Posts Tagged: Talking


10
Feb 11

GOP announces new climate strategy: Abandon Earth – New House Research and Education Subcommitte chair Mo Brooks rehashes climate zombie talking points

I’m also old enough to remember when the same left-wing part of our society was creating a global cooling scare in order to generate funds for their pet projects. So 30-some years ago the big scare was global cooling, and once they drained that [topic], they shifted to global warming….

… it’s cyclical. So how are the proponents going to convince us that it’s not just part of a cyclical pattern?

… to the extent that we have higher levels of carbon dioxide. That means that plant life grows better, because it is an essential gas for all forms of plant life. Does that mean I want more of it? I don’t know about the adverse effects of carbon dioxide on human beings.

That would be freshman Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) — from Huntsville whose district includes NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center — whom the GOP in its infinite wisdom has made chair of the House Science Committee’s panel on basic research and education.

He rocketed over many more senior members to head the panel that oversees research activities at NASA, NSF, DOE and NOAA. Sadly, he doesn’t even know that in the 1970s, most scientists and most scientific papers were warning about global warming (see “The global cooling myth dies again“).  In fact, 30 years ago, James Hansen and six other NASA atmospheric physicists, published a seminal article in Science, “Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide,” warned of “creation of drought-prone regions in North America and central Asia as part of a shifting of climatic zones, erosion of the West Antarctic ice sheet with a consequent worldwide rise in sea level, and opening of the fabled Northwest Passage.”

So it’s no big surprise that the see-no-warming, hear-no-warming, speak-no-warming GOP plan to gut NASA’s global warming research and focus on manned spaceflight.  Brad Johnson has that story:

Republicans have a new idea: instead of wasting time protecting this planet, let’s figure out how to escape it.

Over a hundred years ago, scientists started warning that the unconstrained burning of fossil fuels could make planet Earth uninhabitable for human civilization. Since then, we have spewed billions of tons of greenhouse pollution into the atmosphere, acidifying the oceans, devastating ecosystems, and intensifying catastrophic weather. Fortunately, scientists have also found that the strategy of reducing pollution would unleash an economic revolution with clean energy and keep our planet friendly to the human race. Many of these scientists work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA), which has a billion-dollar budget for studying the “natural and man-made changes in our environment” that “affect the habitability of our planet.”

However, Republicans in Congress find the clean energy pathway unreasonable, arguing the costs of reducing our toxic dependence on coal and oil would be too great. Perhaps stung by accusations that they are simply the Party of No, a group of House Republicans have now put forward an alternate strategy to avoiding disastrous global warming: the first step being to scrap NASA’s world-leading climate science research funding, and direct it instead into sending people into unpolluted outer space:

“Global warming funding presents an opportunity to reduce spending without unduly impacting NASA’s core human spaceflight mission. With your help, we can reorient NASA’s mission back toward human spaceflight by reducing funding for climate change research and reallocating those funds to NASA’s human spaceflight accounts, all while moving overall discretionary spending toward 2008 levels.”

The signatories of this Abandon Earth letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) and Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee Chairman Frank Wolf (R-VA) are Reps. Sandy Adams (R-FL), Rob Bishop (R-UT), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Pete Olson (R-TX) and Bill Posey (R-FL), all from districts that play a role in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) manned spaceflight program. As they are currently on planet Earth, they are also all from districts threatened by the effects of global warming.

Although the signatories don’t explicitly state that the goal of shifting funding from climate research into manned spaceflight is to find a new home for the 350 million people of the United States, one can only assume that they support that goal. Signatory Mo Brooks (R-AL), the new subcommittee chair for the House science committee’s panel on basic research and education, told ScienceInsider that “I haven’t seen anything that convinces me” that greenhouse emissions should be reduced, and will hold hearings about cutting as much of the U.S. climate research budget as possible.

