Saturday, May 19, 2007

New Immigration Bill, Captive In Columbia, Raw Politics, And Polygamy (Thursday's First Hour)

Hey everybody. We kick off the hour with the news that House and Senate negotiators have come up with compromise legislation on our immigration problem. Anderson tells us how the plan would work: "After meeting certain criteria, millions of illegal immigrants receive temporary visas called Z visas before applying for permanent legal status. They must also pay a $5,000 fine. Each head of household would have to return to his or her country of origin within eight years. They are guaranteed admission back in." Also, border patrols would double, the border fence with Mexico would expand, and 400,000 guest-worker spots would be created. Some people, of course, are not happy with this because they think it's amnesty. For discussion we're joined by Frank Sharry of the National Immigration Forum and...wait for it...Lou Dobbs! As if there could be another. I was expecting Lou to be in full immigration outrage mode, but he's actually all mellow and rationally states that we need to wait to see the details of the bill. Of course the calmness might be because he knows this bill will die if the details make it look like amnesty.

While Lou is all meh on the deal, Frank is very much stoked. He doesn't think it's amnesty at all. Anderson brings up the 6,000 new border agents and 370 miles of fencing the legislation promises and asks Lou if those are good numbers. Lou tells us the compromise actually reduces the amount of fence that Duncan Hunter put into law and they've only constructed two miles of it as it is. I'm taking that as a no. Anderson notes that in between visa renewals a worker has to leave the US and he wonders if there would be a problem with that. Frank says that's the most controversial part because some workers will want to build roots in the US. This reminds me of one of the current storylines on Ugly Betty. Oh c'mon, I'm not the only one that watches. Anyway, Lou then talks about how we don't know how many illigal immigrants are here and we can't let them all become citizens because then I guess the whole country of Mexico is going to come. Or something. Frank assures us there will be a cap, but doesn't go into any details before changing the subject. Anderson notes we had legislation like this passed in 85 and now things are worse. Frank thinks this is totally different than that...even though we don't know the details yet. Uh huh. Time will tell.

Next up we have a Randi Kaye piece on four Americans that have been held captive in Columbia for the last four years by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, (FARC), the longest Americans have been held hostage ever. You think we would have heard about this before now then. A man that had been held by FARC for nine years recently escaped and has reported that before doing so he caught a glimpse of the Americans, thus providing proof of life. We learn that the men had been "working for Defense Department contractor Northrop Grumman, surveying fields of cocoa, a key ingredient for cocaine, when their plane crashed." FARC is at war with the Columbian government and sees the men as political prisoners. However, the US sees FARC as a terrorist group and we don't negotiate with terrorists. Except, you know, when we do. Iran-contra, anyone? The mother of one of the hostages says she's emailed Bush 50-60 times about it, but only ever gets an automated reply. Um, not surprising. Anyway, the State Department says they're on it, but these are the same people who are on Darfur, so...After the piece Anderson interviews the family of one of the hostages. Maybe with this coverage their release will get closer. Hopefully.

Transitioning now to "Raw Politics" with Tom Foreman. First up we learn that, oh, Wolfowitz goes down! It's about time. These guys have death grips on their jobs no matter what the scandal. So let's see, he was behind Iraq, lead the World Bank...what will he screw up next?! Speaking of death grips on their jobs, the Democrats want a no-confidence vote on Gonzales and even Republicans are getting shaky with their support. Give it up, Alberto! Isn't it disturbing how easily he lies? And he doesn't even look ashamed about it even though he totally knows we know he's lying. Argh! Anyway, we also learn that Valerie Plame is bringing a civil suit against some big wigs in the White House for outing her as a CIA agent. They say it's a vendetta, I say, you go Valerie! Because just Libby (who will probably be pardoned anyway) isn't good enough. Moving on to 2008, Tom tells us that James Dobson will not vote for or support Giuliani. Hmm, this might get interesting. Also, Al Gore is popping up all over the place again, fueling rumors of a run. There's even a draft Gore song, which Tom deems, "really, really bad." I do not disagree. Afterwards Anderson mimics the sound effect, "Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh." Oh, are you acknowledging that your graphics and sound effects are out of control or are you being a dork? Yeah, probably just being a dork. Eh, I'll take that too, I guess.

Erica with the headlines and then "What Were They Thinking?" which I guess is now a regular segment. Although since I've said that we'll probably never see it again now. Sorry. Okay, so tonight's topic is the voting off of Melinda Doolittle from American Idol, which was apparently some kind of shocker. I have a question: what the hell? I'm not 'what the helling' about Melinda, I'm talking about the whole American Idol phenomenon. Am I the only one in the country not watching this show? They're talking about it on tv, they're talking about it at my office, my mother who never watches anything but sports is talking about it, and today I just got invited to an American Idol finale party. So again, what the hell? Anyway, Erica asks Anderson if he votes and thank God he does not. Neither has Erica. Anderson then informs us that he hasn't been following as closely this season because his Tivo is broken. Oh the humanity! Then they talk a bit about past Idols and Taylor Hicks is of course brought up because of his grey hair. It's noted he hasn't done so well since Idol. "He's no Cliay Aekin," says Anderson. I don't know quite what to do with that statement. And yes, I purposely spelled his name wrong because last time I got emails from his crazy fans. The perils of having a blog. Heh.

Moving on now to some polygamy with Gary Tuchman. I probably could have phrased that better. Anyway, in a Gary piece we meet Wendell Musser, a man who was excommunicated from Warren Jeffs' church. The twist here is that they took his wife and baby and nobody will tell him where they are. He's been told they were placed with another man. Wow. Totally not cool. Poor Wendell has searched all over and no one from the church will even talk to him. After the Gary piece Anderson previews upcoming stories and tells us, "also tonight, a sicko attacks inside a church. But wait until you see the victim go Old Testament on him." Oh, good Lord. A little writing gone amuck there, but yeah, I laughed. Then we're on to an interview with Mike Watkiss of KTVK in Phoenix annd Gary Engels, investigator for Mojave County, Arizona's, attorney's office. But I'm not really into all this, so we're skipping over. I would, however, like to thank 360 for not torturing us with Warren Jeffs' singing this time. I had to hear John Ashcroft singing "Let the Eagle Soar," this week, so, you know, a girl can only take so much. Moving on to a preview of Sanjay Gupta's special about what's in our food. And I kind of don't want to know.

The Shot tonight is a tortoise versus a cat in South Africa. And the tortoise wins! The show was pretty good tonight and the special in the second hour was really good. I love the table! I'll be blogging that sometime later this weekend. As usual now, I'm not blogging Friday's show, but I watched and found it really solid-kind of surprising for a Friday. Good on 360 for airing that stoning video. Disturbing yes, but needed to be seen. And they're being all consistent with their "Giving 360" segment. Shocking. I usually do not use the word "consistent" when talking about 360. Also, Anderson and Erica doing their best valley girl impressions was amusing, but what cracked me up was thinking of that one dude who never watches CNN, but was flipping through the channels right at that moment and was all, "what the hell?" Heh. I'm really glad they played the Michael Holmes special because it was excellent and I forgot to watch it over the weekend. Actually the only thing I ever remember to watch over the weekend is "60 Minutes." Anyway, Thursday's show (and I'll go ahead and include the special) gets an A-


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