Bill O’Reilly was trying to show that he cares about women who have been victims of crime. So to make that point, he sends two men to find my home address and to follow me on vacation? I mean, it was incredibly disturbing. The rest of the weekend, I was constantly looking over my shoulder, wondering how long they had been following me, if they’re still following me.
Amanda also noted that O’Reilly’s producer ambushed her when she was least expecting it and unprepared to answer his questions. “O’Reilly may be surprised I don’t sit around on vacation thinking about him,” she said.
Probably the funniest and saddest moment from the press conference last night: President Obama's response to Ed Henry's 'gotcha' question.
Henry: Why did you wait days to come out and express that outrage? It seems like the action is coming out of New York and the Attorney General's office. It took you days to come public with Secretary Geithner and say look we're outraged. Why did it....
Obama: Look it took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak. Alright?
Apparently Henry wasn't satisfied when he didn't respond to the question the first time around. It's hard to figure out who was more infuriating -- Chuck Todd, Chip Reid, or Ed Henry. They are the three headed Ghidorah!
Rachel Maddow explains the emerging dynamic that is sadly happening within the Democrtaic Party. A handful of Democrats are banding together to try and hijack President Obama's agenda. They actually are voting with the minority party Republicans who were voted out of office by the people.
On MSNBC’s Morning Joe last week, Bayh unveiled a centrist group of 15 Democrat senators whom he described as “pragmatists” and “not ideologues” and “not strident partisans.” Three of the 15 are up for election next year -- Bayh himself, Michael Bennet of Colorado, and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. Bayh has a history of sparring with the left in his party. As chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council in 2003, he warned of then-rising presidential campaign of Howard Dean. “The Democratic Party is at risk of being taken over by the far left,” he told DLC members in 2003. “We have an important choice to make: Do we want to vent, or do we want to govern?”
Even the twittering McCaskill is doing her part to align herself very badly.
Three Democrats, Sens. Evan Bayh, Russ Feingold and Claire McCaskill "opposed the bill as wasteful," and those "defections were small but could signal problems for Mr. Reid as he tries to hold his troops together as Congress faces an array of complex bills."
Maddow talked to Jane Hamsher about why the Conserva-dems are bucking their own party and siding with the Republicans. From Firedoglake:
Why is Bayh bucking his party—and, more importantly, his own state’s population—to go to the mat for the banks?
As noted Bayh's campaign contributions may have a lot to do with it.
FDL is working with Campaign for America's Future and US Action to target "conservative" Democrats who are taking lobbying money and blocking President Obama's agenda. I'm sure many more groups will follow. As Rachel said with friends like these...
(h/t John Amato)
Here is what I thought was one of the more infuriating moments of last night's press conference. Chuck Todd with this doozie:
Todd: Some have compared this financial crisis to a war and in times of war past Presidents have called for some form of sacrifice. Some of your programs whether main street or Wall Street have actually cushioned the blow for those that were irresponsible during this economic period of prosperity, supposed prosperity that you were talking about. Why, given this new era of responsibility that you're asking for why haven't you asked for something specific that the public should be sacrificing to participate in this economic recovery?
Really, Chuck Todd? You're joking, right? If you had asked what he should have asked Wall Street to sacrifice, that would have been one thing. But the public? Unbelievable.
Typical Villager question. No normal person would ask for the American people to suffer and make additional sacrifices through a period where their wages have declined, job losses are skyrocketing and health-care costs are astronomical. These inside-the-Beltway pundits seem to talk to each other rather than for us. It's like we don't exist to them. They all seem to live in Broder's universe, and we're mice in a cage waiting for some scraps. I'd like to know what the press corps would sacrifice if the president asked them for one.
It's about time someone said it. David Shuster calls out serial adulterer and two-time divorcee Newt Gingrich for this Tweet:
It is sad to see notre dame invite president obama to give the commencement address Since his policies are so anti catholic values
We learned today that Gingrich is converting to Catholicism in the weeks ahead. Amazing! He isn't even Catholic yet and he's already telling Notre Dame what to do. Mr. former-Speaker given the way you've led your life when you lecture anybody about upholding Catholic values, that's hypocrisy and it's wrong.
Shuster is right and Gingrich has no room to talk. Why this is not pointed out every time he opens his mouth about "family values" or any type of religious values is beyond me.
Lanny Davis visited the set of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to push for his "third way" corporate compromise on the Employee Free Choice Act. Costco, Starbucks and Whole Foods have teamed up and are calling themselves the Committee for a Level Playing Field. As Steve Benen notes in his article:
Lanny Davis, a former special counsel to President Clinton, is reportedly helping to push this compromise, and told the Post that he's received positive feedback from about 20 Senate offices. We don't know which 20, but not surprisingly, Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, a right-leaning Democrat who may break with his party over EFCA, said the proposal "could result in a reasonable compromise."
From TPM some good news:
Backers of the EFCA "alternative" have enlisted Lanny Davis, the former Clinton White House adviser turned supporter of Joe Lieberman's 2006 re-election bid, to plead their case on the Hill. And it's not going well so far, to say the least -- senior Democrats are pushing back hard at the compromise offer with a series of talking points that blast the EFCA "alternative" as "written by CEOs, for CEOs."
TPMDC has obtained a copy of the complete memo on the business-friendly deal, which is available after the jump. The takeaway is clear: Senior Democrats aren't buying what Davis is helping Costco, Whole Foods, and Starbucks try to sell.
Down with Tyranny calls the proposal a Trojan horse.
Ah... the rub. While the Greeks hide in the high reeds, grumbling that they oppose leaving such a lovely, costly horse to the tenacious damn Trojans, the modern day Trojans-- or at least the labor unions (if not the Bayh Bloc weak-kneed Democrats) have already figured out the trick. Yesterday the AFL-CIO let the Chamber of Commerce type Dems know that they're not buy into any so-called "compromise" that still allows management to subvert the will of the majority and still allows them delay contract negotiations ad infinitum since without that first legally binding contract the union is still at their never-tender mercies.