As they are responsible politicians who worry about “[f]uture generations of Americans,” they surely don’t intend to stick our children with catastrophic sea level rise, summer-long heat waves of over 100 degrees, superfueled storms and floods, intense droughts, desertification, and mass species extinction without offering them a Planet B:

“Space is the ultimate high ground and nations such as China, Russia, and India are anxious to seize the mantle of space supremacy should we decide to cede it. We must not put ourselves in the position of watching Chinese astronauts planting their flag on the moon while we sit earthbound by our own shortsightedness. Future generations of Americans deserve better.”

The Planet-B Republicans rightfully recognize that the moon — without an atmosphere or liquid water — would lead to serious resource competition between the 6 billion people now on this planet, perhaps with China the greatest threat to our post-Earth plans. Although China does have a growing space program, its government is primarily investing in the “save this planet first” strategy, spending twice as much as the United States on clean technology, establishing mandatory standards for renewable energy production, mandatory energy efficiency standards, and mandatory fuel economy standards.

Some people might say that ramping up interplanetary travel from the 12 men who walked on the moon to millions or billions of people, while figuring out how to terraform lifeless planets when we’re failing to keep our own climate stable, in a few decades is a higher risk, more costly endeavor than increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy by one or two percentage points a year. Although those people would be technically correct, they would also be failing to appreciate the total awesomeness of the Abandon Earth plan.

The House climate zombies are, literally, unearthly.

Climate Progress


9
Feb 11

Lawrence: Hornets’ Paul not talking about Broadway – New York Daily News


New York Daily News
Lawrence: Hornets' Paul not talking about Broadway
New York Daily News
As rumors continue to swirl about Carmelo Anthony's (l.) final destination, Hornets guard Chris Paul (c.) is likely to be linked to the Knicks when he becomes a free agent. Chris Paul walked out into the frigid Newark air a little before noon Wednesday
Four NBA trades that should be made before the deadlineSportingNews.com
Your Nets comments: Who will trade for Carmelo Anthony?The Star-Ledger – NJ.com
Halftime: Carmelo to Lakers? Who wins and who loses?USA Today
Los Angeles Times –SILive.com –HoopsWorld
all 734 news articles »

Sports – Google News


9
Feb 11

Talking To The Wrong People

by Chris Bodenner

Samer Shehata runs through the various opposition party representatives who sat down with Suleiman for a "national dialogue":

After the immense upheaval that Egypt has undergone in the past two weeks, it was striking to see that the meeting was still composed of the same old faces, trying to cut a deal as if the protesters in Tahrir Square hardly existed. … One cannot help but conclude that the "national dialogue" is little more than a regime tactic to co-opt the more moderate opposition parties, while leaving the youth protesters out in the cold.

But the presence of Muslim Brotherhood representatives was notable, Shehata admits, calling it a "monumental sea change from decades of Egyptian government pronouncements about the group and its activities."





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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan


9
Feb 11

Talking To The Wrong People

by Chris Bodenner

Samer Shehata runs through the various opposition party representatives who sat down with Suleiman for a "national dialogue":

After the immense upheaval that Egypt has undergone in the past two weeks, it was striking to see that the meeting was still composed of the same old faces, trying to cut a deal as if the protesters in Tahrir Square hardly existed. … One cannot help but conclude that the "national dialogue" is little more than a regime tactic to co-opt the more moderate opposition parties, while leaving the youth protesters out in the cold.

But the presence of Muslim Brotherhood representatives was notable, Shehata admits, calling it a "monumental sea change from decades of Egyptian government pronouncements about the group and its activities."





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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan


7
Feb 11

Chris Matthews: ‘Palin’s Talking to People Who Don’t Read Newspapers or Watch Serious TV Shows Like Mine’

It appears Chris Matthews' arrogance knows no bounds.

