Thursday, March 15, 2007

Terror Confession, Gonzales In Hot Water, Raw Politics, Elderly Crime Victims, VA Horror, FDA Warning, And AC As Regis (Wednesday's First Hour)

Hello all. Tonight we start out with the breaking news that al Qaeda ringleader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has confessed to 9-11, saying he was responsible from "A to Z". Of course the first thing that pops into my mind is, "did they torture him?" The second thing that pops in is, "where the hell is Osama?! Peter Bergen then joins us to say that this really isn't a surprise. Apparently the guy has been talking up a storm about 9-11 for quite a while. Peter tells us what's interesting now is that the Pentagon is releasing other plots that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was allegedly planning. I'm sure the guy was plotting all kinds of nasty things, but unfortunately I'm passed the point where I can't believe anything the Pentagon says. Anderson asks if Peter knows how much info Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has actually given up. Peter doesn't know, but he does know that he was waterboarded. Ah, there it is. Watch that cause problems for the case. Reason#359 why you shouldn't torture people. But maybe it won't be an issue because Peter says the guy basically admitted he's an enemy combatant. All I have to say is if the administration thinks they're going to pull a little switcharoo with this guy and Osama in the public's mind they've got another thing coming.

Next up we have a John Roberts piece on the continuing scandal swirling around Alberto Gonzales. It's damage control time! It was quite a day. Bush went out and talked about it, Gonzales wimpered on all the news shows, and democrats attacked. Gonzales has reason to be worried. Republican Senator John Sununu said he should be fired and even Laura frickin Ingraham is talking smack about him. Other conservatives are mad that he didn't disclose to Congress. Oh now you decide to get all principled? Where were you guys during the last 50 scandals? For his part, Gonzales is falling back on the "mistakes were made" mantra and 360 gives us a nice little montage of past uses of the phrase so we know that Gonzales is full of it. Bill Schneider says the phrase is a great way for people to "take responsibility without taking responsibility." That's all they ever do, isn't it? After the piece John tells us that for the moment Gonzales looks safe, but just for the moment.

On now to an Anderson piece about all the adminstration castaways. We're show an old Vanity Fair picture of Bush's War Cabinet and there's hardly anybody left. Isn't it nice they can just all move on with their lives? Too bad there's over 3,000 soldiers that can't. Anyway, Anderson takes us through the Harriet Miers and Donald Rumsfeld departures and spends a little time on the Cheney factor. Right now it's Karl Rove and Gonazales that are under fire. After the piece we're joined by David Gergen for discussion about the sad state of the Bush Administration. Anderson wonders if the turnover is normal and The Gerg says it is, however Bush now has the lowest approval rating of any president in a second term in 50 years. Wow. Hey, he achieved something! Anderson then awesomely lays out a big old depressing list of just some of the reasons these guys suck: "the prosecution of the war in Iraq, the handling of Afghanistan, the use of the Patriot Act, their -- their execution of the war on terror, the medical care for veterans, the vice president's -- the vice president's unprecedented power, their financial policies, now the attorney general." And that's just off the top of his head (or the front of the prompter).

The Gerg says that with this adminstration one major problem was that they took their eye off the ball in Afghanistan and then of course all the blunders leading to Iraq. He thinks all administrations suffer from hubris when they get reelected. We also learn that The Gerg got a hell of a lot of mail when he previously said the adminstration had been free from scandal until the Libby trial. You go, emailers! Because that is definitely a "WTF?" statement, though The Gerg claims he was talking about felonies. Oh Gerg, you are too, too kind to these people who are currently leading us over a cliff. He thinks Gonzales will go, which kind of makes me think he's going to stay. The Gerg has a track record of being too optimistic for his own good is all I'm saying. Anderson then asks how history will judge this adminstration and The Gerg and I both laugh, though maybe not for the same reason. Basically it's going to come down to Iraq. "History is written by the victors," says The Gerg. And he's right. The Gerg has just made me think of the great documentary "The Fog of War." That's an Anderson Cooper 360 Review recommendation for you.

