Posts Tagged ‘chris matthews

03
Feb
09

Dick Armey – Suck It

I’m sure most of you heard the asinine comments of Dick Armey toward Joan Walsh on Chris Matthew’s Hardballs last week:

But then Think Progress posted a little back-and-forth between Chris Wallace and Mike Gallagher discussing how funny they thought Dick’s comments were.

So, allow me to offer a few points in response to the comments of these debased characters:

  • I will discontinue viewership of Hardballs if Chris Matthews continues to allow blowhard douchebags like Armey to abuse his other guests. He railed against a guest describing rumors cirulating on the blogs about Kennedy having an affair, but offers no recourse against Armey for his misogynistic attack against Joan Walsh. Matthews, grow a pair!
  • During this pathetic excuse for relevant political commentary, Dick Armey repeated the phrase “redistributionist tax policy” and “income redistributionists” and then later tells Joan Walsh she sounds like a political hack. Either Dick Armey has the intellect of a termite or the ego of the God of Abraham because he failed, amidst all his glorious narcissism, to notice that using flunky right-wing verbiage like “redistributionist” is the epitome of political hackery.
  • Dick Armey, Chris Wallace and Mike Gallagher are old, wrinkly, entirely unattractive boneheads who likely can’t even get it up without a pill or five. If any of them think that a competent female would desire interaction with their teensy, nasty weeners, they are sorely mistaken. I’d much rather do Joan Walsh. And, no, I’m not a labesian.
  • Dick Armey and those of his ilk are – as I like to copy from Obama – on the wrong side of history. Their policies were tried and failed and America saw and felt the damage wrought by these antiquated policies of ideology. Their time has passed and the rest of us are moving on without them. We’re using data and evidence to make decisions, not unprovable, unrealistic theories. No amount of insults or mindless rhetoric will keep Armey and his types relevant. They are starving ghosts of the past. And I say good riddance.
  • Last, but not least, Armey’s attempt to win an argument with condescending insults is a common tactic among fools who do not have a competent defense for their viewpoints. Personal attacks and comments such as, “You need to go back to school”, are routinely used by these olympic imbeciles – Armey just being the most recent example of one. As a relatively young (31??) female, I’ve been on the receiving end of many such comments and have found the best way to deal with them is to exclaim my refusal to waste any more time discussing policy with someone so clearly out of their depth, they must resort to “yo mamma” jokes to make a point. These people have the morality of an enema and are a waste of good oxygen.
  • Joan – I disagree with you betimes, but kudos for maintaining your composure in light of your interaction with this antediluvian gasbag.

If you’d like to contact Hardballs and express your opinion of the interview, click this link to do so. You know I did.

And Bob Herbert is my new fave for calling Armey out on his comments:

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29
Oct
08

Screw You – Leave My Liberal MSNBC Alone!

With MSNBC taking second place in the nightly line-up ratings for October (which isn’t over yet, so it’s weird the ratings for the month are already out…), all I have to say is, Damn Straight! We liberal-leaning political junkies need our opinion/analysis fix – or at least spirited discussion. No one would accuse Joe Scarborough of leaning left, yet his numbers are up as well.

CNN

CNN President Jon Klein

CNN President Jon Klein

Now, CNN is getting defensive. The network president Jon Klein is quoted in The Huffington Post as saying MSNBC’s partisan programming is giving it a boost before the election, but CNN’s post-partisan line-up will serve well in the long-term.

Um, “post-partisan”? We already have bi-partisan and non-partisan. I mean, how many prefixes can you attach to one term? Anyway, on The Daily Show Oct. 27, Campbell Brown said “We are banking on the idea that people want us to play it a little more straight than that.”

Okay, we get it, CNN. You’re the mature, unbiased news analysis. We.Get.It! (although, I think CNN’s daily news coverage tends to be a bit sensationalist, even if it’s unbiased sensationalism)

FOX

Do I even have to devote space in this blog to FOX News? Well, if I must sully myself, I must. I’ll just have to wash with LAVA afterward.

FOX is partisan. Everyone knows it. I mean, Roger Ailes is an absolute trollop for the Republican Party – especially Neo-Cons. He basically has one of those “puff, puff, give” relationships with them.

And who gives a crap, really? If FOX wants to be partisan, let them be partisan! It’s not as if their shit doesn’t reek and we intelligent people can’t all smell it. Everyone knows their angle and I’d have no problem with it if they didn’t claim to be fair and balanced. There has to be a special place in Hell reserved for the people who repeatedly say this and those who actually believe it.

