Although it's a metaphysical certitude American media will be jumping for joy about this event, United States citizens on both sides of the political aisle should be deeply embarrassed and ashamed about the disgraceful things former Vice President Al Gore said Thursday at the United Nations' climate change meeting in Bali.
It's one thing to make a movie based almost exclusively on junk science and well-documented falsehoods whilst traveling the world evoking hysteria you yourself are financially benefiting from.
However, it is something else altogether to attend an international meeting, with delegates from every country on the face of the planet present, and disparage the nation you used to serve (truly disgraceful video available here):
I'm caffeinated and ready to blog. I'll focus mostly on the questions from the moderator, Carolyn Washburn. I'm watching the feed from Fox News Channel.
Here goes nothin':
15:25 | Debate's over. Thought it'd never end. Washburn seemed much more at ease with the Democrats, as well as looser with the time constraints. I don't believe she ever cut anyone off, for example. The questions generally tacked to the left. The series of questions pressing the candidates on character issues was promising on paper but seemed uneven. Her question to Clinton on secrecy was soft. The question to Biden about his ill-advised jokes about Indians owning Dunkin Donut shops was good, but Hillary Clinton made similar comments about Indians and gas stations, which went unmentioned.
15:22 | Washburn: "What are the lessons from Iowa?"
15:20 | Richardson resolves to lose weight. Well, he could ask Huckabee about that policy plank.
15:17 | Washburn: "Tell us your New Year's resolution for 2008."
15:15 | Washburn asks about the use of signing statements when signing legislation.
At the top of Thursday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith excitedly teased the upcoming segment: "From Bali, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in an exclusive interview as he's set to address scientists from around the world, gathering to stem global warming for generations to come." Later, co-host Julie Chen further hyped the story: "Well, ahead this half hour, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg with urgent news from the global warming conference going on right now in Bali."
In addtion, co-host Russ Mitchell did a news brief about the conference prior to the interview:
The European Union issued a warning today to the U.S. at a climate conference in Indonesia. It vowed to boycott U.S.-sponsored talks next month if the U.S. does not reach an agreement now on emissions cuts. Former Vice President Al Gore is addressing the conference right now. He says action is urgent.
When asked, by NBC's Meredith Vieira, on Thursday's "Today" show how the Hillary Clinton campaign can stop their current slide, Chris Matthews urged Clinton to remind voters that she really does care about the little guy as he declared that the Clintons: "Care about the regular person in this country, the regular middle-working class family with all their problems of health care and raising their kids. Hillary Clinton, especially, cares about those things. It's obvious she does. It's not a fraud."
The following is all of Matthews' strategic advice to the Clinton campaign, as he offered it on the December 13 edition of the "Today" show:
MEREDITH VIEIRA: On Hillary's side you have her husband Bill Clinton, who is very frustrated with the way the campaign is going. What can he do, right now, to help her turn things around? Is there anything he can do?
What's on Keith Olbermann's mind about the media? This week, as Rupert Murdoch takes over the Wall Street Journal and as the FCC is about to allow more newspapers to expand into the broadcast business, BILL MOYERS JOURNAL continues its reporting on media consolidation and gets insight from MSNBC's popular and provocative Keith Olbermann.
As one delighted commenter replied,
Look up "National Treasure" in the dictionary and there's a picture of Bill Moyers.
In a not-so-veiled swipe at Giuliani and McCain, both of whom fell for younger women while still married, Romney told The Examiner that “people who commit adultery or other practices of that nature are carrying out absolutely heinous acts.”
The Washington Post might consider doing something I hesitate to recommend to anyone before they simply print campaign talking points in covering an admittedly negative situation. That something is, read the New York Times. The narrative for the piece, sourced through Clinton people, is pretty clear. Hillary don't know Iowa, it was a national campaign - but "Hillary" figured it out and saved the day ... hopefully for them, at least.
Still, her initial strategy did not put special emphasis on the caucuses, treating them as part of a national campaign.