On Monday's "Hardball," the MSNBCer actually said, "I think [Sarah Palin's] talking to people who don't read newspapers, don't pay attention to serious television broadcasts, whether the Lehrer Hour or anything like it or even this program" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: I want to go back to Beck for a minute, and Palin, because they’re on the same label here. They are on the same, they ought to patent together, she’s trying to get herself patented. It ought to be Palin and Beck. This stuff about these conspiracy theories, she's got the fact that the President of the United States is sitting on these realities. I tell you, I wish I had as much confidence in the State Department as she does, they've got it all figured out who's going to win over there. What’s with the conspiracy theory all the time? Can't she just admit this is tough and they don't seem to know where they're going? That's not a bad critique, and it’s a smart one. I don't think they know where they're going, and I think they do change their minds every two or three days over there. They don't know whether Mubarak is going to last three months, six months, or two weeks, we don’t know. And basically, we’re trying to look at glass, through a glass darkly here. Your thoughts, Shushannah, why is it always the easiest thing to do is to sell a conspiracy theory these days on the Right?

SHUSHANNAH WALSHE, DAILY BEAST: Well, I agree that there are other potential 2012ers which I think that she is have said the president is all over the map. He should be, you know, take a stance, and she did say that, but I think because a lot of people, people that are supporters, the media were looking at what her first comments on Egypt could be, that she should have, as I said before, I think that she should have come out not with a conspiracy, not with what she thinks the president is doing or thinking behind the scenes, but what she would have done if she was in the Oval Office. And I think a lot of her supporters would appreciate that. I think the people that, journalists that cover her and watch her would be interested in that. And I, you know, I think that would have really made her different and distinct from the president especially if she would have come out with a very strong response.

MATTHEWS: Okay, do you know what I think she's doing? Hey Ron…

RON CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yeah.

MATTHEWS: …think about this, because I respect you. Do you know what I think she’s doing? I don't think she is a thoughtful politician. I think she's talking to people who don't read newspapers, don't pay attention to serious television broadcasts, whether the Lehrer Hour or anything like it or even this program, don’t pay attention to anything that’s even in the middle, who don’t have any effort at all to learn anything, believe her when she says they're keeping the truth from us when the people who believe her are making absolutely no effort to find out what the truth is. So they’re willing to believe it’s somebody else’s fault. She’s in an interesting little game she plays with people.

Imagine that. Palin's supporters are basically illiterate nincompoops that don't learn anything and are making absolutely no effort to find out what the truth is by watching folks like Matthews.

It must be quite a thing to believe people are ignorant if they don't watch your show.

As an aside, this is now the sixth day in a row that Matthews attacked his 5PM competitor on Fox News, Glenn Beck.

I'm beginning to think the "Hardball" host is taking after former colleague Keith Olbermann and believe the more he mentions Beck's name, the better his ratings will get.

Of course, Matthews probably thinks the 310 million people that don't watch him are idiots, which is funny for it's the roughly 600,000 nightly "Hardball" viewers that are likely amongst the most poorly informed people in the nation.

NewsBusters.org – Exposing Liberal Media Bias


7
Feb 11

Chris Matthews: ‘Palin’s Talking to People Who Don’t Read Newspapers or Watch Serious TV Shows Like Mine’

It appears Chris Matthews' arrogance knows no bounds.

On Monday's "Hardball," the MSNBCer actually said, "I think [Sarah Palin's] talking to people who don't read newspapers, don't pay attention to serious television broadcasts, whether the Lehrer Hour or anything like it or even this program" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: I want to go back to Beck for a minute, and Palin, because they’re on the same label here. They are on the same, they ought to patent together, she’s trying to get herself patented. It ought to be Palin and Beck. This stuff about these conspiracy theories, she's got the fact that the President of the United States is sitting on these realities. I tell you, I wish I had as much confidence in the State Department as she does, they've got it all figured out who's going to win over there. What’s with the conspiracy theory all the time? Can't she just admit this is tough and they don't seem to know where they're going? That's not a bad critique, and it’s a smart one. I don't think they know where they're going, and I think they do change their minds every two or three days over there. They don't know whether Mubarak is going to last three months, six months, or two weeks, we don’t know. And basically, we’re trying to look at glass, through a glass darkly here. Your thoughts, Shushannah, why is it always the easiest thing to do is to sell a conspiracy theory these days on the Right?

