Thursday, December 18, 2008

Obama's Rick Warren Headache, Caroline Kennedy Talks (Kinda), Bill Clinton Reveals Donors, Justice For Rwanda, Bailout Talk, And Pork Projects

Hi everybody. Sorry for the no blog yesterday. I was falling asleep during 360, so I decided to take a pass. Anyhoo, we begin with, what else, BREAKING NEWS--this time the subject being the inauguration prayer controversy. If someone can explain how this is in any way "breaking" I'd appreciate it. So okay, Obama has angried-up his base by inviting Pastor Rick Warren, non supporter of gay rights, to give the prayer at his big swearing in. Both men are feeling the heat and have therefore released statements with Warren's basically saying, "yay, Obama!" and Obama's saying, "we can disagree without being disagreeable, yo."

In a subsequent Tom Foreman piece we further learn that progressives are mad. So very mad! They don't think Obama should be giving someone with bigoted views a fancy schmancy platform to do anything. But Warren claims he's all about the love and just has a different view. And besides, he, like, has gay friends and stuff. So it's all good. Right? I mean, yeah, he did kinda compare gay marriage to incest and pedophilia, but can't we all just get along? All he did was insinuate their lifestyle is the same as preying on young children. Those gays are so sensitive.

After Tom's piece, Anderson Cooper informs us that blacks are mad Obama didn't choose a black pastor and conservatives are mad that Warren is associating with Obama. Look at that, our prez-elect is uniting already--no one likes this choice. We're next introduced to tonight's panel of David Gergen, Hilary Rosen, and Earl Ofari Hutchinson (new kid buys the drinks!). The shocker of shockers, the ever-conciliatory Gerg is cool with the Warren choice and thinks we need to give Obama a chance. He also informs us that though he might not agree with Warren on some things, he does respect that the man has broadened the spectrum of conservative Christian issues to include things like global warming, poverty, and HIV.

These are all good points and I myself would probably fall in the Gerg's camp if it wasn't for the comparison comments. Hilary nails it. She points out that this is not a policy difference--Warren's comments are dehumanizing. "... to compare gay relationships with incest or pedophilia, the way we just heard him do, is simply unacceptable," she says. Then later, "that's what I think people just don't get. This is not about gay marriage." I'm actually more annoyed at the people defending Obama's choice than I am at Obama's choice itself. As Hillary says, they clearly do not get it. Earl thinks we shouldn't be surprised because Obama has always said he was going to reach out to evangelicals. I guess Warren's probably the least anti-gay as they come, huh?

Transitioning now to a Mary Snow piece on Caroline Kennedy and that eye she's got on Hillary's senate seat. Today she was out lunching with Al Sharpton and...she speaks! Well, for a second anyway. Apparently, she thinks she has a lot to learn and she's an education advocate and blah, blah, blah. Nothing really news-bite worthy here. Back with the panel, Anderson is having Sarah Palin flashbacks. He wants Kennedy to talk to us, God dammit! Anderson is not happy when you deny him, people. And he, of course, has a total point. Kennedy will be representing the people--it might be nice for them to, I don't know, maybe know what she believes.

On now to a Joe Johns piece that informs us that Bill Clinton is finally giving up his donor list of his charitable foundation and even posting it online. Interesting tidbits? Well, he got $10 million from the Saudis for one. Then there's a donation from security contractor Blackwater, which by all intents and purposes is kinda evil, so that's disappointing. But the big story here is the potential conflicts of interest Hillary will face in her role as secretary of state. After all, Blackwater gave a donation and Blackwater has a contract in Iraq. Tricky line-walking ahead.

Next up, Lil' Anderson! Today Theoneste Bagosora, a former colonel in the Rwandan army, was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the 1994 genocide that took 800,000 lives. Anderson was there for a short period after the slaying and we get a clip of his reporting from that time. Normally, this is when I'd be all over some good-natured mocking, but the fact that he's surrounded by bodies really puts a damper on the fun. Such a horrific event. I was hoping they'd cover this--it's a story that has 360 written all over it. For those interested, David Mckenzie filed a report on the sentencing earlier today.

