Saturday, May 12, 2007

Possible Iraq End Game, Al-Rubaie Interview, Bye-Bye Blair, Raw Politics, Discussing Church & State, And Giuliani And Abortion (Thursday's Show)

Hi everyone. We're beginning tonight with the BREAKING NEWS that the House has just passed a bill that funds the war, but only through July. Okay, this bill probably won't get much further, but it is just another sign that the country seems to be ready for the end game in Iraq. This all intros us into an Anderson piece where we learn that a gang of 11 moderate republicans laid it all out there for Bush. In stark and sobering terms they told him that Americans are war weary and nearing the point where they will accept defeat. Is this a split in the party? Minority leader Boehner says no. Right. The mini republican revolt wasn't the only bummer for Bush this week. is running ads that feature three former generals who are none to kind to Bush's Iraq strategy. BTW, after the ads ran, CBS quickly dropped General Batiste as a analyst. Not cool. Are they still freaked over Imus or something? Anyway, what does Bush say about all this negativity on the war? September 11th! September 11th! September 11th! September 11th! September 11th!

Next up we're joined by Mowaffak Al-Rubaie, Iraq's national security adviser, who agrees with Bush that benchmarks are bad. Anderson begins by asking if there are any benchmarks he will accept. Al-Rubaie says they already have, just not imposed by the US and then he goes into a bunch of legislative stuff they hope to do. Anderson notes there are a lot of people who will be listening and not believe a word he says. (It's like he can read my mind, people-heh) Then he does the totally awesome thing of reading off a whole bunch of stuff Al-Rubaie said in the past that turned out to be BS. Al-Rubaie says he's not asking anybody to believe or disbelieve. Okay then. After that little gem he then explains how we don't understand the war. I swear, it's like Rumsfeld is writing his talking points. Hey, wait a minute, where is Rumsfeld these days? Anderson then points out that we're not seeing any changes on the ground even after all this time and he wonders if he's frustrated. Basically Al-Rubaie thinks they're going through a major shift and it's going to take a while. Anderson wants to know why the Iraqi troops need so much time to get their act together when the insurgents seem to be doing quite well with their killing with the time they have. Ooh, snap. That's a good one. Al-Rubaie talks about all their police and military divisions and stuff they have now, but we all know a lot of them are infiltrated by militias.

Anderson then moves on to the topic of the two month vacation the Iraqi parliament might take this summer and wonders if maybe that's not such a good thing when people are dying right and left. Seriously, what the hell? I'm not even taking my birthday off (we get it paid) because I'm at a place right now in my work where I would get behind and what I do is not anywhere near as important as trying to save a frickin country. I think the leaders of both Iraq and the US need to forget about taking a long break this year. Al-Rubaie says they might just take off one week in August. Anderson then brings up the fact that when Zarqawi was killed Al-Rubaie claimed it was the beginning of the end for al Qaeda in Iraq, but Bush is still saying they're the central front. He reads an Al-Rubaie quote and wants to know what's up with that. Al-Rubaie says al Qaeda is an organization that regenerates. So basically you're saying it can't be defeated then?

Anderson wraps this thing up by bringing more quote goodness. He notes that back in December 2006 Al-Rubaie asked for US troops to pull back because he was afraid Iraqi troops were getting too dependent. Anderson then points out that basically this is exacty what the democrats are saying now and wants to know why he's no longer concerned about dependency. Al-Rubaie attempts to give a non answer and Anderson presses. Then he talks about Iraqis that have control. "So, you're saying Iraqi forces control Baghdad? " asks Anderson. We all know that's laughable. "If Iraq is -- if Iraqi troops are so much in command, why are there now more American troops in Baghdad? " asks Anderson. Then Al-Rubaie says a bunch of stuff about an upsurge that doesn't make much sense and that does it. Okay, what a great interview! Granted we got basically nothing out of the Al-Rubaie guy, but that's not 360's fault. Seriously, great job Anderson, writers, and researchers. Do that again!

Next up we have a John King piece that recaps the career and downfall of Tony Blair. Yep, Bush's "poodle" is tendering his resignation. It seems his support of Bush and the war have finally taken him down. The Labor Party's Gordon Brown will be his replacement. Brown is very pro-American, but lukewarm on Bush, which no doubt makes the Britains happier. Speaking of Bush, since Blair was his BFF of the international world leader circle, this is going to suck for him. Oh well. Moving on now to some discussion with David Gergen. Anderson asks how isolated Bush is right now. The Gerg says very. Anybody ever feel like we're having the same conversation over and over again? Anyway, The Gerg has his sights on September because he sees changes a-coming. I'm not holding my breath. Seriously people, you can only get burned so many times before you just start wearing fire retardant clothes. The Gerg admits Bush probably doesn't want a September time table either, but his hand is being forced. He doesn't think the gang of 11 giving him a talking-to was a Goldwater moment, but it was symbolically important. Anderson notes that Bush is now threatening to veto the House spending bill and wonders how long they're going to go back and forth. The Gerg thinks a fair amount, but again he brings up September. September is The Gerg's new Iraq Study Group. Anderson is all annoyed about the Iraqi's going on vacation and he wonders if they get it. The Gerg basically says the Shia know we're not staying forever, so they're just waiting to arm up and lock the Sunnis out of everything. He also says, "some people over there are diddling us on this," which makes me laugh. Because I'm 12.

