Talk about your strained analogies . . . Tom Brokaw has analogized people unwilling support measures aimed at limiting gun violence to those during the 1960s who were unwilling to speak out againt the likes of Bull Connor.
Brokaw made his remarks on today's Morning Joe. While asserting that he favored a "holistic" approach to gun violence, including addressing video games and the coarsening of the culture, Brokaw did remark that "guns are the endgame." View the video after the jump.
Weird stuff. Then again, we are talking about Jim Moran. Appearing on Al Sharpton's MSNBC show this evening, the Dem Congressman from Virginia declared that "older white guys" were "the most insecure component of our society." Added Moran, possibly alluding to the difficulties in adopting additional gun control measures, "we're much the problem with these kind of things."
Joan Walsh was there to support the self-doubting Moran. "There are a lot of terrific older white guys out there," reassured Walsh, naming Moran and Vice-President Biden among them. View the video after the jump.
Have a look at the screengrab: it shows Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, she holding chin in hand, he hanging head. Their melodramatic reactions come in response to an NRA ad decrying the hypocrisy of political and media elites who want "gun free zones" in the schools where most Americans send their children, while sending their own children to schools with armed guards.
The panel's reaction was one of collective hyperventilation. Mike Barnicle called the ad "political pornography." Donny Deutsch said it's "one of the grossest things I've ever seen in my life." Scarborough asked Mika "what's wrong with these people?" Brzezinski replied that some of the people running the NRA are "sick in the head" and that she is "embarrassed for our country." But what of the substantive point made by the ad? View the video, including the ad, after the jump.
I don't know about you, but when I want to know how William F. Buckley, Jr. would have felt about an issue, I always consult Arianna Huffington and Joe Scarborough. But seriously, who would you trust more to reflect how Buckley would have felt on an important issue of the day: the editors of the National Review--the magazine that WFB founded--or the combined wisdom of Huffington and Scarborough? In an editorial published before Hagel's nomination became official, the Editors at National Review wrote: "Chuck Hagel is a very poor choice for the next secretary of defense," concluding that he was "definitively not the man who should be the next secretary of defense."
But on today's Morning Joe, when Huffington asked "don't you think William F. Buckley would be endorsing Chuck Hagel now?", Scarborough responded with an emphatic "yes!" View the video after the jump.
Uh, well, yeah, true: then-Senator Barack Obama did vote against raising the debt ceiling in 2006. But, you see, that was, well, very different. Because there were, um, "big differences"—that's it!
Such was the way NBC senior political editor Mark Murray sought to cover for President Obama today while discussing the impending debt ceiling vote on MSNBC's News Nation with host Tamron Hall. So just what were these "big differences," you might ask? Well, explained Murray, "in 2006 there wasn't this kind of big protracted battle over the debt ceiling at all. It wasn't a big issue . . . it wasn't something you'd been reporting on for weeks and months." View the video after the jump.
Oh those racist Republicans. Did you know that they're hostile to Colin Powell because he's black? Yup, just ask former Obama car czar Steve Rattner. The Morning Joe regular today claimed that poor Powell "feels this hostility toward him from the rest of the party in part because he's a minority."
Really? Colin Powell feels hostility from "the rest of the party" because he's a minority? The Colin Powell appointed to a series of increasingly prestigious positions by a series of Republican presidents? The Colin Powell for whom so many in the GOP were clamoring to run for president in 1995-96? That Colin Powell? Please. View the video after the jump.
I'm in New England this week, and this afternoon caught Ann Coulter on the Howie Carr show. She spoke of the amazing ignorance of liberals when it comes to firearms. Just a couple of hours later, Chris Matthews provided a perfect case in point.
On this evening's Hardball, speaking with Illinois Dem Senator Dick Durbin, Matthews proposed that Congress "outlaw" semi-automatic weapons. Does he not realize that doing so would render illegal virtually every hunting rifle in production? View the video after the jump.
I post this item not to mock Mika Brzezinski. But her comments this morning were so illustrative of the liberal mindset--in ignoring fundamental principles of economics--that they are worth highlighting here.
