allows an entire professional news organization with an alleged dedication to impartiality not only to let a British Government official joke about “right-wing nutters” without challenge or rebuke while much of the human race is hearing about how someone they’re also describing as a right-wing nutter slaughtered nearly nearly a hundred innocents in cold blood, but then use the insult as a running gag in news reports to defame a political party and millions of US citizens.

Of course, this isn’t a surprise at all, as the BBC allowed another Beeboid previously assigned to the US (Kevin Connolly) to insult hundreds of thousands of people on air with a sexual innuendo, and has no problem leaving it up on the BBC website for posterity. And we don’t need to revisit Justin Webb’s viciousness and personal attacks on Sarah Palin.

UPDATE: In case there was any doubt about which side the BBC is on:

Republicans attack Obama as they push their budget plan

David Vance has already called your attention to Mardell’s bias in a post below, and John Anderson has provided in the comments plenty of evidence of alternative viewpoints which show that it’s really the President who is acting in partisan bad faith, as well as other examples of the BBC using the “right-wing nutter” epithet to influence their audience in a certain partisan direction.

So I’m going to address specific points Mardell makes, and demonstrate just how biased he and the BBC are when it comes to supporting the leader of a foreign country.

First, let’s consider Mardell’s remark about Cable’s insult.

If they are nutters, they are remarkably successful ones.

The truth is that Tea Party-backed Republicans are winning this fight over raising the debt ceiling.

At the risk of violating Godwin’s Law, I should point out that Hitler was also a remarkably successful nutter, as were Stalin and Kim Jong-Il. So calling them successful in no way detracts from their mental illness. My point is that Mardell is quite comfortable leaving the impression that people who agree with every single credit ratings agency concerned about the US fixing its economic plans are nutters. Are the experts at Moody’s and Standard & Poors right-wing nutters? They’re ready to lower the US’s credit rating if things don’t get even slightly fixed. One only needs to watch them and the markets to understand which side worries them. Mardell allows that the Republicans are winning the argument, but he makes it clear that they are wrong. His word games reveal his partisan bias.

It is far from over. But they’ve already won the argument that America’s debt has to be dealt with. They’ve wrung really deep cuts from Mr Obama.

This is just a stupid thing to say. The President Himself knows that the debt needs to be dealt with. He’s made statement after statement for weeks telling us we need to deal with it. I realize Mardell’s been on vacation, but this is unacceptable. Everyone in the country has known for ages that we need to do something. It’s stupid – there’s no other word for it – to say that the Republicans somehow won the argument that we need to do something.

What Mardell may mean – and I’m going way, way out on a limb and giving him the tiniest benefit of the doubt here – is that the Republicans have won the public over into thinking that they have a better plan than the President. Oh, hell, what am I thinking? Of course that’s not what he means. It was just a stupid thing to say, an attempt to appear impartial and give some kind of credit to his the President’s opponent without really meaning it.

As for having “wrung really deep cuts”, that’s hardly true at all. It’s really more like tiny cuts spread out over ten years. The problem for Mardell and his ideological fellow travelers is that, compared to the President’s plan which would actually increase spending, any cut looks deep. Worse, Mardell dishonestly frames this as only the President compromising with nothing given back by the nasty old Republicans. He then reinforces that perception.

They’ve probably stopped Democrats from putting up taxes as part of any final package. It is a pretty straight ideological fight between left and right.

This is where we being to stray into White House talking points. Now that His reputation as a centrist who brings people together is basically non-existent in the public’s mind, it’s in the President’s best interests to keep everyone thinking that both sides are being exclusively partisan. As long as everyone is thinking, “A pox on both their houses,” He doesn’t look like the only petty child in the room, and can get away with pretending that only He reached across the aisle. It’s pretty sad that it’s come to this, but that’s how it is.

So why the charge of nuttiness ?

It’s that Tea Party, again.

At least we’re not racists. For the moment, anyway. That will probably come tomorrow, after a couple sharp BBC News producers come up with an angle to show how the Norwegian mass murderer was a Tea Partier at heart.

The reason House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and the Republican leadership is being so hard-line is because the Tea Party put the iron in their soul.

Those Republicans who took control of the House last year believe they were elected on a wave of popular revulsion at the size of the national debt and government spending.

“So hard-line”? Boehner’s plan is hardly that. It’s more of a compromise than anything the President has given, despite Mardell’s dishonest statement above that only the President has given back. In any case, notice how he’s just contradicted himself. Earlier, Mardell said that the Republicans had won the argument in these talks that we need to cut spending. Now he’s saying the Tea Party won that argument last November. Funny how the winning parties of some elections are allowed to think the voters elected them for a reason, while other winning parties are wrong to think so. By slyly qualifying it as the Republicans “believe” they were elected on this issue, Mardell denies the last two years and more of Tea Party protests, and denies the reality of November’s mid-terms. There is no doubt at all that fiscal responsibility was the number one issue which got all those Tea Party-backed candidates elected to the House.

Of course, we know what Mardell and the BBC believe: the real reason all those people across the country voted for the Tea Party-backed candidates is racism. He won’t say it yet, but what other issue was there? Abortion? Prayer in the schools? Blocking homosexual marriage? No, no, and obviously not.

They may be reading too much into their mandate, but they think that going back, that accepting a hike in debt with nothing in return, would be betraying their voters.

“Reading too much into their mandate,” eh, Mark? Like I said, what other issues were at the forefront of the election? He’s denying the last two and a half years of US activity on this issue. What the hell does he think everyone has been talking about? And what about listening to the ratings agencies which are telling them the exact same thing?