The chief concern, one person with immediate knowledge of the campaign said, was that Clinton simply did not visit Iowa enough over the summer and early fall -- a common complaint in national campaigns
Claiming that someone is less popular than venereal disease is a quintessential hit below the belt. So if you were counseling a candidate to hit her opponent above the belt, the last person you'd suggest she hire is a guy who just compared someone to an STD . . . unless you're Chris Matthews.
Matthews's advice to Hillary Clinton is to hit Obama above the belt . . . by bringing in Paul Begala, the man who just this week used the VD comparison to slur President Bush.
The Hardball host was a guest on this morning's Today.
ABC proved once again that they will use language to flavor reporting to promulgate their ideological position instead of just reporting the facts. After Wednesday's GOP debate in Iowa, ABC news posted a Political Radar blog entry calling attention to Fred Thompson's efforts to improve the depth of debate held that day. Calling Thompson's efforts a "Tantrum," ABC seeks to cast Thompson's sensible and adult desire to engage in real debate as a child's temper tantrum. Does ABC want real debate or do they want dumbed down, name calling or simple minded sound byte replies? I think you can easily decide which!
If you didn't see the debate and missed what it is that Thompson did, there is a video available that I'll post at the end of this piece so you can see for yourself. But, in essence, Thompson refused to do a "show of hands" answer to the question of whether or not the candidates agree with the theory of man-made global warming. He felt that this important issue needed an actual reply. The gall of him, eh?
Hollywood doesn't learn. Even though the latest round of America-hating movies flopped, Project Greenlight producer Chris Moore will turn "A People's History of the United States" by pop historian and Karl Marx fanboy Howard Zinn into a TV miniseries and a feature-length documentary.
Zinn's 1980 book influenced a generation of students with its negatively-framed distortions of American history which minimized successes like WWII. It exchanged traditional history for marginal topics such as Great Railroad Strike of 1877, Joan Baez and Angela Davis while omitting Washington's Farewell Address, the Wright Brothers and the Normandy Invasion.
The December 10 Variety stated production begins in Boston this January. Ironically, it will use wealthy celebrities like Matt Damon, Danny Glover and Josh Brolin to convey the book's Marxist theory (bold mine):
Miniseries will center on the actors and musicians as they read from the books or perform music related to their themes: the struggles of women, war, class and race. (...)
But the oil-rich Emirates is considered a developing country, and even as a signatory to the United Nations Kyoto protocol on global warming, is not required to cut emissions. The United States is no longer bound by Kyoto, which the Bush administration rejected after taking office in 2001.
Yeah, it was a yawner. Even so, in its coverage of today's GOP debate the MSM has overlooked one notable nugget: Mike Huckabee's fervent espousal of a radical egalitarianism that, at least in this NewsBuster's view, reflects a fundamental misreading of the Declaration of Independence and a departure from conservative principles.
As a global warming skeptic, when I saw the headline "The Pope Condemns the Climate Change Prophets of Doom," it goes without saying I was as pleased as a child on Christmas Day that had gotten everything he asked Santa for and then some.
My glee accelerated after reading the marvelous beginning of this Daily Mail article (paragraph break removed for space considerations):
Pope Benedict XVI has launched a surprise attack on climate change prophets of doom, warning them that any solutions to global warming must be based on firm evidence and not on dubious ideology. The leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics suggested that fears over man-made emissions melting the ice caps and causing a wave of unprecedented disasters were nothing more than scare-mongering.
See why I was so thrilled?
Unfortunately, as I reviewed the text of the Pontiff's message, defeat was stripped from the jaws of victory upon realizing the Mail's author had divined intent that might have been absent from the Pope's words:
"CIA tapes destroyed despite court order" blares an Associated Press headline today. But the court order allegedly breached applied to videotapes in possession of the U.S. military of interrogations at Guantanamo Bay, not videos of interrogations held at secret CIA sites in foreign countries.
But that's okay, insists AP writer Matt Apuzzo as "Attorneys say that might not matter."
But what attorneys? Apuzzo offers up attorney David H. Remes, "a lawyer for Yemeni citizen Mahmoad Abdah and others." According to Apuzzo, he's "asked [U.S. District Judge Henry H.] Kennedy this week to schedule a hearing on the issue. Kennedy gave the government until Friday to respond."