SHUSHANNAH WALSHE, DAILY BEAST: Well, I agree that there are other potential 2012ers which I think that she is have said the president is all over the map. He should be, you know, take a stance, and she did say that, but I think because a lot of people, people that are supporters, the media were looking at what her first comments on Egypt could be, that she should have, as I said before, I think that she should have come out not with a conspiracy, not with what she thinks the president is doing or thinking behind the scenes, but what she would have done if she was in the Oval Office. And I think a lot of her supporters would appreciate that. I think the people that, journalists that cover her and watch her would be interested in that. And I, you know, I think that would have really made her different and distinct from the president especially if she would have come out with a very strong response.

MATTHEWS: Okay, do you know what I think she's doing? Hey Ron…

RON CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yeah.

MATTHEWS: …think about this, because I respect you. Do you know what I think she’s doing? I don't think she is a thoughtful politician. I think she's talking to people who don't read newspapers, don't pay attention to serious television broadcasts, whether the Lehrer Hour or anything like it or even this program, don’t pay attention to anything that’s even in the middle, who don’t have any effort at all to learn anything, believe her when she says they're keeping the truth from us when the people who believe her are making absolutely no effort to find out what the truth is. So they’re willing to believe it’s somebody else’s fault. She’s in an interesting little game she plays with people.

Imagine that. Palin's supporters are basically illiterate nincompoops that don't learn anything and are making absolutely no effort to find out what the truth is by watching folks like Matthews.

It must be quite a thing to believe people are ignorant if they don't watch your show.

As an aside, this is now the sixth day in a row that Matthews attacked his 5PM competitor on Fox News, Glenn Beck.

I'm beginning to think the "Hardball" host is taking after former colleague Keith Olbermann and believe the more he mentions Beck's name, the better his ratings will get.

Of course, Matthews probably thinks the 310 million people that don't watch him are idiots, which is funny for it's the roughly 600,000 nightly "Hardball" viewers that are likely amongst the most poorly informed people in the nation.

NewsBusters.org blogs


7
Feb 11

ESPN’s Wilbon Says Obama’s ‘Fascinating’ When Talking Sports

ESPN host (and former longtime Washington Post sports columnist) Michael Wilbon had a thrill up his leg over being invited to the Super Bowl party at the White House with a couple of hundred Obama friends. In a column for ESPN, Wilbon boasted "Obama's capacity for, passion for, and range of knowledge" on sports is greater than any other recent president. He also said "tough spit" on any conservative talkers who'd try to find anything scandalous in the East Room event:

If you're looking for that TMZ moment, a revelation of Charlie Sheen getting drunk and turning the East Room into a piano bar or Tareq and Michaele Salahi slipping past security and sitting next to President and Mrs. Obama, stop reading right now. There wasn't even a confrontation between the Steelers and Packers fans, nothing salacious or awkward or anything worthy of YouTube. And if the conservative talking heads don't believe that when they take exception to whatever they think went on, as they inevitably will, tough spit.

It was a Super Bowl party with nothing untoward to report, with probably a couple of hundred guests eating and drinking and looking at HD flat screens spaced the length of the room. In an interview with Bill O'Reilly that aired earlier in the day, President Obama made clear that he'd be the host with the most until the game got serious, and then he was going to get locked into the proceedings. And the president pretty much kept his promise.

Wilbon was even defensive of the Obamas when it came to the food, with "perhaps the best cheeseburgers I've had in five years. Not that there weren't salads and all the healthy green stuff you'd expect would be served in the White House, but let me repeat: perhaps the best cheeseburgers I've had in five years. Isn't that mandatory fare for a Super Bowl party, cheeseburgers? Oh yes, and chicken wings.)"

Wilbon also underlined that he and Obama have virtually no disagreements on politics, only on Chicago sports:

I met Barack Obama years ago, first in Chicago at a reception and then with Charles Barkley when I was helping organize and edit Barkley's second book, "Who's Afraid of a Large Black Man?" Obama was about to run for the U.S. Senate and he was extraordinarily generous with us, granting Barkley and me time to talk, mostly about race and politics.

We talked about sports as much as anything that day, about sports and education, sports and labor, sports and civic passions. And over the years, the senator and then the president made time to talk with me about sporting issues of all kinds, including how a guy from the South Side (me) could chose the Cubs over the White Sox. Turns out that's one of the few places the president and I have a fundamental disagreement.

