CBS again paid homage to Caroline Kennedy on Tuesday's CBS This Morning as they hyped her possible nomination to be the next ambassador of Japan. During her report, Jan Crawford featured liberal historian Robert Dallek, who gushed over the apparent worldwide reputation of the presidential daughter's family: "The Kennedys, generally, have an extraordinary, continuing hold on the public's imagination, both in this country and abroad."
Dallek later asserted that the U.S. might be "sending somebody as ambassador to Tokyo who is representative of the best in American culture." The correspondent also touted how Kennedy "would have an opportunity to test her political skills, but also, she would be able to put the Kennedy name back on an international stage" if President Obama named her to the key diplomatic post.
On Thursday's World News, ABC News correspondent Terry Moran acted like it was a big surprise that newly-elected Pope Francis stands by the Catholic Church's teachings on sexuality: "Now, as the world comes to know him, it turns out, on many issues, Pope Francis is a staunch traditionalist. He compared abortion to a death sentence; called gay marriage 'destructive of God's plan.'"
By contrast, CBS surprisingly reported on the continuing persecution of the Catholic Church in China on Friday's CBS This Morning. Though he didn't explicitly label the Chinese government as communist, correspondent Wyatt Andrews noted how "millions of the faithful worship in groups at home, praying in underground churches where religion, if practiced too openly, can lead to arrest." Andrews' report stands out from his network's biased coverage of the papal election.
Ian Buruma is not exactly a household name, but he is a hero to readers of The New York Review of Books. His fan base will obviously warm to his latest piece in the Beirut newspaper, The Daily Star ["Pope Benedict's dangerous sex appeal"].
Buruma begins by recounting the brutal rape of a young woman by six men on a New Delhi bus last month. His quick segue to Pope Benedict XVI’s speech on gay marriage, which was given a few days before Christmas, was not only awkward, it was a dead give-away: the pope was responsible for the gang rape.
ESPN's Grantland website jumped on the bash Manny Pacquiao bandwagon on Thursday by giving a platform to a homosexual activist, who predictably trashed the Catholic Church as she took the Filipino boxing sensation to task for defending traditional marriage.
Writer Laurel Fantauzzo ripped the "the Church's cruel, untrue dictates about me," and promised if he didn't "evolve" like President Obama, "I'll simply have to sigh wearily and turn away from you, the way I've turned away from all of the idiotic bigots I've come across in my life, carrying a cross or a heavy book or a Constitution."
In gross-out news, London's Daily Mail reports "Thousands of pills filled with powdered human flesh have been discovered by customs officials in South Korea, it was revealed today."
"The grim trade is being run from China where corrupt medical staff are said to be tipping off medical companies when babies are aborted or delivered still-born." This could be a new income stream for Planned Parenthood if they get their subsidies reduced.
Tim Carney has an excellent post this morning at the Washington Examiner about how the media are reluctant to note the reason that Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng -- who is believed , but not confirmed, to be in hiding in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing -- is in hot water with the Communist government. Chen "has exposed the horrors of China’s one-child policy, including forced abortions and forced sterilizations," Carney noted.
Yet that fact was curiously missing from today's "1300-word Washington Post story." Indeed, "Of the five Post news articles I found discussing Chen, only one of them has the word 'abortion,'" Carney noticed. And the Post isn't alone in its bias by omission:
Thursday's CBS Evening News ended with an uplifting report highlighting refugees from Burma who were resettled in the United States to escape ethnic persecution in their home country.
#From the December 18 Good Morning America on ABC:
DAN HARRIS: Good morning, America. This morning, the big endorsement. With little more than two weeks before the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Rommey gets a big boost overnight. with Newt Gingrich's momentum slowing, is this race about to be shaken up yet again?
HARRIS: Let's start with politics. It's "Your Voice, Your Vote." We're about two weeks away now from the Iowa caucuses, the first step on what could be a very, very long road to the Republican nomination. And this morning, one of the Republican candidates picking up a key endorsement. ABC's David Kerley following all the action story overnight. David, good morning to you.
