Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Strange Crime, Iraq Talk, Iraq Costs, Politicizing Health, Raw Politics, McCain Flopping, And Cheating Politicians (Tuesday's Show)

Hi everybody. We're beginning tonight with, surprise, surprise, BREAKING NEWS. At some point I'm going to stop typing that and we're all just going to assume they're always beginning with breaking news. CNN is being a bunch of little wolf-criers is all I'm saying. Anderson Cooper tells us that there's been a major development in a story they've been covering for four years...even though I'm pretty sure this is the first I've seen it on the show. But you know, details, details. Anyway, four years ago this pizza delivery dude got turned into a human bomb and there were never really any answers as to what was up with that, but now we have more.

A Jason Carroll piece breaks it down for us. The background on the case is this pizza dude robs a bank and then when the police catch up with him, they find him handcuffed with a bomb around his neck, stating somebody made him do it and he doesn't have a lot of time. Naturally, the police are hella confused and the bomb squad is called, but they're not fast enough because...kaboom! No more pizza dude. So everybody was left wondering if pizza dude was in on it and, you know, ...oops, or if pizza dude was telling the truth about the gunman that made him do the robbing. Well now two people have been charged with conspiracy to commit bank robbery, though it's not clear if they knew pizza dude, so mystery remains. And now I'm feeling a little bad about referring to a possible murder victim as 'pizza dude,' so, his name was Brian Wells. An interesting (to me) little aside is that this is actually the story that caused me to link to the blog AngryBlackBitch. I had been reading through the archives for a while when I came across this post from last year that totally cracked me up. Looks like she finally got a sorta update. Anyway, after the piece Anderson has an interview with Jen Mobilia, a reporter at WSEE-TV.

Next up Anderson plays us a clip of Bush being his usual stubborn self on the subject of Iraq and then we're joined by Jamie McIntyre and Michael Ware for discussion. Anderson notes there are 18 benchmarks and asks which is most important. Jamie, ready and waiting beside a screen of graphics, tells us that would be reducing violence, which clearly isn't working out. Anderson then points out that reducing violence will allow a political solution to better form and he wonders if the Iraqi politicians are motivated to do that. We, of course, know that they re not and Michael tells us the surge is not working in that way. Anderson then wonders why the Iraqi troops still aren't performing well. Jamie notes all the money and training we've put into them and still...nothing. Anderson points out the insurgents don't seem to be having the trouble the Iraqi troops are having. Michael explains this is because the insurgents are committed and the troops are not. I guess it's hard to fight for your country when it doesn't really exist in a political sense. We're then played a clip of Joe Lieberman saying the enemy is on the run. Apparently they've mastered blowing stuff up and running at the same time. Michael smacks down this BS by saying that first of all we're fighting enemies, plural, and Lieberman has taken an "excursion into fantasy." If Lieberman is just on an excursion, I guess Bush has permanently moved there.

Moving on to a Tom Foreman "Keeping Them Honest" piece on all the money we're blowing on Iraq. Okay, so we're hemorrhaging $10 billion a month in Iraq and $2 billion more in Afghanistan and other places. So though Afghanistan was and is the home of the real terrorists, you can see where the priorities are. The war has cost $758 billion...and counting. And I guarantee you that's low. Some have estimated it could be more than two trillion. And Congress has just given the president $60 billion for the surge. You know, that thing that's not working. Democrats are of course ticked, but Bush claims that the surge just started. Not true. The last of the troops just got there, yes, but the strategy has been ongoing for months now. Tom points out that instead of funding the war we could have spent the $10 billion we spend every month on 133 state-of-the-art high schools, expanded and upgraded 100 hospitals, or doubled the prescription drug benefit. I guess it's a good thing we don't need any of that. So how are we paying our war bill? Borrowing of course. Yeah, I'm sure that won't ever bite us in the butt.