Davis refers to himself as a "pro-labor liberal" Democrat in this segment. If this is "pro-labor" lord help us.
This deal is not a compromise and makes things much worse for workers even if right wing union haters are feigning anger at Big Business for coming forward with this plan. If Lanny Davis was really for the working class then he should not be trying to broker this deal. I wonder how much he's being paid to jump into this battle and speak for the Big Guy?
From Good Morning America: Fla. Congresswoman Pushes Cancer Legislation After Surviving Own Battle.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., introduces new federal legislation today that calls for a national breast-cancer education campaign that targets women between the ages of 15 and 39. The bill holds special significance for the 42-year-old because she quietly and successfully battled breast cancer in the past year.
Schultz's Breast Cancer Education and Awareness Act focuses specifically on young women.
In the past year, she underwent seven major surgeries, including a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, while balancing motherhood, Congress and her roles as a chief fundraiser for House Democrats and a political surrogate, first for Hillary Clinton and then for Barack Obama.
''I had a lot going on last year,'' she said with a laugh, sitting in the living room of the Capitol Hill town house she shares with two other members of Congress when she's in Washington. ``I'm a very focused, methodical person, and I wasn't going to let this beat me. I wasn't going to let it interfere with my life.''
''It just pains me to know that younger women, because they don't know and because they're blown off by physicians many times, and because they squeeze their eyes shut and hope that it's nothing, that their death rate is much higher,'' she said.
Her bill calls for a national education campaign, aimed at informing young women about the risks and encouraging them to conduct routine self-exams.
Wasserman Schultz discovered a breast lump through a self-exam, two months after her first mammogram at 40. Although the cancer was detected at an early stage, she also learned that as an Ashkenazi Jew of Eastern European descent, she was at greater risk of carrying a gene mutation that makes Ashkenazi Jews predisposed to breast cancer and recurrance. She tested positive for this BRCA2 gene mutation, prompting her to have both breasts removed.
She was also at higher risk of ovarian cancer and had her ovaries removed -- the day after Election Day. Her final surgery was in December, almost a year after her diagnosis.
Because the cancer was caught so early, she didn't need chemotherapy or radiation but will take the cancer drug tamoxifen for five years.
She said she decided to keep her cancer private, concerned mostly that her young children (then 8-year-old twins and a 4-year-old daughter) would worry, particularly with a mother who was also constantly on the go. They knew she was undergoing surgery, but she didn't tell them the cause.
'I knew from my doctors that if I went through their recommended course of treatment that I would get through it and I'd be fine, that I could come out the other side and confidently tell my children, `Mommy's fine,' '' she said. She planned to tell them Saturday night.
She scheduled her treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., during congressional recesses so she wouldn't miss votes in Congress.
Rachel Maddow talked to Sherrod Brown about the financial crisis and outrage over the AIG bonuses. Brown stated how important it is that people have some confidence in government, in Wall Street and the banking system. Although Brown didn't think that the outrage over the bonuses was unwarranted he noted that there are bigger issues that need to be addressed.
One being looking into why AIG passed billions of taxpayer funds onto financial institutions such as Société Générale, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs and made them whole when that was not necessary to stabilize the financial industry.
He stressed what Congress needs to do next.
From the Newshour with Jim Lehrer March 23, 2009. Paul Krugman is not impressed with the idea of buying these toxic assets.
JEFFREY BROWN: Well, Paul Krugman, you wrote critically of the plan this morning. Now you've heard Lawrence Summers. Are you persuaded?
PAUL KRUGMAN: No. You know, I wish Larry the best; I hope he's right. But this is a plan that treats a fairly minor symptom of the problem.
You know, that maybe some of these toxic assets -- I guess they're now toxic legacy assets, whatever -- are being under-priced in the market. And maybe there's a problem there.
But the fact of the matter is that the banks made a huge bet. They made a bet that the housing bubble was nonexistent, that, you know, historically unprecedented levels of consumer debt were not a problem. They lost that bet.
And this plan does almost nothing to rescue them from the consequences of that bad debt. So I'm kind of saddened. It's kind of a punt. They've decided to sort of not really take on the critical issue of fixing the banks and instead hope that a little bit of rearranging of the financial furniture will solve the problem.
JEFFREY BROWN: Well, you heard Larry Summers in our interview. He used the phrase "vicious cycles turn into virtuous circles," that this would get the banks lending again. So you just don't see that enough is done here?
PAUL KRUGMAN: It's a very poorly targeted instrument. What you have is banks that have taken huge losses. And those are real losses. They're not just because the markets aren't working so well in toxic paper.
And to get the markets, to get capital flowing, to get credit flowing to the real economy, you actually need to make the banks sound again. It would take a huge increase in these prices. It would take a tremendous -- basically, you'd have to convince people that all these bum mortgages are actually pretty good in order to make the banks secure enough to start, you know, a lot of new lending.
This is not going to do that. It's going to help a little bit, maybe. Certainly it's -- you know, basically the plan hands out gold-plated toasters to anybody who participates. It's a very sweet deal for the investors. And it's going to push up the prices, but a lot of the benefits will go to financial institutions that are actually not in any trouble. A fair bit of the benefits will go to people who are not in the financial industry at all.
Only a little bit of it is going to trickle to the really critically injured banks. So it's just not -- it's a plan that kind of mistakes the nature of the problem that we face.
McDowell: "You don't want to think if you get in bed with Uncle Sam he's going to strip you naked, chain you to the bed, leave you there and then take nasty pictures of you and then put them on the internet."
Wow, just wow.