Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Clinton Speaks Out On Wright, McCain Economy Talk, Missing Federal Air Marshals, And An Iraq Update With Birthday Wishes (Tuesday's Show)

Hi everybody. Anderson Cooper is coming at us live from Los Angeles tonight and we're beginning with the never-ending spatfest between Obama and Clinton. Apparently she's decided it's finally time to weigh in on those Reverend Wright sermons. Duuude. We were so close to being done with that. She's killing me. Okay so, Clinton thinks Obama should have left the church when his pastor went off and she says she's offering up her opinion now simply because she was asked a question. Right. Because I'm sure this is the first time you were asked that and this has nothing to do with making imaginary sniper bullets go away. You know, even though I voted for Obama I've been trying very hard to not take sides when it comes to the Democrats, but she is making things very difficult for me. Sorry, I have to call BS when I see it.

Speaking of that, Clinton also talks further about her Bosnia sniper story that wasn't, indicating she "made a mistake." I guess I can see that. I know I also have the problem of mistakenly adding sniper fire to my travel tales. Seriously, WTF? You don't have fuzzy memories about flying bullets! Look, I could understand if her timing was off or if she incorrectly stated where she ran, but being wrong on the entire existence of sniper fire? What? Clinton blames sleep deprivation for the story fumble (at least she's not blaming Ambien!), but as Anderson notes, she's told the story three different times. "We're not sure if she blames each misstatement on sleep deprivation or just the last one," says Anderson. Ooh, snap.

For discussion of all this, we're joined by Clinton supporter Lanny Davis, Obama supporter Jamal Simmons, and Joe Klein. Jamal, being for Obama, thinks Clinton jumped into the Wright foray today to deflect from her Bosnia embarrassment. Anderson then asks Lanny what he thinks about that, but after stating it was an honest mistake, Lanny totally goes off on a tangent, trying to throw it on Obama and compare it to legislation. Lanny, that is not even remotely the same thing. You're trying to argue legislation versus BULLETS. Anderson's on the ball though, pointing out Lanny completely changed the subject and clearly didn't answer the question. Something tells me that's Lanny's MO. Anderson wonders if maybe we're getting stories like these because the candidates are running out of ways to distinguish themselves. "Or is this just the media's fault, covering the spectacle, not the substance?" he asks. Ooh, can I get in on this? Because you know what I think.

Joe, like me, is smelling the BS and thinks it's pretty clear what's going down with Clinton. He's not happy with her bringing up all the hate speech crap again and thinks she's desperate now. Lanny disagrees on the desperate part and then goes on to start repeating everything Reverend Wright said. "Lanny, you're doing it right now," says Joe. Bwah! He can't help himself. "I'm not taking sides here, but we all know what the comments were. It's funny that you feel the need to repeat them over and over again," says Anderson. It is funny, but, uh, I'm not so sure about that not taking sides thing. But it's okay, Anderson, because it's pretty crystal clear what went on here. In fact, it'd be annoying if you were trying for some stupid balance we all love to hate. I'd feel the same way if the candidates were flipped. We need you to be a BS detector. Oh, and for those wondering, yeah, Jamal is still there. He just smiles and keeps the middle square warm. Heh.

Next up, we have a Suzanne Malveaux piece on candidate transparency. Apparently Obama is winning with delegates and with the information he has online. He's got his tax records and earmark requests available to the public. Clinton? Not so much. But according to her, she's going to get the tax records online soon. And she thinks Obama needs to release his state senate records. Yeah! And then after he does that, she needs to release her high school diaries. And then he needs to release his love letters to Michelle (you know he wrote some) and so on and so on. This could go on forever. You know, we're currently living under an administration that tried their best to not even tell the public the vice president shot an old man in the face. I'm actually pretty happy with just getting the tax records and earmarks.

Back with our panel, Anderson asks why Clinton won't just release her records. To paraphrase Joe and take a bit of artistic license, he basically says, "I don't know. Hey, you know there's fighting in Basra?" And then they go to commercial. Bizarre. Coming back from break, Lanny downplays the tax records thing, but takes the chance of bringing up Rezko, even though he's apparently a little afraid of being smacked down by Anderson for changing the subject. Heh, Anderson's got them trembling in their live shots. Jamal then pipes up, noting it's nice to talk to everyone again. He wonders what Clinton might be hiding in those tax records and thinks it's "the audacity of audaciousness" for her to ask Obama to release his state senate records. "Jamal, did you come up with that term like a couple hours ago and were just waiting for the opportunity to use it?" asks Anderson. He probably came up with it during the first panel segment when no one let him talk. "I have been holding it all day for you, Anderson," says Jamal. Anderson should feel special. You don't waste puns like that on Chris Matthews (mostly because he'd laugh really loud and make you regret it).

