April 10, 2009 MSNBC Rachel Maddow
Larry Summers' address before the Economic Club in Washington D.C. on Thursday was interrupted by two members of Code Pink who jumped on stage with a banner, yelling derogatory comments.
Both Larry Summers (L), the Director of President Obama's National Economic Council and David Rubenstein, Economic Club of Washington President and Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Carlyle Group, seemed to take the disruption in stride. When asked by Rubinstein if he ever regretted taking the job Summers replied "There are moments that are more pleasant and some that are less pleasant. ... Honestly, I felt honored to be asked by the president to help at this moment."
Apparently John Amato wasn't the only one to notice how ridiculous Wolf Blitzer was with his very Fox-like "reporting" on the Obama bow. Stewart hit them during his Faith the Nation segment above and Colbert in his week's Threat Down. Once again the "fake" news is doing a better job than the ones who pretend to be credible.
From Washington Journal April 9, 2009. Rich Lowry and C-SPAN get taken to task from a couple of Democratic callers. It's pretty pathetic that every day citizens do a better job of holding these people's feet to the fire than our media does.
As Think Progress noted the second caller in the above clip's point about the balance at C-SPAN is a valid one.
The caller’s criticism has a ring of truth. A 2007 Center for Economic and Policy Research study found that C-SPAN “overwhelmingly favor[ed] conservative think tanks in its coverage by a three-to-one margin over all left-of-center think tanks.” Indeed, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow recently asked of the neocons, “Why is it that people who are catastrophically wrong about big important things like foreign policy and war never, like, flunk out of that as a subject?”
Rachel Maddow and Ana Marie Cox have a bit of fun at the teabaggers' expense. I don't know how either one of them made it through this segment without completely busting a gut.
Media Matters has the detailed factual rundown.
The Daily Show's Jon Stewart sits down with House of Cards author William Cohan. From the LA Times review of Cohan's book:
It seems almost achingly quaint to recall those warm and hazy days when "banker" was a synonym for sobriety and propriety -- a time when those who worked in finance, as well as those who reported on it, believed that a pinstriped suit connoted one thing and a chalk stripe something else entirely.
Anyone who still retains such antique illusions will lose them in fewer than 10 pages into "House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street," William D. Cohan's masterfully reported account of the collapse of Bear Stearns, the investment banking house whose implosion a year ago this month signaled the beginning of the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Cohan, a former senior investment banker who has turned into one of our most able financial journalists, is the author of 2007's "The Last Tycoons," a highly regarded history of Lazard Frères & Co., Wall Street's most storied investment bank. In this new book, he deploys not only his hands-on experience of this exotic corner of the financial industry but also a remarkable gift for plain-spoken explanation. That's essential, because it may be that only quantum physics defies the descriptive powers of ordinary language quite so completely as the derivatives markets whose meltdowns have devastated Wall Street.
The other great strength of this important book is the breadth and skill of the author's interviews. Essentially, with pauses for needed explanation, he has used them to construct a staccato narrative of the frantic 10 days in March of 2008 that began with the first doubts about Bear Stearns' liquidity and ended when the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury forced the firm to sell itself at a fire-sale price to JP Morgan Chase. That and the subsequent bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the sale of Merrill Lynch, the collapse of insurance giant AIG and the virtual incapacitation of much of the banking sector, including behemoths Bank of America and Citibank, marked the end of Wall Street's second Gilded Age and the onset of the current global financial crisis.
Essentially, then, what Cohan has given us is a day-by-day, conversation-by-conversation account of a financial debacle equivalent to the failure of Credit Anstalt, the Vienna bank whose default signaled the globalization of the Great Depression.
Read the rest of the review here.
Rick Sanchez fact checks Sen. James Inhofe on military spending.
SANCHEZ: Here's a fact check for you. This week, President Obama revealed his first military budget for our country -- total outlay, more than $533 billion.
Here's how it compares to the last military budget under President Bush -- total outlay, some $515 billion.
So, as you can see, in his first year in office, President Obama is proposing more for the Pentagon than did George Bush -- a fact that is not being well-received, by the way, by many on the left, who don't want to see that.