Obama is hardly the first U.S. president with a sweet tooth for sports. We're at five straight: Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama. But Obama's capacity for, passion for and range of knowledge is greater than any of the others. His ability to tie the issues of the day as they relate to sports to other cultural happenings is fascinating.

When one of the president's lieutenants called last week to invite me (and my "PTI" co-host Tony Kornheiser [also a former Postie]) to attend the Super Bowl party, there was precious little time spent figuring out how to change my Sunday around. That phone call doesn't come every day, maybe not a second time ever. That it came from a president who calls the same plot of land where I grew up home, whose wife grew up in an adjacent neighborhood at exactly the same time, whose friends in a great many cases are my friends, made it even more desirable.

[Ht: Tom Johnson]

NewsBusters.org blogs


4
Feb 11

Malloy Talking With State Employee Unions That Helped Elect Him; Chris Healy: “A Kabuki Dance” With Unions

The state employee unions provided huge support to help Democrat Dannel P. Malloy become governor, and Malloy is now coming back to them to help balance the state budget.

Malloy, who is trying to close a projected $ 3.7 billion deficit in the next fiscal year, said,  “We’re going to need to make headway with our employees on returning to a sustainable system of compensation and benefit allocation.”

Malloy and his senior adviser gave no details this week with regard to concessions he will seek from unions representing more than 40,000 state employees. With his Feb. 16 budget address to the state legislature now less than two weeks away, Malloy said discussions with employees’ union representatives “need to bear fruit right away.”

This week’s weather cancelled several “large blocks of time” that had been set aside Tuesday and Wednesday “to have those discussions.” Those talks, overseen by deputy budget director and chief negotiator Mark Ojakian, resumed Thursday.

Roy Occhiogrosso, Malloy’s senior adviser, said that the unions should not be under the impression that they would receive a free pass from Malloy because they helped him win the election.

“I can’t imagine they would think that,” Occhiogrosso said when asked about the possible reaction during an interview Thursday in his state Capitol office.

Malloy has repeatedly delivered his message of “shared sacrifice,” which Occhiogrosso said “means everyone needs to help.”

Asked if the administration has received good feedback from the unions, he said, “I think it’s too early to characterize.”

The talks are still at the very early stages, and there is no immediate pressure to complete a deal by Malloy’s budget address. Instead, the administration will provide an estimate or placeholder in the budget for the projected possible savings from the unions.

“There needs to be savings in the short term and savings in the long term – a lot of them,” Occhiogrosso said. “He made a promise during the campaign to listen to their ideas, and he’s committed to keeping that promise.”

If Malloy rejects the ideas of the unions, he will explain the reasons why “on every single one of them,” Occhiogrosso said.

When asked why the unions had not offered their cost-savings ideas sooner to the new administration as it prepares to offer a new budget in less than two weeks, Occhiogrosso said, “I don’t know the answer to that.”

But Larry Dorman, the chief spokesman for the unions, said that the early talks have not focused on the nuts and bolts of trying to change benefits.

“They’re not negotiations,” Dorman said Thursday night. “We’re engaged in constructive discussion with the administration to save signficant dollars. Negotiations obviously would be about the collective bargaining agreement in the broadest sense. We’re not talking about health and pensions. We’re talking about win-win ideas” that save money and create jobs.

When asked whether the two sides will eventually talk about wages and benefits, Dorman said, “I can’t answer that.” 

Capitol Watch


2
Feb 11

White House back to talking about climate change – Science advisor says the message was always there, asserts “The science of climate change is really very clear in its essentials.”

The climate is changing…  Human activity, particularly fossil fuel burning, is overwhelmingly likely to be the primary cause of the changes were experiencing. We’re already experiencing damages from these changes in climate. We will experience more unless and until we reduce our emissions.  These points are clear in the science.

John Holdren, who heads the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, gave an extended interview Sunday on Platts Energy Week.  He made clear that the White House understands climate science and is still committed to talking about it and addressing it.

