Friday, October 10, 2008

Troopergate Report Released, The Dow Has (Another) Crazy Day, McCain Shows He Has A Soul, And The SEC's Christopher Cox Gets Put On The Culprit Board

Hi everybody. Tonight we're beginning the broadcast with just a regular story. I kid! Where would we be without our BREAKING NEWS graphic? It seems that the Troopergate investigation has come to an end. Anderson Cooper tells us it was found that Sarah Palin violated state ethics law and abused her power when she fired her former public safety commissioner. So there. She's guilty! Anderson also tells us that she violated no laws. So there. She's innocent! Wait, what?

Randi Kaye then joins us live and explains Palin put pressure on state officials to fire trooper Mike Wooten because she had a family vendetta against him, but she was in her right to fire her public safety commissioner. In a subsequent Randi piece, we learn that Todd Palin was involved in all this too, but I'm going to take a pass on detailing. Even with today's findings, I think my blog post from last month still stands:
When it comes to the election, I think Troopergate is a non issue, unless a smoking gun suddenly appears. As it stands right now, the facts are too vague. It's a he said/she said kind of deal, which means that those who already like Palin will believe her side of the story and those who are against her, will believe she's completely at fault. No votes will be changed by this.
It's not that I don't find Palin's behavior frightening, I just think there's too much ambiguity for either campaign to see the issue get traction. The inevitable panel, tonight consisting of David Gergen, Ed Rollins, and Joe Johns, pretty much agrees with me. Though The Gerg does make the very good point that this development kinda neutralizes the argument that the McCain camp is trying to make regarding Obama not being truthful about his relationship with Ayers. Now we have proof that Palin wasn't truthful over this matter. Sucks for them, doesn't it?

Transitioning now to the economy. Aw, do we have to? Because I forgot to take my Prozac. Anyhoo, Anderson tells us that the Dow was all over the place today like a roller coaster. And I imagine some of you now feel like you need to hurl. We've got Ali Velshi at the big wall again where he maps out the ups and downs, something he's never seen happen quite like this before. For those keeping score at home, when it was all over the day ended 128 points down. Ali also tells us that the government has decided to go through with that whole investing in banks thing, so that maybe someday, we'll get our money back and then some. I continue to not hold my breath.

Ali then sticks around and we're also joined by Lynnette Khalfani-Cox and Richard Quest, a walking and (heavily accented) talking example of CNN's double standard when it comes to firing people. Just saying. His shot doesn't go below his waist, so we'll just have to assume his boot is empty. Anyway, Lynnette answers a question about investment opportunities for young people and then Richard talks global economics, but I'm sorry, he just can't be taken seriously.

Transitioning now to a Dana Bash piece on all the anti-Obama rhetoric that's been going down at the McCain and Palin rallies lately. It seems the "maverick" may have finally gotten a clue. At one McCain event a woman states that she can't trust Obama because he's an Arab. Before she can even finish, McCain shakes his head and takes back the microphone, stating that Obama is a decent family man. Hey, there's the man of integrity we've been missing these past years! Where have you been? Unfortunately for McCain though, he's taken this thing down the gutter so badly that now his supporters are actually booing him when he shows a little class.

Of course, just because McCain has changed his tune, it doesn't mean hateopalooza has stopped. His campaign is still putting out Ayers ads and his advisers are actually putting out statements that seem to defend what has been going on at the rallies. After Dana's piece, she tells us that she spoke with the woman who called Obama an Arab. Not surprisingly, she's one of the people that believe he's a Muslim. Dana schooled her with the truth, but got nowhere. Those people can't be reasoned with. Good on Dana for correcting her though.

For the other side of the partisan divide, we next get a piece from Candy Crowley. It turns out that Obama is quite alright with these attacks. In fact, his campaign actually thinks McCain's the one shooting himself in the foot. So while the "maverick" talks Ayers, Obama's brushing it off and preaching unity. Now that's presidential.

Joe Madison swaps out Joe Johns on our panel and he tells us it's important for McCain not to feed into the misinformation that these rally people are getting from conservative talk radio. You know, I caught Ana Marie Cox on Rachel Maddow's show today and she pointed out that there are always crazy people at these rallies on both sides, but a new development she's noticed lately is that all of McCain's sane people seem to have dropped away and all that's left are the crazies. And I should note that I'm paraphrasing and am not sure if she actually used the term "crazies," but you get the idea.

Anyway, The Gerg agrees with me in that we're getting a glimpse of that much more likable McCain of old. But then we totally part ways when he says this change of attitude deserves praise. Uh, hell no it doesn't. We're supposed to praise him because he's acting like a human being? If I cause an accident and then help the victim, should I be praised for that? Ridiculous. At least The Gerg notes that Palin is still out there inciting the crowds. Ed believes that McCain has changed over the course of this campaign and he has a sense of entitlement now. He also talks some about how there's a disconnect between what's going on with his media team and what's going down on the trail.

Anderson then notes that The Gerg was on the Colbert Report last night and told Stephen that the "final months of a campaign are the beginning of the way someone rules." Anderson also points out that it's the first time he's ever quoted the Colbert Report. You're really though the looking glass now, aren't you? But hey, sometimes the Comedy Central kids are just as newsy as the rest of them. Anderson needs to learn that the 't' in 'Report' is silent. He's tarnishing his cool cred. Back to The Gerg's quote, he further explains that though he thinks McCain is not down for the count, these few months "are really casting a shadow over his presidency." Wow, already destroying his presidential legacy before he even has the office. Trying to one-up the last one, huh?

On now to the third installment of "The 10 Most Wanted Culprits of the Collapse," or "10 Assholes Who Screwed Us Over." Tonight's contestant is SEC Chairman Christopher Cox, who has already been on the receiving end of some hating from McCain (wants to fire him) and Democrats. We learn that he deserves ire from us because he ignored warning signs that things were going downhill. Cox defends himself by claiming he had no authority to act on these problems. You know what I just realized? I'm not really all that upset about this because it appears that he was "only" ineffective at his job. I'm seriously sitting here going, "well, at least it was just incompetence and he didn't commit crimes or sell us out over greed." How sad is that? I have literally become so accustomed to officials totally and utterly failing to perform their jobs, that I have to remind myself to be mad about it. We really are just a banana republic with nukes now, aren't we?

"The Shot" tonight is an adorable video courtesy of Andrew Sullivan's blog, which shows a soldier being greeted by his two very excited dogs when he returns from Iraq. Aw, I wish every returning soldier could get that kind of greeting. It actually reminds me of this animal video. *sniffles*

Well, the week has ended and you know what that means: Floor Crew Friday on the webcast! Except, oh noes, holy technical problems batman! No picture. In the first segment, we learn from Erica Hill that the makeup woman looks like Angelina Jolie, though sadly I cannot verify this for you because, well, audio only. Then in the next (and final) segment, I get my picture back and we meet Seth, a self-described news junkie. Well, you are employed at the right place, sir. Interestingly, Seth's brother Jason is also a CNNer, though does his thing in the audio room. I am amused when Seth cannot come up with a good thing about working with his brother. Hey, I worked with my sister back in the day; I can relate. They must have a moderately good relationship though; Jason does not put the kibosh on Seth's audio. Anyhoo, Seth's pick for craziest night in the 360 studio: This. That'll do it.


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