Hey, Mark: it’s not their imagination. And you’re contradicting yourself again. The whole point of Mardell’s editorial post – and the impetus for Cable’s sick joke – is that the Tea Party movement is now influencing the Republicans to the point that they don’t want to accept a debt hike. Well, the movement, and millions of other people who were concerned about the same issue, got them elected. So, hell yes, doing so would be betraying those voters, and it’s dopey to suggest otherwise. Hello? We’ve only been saying it loud and clear since February 2009, before there was even such a thing as a Tea Party movement. The Republicans are correct to think they’re following the voters’ wishes. They’re not following Mardell’s wishes, though, so he is obviously going to frame it as them being wrong. Again, his partisan bias prevents him from informing you correctly.

The current Republican plan has more than a little party politics in it. The debt ceiling would be dealt with in stages: a bit now, a bit next year.

This would stop Obama swallowing the problem whole and getting it out of the way before the election. The Republicans would make sure it repeated on him throughout 2012.

Okay, fair enough. But where is Mardell’s statement – in the interests of balance and impartiality, bien sur – about the whiff of partisan politics in the President’s plan? Not a word which might make Him look bad. Not a single acknowledgment from him or the BBC that the President is acting for partisan reasons. Instead, as we’ve all seen a number of times over the last few weeks, all the BBC tells you is that the Republicans want to harm the poorest and most vulnerable in order to protect the wealthy. Mardell and his colleagues could not be more dishonest about these budget negotiations. Oh, wait, I’m wrong: he can get more dishonest:

But the charge that they are a few chocolate bars short of a fruit cake is because some of them see dealing with the debt as more pressing than borrowing enough money to continue governing.

Behold the ideology inherent at the BBC. This is a purely partisan, Left-wing, über-Keynesian position. We don’t actually need to borrow more to continue governing. We don’t actually need to raise the debt ceiling to “continue governing”. We could do some real cuts that would make the current offering look like child’s play. The only reason the Republicans are even agreeing to a temporary rise is because they are – shock, horror – compromising and reaching across the aisle. In fact, Mardell could just as easily have said that the President has wrung real debt increases from the Republicans. Only that doesn’t sound so good, does it? Not helping the Narrative at all.

Here’s what Mardell doesn’t want you to know about continuing to govern. Oh, hell, he doesn’t know it himself, as he is a blind partisan who fervently adheres to Left-wing economic policies. We could make real spending cuts, cuts that would make the so-called “swinging cuts” laid out by George Osborne look like child’s play. But that can’t happen because the Republicans don’t control both Houses of Congress, and the President would veto any proposal with real spending cuts, or one that won’t kick this can past 2013, after the next election. Hell, He even vetoed a bi-partisan plan from the Senate that increased the debt ceiling. What He really wants to do is force the country either into default or having our credit rating downgraded so He can spend the next 18 months pointing His finger at evil Republicans for causing it. Only the BBC isn’t going to put it that way.

Oops, the BBC forgot to tell you why that happened, didn’t they? He rejected this bi-partisan plan because it would place the burden on the next debt increase squarely on His shoulders. Instead of voting to increase it again, the plan would set the debt limit to increase automatically unless Congress voted to stop it. But Congress will vote to stop it unless the President proposed an equal or greater amount of spending cuts. Which He’s clearly unable to do. That means He’d have to step up and be a man and take the blame for it Himself next time, and have to run a re-election campaign as the Debt Increaser-In-Chief. So He gave a bi-partisan plan – once which would have been acceptable even to Mark Mardell – the two-fingered salute. All to protect Himself. Yet Mardell and the rest of the BBC have the gall to tell you it’s only the Republicans acting partisan.

Then there’s the fact that the President doesn’t want to agree to anything that doesn’t kick the real can beyond the 2012 election. Does that sound familiar? It should. Unless, of course, you trust the BBC for news on US issues, in which case you wouldn’t know that the Democrats refused to pass a budget back in October – before the election – which would have prevented this situation we’re in right now. Only they didn’t want to do anything which would have made that mid-term loss even worse than they knew it was going to be. So they dodged their long-term responsibility for the hope of a short-term safety net in the mid-term election. Who’s acting out of partisan interest again, BBC?

The fact that Mardell made his ideologically-biased pronouncement on fiscal governance puts his subsequent quote of a Tea Party figure in the context that the man is wrong. So while he may be providing the “balance” of an opposing viewpoint (Gosh, Dave, Mardell doesn’t even quote the Dems here, what more do you want? -ed.), he’s providing it after he warns you that it’s wrong.

The entirety of BBC reporting on the budget talks has been biased in this way. And now they’re using a sick insult to frame it. At no time has the BBC been honest about the President demanding far more taxes after 2013. At no time has the BBC reminded you that we wouldn’t even be here if not for Democrat partisan behavior in October. At no time has the BBC told you that, despite the “routine”, in 2006 all Democrats in the House – including Senator Obamessiah – voted against raising the debt ceiling for purely partisan purposes. All you hear is the White House talking points, the perspective from the Left.

I’d like to close with an important statement from a celebrated US politician about the debt situation:

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

Sounds pretty reasonable, doesn’t it? This is what the adult in the room sounds like. The celebrated US politician who said it? Who is this nutter who, as Mardell put it today, sees dealing with the debt as a more pressing issue than borrowing enough money to continue governing? Senator Obamessiah in 2006, when He voted along purely partisan lines against raising the debt ceiling. (Sen. Obama, Congressional Record, S.2237-8, 3/16/06)

The BBC North America editor is a disgrace, and the BBC itself is nothing more than an extension of the White House Press Office.

More U.S. News The BBC Thinks You Don’t Need To Know

The current top story on the BBC’s US & Canada News page is about the President meeting with the Dalai Lama. How many people really care? I realize that this will probably get pushed down the page within a couple of hours as new stories are posted, but why is this even worth reporting at all? Surely there are far more important issues to cover. It’s very revealing of the BBC’s newsgathering priorities that a non-functional meeting with someone who isn’t head of state and isn’t ever going to be one is more important than, say, the news that Standard & Poors just upgraded the state of Ohio’s credit rating because the Governor passed a budget that will mostly fix the state’s economic troubles. Oh, but that’s a Republican Governor, while the Democrat-led US is about to get spanked by S&P instead.

