Despite this Politico headline, authors Jim VandeHei and John Harris seem to fawn over the female Speaker (paragraph breaks removed for space):
For all her history-making status as the first woman to run the House, Pelosi has emerged as a fairly conventional leader. This is partly to her credit. She has run a highly disciplined operation, keeping a potentially fractious caucus unified on tough issues. And she has restrained some of her own instincts representing one of the nation’s most liberal districts. With a couple of prominent exceptions, she has not handed Republicans opportunities to exploit impolitic statements or legislative maneuvers.
Is this how you view Pelosi and the 110th Congress? Is this how history will look at her and it?
[T]he band that played underneath those memories last night was not the one that misfired at Live Aid in 1985 or again in New York in 1988. This one was rehearsed, ready and out to kill. This band was Led Zeppelin in every way.
Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham the Younger opened their two-hour show with the confident wit and colossal nerve of “Good Times Bad Times,” the first song on Led Zeppelin’s 1969 debut album. Even before Plant opened his mouth, the original fury — a surprisingly lean, dub-like crossfire of cannonshot chords, frantic, gulping bass runs and polyrhythmic swagger — was in order and in force. “In the days of my youth/I was told what it means to be a man.”
Are you excited about this reunion, and willing to pay the big-bucks it's going to cost? Or, could you not care less?
MRC Director of Research and NewsBusters Senior Editor Rich Noyes appeared Monday night on the "O'Reilly Factor" to discuss his findings in the December 4 Media Reality Check, "Good News = Less News on Iraq War."
As we previously noted, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly cited the MRC study in his December 6 "Talking Points Memo" segment. Video (2:35) from that "Factor":Real (1.91 MB) and Windows (1.60), plus MP3 audio (1.19 MB).
For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: Nobel Laureate Al Gore said as he accepted the Peace Prize today --
We, the human species, are confronting a planetary emergency - a threat to the survival of our civilization that is gathering ominous and destructive potential even as we gather here...It is time to make peace with the planet...We must quickly mobilize our civilization with the urgency and resolve that has previously been seen only when nations mobilized for war.
Other than chuckles and guffaws, are there any comments?
For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: The alternative minimum tax. If Congress doesn't act before it recesses, an estimated 23 million more Americans will pay this tax in 2007 than 2006. This will be a HUGE tax increase for many, as my accountant told me the cut-off for a married couple could be $120,000 in income.
Once in the grips of AMT, the unlucky taxpayer can write-off less and less of his/her property and state taxes on his 1040. As such, not only is he/she taxed at a higher rate, but also on a higher adjusted gross income. This makes AMT a HUGE tax increase.
Questions: Why hasn't Congress moved on this, and why hasn't this been a huge on-going media story given the number of families that will be affected? Furthermore, do you think the media would have been mute about this if the issue hadn't been decided last year when the Republicans were still in charge and Democrats were trying to unseat them?
For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: The Senate blocked the House's energy bill yesterday. It would have raised taxes on the oil industry and required electric utilities to generate fifteen percent of their power from alternative energy sources.
Are you saddened by this event, or pleased as punch?
FNC's Bill O'Reilly on Thursday night centered his "Talking Points Memo" around the findings in the MRC's Media Reality Check study released earlier this week, "Good News = Less News on Iraq War: As Surge Succeeds and Casualty Rates Fall, ABC, CBS and NBC Lose Interest In Iraq War." O'Reilly pointed out how U.S. casualties and violence are way down from six months ago. Then, citing the MRC's numbers with a chart displaying them on screen, he observed how now "there is far less carnage in Iraq and far less reporting about the war. Since the surge began, Iraq war stories on the nightly news programs have dropped from 178 a month to 68 in November. Those stats were compiled by the conservative watchdog group Media Research Center and you can read the report online at mrc.org."
For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: Subprime bailout. What do you think about it?
Is a program that will lock in a troubled borrower's teaser rate for five years fair to folks who borrowed money at virtually the same time, aren't having difficulties,and, therefore, will likely now have much higher interest rates and payments than those in trouble? Wouldn't this be rewarding fiscal irresponsibility rather than folks who saved, budgeted, and spent wisely?
In essence, wouldn't our government once again be rewarding bad behavior rather than good behavior? Or, does the end justify the means inasmuch as this could prevent a hit to the economy and is the moral thing to do?