Which brings me to – did anyone catch the video of Obama spokesman Bill Burton having a confrontation with anchor Megyn Kelly?

FOXs Megyn Kelly

FOX's Megyn Kelly

It’s priceless watching her get all hot and bothered by Burton’s repeated accusations that FOX has an agenda. She was so irritated, when referring to FOX News coverage, she actually repeated the phrase “fair and balanced” three times. “Oh! Maybe if I say it enough, it’ll be true! Where’s my fairy godmother, dammit!”

I don’t know what kind crack they’re smoking over there at FOX HQ, but I’m sure it’s illegal in the lower 48. Let’s think about this. Brit Hume called the Democratic National Convention “a spectacle.” Their show hosts are Laura Ingraham, Bill O’Reilly, Steve Doocy, and Sean Hannity – who’s “Hannity’s Obama & Friends: A History of Radicalism” made our likely next president look like Al Qaeda’s puppy dog mascot. Outwardly and inwardly repulsive William Kristol and Karl Rove are big-time FOX commentators and the network just hired Glenn Beck.

People, I am throwing up inside. Are you with me? OK. Let’s continue.

Jed L of Daily Kos conducted a search from Oct. 12-Oct 16 and found FOX News “mentioned ‘ACORN’ or ‘Ayers’ 1,231 times,” compared to MSNBC’s 407 and CNN’s 391. And, according to Rasmussen Reports – run by FOX darling Dick Morris (which is why his poll is the oft-quoted poll on FOX), a survey released August 6 of this year indicated 87% of FOX viewers said they planned to vote for McCain. EIGHTY-SEVEN PERCENT. Now, if they were fair and balanced, don’t you think their viewership would reflect that? (Oh, FYI – only 26% of CNN and 30% of MSNBC viewers planned on pulling the lever for the Republican.)

And, just for recreation, have a look at this picture of their website’s homepage (also posted on Daily Kos by Jed L):

For chrissakes, FOX – own your partisanship. Be one with your partisanship. Be proud that anti-intellectual, Right Wing Nut Jobs have a home among the cable news giants. No one thinks you’re FAIR AND BALANCED – not even FOX News watchers. I know pah-lenty of them and they will fully admit your slant and fully admit to liking you just for that reason.

You may be many things and receive high ratings through deals with some devil, but fair and balanced you are not.

SIDEBAR ISSUE: McCAIN NEWS COVERAGE

Now we’re hearing echoes of Hillary Clinton Campaigns lamentations from McCain’s clusterfuck of a campaign. They’ve been whining over their media coverage for quite some time – even Mark Salter said he thinks the media want Obama to be president.

What the Clinton campaign failed to understand, and what the McCain campaign is now unable to grasp is that when you run a negative campaign, the media reports it. And if your campaign is negative, the media will investigate that, they will investigate your claims and attacks. If your campaign is positive and about yourself, the media will report that and investigate your policy assertions.

McCain wanted to generate negative coverage of Obama with attacks and lies and accusations. What they didn’t understand was that they made their own attacking and accusing THE story. When a politician behaves in such a manner, the media turns its attentions on the aggressive politician because attacking and lying are much juicier story lines. The media is hungry for ratings, not truth.

Had McCain run his campaign of 2000 – which the country was wanting – media coverage of McCain would have been much more positive. But, a campaign run by former Bushies and lobbyists can’t see the forest for the trees or satiate their taste for blood. They themselves are negative entities and black holes with little character. And that, in an of itself, attracted negativity.

Perhaps they will learn this lesson before Sarah Palin gives her own executive ambitions a go in 2012, but something tells me they won’t.

BACK TO MSNBC

Now, everyone’s attacking MSNBC for being too liberal. A meeting of television peeps last Monday produced much criticism of MSNBC, with Linda Bloodworth-Thomason saying Keith Olbermann-type programming “diminishes us.”

Well, get over it. For far too long, this electorate has had a Right-Wing opinioned network and their viewership follows them over the cliff of falsehoods, guilt-by-association, ugly insinuations and outright lying. I’ve been an MSNBC watcher for a while and I’m a fairly informed person. The lying that goes on on FOX – the softballing of their favorite candidates, etc. does not happen at MSNBC. I will absolutely agree that the opinionated nighttime line-up at MSNBC leans left. And MSNBC exec producer Senior VP Phil Griffin said the passionate voices at MSNBC were part of the “rough-and-tumble world of politics.”

Rachel Maddow. Yay.