Moving on now to "Raw Politics" with Tom Foreman. First up, we learn that Bush is all of the sudden talking about benchmarks. Gasp! He's giving aid and comfort to the enemy! Oh, it's okay when he does it? I see. Next we're told Giuliani has finally firmed up his abortion rights stance and he's landing on the pro side. After that we learn Mitt Romney "can't understand anything more awful than polygamy." Really Mitt? Rape? Mass murder? Worldwide pandemic? Would you like a do-over? Tom then gives us a mention of some political related Hollywood stuff and when he mentions Drew Barrymore we get a shot of him watching her on screen with the goofiest look on his face. Big Drew fan, Tom? Well, she loves Anderson. There's your in. Anyhoo, lastly we get a snippet of Bill Richardson's new campaign commercial and it's actually funny. But it's too early for this!! Sigh.

Transitioning now to our new nightly "America Divided" segment and back again are Ralph Reed and James Carville. Anderson notes that Pope Benedict has threatened catholics with excommunication if they support abortion and he wonders what this will do to the Giuliani campaign. Ralph points out that Kerry had trouble with this and then he says a bunch of other stuff that doesn't really answer the question. Anderson brings up how several churches are going to offer sanctuary to illegal immigrants and how that hits at the issue of church and state. James basically says that to be a true Christian one needs to offer aid and assistance-though he says it a bit more colorfully. Anderson asks where you draw the line. Ralph says the separation of church and state is to protect the church from the state, but we went too far and now the pendulum is swinging back. James thinks religion should stay away from "things like war and Terri Schiavo and hating gay people and all this stuff and focus on reconnecting with people, focus on trying to help people help each other." Amen to that. Ralph is not echoing my amen though because he thinks faith sometimes has a moral point to make and then uses the civil rights movement to make his point. Yes, but the difference Ralph is that the civil rights movement was to give rights to blacks. You want to deny rights to gay people. James notes that Jesus didn't say anything about gay people. This of course sends Ralph off onto the sanctity of marriage argument. Do I even need to point out that half of marriages end in divorce and some that don't are plagued by cheating and abuse? "Rudy Giuliani has been married three times, and he can run for president. A gay person who's been married once ought to be able to run for president," says James. Seriously.

Moving on to some more discussion on Giuliani with Amy Holmes and republican strategist Rich Galen. It's nice to see Amy back. Anderson plays us a clip and notes that Giuliani seems to have firmed up his position on abortion, though elsewhere his answer was confusing. Rich thinks that Giuliani's strength is going to be that he's a straight shooter. He totally jacked that from McCain. Hey, maybe that's what happened to McCain. Giuliani stole is straight shooterness. We're then shown a clip of Giuliani where regarding abortion he says: "I personally oppose it. I support a right of choice. Some people say that that's inconsistent. I really disagree with that." And now I'm a bit disturbed because I completely agree with him. Amy points out that Giuliani is getting more comfortable talking values, but she's shocked how he didn't seem prepared for the abortion question during the debate. Anderson's mind is also boggled about that. However, Amy notes that it was Giuliani that cleaned up all the New York sex shops and that's a kind of value too. Rich makes the point that during the last two conventions there were more pro-choice republicans speaking than pro-life democrats. Well, yeah, and I think that was deliberate on the republicans part. I mean who would you want to show off to the public: a guy with a 9-11 hero image or a dude that doesn't believe in evolution?

Next up we've got some BREAKING NEWS. Fire again. This time on Catalina Island. Man. Erica with the headlines and she informs us they're going to make a Terminator 4. Anderson is very excited about this. "Yes! 'Terminator 4.'" He even "woo hoo's". Really Anderson? Because the third one sucked. The Shot tonight is a fistfight at a Boston Pops performance. No, really. The world's gone crazy. Backing me up on this, Erica raises Anderson with a little video of the Taiwan legislature duking it out. Literally. Erica gets into the action and tries to "hit" Anderson, but she doesn't flip it around in her head and ends up punching the wrong direction. "You were trying to hit me through the TV?" asks Anderson. Then they're both into it and they end up with their fists "bumping." "Ooh, it's like Wonder Twins. Activate," says Erica. Ha! "What I never understood about the Wonder Twins, one would be, like, form of the eagle. And then the other one was, like, form of water, and then yet there was a bucket to carry the water in. No one was the bucket. Not even Gleek. I don't -- I don't understand," says Anderson. Bwah! Anderson Cooper you are such a dork. But we still love you anyway.

I'm not blogging the special because I was beat (maybe I will on one of the many times I'm sure they'll rerun it), but I did watch and it was really good. At least they got something out of the back and forth Afghanistan trip. It's such a shame they didn't get to broadcast from there. But I've already made pretty clear how I feel about that decision. Something that should be noted about the special though is that even though Anderson noted it was new, I don't think that was enough. They need to change the name each time (and maybe the graphics too) or something because I know at this point among a lot of fans it's almost a Pavlovian reaction to go for the remote whenever the word "special" is uttered. There were people who probably flipped off thinking it was their other special from there. Also, 360 sometimes creates a special with both new and old packages. Probably best to put the older packages later in the hour, so people don't think everything is old. And I can't believe I'm giving them tips on how to deceive us. Sigh.

I know I've said this before, but just a reminder, I'm not blogging most Fridays anymore. Although I did watch and I have to say, leading with the astronaut? Really? Also, I discovered that earlier this week I confused "CNN's Heroes" with "Giving 360." I had joked that they were doing the "CNN's Heroes" on the wrong day because it wasn't Friday, but really "Giving 360" is what's been on Fridays and they ran another one this Friday. So yay to them for consistency bad. Probably nobody even noticed, but hey, sometimes I like to keep myself honest. Thursday's show was pretty good. B+


Blogger gray angst said...

That was a really good interview with Al-Rubaie.

12:45 AM  

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