Friday, July 24, 2009

CNN apparently has Lou Dobbs' back after all...

Heavy sigh.

In an interview with Greg Sargent this afternoon, Klein backtracked and brushed off the criticism. "Look, Lou's his own show, and CNN in general has repeatedly and thoroughly reported on the facts behind this situation."

TPM: CNN to Lou Dobbs. Drop the Birther Story

Praise Jesus.

CNN President Jon Klein wrote an email last night to "Lou Dobbs Tonight" staffers telling them the Obama birth certificate story is "dead," TVNewser reports.

"It seems this story is dead," Klein wrote, "because anyone who still is not convinced doesn't really have a legitimate beef."

He sent the email just before Lou Dobbs went on the air. He included information CNN's political researchers had gotten from the Hawaii Health Department -- information which "seems to definitively answer the question."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

So sayeth the Nate...

Anybody want to tell me why a former (and I do believe current) Baseball Stats geek is running one of the sanest, most even keeled, most politically relevant blogs in the 'sphere??

Memo to Liberal Blogosphere, re: Health Care Reform. Chill!

Oh, and favorite quote:

I don't think the media has a liberal bias or a conservative bias so much as it has a bias toward overreacting to short-term trends and a tendency toward groupthink.

Memo to Nancy Pelosi...

In short, the Congressional Black Caucus writes Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) a letter.

In short in negotiating with your new bestest buddies the Blue Dog (or Blue Cross) Democrats, don't take us for granted.

This is a warning from 30,000 of your constituents (VIDEO)

The President's Press Conference of July 22, 2009 (VIDEO)

From what I understand, the complete Presser.

TPM: Yes, someone went there...

From TPM.

On Sunday night, Dr. David McKalip forwarded to fellow members of a Google listserv affiliated with the Tea Party movement the image below.

Above it, he wrote: "Funny stuff."


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

NPR: Predator Drone kills a son of Usama Bin Laden

According to NPR:

U.S. officials believe Saad bin Ladena son of Osama bin Ladenhas been killed by an American missile in Pakistan.

Saad bin Laden reportedly spent years under house arrest in Iran before traveling last year to Pakistan, according to former National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell.

It's believed he was killed by Hellfire missiles fired from a U.S. Predator drone sometime this year.

A senior U.S. counterterrorism official tells NPR that without a body to conduct DNA tests on, it's hard to be completely sure. But he characterized U.S. spy agencies as being "80 to 85 percent" certain that Saad bin Laden is dead.

The U.S. counterterrorism official says Saad bin Laden wasn't important enough to target personally — that he was "in the wrong place at the wrong time."

He was active in al-Qaida, but was not a major player, the official said. He was believed to be in his late 20s.

"We make a big deal out of him because of his last name," the official added.

It's not known whether Saad bin Laden was anywhere near his father when he died.

Boy, all kinds of amazing questions come up because of this story.

What was Iran's involvement in this, exactly? Holding him until last year, and letting go into Pakistan?

Why exactly was he being held for all those years in Iran? My understanding is there isn't a lot of love lost been the Iranian Shiites and Al Qaeda.

Was this guy meant to make a beeline for his Father? If that was the plan (and that's wild, wild speculation at this point), who's idea was that??

Does this mean we're inching closer to UBL, or not? Going by what the Officials told NPR, the answer is a clear no. Then again, would you want to admit we're getting closer to one of the world's most dangerous fugitives?

BTW, Saad's bio on Wikipedia (and judge Wikipedia for what it's worth) disagrees somewhat with the "Saad bin Laden wasn't important enough to target personally" line, in that he "occupies a position of preeminence in Al Qaeda," and:

Saad was believed to have been heavily responsible for the bombing of a Tunisian synagogue on April 11, 2002, which killed 19.[1]

The following year, there were disputed claims of his capture by Pakistan in March,[2] though these proved false, and he was implicated in the May 12th suicide bombing in Riyadh, and the Morocco bombing four days later.

Saad accompanied his father on his exile to Sudan from 1991-96, and followed him to Afghanistan after that. He is believed to be married to a woman from Yemen. Iran has stated that a number of al-Qaeda leaders and members are in their custody, possibly including the son of Osama bin Laden, Saad bin Laden.[3][4]

All rampant speculation at this point. This could be something. This could be nothing at all.

"Mmmm, Journalism..." (VIDEO) CNN's Lou Dobbs officially goes off the deep end.