I agree. If you can’t handle the heat – get out of the frizzeaking kitchen. There are outlets of non-partisan news and analysis available anywhere you want to look. These days, we want opinion. In the era of a tidal-wave of Neo-Con, anti-intellectual, gutter politics, liberals are practically begging for someone to say, This situation is ridiculous and we’re going to tell you why we think so. The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are not enough; we’re looking for people who are seriously concerned and seriously angry and aren’t afraid to say it and aren’t afraid of Republican, White House tactics that did Dan Rather in.

Plus, I’m so happy this influx of political opinion is replacing endless reruns of Lockup and To Catch a Predator. I mean, I felt dirty after watching those programs. Hate them.

Now, I’m no slave to MSNBC. And, just to prove it, I’ll allow you the special privilege of insight into my evening television-viewing habits:

I do watch Hardball and sometimes Race for the White House (which is hardly partisan – the other day Tim Pawlenty and Nicole Wallace were the only one-on-one guests. Plus, David Gregory comes from the same non-partisan school of journalism as Tom Brokaw and Brain Williams). Countdown with Keith Olbermann has too much ranting and hardly ever gets my eye – I’m normally tuned into the reruns of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report which I undoubtedly missed the night before. I always check to see what’s happening on Larry King before I commit to Rachel Maddow, whom I love (and can catch her again, later). And then, at bedtime, I’ve got Anderson Cooper on while trying to read the multitude of books I should have finished weeks ago.

And, lest you think my eyeballs permanently glued to the television, I’m almost always doing something else in conjunction with watching these programs: cooking, reading, cleaning, writing, researching, polishing my toenails, playing with my dog or husband, polishing my collection of pundit bobbleheads (kidding. i have no such collection. i mean it.), or other insanely fascinating activities which I cannot recall at this particular moment in time.

So, those of you getting a little squeamish over MSNBC’s liberal commentary – screw off! Leave me my guilty pleasures of Matthews and Maddow. At least MSNBC has the balls to keep Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan on the payroll. Hell, even my old boss – a Republican Strategist – was on there the other day giving his two cents and looking like a goober.

But the nighttime at MSNBC belongs to those of us who want a bigger voice against the religious, Republican idiocy that has released a plague across our country’s legions of uninformed and uncurious, intolerant and close-minded. There are times I want to yell, Right On! No Shit! Finally, someone said it! And MSNBC gives me that opportunity. And I wouldn’t trade it or sacrifice it for all the vanilla, non-partisan, boring, dignified news in all the world. I get my facts all day. At night, I want something different. And MSNBC gives it to me.

29
Aug
08

Reaction to Night 4 of the Dem Convention

Obama’s speech was spectacular. It hit the right notes, had the right cadence – punched back at McCain’s petty and reprehesible attacks effectively and accomplished the convention’s task of firing up Democrats in preparation for the hard slog of the general election ahead. David Shuster got ahold of some bad information when he said it was just going to be a workman’s speech.

That said, I’ll now offer a few opinions on the evening’s earlier events.

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine must have said the word “faith” fifty times. As a rationalist, non-believer, that was a huge turn-off for me as well as his use of scripture. I’ve never gotten a good feel for the guy anyway, but now that I know he’s the Huckabee of the Democratic party, I am incredibly thankful he was not chosen as Obama’s VP. I’m having a hard enough time putting my full support behind Obama because of his FISA vote, his capitulation on off-shore drilling and his prejudice against gay marriage. If he had picked Kaine and I had to hear the word “faith” every other minute during the general, Obama would have absolutely lost my vote and MANY of those I know. I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again, religion has no place – none, whatsoever – in the political arena.

Now, Gore hit the mark as well. I enjoyed his speech far more than I enjoyed Bill Clinton’s and thought the former VP was one of the highlights of the entire convention. I’m happy he didn’t start open-mouth kissing anybody, that was a big improvement from 2000. I’m not sure if he’d been asked to speed things along, but he spoke so quickly, I was having flashbacks to the Micro Machine commercials from the 80’s. While I’m not sure his speech brought any votes over for Obama (not a ton of environmentally concerned voters headed McCain’s direction in the first place), he did what he came to do: deliver a message on the environmental intentions of Obama and remind everyone how the Republicans have wrecked any solid pro-green legislation.