An entire Morning Joe segment had been devoted to discussing the wage dilemma in America. In the context of analyzing the right-to-work law soon to be signed in Michigan, the panel—apparently excepting Mika—agreed that we face hard choices here. We can artificially preserve high wages for a relative few, or let wages seek their natural level, providing more jobs at lower pay. As Joe Scarborough put it, we have to decide if we want jobs to go to China, or remain here, understanding that if we want them to stay, wages cannot remain at levels in existence before America was forced to compete internationally. All this was apparently lost on Mika. In the following segment, insisting "it's kind of simple," Mika argued that employers making big profits should pay their workers more. "Why not? I don't get it," miffed Mika about "greedy" bosses. As former Obama car czar Steve Rattner gently explained, "it's capitalism." View the video after the jump.
Is it possible to have a principled opposition to raising tax rates to avoid the fiscal cliff? It seems that Joe Scarborough doesn't think so. On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough suggested that those on the "far, far right" in the "conservative entertainment complex" and in the ranks of political consultants who oppose tax rate hikes do so out of base material motives.
According to Scarborough, speaking of such "far, far right" tax-increase opponents, "conservatism is a racket for a lot of people to get very, very rich." View the video after the jump.
What are the odds that Andrea Mitchell has thoroughly read the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, let alone a systematic, serious critique of it, as this one appearing at The Daily Caller?
But that didn't prevent Mitchell from bemoaning the defeat of the ratification of the treaty in the Senate yesterday thanks to Republican opposition,. Introducing a segment in which she and sponsor John Kerry engaged in a spate of mutual handwringing, Mitchell kvetched that the defeat "seemed to underscore everything that is wrong with Capitol Hill." View the video after the jump.
It's hardly a surprise, coming from the man who counseled the United States to shoot down Israeli planes should they seek to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. But just for the record, Zbigniew Brzezinski has opined that the US and, yes, Israel itself, should have voted in favor of last week's UN resolution granting “non-member observer statehood” to Palestinians living in the West Bank of Israel.
Brzezinski stated his view on today's Morning Joe. He did say something that was probably true, when expressing skepticism that, despite their public utterances, President Obama and Susan Rice truly opposed the resolution. Brzezinski suggested their opposition was more a matter of going along with "a line," done for domestic political purposes. View the video after the jump.
On today's Morning Joe, asked by substitute host Willie Geist how much of the tough talk by Republicans and Dems over the fiscal cliff was posturing, former RNC Chairman Michael Steele said that 80% was posturing, then added "a lot of it is, let's see how big yours is versus mine."
Steele was careful to suggest he was simply talking about the size of the two parties' respective . . . plans. But between the smirks, raised eyebrows—and an immediate intervention from Geist—it seemed obvious that Steele was making a macho allusion to something else. View the video after the jump.
Throughout his tenure as Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo has chosen to maintain a surprisingly low profile. Think quick: how much footage have you seen of him in the Hurricane Sandy aftermath compared to his cross-George Washington Bridge buddy, Chris Christie?
But has Cuomo finally decided the time has come to make himself more visible? A PSA for Hurricane Sandy relief, aired on Morning Joe today featuring a star-studded cast of Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Whoopi Goldberg, Edie Falco, Michael J. Fox, Julianna Margulies and Nathan Lane. One panel, devoid of reference to the relief organization, starkly read "Join Governor Cuomo and New York." View the video after the jump.
At the end of Joe Klein's stupefying defense of Susan Rice and the Obama admin's misinformation campaign on the Benghazi outrage on today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough asked Time's Klein whether President Obama had invited him to play golf, "because you are just gobbling up the talking points like Thanksgiving turkey." H/t NB reader Carmel.
Here were some of Klein's astounding assertions: There are no unanswered questions about Benghazi. Ambassador Stevens had all the security he wanted. Rice's talking points were "absolutely accurate"--it was a spontaneous demonstration by extremists. Al qaeda was not involved in the attack. Not clear that reports from Stevens asking for more security exist. View the video after the jump.
