Posts Tagged ‘MSNBC’

The Real Mitt Romney

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

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I’m having a long and heated debate with my  conservative uncle about whether the result of the election will be solely determined by the two questions “is the economy good” and “who do you think would do a better job of managing the economy?” He, of course, believes the latter, while I maintain that this is a much more complex decision driven by many varied factors. More on that later, but I want to focus on one factor that clearly still matters which is “which guy do you want in your living room for the next four years.”

Check out James Lipton on how Romney reminds you of “the  kind of boss with whom you never feel comfortable or sure of yourself.” This is a brilliant insight into the way that Mitt Romney came off during that debate, and more importantly, what it reveals about his character. Chris Matthews said that “Romney is the guy on the plane who won’t turn his cell phone off.” Charles Pierce cut even closer. Referring to Romney’s jaw dropping, “You’ll get your chance, I’m speaking now” comment:

To me, this was a revelatory, epochal moment. It was a look at the real Willard Romney, the Bain cutthroat who could get rich ruining lives and not lose a moment’s sleep… Outside of street protestors, and that Iraqi guy who threw a shoe at George W. Bush, I have never seen a more lucid example of manifest public disrespect for a sitting president than the hair-curling contempt with which Romney invested those words. (I’ve certainly never seen one from another candidate.) He’s lucky Barack Obama prizes cool over everything else. LBJ would have taken out his heart with a pair of salad tongs and Harry Truman would have bitten off his nose.

And Romney bitched endlessly — endlessly — about the rules, and why this uppity fellow on the other stool was allowed to speak before he was spoken to, and why he didn’t get to speak at length on whatever he wanted to speak on because, after all, he is the CEO of the stage.

Jesus Christ, I’d hate to play golf with the man. He’s the guy who counts to make sure you don’t have too many wedges in your bag. He knows every cheap subsection of every cheap ground rule, and he’ll call you on every one of them. You couldn’t get a free drop out of him with thumbscrews, and forget about conceding any putt outside two inches. And then, on the 18th hole, with all the money on the line, he kicks his ball out of the rough and denies up and down to the rules committee that he did it. Then he goes into the clubhouse bar and nobody sits with him.


Ed’s on Fire

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

Ed Schultz is all fired up.

I love this stat:

49% of Florida voters believe that Congressional Republicans are sabotaging the economy in order to make Obama look bad. This number includes 25% of Republicans.

Friday night’s clip on the jobs report was pretty good as well.

Where Are The Patriots Now?

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

I love this.

Republicans never met a war they didn’t like before Obama was president, and they sure as hell didn’t ask what the endgame or the exit strategy was the last two times we went to war. Six years into the Iraq war it was unpatriotic to suggest that we might want to get out. Now we’ve been in Libya for three weeks and the Republicans are already demanding the exit strategy.

Reminds me of after Obama was elected president: I told my conservative uncle that I had created a Word document that just read “why do you hate America so much?,” and that everytime he criticised the new president, I was going to open it up and cut and paste it to him.

He bristled and I reassured him that I would never hold him to the ridiculous standard that opposing the president’s policies was unpatriotic, but that every once in a while, I would remind him that Republicans did try to hold Democrats to that standard for 8 years.

What The Wisconsin Fight Is About

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Wanted to post this previously, but I didn’t have the time. Now that it’s passed, I feel it’s even more important that this part of the story gets told.

This fight isn’t just about the unions. It’s about how politics are funded in the country. You couldn’t come up with a better way to destroy the ability of working class people in America to be represented than to have a Supreme Court packed with Republican judicial activists open the doors to unlimited, unregulated corporate political donations and then allow Republican politicians to systematically dismantle public unions state by state, using public employees as scapegoats for their budget crises.

If anyone thought this sounded a little like Glenn Beck on the paranoia scale, Wisconsin Senate Majority Laeader Scott Fitzgerald basically confirmed it, saying last week, “if we win this battle, and the money is not there under the auspices of the unions, certainly what you’re going to find is President Obama is going to have a much difficult, much more difficult time getting elected and winning the state of Wisconsin.”

Richard Engel: Living Among the Muslim Brotherhood

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Some day I will start the a post about Richard Engel without talking about what a badass he is. We’re not there yet. He’s a badass.

On the day Mubarak went down, the guys on CNN had their translators with them. Engel was speaking Arabic and translating the responses from the people in Tahrir Square himself.