After Gore’s speech, MSNBC aired McCain’s commercial congratulating Obama on his nomination. With the black curtain behind him and McCain looking down at the camera (so he’s looking down at Obama… didn’t think I’d get that, did you, McCain people?!), he looked like Darth Vader. The words coming out of his mouth were completely disconnected from the visual. The visual said (imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice), “OBAMA. I WILL BURY YOU. I WILL MAME YOU AND EAT YOU FOR BREAKFAST. YOU ARE GIRLY-MAN AND IT IS OVER FOR YOU. I HAVE BAD BREATH.” Perhaps he just shouldn’t have aired an ad rather than air one that was obviously insincere and meaningless. Good college try on being a uniter, not a divider after all that Paris/Britney debacle. Whatever.

To further my record of pointing out the least important of observations, I would just like to say that Michelle’s incessant wearing of ugly little flowers around the collar of her dresses has got to stop. She paraded those things at least three times this week. I can’t tell if they were part of the actual dress or just broaches her kids made or what, but a couple of times they turned a very nice dress into an artsy-craftsy debacle and were utterly distracting for someone who can be as shallow as I can – and that’s most people.

Now Obama’s speech is what a Democratic Convention speech should be, complete with zingers and sound bites, given in an insprirational tone that had the crowd standing the whole time. Not only will I talk about it with my peeps this whole weekend, but I’ll remember those rebuttals every time McCain tries to attack him on any of the topics Obama mentioned last night.

McCain will simply be unable to match Obama’s performance. He can barely read from a teleprompter, let alone stand as long Obama did without tripping over his words or making a gaffe. His staff should have him practicing his speech at least five times a day this close to the Repub Convention and taking gingko biloba pills. Probably won’t help, though.

It was distracting at the end of the night when Obama developed a little pocket of spittle on the left side of mouth, though. I felt for the guy, I really did and kept urging him silently to wipe it away when the cameras were busy capturing some doe-eyed girl in the audience looking like she was at Jesus Camp. Playing that country music song at the end of the speech was also a mood killer. Bad call – when there are so many other awesome choices. I would have chosen The Chemical Brothers’ “Galvanize” or something from Wyclef.

And, obviouly, Obama did not heed my MEREDITH VETO when he ended the speech with “If John McCain wants to debate…..” All the MSNBC commentators kept gushing about it afterward, saying Obama lifted it from Aaron Sorkin’s movie, “The American President,” or “The West Wing” or something. No biggie, though.

The big loser of the convention, I must admit, is MSNBC. The on-air fighting and snideness was entirely unprofessional. I really like MSNBC. They’re not as vanilla and boring and appropriate as CNN. While they have plenty of liberal commentators on, they include Scarborough and Buchanan and other righties all the time. But Olbermann’s ego has gotten out of control, Scarborough acted like a complete old white man jackass when he went off on Shuster and the constant shutting up of Chris Matthews during his lengthy philosophical meanderings was just pissing him off – I had to switch to hi-def PBS because I didn’t want to witness Matthews having an on-air aneurysm.

Brian Williams and Tim Brokaw have to be utterly embarrassed. Either way, some big dick over there has got to come in and get the troops in order. Perhaps it’s the absence of Russert and his leadership that has all the alpha-wannabees vying for dominance. Either way, MSNBC was getting painful to watch. The Huffington Post used to have all the reports under one big heading: MSNBC IMPLOSION, but now they’ve separated them all. The clips are all worth watching though. It’s like toddlers in a sandbox throwing poo at each other.

24
Jul
08

Live Blogging of Obama’s Speech in Berlin

Chris Matthews said yesterday that Obama’s trip had gone so well, he just skip Germany and just come home. This has to be one of Matthew’s larger brain farts. Can you imagine how pissed the Germans would be if Obama canceled on them last minute? Furthermore, the speeches given by JFK and Reagan in Germany will be remembered throughout history. For Obama to squander such an opportunity at such an exciting time would be a massive mistake. Minus 10 points, Chris!

