Friday, June 29, 2007

Immigration Dead Again, Supreme Court Tension, Raw Politics, Continuing Earmark Coverage, And Democratic Debate (Thursday's Show)

Hi everybody. Well, after a brief vacation, the news is back. Yay! We begin tonight with Anderson telling us that immigration reform is dead. Again. A Joe Johns piece then breaks down how much our government sucks. Okay, so there's been 26 hearings and hours upon hours of debate and what does our Congress have to show for it? Nada. Apparently there were so many calls to Congress about the immigration bill that the whole dang system shut down. The belief among some is that the American people just don't trust the government to do what was in the bill. Not trust the government? Pshaw. Yeah, we apparently can't even give out passports in a timely manner, but I'm sure we'll do just fine dealing with 12 million illegal immigrants.

After Joe's piece we're joined by Mike Allen of for discussion and Anderson asks if the government is broken. Mike thinks Bush will get credit for taking on immigration reform, but the votes simply weren't there. We also learn that Congress might not take the issue up again until 2009, which is ridiculous. Then Anderson makes me laugh by saying this: "Remarkable that, after so many years in office, this White House doesn't have the ability or the knowledge to figure out a compromise, to walk hand in hand with congresspeople." Oh Anderson Cooper, they don't even know what compromise means.

Next up we have a Randi Kaye piece on the immigration situation in Loredo, Texas, where there is 171 miles of border and not enough agents. To try to remedy the problem they've gone high tech with infrared cameras and sensors. Randi goes out on patrol and the sensors are triggered 20-30 times, meaning a big group of people is sneaking across. One problem though: the sensors, well, sense. They don't catch. So the group gets away. Does anybody else feel like we're caught in some sort of immigration loop? All these stories are starting to look the same to me. What's going on in Mexico? That's the source of the problem.

Transitioning now to some Supreme Court decisions that weren't loved by all. "In one measure of the tension in the room, one of the justices came as close as justices come to actually dissing some of his colleagues. That's right. I said dissing," says Anderson. Bwah! And the other day he said "props." Anderson Cooper, keeping it real. Anyway, our very own senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin was there for the decisions and he joins us now. "Anderson, it was as dramatic as I have ever seen the court. You know, at the end of the term, the justices are tired. They're kind of sick of each other. I thought five of them needed haircuts," says Toobin. Ha! Always with the entertainment, that one.

The decision that the court ruled today was that race cannot be a factor when assigning children to public schools and Toobin explains that Breyer was NOT happy. However, chief justice Roberts came to the decision because he wants to live in a colorblind society. Apparently he doesn't see race. He's like Stephen Colbert! Toobin also tells us that "Breyer used a phrase where he said, rarely in the history of law have so few undone so much so quickly. " Ouch. That one went out to Roberts and Alito, both Bush nominated, BTW. Yet another way he's screwed us over. Anderson wonders what this all means for affirmative action. Toobin tells us there can be no more busing of black kids to white schools and the days of any kind of management by race are gone.

Coming back from commercial, we get a little of "Help" from the Beatles, another entry into 360's political theme song contest. Hmm, who's asking for the help, us or the candidates? Tom Foreman then has our "Raw Politics" and we begin with the news that Latino voters are now more likely to vote for the democrats. They had been leaning republican previously, but I'm guessing all that "OMG, the Mexicans are coming!" stuff kind of scared them away. Way to go, Lou Dobbs. Tom also tells us that there's McCain dropout rumors, but he denies it. Dude, just give it up. Do you even recognize yourself anymore? Finally, we learn that Patrick Leahy might have a cameo in the next Batman movie. What?! Okay, you know what? No congressional movie cameos until you jerks fix health care! In tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" Erica tells us about this guy who got kicked off an Amtrak train because he was drunk and unruly...only, um, they got "drunk and unruly" confused with "diabetic shock." Oops. They just freaking left him at a railroad crossing. Unbelievable. At the time of the 360 broadcast he was still missing, but luckily has since been found.

Next up we've got a Drew Griffin piece and he's still on the earmark beat. This time the interns have been turned loose on the senate. Again calls were made to make the requests public and again, they didn't get very far. Only six senators said yes, while 19 flat out said no. One of the 19 was crazy Ted Stevens. Shocker. One of my own senators didn't even ask for any, so I guess that's cool. But like the house, the majority of the senate just hasn't reponded. We also learn that republican Mike Crapo seems to think that releasing his requests would violate federal privacy laws. Um, what? Seriously, how do these people get into office?

On now to a Candy Crowley piece on the democrats third debate, this time at the historically black campus of Howard University. Basically, it wasn't much of a debate since they all seemed to agree with each other. Well, except for Mike Gravel, but let's face it, he's basically just there for entertainment anyway. After the piece we're joined by David Gergen, Amy Holmes, and Donna Brazile for discussion. The Gerg thinks Edwards and Obama faired the best. Amy thinks the black vote is very crucial, but the democrats are playing it safe. Donna then talks a bit about education and Anderson wonders if the conversation will continue past this debate since it hasn't exactly been topic number one up until now. Donna thinks it will. Apparently Donna is not as cynical as me.

After the headlines, Erica and Anderson talk a bit about the iPhone and I have to say, I so don't understand. People are waiting in line for days! Am I missing something here? I mean, does it also cure cancer and fix immigration? Does it have the power to stop the war? Anderson tells us he just got a new blackberry and it occurs to me that I don't even really know what all a blackberry can do. I have a phone. It can call people. That's pretty much it. And yet I'm still able to live my life. Hell, I'm thrilled to death I just got DSL. The Shot tonight is a "72-year-old former Marine, fighting off a pick-pocket." Whoa. that guy chose the wrong pocket to pick. The show was fairly good. B

Okay, so you may have noticed (and I believe I complained about) the second hour being just tape recently. Apparently it wasn't a fluke. Inside Cable News is reporting that over the summer the second hour will always be tape, barring any breaking news. And my guess is, depending on the ratings, this could become permanent. Why they're doing it I have no idea. Maybe cutbacks. Maybe they're focusing on specials to be aired in the fall. Maybe burnout from doing a two hour show. Who knows? I should probably point out that just because they'll be on air half as much, it's not like their work hours are getting cut in half or anything.

Honestly, I'm not really annoyed about the change. I'd rather watch one solid hour of news instead of two hours that should have been one. What I am annoyed about is 360 knows they have loyal viewers, but apparently they figure they don't need to tell us about this change. I know it's not really positive news one would want to promote, but at least put it on the blog or something. Why do we have to go to ICN (assuming he's right) to find out what's going on? C'mon, have a little respect for your viewers. Speaking of respect for viewers, Glen Beck has invaded regular CNN and Joe Klein, who I usually don't like that much, had this to say about the situation:
The world is a bit of a mess right now and CNN gives us Glenn Beck? Please, Mr. Parsons, sir, is this any way to show respect for your--our--viewers? Can't we, like, try a week of smart? See how that works? Just asking. Your Devoted Employee, Joe Klein.
Word, Joe. Big fat word to that. That'll do it folks.


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