Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hurricane Predictions, Lebanon Fighting, Raw Politics, Ratting On Informants, Gas Prices, Greenland Ice, And Second Hour On Speed (Tuesday's Show)

Hi guys. We're beginning with hurricane prediction news tonight, which is broken down for us in a Susan Roesgen piece. It seems we're in for a rough season. Well, if you believe them anyway. You might remember that they said the same thing about last year and it didn't really pan out. However, we're informed that an unexpected El Nino was the cause of that and this year we won't be so lucky. After the piece Anderson asks Susan if the people of New Orleans are optimistic about the levees holding and Susan says not really. Okay, raise your hand if you disagree with them. Anybody? Bueller? Didn't think so. Next up we're joined by awesome hurricane guy Ivor Van Heerden, who was quite a fixture on our tvs during the Katrina days. Anderson asks what would happen if New Orleans got hit by a category 3 hurricane. Ivor tells us it would totally flood.

Anderson's mind is boggled about that considering all the money put into the levees. According to Ivor the money has been used to fix breaches, but the levees still aren't tall enough. He thinks New Orleans needs more like $5 to $7 billion to get the levees up to snuff. Yeah, good luck with that. Hey, maybe they can ask Pakistan. I hear we give them $1 billion a year to work really hard at...not finding bin Laden. Anderson asks if the evacuation situation is good to go and Ivor says it's better than in 2005. And really, he points out that the 80% evac rate they had with Katrina was actually pretty good. Well, they had their contraflow down better than Texas. I remember that. All I know is that New Orleans has been written off by a lot of people and if it floods again it's over.

Next up we have a Nic Robertson piece on the continuing fighting in Lebanon. It's to the point that people who were already refugees are fleeing refugee camps. They must feel like they can't go anywhere. The UN brought in supplies, but even they came under fire. What a mess. After his piece Nic joins us and Anderson asks how many militants are left. Nic's not really sure, but they started with about 150 to 200 and maybe 15 or so might have been killed. Sounds like they have a long way to go. From Nic we also learn that though the militants are in the camps, there's little support for them there from the Palestinians. He also tells us there's a risk of the violence spreading to other camps too. Sigh.

Transitioning now to "Raw Politics" with Candy Crowley and we begin with the extremely frustrating news that the democrats totally caved when it came to Iraq timetables for withdrawl. And here I thought I saw a spine. Must have been a shadow. Honestly, I don't even know where I stand on the timetable issue, but good Lord, if you're not going to do it, stop playing around! This calls for some Calvin Trillin: "The Senate Democrats sat mum, like Doves afraid to coo. So history will soon record, this war as their war too." In other news, people are still trying to take down Edwards-this time because he gets a speaking fee for talking about poverty. So what, he's suppose to let the venue keep the money? How does that help poverty? Candy also tells us that Mike Huckabee is sitting out a Baptist minister gathering because he's got his boxers in a twist about when former President Carter "dissed" Bush. Aw, what would Jesus pout about? Finally, Michelle Obama is getting noticed more and McCain? Still nutty.

Erica then joins us for the headlines and the lastest edition of "What Were They Thinking?" We learn about a high school in Colorado that made their yearbook a bit special. See, instead of just the normal dorky club pictures, they've scattered "pictures of students smoking pot, drinking, some of them even proudly displaying the minor-in -possession citations they have been issued." Good Lord, kids. It's not your MySpace page! As a former high school yearbook editor, I am outraged. Okay, not outraged, but I think I can muster perturbed for this. Erica tells us that "on top of it all, there was a kid we had a sound bite from earlier today on our show. He said: You know what? This is just what we do these days. This is life." This is life? Yeah, well kid, when your manager at McDonalds, which is where you're going to end up, makes you do something you don't want to, maybe they'll reply, "Hey, this is life."

Moving on now to a Kelli Arena piece on, a site I am not linking to because it's all about giving up informants. The site is run by Chris Brown and he says he only puts up the names and faces of criminals who are trying to cut a deal, but he can't even be sure they're really informants. The Justice Department is of course horrified since they rely on people that flip. They can't legally shut the site down, so now they're trying to do more things on hard paper in order to keep info off the net. The massive irony here is that when CNN interviews the site guy he insists on having his face blacked out because he doesn't want to be harrassed. But I guess it's okay for all the people he outs. After the piece we're joined by our senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and your blogger is quite impressed to learn that his office prosecuted John Gotti. I did not know that. So anyway, Toobin's opinion is the guy has a right to the site, but using flippers is a huge tool, so there you go.

Next up we have a Tom Foreman piece on those ever-rising gas prices. But everyone is so comfuzzled as to why they're rising. So tell us 360! Why?! Why? Well kids, we've got ourselves a refinery problem. It seems we haven't built any in about 30 years and oil companies aren't exactly jumping to do so because that would cut into their profits. And it's our fault too because you people won't stop driving! Prices will go down and everyone will go back to normal. Then next year at this time it will be even worse. Something's got to give at some point.

Sort of related to driving, we move on to an Anderson piece about Greenland and how its lots and lots of ice is totally melting. "The reason that's happening is simple: it's getting warmer, and we're the primary cause," says Anderson. That's right! Good on you for not going for fake balance. I wonder how many emails from global warming deniers he's going to get for that. So anyway, if the ice sheet melts the sea levels could rise by more than 20 feet, which will submerge a whole lot of places, including Lower Manhattan, which is possibly where he is right now, though really I have no idea where Columbus Circle is in NYC. We'll just pretend because it works for me. After Anderson's piece we have Jeff Corwin actually in Greenland. I guess Anderson Cooper does not do cold. Aw, and even half frozen Jeff is still unbelievably enthused to be talking about melting ice.

Next 360 introduces another new segment called "Running Mates." A lot of new segments lately, though obviously this one can only be temporary since it's about the candidates' wives. There are only so many, you know? Tonight we start with Michelle Obama, who looks to have what it takes to be a First Lady. She's well educated, poised, and down to earth. Also, really pretty and that will actually matter to some people. Unfortunately. The Shot tonight is a beatboxing flute player. Interesting.

I'm not going to be around tomorrow to blog the second hour, so I'm just going to quickly go through what they covered right now. The transcript is not up yet and I'm tired anyway, so it's going to be brief. The hour begins with a repeat of the Nic Robertson piece and then Anderson talks about some recent polls on opinions of Muslim Americans. He says we're going to get all the angles and I'm thinking he's about to introduce Reza Aslan or something, when up pops Glen Beck. What the hell? Since when is he an expert on Muslims? And then we have to sit and watch Anderson asks Glen questions like he actually knows more than him on the subject. Seriously, we need Lou Dobbs to come build 360 a fence to keep this guy out. After Glen we have too actual experts. Then we're on to a Randi Kaye piece on the new kindler, gentler evangelical and how they're branching out from just gays, abortion, and school prayer. It's about time. Then we've got repeat hurricane stuff.

From there we have a follow up Drew Griffin piece on Congressional crooks getting pensions. Wait, scratch that, we have a repeat Drew Griffin piece and then a very brief update from him live. Then we have an interview with Douglas Brinkley on Reagan's diary. Quite a departure from "The Great Deluge." After the interview it's on to repeat Greenland stuff and then an edition of "CNN Heroes" where we meet a woman who set up a high security shelter in Mexico for victims of domestic abuse. The show was really good again. They must be in one of their upswings. Yay for us! With regards to tomorrow's show I'll probably miss at least the first hour since I will shockingly be at an American Idol party. I know! I can't believe it either. Apparently my attendence is required. Don't go away though. I'll come up with something to post on Thurday-maybe I'll catch the repeat. Tonight gets an A-


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