Here we go,

  • Speaker is echoing. If this goes on the whole time…let’s just say, “Chinese Water Torture.”
  • Speaking not as a candidate, but as a citizen of U.S. and World.
  • He just laughed at a crazy yell from an audience member. So perfect that show of humor.
  • Talking about his father dreaming of a better life and someone in American answered his calls.
  • Recalling when U.S. & Germany histories became intertwined 60 years ago.
  • All that stood in the way of the Soviets marching across Europe and perhaps starting another world war was Berlin. The airlift began.
  • “People of the world, look at Berlin. Where Germans and Americans learned to work together and trust each other.” And make good beer!
  • NATO – the greatest alliance ever formed to defend our common security. Take that, isolationists!!
  • Good speech writing, Good delivery cadence.
  • The 21st Century has revealed a world more intertwined than at any other time in history. (paraphrasing) This new closeness also brings new dangers.
  • The terrorists of 9/11 plotted in Hamburg.
  • Climate problems.
  • The poppies in Afghanistan come to Berlin as heroin.
  • We cannot afford to be divided… No one nation can defeat these challenges alone.
  • Sometimes, on both sides of the Atlantic, we have drifted apart and forgotten our shared destiny.
  • In America, there are voices that deny Europe’s role in our security and our future.
  • Global citizenship.
  • “Greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from each other.”
  • We must tear down walls dividing rich/poor, races, religions.
  • I hope Americans are remembering that Germany is having massive race/religion issues. Their lax immigration laws have created tension with their growing population of Arabs and Muslims. In many ways, America has outpaced European in progress of race relations – I noticed while living over there.
  • Now is the time to join together across the globe.
  • “This is the moment we must defeat terror and dry up the well that supports it.”
  • The camera has closed up on his face – good staging.
  • NATO’s first mission beyond Europe’s borders, Afghanistan, must be accomplished.
  • He said tal-ee-ban again. One of his handlers needs to get on that.
  • “We must renew the goal of a world without nuclear weapons.” Ahmadinejad, can you hear me?
  • We need a strong European Union.
  • If I were a betting person, and I am, I’d say he’s obviously going to win the election if, for not other reason, than he’s the polar opposite of George W.
  • Passing responsibility to Iraqi govt. and finally bring this war to a close.
  • Crowd started chanting Obama! Obama! with a European accent. giggle.
  • Must reduce the carbon we send into our atmosphere.
  • “This is the moment to give our children back their future.”
  • The world will watch and remember what we do with this moment.
  • He’s addressing problems in more countries than George W. can probably name.
  • When we reject torture and stand for the rule of law.. (attn: Rummy, Cheney, McFlipFlop etc. etc.)
  • There are time when U.S. actions do not live up to our best intentions. — Is he saying W. and Cheney had good intentions? Objection!
  • All free people everywhere became citizens of Berlin. Jeez, that’s a good line!
  • Conclusion: I come before you to say that we are heirs to a struggle for freedom. We are a people of improbable hope with an eye toward the future, with resolve in our heart. Let us remember this history and answer our destiny and remake the world once again. Thank you, Berlin!

Andrea Mitchell is reporting German officials say the crowd is more than 100,000 strong.

Compete with that, McCAN’T. Booyah.

McCain says he’d like to give a speech in Berlin as president (suggesting it’s inappropriate for Obama to give the speech as just a candidate). Won’t happen, John. Sucks to be you today.

UPDATE: Huffpo is reporting the Foreign Service barred it’s employees from attending the Obama rally. Is there any freedom left the Bush administration hasn’t tried to curtail?? There has never been an administration in the history of the United States that has so strongly attacked our freedoms, liberties and right to pursue happiness. How does that man Bush hold his head high every day as he marches our country toward an autocracy? I have never been more thankful for term limits than I am at this moment. Of course, I suppose it wouldn’t matter if Bush could run for reelection. The landslide would smother any hope he would have of continuing his disastrous political career.

15
Jul
08

Notes on Obama’s Speech on Iraq and McCain’s Rebuttal

Notes taken live during Obama’s speech this morning:

  • I cringe every time Obama flubs a line – unlike giggling with glee when McCain trips up.
  • Steady the camera, MSNBC.
  • The repetition of points of interest is annoying.
  • As he looks from teleprompter to teleprompter, you’d think he was watching a match at Wimbledon. I’m getting motion sickness.
  • Is it (phonetically) Tal-e-ban or Tal-ee-ban? Obama says Tal-ee-ban.
  • I’ve said this before, Obama needs to meet with a public speaking coach who can teach him not to clip the ends of his words.
  • I feel very content that this speech will overshadow Bush’s ridiculous speech this morning.
  • “Securing nuclear weapons from rogue states.” Will that include Pakistan once Musharraf is removed from power?
  • “Senator McCain was one of the biggest supporters of the war.” That statement should be clarified to indicate he was a supporter of GOING to war. To indicate he supported the failed strategy afterward is a stretch and I hate when the Democrats take a page out of the Republicans’ play book.
  • He just said Tal-ee-ban again.
  • We need ribbons for our cars that say “Remember Afghanistan” and “Our Troops are Over-Taxed and Over-Burdened.”
  • “Iraq is not going to be a perfect place and we do not have unlimited resources to try and make it one.” Excellent point.
  • Residual forces left in Iraq to go after remnants of Al Qaeda. I find this acceptable. I think this force should be multi-national and under the authority of the U.N., however.
  • With all the talk of getting our forces out, Obama needs to address the defense contractor’s presence as well as our government’s involvement in their oil production and war profiteering.
  • Tal-ee-ban again. Is this going to be his nuke-u-lar? I just looked it up on dictionary.com and it indicates pronunciation as [taluh-ban].
  • Tripling aid to Pakistan? Would this be in return for our ability to go in and get Bin Laden?
  • Steady the cam, MSNBC or I might switch to CNN…
  • Goal of 80 percent of global emissions by 2050. Preach it!
  • America is strongest when we act alongside strong partners. Excellent point. W, are you listening? Oh, I forgot. You only listen to people who agree with you. Or Cheney.
  • Chris Matthews’ Hardball Number today should be how many times Obama used the word “moment” in his speech. (UPDATE: the Hardball number was how many times Obama mentioned the word “Afghanistan” in a speech that was meant to be about Iraq.
  • Obama should being referring to the Iraq War as a “war of choice” more. That will help raise voter ire toward Bush and McCain.
  • Great speech, give that speech writer a promotion! But it doesn’t distract me from his FISA vote.