But aside all that, this is a summary of the history of the Birther story, and how ridiculous it all is.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rachel Maddow v. Pat Buchanan (VIDEO)

Heavy racism pushback day today. Reasonably proud of the MSM.

This is Rachel Maddow smacking back against Pat Buchanan about his rather overt racism in an appearance from last week.

Here's Pat's original (and highly racist) interview-slash-rant.

Chris Matthews (MSNBC) vs. the Birthers (VIDEO)

UPDATE: 5:19pm Pacific. I'm going with the crisper, clearer MSNBC Video.

Rick Sanchez of CNN vs. the Birther Movement (VIDEO)

This is racism, pure and simple.

The Obama Interviews for July 20-21, 2009 (VIDEO)

First, Obama's slightly contentious interview with Meredith Vieira from the Today Show.

Honestly? This was a second rate interview, by a backbencher looking to make a name for herself by "grilling" the President. I lost count how many times Vieira interrupted him, jumping in on answers. (Of course that could have been sh---y editing). She even brings up a Brazilian Custody Battle in the middle of the Health Care Interview?

...and what he wore at the All-Star Game?!?!?

Excuse me??

And then his sit down with Jim Lehrer from PBS:

Monday, July 20, 2009, Secretary Geithner...

I've been able to give Geithner a pass on the stuff he's been doing so far, but not this:

Now that bailed-out banks are reporting record-breaking profits, the U.S. taxpayer, who bought into these institutions at bottom-barrel prices, could wind up on the winning end of a nice profit. That's what happens, after all, when you buy low and sell high.

When Congress bailed out Wall Street, it required banks to give warrants to the treasury. That way, if the market turned around and a bank's stock rose, the taxpayer could profit. Indeed, the notion that the taxpayer might profit from the bailout was floated by members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.

The Congressional Oversight Panel, however, looked into the early sales of warrants and found earlier this month that Treasury would only get about 66 percent of the market value for the warrants. And it was doing so in private negotiations with the banks.

A group of Democrats in Congress want to end that practice. A bill introduced by Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio) would require the Treasury to sell warrants in a public auction and do so in a transparent way. On Wednesday, the Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations holds a hearing on the sale of warrants, focusing on protecting profits for the taxpayer.

I'm all for dealing us out. The quicker the Banks get on their feet, and give us back the money, the better. But we sure as hell shouldn't be taking a loss on this crap. If they lose money or go kaput, then find. We tried. We took the risk, it didn't work out. But if they make money, we make money. End of discussion.

Lay it on me, Chuck (VIDEO)

Say what you will, but what Chuck Todd says in this piece is the truth of what's going on, and what's about to happen...

...good or ill.

The B.S. Art of Headline Writing...

Chris Lavoie from the Stephanie Miller show is highlighting a Poll on the front page of the Post that says support for the President's Health Care Plan has slipped below 50 percent:

Heading into a critical period in the debate over health-care reform, public approval of President Obama's stewardship on the issue has dropped below the 50 percent threshold for the first time, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Obama's approval ratings on other front-burner issues, such as the economy and the federal budget deficit, have also slipped over the summer, as rising concern about spending and continuing worries about the economy combine to challenge his administration. Barely more than half approve of the way he is handling unemployment, which now tops 10 percent in 15 states and the District.

Yet, in the very same article:

On health care, the poll, conducted by telephone Wednesday through Saturday, found that a majority of Americans (54 percent) approve of the outlines of the legislation now heading toward floor action. The measure would institute new individual and employer insurance mandates and create a government-run plan to compete with private insurers. Its costs would be paid in part through new taxes on high-income earners.


The president's overall approval rating remains higher than his marks on particular domestic issues, with 59 percent giving him positive reviews and 37 percent disapproving. But this is the first time in his presidency that Obama has fallen under 60 percent in Post-ABC polling, and the rating is six percentage points lower than it was a month ago.

What's really going here, is more overzealous Headline Writers looking to a) make a name for themselves, or b) scuttle Health Care reform, because:

Since April, approval of Obama's handling of health care has dropped from 57 percent to 49 percent, with disapproval rising from 29 percent to 44 percent. Obama still maintains a large advantage over congressional Republicans in terms of public trust on the issue, even as the GOP has closed the gap.

So, the American people (generally) like the President, though Independents are getting weak knees, and they like what's in the Legislation pushing its way though Congress, but they don't like the way the President is handling the issue.