Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Clinton's Lead, Fact Checking Troop Levels, Marathon Heat, Raw Politics, Disaster Talk, And Oral Roberts Scandal (Monday's Show)

Hi everyone. Well, apparently news anchors get Columbus Day off, so we've got Soledad O'Brien holding things down. Okay, apparently news anchors named Anderson Cooper get Columbus Day off. Sorry Soledad; no day off for you. Anyway, we kick tonight off with a Candy Crowley piece on how Hillary Clinton is just the most awesomest awesome democratic candidate to run for office. She's blowing everybody else out of the water, y'all! And her probable nomination in no way feels predestined due to quantity of media coverage and the fact that from the beginning everyone has been saying she's the one to beat. No sir. The media has in no way already chosen their nominee. Nuh uh. But Iowa is where it all goes down. Edwards has practically been living there and Obama has been visiting more than Clinton. In the end polls don't matter, so we'll just have to see how the vote goes down. After Candy's piece, she and Gloria Borger join us for discussion.

Next up, Soledad tells us that Prime Minister Gordon Brown has stated that by spring the British presence in Iraq will be cut in half. Is it me, or does it seem like we're always hearing about the Brits leaving. Oh, no, actually, it's not just me. Anyway, this moves us into a Jamie McIntyre "Keeping Them Honest" piece regarding Bush's promise to bring home a combat brigade by Christmas. At the time, we were told that the reduction was due to increased security in the region, so Jamie decided to find out exactly which brigade was coming home. I'm not quite sure why this took three weeks, but they're asking now and they even used prior video, so I shall be shutting up. It seems that the brigade decisions were actually made BEFORE the whole big Petraeus-goes-to-Washington thing. Imagine that. Jamie gives us the bottom line: "despite the impression the president gave, it appears that no U.S. troops are leaving Iraq early, and the ones that aren't being sent in to replace them, it turns out, weren't going anyway." Oh, and uh, actually, when the surge ends in July there will be more troops in Iraq than when it started. From these people, I would expect nothing less.

Transitioning now to a Soledad O'Brien piece on the recent very hot Chicago marathon that ended in disaster. Basically? It got hella hot--87 degrees with humidity to be precise. And when you and 35,000 of your closest friends are running 26 miles in that kind of heat, bad things tend to happen. People dropped left and right, causing organizers to actually cancel the race. In the end, about 300 people needed medical attention and one poor man even died from a heart condition. Participants complained that one problem was there was not enough water provided. See, this is why I have a policy to never run unless someone is chasing me.

Moving on to Tom Foreman supplying out "Raw Politics." We begin with Romney and Giuliani beating each other up over fiscal responsibility. Well, at least Giuliani's not exploiting, er, talking, about 9-11 this time. Next up, we learn that Republicans frickin hate kids. Democrats are taking major advantage of Bush's SCHIP veto. I guess to be fair, Republicans don't frickin hate kids; they frickin hate sick kids. Tom then tells us that both Brownback and Biden are on the split-Iraq-up wagon. "Analysts" say this might actually work, but unless the Iraqi people are for it, and I haven't heard that they are, no dice. Finally, Saturday Night Live is already mocking Fred Thompson. He is so over. Dun-dun!

Erica Hill is back and she brings us tonight's edition of "What Were They Thinking?" We learn that Larry Craig is about to be inducted into Idaho's Hall of Fame. Yes, that Larry Craig and yes, Idaho apparently has a Hall of Fame. No, it's not an award for widest stance; they had selected the senator for the honor before his little bathroom foray and they've decided to go with it. Interesting choice.

Next up we have a Dan Simon piece on sinkholes and landslides. Remember when the ground was eating California houses a little while back? Well, 360 apparently thought to themselves, what's up with that? And an investigation ensued. In the last year alone, there have been 20 landslides and it's because we keep putting houses in stupid places. That coupled with 1960's engineering that is below today's standards, and suddenly big holes are swallowing up streets. One of the places featured in this piece is La Jolla's Mt. Soledad and I point that out solely because I think it's a weird coincidence. I mean, how often do you hear the name Soledad?

For discussion, we're next joined by Stephen Flynn, previous 360 guest and author of "The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation." Stephen's says that Mother Nature didn't really intend for us to live in the mountains and that we used to learn from disasters, but over the past 30 years we've kind of lucked out in terms of bad stuff happening and have thus stopped learning. And now our infrastructure is failing, which compounds everything. Soledad then gets her ire up a little bit about people who want an ocean view no matter what. But the money quote goes to Stephen: "These should be wake-up calls for Americans, that we can't keep taking for granted our infrastructure, nor that we can live anywhere we want." We might be getting wake-up calls, but apparently that snooze button is getting a work-out.

Moving on now to a "Keeping Them Honest" piece from David Mattingly on a scandal at Oral Roberts University. I am totally unfamiliar with this "evangelical empire." Huh. Anyway, three professors at the university have been fired, they say, for reporting that Richard Roberts (university president) made them use their classes to help a political campaign, which could lose the school's tax exempt status. But that's not all--not by a long shot. Roberts' sister-in-law loaned her computer to a student and a whole mess of stuff was discovered on the hard drive, including evidence of using university money for personal trips and remodeling and whatnot. Oh, and there's allegedly a bunch of text messages from Lindsay Roberts to underage boys. Man. Anyone else feel like they've seen this movie already? Except in this version, God is all chatty. The big guy upstairs has apparently told Roberts he's being extorted. And he's told the professors to make a stand. Sounds like God just manipulated Himself some entertainment.

Next we have a preview of "The Minds of the D.C. Snipers" special. Eh, no thanks. I really don't want to go in their minds. The Shot tonight is... OMG adorable baby panda! Aw, and its whining during its checkup. That is so sweet, I'm getting a cavity. Good thing our panda-hating regular host isn't here. Hey, nobody's perfect, right? Heh. Erica then breaks out the "dramatic animal video!" graphic and raises us a cute hyena. But you can't beat the panda. We end the night with blog comments, which I guess they're going to do in the first hour now. The topic is the 08 race and the last commenter notes that "Of course, if Anderson was running, he would win hands down." Anderson for president! There are probably already t-shirts. But eh, I like the guy too much to wish the presidency on him. The show was pretty good. B


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