No, the Beeboids love the Dalai Lama, their favorite ex-feudal lord, and so anything about him is more important than mundane economic issues, especially when it makes Republicans look good.

What else is the BBC ignoring in order to make room for celebrity gossip, non-stories about LA road construction, and a non-story about a possible technical glitch in the statehood status of North Dakota (this last one is actually pathetic in that a real story worth reporting is mentioned as an aside near the end: the movement to break Southern California away from the destructive far-Left Northern half. But again, that would be a real story that makes Democrat economic policy look bad, and we simply cannot have that at the BBC.)?

Lots of stuff to cover this week. The BBC thinks you don’t need to know about the following:

Remember when the President signed that “landmark” ObamaCare into law, the one which the BBC championed for ages and lied to you about how it would provide free health care for all those uninsured? One of the President’s favorite anecdotes in His fight for it was about how His mother battled evil profit-driven insurance companies while on her cancer deathbed. The BBC included that anecdote in their report of Him signing the bill into law. Turns out that it’s a little white lie.

Book Challenges Obama on Mother’s Deathbed Fight

The White House on Wednesday declined to challenge an account in a new book that suggests that President Obama, in his campaign to overhaul American health care, mischaracterized a central anecdote about his mother’s deathbed dispute with her insurance company.

During his presidential campaign and subsequent battle over a health care law, Mr. Obama quieted crowds with the story of his mother’s fight with her insurer over whether her cancer was a pre-existing condition that disqualified her from coverage.

In offering the story as an argument for ending pre-existing condition exclusions by health insurers, the president left the clear impression that his mother’s fight was over health benefits for medical expenses.

But in “A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother,” author Janny Scott quotes from correspondence from the president’s mother to assert that the 1995 dispute concerned a Cigna disability insurance policy and that her actual health insurer had apparently reimbursed most of her medical expenses without argument.

And the BBC will be silent.

While the BBC used to spend time searching for even a whiff of angry behavior from Tea Party groups and the Right, they always censor news of violence and violent rhetoric from the Left. Like in Wisconsin (remember Wisconsin?), where the Left is protesting against a non-Left State Supreme Court justice and has a big effigy of him being lynched at a lamppost. Nothing to see here as it’s not the Tea Party doing it, move along. There’s a whole story behind that about how one Justice attacked another in a “he said/she said” incident. The Left has behaved angrily and violently like they did when Gov. Walker was trying to pass a budget, but none of the intrepid platoon of Beeboids covering the US is interested in that kind of story.

Democrats in the US seem to be prejudiced against certain religious groups (just like the BBC), and are less likely to vote for a Mormon to be President. What a shock, eh? The BBC isn’t going to inform you about that kind of poll result because, well, you know….

Newly appointed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta – kicked upstairs from being CIA boss – just said that the reason the US went into Iraq was 9/11. Oops. BBC not interested. Gaffes are only worth reporting when George Bush or a Republican does it.

Tax-dodging GE boss Jeffrey Immelt saw 36,000 jobs cut
at his company in the last two years, and even sent jobs overseas (well, to Mexico anyway), but now that he’s the President’s Jobs Czar he is scolding business owners to start hiring whether it hurts their business or not. Hypocrisy from The Obamessiah Administration? BBC not interested in telling you.

The BBC has done plenty of reporting on how the dictator of Syria is cracking down on his people and killing protesters, but they have not told you about how the US Ambassador spoke out – on Facebook, no less – and got praised for it – by Syrians.

When was the last time the BBC mentioned the name of one of The Obamessiah’s top campaign fundraisers, Tony Rezko? Not since last summer when his name came up in a news brief ex-Gov. Blagojevich’s criminal trial, I think. Rezko is in jail and Blagojevich has been convicted. Now Rezko’s partner’s trial reveals the possibility of illegal payments to The Obamessiah.

Daniel Frawley has been convicted on massive bank fraud charges (unrelated to the campaign money fraud of the other two guys), but his sentencing is being delayed because he’s apparently been secretly cooperating with prosecutors about something else: Blagojevich’s abuse of power, which landed the ex-Gov in jail.

Details about Frawley’s cooperation with the U.S. attorney’s office, the FBI and the Illinois attorney general’s office can be gleaned from a 65-page court deposition he gave seven months ago in a legal-malpractice lawsuit that he filed against his former longtime lawyer, George Weaver. In the lawsuit, Frawley accuses Weaver of having overbilled him and telling him to “withhold certain information from the government” when he was cooperating with authorities.

You may well ask, what information was that?

That sworn statement, given Dec. 1, 2010, is posted at suntimes.com/news/watchdogs. In it, Frawley talks about three meetings he’s had with law enforcement authorities since 2006. The deposition outlines how he secretly recorded Rezko, and it raises a new and unsubstantiated question about Rezko’s once-close relationship with Obama — an issue that dogged the then-U.S. senator during his presidential campaign four years ago.

A relationship which the BBC casually dismissed. Too bad they’re not so casual about Tory friendships, eh? But I digress.

Later in the deposition, Weaver’s lawyer, Daniel F. Konicek, asks Frawley about what specific information Weaver is supposed to have told Frawley to withhold from federal authorities.

“I’m assuming the information is about the payments made by Rezko to Obama, so we know we’re talking about the right conversation, right?” Konicek asks Frawley.

Frawley doesn’t answer. So Konicek presses him: “Am I correct it was about Obama being paid by Rezko?”

Frawley replies: “I’m not answering that question, based upon my attorney’s instructions.”