Anyway, here’s an interesting take on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Seems to me that it’s difficult to predict not only how much support these guys have or even what they believe in because they have never competed in fair elections nor been able to express themselves publicly as a party.

Gonna be interesting.

What to Expect from Lawrence O’ Donnell

Monday, January 24th, 2011

As noted below, Keith Olbermann is out at MSNBC and his time slot will now be taken by Lawrence O’ Donnell.

Here’s an interesting clip which gives you an idea about how he might be as a host.

In this discussion with Glenn Greenwald from, O’Donnell proclaims that he is “a socialist” but that he brings practical experience to every political issue and understands that the only way for liberals to exercise any power in the system we have is to get votes from the broad middle. It’s an interesting dichotomy for the Democrats (as well as for Republicans): on the one hand, you need the moderates to maintain power, but on the other, needing someone like Lieberman or Ben Nelson inherently indicates that the policy is going to be significantly watered down once it’s passed.

More on this idea later, but the point I was making here is to illustrate the combination of left wing politics and pragmatic knowledge of how the system works that O’ Donnell will bring to the table.

Keith Olbermann Out at MSNBC

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Keith Olbermann is out at MSNBC.

The details on why are still sketchy and promise to remain so for the next few months since Olbermann has most likely signed a confidentiality agreement that (among other things) may prohibit him from discussing his dismissal for a number of months.

Details are here, and the clip of his final show is below.

I Tivo’ed Olbermann’s show almost every night for the past few years since it was the closest thing that MSNBC has to a nightly news show, but I have to say that he was increasingly hard to listen to. I am a total partisan, and Olbermann’s show was always a good way to see what outrageous things the Republicans had said on any given day, but sometimes the constant vitriolic attacks just wear on you.

He had an unlikely career path, bouncing around from sports journalism on ESPN and other networks to jobs as news anchor and commentator for MSNBC and NBC News. In 2007, while he was hosting countdown on the weekdays, he was hired to be an anchor for NBC’s Football Night in America along with another ESPN alum Dan Patrick. I was always amused watching him on NBC, knowing that just days before, he was on MSNBC savaging the President of the United States for one thing or another. I wondered how long NBC would let this go on. This year, he was cut from the show. Unclear whether his politics played a part in the decision, but it couldn’t have helped.

One thing that is clear is that MSNBC will be different without him. Olbermann was very much in the mold of the Fox News pundits that he loudly raged against every night: bombastic, angry and consistently stoking the fires of partisanship. The guests that he had on almost always agreed with him and he seemed to avoid having people on that he could argue with.

His replacement, Laurence O’ Donnell, is also a partisan, but although he has a fiery Irish temper, he has much experience working with people from all sides of the aisle and will be able to point to the same contrasts with the Republicans, while not being as bombastic as Olbermann was.

In the meantime, fare thee well Keith, we look forward to the next chapter in an already noteworthy career.

The Rich Get Richer, The Poor Get Poorer

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

There’s some astounding stats here.

If you want to skip the whole “Republicans want to give permanent tax cuts to the rich without paying for them, but cry poor about extending unemployment to people out of work” argument, just skip to minute 6.

So much for trickle down economics.

Amazing that Democrats don’t talk about this more.

Go Get ‘Em Rachel!!

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Rachel Maddow fillets Bill O’ Reilly on Thursday’s program.

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This is the combination of intellect and guts that would have been nice to see out of the White House last week.

O’Reilly makes the “our ratings are higher than yours” argument fairly regularly and I have heard it parrotted from more than one conservative.

Pretty amazing. It’s like the fact that they regularly don’t tell the truth to their viewers must be okay because more people are watching.  How does that joke go? “We might be taking a loss on each transaction, but we make it up in volume”…

Maddow points out that O’Reilly’s statement about the ratings wasn’t really about the ratings at all:

You were trying to take the attention off of me saying that Fox News continually crusades on flagrantly bogus stories designed to make white Americans fear black Americans (which Fox News most certainly does for political purposes), even if it upends the lives of people like Shirley Sherrod, even as it frays the fabric of the nation, even as it makes the American dream more of a dream and less of a promise.

 But even if no one watches us at all…You are still wrong on what matters, and that would be the facts.

It’s Time

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

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At the risk of posting the entire show from today, this is a good take on this.

Given that we need every soldier we can get these days and 75% of American’s agree that it should be repealed, this seems like a no brainer, but I never underestimate the ability of the minority to block change in America.

Guess we’ll see soon if they have the votes.