Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Senate Screws Us On Cheaper Drugs, Palin vs. Terminator, Parental Abduction, And More Tiger Woods (Plus Dickens Reading and Anderson's Momma On R&K!)

Hi everyone. We begin with the news that the Senate has just voted down two proposals that would have allowed us to buy cheaper drugs from other countries. Thanks Senate! Because our friends at 360 are always "keeping 'em honest," we get played a clip of Campaign!Obama pledging to bring on the cheap drugs. Now, I love me the Daily Show-like accountability we got going on here, but one wonders, dudes, where were you four months ago?!

See, this drug deal is not new. It was first reported in August, and it would have been nice if it would have gotten some traction. I guess the news cycle was otherwise occupied. Probably trying to suck the last ratings morsel off Michael Jackson's death. I just love the media sometimes, don't you?

Anyway! Better later than never. Anderson Cooper once again takes us to the Big Wall. Is it just me, or does it feel like a "Use the Big Wall more!" memo went out to our 360 peeps? They are getting their frickin money's worth, people. Our anchor demonstrates what most of us already know: drugs are a lot more expensive here in the U.S.

Joe Johns joins us to talk about how this is essentially a trade-off; the administration gives Big Pharma what they want, Big Pharma doesn't kill the bill. Awesome for them, huh? Safety issues are brought up, which is an excuse used not to import. I'll take my chances. Finally, David Gergen shares his insider-y insider-ness. He thinks the drug companies got a "sweetheart deal," so he's got his clear glasses on there. But he's still implying reform opposition is strictly a center/right thing. I'm surprised there's been no talk of the growing progressive split.

If everything you just read wasn't reminder enough that our Congresscritters are idiots, 360 would like to demonstrate this fact to you by using a member of their Floor Crew. We'll call him Jerry, because, well, that's his name. Jerry will be spending the hour reading from Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities." No, this is not a segment about torture. See, Senator Bernie Sanders introduced an amendment to the health care reform bill that would have established a single-payer system. Though an exciting prospect, um, it obviously wasn't going to go anywhere.

Unless a senator objects, amendments are not usually read out loud. Well, guess what. Apparently a little of Lieberman's dickishness has rubbed off on Senator Tom Coburn, because he demanded the 787 page amendment be read. With the President-imposed end-of-the year deadline for getting this bill wrapped up, time in the Senate is very tight--hence people being none too thrilled with this stunt. This brings us back to poor Jerry. I guess 360 said to themselves, hey, let's make someone read something and see how far they get. And there you go. Personally, I might have rather just read the bill.

Transitioning now to an epic fight to the death battle: Sarah Palin vs. The Terminator!!! Dun Dun Dun! Alright, fine. It's actually way less exciting than it sounds. A Candy Crowley piece breaks it down. Arnold Schwarzenegger, as you know, is a green governor. While former governor Sarah Palin, likes to shoot wolves from helicopters, and isn't too keen on combating that whole global warming thing. Apparently, the two have had words. Or at least gotten snarky via Facebook. It never ends.

Moving on to an unbelievable child abduction piece from David Mattingly. We're shown video of a terrified Jean Paul Lacombe Diaz as he is taken from his school bus by Texas authorities in order to be turned over to his father, Jean Philippe Lacombe. Lacombe had presented misleading Mexican documents to a San Antonio judge, which wrongly showed he had custody of the boy. On the tape, Jean Paul calls out for help, stating that his father will hit him. Essentially, the state just assisted an alleged child abuser kidnap his son. Like I said, unbelievable.

Now no one knows the location of either Lacombe or Jean Paul. We're joined by the mother, Berenice Diaz, and Lisa Bloom. As you might imagine, Berenice is pretty beside herself given that she hasn't seen her son in two months. Surprisingly, Lisa found that the judge actually followed the law. She notes that they're presented with documents everyday and assume them to be true. Well, that's scary. Still though, you'd think the bus scene would have warranted a call to DFS.

On now, strangely, to another abduction case. We're played an interview Anderson had with David Goldman, which was taped literally as he was on a plane to Brazil that was about to take off (we can hear the announcements). He's taking the trip to finally (hopefully) get his son. The back story: In 2004, David's wife Bruna Bianchi took their son to her native Brazil for a two-week vacation. But that vacation turned out to be indefinite. They never came home. Bruna divorced David and remarried in Brazil. She then later died and her new husband took custody of David's son. It's been a battle ever since. Let's hope the battle is truly over.

Time for your Tiger Woods news! We're given some Magic Wall action, and since the subject falls in the medical realm, we also get some Sanjay Gupta action. But I'm skipping ahead because...meh. We're not off the Tiger train yet though. Now we're going to do some sister network promotion, by showing a clip of Robin Meade talking Tiger with Spike Lee and Charles Barkley. They're worried because they can't get in touch with him. Well, I hope the guy's okay. This too will pass. Can we be done with this story now?

No, apparently we cannot. Because now Anderson's going to talk with Robin about the talk she had with Spike and Charles. My head is spinning. The fact that Tiger changed his number is brought up, but then the train just completely derails because the next thing I know, we're talking about the Real Housewives. No, really! Why do all conversations with our anchor end with the Real Housewives?

To make this even more bizarre, the Silver Fox tells us a story about his encounter with Charles Barkley at a Turner company party in New Orleans. From the delivery here, I'm assuming Mr. Barkley was a little sloshed, but don't quote me on that. It seems he yelled our anchor's name, tried to kill him with a bear hug, and then said something along the lines of: "You try to keep them mother******* honest. But you can't keep them honest. They ain't honest!" Well said. Someone should sew that on a pillow. And you know Anderson just kinda stood there and nodded until he felt comfortable enough to pretend he had a phone call.

Speaking of Mr. Cooper, he finished up a co-hosting stint on Regis and Kelly this morning, and who was in the audience. His momma! You and I know her as Gloria Vanderbilt, American royalty. I'm not all that familiar with her, to tell the truth. I know she made jeans and isn't shy about writing books about the sex (no, I have not read them). Ahem. Anyway, she tells a story about a young Silver Fox. Take a gander at the vid. Oh, and bonus inbox!

We wrap up the night by checking back in with Jerry. Only made it to page 41. He does not like this book, people. He does not like this book at all. Poor Jerry. Eh, it can't always be about dancing to "Single Ladies."

The show was okay. It felt like there wasn't a lot of there there. I really wish they'd go more in-depth on the health care stuff, but I've learned not to hold my breath. I hope they stay on the Jean Paul case. This isn't true crime sensationalism. There's a real chance media exposure will help find that kid. That'll do it.

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