DAVID KERLEY: Good morning, David. In fact, two big endorsements for Mitt Romney. Bob Dole says Romney is his pick. And the biggest newspaper in Iowa, the Des Moines Register, endorsed Romney when he wasn't even in the state. In fact, with this final sprint under way, two of the leading candidates are not in Iowa. Social conservatives in Iowa believe Mitt Romney has ignored their state, but that didn't stop the Democratic-leaning Des Moines Register from endorsing Romney, citing his, quote, "sobriety, wisdom, and judgment." Half a country away, Romney tweeted, quote, "Looking forward to being back in Iowa soon."
Gingrich continues to stir up some controversy. On that conference call yesterday, he said he would abolish some courts that are out of step with the country if he is Pesident.
#From the December 18 World News on ABC:
DAVID MUIR: The war is getting a lot of attention tonight on the campaign trail. With just two weeks till the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney criticized Obama for bringing the troops home now. It comes as Romney looks to regain his frontrunner status, and today, he got some help in Iowa. Here's ABC's David Kerley.
DAVID KERLEY: Mitt Romney has logged less time in Iowa than most candidates, but he nabbed the endorsement of the largest paper, which noted what it called his "sobrity, wisdom, and judgment." But it was a scathing review of Newt Gingrich by the Des Moines Register, "an undisciplined partisan who would "alienate not unite."
NEWT GINGRICH: I'm actually delighted because the Manchester Union Leader, which is a reliably conservative newspaper, endorsed me. The Des Moines Register, which is a solidly liberal newspaper, did not endorse me. I think that indicates who the conservative in this race is.
KERLEY: The former House Speaker still leads Iowa polls, but his opponents say he's slipping. Romney, buoyed by the endorsements, including South Carolina's governor, broke a two-year avoidance of the Sunday morning talk shows and showed a softer side when asked about his wife learning she has Multiple Sclerosis.
MITT ROMNEY CLIP #1: Probably the toughest time in my life was standing there with Ann as we hugged each other and the diagnosis came.
ROMNEY CLIP #2: And I said to her, "As long as it's not something fatal, I'm just fine. Look, I'm happy in life as long as I've got my soulmate with me."
KERLEY: Gingrich may be feeling the heat. He had intended to take this weekend off, and, at the last minute, he agreed to that national TV appearance today. David, the holiday dash in Iowa is under way tonight.
#From the December 18 Today show on NBC:
JENNA WOLF, IN OPENING TEASER: Advantage Romney? With just two weeks to go in the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney scores two key endorsements, but how much weight will they carry?
WOLF: Turning to politics now at home, the President is enjoying a small victory after the Senate on Saturday extended the payroll tax for two months, this as one Republican presidential candidate picks up what some call a key endorsement. NBC's Mike Viqueira joins us live from the White House with the latest. Mike, good morning.
MIKE VIQUEIRA: Good morning to you, Jenna. It's already been a big weekend in politics, both here in Washington and out on the campaign trail. There was a rare Saturday session of the Senate. The President appeared in the briefing room afterward, after fighting to a temporary standstill with Republicans on extending that payroll tax cut. And, meanwhile, out on the campaign trail, the man the Obama campaign still thinks it's most likely to face in elections next fall picked up some key endorsements.
With the Iowa caucus in a little more than two weeks, last night a major endorsement. The Des Moines Register, Iowa's largest paper, endorsed Mitt Romney, delivering a major boost.
LESTER HOLT: Mitt Romney, by design, did not put a lot of effort in Iowa. Now he's picked up this endorsement from the Des Moines Register. How big a deal is that for him?