It's enough to make an MSMer nostalgic for the good old days of the Soviet Union, when the masses didn't stampede into stores because there was little of interest to buy and little money to buy it with, and the good stuff was reserved for the ruling elites at special shops.
Here's how ABC's Dan Harris opened today's Good Morning America: "This morning, Black and Blue Friday. America's annual orgy of capitalism gets dicey." Capitalism? Really? Is that the problem? View the video after the jump.
As I wrote this morning to the NewsBusters editor who alerted me to the Washington Post's editorial, "The GOP’s bizarre attack on Susan Rice," I don't read WaPo much, but somehow assume they're not quite as extreme as the New York Times." Silly me, judging by WaPo's ugly, over-the-top opinion item.
Here's the ugly last paragraph from today's editorial: "Could it be, as members of the Congressional Black Caucus are charging, that the signatories of the letter are targeting Ms. Rice because she is an African American woman? The signatories deny that, and we can’t know their hearts. What we do know is that more than 80 of the signatories are white males, and nearly half are from states of the former Confederacy." More after the jump.
Ah, Thanksgiving. A time for Americans to come together, be grateful for their blessings—and tell people with different politics to stuff it?
That's apparently Ed Schultz's take on the holiday. On his MSNBC show this evening, gloating over his presumption that taxes will be going up on the top 2%, Schultz sent this warm 'n fuzzy message to John Boehner: "think about it over your turkey and stuffing Speaker Boehner. And by the way, you can put some gravy on that--and you know the rest of the sentence." View the video after the jump.
Hector Camacho might be in tough shape in hospital, but someone is out there bobbing and weaving like a champ. Meet Karen Mills, President Obama's head of the Small Business Administration.
When Joe Scarborough asked her straight-up to state the cost per worker of Obamacare, Mills ducked like a pro, switched the subject, and wound up describing . . . how last year, she bought blueberry jam at a Maine farmers market as gifts for her friends! Not a joke—just a world-class non sequitur from an Obama administration that would rather talk about anything other than the cost of its big-government plans. View the video after the jump.
From Joe Scarborough to John Heilemann, Katty Kay to Mark Halperin to Willie Geist, it was unanimous on today's Morning Joe. Whatever the substance, whatever the policy, Republicans would be making a massive political mistake by opposing the possible nomination of Susan Rice as Secretary of State.
Summed up Scarborough the MJ zeitgeist: "do a bunch of old white guys want to make their first big battle, post-election, a battle going up against a younger woman of color?" View the video after the jump. H/t reader cobokat.
For a second there, it sounded like David Gregory was onto something. But just as fast, he reverted to liberal form . . .
On today's Morning Joe, the Meet The Press host first argued that Republicans don't have to become more moderate—they just need to change their "tone." But within seconds, Stretch was singing Mitt Romney's praises for having favored, prior to the primaries, "massive [read: liberal] immigration reform." Gregory then bemoaned the fact that during the primaries, Romney "had to keep moving to the right." View the video after the jump.
For adman Donny Deutsch, there's really no difference between pushing a political party or a bag of potato chips: it's all about the branding. S.E. Cupp, in contrast, is a conservative with bedrock principles.
Seated next to each other on today's Morning Joe set during a discussion on GOP strategy going forward, a blow-up was clearly in the cards. And clash they did, with Cupp arguing that the GOP doesn't need to re-brand itself, but rather to "spend more time explaining why their policies work for everyone." Deutsch, repeatedly trying to cut Cupp off, exclaimed that she "couldn't be more wrong" and that her anti-re-branding argument was "absurd." View the animated video after the jump.
Note to Chris Matthews: when seeking to slam Republicans for their supposed ignorance of science, try not to expose your own. On Tuesday's Hardball, Matthews—mocking the Republican congressmen vying for the chairmanship of the House Science Committee— committed this whopper: "As we all learned in grammar school—young people watching—trees absorb carbon monoxide."
As even an MSNBC host might know, carbon monoxide is a toxic gas produced when there is insufficient oxygen to permit complete oxidation. Think running car in closed garage. The greenhouse gas to which Matthews was presumably referring—and which trees are famous for absorbing—is carbon dioxide. Perhaps it was just a slip of the overworked Matthews' tongue, but when it comes to a guy who likes to jump down any available Republican throat, turnabout is fair play. View the video after the jump.