**McCain plans to criticize Obama for never having visited Afghanistan and not having visited Iraq recently, yet establishing a strategy for ending the Iraq War. Does this mean that McCain believes the Americans who have not visited Iraq should have no opinion on the Iraq War? If my tax dollars are being used to perpetuate an unnecessary war, do I still have an obligation to keep my mouth shut regarding the prosecution and strategy of said war? Of course not. How ’bout this? How ’bout I use a portion of my taxes to visit Iraq so that I may be empowered to formulate a credible opinion of the war. We could set up programs akin to those European tour groups old people join so that Americans everywhere can have a say in the decisions of our government.

McCain speaking immediately after Obama’s speech.

  • He called again on Obama to participate in the town hall meetings. It’s an empty entreaty similar to his pander strategies.
  • McCain gives Obama quotations that indicate he didn’t think the surge would have any effect and then later claimed he always knew the surge would reduce violence. “Flip-floppers all over the world are enraged?” So, you’re enraged, McCain?
  • “The surge in Iraq shows us the way to succeed in Afghanistan.” This seems naive. The situations on the ground in Iraq are extremely different than the situations on the ground in Afghanistan (and I’m not just talking topography). But what am I talking about, I’ve never been there. Those countries in the Middle East are all the same!
  • “Iraq and Afghanistan are not disconnected. Success breeds success. Failure breeds failure.” What? What did our “failure” in Vietnam breed?
  • “I know how to win wars.” Um…which wars have you won? I forget.
  • Ooooh. McCain just said Tal-ee-ban as well.
  • “The drug issue in Afghanistan is the world’s problem and the world should share its cost.” True. Alternative crops is a good idea, though it hasn’t worked in Colombia and hasn’t worked in Afghanistan previously. The whole supply and demand thing…
  • McCain says that we must strengthen Pakistani tribes that are willing to fight terrorists in their region and this is what has worked in Iraq. This is true. But the U.S. has paid billions to Iraqi tribes to do this and they’ve also shelled out billions to the violent tribes, “bribing” them to stop their assaults. What will happen when we stop paying? And how long can we continue to pay when McCain and Bush won’t even increase college tuition for soldiers.
  • “Defeat radical Islam.” What breeds radical Islam? Poverty. Just FYI.
  • “When I am Commander in Chief, there will be no where the terrorists can run and no where they can hide.” Mkay, we’ll see. Does this mean you’re going to continue the “You’re either with us or against us” line.
  • “I will bring Osama Bin Laden to justice. I will do that.” (Audience gives standing ovation.) And if Osama’s in Pakistan?
  • The “galvanizing” factor of McCain’s speech cannot compare to that of Obama’s.

** While speaking with Andrea Mitchell, Trent Lott reiterated the claim that McCain “cornered” Obama into going to Iraq. These Republicans know fully well that, as the most probable presidential candidate, of course Obama would have visited before the election. He probably would have gone sooner had the Democratic primary not been so protracted.

Republicans are so comfortable in their cesspool of lies – whether it’s the China drilling off the U.S. Coast, Chuck Hagel going to Israel with Obama, Obama being Muslim and Racist, and many others. The Democrats are certainly not without their own political rhetoric, but an infestation of lies has not permeated Democrat strategies they way one has Republican strategies. Have they no honor, dignity or respect for the truth? They’re probably making Baby Jesus really, really angry.