DAVID GREGORY: Well, I think nationally it's big in terms of the overall narrative of how's he doing. I think within Iowa it may not have as much effect as it would for a Democratic primary. But it does help Romney begin to make the case here that Iowans should take a hard look at Newt Gingrich, who is still on top of the polls. I think if you're Romney, you may not be able to win Iowa, but what you hope to do is reduce the scale and the size of a Gingrich win in Iowa. And others can help him do that. If Ron Paul does well, if Bachmann gets a decent percentage of the vote, then that Gingrich win in Iowa, should that happen, could be seen as a smaller victory.
#From the December 18 NBC Nightly News:
LESTER HOLT: To presidential politics now, and a major endorsement today for Mitt Romney from Iowa's largest newspaper. It's a shot in the arm for the Romney campaign, hoping to stem the recent surge of Newt Gingrich. NBC's Mike Viqueira now with the latest.
MIKE VIQUEIRA: Entering the home stretch in Iowa, candidates in the back of the pack are racing to catch up. Both Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are blanketing the state on bus tours, stopping to greet voters, and delivering attacks on frontrunner Newt Gingrich.
MICHELE BACHMANN: He's trying to sound like a conservative, but he's actually sounding more like a 30-year establishment Washington beat insider that he is.
VIQUEIRA: Today, Mitt Romney questioned Gingrich's ability to lead.
MITT ROMNEY: He has been unreliable in those settings and zany. I wouldn't think you'd call mirrors in space to light highways at night particularly practical or a lunar colony a practical idea, not at a stage like this.
VIQUEIRA: This as Gingrich invited more controversy, speaking out in favor of abolishing some courts, allowing presidents to ignore judicial rulings and empowering Congress to subpoena judges.
BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS NEWS: Would you send the Capitol Police now to arrest him?
NEWT GINGRICH: If you had to. Or you'd instruct the Justice Department to send U.S. marshals.
VIQUEIRA: In the past two days, Romney has scored a string of endorsements, including the Des Moines Register, though the paper's record of picking winners is mixed. John McCain was their choice in 2008 over the eventual caucus winner, conservative Mike Huckabee. The backing comes as a welcome boost for the Romney campaign.
RICK GREEN, DES MOINES REGISTER: Through all that we have seen and heard from Governor Romney, he was very measured, very focused on what we think is the most pressing issue in front of all of us, and that's the economy.
VIQUEIRA: And, Lester, you might be surprised to learn that Newt Gingrich pronounced himself delighted that the Des Moines Register endorsed his rival, Mitt Romney. He calls it a solidly liberal paper and points out New Hampshire's Manchester Union Leader, known to be much more conservative editorially, has endorsed him. Lester?
HOLT: Mike Viqueira at the White House. Mike, thanks.
After recounting the help Christian organizations in Kentucky have provided for refugees, correspondent Seth Doane concluded his report with a soundbite of Dr. Mahn Myint Saing, who runs a successful Thai restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, as he declared that America is the "best place to live in the world."
Earlier in the report, referring to a teenage refugee, Doane had also related:
Eh-Nay-Thaw is among several hundred refugees from Burma who've been embraced by Crescent Hill Baptist Church. Officially resettled as refugees, they come here with full legal status, welcome to work, welcome to go to school, welcome to stay.
Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Thursday, December 1, CBS Evening News:
SCOTT PELLEY: Finally tonight, America has always been a beacon for those escaping persecution. Since 1990, 92,000 refugees have fled the brutal regime in Burma to settle right here. And we asked Seth Doane to introduce us.
SETH DOANE: A lot of folks think it's the best Thai restaurant in Louisville. Simply Thai gets terrific press, but the real story here is not the food. You were a physician in Burma. You run a restaurant here in the U.S. Was that difficult?
DR. MAHN MYINT SAING, REFUGEE FROM BURMAN: It needs a little bit of adjustment, but, no, it's not difficult.
DOANE: In 1988, Dr. Mahn Myint Saing found his clinic in the cross-fire of a brutal government crackdown in Burma - persecuted, he says, because he's part of the wrong ethnic group.