While it's hard to begrudge a defense lawyer from exploring any and all potential legal manuevers to assist his client -- that IS his job, after all -- it's notable that Mr. Remes is also an active Democratic campaign contributor, having given $500 to Sen. Hillary Clinton in July 2007.
Following up on Al Gore’s reception of the Nobel Peace Prize, Carolyn Washburn of the Des Moines Register asked the Republican candidates several questions on the issue of "global climate change" and related topics. At the beginning of the debate, Washburn stated "we won't talk a lot about issues like Iraq or immigration. They're important issues, no doubt, but Iowans say they know where the candidates are coming from on those." But Washburn gave no indication that Iowans actually wanted to hear more about the Republican candidates’ stance on climate change.
On Wednesday night's "Hardball" Chris Matthews speculated that the writer's strike is benefitting Hillary Clinton, since she is often the target of late night comics like Jay Leno and David Letterman. However he reasoned that the New York senator is the butt of so many jokes because "she's so pure and good."
On the December 12 edition of "Hardball," during a discussion with the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz and the Kansas City Star's Aaron Barnhart about the political impact of comics like Leno, Letterman and Jon Stewart being on strike, Matthews wondered why there were so many jokes at Hillary's expense as he asked: "Is she a natural target because she's so pure and good?"
The 28 Iowa Republican assembled by pollster Frank Luntz for today’s GOP debate had various opinions about the candidates, but were virtually unanimous in panning the performance of Des Moines Register editor and debate moderator Carolyn Washburn, calling her “boring,” “antagonistic,” and “like paint drying.”
In the debate, Washburn frequently cut off exchanges between the candidates, and at one point sparked a mini-rebellion when she asked for a show of hands on the issue of climate change. When former Senator Fred Thompson said he preferred a minute to explain his position, Washburn told him no.
During live coverage on the Fox News Channel a few minutes after the debate ended at 3:30 ET, Luntz turned to his focus group: “How many of you thought that this was a good moderator? Raise your hands.”
It was the ultimate in Al Gore adoration, all the way from Oslo, Norway, via The Washington Post's Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan.
Scottish singer KT Tunstall gushed over Gore's "expressive, arched, well-groomed" eyebrows. Actress Uma Thurman said watching the "Inconvenient Truth" pedagogue "following his calling" was "like watching a beautiful racehorse run."
The "Midwest Teen Sex Show" -- a video blog that advises teens to use abstinence (the condom, not the practice) -- is being praised by a blogger at CBSNews.com as "good for a laugh" while being informative.
"[T]he creativity and humor of these three young people really shines through," Irregularly Scheduled Programming (ISP) blog contributor Tony Maciulis enthused in his December 11 blog post. Elaborating on that point, Maciulis mused that "Sex and the City" was nothing more than a younger, urban spin on "The Golden Girls":
According to ABC reporter Claire Shipman, dreary economic news and a slow Christmas could be a real plus for the Democrats. Filing a segment for Wednesday's "Good Morning America," Shipman lamented, "It may be that no amount of hall decking can convince Americans to be jolly about the economy this holiday season."
However, the GMA correspondent saw good news in this for the Democrats. She asserted, "Traditionally, of course, problems in the economy would help the Democrats." After allowing that GOP candidate Mike Huckabee's "populist message" could resonate, Shipman gushed, "Among the Democrats, John Edwards has the message that's most consistently appealing to people suffering from economic woes." Not wishing to leave any Democrat behind, she rhapsodized, "But at the same time, the Clinton brand has a strong economic reputation."
There's no question Strom Thurmond had a racist past, some of which he later disavowed but when Chris Matthews claimed the late South Carolina governor and senator "hanged a few people," on the 7pm edition of Monday's, "Hardball" just what was the MSNBC host implying? Matthews seemed to be claiming that the former Democrat turned Republican senator was personally involved in lynchings.
