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TheDC Morning: Happy 57th Birthday, President Obama

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1.) Happy 57th Birthday, President Obama — Whoops, make that Happy 50th! Last night Obama celebrated his birthday at a big ol’ fundraiser in Chicago, but apparently he forgot to inform his union buddies. TheDC’s Matthew Boyle reports: “President Barack Obama’s decision to hire non-union workers to staff his birthday-party fundraiser isn’t sitting well with Big Labor… Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft reports that union members are ‘OUTRAGED’ at Obama’s decision to staff the party with non-union help. Why avoid the union label? Hoft explains: ‘If POTUS is late, and [the] party goes late, they would face MASSIVE overtime [expenses] if they do not feed the crew enough meals on time.'” Yeah, but he’s OBAMA. You must do as he says, not as he does. Rules only apply to him when they don’t prevent him from getting what he wants. And he wants a big birthday cake and lots of presents and lots of people cheering for him, and he wants it now now now, so he doesn’t have time to mess around with a lot of union crap. By the way, if you wanted to go to Obama’s party, it would’ve cost you at least $50 to get in. If you wanted to actually meet him — maybe kick around a few ideas about bridging the gap between the rich and the poor — it costs all the way up to $35,800. What better way for Obama to prove his contention that some people have more money than they need?

2.) Democrats try to end FAA shutdown before America actually notices FAA has shut down — TheDC’s C.J. Ciaramella reports: “Senate Democrats and House Republicans continued to snipe at each other today over the nearly two-week-long shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration, which will now stretch into September unless Congress takes special action. The FAA shut down on July 23rd when the Senate blocked a temporary funding bill passed by the House. The Senate objected to cuts in the Essential Air Service program, which provides federal subsidies to rural airports. The House and Senate went into recess this week, but both sides, including President Obama, are banking on a resolution to be reached by the end of the week. In the interim, Republicans have accused senators of blocking the bill to protect political pork in their states, while Democrats accuse Republicans of refusing to negotiate. In a press conference Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, flanked by fellow Senate Democrats Barbara Boxer, Chuck Schumer, and Jay Rockefeller, as well as Rep. Steny Hoyer, repeatedly accused Republicans of what Boxer called ‘government by hostage-taking.’ Democrats used the ‘hostage’ analogy no less than eight times in the press conference.” Yes, that’s their new favorite epithet. They think it will seem slightly more reasonable than calling their opponents “terrorists.” They probably wouldn’t like it if somebody pointed out that, judging by what they’re doing to future generations of Americans, the Democrats are pedophiles. They’d probably howl that such a scurrilous accusation is baseless and inflammatory and really really mean. They’d be right, and they wouldn’t even comprehend the irony. Or if they did, undoubtedly they wouldn’t care.

3.) Mitt and Sarah, sittin’ in a tree, K-N-I-F-E-F-I-G-H-T-I-N-G — Oh, it’s on now. TheDC’s Alex Pappas reports: “Sarah Palin knocked presidential candidate Mitt Romney for waiting until the debt-ceiling compromise was a ‘done deal’ before speaking out against it. ‘Bless his heart, I have respect for Mitt Romney, but I do not have respect for what he has done through this debt increase debate… He waited until it was a done deal that we would increase the debt ceiling and more money would be spent, more money borrowed and then spent on bigger government,’ the former Alaska governor said. ‘And then he came out and he made a statement that ‘oh he didn’t like the deal after all.'” An old joke about the phrase “Bless your heart” comes to mind, but it’s not suitable for the DC Morning. Suffice it to say that nobody’s heart is really being blessed. Will Mitt fight back? If he does, will anybody notice?

4.) NYT runs interference for yet another Democrat
— If you’re reading this, you’re better informed about the world than you’d be if the only thing you read was the New York Times. Again and again, America’s Newspaper of Record ignores stories that will cause trouble for people they’d prefer to remain untroubled. Oddly enough, those people tend to be Democrats. Now the NYT is trying to protect Vice President Joe Biden, after Politico reported earlier this week that he likened Republicans to terrorists. Erik Wemple at the Washington Post(!) isn’t buying Biden’s subsequent non-denial denial, and Wemple calls out the NYT, MSNBC, CBS, and even his own paper for largely ignoring the story. He then passes along this self-justification from an NYT editor named Dick Stevenson: “Obviously we were aware of the reports that Biden had likened the Republicans to terrorists. But we had no first-hand (or even second-hand) confirmation, and the vice president’s office was disputing that he had said any such thing. We debated whether we needed at least to take account of the controversy, but decided against doing so since we could not establish that Biden had said what was being attributed to him. Maybe there is more to this than we know. But on the face of it, it is a classic example of how what were once pretty clear-cut decisions based on well-established standards are now complicated by the reality that stories increasingly get injected into the public dialogue quickly and often with minimal journalistic vetting — leaving news organizations at risk of being perceived as deliberately ignoring them if they make a judgment against publishing.” This is from an editor at the New York Times, mind you. The paper that ignored the John Edwards story, the Van Jones story, the ACORN story, and any number of other stories, until they just couldn’t get away with ignoring them anymore. Then they were forced to catch up their own readers on the news that everybody else had known about for days or weeks. Well, we’ll remember Stevenson’s hemming and hawing the next time the NYT runs with an unfounded rumor about a Republican having an affair and puts it on the front page, above the fold. Or an unfounded accusation about Tea Partiers yelling racial epithets at congressmen. All it takes is the slightest evidence or merest whisper that some Republican somewhere has done something untoward, and the NYT comes running. But when the Vice President of the United States calls his own countrymen “terrorists,” the NYT stomps on the brakes. All the News That Fits the Narrative.

5.) Wu, do you think you’re foolin’? — Hold it right there, tiger! The Associated Press is reporting: “Democratic Rep. David Wu of Oregon resigned his seat late Wednesday, making him the fourth member of Congress to quit this year in the wake of a sex scandal… Wu made his resignation official in a handwritten letter to Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber sent shortly before midnight Eastern Time… Wu said he also notified House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, of his resignation.” But that’s maybe not so true, as Emily Miller at the Washington Times has discovered: “Rep. Wu’s office released a statement on Wednesday night after ‘notifying Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and House Speaker John Boehner of his resignation effective today, August 3, 2011 at 11:59 p.m.’ A spokesman for Mr. Boehner said that he had not received the notice. The governor’s spokesman said that Mr. Wu called him at 5 p.m. local time, but ‘we have not received his letter of resignation.’ The governor’s office cannot release dates for a special election to fill the seat until the congressman officially steps down.” It’s a Weineresque tactic: Make a big public announcement that you’re resigning. Make that the headline, “Wu Announces Resignation.” But then don’t do anything about it, in the hopes that everybody will take you at your word even though you’re a Congressman. Apparently Wu hopes he has enough of his nine lives left to get away with it.

6.) Today’s words of wisdom from Alec Baldwin’s Twitter feed — “The reading comprehension level of the HuffPo comments folks is alarmingly low. I mean, downright awful.”

VIDEO: Booze, tobacco, guns, and Mary Katharine Ham. No, you’re not in Heaven.

BONUS VIDEO: Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) to Joe Biden, Thomas Friedman, Joe Nocera, et al: “I am not a terrorist.”

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