SAING: They shoot at the building. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Glass shattered.
DOANE: Your clinic was destroyed.
SAING: Yes, completely destroyed.
DOANE: Sang took up arms against the government but was eventually forced to flee with his family.
SAING: No human rights.
DOANE: In Myanmar, at all.
SAING: At all. No human rights.
DOANE: In the conflict, thousands fled into neighboring Thailand. For 23 years, 150,000 have been trapped, unable to go home, yet not permitted to leave the camps by the Thai government. Their best hope is an offer from the U.S. government to emigrate. That's what happened to 16-year-old Eh-Nay-Thaw, who spent 10 years in the camps before being resettled in Kentucky. When your mother tells you about those times, what does she tell you?
EH-NAY-THAW, REFUGEE FROM BURMA: Her house was burned. The only thing you see was ash, and the place, they destroyed everything.
DOANE: Your village where you were living was all destroyed?
EH-NAY-THAW: Yeah, yeah, ash.
DOANE: Eh-Nay-Thaw is among several hundred refugees from Burma who've been embraced by Crescent Hill Baptist Church. Officially resettled as refugees, they come here with full legal status, welcome to work, welcome to go to school, welcome to stay.
EH-NAY-THAW: God has sent a miracle for us, and we have chance to come here, which is real good.
DOANE: Groups like Kentucky Refugee Ministries provide support with English classes, assistance with government paperwork and job placement. Having started as a dish washer, Dr. Saing is something of a legend among the refugees.
SAING: America is not perfect, but in my mindset, it is the best place, bar none, it is the best place to live in this world.
DOANE: While they've lost their homeland, in Kentucky, they've found a home. Seth Doane, CBS News, Louisville.
PELLEY: The U.S. welcomes more refugees than any country on Earth. That's the CBS Evening News for tonight. For all of us at CBS News all around the world, good night.
A just released book, "Bowing to Beijing" by Brett M. Decker and William C. Triplett II, will change forever the way you think about China — even if, like me, you already have the deepest worries about the Chinese threat. As I opened the book, I was expecting to find many useful examples of Chinese military and industrial efforts to get the better of the United States and the West.
Indeed, there are 100 pages of examples of the most remorseless Chinese successes at stealing the military and industrial secrets of the West and converting them into a growing menace — soon to be a leviathan — bent on domination and defeat of America. The authors itemize the sheer, unprecedented magnitude of this effort. But the opening chapters dealt with human rights abuses, and my first thought as I started reading was that I wanted to get right to the military and industrial examples.
On Sunday's World News on ABC, correspondent Nick Schifrin filed a report recounting complaints by Pakistanis that CIA drone attacks that have successfully killed high-profile terrorist figures residing in Pakistan have also resulted in civilian deaths and injuries.
With the words "A Young Man's Plea" displayed on screen next to him, anchor David Muir introduced the piece:
On Sunday’s NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt informed viewers that Human Rights Watch recently aimed criticism at singer and former anti-war activist Bob Dylan, charging that he "should be ashamed of himself for letting" the Chinese government "tell him what to sing."
After recounting the irony of Dylan performing a concert in Vietnam after opposing the Vietnam War in the 1960s, Holt noted that he was criticized for "submitting his song list to Chinese authorities."
Below is a complete transcript of the item as read by Lester Holt from the Sunday, April 10, NBC Nightly News:
On Monday's All Things Considered, NPR's Bob Mondello used movies about fictional nuclear disasters, such as "The China Syndrome" and "Silkwood," to play up atomic energy's hazards. Mondello especially highlighted the 1959 movie "On the Beach" as supposedly coming the closest to the portraying a real-life radiation catastrophe, such as the ongoing crisis at the Japanese nuclear plant.