16
Jun
08

Tim Russert’s Replacement

The news of Tim Russert’s death hit this household pretty hard as he was a regular fixture on the television. His sudden heart attack probably wouldn’t be so painful for the rest of us had it not struck in the middle of this – the most important political campaign season in over half a century. We kept asking each other who could possibly replace him at the Meet the Press? Who could bring the unflinching – yet, not unfriendly – inquisition, the stringent lack of bias, the leave-no-stone-unturned preparation and the unparalleled passion? The easy answer: no one.

Still, the show must go on and Tim would likely want it that way.

While his wake has not yet begun, I’m sure the authorities at NBC are scrambling to find a suitable replacement that will honor the memory of Tim Russert while asserting the individual talents the next host. I offer my opinions as an outsider and really have the utmost curiosity as to the strategies employed by those who will choose Tim’s successor.

I would bet that they are only looking inside the NBC family, perhaps one of Tim’s protégés, for a good candidate. So, I’ll evaluate those I think are first in line – and, obviously, I could be way off.

Chris Matthews

chris matthews

I seriously doubt Chris is really in contention. First of all, he’s too old. The new moderator of Meet the Press needs to be more youthful – around 40, I’d say – and ready to carry the mantle for a decade or more. Furthermore, Chris is really making his mark on his own show, Hardball, that was designed for him and suits him so well. I rarely miss it. Plus, Chris can be inclined to put that old foot in his mouth, which I generally appreciate being prone to the disease myself, but it just doesn’t seem Meet the Press style.

David Gregory

david gregory

David Gregory, perhaps the next in line for such a promotion, is another ballsy, no-holds-barred questioner whether he was insisting on an answer from the president or one of his subordinates. He is tenacious and another one of those seemingly-encyclopedic minds regarding the machine that is Washington. His problem: he doesn’t have the X factor (I hate that saying). While you can sense his fever for politics, there is nothing that truly draws the viewer to him. Perhaps he needs more camera time as a moderator on Race for the White House to hit his stride.

Norah O’Donnell

norah o'donnell

Norah would be one of my top picks. She’s smart, sassy, from Texas and would be the first woman host of Meet the Press. She’s either just had her third kid in a year or is about to have it, which would likely be a major factor in her decision should she be offered the position. She’s only 34 and could take a few years to really reach the same level of respect Tim had with those whom he sparred. I think she’d be a wonderful replacement, though. She is, however, and Irish Catholic – which wouldn’t do well in the area of ethnic diversity for the show, but – in my expert opinion – gender diversity makes up for it.

Chuck Todd

chuck todd

Chuck would the shot in the dark – completely inexperienced in both on-air hosting duties and hardcore questioning of politicos. I think he would be great, however. Chuck has the gleam in the eye that was so magnetic in Tim. He understands the numbers and the culture and has the work ethic of an appropriate successor. Already, he’s a fast-rising star with his own cultish fan base of newsies. His responses are measured and well thought out. He stays calm and collected and humble whenever the camera light finds him. He’s a relative unknown, but with a few years’ marination in the interviewer’s seat, he’d be awesome.

I’m leaving out David Shuster, Kelly O’Donnell – even Rachel Maddow would be a good candidate if she didn’t wear her bias (or, as I like to think, common sense) on her sleeve (I really dig her commentary and analysis, though). The new host, I think, should be a hardworking youngblood. Tim was a little over 40 when he took the reigns and a replacement of that age would be given time to mature without too much viewer judgment.

Hopefully, they’ll rotate hosts in the next weeks using members of the NBC family, as well as outsiders and political insiders. That will provide time for the best decision to be made while keeping viewer interest to see how each guest host performs. The prerequisite should only be their preparation, passion and camera readiness.

I’ll be watching and supportive regardless of who they pick to rebuild the legacy. No one can replace Tim, but at least his memory can be honored by the choice of an excellent successor.

UPDATE: L.A. Times reporting Brian Williams to host Meet the Press this weekend. I’ll be watching.