Anyway, Lanny clearly doesn't like all this transparency stuff, so he jacks Joe's line saying this is part of the silly season. But I guess for him, Reverend Wright's comments don't fall in that category. Interesting. He then goes on to list all the stuff we should be talking about like Iraq. "Well, no doubt, you watched our hour-long special about Iraq last night at 11:00," says Anderson. Pshaw. You can't use a five year anniversary special as evidence you're covering the war. Yeah, we've got Michael Ware back now, but Iraq was shamefully absent from 360 for a long time. And what about Afghanistan? Oh, that's right. Prince Harry is home now. No need for coverage.

On now to a Dana Bash piece on McCain clumsily trying to talk about the economy. The Maverick was hoping he could just keep all his speeches on the war, but with everything tanking around him he figured, eh, maybe better mention it. To say the economy is not McCain's strong suit is apparently an understatement, so he whipped out the teleprompter for this bad boy. You know, I keep hearing how McCain himself has admitted to not knowing much about the economy and I'm a bit flabbergasted at how everyone seems to brush it off. Just because it's straight talk does not automatically make it endearing. Shouldn't we all be going, "Whoa! Back up there."? Because the economy is sorta massively important. Imagine if we had a candidate walking around laughing about how they really don't know anything about homeland security. Their campaign would be dead-on-arrival. Shouldn't this confession be treated with similar scrutiny? Anyway, in his speech McCain states he's against the government bailing out people being taken down by the housing crisis. But Bear Stearns? Was it okay to bail them out? To be fair to McCain, maybe he was against that. But he's apparently not against throwing away billions of dollars on Iraq, a lot of which gets wasted (or stolen) by contractors. Way to be frugal, McCain.

Next up, we have an investigative Drew Griffin piece on the federal air marshal program. Those that will be flying soon might not want to read this. The Department of Homeland Security classifies the exact number of marshals the country has flying, but apparently it's gotten so low that the marshals are starting to freak out and come forward. What's their magic number? One percent. That's right, only one out of 100 flights have air marshals on them. The TSA runs the program and says that number is wrong, but it seems most people Drew talked with take the one percent side. The problem seems to be that the marshals keep leaving for other jobs and now they just don't have enough. After his piece, Drew explains that the marshals are coming forward because they'd much rather have the embarrassment come to light now, rather than after something horrible has happened. Amen to that. We do way too much reacting in this country. It's time for a little pre-acting. Anderson notes that some of the bloggers are upset they did this story, but you know what? Screw them. If they can't understand how bringing a problem to light is more helpful than keeping it hidden and unsolved, well, you can't help them.

On now to an interview with Michael Ware, who recently sat down with U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker. Crocker is worried about a possible regional proxy war in Iraq if the US pulls out too soon. Michael notes that's already happening with Iran, but all of America's Arab allies could potentially jump in to take a piece of the pie (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait...). Anderson asks if Iraqi security forces can take over, but Michael has no good news. He uses today's Basra fighting as an example: two Shia factions backed by Iran both fighting each other. Sigh. But sometimes there's some fun in the gloom and doom--Anderson tells us today is Michael's birthday. Happy birthday Michael! Anderson asks him his age and Michael gets all stammery and invokes his Fifth Amendment right. Ha ha. WTF? Are guys sensitive about age now? Did this happen with the dawning of the whole metro sexual thing? Did I miss the memo?

And besides the fact that we in the US have given up most of our rights, I'm not sure Aussies are actually allowed to invoke the Fifth. "Remind me to thank you when I see you in New York," jokes Michael. "Uh-oh, I'm in trouble," says Anderson. Yes, I think you are. Because guns or no guns (as in muscles), I'm thinking Michael Ware knows how to fight (I mean, look at the nose!) and could squash you. As for the age question, there's this little thing called the Internet and it's made of tubes and has information in it. I won't be divulging the magic number because I don't need me an Aussie problem, but I'm sure you all can find it with the Google. Hint: he's younger than Anderson. But anyway, Happy Birthday, Michael, and many more. Stay safe because I really mean that last part.

The Shot tonight is a melting ice shelf. And it's too depressing to go into detail. Or I'm just lazy. I know I skipped "WWTT? too--just wasn't feeling it. The show was okay. Good Drew piece and it's always great to see Michael, but I'm getting so sick of the Obama/Clinton petty crap. At least we got some snarky undertones, but there's much more important stories that should be getting the coverage. B-


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