Host Melissa Block noted the movie critic's 2010 report comparing Hollywood disaster films to the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster in her introduction: "Last summer, as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was finally brought under control...Bob Mondello did a comparison for us on Hollywood disaster movies and how they differ from real world disasters. Well, in the last few weeks, as tragic events have played out in Japan, Bob realized he had left something out of that story: the menace that can't be seen."
On CBS's Sunday Morning, left-wing commentator Nancy Giles managed to attack Rush Limbaugh while condemning a UCLA student's internet video rant against Asians: "Her monologue was straight out of the Rush Limbaugh playbook from a few months ago....And Rush is a cartoon. In my humble opinion."
On the March 25 CBS Early Show, co-host Chris Wragge apparently merged his nuclear terms by warning viewers of leaks of "uranium and plutanium" at the Fukushima power plant in Japan. Neither he nor co-host Erica Hill ever corrected the error.
On Wednesday, Barack Obama will appear on ESPN to announce his picks for the 2011 NCAA tournament. This past Saturday, as the disaster in Japan unfolded, the President found time to, again, play golf. On Tuesday's Special Report, Fox News host Bret Baier highlighted the difference between Obama's treatment and that of President Bush.
Baier quoted from Media Research President Brent Bozell: "If George Bush reacted this way during an international catastrophe -- wholly irrelevant radio addresses, golf outing for the 61st time, the left-wing media would require medically induced sedation to keep them in check."
Demonstrating the ability to go unhinged without provocation, movie critic Roger Ebert looked at this Hollywood Reporter item discussing CNN's audience increase on Friday as an excuse to tweet the following at about midnight Eastern time last night:
Hundreds if not thousands of people are dead due to a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. But at least it gave Barack Obama an avenue to remind everyone he was born in Hawaii. That's the silver lining for MSNBC's Chris Matthews.
"Was this sort of a good opportunity for the president to remind everybody that he grew up in the United States and Hawaii?"
Previewing President Obama's upcoming speech in Indonesia during Tuesday's 2PM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Tamron Hall wondered if the troop surge in Afghanistan had hurt the President's image in the Muslim world: "How much of the skepticism comes from the fact that he's added more troops on the ground in Afghanistan?"
Hall asked that question of Time magazine's deputy international editor Bobby Ghosh, who agreed and even went further: "There's certainly a lot of that, the troops on the ground, the drone campaign in Pakistan, which, unfortunately, from time to time kills innocent people. That certainly gets a lot of play around the world."
Anyone critical of President Obama being in India right now is an "idiot," MSNBC's Joe Scarborough bluntly served on his morning show, which prides itself on being a safe haven for different views. India is "exactly where [President Obama] should be" right now, he opined.
With Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass on as a guest Monday morning, Scarborough clamored that President Obama "needs" to be in India right now for the sake of U.S. foreign policy. "I would send my President to India, like once a month, if I could, for long weekends," he emphasized.
Scarborough hit left-wing bloggers earlier on the show for helping push President Obama's agenda too far to the left. Now he took the chance to slam the far right for what he considers unfair criticism of the President. "I was just going to say, any right-wing bloggers out there that are critical of the President being in India – anybody – is an idiot," he stated.
Leave it to Dylan Ratigan, one of the star personalities at MSNBC who seems to be constantly looking for a reason to be angry.
On his July 12 show, Ratigan posed his view on how trade between China and the United States operates. According to Ratigan, importing products where labor costs are significantly lower is akin to slavery. He specifically named Foxconn, a company that manufactures iPhones and iPads for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). (h/t @KenShepherd)
"Do you want to get raw?" Ratigan said. "Let's say that the American people happily, logically apathetic are perfectly happy basically with a slave culture of illegals and outsourced slaves in China making iPhones at Foxconn and that for as much as we talk about the liberation of the slaves and we like to pat ourselves on the back for the Civil War - got a big statue of Abe Lincoln. All we've really done is alter the color of some our slaves and moved them to other countries. Is that too extreme on my part, Matt?"
