Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Automaker Bailout Stalled, More Obama Picks, Lobbyists Unleashed On D.C., Interview With Gavin Newsom, Zawahiri Goes Racist, And Abandoning Kids

Hi everybody. Like usual, we're starting things off with BREAKING NEWS--so much of it that the chyron doesn't seem to know what to do. Seriously, it's changing as Anderson Cooper is talking to us. Should we be freaking out about plunging markets? The automaker bailout stall? Or whatever else it said that I didn't catch? I don't know! The answer, children, seems to be all of the above. Ali Velshi has already manned his position at the financial wall of doom, and given that we're only about one minute into the broadcast, you know that ain't good. Okay, apparently the Dow did a little diving today, closing below 8000.

This is most likely due to the automaker CEO's crying some "woe is me" and not finding any sympathetic ears in Congress. In fact, it's looking like this bailout might not happen, which is what sent the markets a-rumbling. Ali tells us the CEO's seem to be very certain about what will happen if we don't fork over some cash, yet they're not being very specific regarding exactly what they're going to do with said cash and how they're going to ensure they don't have to trudge back with their hands out again in the future. Accountability. Apparently it's a novel concept.

If you're already annoyed with our car-making CEO friends, well, next up Joe John's has a piece that's sure to full on angry up your blood. Pop quiz: how did the broke-ass CEO's get themselves to Washington? Train? Maybe a carpool? If you guessed gas-guzzling luxury corporate jet, you win the prize! Yeah, that looks a little bad. The corporate welfare queens say it's for security reasons, but seeing as though the companies are about to go under, I fail to see why the CEO must be protected. We get a clip of Representative Brad Sherman addressing the CEO's and amusingly showing his ire about the topic: "I'm going ask you to raise your hand if you're planning to sell your jet in place now and fly back commercial. Let the record show no hands went up." Ha! Commercial? Perish the thought!

Switching things up now, Jessica Yellin joins us live to bring us the news that Obama is bringing a bit of girl power into his administration. The current governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano, has been tapped to head up the Department of Homeland Security and Penny Pritzker will most likely be commerce secretary. Awesome. We also learn that Tom Daschle is Obama's leading choice to head up Health and Human Services. These all sound pretty good, but . . . what about Hillary Clinton?!!

I swear people, I think the media is going to pee themselves over this story. I feel like I should be laying down newspaper. Okay, so we still don't know what's going on with her and the secretary of state position, though things just got more complicated. It seems Harry Reid is now talking about making a special role for her in the senate. Dude, he must really hate it when people leave--even if they totally should. CoughLiebermanCough.

You didn't think that was it for the Clinton talk, did you? No, our media is obsessed and therefore they must beat the subject to death until our ears bleed and we want to poke something in our eyes. You know, like usual. So . . . moving on to a Tom Foreman piece all about the Clintons--the ultimate power couple. They've both done good work and Hillary is certainly capable of holding an administration position, I just wish she didn't have a cloud of retardedness that followed her everywhere. Thank God she wasn't chosen for Veep. Just thinking about that potential coverage gives me nightmares.

Panel time! The seat-warmers tonight are David Gergen, Paul Begala, and Jamal Simmons. Lots of Clinton secretary of state speculation here. Of note is when Anderson (again) hammers on the point that Obama might not be appearing changey enough: "You know, Paul, for all the talk, though, that we have heard about Doris Kearns Goodwin's book and the team of rivals and stuff, I don't see many Republicans up to this point. And it is a lot of people with ties to the Clintons."

To which Paul replies: "Of course, who would want to have people who actually know something about peace and prosperity?" Bingo. "I knew you were going to say that," says Anderson. Well, then why'd you ask it, smarty-pants? Seriously though, as Paul later says, dude, it's early! Let the guy at least get inaugurated. Because you know what? Having a president that quite possibly isn't going to flat out lie to America's face every day is a pretty damn big change.

Transitioning now to a Drew Griffin piece on how lobbyists are latching onto newbie congresscritters. There's insinuations made in the piece and Drew kinda does some semi-staking out, but I think I'm going to forgo recapping this. The sad truth is that Drew has lost complete credibility with me. Maybe it was a good piece, I don't know. But I can't believe anything he reports, so I'm certainly not going to spread it.