Politico is peddling a misleading liberal-media attack on Dick Morris. Item from Politico's "Morning Score" today [emphasis added]: "DICK MORRIS, who has not been taken seriously by serious people for a very long time, confessed on Fox News yesterday that he deliberately misled viewers: 'I think that there was a period of time when the Romney campaign was falling apart, people were not optimistic, nobody thought there was a chance of victory and I felt that it was my duty at that point to go out and say what I said.'
There's just one problem. As Professor William Jacobson has pointed out at Legal Insurrection, Politico--and Taegan Goddard at Political Wire whom Politico cites for its quote-- conveniently omitted the final part of Morris's statement, in which he said "And at the time that I said it, I believe I was right." In other words, Morris had not, contrary to Politico's claim, "deliberately misled" viewers. He believed what he was saying. More after the jump.
Should Debbie Wasserman Schultz lose her DNC job, there's always a stand-up gig waiting at the Laff Shack . . .
On Morning Joe today, DSW managed to maintain a straight face while claiming that if women ruled Washington, they'd be able to fix the fiscal cliff because they "build consensus" and "put aside petty differences." The litany of Wasserman Schultz's hyper-partisanship is long, exemplified by her allegation back in March that by adopting voter ID laws, Republicans want to "literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws." Oh, then claiming not to have said it. View the chuckle-worthy clip from today's Morning Joe after the jump.
Andrea Mitchell was willing to peddle the Obama party line regarding the Petraeus matter . . . but Joe Scarborough wasn't buying. On today's Morning Joe, Mitchell dutifully reported that "according to all the officials involved," President Obama was not informed about Petraeus until the Thursday after the election.
Scarborough dropped something of a bombshell, saying he "heard about something like this coming several weeks ago." Said Scarborough emphatically: "don't tell me the White House didn't know. That is not true." View the video after the jump.
Didn't anyone ever tell Rachel Maddow that revenge is a dish best eaten cold?
Using the thinnest of pretexts, Rachel went on a Republican-taunting rampage on her MSNBC show last night. The supposed subject was the decision of Senate Republicans to elevate John Cornyn to the #2 leadership spot, despite the disappointing results for the GOP's senatorial campaign committee that he led. That gave Maddow an excuse to variously refer no fewer than a dozen times to Republican "failure", "catastrophe" and "disaster." View the video after the jump.
David Frum blames the media for Mitt Romney's loss. Not the liberal media, of course--we are talking David Frum, after all. No, Frum blames the conservative media, or as he calls it, "the conservative entertainment complex."
Frum touted his upside-down take on the media during a Morning Joe appearance today while promoting his instant e-book, "Why Romney Lost." Joe Scarborough liked the line so much he asked Frum to repeat it. Frum refused to name names, saying he does so in his book, but do we doubt whom he was targeting? View the video after the jump.
Should Republicans unilaterally disarm in the media-bias wars? Joe Scarborough seems to think so. Arguing that it distracts Republicans from performing the political blocking-and-tackling needed to win elections, Scarborough has called on Republicans to "stop blaming the media."
Saying "let's makes this personal," Scarborough cited as an example of the supposed distractions to which he was referring the controversy over the tape Morning Joe aired in September from a Romney campaign stop. Readers will recall that the clip seemed to show Romney asking the crowd, which had been chanting "Romney!", to change to "Romney/Ryan." But Scarborough suggested just the opposite: that the crowd had been chanting "Ryan!" and that Romney asked them to change to "Romney/Ryan." View the video after the jump.
Four years ago, David Axelrod was exuberantly riding the Obama wave. Today, the poor guy sounds decidedly down in the dumps. Check out this line from an email he sent to people on the Obama campaign list: "I don't know how this is going to end. But no matter what, I know each of us will have given this campaign everything we've got."
Yikes! Take two Prozac and call me in the morning if you're still down by five in the Gallup poll! More after the jump.