The Pentagon rescinded the invitation of evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at its May 6 National Day of Prayer event because of complaints about his previous comments about Islam.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation expressed its concern over Graham's involvement with the event in an April 19 letter sent to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. MRFF's complaint about Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, focused on remarks he made after 9/11 in which he called Islam "wicked" and "evil" and his lack of apology for those words.
Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman, told ABC News on April 22, "This Army honors all faiths and tries to inculcate our soldiers and work force with an appreciation of all faiths and his past comments just were not appropriate for this venue."
On Monday’s Larry King Live on CNN, guest Jane Fonda portrayed herself as a victim of a "myth" that was "created" by "right-wingers" about her infamous "Hanoi Jane" visit to Vietnam to protest the Vietnam War. Without specifying what aspect of the "Hanoi Jane" story she considered to be a fallacy, though the "Product Description" at Amazon.com seems to shed some light on what she was referring to, she claimed that author Jerry Lembcke’s new book, "Hanoi Jane: War, Sex, and Fantasies of Betrayal," dispels the "myth," and asserted that it is "sad" that some conservatives are "still stuck in the past":
JANE FONDA: No, it's about the myth, you know, why it is that 300 people went to North Vietnam, people, many people before me, why me, why have they created this myth? You know, when I came back from North Vietnam, there was maybe a quarter of an inch of media about it in the New York Times. Nobody made any big deal out of it. It was created, and some people are stuck-
LARRY KING: By critics?
FONDA: By right wingers. There are some people who are like stuck there, you know, they're still stuck in the past. I always want to say, "Get a life," or, you know, "Read what really happened," you know. The myths are now true.
Referring to people who sometimes protest against her, she continued: "But it makes me sad for these people who are stuck because they've not taken the time – if they're going to waste their energy on hatred, they should take the time in finding out what was really true."
Less than two weeks after linking draconian anti-gay sentiment in Uganda to a group of American evangelical Christians who visited the African nation, on Sunday’s World News, ABC correspondent Dan Harris filed a report focusing on the positive work of American evangelicals in Cambodia who are helping children escape from being sold into prostitution by their own parents. And, although he did not mention by name the existence of former communist leader Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime, Harris recounted the theory of some Christians that the destruction of religion in the 1970s is one of several factors that helped erode morality in the country. Harris: "Why is this so easy here? Poverty is part of the answer, but some Christians say it's also because Cambodia endured a genocide in the 1970s, during which children were forced to spy on and even execute their parents, and the educated and religious communities were nearly wiped out. Pastor Don Brewster believes, as a result, Cambodia now suffers from a moral vacuum."
Diane Sawyer, anchoring on Sunday because of the impending House vote on ObamaCare, introduced the report: "It says in the Bible that faith without deeds is dead. And it's a notion taken to heart by a group of American evangelicals who are fighting child sex trafficking in Cambodia, a country that has been a magnet for pedophiles. Weekend anchor Dan Harris traveled to Cambodia to witness the rescue."
Toyota is facing harsh scrutiny from the media and lawmakers - perhaps with justification. But there could be consequences for the U.S. economy.
And as Toyota (NYSE:TM) executives have endured two days of congressional hearings on the issues surrounding their potentially widespread defective products, the most aggressive questioners have been lawmakers from Michigan, home of the Big 3 automakers. A fact that led CNBC "Squawk Box" co-host Becky Quick to question if the federal government, with a huge stake in General Motors and Chrysler, are being a little unfair with Toyota on her Feb. 24 broadcast.
"We've heard from some congressmen, especially those later on in the show about the people and Congress people who are questioning Toyota at this point saying, they are doing this because the government has this big stake in GM?" Quick said. "To me, that seems a little crazy."
On Fox's Nov. 22 "Fox News Sunday," former "Special Report" anchor and Fox News senior political correspondent was dead spot on target in many regards when it came to criticizing the tack President Barack Obama has taken with his foreign policy gestures.