Yet another revelation possibly tying The Obamessiah to fraudulent activity in Chicago, and the BBC isn’t bothered. If Frawley is getting his sentence lightened because of this cooperation, then it’s worth paying it heed. BBC: ZZZZzzzzzzzz

On Friday, the President claimed that 80% of the public “support an approach that includes revenues and includes cuts”. The problem is that He made it up. No polls back up this claim, and actually 50% of the public would prefer a deal with either only spending cuts, or mostly spending cuts and very little tax increase (that’s what “revenues” are when they’re at home). The 80% figure comes from a Soros/MoveOn.org poll of only Ohio, Montana, Missouri, and Minnesota, and is not meant to represent the majority opinion of the country. The Obamessiah lied again. BBC: Look over there: Republican intransigence!

An email has been “leaked” revealing the Obamessiah Administration’s real goal of Operation “Fast and Furious”/”Gunwalker”/”Gunrunner”: passing more restrictive gun control laws.

“Can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same FfL and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks Mark R. Chait Assistant Director Field Operations.”

Which is what I’ve been saying all along, and which the BBC has censored all along. Instead, when reality forced them to report on the heat the ATF has been getting over this scandal, they dutifully shifted blame away from Him. Since the BBC is ideologically set against private gun ownership of any kind, and must support Him at all costs, they’ve treated this story with the softest of kid gloves. When they haven’t buried the story completely, that is.

On Wednesday, the debate between the President and Republican House leaders got so heated that He walked out. The BBC reported that He told them, “Enough is enough,” but they censored out this part:

“Don’t call my bluff,” the president said. “I am not afraid to veto and I will take it to the American people.”

I guess that finely-tuned brain of His doesn’t know you’re not supposed to tell them you’re bluffing. Another Obamessiah gaffe hidden from you by the BBC. As the ABC report I’ve linked to shows, He’s willing to sink the entire country for His class war ideology, and the BBC is blaming only the Republicans’ ideology (and dishonestly portraying it as protecting the rich, full stop) instead.

That’s enough for the week, I suppose. Does anyone feel properly informed by the BBC about US issues? The solution to all this is simple: Shut down the BBC’s newsgathering operation in the US and replace them all with a news aggregator. You’ll be better informed about what’s going on over here.

U.S. Government Shut Down Blues – A Dishonest BBC Song, Part 2

UPDATE: A stealth edit? The BBC article now includes MillerCoors’ statement that they filed the paperwork beforehand. They don’t tell quite the full story, but this more or less negates my claim. News Sniffer doesn’t have it yet, so I can’t prove anything as I didn’t take a screenshot.

In case there are any lingering doubts, here’s more proof of the BBC’s bias and dishonesty when it comes to reporting on the budget crisis in the US. They’ve put up a report about a problem caused by Minnesota’s shut down f the state government.

Minnesota shutdown puts MillerCoors beer sales in doubt

Beer giant MillerCoors may be forced to stop selling 39 popular beers in stores and bars in Minnesota because of the state’s ongoing government shutdown.

The company failed to renew their brand label registration before a budget dispute prompted a shutdown on 1 July.

This is in fact serious business. They’re going to have to start actually removing product from shells state-wide, which is a very, very costly undertaking on top of the revenue loss. Now, being fan of real ale and proper beer in general, I’m the last person to shed a tear over people being deprived of this cheap swill, and the possible boost in business for real craft brews, of which there are plenty in the region. But that’s beside the point. What I’m complaining about here is the reason the BBC reports for this happening:

State employees who process alcohol licence renewals were laid off when the government shut down, Minnesota official Doug Neville said.

Oh, did he, now? Since this is a US issue, my first instinct is not to believe what the BBC reports when it comes to obviously partisan politics. Neville could be merely protecting a Democrat government. So let’s see what the local paper has to say about it:

The company tried to renew in mid-June, but the process got delayed when they wrote a check for too much money. Green said they sent in a new check, which the state received on June 27, but nonetheless got a letter three days later saying their brand licenses had expired.

“We believe we’ve followed all applicable state laws on this,” Green said.

In other words, this is happening not because the state employees who process the paperwork were laid off due to a government shut down (caused by nasty old Republicans preventing saintly Democrats from saving the state, no doubt), but by general incompetence on both sides. The BBC is in no doubt whose fault it is, and they don’t want you to have any doubts either:

The government shutdown in Minnesota began over a budget impasse.

The state’s Democratic Governor, Mark Dayton, had called for spending cuts and tax increases, while the Republican-led legislature rejected higher taxes.

Well, at least they don’t call the Republicans “newly empowered” this time. Must look into getting that style guide updated. In any case, the BBC reports that Neville claimed that the paperwork wasn’t done because the employees were laid off, but clearly that’s not what happened. In fact, this looks an awful lot like the Minnesota state government deliberately obstructed the license renewal and is damaging businesses across the state to score political points.

What Neville really means is that the paperwork can’t be redone now (or since the day after MillerCoors got their expiration notice) because the employees are laid off. But that’s not why it got canceled in the first place. Except you don’t know that because the BBC didn’t give you the information you need.

Why did the BBC leave it out of context like this? Don’t they know what actually happened? Or do they know all too well, but censored the facts out in order to support their Narrative? The “More on this story” links at the bottom currently go to national sources, not local ones. Yes, I realize these change as they are updated on some schedule, but the only valid links should be local papers. Both the Time and CNN items actually tell the truth, so why can’t the BBC? It’s not good enough to lie in the report and only put a link to the truth at the bottom. Curiously one wire report has the Neville quote about the employees being laid off.

Once again the BBC reports on a US issue from the anti-Republican perspective, even allowing a little white lie in the process. And hey: if this is really down to sloppy churnalism necessitated by the 24/7 news cycle we demand from them, then what’s the point of it? Once again I say that the BBC can just shut down its entire newsgathering service on the US and simply replace them all with a news aggregator. You’d get more information that way, and less bias.

U.S. Government Shut Down Blues – A Dishonest BBC Song

The BBC keeps reporting on the debt and budget talks between the President and the Republicans in the House of Representatives. The latest report covers the announcement by Moody’s that they’re going to review the US credit rating with an eye to downgrade it to a default risk.