Moving on now to some "Raw Politics" with John Roberts. Hey John, your segment survived another day! I won't say anything else because I'll totally jinx it. Lots of stuff tonight. California is moving its primary date from June up to February, joining a handful of other states, including my own. Hmm, I did not know that. Next we've got some requisite Clinton/Obama horse race watching. Clinton is crushing him. Bummer. Meanwhile the guy I'm maybe, possibly, supporting (Edwards) barely ever gets mentioned. Sigh. Then we learn that firefighters hate Rudy Giuliani. Apparently there's an issue with recovering ground zero remains. Guess he won't be getting that union vote. And hey, my maybe/possibly candidate has made "Raw Politics." John Edwards is making his campaign carbon-neutral. I don't completely understand what that means, but it sounds good. Finally tonight, John McCain celebrates 34 years since his release from Hanoi Hilton. Okay, I don't think he actually celebrated, but it's been 34 years. 360 I have to say that I like the segment, but that "360 Raw Politics" graphic with the whooshing sound has got to go. Muy distracting.

Transitioning now to more on Rose Morat, that 101-year old mugging victim. Anderson tells us that the police would like to speak with her, but she's been too busy with a canasta tournament. Bwah! And Anderson could hardly get that out without laughing. To talk about the crime we're joined by John Walsh and I am not thrilled. Look, I feel horrible about what happened to his son and I think it's great he's been able to transfer that into helping other people, but I am not a fan of his appearances. He doesn't know anything for sure about this case, so all we're getting is speculation. Speculation is bad all by itself, but what's really bad when it comes to John Walsh is that he comes across so certain about all these crimes when he doesn't really know what he's talking about sometimes. Case in point, when the Shawn Hornbeck case broke, John Walsh came on 360 and told everyone that Michael Devlin was registered as a sex offender in Utah and Texas. He told us that, "he is one of those guys that I have been talking about for years, just floats from state to state." And that he had "a gut feeling that he may have been in violation in one of those two states, and he was roaming around in Missouri." This was all untrue. That was a different guy completely. This is why I do not like immediately going to "experts" for discussion.

Next up we have a "Keeping Them Honest" piece from Randi Kaye that is sure to cause outrage. She brings us the story of Jonathon Schulze, a Marine who came back from the war a broken person due to the horrors he had seen and the loss of 16 men in his squad. Jonathon couldn't sleep, he had panic attacks, and drinking and violence eventually led the Marines to give him a general discharge. Jonathon knew he was in trouble and even knew he was suicidal, so he cried out for help and the VA turned its back. He tried to get into a hospital program, but was told there was a six month wait. Then when he told another program he was feeling suicidal he was given the number 26 and advised to come back in two weeks. They really have just become numbers, haven't they? Four days later, Jonathon hanged himself. His medical records bear no mention of the numerous times he told people he was having suicidal thoughts. This is just unacceptable. People are driving around with stupid yellow ribbons on their cars and Marines are hanging themselves because they can't get a frickin hospital bed. Will Jonathon be counted in the war dead?

Moving on now to news that the FDA is putting warning labels on sleep drugs, which gives 360 the excuse to pull out the Sanjay Gupta piece with people sleep driving. Cable news has taught me that Ambien is very evil. That and Myspace. After the piece we get more Sanjay for discussion and he tells us not to mix with alcohol. Good tip. Anderson wonders if there's a way to tell that you're susceptible to freaking out on these pills, but Sanjay says not really. Sanjay also talks about good sleep hygiene, which means going to bed at the same time every night. Ha! I am clearly failing there. For example, last night I got four hours of sleep. I'll make it up on the weekend. Maybe.

Transitioning now to some fun from Anderson regarding his hosting stint on Regis and Kelly. Regis is undergoing heart surgery, so on Tuesday and Wednesday Mr. Cooper lent his charming services. Those happened to be two of my work at home days, so how convenient for me! Our host is a bit neurotic, so he gives us a whole piece on how much he (didn't) suck. Oh Anderson, you and your self deprecation. Anyway, he tells us how awkward he was, fiddling with his tie and buddoning and unbuddoning (heh) his coat. Also, we're reminded that Anderson is a freak because he doesn't drink hot things. Yes Anderson, we must all shun you now. And then there's the laugh. "My laugh is not pretty." Ha! Aw, but we love you anyway. Well Anderson, look at it this way; at least you didn't spit on the floor this time. Hee. He knows we eat this stuff up.

The Shot tonight is Dakota Russ, nine-year old winner of a mullet contest. Whoa. Check out that hair. This leads Erica Hill to show us some video of a mullet toss. No not hair, the fish. Anderson then tries to give his Shot speech and chokes on it. Again. "I always mess this up," he tells us. Yes, you do. Whoever wrote that should be proud of their cleverness, but I think you need a rewrite. Everybody knows Anderson has a stumble problem and you've got the poor guy doing a tongue twister every night. It borders on the cruel and unusual is all I'm saying. Though, admittedly, amusing to watch. The show was very good again, though I'm not digging all the John Walsh. B+


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