Why then, from the right, is Republican Senator James Inhofe complaining and, in fact, saying this?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM YOUTUBE.COM)
INHOFE: Here we are in Afghanistan right now. We have our -- our men and women in uniform in harm's way. And we hear an announcement we're cutting -- and I would say gutting -- our military. I've never seen a budget like this. We're spending so much money. The Obama budget has increased welfare and all time we're doing this, increasing all these welfares to an (INAUDIBLE), the only thing in the budget that's being cut is military. Right here, things are going to increase. The numbers are going to increase and yet we're cutting the budget.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Cutting and gutting the military budget.
Joining us now is Jim Arkedis.
He's the director of the National Security Project of the Progressive Policy Institute.
You guys check on these things...
JIM ARKEDIS, PROGRESSIVE POLICY INSTITUTE: We do.
SANCHEZ: ...to make sure the figures are right. So because you're down now in the middle, I'm going to ask you the question -- is Senator James Inhofe correct to say that President Obama is "gutting the U.S. military budget?"
In fact, he goes on to say disarming America.
ARKEDIS: Obviously, the senator's words are pretty ridiculous. President Obama has proposed an increase, as the numbers you just rattled off suggested. And there's absolutely no hint any time in the future that America's military budget is going to be gutted or we're going to be incapable of fighting the wars that -- that we are in now and we will look to in the future -- or have to in the future.
SANCHEZ: And just to be clear, you're -- you're not a lefty, right?
You're not coming at this from oh, I'm a defender of Barack Obama or the Democrats' proposals here, right?
SANCHEZ: Your organization is?
ARKEDIS: We are the Progressive Policy Institute. So I'll let the -- the title speak for itself. But we are a centrist progressive organization.
SANCHEZ: Do you think this has something to do with the fact that Senator Inhofe did have some programs cut from his own state, in Oklahoma -- apparently some kind of defense mechanism project where they used -- that they used for tanks or something?
SANCHEZ: ...happens from time to time.
ARKEDIS: Absolutely. It's a big problem in the defense industry.
Look, what Senator Gates has done is essentially reoriented America's defenses. This is long overdue. He's told the defense industry that we have to move from a cold war mindset into fighting the battles like irregular warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan that we're current -- currently in.
As you mentioned, the senator in Oklahoma -- there's a big construction of a program called Future Combat Systems, which is supposed to be this very high tech, integrated system on the battlefield that -- that links up everything from tanks to medical vehicles to... SANCHEZ: And it was cut.
ARKEDIS: It was cut.
ARKEDIS: It's a big, unwieldy problem, it's been the sort of problem child of the defense industry. It's decades overdue and...
ARKEDIS: ...and hundreds of billions of dollars too expensive.
SANCHEZ: So, really, when he says the U.S. defense is being gutted, actually what he probably seemed to be inferring was Oklahoma's was -- or at least this particular project.
Jim, we're out of time.
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us.
ARKEDIS: Thank you very much.
SANCHEZ: By the way, we reached out to Senator Inhofe. His office says that he is traveling overseas and though he'd love to have joined us, he could not be reached.
From Hardball April 8, 2009. Ken Blackwell tries to make up for being clueless by not shutting up when he has no idea what he's talking about. He's so outgunned by Hitchens that this is hardly a fair fight. I'm surprised Blackwell even agreed to this debate at all.
Blackwell said he'd gladly come back and debate Hitchens again with some facts to back up his talking points. Anyone want to take odds on whether that will ever happen?
Blackwell's tactics in this segment are typical for Republicans. When someone tries to stop you from lying, get snitty and accuse them of trying to "Bogart" your time if they interrupt you, as he did here. Then talk and talk to run out the clock in these ridiculous debate boxes the MSM thinks passes for some sort of "balance". Once you've run out as much of the time for the segment as you can get away with, the other person has thirty seconds to try to debunk the last few minutes of B.S. you just spewed. Which of course they can't do. And then...oh so sorry we're out of time from the host. Come back later and we'll do it again.
From The Colbert Report April 8, 2009.
Ted Stevens seeks justice for others, as long as those others are him.
Rachel Maddow asks Gov. Tim Pawlenty if he'll sign the election certificate if the Minnesota Supreme Court rules in Al Franken's favor. Of course, true to form, Pawlenty hems and haws and makes excuses for why he can't answer that question right now. Rachel points out the obvious: The pressure's being put on him by John Cornyn, who's rubbing his hands together in delight at the thought of tying up the Democrats from having another seat in the Senate indefinitely.
Billmon at Daily Kos has an interesting diary up right now about why some in the GOP are rethinking whether making a federal case out of this is a good idea or not.