02
Jun
08

Let’s Talk Scott McClellan

I waited to comment on the whole Benedict McClellan issue until I seen a few of his interviews and how the media reacted and, I have to say, I’m disappointed in our journalistic brethren – but when am I not, really? He’ll be on Hardball later today and I’ll watch that without expectation that Chris Matthews will somehow cunningly extract new revelations from our little Texas pudge muffin.

scott mcclellan

One of the most important, yet eentzy facts when addressing What Happened? has only reached my ears once amid the media and political brouhaha the book has stirred. He repeatedly says he’s from a political family and, as a Texas resident, allow me to offer you a little history. His mother is Carol Keeton Strayhorn, a well-known politician in our state having served as first female mayor of state capital Austin, state comptroller of public accounts, as well as the first woman on the Texas Railroad Commission (which largely regulates the oil and gas industry) and, lastly, having run for governor in our last election. She started out as a Democrat (most rural Oklahomans and Texans are old-school Democrats from the times before the parties swapped demographics decades ago), but caught up with the times and became Republican in the 80’s. Recently, she opted to break from the state Republican party, who currently suckles at the teat of Gov. Rick Perry (Bush’s Lt. Governor and arguably one of the worst governors in TX history) and register her gubernatorial campaign under the Independent banner. She claimed she wanted to set partisan politics aside. Now we’ve been hearing that theme from her son as one of the main reasons he served Bush and continued to serve Bush while disagreeing with him on weighted issues such as the war of choice that has developed into the quagmire of Iraq.

carole keeton strayhorn

I’m not questioning the sincerity of their claims of detestation of the partisan politics – in fact, I’m glad to see long-established Republicans breaking from the good ‘ol boy system we have in Texas. However, those in search of an understanding of the motivations behind What Happened? as well as McClellan’s seemingly openness to an Obama vote must look to his status as mamma’s boy, rather than as former press secretary for Bush.

keeton-mclellan celebration

(that’s scott on the left – found the photo in The Austin Chronicle)

One of the assertions I have found helpful in my few efforts to understand Scott McClellan is that he was misused as press secretary and simply wasn’t a good candidate for the position. I concur. Having watched many of his press conferences, his inability to communicate effectively with the press corps and adversarial relationship with it made it painful to watch as he inartfully dodged question after question. Robert Draper, author of Dead Certain (I’ll submit a review of this book soon), characterized Scott McClellan as, “looking like nothing so much as a terrified if well-fed koala bear as he peered out from behind the press room podium and recited his message lines as if at gunpoint.”

While it is true the administration simply used the position of press secretary as merely a buffer from the intrusion of the media and not as a way to effectively reach the American people, Scott still clearly misunderstood the priority of the podium. He repeatedly, almost certainly, used plausible deniability as a justification not to push for information from the administration and clearly underestimated his responsibility as message-deliverer. While he states in his book that Bush convinces himself of whatever he needs to in order to stick to his guns, Scott obviously did so as well.

The mere fact that there is so much “pot calling the kettle black” in this book is quite unsettling. Also, upon hearing the style of speech and grammatical mistakes in McClellan’s interviews, I am almost positive he used a ghostwriter as the quotations I’ve read from the book are incredibly poignant and well-written. Many people write much better than they speak (especially with the help of an editor) and it is not a huge deal to use a ghostwriter, but it is an issue I think he should address in his media campaign. While many of these memoirs use ghostwriters, I doubt Dee Dee Myers, George Stephanopolous, Doug Feith or Ari Fleischer relied so heavily on someone else’s pen. As a writer, I feel this makes a difference in the sincerity of the book.

I do agree that Scott McClellan should have had the fortitude of character to leave the administration, or raise his voice, if he felt so out-of-step with the direction toward warfare Bush and Cheney so vehemently veered. Having not done so, the publishing of his critical memoir before the exit of Bush (and I’m no fan of the guy) is questionable. Obviously, he’s angry about the whole Plame debacle, as well he should be. But his memoir delivers no new evidence of the wrong-doings by the snakes in the White House. It’s simply a case of too little, too late, bubba. Anti-climactic and irrelevant.

The reaction out of the administration and its former members is so paltry and fake, however, it only lends credence to the memoir itself. Even those no longer in the employ of the administration stuck to the set talking points so deliberately, they should have just put Perino’s comments on replay. The reaction, no doubt planned during the month the White House had access to the memoir before its existence was leaked, only issued meager character assassinations of Scott rather than refuted a single fact in the book. Gag.

The subject is a tired one and won’t remain in the top news categories much longer, if it still is. I have no idea where Scott goes from here besides aiding his mother’s possible run for Austin mayor next year. It’s still undecided if he’d be an asset to anybody at this point.

I suppose I’m glad Scott decided to write openly about his misgivings during his tenure in the Bush administration. Better late than never. This however, shouldn’t be a celebration for us lefties, but more a sad realization that the plague of acquiescence in the government during run up to the Iraq War has cost hundreds of thousands of lives, untold collateral damages as illustrated in the rise of commodity prices, and should never, ever be duplicated by anybody in the government or military claiming to have a spine and the ability to reason.




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