Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bernard Madoff Case, Jesse Jackson, Jr. An Informant, Obama Names Duncan, Kennedy For Senate, Adam Walsh Case Closed, And Bush Exit Interview

Hi everybody. Raise your hand if you're cold! There's nothing like spending 20 minutes unfreezing your car in the morning. And I especially like having to climb in my passenger side because my driver's side door is frozen shut. A very graceful performance for the neighbors. Anyway! We're kicking things off with some new and improved (?) BREAKING NEWS regarding that Ponzi scheme run by Bernard Madoff. I have to be honest, I completely missed the boat on this story. I didn't pay attention when it broke and I haven't watched since, so I hope no one was looking for any real information.

In a subsequent Joe Johns piece, we learn that the Security and Exchanges Commission is admitting that they do, in fact, suck. Also, fun fact: If like me, you were sitting there wondering, "Why do they call it a Ponzi scheme?" I can tell you the name comes from Charles Ponzi, an Italian who immigrated to the U.S. in 1903, who successfully bilked people out of a lot of money. Thanks, Wikipedia! We're next joined by Ali Velshi and Andy Swerver, the latter of who was shocked to hear an SEC mea culpa and who believes Madoff is a "financial psychopath."

Anderson Cooper is really engaged in this story, to the point that I'm wondering if he lost money. Also, he seems to be having an existential crisis. "What's stunning about this to me is, as a layman, I tend to believe these people who say they're business experts, who say they are hedge fund experts and SEC experts," and then, " I don't believe anybody knows anything anymore. I mean, who really knows what is going on?" Aw, it's going to be okay. Probably. Maybe. Oh hell, what do I know? No one knows anything anymore.

Moving on now to Gary Tuchman coming at us live from Springfield, Illinois, where it looks to be a wee bit chilly. So, apparently, Jesse Jackson, Jr. has been an informer for the feds about corruption in his state for at least a decade. Whoa! That's a nifty little twist. The rest of the time Gary talks to us I have this stuck in my head. Early 90's shout out!

Next up, we have a Jessica Yellin piece about Obama tapping Arne Duncan to be the new education secretary. But during the Q&A the rascally press corps first wanted to talk about Blagojevich. Obama was having none of it. Wham! Denied! So back to Duncan, he's not without controversy. He's backed measures such as paying kids for good grades and even tried to set up a gay friendly high school. That last thing makes him sound pretty awesome to me. But you know the drill: a place for gay kids to feel safe while learning? We can't have that! *Le sigh*

On now to our discussion panel, because it's the law. We're joined by David Gergen, Joe Johns, and Jeffrey Toobin and Anderson kicks things off by noting that, like, oh my God, Obama didn't even answer the reporters' questions! My feelings about this topic and the press can pretty much be summed up with this post from John Cole. Though I'm not sure I would call John King a wanker. Harsh!

Transitioning now to a Mary Snow piece all about Caroline Kennedy possibly getting appointed to Hillary Clinton's senate seat. Her qualifications are being debated by all sides and I'm very meh about all of this. It doesn't seem right that just one person can give away a senate seat. I didn't even know you could do that until I watched "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." Cute Jimmy Stewart! Personally, I think D.C. has seen enough dynasties.

After Mary's piece, we're back with our panel and Anderson notes that Paterson is under tremendous pressure, but Jeffrey disagrees. Then Anderson brings up Harry Reid and other Democrats to back up his statement, leading Jeffrey to say, "What does Harry Reid do to the governor of New York?" And that, my friends, was probably the most heated debate you'll ever see from Anderson Cooper. The Gerg thinks Kennedy is all but in and Jeffrey just wants to see somebody other than a friggin politician. I second that motion.

Anderson then brings up celebrities and how they act entitled to these kind of things, though he's careful to note he's not putting Kennedy in that camp. Then he starts going off on Elisabeth Hasselbeck because she was all mad she didn't get invited to the White House Christmas party. Apparently someone watched "The View" this morning. "Why should she be invited to the White House Christmas party? I don't understand," he says. Can one really understand Elisabeth Hasselbeck? And then, "I know, I'm veering off topic." Just a smidge. This is what happens when one keeps all opinions under wraps like they're the nuclear code. Sometimes they just gotta burst out!

Transitioning now to a Randi Kaye piece on the news that the killer of Adam Walsh, John Walsh's son, has finally been identified after 27 years. Wow. We're played an emotional press conference with Walsh and get the background from Randi. Adam disappeared from a Florida mall, only his decapitated head was later found. The man identified today, Otis Toole, actually confessed to the crime twice, but recanted.

Sloppy police work and not yet up to snuff DNA testing resulted in Toole never being charged. He died over a decade ago. Walsh then went on to found the National Center for Missing an Exploited Children, a great organization no doubt, though I have a lot of problems with John Walsh himself. He's way too quick to point the finger of blame and talks in certainties about things he doesn't know. That being said, I'm happy this day finally came for him.

On now to a short clip of Candy Crowley's "exit interview" with Bush. In the clip we see he's asked about the pressure he felt in 2006 to pull out of Iraq. He tells us that he couldn't live with himself if he'd chosen to just leave, which leads one to assume that he can live with himself for all the other destructive choices he's made. Bye, Dubya. Don't let the shoe hit you in the head on your way out.

The shot tonight is a puppy poll. No, really! CNN/Opinion Research Corporation polled people on whether the Obamas should get their puppy from a shelter or breeder. Man, the poll people must have the shakes or something after the election. They'll poll anything! The verdict? Shelter puppy wins!

Randi Kaye manned the webcast tonight and she first talked Ponzi schemes with Ali, who tell us that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Wise advice, my friend. Then she does a little chat with Jeffrey and we learn his daughter just got into college. Also, tonight was apparently some kind of crew potluck dinner of which Randi and Anderson were not invited. Ooh diss! Randi asks everyone what they made and not a one passes up the opportunity to note that Kevin did not bring anything. Gasp! Well, obviously he must now be stoned. And apparently the universe already got on that because he's sporting a big bruise. No, he didn't really get stoned (at least not with rocks--tee hee); he got doored. Opened it right into his head, I guess. See, that's what you get for not cooking. Karma's a bitch, my friend.

Finally, one of my commenters from Peru has been all over the Doe Run story. She just did a great post on the subject with lots of info and links on how to help. Also, make sure you check out the comments as well. That'll do it.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Barb said...

Thanks, Eliza, for linking to my blog post. I've got some good discussion going among activists and a journalist who did the Mother Jones expose on Doe Run in 2006. They have provided some useful links for people who want to help the people of La Oroya and Herculaneum, Missouri.

6:28 PM  

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