Friday, January 05, 2007

Welcome 110th Congress! (Thursday's First Hour)

Hi everyone. We're live from Washington D.C. tonight to kick off the start of the 110th Congress and that Congress is sporting a shiny new democratic majority. Are you excited? Our first piece of the night is from Dana Bash on the day's festivities. Nancy Pelosi was sworn in as the country's first speaker of the house, now second in line to the presidency. Cheney had to swear in the new democratically led senate and I'm wondering if that was painful for him. Oh I forgot. I don't care. We then move on to a Tom Foreman piece on the democrat's 100 hour plan, which should be pointed out, refers to the first 100 hours in session. Either way they are ready to roll! They've got all sorts of good stuff on the schedule: a mininum wage hike, student loan interest slash, stem cell research, and more. It's pointed out that though it sounds like all of this would be hard to do in 100 hours, it's actually quite a long time for such small proposals. You know what? I don't care. During Christmas of 2005 I watched the House literally hold a debate on the defense of candy canes and other Christmas decorations. And hello? Flag burning? The things the democrats are proposing might actually effect my life.

Next up we have a panel with Joe Klein of Time Magazine, David Gergen, Candy Crowley, and John King. Anderson does a little pimping for Time and then actually discloses that both Time and CNN are owned by Time Warner. Well I'll be. Transparency! Anderson, you get a cookie. CNN is usually pretty bad about that kind of crap. I understand they're going to pimp for the parent company. All I ask is that they're up front about it. Anyway, Joe thinks the democrats will have better luck getting their stuff through than the Contract with America camp had. The Gerg agrees they'll get stuff through since they've run a "very disciplined campaign, especially for democrats." Hey! Especially for democrats? Oh, who am I kidding? He's totally right. John thinks stem cell research could be a problem and since I just read that senator Brownback is maybe planning a filibuster, I tend to agree. Candy points out that Iraq won't come to a vote, but now the democrats have the bully pulpit. Joe then throws some love on Nancy Pelosi and Anderson stutters us out to commercial. What? I'm not judging.

Transitioning now to an Ed Henry piece on how Bush is still being coy about Iraq even though everyone pretty much knows he wants to surge. Apparently he's going to clue us in next week after some more consultation. For a man who never takes the advice of anyone, he sure does consult a lot. Meanwhile, officials are playing a game of musical chairs with John Negroponte and Zalmay Khalilzad moving to other positions, and Harriet Meirs and prominent generals on their way out.

Next up we have a piece from John King about how democrats really can't do that much about the war. Liberal democrats want to cut war funds, but most democrats are against that and would rather rely on oversight. Oh, oversight! How we've missed you! I'm torn over cutting war funds. It's beginning to look like the only way to stop the war, but taking money from the troops makes me feel ill, not to mention it could be political suicide. Plus I have a feeling they'd just steal what they need from somewhere else. So I don't know. After the piece we go back to the panel and John King notes that you can move officials around, but people are beginning to wonder why the strategy is taking so long. The Gerg is all optimistic, saying the changes are real. Oh Gerg, remember how you thought the Iraq Study Group was going to change things? We don't really hear much about that anymore, do we? Say it with me Gerg: low expectations. Joe says our military policy is changing from force protection to counter insurgency. That's going to mean more deaths. Sigh.

On now to a Joe Johns piece on how the democrats are going to clean up the culture of corruption in Washington. They're putting the kibosh on gifts from lobbyists and tooling around in corporate jets. Rock on. It's pointed out that democrats have skeletons in their own closet. One such skeleton is William Jefferson and I'm not even going to complain about him being mentioned for balance because seriously, how did this guy get reelected? I hope Pelosi makes him just stay in his office until they take him to prison. And then we'll get to pay his pension. Joe asks Rahm Emanuel how they'll deal with him and he gives a standard nonanswer answer. I'm not a Rahm fan. He deserves credit for the democrat's win (though Dean deserves more), but he's still a cocky bastard who represents everything that's wrong with politics.

Moving on to a Brian Todd piece on how it's subpoena time baby! Henry Waxman is so ready for this. I know for a fact he's been documenting all the wrongdoing for years. John Conyers too and bloggers have been helping. Yeah, I'm excited. The republicans are afraid of a witch hunt, but the thing is, I have a feeling if they're thrown in the water they're totally going to float. Anyway, it's called accountability. There's a risk the democrats could go too far, but it's a little early for those charges.

Transitioning now to a follow up on the Drew Griffin piece yesterday regarding criminal congressmen still getting pensions. Apparently this sparked off a lot of outrage. I can't imagine why. Drew reads off some of the blog comments and really, that's pretty much it with the update. It's noted that lawmakers tried to get legislation passed on the issue before, but with no luck. There's hope that under the democrats it will have a better shot. Almost offhandedly, Anderson states that they "should look into who didn't pass that bill and why." Uh, hell yeah you should! It's like that whole journalism thing just kicked in. He mentions they might do it tomorrow. Now THAT would be what I'd call an update. Oh Anderson, if you're going to start looking closely into specific legislation to hold people accountable, I might just have to request to have your babies. I say "might" because, well, I'm really not interested in a restraining order at this point in time. I can just see me telling a judge, "he had me at 'legislation.'" Hey, can you tell it's late and I'm tired? The Shot tonight is last night's subway hero getting props from Mayor Bloomberg. Anderson describes him as a "touchy feely kind of guy," and then laughs about the big bear hug he gave Randi Kaye. I had the same reaction...and you already know that if you read my blog post from yesterday. Great show tonight. I love the focus on Keeping Them Honest. Of course if you've read this blog's mission statement, you already know that too. The only thing missing was a story on how Bush now thinks he can read our mail. A-

Screencaps by stillife.

So what's top on your list for the 110th to tackle?


Blogger midnite6367 said...

So what's top on your list for the 110th to tackle?

Wednesday night's show was well done. Whatever the Dems can do to curtail some of the corruption that has engulfed the Congress and a strong focus on developing a better strategy in Iraq gets my vote.

4:08 PM  
Blogger midnite6367 said...

I meant THURSDAY'S show....

4:10 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

Isn't it sad when all we want right now is less corruption and an actual strategy? I'm happy when we get through a week without a new violation of the constitution. Sigh.

10:21 PM  

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