After speaking against the death tax last week, "View" co-host Whoopi Goldberg said "people are very annoyed" with her and reliably left Joy Behar attacked with her pro-tax liberal spin. The December 12 edition of "The View" featured country star and politically conservative guest co-host Sara Evans, who also spoke out against the death tax.
Similar to her previous statement on the issue, Goldberg said "I just feel like...I’ve worked very hard...this is something I want to give to my kid and she should be able to accept it." After Whoopi called it a "double tax" Sara Evans exclaimed "I totally agree with you!"
Joy Behar, in using the typical left wing class warfare propaganda claimed that "the very, very rich, not only don’t have to pay it, but get tax cuts." As she has donebefore, Behar gets her facts wrong. In 2005, the top one percent (those making $364,657 or more) paid 39.4 percent, but earned only 21.2 percent of the wealth.
Whoopi Goldberg did call out Joy Behar exclaiming that the wealthiest Americans are "pay ing 50 percent of their income. It’s not like they’re not paying."
On Wednesday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith introduced a segment on a woman alleging she was sexually assaulted by Halliburton employees in Iraq and declared, "Halliburton, the company with $2 billion in Iraq contracts, once again is accused of joining the U.S. government in covering up a terrible crime by some employees." What does Smith mean by "once again"? Exactly when has the U.S. government covered up "a terrible crime" previously? How does Smith know there is a cover up now?
Smith talked to Republican Congressman, Ted Poe, the Texas woman’s representative who is pushing for an investigation of the charges. Smith asked Poe: "what is the status of the investigation, or is there one?" Poe responded, "We've contacted the Attorney General and the Justice Department, to find out what has been done, why aren't these people being prosecuted, bring them to justice."
ABC host Diane Sawyer used an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey and actor Denzel Washington to gossip about liberal politics, to ask whether the talk show host would support Hillary Clinton as a backup to Senator Barack Obama and also to prompt Washington on the subject of which Democrat he's supporting.
In the interview, which aired during Wednesday's edition of "Good Morning America," Sawyer demanded to know, "Have you heard from the Clintons? Have you talked to the Clintons?" "What would you say to Hillary," she asked.After Winfrey simply reiterated her support for Obama, Sawyer pressed on and asked if the talk show host had decided "if Senator Clinton is nominated whether you'll show up for her or not?"
Mika Brzezinski: back on the crime beat with another loopy liberal take on reality . . .
Yesterday, the resident lefty on the Morning Joe panel -- defying the facts of the volunteer guard who stopped the Colorado church shooter -- labeled as "the most inane thing" she'd ever heard the notion that one armed citizen could make a difference.
Today, in a breathtaking bit of revisionist history, Brzezinski tried to credit notoriously lax former Mayor David Dinkins rather than Rudy Giuliani for making NYC safe. So fierce was the return fire from Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough that, as pictured here, Mika ultimately took refuge under a sheaf of paper.
On December 10, Ontario teenager Aqsa Parvez was murdered by her father, allege Canadian investigators, over her refusal to wear the hijab, the traditional head scarf worn by Muslim women. The story has caught fire on the Web, particularly among bloggers interested in news pertaining to radical Islam.
As horrifying as the story is, it was only given five paragraphs on page A23 of the December 12 Washington Post, and that from a Reuters story. What's more, Post editors served up readers a bland headline that failed to hint that a religious reason was behind the violence: "Canadian Teen Dies; Father Is Charged."
Hillary Clinton's performance in her interview with Maria "Money Honey" Bartiromo of CNBC last week was so bad that she must have sent a double (stop shivering at the thought, will ya?).
After all, the genuine Smartest Woman in the World couldn't possibly have said the things she said, as noted at Rush Limbaugh's site last Thursday. It got so bad that Bartiromo, who seemingly has barely cracked a smile since George Bush became president, felt compelled to challenge her.
Here is one of the choice offerings Mrs. Clinton served up:
(There are ) lots of people who come on your show who, you know, are gung-ho, protect the tax cuts for the wealthiest of Americans, that will not work if the economy slows down. You need to get money in the pockets of tens of hundreds of millions of Americans, and that's what I intend to do.