Thursday, February 05, 2009

Obama Gives Passionate Speech On The Stimulus, Faith-Based Program Expanded, SEC Gets Schooled, Ginsberg Has Cancer, And Phelps Speaks

Hi everyone. A blogger is tired, so I'm going to make some parts of this quick. Our inevitable BREAKING NEWS that kicks off the show involves the stimulus and this is literally what's on the chyron: "PRES: This is not a game." Dude, I give up. Anyway, we immediately go to Ed Henry live who tells us about the speech President Obama just gave to the Democrats to get them pepped up about the stimulus. Originally it was going to be private, but apparently our prez decided that everyone needed to hear what he had to say, so in went the TeeVee cameras.

Hey, you remember that guy who was all "fired-up and ready to go!" and "yes we can!"? Remember him? He's baaaaccck. That's right, the speech today was given by Campaign Obama! He's not so much talking about hope as he is job losses, but it's still very fiery. Ed then kinda blows our minds by telling us that besides this stimulus package, there's like a whole other package that treasury secretary Geithner is set to roll out on Monday. Hm. Yeah, I predict that will go over well. Also? Dana Bash tells us that Harry Reid has canceled the previously scheduled Senate Slumber Party (which was possibly going to involve voting) because he wants to give some senators more time. Argh. Pass. The. Bill. Why is this so hard?

Our panel tonight consists of David Gergen, Joe Johns, and John King. The Gerg thinks the speech was partisan. Yeah, well, finally! I mean, c'mon, not one House Republican votes for the thing and Obama is the partisan? Please. Bi-partisanship is great in theory, but if he's not going to get anything in return, I for one am happy to see him finally laying down the law. We're played a few clips from the speech and in the one where he talks about passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, I have a total flashback to his stump speech.

It's kinda uncanny how the cadence and inflection and hand motions are exactly the same. I can hear the words of that speech in my head as he's saying this one: ""If you work with me, if you make phone calls with me, if you organize with me, I promise you — together we will change the country and change the world." Besides the clips, we've got lots of pontificating too, but I sorta don't care what they have to say. I love the Gerg, but he's off on this one. Read this column instead.

That guy is spot on and his column relates to my favorite part of Obama's speech: “So then you get the argument, well, this is not a stimulus bill, this is a spending bill. What do you think a stimulus is? That’s the whole point. No, seriously. That’s the point.” Ha! I almost expected him to say, "duuuhhh." But I don't understand why people aren't getting this. Spending money is stimulus. It's the only way we're going to get out of this recession. And half the things the Republicans have their underwear in a twist over actually sound pretty good to me. They sure didn't mind dumping money into Iraq, did they? It's ridiculous.

Whatever. Now we're back with the panel again and we're being shown a live picture of Air Force One even though they're not expecting Obama to say anything. So we're, like, literally watching a plane taxiing in the dark. Dude, who makes these decisions. And while I'm being crabby, I'm already sick of the stool metaphor everyone keeps using. Oh look, now they're putting the ladder down on the plane. This is riveting television. Finally, Obama emerges and...yeah, that was pretty much it. Apparently that was his first ride on Air Force One, so I guess it has some newsworthiness. Maybe? I think Anderson Cooper found the live shot kinda stupid too because he's all, "there." Heh.

Next up, we have a Candy Crowley piece on how Obama is expanding the faith-based initiative program that was started by that other guy. I don't really have a problem with that since he seems willing to embrace all religions equally and atheists too.

We then move on to a David Mattingly piece that contains newly released audio of pilot Chesley Sullenberger right before he landed his plane in the Hudson. It's unbelievable how calm he is. I'm not a very reactive person myself, but I think even I would have thrown in a few "omigods" and perhaps something a bit harsher. Well done, sir.

Transitioning now to quite an amusing clip of Congressman Gary Ackerman of New York opening up a can of whoop-ass on SEC representatives. Remember that whole Bernie Madoff thing? Well, turns out, a decade ago a whistleblower tried to warn the SEC about him and they gave the warner the brush off. Mr. Ackerman is, shall we say, not pleased. My favorite part was when he tells the SEC dude that, "You couldn't find your backside with two hands if the lights were on." Bwah! Oh my. And there's lots more. When they cut back to Anderson, he can't stop himself from laughing. Mr. Ackerman, today I think you are my favorite person.

On now to the news that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has pancreatic cancer. Oh noes. This was my reaction to this story, in the following order: "Aw, that's sad. Omigod, she's going to have to be replaced and it will change the court and we'll lose Roe and...wait a second. Obama is president now. So, like, things are going to be okay. Wow. I'm still not used to that." As we learn from Jeffrey Toobin, Obama is sure to keep the balance of the court. "I heard that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is looking for work," jokes Anderson. "He is looking for work, and he shouldn't hold his breath," says Jeffrey. Ha. It's hard to get hired with that whole amnesia problem.

Next up, we have a piece from Gary Tuchman on the latest with the Michael Phelps overblown pot smoking thing. Now the swimmer is speaking out about his "bad judgment" and he's been suspended from swimming for three months. Plus Kelloggs is going to let his deal expire and the sheriff of the South Carolina county where he inhaled is talking about legal action. I'm sorry, but this whole thing is stupid. I'm not really a fan of Michael Phelps and I've never smoked pot, but c'mon. The guy didn't hurt anyone. He did what a good portion of people his age do--he was just dumb enough to do it in public while being famous.

Finally tonight there's talk of Ann Curry's interview with that delusional octuplet mom. "We'll no doubt be hearing more about her," says Anderson. Or, maybe could we not? Please? No one says you have to give her air time.


Blogger Anne said...

Hi Eliza,

I was cheering the speech by "Campaign" Obama. I am stunned by the Gerg, first Wednesday now this. How many attempts by Obama to appease the Republicans does he require? Digby mentioned Gerg's lamenting bi-partisanship in her blog. I read your link to the column by Steven Pearlstein. Mr. Pearlstein needs to give a presentation to the clueless in Washington, especially Lindsey Graham. Kudos to Mr. Ackerman. I am wondering if NBC paid the octuplet mom for her interview. With everything the way it is, I have no interest in this woman and her self-made problems. How in the world can she and her parents take care of 14 little kids and babies without financial help from the government, sponsors, and fees from interviews? Anne D.

5:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was totally disappointed by the Gerg, what did he mean saying the Republicans will "dig in their heels" as a result of Obama's speech. They've already done that and that's the problem. How is it that THEY never have to compromise or make concessions? The Gerg was way off base on this.

4:22 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Anne--After reading your comment, I had to hop on over to Digby. The Gerg just doesn't seem to understand that one party is working for the country and the other party is working for themselves. The Republicans are fighting for their own ideology, which has been proven over and over again to be ineffective. Why in the world should the Democrats bow to that?

@anonymous--I'm so sick of the media insinuating that bipartisanship means the Democrats giving in to Republicans.

12:59 AM  

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