First, Hume reflected on how Obama reacted on his trip to Asia last week. He noted that Obama was in a tough position, having to rely on borrowed Chinese money. However, "embracing weakness" was not the proper way for Obama to represent the country in Hume's view (emphasis added).
"Look, the president is in a weaker position than he might have been, not least because his policies have contributed mightily to the immense amount of new borrowing that's being done, much of it from the Chinese," Hume said. "So now you have the Chinese even worried about the size of the health care plan. That is unfortunate. But this president seems quite willing to embrace weakness as a position for the United States. I mean, the bowing and scraping that we see -- Saudi Arabia we saw it. We saw it on this trip in Japan."
At the top of Monday’s CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric teased a story on the President’s trip to China by casting him as Reaganesque: “Mr. Hu, tear down that firewall. President Obama challenges China’s government to allow unfettered access to the internet.”
Couric introduced the segment that followed by continuing to play up the idea that Obama took a hard line on Chinese censorship: “In China today, he challenged leaders of the communist government to give people greater access to the internet.” Correspondent Chip Reid reported that the President’s actual statement on the matter was hardly so dramatic: “It’s one of the touchiest topics in China and the President’s long answer took on the tone of a polite lecture.”
A clip was played of Obama declaring: “I have always been a strong supporter of open internet use. I’m a big supporter of non-censorship....I have a lot of critics in the United States who can say all kinds of things about me. I actually think that that makes our democracy stronger...” Reid described those comments as a “rebuke” that “was aimed at China’s leaders.” However, He went on to admit: “...if they were watching it on TV, most Chinese were not, because the government allowed it to run on only one local channel in Shanghai. In the rest of China, they aired a soap opera.”
And if that “progress” with Russia fades, will the Times follow up? Watch this space.
Diplomatic correspondent Helene Cooper and David Barboza emphasized the positive:
President Obama, fresh from making progress in his efforts to get Russia on board for possible tough new sanctions against Iran, arrived in China on Sunday, where he will attempt the even more difficult task of prodding China’s leaders to get tough on Iran.
Joe the Plumber was certainly on to something when he got then-candidate Barack Obama to admit he wanted to redistribute the wealth, according to former Republican presidential candidate and Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.
Huckabee, who now hosts a show aired on the weekends on the Fox News Channel, told "On The Record" host Greta Van Sustren on Nov. 16 that Obama's policies go beyond just the redistribution of wealth, especially on health care. He likened a provision in the House health care bill that would require people to have some sort of health care coverage to a "poll tax."
"[W]hile we really wish [the president's priorities] were recovery, getting jobs back - that's the number one thing we ought to be focused on - but it appears to be redistribution," Huckabee said. "That's what's going on in the health care world, where we're trying to make sure that we've redistributed health care, taking it from people who have it, taking from them, giving it to people who may not even desire to have it, and forcing people into an unconstitutional system where they're going to have to virtually pay into a private marketplace in order to get full rights of citizenship. It's the equivalent of a poll tax."
ABC’s Good Morning America finally picked up on the deep bow President Obama performed for the Emperor of Japan over the weekend. Co-host Diane Sawyer ran through how other U.S. Presidents have greeted either Emperor Akhito or his father, the late Emperor Hirohito over the years — some bowing, some not. Sawyer claimed that Americans are “not trained to greet royalty” and “it’s just too confusing.”
Actually, the government employs lots of experts on culture and protocol to make sure that our presidents are fully “trained” on what to do when they represent our government overseas — which is not to say that all of our presidents perform these duties flawlessly.
Missing from Sawyer’s run-down is a tidbit that ABC White House correspondent Jake Tapper posted on his “Political Punch” blog Sunday afternoon. Tapper said he received a note from an old friend whom he described as “an academic with expertise about the Japanese Empire, and in general a supporter of President Obama.” According to this expert, it wasn’t necessarily incorrect for Obama to bow, but the President’s “forward lurch” was “jarring and inappropriate.”