How can a report stating that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons work in 2003 possibly be viewed by anyone as a negative for America, the world, or the Bush administration?
Coming coincident with the invasion of Iraq, the capture of Saddam, and the suspension of similar activities by Libya, should this report have validated Bush foreign policy in the region post-9/11, or is the press right that this demonstrates his failures?
Finally, if intelligence was so horrible prior to 9/11 and the Iraq invasion, why are media so quick to accept this report as unassailable? Given recent intelligence failures, and the press's continual pounding of such, shouldn't there be some skepticism about the veracity of this NIE? Or, is anything that can potentially be used to bash Bush above reproach?
"Is this anything more than the media building up a candidate, particularly a woman, and then tearing her down because it makes a good story?" Fox News Channel's Terry Keenan asked to open her December 4 interview with NewsBusters senior editor and "Whitewash" co-author Tim Graham.
Brought on "Your World w/Neil Cavuto" to discuss media coverage of Hillary Clinton's slippage in some recent polls, Graham dismissed Keenan's suggestion that Clinton is a victim of a soft form of sexism by the media:
For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point #1: Hillary and Rudy dropping in polls. Does it mean anything this far out, and which slide do you think press will focus more attention on?
Talking point #2: Did last night's NFL game, with timely flags giving the Patriots the win, leave you with the feeling the league wants them to have a perfect season, or did you think the game was impartially referreed?
Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly interviewed Media Research Center president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell on the December 3 "America's Newsroom" program about a reality dating show in the works in which the contestants are immigrants (some potentially in the U.S. illegally) seeking to gain permanent resident status by marrying a U.S. citizen.
The defeated reform package would have created new types of communal property, let Chavez handpick local leaders under a redrawn political map and suspended civil liberties during extended states of emergency. Without the overhaul, Chavez will be barred from running again in 2012.
Other changes would have shortened the workday from eight hours to six, created a social security fund for millions of informal laborers and promoted communal councils where residents decide how to spend government funds.
What does this mean to the United States, and how will media cover this monumental defeat for their hero Hugo?
For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: Don Rickles, who is the subject of an HBO documentary broadcasting this evening.
For those old enough to know who Don Rickles is, and who saw him regularly on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson, you understand that he is, in his way, the originally shock comedian. His schtick often involved race, religion, gender, sexual preference, and appearance, and was often done in an attack style. Question: In today's politically correct world, could a white man get away with Rickles' style of humor, or would he be deemed a racist, sexist, homophobe?
Okay, sports fans, there's a lot to discuss this final weekend of the College Football regular season. Before we get to some very exciting matchups, assuming the favorites win today, how are you feeling about the projected BCS games? Does one of the most exciting CFB seasons in history have the potential of ending with tremendously boring bowl games, or is all this new blood vying for the National Championship exciting you?
I mean, with absolutely no disrespect to Mizzou and WV, does a Tigers-Mountaineers matchup for the Title do it for you? (Personally, I love it, and find it to be the perfect ending to the perfect season!)
On to the games: V-Tech and Boston College. I'm very excited about this game, maybe mostly for the Hokies to be in such a big game at the end of the year given what this school has gone through. GO HOKIES!!!
Tennessee at LSU: Could this be a big letdown game for the Tigers after last week's stunning OT loss? Tough for me to be impartial, for the son of one of my trainers is a Vol! GO TENNESSEE!!!
I know people will think I'm crazy, but the Mountaineers better be ready to play today, because the Panthers, after a very disappointing 4-7 season, would love nothing more than knocking rival West Virginia out of the Title game.
Same for Mizzou. Sooners would love this upset big time.
Ditto the Bruins. This game is no cake-walk for USC.
Retired Brig. Gen. Keith Kerr, a member of Hillary Clinton's campaign, in the audience at CNN's Republican debate of November 28th, making comments after the airing of his YouTube question on gays in the military.
Better late than never, today's forum for general discussion and debate.
Possible talking point: How should the NBer typically responsible for posting the Open Thread between 10 and 11 AM ET be punished for his/her abject oversight this morning? Respondents should seriously consider leniency if they want sports-related Open Threads on weekends. :-)
For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: Syria has decided to attend this week's Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland. "Arab attendance at the Annapolis summit is seen as a victory for the U.S., which is hoping that broad Arab participation will help bring about an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal."
What does this mean in the long run? Is peace possible in this region? Will the Bush administration be given any credit? Might this have an impact on the 2008 elections?