I and others have been critical of the President’s apparent soft-pedaling of the problem in the State of the Union (see “Obama calls for massive boost in low-carbon energy, but doesn’t mention carbon, climate or warming” and Brulle: “By failing to even rhetorically address climate change, Obama is mortgaging our future and further delaying the necessary work to build a political consensus for real action”).

The anti-science crowd and their fellow confusionists gleefully took the speech to mean that Obama was backpedaling on climate, but I mostly saw it as just typically horrendous messaging by the White House, along with evidence that the President personally doesn’t get the truly dire nature of the problem.

I know Dr. Holdren gets it, though, and while Axelrod and White House communications shop have been muzzling him for two years now, he certainly wasn’t shy about spelling out the basics of climate science in his interview.

Indeed, Holdren actually makes the case the President was talking about climate when he said in the SOTU that “clean energy technology” is an investment that will … protect our planet.”  Here’s the video:

The video is here — for some reason the code only runs the Gasland piece, so you have to click on the “John Holdren interview” beneath the main video:

We need better energy technology both to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, to improve the environment, including reducing our contribution to climate change, and to create the jobs in clean energy, the new products, the new businesses that will stay in America, while meeting our growing energy needs….

The president realizes that we need all the new energy sources we can get. We need energy sources that reduce our contribution to production of greenhouse gases that are altering the climate, we need those new energy sources to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and we need them to stay competitive in a global market.

I’m still not persuaded that the president gets it, but any notion that the White House was simply going to stop talking about climate change entirely  was certainly unwarranted.

H/t The Hill — But if you read their comments section, put on a head vise first.

Climate Progress


31
Jan 11

Video: Calipari drives home his talking points

(The video is after the jump.)

If you know John Calipari, you know he has themes-of-the-moment, and he will relentlessly drive home those themes in an effort to make his point with his team. Themes-for-the-team. Today’s media opp previewing Tuesday night’s game with Ole Miss was a good example of the Calipari Way.

A prevailing Cal theme these days is his insistence that while his freshmen are good, the team really belongs to upperclassmen Josh Harrellson, DeAndre Liggins and Darius Miller. (It’s the same thing Mike DeCourcy wrote from Saturday’s win over Georgia for Sporting News.) Cal said he met with his veteran trio again and told them they need to take control now that the team is going on the road again.

“If the freshmen play well, great, we’ll win,” Calipari said. “If they don’t play well, we’ve got to win anyway. . . . You, the two juniors and a senior, this is your team.”

His other theme is that this team has yet to play to its potential. He knows he’s asking a lot, that some guys are close to their potential. But he still wants more. He thinks Terrence Jones played good defense and rebounded well on Saturday, but that at times when the ball comes to him “it just stops.” He wants Jones to be the most well-rounded player in America. He wants Brandon Knight to be the best point guard who scores. He wants Darius Miller to be one of the best players in the conference. He wants Doron Lamb to play with motor. He wants it all, in other words.

As for Ole Miss, Cal pointed out that the Rebels led Tennessee by a point late in the second half before losing on Saturday. He said that the Rebels’ star guard Chris Warren can “make shots that change games.” But he said that the other Mississippi players can feed off of Warrren, that Andy Kennedy uses good spacing to create driving lanes. Cal didn’t mention that Ole Miss shot just 26.7 percent in the loss to the Vols.

He also talked about the upsets in the league on Saturday, with Auburn winning at South Carolina and Arkansas winning at Vanderbilt. “We’re all about four points away from each other,” he said.

And, at the first of the video, Cal is asked to name the best athlete on the team. Apparently, Brandon Knight had previously given his opinion, so Cal was asked for his.

Share/Save/Bookmark

John Clay’s Sidelines


30
Jan 11

Kurtz: MSNBC Complains About CNN Airing Bachmann’s SOTU Response Then Spends Days Talking About Her

Howard Kurtz on Sunday pointed out a delicious irony involving MSNBC and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).

