Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stimulus Negotiating, Geithner Gaffes On TARP 2, Australian Fires, And Still With The Octuplet Mother

Hi everybody. The obligatory BREAKING NEWS that kicks us off tonight involves negotiations that are currently taking place regarding the stimulus bill. Dana Bash joins us live to talk about efforts between the House and Senate Democrats to come to an agreement. This moves us into a piece from Dana that explores the matter further. It sounds like Nancy Pelosi is essentially rolling over, and seeing as though the House version was much better, well, that's just awesome. I get that this needs to get done as fast as possible, but it really doesn't matter if the bill sucks.

The Senate, of course, is leaning on the House because they have to rely on only three moderate Republicans who are willing to cross over and they don't want to scare these senators away. One such senator is Arlen Spector who is coming up for re-election and freely admits that fact has a huge impact on his vote. I can't decide if I'm more disgusted with Spector, who is essentially voting for his own job security over his country, or all the other Republicans who won't even try to work with the Democrats.

Next up, we have a Candy Crowley piece that focuses a bit on the town halls President Obama is currently holding to gain public support for the stimulus. There's also some coverage of the bill itself, but it's through a political lens, so meh. After Candy's piece, Anderson Cooper notes that the town halls were not pre-screened, which is a change of pace from when that other guy did these things. Thank you. A big cookie to 360 for pointing that out. We then get a clip from one of the town halls where this poor woman who has become homeless asks for help. Obama kisses her, which is sweet, and then says he'll have his staff talk to her afterward. I wonder if anyone followed up on that. Depending on what happened later, this interaction was either really aw-worthy, or kinda a brush-off. I'd be interested to know.

On now to Tom Foreman breaking down Treasury Secretary Geithner's recently unveiled plan for the TARP sequel. Oh yes, there's a sequel. Apparently, Treasury thought there wasn't enough on our plates already. Anyways, Tom takes us through the four-part plan for loosening up credit and he does a nice job seeing as though there are basically no details. Dude, Geithner, I know your boss is a zillion times more beloved than the last guy who stumped for the first TARP, but you still can't be all, "I've got this plan, but I'm not going to tell you how it works, but give me a whole bunch of your money anyway. Ok? Thanx Bye." Not cool.

We then go live to Ali Velshi who is in Chicago and not at the Wall of Doom. It throws me a little. Ali explains that the markets took a dive because Geithner promised TARP II and then delivered sans specifics. I'm sensing a little Geithner-hating from our resident financial guru--if only of the temporary kind. After Ali, Anderson gives us a tease for an upcoming Michael Phelps story regarding possible arrests in bong-gate: "Are police going way too far because of the media coverage. You be the judge." Bwah! Um, Anderson, hon, you realize that you are a member of the media who is currently giving the story coverage, right? For reals. To be fair, it only turns out to be a headline, but oh irony, how you amuse me so. (Seriously, isn't it hilarious--and kinda annoying--when they talk about the media like they're not currently a part of it?)

Moving on to a Joe Johns piece that continues to detail Geithner's suckitude on TARP. In fact, he was actually laughed at by lawmakers when he presented his plan. Oh, that can't be good. Honestly, assuming he gets specifics out fast, I'm guessing this little no-details blunder will soon be a distant memory, but it's kinda boggling that he would present it to the chattering class in such a willy nilly fashion when he knows the importance of public support. As for the merits of the bill, regarding what we know, I've got more reading to do. I'm not on board; I'm not...not on board. We'll see.

Talking up the panel tonight are David Gergen, Ali Velshi, and Joe Johns. The subjects are obviously the stimulus bill and the new TARP reveal, but there's nothing to write home about here, so let's have some fun with links, shall we? First of all, my readers know I've taken issue with how the media has covered Obama's handling of the stimulus package versus the Republicans. Well, it seems the truth has somehow found Joe Scarborough, leading him to declare, "Perhaps we don't know what we're talking about." Bwah! I couldn't have said it better myself. For more amusement, watch Rachel Maddow destroy some of the Republican arguments against the stimulus. On the more serious side, for those still a bit confuzzled about the bill itself, reader Anne pointed me to this great post at the Washingon Monthly that's one of the best explainers I've seen. And finally, Howard Fineman makes the case for putting New Orleans front and center when talking about economic recovery.

Transitioning now to a Gary Tuchman piece on those awful brush fires in Australia, which have already taken more than 180 lives. They began on Saturday and arson is suspected in many of the blazes. Families have been burned alive in their cars...the whole situation is horrific. To think that at least part of it was probably deliberate is sickening. I hope they catch them.

Next up, we have a Randi Kaye piece on that octuplet mom. So, we're still talking about her, huh? Ugh. Anyway, Radar Online went to the woman's house and took pictures of the place and surprise, surprise, it's totally not adequate for the six kids she had before, much less the eight new additions. After Randi's piece, Anderson talks with medical ethicist Art Caplan about the whole embryo implantation thing and the doctor's responsibility. Remember how when this story first broken and the media narrative was basically, "yay!"? Yeah, maybe we should stop treating people who have litters like that. Chez over at Deus Ex Malcontent has an interesting take on this. Anyway, I'm no Bill Frist, and the only footage I've seen of this woman is on 360, but it seems pretty clear to me that she's most likely mentally ill. And now she has 14 kids. Awesome.

The "shot" tonight is Dolly Parton apparently doing stand-up at the National Press Club. The inevitable boob joke is made, as is one involving Hillary Clinton and PMS (which one would assume she no longer has--just saying). Only Dolly can get away this that. I have to say, I would not be thrilled if that joke was made by a guy (or even most women), but you just kinda gotta love Dolly.

On the blog today, they were advertising another one of those stupid "Suze Orman takes your questions" segments, but come show time it never materialized. I wonder what happened. I'm guessing a timing issue, but I secretly hope it's because 360 finally got some sense knocked into them and they realized we need real economists, not Oprahized self-promoters who haven't the slightest clue what it's like to really be hurting financially. Just today, James Scurlock wrote this post that deservedly takes the TV guru down. If even half of that is true, she is much worse than I ever imagined. I hope 360 never has her back, but I'm not holding my breath. That'll do it.


Blogger Anne said...

Hi Eliza,

I watched Obama in Ft. Myers on a local station's website. When I saw Henrietta Hughes, the homeless woman who lives in her car, I was emotionally moved by her. To me she represents the homeless who by all appearances live in a neighborhood but instead a car is called home. The local State Representative, Nick Thompson and his wife, Chene stepped in. They offered their vacant home that's for sale to her and her son to live in. Other viewers here called the station with offers of help. Unfortunately more people are going to find themselves in her shoes before things get better. When I see the petty behavior displayed by McCain who doesn't know how many homes he owns, Cornyn, and especially whiny Graham, it is hard for me to control my yelling at the tv screen. You have stated it before, why isn't the media covering the pain and anguish of what is happening in front of their faces. Well, I'm done ranting. As usual, you did a great post. Your paragraph on Foreman/Geithner is funny. Yes, it is also funny and annoying that AC talks about the media like he's not a member. Anne D.

6:44 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

Unfortunately more people are going to find themselves in her shoes before things get better.

Exactly. I think it's great Ms. Hughes is getting help, but even if every state representative had a vacant house to give, it wouldn't be enough.

The media talks a lot about how this crisis is hurting people, but like usual, they're still completely biased toward money. The truly poor rarely get a voice on television or are given advice. I think Sean Callebs is trying to live on food stamps and is reporting his experience for American Morning. Good for him. I've never been on food stamps, but I'd rather see something like that than hear from Suze Orman.

5:04 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from freestats.com