Video: Totenberg’s “Forgive the expression” on Christmas

posted at 2:15 pm on December 20, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Via Newsbusters, Nina Totenberg offers another data point for the “war on Christmas” with this odd, offhand remark about attending a Christmas party. What’s to forgive in that expression?  Christmas gets celebrated as both a religious and secular holiday, and a “Christmas” party is about as offensive as eggnog.  Totenberg seems more interested in apologizing to the PC crowd for even mentioning Christmas rather than using a more generic term, such as holiday celebration.  But her larger point is more interesting than her boneheaded gaffe, if you’ll forgive that expression:

I want to say one thing about the budget that didn’t get passed, the omnibus bill. You know, we talk a lot about – we just passed this huge tax cut in part because business said, you know, we have to plan, we have to know what kind of tax cuts we have. Well, these agencies, including the Defense Department, don’t know how much money they’ve got and for what. And I was at – forgive the expression – a Christmas party at the Department of Justice and people actually were really worried about this. These are law enforcement people don’t know exactly what kind of money they can spend for what.

Really?  They don’t know what laws to enforce based on continuing resolutions?  The CRs provide the ultimate in continuity; by locking in the previous year’s budget plan, they maintain the status quo. In government, it doesn’t get more consistent than a CR.

And for a reporter, Totenberg has trouble getting her facts straight.  Congress didn’t pass a tax cut.  They passed a bill that maintains the current tax rates in the same status they’ve been for seven years.  In fact, taxes went up because of the renewed estate tax; it just didn’t go up as much as Democrats wanted.  It’s only a tax cut if government feels that they were owed that tax increase and the money it would have taken out of the pockets of citizens above what they have already taken over the last decade.

The DoD and DoJ will get ample notice about the remainder of this year’s budgets when the next session of Congress sits down to develop the budget that Democrats deliberately avoided producing.   That won’t likely include more money for more regulatory efforts at the DoJ, and will almost certainly mean less money for some of the regulatory efforts they’re already engaged in performing.  For that, Totenberg and the DoJ can thank the outgoing Democratic majority that punted on the budget all year long despite having large majorities in the House and Senate and one of their own in the White House.

Update, 12/22/2010: Totenberg responds to this story at the Washington Post:

Nina adores this season. Years ago, when they taped the show in a studio with a piano, she and Carl Rowan would belt out carols every December. “I know she loves Christmas,” Peterson said. “I’ve seen her at Christmas parties — if you’ll pardon the expression.”

Then we reached Totenberg herself during her “Christmas vacation” (her term) in Jamaica. Turns out her critics got it completely wrong: She was, she says, defending Christmas. The DOJ celebration was officially dubbed a “holiday” party, and she was gently mocking that generic designation. “I think that’s kind of silly because it’s obviously a Christmas party,” she told us. “I was tweaking the Department of Justice. It was a touch of irony at the expense of the Justice department, not at the expense of Christmas.”

Great!  Happy to include her response.  Now can we address the issue of her reporting that Congress passed “a huge tax cut” by keeping rates at the same level they’ve been for the last seven years?

Oh, and merry Christmas, Nina.  Enjoy your vacation.


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Comments

Open mouth, say something stupid and revealing… close mouth… act smarter than Palin. Yup, that’s the M.O.

RalphyBoy on December 20, 2010 at 10:56 PM

Just goes to show you these liberal progressives have really trained themselves well that a trained puppet like this creature can spew the rhetoric so easily & fluidly without ever having to really think about it.

Badger40 on December 20, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Agreed.

SlimyBill on December 20, 2010 at 11:23 PM

NPR wants me to become a member? They can–forgive the expression–go f themselves.

JimC on December 21, 2010 at 12:07 AM

FlameWarrior on December 20, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Happy ChrismaKwanzakkah.

///sarc

annoyinglittletwerp on December 21, 2010 at 2:06 AM

And I was at – forgive the expression – a Christmas party at the Department of Justice and people

CUT TO COMMERCIAL!!!!!!

Nina’s breaking out in hives from saying those words that must not be spoken!!!!!

olesparkie on December 21, 2010 at 9:26 AM

One more reason (as if we needed it) to de-fund NPR – including all local stations etc.

Over50 on December 21, 2010 at 9:28 AM

Govt offices are allowed to have Christmas parties? Does Zero know about this? Got to create another czar and committee to put a stop to these parties. This woman’s head is as empty as her heart.

Kissmygrits on December 21, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Forgive the expression ??? Well, forgive the expression, but this stupid bitch belongs on another planet. What kind of an animal is offended by Christmas parties ?????

LODGE4 on December 21, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Really? They don’t know what laws to enforce based on continuing resolutions? The CRs provide the ultimate in continuity; by locking in the previous year’s budget plan, they maintain the status quo. In government, it doesn’t get more consistent than a CR.

Not that I want to be accused of defending Nina, but you couldn’t be more wrong. The DoJ’s role entails more than just funding law enforcement officers. Under the CRA rules, you cannot fund new start programs. So, hypothetically, those plans they might have had to implement the world’s best system for tracking terrorists are on hold. Those new programmers that they wanted to hire to run the program are also on hold.

What makes the CRA even more problematic is that when you finally receive your regular funding sometime in February/March, your obligation and expenditure rules (when you have to have the money on contract or spent) are the same as if you received it in October. The comptrollers are like wolves, trying to grab any unaccounted for monies.

However, what Nina fails to mention and that we all know is that the whole reason that we are facing this problem is that the Democrat-controlled Congress failed to pass a budget for 2011 as they are required because they were worried about the November elections.

RedinPDRM on December 21, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Forgive me for urging my US Congressman and two US Senators to de-fund public monies going to the fascist propaganda outlets NPR & PBS.

CatchAll on December 21, 2010 at 1:13 PM

NPR wants me to become a member? They can–forgive the expression–go f themselves.

JimC thanks for that. I haven’t laughed that hard in months.

Merry Christmas!

EA_MAN on December 21, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Probably the last comment on this thread… but I never noticed how much she looks like John, I served in Vietnam, Kerry. Why the long face?

ultracon on December 21, 2010 at 6:49 PM