Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Karl Rove Resigns, Utah Miner Update, Raw Politics, Iraq Reality Check, And Newark Murder Coverage (Monday's Show)

Hi everybody. We've got Anderson Cooper back with us tonight and he brings us the totally awesome news that Karl Rove has resigned! Although actually, I'm having trouble getting into a full-on happy dance because, well, I'm suspicious. It's just that I've been paying attention, you know? Upon hearing the news, I literally had not even completed my thought of "yay!" before I was immediately wondering what he's going to be up to next. Stick a tinfoil hat on my head if you must, but I don't trust that guy. At all. Oh, sure, the staple excuses have been given--he wants to spend time with his family, and Josh Bolten told staffers to decide to leave by Labor Day or stay until the end--but I, of course, believe none of it. He's evil, dang nabbit! That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Next up we have a John King piece on Rove that really only brushes the surface of the entire career, basically focusing on the Bush years. We all know Bush and Rove are tight and we're told that together they were able to get the tax cuts passed, but failed at the big goal of a permanent republican majority. "Highlights" of the last few years include leaking Valerie Plame's name (though John doesn't mention that Rove was fired from the elder Bush's re-election campaign for leaking) and being involved in attorney-gate. Yet he's never been charged with anything, which only proves that life isn't fair. Oh, and from John we learn that Rove is a bit of a prankster. Hardy har har. Look, this guy was a total Machiavelli. His strategy has always been to hit his opponent where they're strongest, using any means possible. Whether it be swift voting Kerry or a whispering campaign about McCain's mental heath, you can bet behind the curtain you'll find Rove. It's widely believed he once even bugged his own office and blamed it on his opponent. He's a class act, that guy.

For discussion, we're joined by David Gergen and John King. Anderson wants to know just how all powerful Rove really was and how much was myth. John says his power has been exaggerated because, really, he didn't have that much say in foreign policy. But I'm not sure who actually claimed that he did. Rove has always been about domestic policy, selling the message, and winning elections. None of this John disputes. Anderson wonders if it was a mistake to have such a political guy working on policy. Um, yeah. The Gerg tells us we haven't had somebody like this in a long time. Rove's strategy was to smash the opposition and win by the slimmest of majority, which is how he governed too, and that didn't work out so well seeing as there's a whole other half of the country. Anderson then asks who will take over and John in so many words says Rove was irreplaceable-the last of the Texas mafia. I don't think I've ever heard them called that, but boy it's fitting.

Moving on now to an interview with Joshua Green regarding his "Atlantic Monthly" piece on Rove in September's issue. Anderson notes that Joshua said in his piece that Rove's worst days in the White House might still be to come. So, um, oops. Guess Joshua didn't see this coming. Joshua points out that the captain usually goes down with the ship, but Rove obviously had other plans. Don't captains usually have, like, integrity and stuff too? Anyway, Joshua thinks the jumping ship is an admission of failure. Yeah, well, you'll never get him to say it. Anderson then asks what went wrong with the big plan to realign the GOP. Joshua believes Rove's big mistake was governing like he had a large majority with him when he only ever won with a razor thin lead. In other words, saying screw you to almost half the country kind of made some people mad. Next, Anderson reads a quote from Joshua's piece regarding how Rove steered the White House to disaster. Joshua thinks Rove failed to lay the groundwork for getting the country to move toward big policy changes and he also fell into the trap of believing his own hype. Forgive me if my heart doesn't bleed for Karl Rove.

Transitioning now to those poor Utah miners who still haven't been brought out one way or another. We're into the eighth day and honestly, it's not looking good. In a Gary Tuchman piece we learn that they sent a camera and listening devices down the hole they dug, but they don't see or hear anybody. They're still working inside the mine and they're going to drill a third hole now, but again, not looking good. After his piece, Gary explains that they can't just send in more workers to speed things up because there's literally no room for them to work. From there we're joined with an update from mine owner Bob Murray who seems to be fixated on calling Anderson "Mr. Cooper." A lot.

Perhaps it's now vacation time for Erica Hill and Tom Foreman because we've got Joe Johns for tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" And this is a good one. Okay, so this Texas dude is suing 1-800-FLOWERS because he ordered flowers from them and they sent a thank-you note to his house, which was seen by his wife. Why is this even an issue? Because the flowers were for his girlfriend. Busted! Apparently the man was already separated, but now his wife is demanding more money in the divorce settlement. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. Next Joe brings us some "Raw Politics" and first up we learn that Tommy Thompson did so poorly in the republican Iowa straw poll that he's dropping out. Aw, buh bye. Speaking of that poll, to really no one's surprise, Romney won, but to a whole bunch of people's surprise, Huckabee came in second and hardly spent any money to boot. Joe also tells us that Obama is now getting asked the totally ridiculous question of whether he is black enough. I mean, what the hell? C'mon, people. Also, when it comes to who is most electable and who is most likeable of the democratic candidates, Clinton corners the market on the electable, while Obama finds himself most liked.

On now to the news from officials that al Qaeda attacks are declining. Sounds great, right? Well, it's meant to. Although, sounding great and being great are two different things. But fear not, we've got our walking talking reality check, otherwise known as Michael Ware, here to explain. Actually, everything he says, loyal viewers of the show have heard before (that's what happens when you're stuck in an intractable quagmire), but it's worth another go-through. From Michael we learn that, yes, the surge is providing some successes, but the real story is the deals the US is making with Ba'athist insurgents. That's what's really cutting down on the al Qaeda attacks, not so much the surge. And while it may be providing results right now, long term it is doing nothing but entrenching a civil war. Michael then brings up that touted "New York Times" editorial by Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack (which is pretty much dismantled by Glen Greenwald in Salon) and says that even they say America is not headed towards victory. Oh, and you know how occupiers shouldn't pick sides in a civil war? Well, by making deals with the Sunnis, we just did. Finally, Michael talks about how the sectarian violence is down simply because a lot of Iraqis have left and the whole place has been segregated and ethically cleansed. He tells us the real battle will begin when the Americans leave. Are you sure maybe they won't want to just have a party instead? Sigh.

Next up we have a Jason Carroll piece on those Newark murders. It seems the suspect from Peru is an illegal immigrant who has a rap sheet and was out on bail when he allegedly committed the murders. 360 talked to different officials from different places and surprise, surprise, no one knows why this guy was out on the streets. Well, while they all figure that out, four families are changed forever.

The Shot tonight is the tallest man in the world. At 8 foot 5.5 inches tall, he towers 8 inches above the previous record holder. And he's got huge hands! Freaky. Anderson then tells us that up next "Bush's brain bails." And then, " A lot of alliteration for a nervous network newsman." I love fun with literary terms! Tomorrow let's do onomatopoeia. Bam! So hey, it seems the hard news has returned with Anderson. Did it go on vacation with him? I know the show can't exactly control the news cycle, but there was hard news stuff that happened last week. I shall cross my fingers for tomorrow. B


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