Transitioning now to Anderson telling us that former surgeon general Dr. Richard Carmona lashed out at the Bush Administration today during testimony to a House committee. His issue? The politicizing of decisions regarding the nation's health. We're played a clip and are then joined by Dr. Carmona for more. Anderson asks for specific examples of how he was kept quiet by politicians. Dr. Carmona explains that when it came to issues like needle exchange and condom use, the science involved was never discussed adequately. Anderson asks about abstinence-only education. Dr. Carmona says that scientifically it doesn't work, but the policy was influenced more by ideology than science. And when it comes to embryonic stem cell research, the surgeon general was not able to speak out before policy was made. Anderson asks whether he thinks they edited his speeches out of political or theological concerns and Dr. Carmona thinks a combination of the two. It's pointed out that this kind of thing went on under other administrations too, but Dr. Carmona notes, "this is the most partisan we have ever seen government, and it's the most marginalization that we have seen pushed on a surgeon general in the history of this nation. And that's not my opinion. That's coming collectively from my predecessors who watched my tenure." Well! Bushco, always going for the record breaking.

Back from commercial we're getting the song stylings of Genesis, the song being "Land of Confusion." It is of course another reject in 360's political theme song contest. Now, we were supposed to get to hear the finalists tonight, but apparently there's a bit of legal red tape. Oh noes! I actually wondered if they were going to have any issues like that. You can't just play someone's song on tv willy nilly. Anyway, moving on to some "Raw Politics" with Tom Foreman. We begin with the democrats all proposing universal health care plans. Bush on the other hand, wants the free market to decide. Because that's working out for the over 46 million without health insurance. Next, as we learned yesterday, Senator Vitter got connected to that DC Madam scandal and he's oh so sorry...that he got caught. Giuliani is sorry too because Vitter was a major supporter. In other news, Al Franken is a fundraising fool when it comes to his senate campaign (go Al!) and there's a new game making waves on the Internets: Whackapol. Ticked off at a politician? Go give them a good whack! Tom seems to be enjoying it anyway.

Next up we have a Candy Crowley piece on the increasingly sad little campaign of John McCain. It seems he's just chucked his top two campaign people. Yikes. Not a good sign. And last week he had to get rid of almost half the staff due to lack of money. Needless to say, things aren't going like he hoped. Independents hate him because of the war and conservatives hate him because of immigration and campaign finance reform. There's whispers that he'll quit, but it's still early. After her piece we've got Candy live, as well as David Gergen. Anderson notes McCain has said the campaign is going well and wonders what, actually, is going well. Candy basically says he's spinning. Anderson wonders what's gone wrong. The Gerg says the lack of money is a reflection of his problems with the issues and he's sad because McCain has such character. But that's the thing, Gerg, no he doesn't. Not anymore. He sold out and it's come back to bite him. Anderson asks how McCain might recover and The Gerg suggests he wait for the others to fall. Well that's a strategy. The Gerg finds it amusing that even Ron Paul has more money than McCain right now. Well Gerg, you don't know Ron Paul supporters. They are persistent! And now I'm going to get emails. There's a little more discussion, but that'll do us.

On now to an Anderson Cooper piece on how our politicians can't seem to keep it in their pants. That's right. I said it. As we know, senator David Vitter, (conservative, pro-family values, David Vitter) had his phone number turn up in the DC Madam's phone logs. Oops. Anderson tells us the "morality preaching lawmaker" has asked forgiveness from God and his wife. I love how 360 is hitting on the hypocrisy. Of course it's not just morality preachers that get around. Recently LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa copped to an affair with a newscaster and popular San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom made a confession of his own. Anderson notes that these kind of scandals used to kill a career, but now they don't and some attribute that to a kind of Bill Clinton effect. The idea is that Clinton cheated and he's still liked by most, so the voters have now cut others slack. Ooor, it's because people who are very much against infidelity, like myself, have compared Clinton's little tryst with an intern to Bush screwing the whole country, and have decided, you know, maybe we overreacted. Because as we see now, it could have been much worse.

After the piece we catch Anderson typing (yeah we saw that, mister!) and he reads us an interesting statement from Vitter's wife circa 2000, regarding whether she could be as forgiving as Hillary Clinton: "I'm a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he does something like that, I'm walking away with one thing, and it's not alimony, trust me." Anderson, and every other man watching, makes an ew-type noise. Ha! I guess Vitter better sleep in a cup. Tom Foreman then bring us the headlines and we learn that "crunk" will be added to Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Anderson says, "I thought crunk actually was a form of dance, like in California. Isn't it?" Okay, 40-year-old gray-haired dudes are not allowed to know that. I kid Anderson's hipness. The Shot tonight is a guy who went on a little flight with the help of 105 large helium-filled balloons. Man, I don't even like to get on planes. Kind of a weird choice for the lead, but the show was good. B+


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