My position is that the BBC has an ideological stance when it comes to government borrowing, spending, and debt. Stephanie Flanders has trumpeted the Keynesian solution on a number of occasions (just search her name on this blog and read the links to her pearls of wisdom), thinks the Greek bailout worked (yeah, I know, which one?) and at one point even told us that the US would never default.

With this in mind, let’s look at the BBC’s report on the Moody’s news. As everyone here knows, the problem is that the US is at an impasse regarding the debt ceiling. We either have to raise it, or do some serious cutting in spending right now. There are ideological opponents on each side, but there are also hard facts which are not debatable. The BBC says this about the President’s side of the argument:

He has said he is willing to countenance cuts to social safety-net programmes dear to Democrats, as long as there are tax rises for the rich.

Republicans have rejected the latter proposal, saying that would stifle investment and job growth.

This is false. In fact, it’s more than the class war stuff. As I posted the other day, the President said Himself that He wants to raise taxes on a lot more in 2013, which, you know, is what the whole budget deal is about. Yeah, the BBC censored that bit out of the speech video they showed you. So all you know is that Republicans are holding the country hostage over protecting the evil rich. But since it’s the White House Narrative, that’s what they’re going to report.

Now, about that debt ceiling:

When it came to the crunch in the past, Congress regularly voted to raise the debt ceiling, giving government access to the cash it needed.

How about some context, BBC? The current situation is unprecedented, and Congress never rubber-stamped (that’s implied by the BBC sub-editor’s choice of words) an increase when the country’s finances were in such dire straits. It’s completely dishonest to compare today with the past, and act as if the Republicans are somehow an anomaly and not the situation itself. But they do it anyway.

This year, however, newly empowered Republicans have demanded steep cuts in government spending in return for raising the limit.

“Newly empowered”, eh, BBC? I think we all know what that means: Evil Tea Party Influence. It’s funny, because the BBC and Obamessiah worshiper Mark Mardell initially claimed that the Tea Party hurt the Republicans in the mid-terms. But never mind that. I don’t need to remind anyone here what the Tea Party movement represents to the Beeboids. So back to BBC dishonesty.

Mr Obama has proposed a package of up to $4 trillion in budget deficit reduction over the next 10 years, but Republicans have rejected that and other proposals because it calls for raising taxes.

Again, false. I posted a few days ago about how this White House/BBC Narrative is also false. He’s not giving in on the entitlements at all. But the BBC doesn’t care, they just keep spinning for the leader of a foreign country. Notice also the appearance of “newly empowered Republicans” in a previous BBC propaganda piece report about the budget talks. I’d say this code for “Evil Tea Party Influence” has made its way into the BBC style guide, but it’s probably just the same Beeboid writing it. But still: Narrative? What Narrative, eh?

And then Keynes raises his ugly head again, in the form of Ben Bernanke.

In his testimony to Congress, Mr Bernanke said the Fed would renew stimulus efforts if the economy remained weak.

The Fed’s second quantitative easing programme (QE2) ended two weeks ago, and there has been much speculation about whether a QE3 programme is on the cards.

Now, to someone who is trying to follow reality and is not ideologically locked into policy, this might sound like the captain of the Titanic saying that he’s just going to cut another hole in the hull to help the water flow out the other side. At least the BBC didn’t censor news that people in the real world see it that way:

The dollar extended earlier losses against the euro following Mr Bernanke’s comments, with the euro rising more than a cent to $1.4088.

Now, if, as we heard before from the BBC, printing money and throwing it around increasing borrowing for more stimulus works, why would the dollar tank against a currency that’s the shakiest thing going when the Fed suggests more of it?

Analysts said that Mr Bernanke had only raised the possibility of a further stimulus, and was not saying that it was necessary.

Oh, right, it’s not really his fault, just stupid speculators over-reacting.

Alternatively, it could be because the previous “stimulus” efforts failed and only added another couple trillion dollars to the debt.

Morning Bell: Why Obama’s Stimulus Failed

Oops, my bad. That’s about how the first stimulus failed. Here’s something on QE2:

Obama’s People Admit Stimulus Failed Miserably In Creating Jobs

So we can see how….hang on…what the hell is this?

Democrats Press Obama to Include Stimulus in Debt Deal After Jobs Report

Democrats pressed for some form of economic stimulus in the debt deal President Barack Obama is negotiating with Republicans following a U.S. Labor Department report yesterday showing job growth slowing.

Senator Charles Schumer of New York, the chamber’s third- ranking Democrat, called for an “immediate jolt” to the economy by extending and enlarging a one-year payroll-tax cut that’s set to expire Dec. 31. He asked for action “as quickly as possible by including it in the final debt-limit agreement.”

You have got to be kidding me. No wonder we’re heading towards a Weimar-type situation. So it’s not Republican intransigence to protect the evil rich at all. And the BBC has told you none of this. All you know is the heroic Obamessiah has been trying to save us from ourselves.

Don’t trust the BBC on US issues.

What You Won’t Be Told About The U.S. Budget Deal

There won’t be a fantastic budget deal tonight, and the President won’t get His big economic victory. The BBC seems to think that only the “newly empowered Republicans” are causing ideologically-driven obstacles to agreeing on a debt package.

When the Congressionally-set debt limit has been reached in the past, Congress has voted to raise it.

This year, however, newly empowered Republicans are determined to prevent any tax increases and want to see aggressive measures to reduce the deficit in exchange for agreeing to raise the debt ceiling.

Actually, they’re prepared to allow some of the class-war taxes (e.g. the expiration of the Bush tax cuts) in exchange for real lowering of the overall tax burden in the near future. The BBC knows that the President needs a big score here, as most people simply don’t trust Him to fix the economy right now.

The Obama administration wanted “the biggest deal possible” on debt reduction, Mr Geithner told NBC’s Meet the Press.

And now it looks like He’s not going to get one. So, who is to blame? The White House version, as told by the Washington Post, is the class war angle.

