President Obama Addresses The Nation Regarding The End Of The Combat Mission In Iraq, Mosque Madness In Tennessee
Hi everyone. The bullet points are pretty tired tonight, so I'm not going to waste any time on chit chat. Away we go:
- You know how most of the opponents of Cordoba House claim it's only because of the sensitivity of 9-11 and has nothing to do with Islamophobia? Well, turns out some people aren't too keen on mosques in other places either, such as Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Imagine that! The FBI believes that someone deliberately burned construction vehicles at the site of a planned Islamic Center in the town. To recap, some brain trust out there is terrorizing people...because they think they are terrorists. Yeah...
- What do we think? Are the 360 kids big Daily Show fans? Someone totally stole their Rolodex. Frankly, I approve.
- Pat Robertson is stoking anti-Muslim fears? I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you!
- Laurie Cardoza-Moore, spokesperson for the mosque opposition, just makes me sad. Seriously, are there not better things for her to do? Maybe take up crafts or something? *Sigh* Well, at least we have the Daily Show, and now our own Anderson Cooper, to reveal her
dumbassness stupidityignorance. And reveal he did.
- Speaking of our anchor, am I having a rare moment of unfounded optimism, or does it appear that he's been working harder lately on that whole holding-people-accountable thing? Someone slipping him newsy steroids? More deviancy of which I approve! (Though he does need to keep the interrupting in check--teeny bit too much tonight, but this is nitpicking.)
- Anderson: "So, there's two reasons why you're opposed to this mosque, one, because the imam of this mosque used to preach at another mosque that you say is under investigation, and because a board member had something on his MySpace page?" Sounds pretty ridiculous when said like that, huh? But Cardoza-Moore is apparently sticking to her guns, gladly accepting the rope Anderson just gave her to hang herself--nary a clue.
- The interview with the opposition was taped. Afterward, the 360 kids took to the phones, actually checking out all the allegations Cardoza-Moore leveled, and Anderson subsequently reported it all to we the viewers. Holy Fact-Checking Batman! Well, that was kinda awesome. Hey, can we maybe do that, like, you know, all the time?
- The interview with Camie Ayash, spokesperson for the Murfreesboro Islamic Center, was live and fairly indepth. Another good job. The whole "what branch are you?" thing was a little awkward though. I guess the word 'sect' is more common maybe? All of the mosque coverage is in the below video:
- Tonight President Obama told the nation that the combat mission in Iraq is over. Yay! Or, actually, yay? We're still going to have 50,000 "non-combat" troops in the country, which is a decidedly combat-y zone. Not to mention the big mess we're leaving behind, all the lives lost, all the money spent, and oh yeah, the fact that the war should have never happened in the first place. I find the whole situation so fucking depressing that, well, I was almost too depressed to type the previous sentence--that's how depressing. But we can't undo what's done, can we? Obama wants us to move forward. Yeah. Maybe some of us aren't ready.
- Tomorrow is the fourth anniversary of this blog (I'm planning a post for probably this weekend). It occurs to me that probably a good portion of my feelings about the media stem from the sting of their failure to do their job during the run-up to the Iraq war. It's unfair to generalize I know (some were skeptical--Knight Ridder, for example), but I also know that there is a part of me that will never forgive them.
- So! You know what we need up in here? Panels! Well, not really, but this is CNN. Anyhoo. Joining us for the night are Fareed Zakaria, Paul Begala, David Gergen, and Ari Fleischer. Can we just keep Fareed and the Gerg, and nix the strategist and the professional liar? No? Well, okay then. Also, God how I miss Michael Ware right now. I hope he's doing well.
- Paul, analyzing polling done on the president: "Set the Democrats aside. They are going to love anything Obama does." Um, have you met the Democrats? Because some days I'm not sure who is mad at the POTUS more: them or the Republicans. Seriously, I think I need to see your punditry credentials.
- Fareed re the polling that asks if Obama sympathizes with Islamic fundamentalists: "However, what is different about this compared with the attitude towards George W. Bush -- while Ari is right -- the attitude of Harry Truman, is there is a racial and religious tinge here, and perhaps more than a tinge. And that's very unsettling, for a country that celebrates diversity to be characterizing -- Obama-- would not be characterized this way if he were an elderly white gentleman." Have I mentioned how much I love Fareed?