After complaining about CNN's decision to air the Congresswoman's response to President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday, MSNBC spent the next several days giving far more attention to her than to the official GOP respondent (video follows with transcript and commentary):

HOWARD KURTZ, CNN: When it comes to cable news, all members of Congress aren't created equal. On the left, Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson, who just lost his seat, got plenty of exposure on MSNBC for saying such things as the Republican health plan for sick people is "die quickly." On the right, Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann became a Fox News star — she occasionally pops up on other channels as well — for saying such things as Barack Obama may have anti-American views.

But more incendiary is why the bookers go after them. So when a brainy, budget-cutting hawk, Paul Ryan, delivered the official GOP response to the president's State of the Union, it was Bachmann who made news by making a video appearance for the Tea Party Express thanks, in part, to this network.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I just want to remind our viewers, the only place they'll see on television that speech live, Michele Bachmann's Tea Party speech, will be right here on CNN.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: After the $ 700 billion bailout, the trillion-dollar stimulus, and the massive budget bill with over 9,000 earmarks, many of you implored Washington to please stop spending money that we don't have.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: But tonight, inexplicably, a national news network decided that they would give Michele Bachmann a job that her own party never did. CNN ran it live on their network. They aired it on national TV. A remarkable act of journalistic intervention to elevate, in effect, at group with which they are cosponsoring a presidential debate, to elevate that group to the level of the major parties in this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: So what did the good folks at MSNBC spend the next day talking about? I'll give you a hint. It wasn't Paul Ryan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody in this room has probably looked at the wrong camera.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, MSNBC: You know, I've got a room full of cameras here, and I feel like this could happen to me at any moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michele Bachmann is out there, she's a wildcard.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC: Did she skip the entire financial crisis of 2008 and 2009?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: So did CNN make a mistake in airing Bachmann's speech?

Joining us now to talk about that, and the way most pundits handled the president's State of the Union, Margaret Carlson, columnist for Bloomberg News and Washington editor of "The Week" magazine; Michael Shear of "The New York Times," the lead writer for "The Caucus" blog; and Jim Geraghty, contributing editor at "National Review."

So, Margaret, did CNN elevate Bachmann unfairly, as Rachel Maddow says?

MARGARET CARLSON, BLOOMBERG NEWS: Well, Bachmann makes herself news. I mean, she's — the Republicans create people like Michael Steele and Sarah Palin and Bachmann. She belongs to the Bachmann party. She is on her own.

She goes out. She always makes news. She's always colorful. She's always incendiary. And we cover news, and she's always willing to make it.

KURTZ: Jim Geraghty, if journalists are going to talk about Bachmann all the time, then what's the big deal for CNN to give her five minutes for that video so that people could see what it is they would then be debating?

Kurtz was spot on with this observation, for from Tuesday on, MSNBC gave far more attention to Bachmann than Ryan mentioning her name 191 times and his 134. 

If the good folks at MSNBC are worried about all the attention given to Bachmann, maybe they should stop doing so many reports on her.

Or is such simple logic beyond shills like Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Lawrence O'Donnell, Ed Schultz, and Cenk Uygur?

Readers are advised that MSNBC only transcribes their weekday programs from 5PM through 11PM.

NewsBusters.org – Exposing Liberal Media Bias


28
Jan 11

Talking To His Generation

by Conor Friedersdorf

This James Poulos post makes an astute point about the SOTU speech:

More than anything, I was struck last night by the generational aspect of the President's address.

Sorry, young people: galvanizing the under-30 set makes great campaign material, but now it's all about helping the aged. You heard it in the feel-your-pain reference to the bygone era of local factory jobs. You heard it in the human-interest stories of heroically repurposed near-retirement-age businessfolk. Above all, you heard it in the surrealistically repurposed Sputnik Moment, which became in Obama's hands a way to get older Americans to imagine that the reliable, stable world of their past was actually a cavalcade of personal reinvention and societal reeducation.

Young Americans? To the extent that we heard anything, we heard that our future is cut and dried: science and math education, because that's what they do in China; a career as a scientist, an engineer, or a science and math teacher, because in South Korea those people are celebrated as "nation builders;" a lifetime of work spent in an economy propped up by spending, subsidies, and a perpetual partnership between big government and big business.