“We cannot ask the middle-class and seniors to bear all the burden of higher costs and budget cuts. We need a balanced approach that asks the very wealthiest and special interests to pay their fair share as well, and we believe the American people agree,” White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said in a statement.

The BBC, naturally, echoes it:

But it also involved tax hikes and closing tax loopholes for the wealthiest Americans, something opposed by many Republicans.

In a statement released late on Saturday, Mr Boehner said he was pulling back from the $4tn package because it involved tax increases.

“Despite good-faith efforts to find common ground, the White House will not pursue a bigger debt reduction agreement without tax hikes,” he said.

The quotes from Boehner seem to support the White House’s side of the story. Except here’s the part the BBC doesn’t want you to know about the tax deal.

The White House isn’t giving in on any of the entitlement reforms they promised they’d make in exchange for the Republicans giving in on the quick tax rises I mentioned above. In fact, they want even more tax increases right at the time when the smart money says that’s the worst thing to do.

The Republican source said the Boehner-Obama effort stalled over taxes. After Boehner pushed the president to pursue major entitlement changes in the debt deal, Obama insisted on additional revenues, which Democrats have demanded throughout the deficit discussions. The Speaker, according to the Republican source, said the new revenues must come from economic growth and broad-based tax reform, not straight tax increases. The Republican said the White House rejected a Boehner proposal offered on Friday for “the core elements of tax reform.”

“A gulf also remains between the Speaker and the White House on the issue of medium and long-term structural reforms,” the Republican said. “Consequently, the Speaker believes a package that is smaller but still consistent with the standards he has outlined may now be the most appropriate option.”

The White House says it’s not true, but then read this:

WH is demanding major, unambiguous tax hikes. To get spending caps & entitlement tweaks, greater economic pain appears to be the WH’s asking price. It is increasingly likely that we aren’t going to see a ‘big’ deal if the WH doesn’t budge. Speaker looks to be holding strong. …

Their fierce insistence on higher taxes is beyond bizarre.

After months of demanding ‘clean’ increase to avert economic calamity (default), WH threatens economic calamity (default) unless they get economic calamity (trillions in tax hikes). No wonder these guys are governing over an economic calamity (9.2% & growth malaise), w an economic calamity on the horizon (debt explosion as mapped out in president’s budget).

The President’s own Comission He set up to look into this approved the Republicans’ notion of overall tax reduction and reform, but He won’t do it. None of this is in the BBC’s coverage. They either don’t have good enough sources, or just don’t feel like telling you.

It’s ideological. He’s too partisan, too stubborn, too stuck in class war mode. The result will be that Boehner will walk away tonight and we’ll end up with a smaller quick fix which won’t be the economic home run the President needs. He’ll have done it to Himself, but it will be spun as the Tea Party destroying the country, and Republicans selling out the country to protect the wealthy. That will be the story the BBC will tell you. And they won’t tell you what He really did.

U.S. News The BBC Thinks You Don’t Need To Know

While they’re eager to tell you the latest updates from the White House spokesman, celebrity gossip, irrelevant death tattle, a human interest story about a US Communist who moved to the paradise of China, every new detail on a celebrity rape case, and a non-story about how a manufacturing increase really isn’t one (but it made for a good opportunity for a headline to mislead the lazy reader into thinking that The Obamessiah’s economy is on the mend), there are quite a few things going on in the US that might be of more interest and import.

The BBC’s North America editor has been rather silent since his last dismissal of a newly-declared Republican candidate for an election that’s 18 months away. One would think there are a number of issues on which he could comment. For example:

Public sector unions versus the Government is the biggest story in Britain right now (in between live coverage of Kate & Wils’ Canadapalooza, I mean). One would think that the exact same issue coming to a boil in a few US states would be worth your attention. Only the BBC has been silent about the events in Wisconsin and Ohio.

Many people here probably remember a few months back when the BBC actually did report on public sector union protests against the evil Republicans who (insert NUT/PCS talking point about attacking the poorest and most vulnerable here). As was pointed out here at the time, the BBC’s coverage was biased in favor of the unions and censored news of violence and unlawful behavior by union supporters which might harm the cause in the public eye. The point is, though, that the BBC though you should be informed about the union’s cause, all the way until they lost. Then….silence.

The problem for the BBC is that it turns out that at least part of Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s victory has, contrary to the protests at the time, in fact been good for schools. One school district even went from a $400k budget deficit to a $1.5 million surplus. Sure, there are about to be 354 teachers and a number of desk-jockeys laid off because of budget cuts, but there is also going to be a big increase in school vouchers. More independent schools equals more choice for students and parents, and more jobs for teachers: if they’re worth it.

Seeing as how this is directly relevant to what’s going on in Britain right now, this ought to be of interest to you. Except it’s on the wrong side of the Narrative.

In Ohio, another Republican Governor who defeated the incumbent Democrat in November just passed a major state budget in which he cut a lot of stuff and practically made up for a $6 billion+ deficit over the next two years – all without raising taxes. This is the exact opposite of what the President just recommended (and about which the BBC made sure to inform you), and the kind of plan which Justin Webb told you doesn’t exist.

If that’s not enough to make this story relevant, then consider that Ohio is considered by most pundits to be the poster child of “swing states”. Where Ohio goes in mid-term elections, so goes the rest of the country in the next general election. You can bet that Beeboids assigned to the US know all about this concept. They have no problem covering the early fits and starts of the election campaign itself (we’ve already had plenty of coverage of the Republican debate, speeches, appearances, Sarah Palin, etc.), but the BBC is going to be shy about mentioning this because Ohio made a major turn towards Republicans last November, taking the Governor’s seat, as well as winning most of the state’s Congressional seats, and a bunch of other top offices. And yes, the state legislature is majority Republican now. This budget is the exact kind of thing the Tea Party movement has been pushing for over the last two years and more, in a state which is often looked to as a weather vane for the country, and the BBC remains silent.