Erica Hill has the headlines tonight and we learn that, hey, my state has finally pried its hands off our 11 electoral votes. I'd rather they not be going to McCain, but whatev. Guess we're not the bellwether anymore. I was kinda hoping no one would notice we hadn't ponied up our votes yet and we could just hold onto them and double down next time. Also, Larry King is a year older. Happy birthday, Larry! I wish you many new colorful suspenders.

Moving on now to a taped interview with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Hey, lookee there. Just a couple days ago I was complaining that Anderson hardly ever did interviews anymore with newsmakers and now here he is (coincidentally) doing an interview. Ask and ye shall receive. Next I shall request in depth Iraq coverage. Or, you know, a pony. Anyhoo, today California's highest court decided that Prop 8 can be enforced, but they also noted that in March they'll be looking into its validity. The interview starts off with some technical law stuff, but I'm going to slack and skip over that.

Anderson then notes that it all boils down to this decision either being made by the people or a judge. Newsom brings up the Loving decision in 1967 that got rid of the ban on interracial marriage that still existed in 16 states. He notes that at the time, the people still supported the bans. "Should we go in front of the voters every time there is an adjudication in the courts that we don't like and submit the rights of minorities to the whims of the majority, based upon the morality of the day?" he asks. No. Slavery was popular at one time as well. Doesn't mean it was ever right. Sometimes the people are wrong.

Anderson plays devil's advocate pointing out that critics will say the people have spoken. But Newsom wonders what other rights the majority might decide to take away from the minority. Finally, Anderson asks if he's disappointed in Obama's silence on the issue. "I'm a pragmatist," says Newsom. Good answer. Yeah, it's disappointing he's wasn't out there campaigning against Prop 8, but we all know what would have happened: it would have energized the haters against him even more and turned the national conversation from the economy to "Obama's going to turn your kid gay." There are some battles you have to go in surrendering in order to win the bigger war.

Next up, Peter Bergen joins us because Ayman al-Zawahiri released an audio tape today (authenticity not yet confirmed) in which he gets all chatty and, well, kinda racist. The term "house negroes" is used, which might be shocking if it wasn't coming from a guy that helped kill thousands of people. Now it just seems like he's grasping at straws. What's interesting, and to me, a little amusing, is that Peter tells us Al Qaeda is reading things like Malcolm X and Noam Chomsky, making them sound more like college freshmen than terrorist masterminds.

Peter also notes that because Obama's father is Muslim and Obama is not, Zawahiri feels that he rejected Islam and that's like the biggest sin of all. So that's kind of disturbing. The upside is that there doesn't seem to be much he can do about that right now. Says Peter: "Al Qaeda's ability to attack the United States right now is pretty much close to zero." Sweet.

Our last piece of the night is from Sean Callebs on Nebraska's safe haven law, which was designed for overwhelmed and incapable parents. The idea is that they could drop their kid off at the hospital, no questions asked. The problem is that no one thought to put an age limit in the law and the kids that have been being dropped off are well beyond infancy. Lawmakers are working on fixing the oops.

No word yet on whether anything will be done to help alleviate the much bigger problem of parents being so overwhelmed by their children's problems that they have no other option than to give them up. This whole thing is all around sad. I think most people's instinct is to be horrified by people that would do that, but then again, I'm sure every circumstance is different. I can't imagine that being abandoned by your parents would make a kid's life better.

The shot tonight reveals that John King is the star--the evil star--of a Magical Map conspiracy! Dun dun dun! I always thought he looked a little shady. Poor John Oliver never stood a chance.

What I learned on the webcast tonight: there is more than one angle on the corporate jets story and Erica Hill aims to bring us all of them. It is freezing in the studio, which is not helped by a vent blowing cold air. The vent problem is not concentrated to New York. In Atlanta they used to whack on them with ghetto broomsticks. Mmhm. Also? Oh my God, Anderson actually said stuff on the blog. Somebody ate their Wheaties today. That'll do it.


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