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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan


27
Jan 11

Medicare’s Chief Actuary Undercuts Obama and Democrat Talking Points

In his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, the President joked about the fact that House Republicans have repealed the Healthcare law, and affirmed his commitment to his administration’s signature piece of legislation.

Just one day later, however, the fate of the same Healthcare law appears more doubtful, perhaps, than the President and the Democrats imagined.

According to Foxnews.com, Medicare’s Chief Actuary Richard Foster told House Budget Committee members on Wednesday that the two central premises of the Healthcare law, upon which the President and Democrats have been defending the law, are not likely to come to fruition.

Foster responded to two “True-False” questions, posed by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-California): 1) whether the law will keep down healthcare costs; and 2) whether the law will allow people to keep their health insurance if they choose.

Foster responded, “I would say false, more so than true,” to the question about costs, and “Not true, in all cases,” to the question about keeping coverage.

According to Foxnews.com, Foster, an independent economic expert, has expressed his skepticism of both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations regarding Obamacare and the latter’s 2003 Medicare prescription drug advantage plan.

With Speaker John Boehner and the House Republicans following through with repeal of the Healthcare Law in that chamber, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell moving to bring the repeal bill to the floor of the Senate, and more than half of the states challenging the law in the courts, these statements by Foster seem to give even more support for Republicans’ replacement reforms.


Big Government


24
Jan 11

Pre-State of the Union, Democratic Talking Heads Briefed at White House

A cavalcade of Democratic talking heads were beckoned to the White House to be briefed on the president’s State of the Union address by White House senior advisers David Axelrod and Stephanie Cutter and communications director Dan Pfeiffer.



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Political Punch


24
Jan 11

Are we done talking about big government?

ryanmicd.JPG

Jon Chait and Matt Yglesias are kicking around the idea that the passage of the Affordable Care Act fills the final major hole in the American safety net and means, as Matt says, that “the era of big government liberalism” is over and “future public policy has to be about ways to maximize sustainable economic growth, and ways to maximize the efficiency with which services are delivered.”

I’d rephrase that slightly: I think the era in which the government’s major commitments are the dominant issue is (largely) over. The Affordable Care Act doesn’t make the government much larger as a share of GDP. Rather, it commits the government to guaranteeing something close to universal health care, even if the relevant transactions occur between individuals and private insurance companies. The reason the GOP talks about “repeal and replace” is that they don’t think they can persuade Americans to undo that underlying commitment. If they did, they’d just go for repeal.

But the fights over how government should look will be as fierce as the battles over what it should do — and may, rather oddly, fall much more cleanly across big government/small government lines. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act will all require substantial changes in the years to come. Most of those changes have less to do with the programs themselves than with underlying cost growth in the sectors of the economy they encompass — health-care provision and pensions, both of which will harm private firms and paychecks as surely as they’ll wound government budgets. But as both parties struggle to find answers for that cost growth, they’ll likely end up adding longtime ideological commitments actual answers — or substituting them for actual answers: Conservatives will look to fully or partially privatize Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, while liberals will look to empower the government to add a federally sponsored insurer and bargain down costs in the Affordable Care Act.

This might actually mean more arguments over “big government liberalism” than we’ve seen in recent decades. Democrats were so focused on the question of the government’s commitments that they ended up making a lot of compromises on how those commitments got carried out. The Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit, the Affordable Care Act and the tendency to disguise social programs disguised as tax credits all fit this pattern. But with the commitments established, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Democrats become much less willing to make those compromises going forward. And if the GOP can’t roll back the commitments, a lot of their energy will turn toward privatization.

This is the fundamental reality underneath Paul Ryan’s Roadmap, for instance, which uses the need for long-term cost control as a justification for eventual privatization (even though the privatization schemes are not how his plan saves money). His Roadmap is the most radical salvo in the big government/small government debate that any politician has launched in some time, but it’s framed as an exercise in cost control, and it makes a point to avoid questioning any of the government’s underlying commitments.

Photo credit: Melina Mara/The Washington Post.







Ezra Klein