Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Race For Iowa And Beyond, More Pork, Prison Escape, Afghanistan Ambush, And Wall Street Bonuses (Tuesday's Show)

Hi everyone. We're beginning tonight again with politics and the battle for 2008--or at least Iowa. Anderson Cooper notes that the Clinton campaign has hit somewhat of a roadblock lately in her quest for total domination and this intros us into a Candy Crowley piece. So what's a presidential hopeful to do? Bring out the husband and Magic Johnson, of course. Um, wait. Magic Johnson? He's not Oprah; that's for sure. Bill on the other hand is "like some kind of heat-seeking missile, programmed to hit the headlines" and that can actually be a problem. He kind of just does his own thing, even when in a supermarket. I guess Candy missed the little campaign stop where the Clintons went shopping. Bill wandered away and the look on Hillary's face was hilarious (Dec 18: Magic (Johnson) for Clinton). Another whoops was when Bill said President Hillary would send him and Bush the elder around the world to "tell them that America is open for business and cooperation again." Seeing as that's a big old diss to Dubya, Papa Bush was none too pleased. Also, those that might be Hillary's number two are leery that the job is going to come with a former president permanently peering over the shoulder and sucking up all the influence.

For discussion of this and the other political news of the day, we're joined by David Gergen, Roland Martin, and Carl Bernstein. Carl thinks the Clinton campaign has gotten desperate. Really, really desperate. But The Gerg is like, simmer down, Carl! She ain't that desperate. Though he does think she's in trouble. The Gerg then brings up the Bill factor and how it can appear he's "the power behind the skirt." Okay, Gerg. When I read that phrase on the blog I bit my lip and moved on, but I have to say I'm totally not digging the veiled sexism you've got going on here. It should be noted that The Gerg was also the one that thought putting a picture of Clinton's all female staff in the Washington Post was some kind of stupid move. Don't make me put you on notice, Gerg. Anyway, there's some more discussion on this, but it's time to let Roland have a turn. He thinks Bill needs to stop overshadowing Hillary.

Anderson then brings up that Huckabee Christmas-themed ad and points out that the bookshelf behind him was highlighted in the shape of a cross, which some saw as a subliminal message. When asked about it, Huckabee's response was that if you play the spot backwards it says: Paul is dead. Paul is dead. Paul is dead. Hahahaha...answer the question! The Gerg thinks that, duh, of course he's doing that to appeal to Christian conservatives. Next Anderson reads us an excerpt from Huckabee's 1998 book, in which he compares homosexuality to pedophilia and other lovely beliefs. Anderson notes Huck doesn't talk like that now. "Well, of course not, because he wasn't running for president then," says Roland. Duh. It's good to see them digging more into Huckabee though. Good panel.

Back from commercial, Anderson is interrupted by stage manager Kevin, who is apparently trying out for the role of 360 announcer. "Here he is, your host -- we know him, we love him -- gun metal gray -- Anderson Cooper," says Kevin. Gun metal Gray. Bwah! I believe there's a group, or a site, or a blog that sports that name. Anyway, back story on this little scene we got going on here is that Anderson is miffed about NBC's Nightly News getting Michael Douglas as an announcer. He took his (faux) annoyance and deadpan sarcasm to the blog today in what was one of the most amusing posts yet. A lot of the comments were actually pretty fun to read too, especially the ones that didn't quite get the whole thing was a joke. I wonder how many emails they'll get asking what announcer they chose. But anyway, insulting comments about Vinny and his bathrobe notwithstanding, Brian Williams is totally my network anchor boyfriend. So, I hope this whole announcer thing morphs into a feud that can only be solved with mud wrestling. Ahem.

Transitioning now to a Joe Johns "Keeping Them Honest" piece on earmarks. Joe tells us that technically Congress is being transparent this time, but the catch is that they've put 9,000 earmarks in a 3,500 page piece of legislation that has to be voted on. And if you think your friendly Congresscritter is actually going to read that before casting his/her vote, there's a bridge I'd like to sell you. The Republicans are crying foul at the Democrats, but seeing as how I actually remember their reign over Congress, I'm going to have to yawn right though any moaning they're doing. For their part, the Democrats say most of the specific provisions in the bills have already been debated and approved. Apparently we'll have to wait to see if there are any surprises. After Joe's piece, Anderson tells us that Drew Griffin's investigative work has earned him a business and financial reporting Emmy. Yay, Drew!

Take the kiddies out of the room for tonight's "What Were They Thinking?", which is brought to us by Randi Kaye. A shopping mall Santa in Connecticut was allegedly molested by an adult woman. Ho Ho No! Okay, I know molestation is serious and the guy in the video says we shouldn't laugh, so I guess I'm going to hell because I totally did. But I'm going to have company because Randi and Anderson are both trying not to crack up. And then Randi says, "You know, you are supposed to sit on Santa's lap and ask for what you want, right? Not just take it, like she did." Bwah! That's right ladies, if you want a little piece of Santa, you gotta play by the rules and ask first.

Next up, we have a Jason Carroll piece on some inmates that used a tool to chip away a hole in the wall and then covered it with a poster Shawshank Redemption-style. Then they were out of there! They even left their guards a thank you note, complete with smiley face. Needless to say, the Netflix subscriptions of the other inmates have been canceled.

On now to a Nic Robertson piece set in Afghanistan's Hindu Kush Mountains. The base there is tiny, remote, and regularly attacked. Supplies can only get to them by helicopter and the birds can't carry the heavier armor, making their Humvees more vulnerable. The soldiers that fight here are from Bulldawg Company and in their words and Nic's we're told the story of July 27th and a routine patrol that turned into anything but. A village assessment soon turned into a stakeout and the stakeout into a terrifying ambush. Seven hours later the company gets to safety. Two US soldiers are dead, including the company commander, and seven are wounded. The Afghans lost more. It's good to see 360 giving the "forgotten war" some coverage. This was a more personalized story; I'd like to know how the overall fight is going on too. Apparently lately there's been a push from some to move troops from Iraq to Afghanistan.

An interesting twist now to some business news with the up-very-late Ali Velshi. He's here to make us very angry about all the money The Man is making on Wall Street while we're trying to pay our rent. Numbers like "billions" and terms like "hedge fund" are thrown around, which basically have no relevancy in my little life. I don't get it. And neither, it seems, does Anderson. "But how does someone who's running a hedge fund make close to $1 billion? I mean, what do you actually do that earns you $1 billion?" he asks. Seriously. Ali says it's all about deals and transactions and it basically sounds like a lot of BS to me. Which is probably why I'm poor.

Anderson then previews the shot, which is Michael Jackson, but the picture doesn't come up on screen. So then he goes to Randi Kaye right as the Michael picture pops up. Randi makes it clear that ain't her. "There he is. That's not Randi Kaye." Bwah! So anyway, like I said, The Shot is Michael Jackson and he's looking weird. So nothing out of the usual there. Anderson shows us some older pictures of Michael looking normal. "Then and now. It's amazing what diet and exercise can accomplish," says Anderson. And a lot of plastic surgery. The show was really good. My only gripe is they've been MIA on the FISA stuff. B+


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