- Ari: "But, you know, it works in both directions, again, because with President Bush, again, being a fundamentalist Christian, there are many people, again on the Democrat left predominantly, who have said he's not tolerant, he's not open, he's not accepting, he's not smart." 1) His GOTV strategy in 2004 was at least in part based on discrimination of gays. 2) Dude, we didn't think he was "not smart" because he was a fundamentalist Christian. We thought he was "not smart" because he couldn't pronounce nuclear; said things like, "I know how hard it is to put food on your family," and, oh yeah, continued to read "My Pet Goat" for approximately seven minutes after being told the nation was under attack. THAT is why we think he's "not smart."
- Fareed and the Gerg actually had a nice, respectful debate over Cordoba House, devoid of incessant interrupting, yelling, and the usual batshit insanity. And it all went down on cable news. Madness, people. Madness.
- For the record, while I still have some affection for the Gerg, I am Team Fareed here all the way. Though I will say I am completely unsurprised by the Gerg's position. Acknowledging the right to build, yet defending those opposed on sensitivity grounds is a very centrist-y position to take. Too bad it doesn't hold up. There was no real opposition to that center in the beginning. But we've already been over this. Video below:
- I have a girl crush on Isha Sesay. Can we keep her? Pweeze? Anderson is clearly enamored.
- Hey, you know how a few bullet points back I basically said I'd like to toss Paul off this train we're riding? I was wrong! I take it all back. In the next segment, Ari starts talking about how the surge worked (grrrr, my pet peeve) and implies that Bush deserves some sort of credit. And Paul ain't having none of it! We're gonna have to go to block quote for this, son:
Well, I think first, he was trying to do three different things, right? Say we're going to withdraw from Iraq, but we're going to surge into Afghanistan, but we're going to withdraw from there, too. But then, we're going to take care of folks here at home. I want to pick up, though, on this point that Ari makes about the surge, because it is staggering to me. First off, the surge was only necessary because President Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld went to war with too few troops, because they wanted to prove General Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, wrong. That's why we needed it in the first place.
Second, it could have never succeeded without the preceding Sunni awakening. Iraqis themselves had to decide. It wasn't the American surge and that cured it. It was the Sunni awakening.
But I'll make a deal with President Bush. We'll give you all the credit for the surge if you take half of the blame for the lies that got us into the war, by which I mean Ari himself saying Iraq was an imminent threat to America, by which the president of the United States saying it was a mushroom cloud that could become a smoking gun, by which I mean the threat of unmanned aerial drones that Saddam supposedly had that would gas America, the connections that they allege which were false between al Qaeda and Saddam's regime.
So, you know, there was so much they got wrong about this. Some of it just was botched, and some of it was deeply dishonest. And the notion that somehow George Bush is owed any moment of grace here is appalling to the history.
- Amen a thousand times over.
- Ari, as you might imagine, disagrees. The two of them go back-and-forth, basically re-arguing the Iraq war, Ari proving he still has that dishonestly thing down pat. Seriously, there is so much evidence out there to support that the Bush administration cherry-picked intelligence that you either need to be a liar or in denial to state otherwise.
- Fareed and the Gerg then reasonably have a go at each other again. The best part? The shot of Peter Bergen silently sitting between them, turning his head back-and-forth, looking all awkward.
- Well kids, it's not just non scary mosques and non combat-y troops we have to contend with, there's a hurricane a-coming! Chad Myers joins us to talk about Hurricane Earl, a Cat 4 storm that is planning on a visit to the East Coast. Yikes. Pay attention to the evacuations, people.
- Our anchor: "So Chad, I hit 43, and my eyes are gone. The writing on that looks small." Then wear your glasses! We won't make fun of you, I promise. Ok, well, obviously we will make fun of you. But we'll do it behind your back. All good? Oh Silver Fox, you know you're still going to be adorable no matter how dorky your eye wear. Seriously, don't make me start calling you Mr. Squintyman in every single post. Because I'll totally do it! Also? Wear a bike helmet. (Hey, I was yelling at him anyway--what the hell?)
- That'll do it for the broadcast. Lots of punditry tonight...and it was actually pretty watchable. Wha? What witchcraft is this?! Clearly Fareed Zakaria should be, like, mandatory for all discussions. The mosque stuff was good too. Fact-checking (ZOMG!). Yeah 360, you can have a cookie.
- This bullet point contains (I'm hoping) the next contestant on Dancing with the Stars.