Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Health Care Reform (Maybe) Moves Forward, Charles Rangel Steps Down, And A Tsunami Scare In Chile

Hi everyone. I'm back from my brief sabbatical. Mostly. I was suffering a bit of blogging burnout, and to be honest, with a few exceptions, I haven't exactly been feeling the show lately (apparently I'm not the only one!).

These past few days have brought us a fair amount of metaness: the previously linked bad ratings and Anderson Cooper's possible, but not really, but maybe(!) move to CBS. I do want to do some musing on all that, but I think I'll save it for a post (hopefully) this weekend. For those of you who like that kind of thing, be sure to check back then.

For now, on with the review! I'm still easing back in, so I'm skipping any indepth-ness. We begin with an Ed Henry piece that's all about President Obama's latest health care push. Feeling deja vu yet? Yeah, not much new here. Although apparently he's thrown Republicans a few more bones so they can continue to not vote for the bill. Also, reconciliation, though not spoken, was hinted.

After Ed's piece, Anderson whips out a quote from Campaign Obama that states 60 votes would be needed to pass health care. Normally I like the whole Daily Show-esque-ness of holding people accountable with their prior words, but meh. If Obama's committed a crime here, it was assuming Republicans would ever act like reasonable people. The White House has made more than enough compromises.

For discussion of all this (because I guess we must), we're joined by Donna Brazile, Bill Bennett, and David Gergen. There is literally nothing of note here. As Anderson throws us out to commercial, we're shown a tease of more panel discussion to come, which apparently contains a heated exchange between Donna and Bill.

So this is what it's come to. Don't change the channel; people are going to yell! Hey Anderson, you might not be the one getting hot under the collar, but I think you still just became what you hate.

Before we get to the promised argument, we have a Dana Bash piece that breaks down the reconciliation process. Also explored is the fact that the Senate and the House don't exactly trust each other. This was a good little explainer. Bravo.

Back to our mind-numbing panel, yeah, Bill and Donna go at it about something. I don't know. Does it matter? I love how Bill has taken it upon himself to speak for everyone by stating what Americans do and don't want. Yeah, that's not annoying. Also? If I hear David Gergen whine about bipartisanship one more time, I just might have to kick a puppy.

Transitioning now to the news that Charles Rangel is stepping down from his powerful perch of chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee due to epic corruption. Okay, probably not epic depending on the comparison, but corruption none the less.

Joe Johns joins us live to explain that Rangel broke a rule regarding having travel expenses paid by outside interests. The embarrassing picture currently making the rounds of him sleeping on a beach isn't exactly doing him any favors. Rangel defends himself by throwing his staff under the bus (blaming them for errors), which you gotta admit, kinda douche-y.

Joe reminds us that Democrats came to office fighting a culture of corruption and implies that now the tables could be turning. Anderson is quick to agree. Okay, yes, it seems that the Democrats might have been slow in fixing this Rangel problem (though even that I'd have to look into more), but a culture of corruption? What, one guy? Do you people even remember the Bush years?

Anderson at the Magic Wall now, providing us some technological activity, and setting up a throw to a forth-coming Randi Kaye piece by showing us the top five richest members of Congress. In Randi's subsequent report, she introduces us to Linda McMahon, yes wife of Vince and co-founder of World Wrestling Entertainment.

What the hell does that have to do with Washington? Linda is rolling in the dough and she plans to use $50 million of it to represent you! Well, provided that you live in Connecticut, where there's a senate seat that Linda has her eye on.

The rest of the piece explores the notion that being really rich is a huge plus when running for Congress. Because this is a shocking fact. Gee 360, how else will you blow my mind tonight? Also? Gratuitous WWE clippage! Something for everyone! So there's that.

Moving on now to Sanjay Gupta doing some explaining of the new confusing prostate cancer screening guidelines. I zoned out during this segment (mesmerized by Sanjay's pearly whites and Anderson's blue, blue eyes?) because I'm no where near the ages they're talking about. Oh, also I don't have a prostate.

Transitioning now to really amazing video from Chile. There was a large aftershock today and while Karl Penhaul was filming, they issued a tsunami warning. We see him and others running for their lives.

After his piece, Karl explains that the warning was legitimate--it came from a naval base--but thankfully no wave materialized. He also informs us that outlying villages are still in need of aid. The death toll of the earthquake is currently at 802. I feel kinda guilty for not focusing on Chile as I did Haiti. Karl has done great work, as has Soledad O'Brien.

The "shot" tonight is the new totally awesome video for OK Go's song "This Too Shall Pass," which reminds me of the board game Mousetrap for some reason. Then again, I am weird.

Speaking of weird, when Googling up that video for you fine folks, I originally came upon this video for song. It's also fairly cool, but dudes, you gotta let a blogger know when there's two versions. Otherwise she's going to spend some time pondering whether or not she just hallucinated the last five minutes of the broadcast. Just sayin'.

The show was pretty forgettable. I liked the Dana Bash piece. I wish Karl had been given more time. Everything else I really could have done without. It's not so much the content, but the unbelievably bland way they serve it to us. Also, is this show seriously not going to mention Iraq before the elections? Check out Michael Hastings on the Rachel Maddow Show if you're behind. That'll do it.

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