California has such severe budget problems that they’re practically bankrupt (when did you last hear about this from the BBC?), and need every last dime they can scrape up. So what did the State Legislature do? They passed a law requiring sales tax on online sales from Amazon.com. Sounds simple enough: install a new tax where none existed before, raise loads of revenue. Except Amazon told them beforehand that if the tax was enacted, they’d shut down the accounts of all the Amazon Affiliates in the state because it would Amazon’s profit (this was really about big brick-and-mortar retailers fighting their online competition). So when the tax went into effect the other day, about 25,000 people logged on to find out their accounts were shut down.

Result: The $151 million in income tax these people pay every year just vanished into thin air, in exchange for….um….no sales tax revenue for the state. California, by the way, is run by a far-Left Governor and a Democrat-controlled State Legislature. Whether one agrees with Amazon or California, this is a pretty major deal that has more informative news value than a special feature comparing Michelle Bachmann with Sarah Palin. Although that depends on what one’s newsgathering priorities are.

While Justin Webb can tell you that the Republicans don’t have a plan to reduce the debt, and only raising taxes on the rich is the way forward, nobody at the BBC is going to tell you that The Obamessiah’s plan to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – the failed institutions which fueled the mortgage crash that led to the economic crisis we’re all still dealing with – will cost 2.5 times more than He said it would. $317 billion down the toilet, to prop up two failed government-funded organizations, which will only continue the damage they’re doing to the housing market.

His big stimulus package? All that “quantitative easing” Stephanie ‘Two Ed’s Flanders was sure would work? Didn’t do a thing. $2 trillion (!) down the tubes, all thanks to ideology. Not a word from the BBC. Again, this is exactly the kind of thing that fueled the growth of the Tea Party movement, and you can bet will be relevant in the coming election.

The BBC did find time today to mention that corn prices have dropped due to a bumper crop, suggesting that this is a sign that food prices will finally start to drop as well. Except they don’t tell you that ethanol subsidies have screwed things up so badly that both political parties voted at last to drop the massive tax breaks for ethanol farmers. These subsidies mean less people grow the corn we (and beef cattle) eat in favor of “dirty corn” for fuel, so food prices go up. The In this case, the Tea Party-inspired Republicans actually voted to raise taxes. One would think this kind of flip-flop is something the BBC would be eager to report with cries of “hypocrisy!”, never mind how it’s totally relevant to the story of a temporary drop in corn prices. Only they don’t think it’s worth your interest. Why?

Remember last week when the President announced he’d release 30 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to help reduce skyrocketing fuel prices? It turns out that He learned a lesson from last year’s Gulf Oil Spill and waved the Jones Act to allow foreign ships to come in and deliver it. One would have thought this is the kind of smart move the BBC would tell you about. Only they’d have to remind you of one of His errors they censored before, so never mind.

That’s enough US news for now, so I’d like to ask everyone here two questions:

1. Does the BBC, with all the staff assigned to the scene, keep you informed on US issues you think are important?

2. What kind of stories does the BBC ignore which you think they ought to report?

The Dishonesty And Political Advocacy Of Justin Webb

The latest BBC article about the US economic situation is by that well-known economics and business expert, Justin Webb. Yes, he went to the LSE, so must surely be qualified to prescribe a cure for what ails the US.

But first, his dishonesty:

I should make it clear that my reporting of the United States, in the years I was based there for the BBC, was governed by a sense that too much foreign media coverage of America is negative and jaundiced.

Too much foreign media coverage, eh, Justin? You mean like this?

America is often portrayed as an ignorant, unsophisticated sort of place, full of bible bashers and ruled to a dangerous extent by trashy television, superstition and religious bigotry, a place lacking in respect for evidence based knowledge.
I know that is how it is portrayed because I have done my bit to paint that picture, and that picture is in many respects a true one.

Who said that? Justin Webb in a ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ piece for the BBC. So who said this:

Some Tea Party folk hate Obama, but the movement is a symptom of something much deeper and more worrying for all Americans: they kinda hate themselves.

Justin Webb, in the Mirror (h/t David Vance of this parish). That was back when Webb and the BBC were pushing the lie that the mass murderer who attempted to kill Rep. Giffords in Tucson was a right-winger whose actions were inspired by the Tea Party.

And then there’s this gem:

Washington correspondent Justin Webb said that the BBC is so biased against America that deputy director general Mark Byford had secretly agreed to help him to ‘correct’, it in his reports. Webb added that the BBC treated America with scorn and derision and gave it ‘no moral weight’.

Foreign media, indeed.

Now on to the main point, ol’ Justin’s political advocacy masquerading as expert analysis.

This is a story of debt, delusion and – potentially – disaster. For America and, if you happen to think that American influence is broadly a good thing, for the world.

The debt and the delusion are both all-American: $14 trillion (£8.75tn) of debt has been amassed and there is no cogent plan to reduce it.

Denial? No cogent plan? He’s talking about the Democrats, most especially the President, who initially refused to cut any spending at all. Only that’s not what ol’ Justin wants you think. No, so long as he can convince you that it’s a bi-partisan denial, he can get away with the dishonesty.

In fact, Paul Ryan has had a cogent plan out for a while now. It’s only that Justin doesn’t like it because his personal political beliefs lead him elsewhere. To claim that nobody has one is simply a lie.

Webb’s first expert source is Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia’s Earth Institute. Even without guessing the political leanings of an organization with such a name, we can figure it out because Sachs himself says that Keynes was the “greatest political economist of the 20th century”. How convenient that it matches up with Webb’s LSE schooling.

Sachs says that the debt simply must be brought under control. Seriously, that’s it. No cogent plans offered. It’s as if Webb thinks that many people don’t realize this and need experts to tell us. What the hell does he think the Tea Party movement has been about? Oh, that’s right, I forgot: racism.

