Thursday, January 11, 2007

Bush's Iraq Speech, War Cost, And Raising The Minimum Wage (Wednesday's First Hour)

Hi guys. We're in Washington tonight to cover the shrub's speech. Did you watch? I had it on, but I can't say I paid that much attention. We begin with a Suzanne Malveaux piece that acts as a speech recap. Unfortunately, the surge is on. The piece makes a big deal about how Bush admitted mistakes, but I don't see why that's anything to get excited about. Who cares? If he wasn't so damn stubborn in the first place no one would even notice. We then get Suzanne live and she reads us a statement directly off of her blackberry. I don't know why I find that amusing. There are some loud anti-war protesters out there too. After Suzanne we have John King live and he again talks about how Bush admitted mistakes. Anderson points out that the speech was sold as a big strategy shift and he'd like to know what exactly is shifting. John then talks a bit about counterinsurgency and also brings up Bush's comments on Iran and Syria, which are seriously troubling me here people.

Transitioning now to a live interview with Senator Mitch McConnell who supports the preznut and the war. He thinks we haven't been attacked here again since we're fighting them there. Oh good Lord. The flypaper theory is so 2006. First of all, who is 'them'? We're fighting a whole bunch of different people, all with their own agendas. Second, perhaps the senator should tell his little theory to Spain or London or any of our other allies or former allies that have been attacked since we started the war. And here's a third for you: after we were attacked in 1993 we weren't attacked again on American soil until 2001. That's eight years with no attacks and we weren't fighting a war. How'd that happen? Anderson then brings up the Hadley memo that majorly dissed on Maliki and points out that now we're gambling on a guy that we previously didn't think was doing a good job. Good job Anderson! McConnell BS's and spins. Anderson then asks how we can trust this plan now when the intelligence was wrong before. Again, McConnell trots out the 'we haven't been attacked again' line. Anderson wants to know if this new strategy is a repudiation of the Rumsfeld strategy. He's asked this before and I think it's a great question. But, again McConnell falls back on this old 'we haven't been attacked again' meme. It's like he only has one setting. Anderson asked some great questions here, but he really should have challenged that line.

On now to some discussion with Time blogger Andrew Sullivan, Time's Joe Klein, and David Gergen. Andrew thinks it was a great speech...for 2005. The Gerg agrees it's too little too late and notes that General Petraeus thinks we would really need 250,000. And we don't have them. Joe states that the Maliki government is just a fig leaf for the militias. Andrew notes that the cynics view is Bush is just trying to buy time until he gets out of office. I don't even want to consider this. To think that they might actually be doing that...well, if that's true than they really are war criminals. The Gerg knows that all of us hope this succeeds, but he wants to know why we aren't doing more. Where's the sacrifice at home? Amen Gerg. I'm sorry, but a yellow ribbon is pretty meaningless. This was a good discussion, but...they all agree! Where are the different views? I don't want a shouting match, but some vigorous debate would be nice.

Next up we've got Tom Foreman and his maps. He goes through the logistics of where to put the troops, pointing out the Sunni/Shia neighborhoods and location of oil. We learn that Al Anbar is about the size of Missouri. Damn. Really? That's big. After this we're joined by retired Lieutenant General Dan Christman and retired Brigadier General James "Spider" Marks. General Christman is worried that if we send these troops we'll have no troops left if something else in the world happens. Spider thinks the extra troops will provide value, but wants to know how long they'll be there. Anderson wants to know the biggest threat in Iraq right now and General Christman says it's the death squads.

On now to another Tom Foreman piece, this time on the cost of the war. It's $350 billion and climbing. Originally Bush asked for $74 billion, so he was a wee bit off the mark. Anyway, with the money we've wasted on this debacle we could have hired 6 million teachers. Or here's something for you: free gas for everybody for a year. It's unbelievable the money that's been wasted. If we would have used that money on social services in the middle east without bombing them the majority of Muslims would think we were the best country evah. They always forget about the hearts and minds. Anyway, as you watched this piece it cost you a half a million bucks. But don't worry, we'll just charge it to your children...with interest.

Next up we have John Burns live from Iraq. He's been on enough that I guess I'll stop referring to him as "hair guy". They talk a bit about Maliki and John points out that Maliki has been saying for months that he would disarm Al-Sadr. He also states that the Shiites want the Americans to step aside so they can just take over, but the US wants a unity government. Following this we get the BREAKING NEWS that Senator Clinton is breaking with Bush on Iraq. Um, finally. Still not supporting you though.

Transitioning now to a "Keeping Them Honest" piece from Joe Johns on the House democrats first 100 hours. Today they're tackling the minimum wage, but you might be surprised to know that Senator Max Baucus is not on board, so who knows what will happen when this gets to the Senate. All I know is 85% fo Americans want the raise. Joe then talks a bit about the democrats and Iraq and mentions that they're holding hearings on the subject this week and next. Well good! The Shot tonight is some idiot who keeps getting in and out of his truck at a gas station in Michigan. Oh yeah, the truck is on fire. Wow, that's stupidity for you. Great show. There were some things I'd tweak, which I pointed out, but mostly they done good. A-

Your opinions/observations on the speech and its coverage?


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