Transitioning now to Ed Henry and Ali Velshi joining us for some bailout talk. See, now the story has moved on to something called "orderly bankruptcy." Hm. As Ali explains, bankruptcy isn't really just about going out of business, but having time to negotiate with your creditors. Apparently an orderly bankruptcy just means people will know more about what's going to happen. Or something. I mean, shouldn't it be done like that all the time? But don't worry, people. Back from playing a rousing game of Iraqi dodge-shoe, our prez is all over this. And by all over this, I mean he's got it on his to-do list after "master Guitar Hero."

As Anderson says in response to a clip, "President Bush kind of kicked back, just talking about the desperately ailing auto industry." Yeah, the country's about to start bread lines. No biggie. Don't strain yourself, Dubya. My favorite part is when Bush says he doesn't want to dump Obama "a major catastrophe in his first day of office." Um...hello! Too late! Ed talks to us about Bush's dying legacy. He's stuck between possibly taking down the auto industry and risking too many bailouts. Aw, buck up, prez. You still have Iraq and Katrina.

Moving on to an Abbie Boudreau piece on those infrastructure projects that city mayors and governors want to help grow jobs and jump start their local economies. But guess what? The proposals have pork in them. I'm, like, so surprised. Though really, I think I'm done with being outraged about this earmark stuff. It usually turns out to seem more nefarious that it actually is. Check out this post for a rebuttal to the piece. Also, not to be petty, but it was good to see Abbie doing this story and not who we would usually have.

Our last piece of the night is from Erica Hill on a white-girl-gone-missing story back in the news. Remember Stacy Peterson and her bizarre husband Drew? Well, Stacy still hasn't turned up, but Drew is getting hitched again. You might recall that he's suspected of killing Stacy, allegedly threatened to kill his second wife and make it look like an accident, and his third wife's death was ruled a homicide (he was never charged). I can't wait for my invitation! You know, I think the sole purpose of this piece was simply for 360 to have the opportunity to say, "this guy is a huge douchebag," which is very much implied. I second that notion.

The Shot tonight: Jim Carrey. Larry King. Bubble bath. Do I really need to say more? Surprisingly, still not as disturbing as this. Anyhoo, Erica Hill wonders if either Jim or Larry might have been wearing Flame, Burger King's new cologne. Yes, you read that right. The cologne is supposed to smell like their burgers. Because you know, if there's one thing I look for in the fellas, it's the aroma of meat hastily fried up by 16-year-olds. Yum.

Since I missed blogging last night, I have to catch you up with the webcast. When last we met our heroes, we finally got an answer to the Starburst versus Starbursts question. The candy company has spoken and there is no "s." But confronted with this verdict, Frank still refuses to waiver from his "s" stance. Very Bush-like there, Frank. Today, Erica brought the crew some Starburst candy canes. And, well, that's all she wrote. If there was more, my computer denied me.

For those interested, The Nation is running a long piece titled, "Katrina's Hidden Race War." I haven't gotten through it yet, but I know the subject is near and dear to many of you.


Blogger Anne said...

Hi Eliza,

I have many thoughts about the Warren matter, I'll be brief. It took centuries for the U.S. to determine and enact into law that people of color had rights, too like those of whites. Blacks could only freely vote when LBJ signed the voting acts law. That's barely just over 40 years ago. It is on the backs of dead/injured black civil rights leaders, maarchers, organizers and non-black supporters that the current groups of civil rights groups owe their freedom of organizing to. Religions have always spoken out aginst sexual deviation from man/woman relationships. It is only recently that organized religion have started to reavaluate these views. Pastor Warren is a mixed bag. Like Gerg said, he has expanded issues to include poverty, aids, ecology. Warren still has part of him in the old way of thinking which many (if not most) religious followers feel in this country. It's only in the past 50 years that it became the norm to accept the notion of judging others on how they look is wrong. The next step in this process is accepting sexual relationships different from man/woman. I feel that Warren wasn't "vetted" thoroughly. Now this controversy is marring what should be a joyous occasion. I can see Hutchinson, Rosen, and the Gerg's viewpoints. If Rev. Warren is disinvited that would create even more hostility in this prayer controversy. Solomon is needed to intervene at this point. Anne D.

6:29 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@anne-I agree that Warren should not be disinvited. Obama has made his choice. My only hope is that after inauguration he quickly shows gays and lesbians that his support for them is much more than lip service. Getting rid of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," would be a good start.

4:15 AM  

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