Next expert up is someone whom Webb describes only as an “author and economist”, Diane Coyle. What ol’ Justin doesn’t want you to know is that she’s also the Vice Chair of the BBC Trust and is married to BBC technology maven Rory Cellan-Jones (who was it here that coined the phrase “incest interview”?). Sure, she was an adviser to the Treasury during Thatcher’s Government, but did mostly foreign policy analyses and predictions, so not much of a Conservative. Her own website shows her involvement in Left-leaning philosophies. Her new book, “The Economics of Enough”, is all about countries living above their means and how over-spending and too much entitlement expense is not a good recipe for a secure future. Obviously ol’ Justin knows all about her book and its viewpoint, or he wouldn’t have brought her into the discussion. Coyle also offers no answers, only an explanation of one part of the problem and an emphasis that it’s really, really scary. Again, nothing new here, nothing added to the discussion of what to do, and certainly no proof that we’re all in denial, as Webb claims.

The third expert voice is just someone from the Council on Foreign Relations quoted to reinforce Webb’s contention that what happens to the US affects the whole world. Again, this assumes that the reader has no idea and Webb thinks you need an expert opinion to convince you that he’s right. Talk about underestimating the intelligence of the audience.

The only person identified by his political association is….wait for it….Republican David Frum. He’s a favorite of the BBC because he has shifted Leftwards and criticized George Bush. Webb quotes him as an example of stupid Republicans (read: Tea Party denialists and other enemies of the President) who are in denial of the problem.

This is, of course, a lie. Everyone knows there is a problem, which is why there’s such a huge budget battle on Capitol Hill right now. Who does Webb think he’s kidding here? Frum, in fact, is the only one of the voices Webb brings in who actually offers some kind of solution. Only he doesn’t like it, so dismisses it as denial. If there’s a simple solution, it must be no good because the problem is so complex and horrible. According to Justin, anyway.

So what’s this all about? A bit of scare-mongering. But before Webb gives us the answer, he first has a little attack on Alaska. What he says about the state being over-subsidized is true, even if Sarah Palin never existed, so I won’t say he’s focusing on Alaska only as a dig at her. What he is doing, though, is trying to use Alaska as a cudgel with which to beat the non-Left citizens and politicians of the US. He calls us hypocrites because Alaska exists as it does, and is mostly politically conservative. This is not a logical argument, but that’s what he’s saying. At no point does Webb show a Republican or Tea Party voice saying that we must keep federal subsidies at all cost while cutting spending on the poor. It’s just something he made up. Oh, and of course because he can’t resist it, he gets in a little ad hominem at the Tea Party:

The Tea Party movement talks of cuts in spending but when it comes to it, Americans always seem to be talking about cuts in spending that affect someone else, not them – and taxes that are levied on others too.

Yet another lie. The Tea Party movement is made up of people from all walks of life (except public sector unions and far-Left ideologues), many of whom will be affected by spending cuts no matter what Webb claims. He’s really parroting the union talking points you’ve been hearing from Bob Crow and Ed Miliband. No surprise, really.

Finally, ol’ Justin’s solution: more taxes, especially on the rich. He says that it’s Sach’s view the politicians are too scared to raise taxes because the evil rich don’t like it.

America’s two main political parties are so desperate to raise money for the nation’s constant elections – remember the House of Representatives is elected every two years – that they can do nothing that upsets wealthy people and wealthy companies.

So they cannot touch taxes.

Actually, they can: they can cut them. But that’s not part of ol’ Justin’s agenda here. So he closes with a little more dishonesty.

In all honesty, I am torn about the conclusions to be drawn. I find it difficult to believe that a nation historically so nimble and clever and open could succumb to disaster in this way.

Yeah, right. He has an opinion, which is why he’s trying to push the lie that nobody has a budget plan. The Democrats don’t have one that will fix the deficit, but the Republicans do. He just doesn’t like it so wants you to think nobody has one.

But America, as well as being a place of hard work and ingenuity, is also no stranger to eating competitions in which gluttony is celebrated, and wilful ignorance, for instance regarding (as many Americans do) evolution as controversial.

Ah, yes, the classic Justin Webb attack on the religious beliefs of non-Muslims. Except one’s views on evolution have nothing whatsoever to do with economics. It’s just something ol’ Justin threw in to belittle us, a non sequitur, as if he thinks one negative plus another negative equals more negatives, and that’s all there is to proving a point.

The debt crisis is a fascinating crisis because it is about so much more than money. It is a test of a culture.

Yes it is. But I don’t think it’s what Justin wants it to be. But his last line reveals his ignorance in a major way, and pretty much discredits his entire missive.

It is about waking up, as the Americans say, and smelling the coffee. And – I am thinking Texas here – saddling up too, and riding out with purpose.

Careful, Justin, you might just get what you wish for. Texas, you see, is the one state where they’re adding jobs and the economy is growing. In fact, 45% of jobs created in the last two years (i.e. during The Obamessiah Administration) have been in Texas. Because they’re doing it from a low-tax, help business, clean out draconian regulation, fiscally conservative position. Oops.

I think ol’ Justin has no idea about this at all, and was just trying to sound folksy, using an Americanism to add authenticity to his viewpoint. Fail.

WAVING, NOT DROWNING?

Let’s be clear where the BBC stands. Obama has done a great job, he has healed some of the wounds created by the evil Bush, oh, and he’s saved the US from another great depression. The rest is detail, or so the BBC would have us believe. Naturally, the reverse is true and so the BBC has to spin even harder to sustain the Obama-delusion. Take THIS report from Stephanie “Two Eds” Flanders. The shock horror news is that “some” parts of the US economy are “slowing down” rather than “moving towards a quicker recovery”. The good news is that “recoveries are never linear, you get setbacks”. Stephanie pretends the US economy has moved out of recession (it hasn’t) but is now going through a soft patch. In this way she seeks to obscure the central fact that Obama has done more than anyone to delay the recovery through his massive injections of QE and the truth is that his “stimulus” hasn’t stimulated anything.