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Grab Bag

Today kind of kept going and going. I will look over the healthcare legislation tomorrow. Right now, I will hold my nose and support it. I will address the rift in the progressive blogosphere, which I don’t think is necessarily bad.

From Political Animal:

Tehran: “Iran’s most senior dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, has died, his grandson said Sunday. He was 87. Nasser Montazeri said his grandfather, who was seen as the spiritual father of Iran’s reform movement, died in his sleep overnight.”

* Hopefully, a good sign: “The hiring of temporary workers has surged, suggesting that the nation’s employers might soon take the next step, bringing on permanent workers, if they can just convince themselves that the upturn in the economy will be sustained.”

* The American Medical Association formally endorses the Senate health care bill.

* President Obama’s Passenger Bill of Rights: “The federal government will impose big fines starting this spring on airlines that keep passengers waiting on the tarmac too long without feeding them or letting them off the plane. Airlines that let a plane sit on the tarmac for more than two hours without giving passengers food or water, or more than three hours without offering them the option of getting off, will face fines of $27,500 a passenger, the secretary of transportation announced on Monday.”

Counter-terrorism: “On orders from President Barack Obama, the U.S. military launched cruise missiles early Thursday against two suspected al-Qaeda sites in Yemen, administration officials told ABC News in a report broadcast on ABC World News with Charles Gibson.”

* Health care reform is going to save a lot of American families a lot of money.

* We know about the ways in which the Senate health care bill got worse (it lost the public option), but in a variety of other ways, it got much better.

* Jane Hamsher writes up 10 specific reasons she’d like to see the Senate health care bill defeated. Jonathan Cohn and Ezra Klein write up specific rebuttals to Hamsher’s list.

* CNBC’s John Harwood is taking cheap and unnecessary shots at progressive opponents of health care reform. Completely uncalled for.

* Joe Klein takes down Tom Coburn.

By |2009-12-21T23:51:37-04:00December 21st, 2009|Domestic Issues, Healthcare, Iran|Comments Off on Grab Bag

Journalists Complain About Debate on ABC

From the Nation:

We, the undersigned, deplore the conduct of ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and Charles Gibson at the Democratic Presidential debate on April 16. The debate was a revolting descent into tabloid journalism and a gross disservice to Americans concerned about the great issues facing the nation and the world. This is not the first Democratic or Republican presidential debate to emphasize gotcha questions over real discussion. However, it is, so far, the worst.

For 53 minutes, we heard no question about public policy from either moderator. ABC seemed less interested in provoking serious discussion than in trying to generate cheap shot sound-bites for later rebroadcast. The questions asked by Mr. Stephanopoulos and Mr. Gibson were a disgrace, and the subsequent attempts to justify them by claiming that they reflect citizens’ interest are an insult to the intelligence of those citizens and ABC’s viewers. Many thousands of those viewers have already written to ABC to express their outrage.

The moderators’ occasional later forays into substance were nearly as bad. Mr. Gibson’s claim that the government can raise revenues by cutting capital gains tax is grossly at odds with what taxation experts believe. Both candidates tried, repeatedly, to bring debate back to the real problems faced by ordinary Americans. Neither moderator allowed them to do this. (more…)

By |2008-04-18T12:55:16-04:00April 18th, 2008|Election 2008, Media|Comments Off on Journalists Complain About Debate on ABC

ABC Takes Question From Sean Hannity?

Come on– no serious journalist would take a question from Sean “the weapons of mass destruction have been moved to Syria” Hannity. Or would they? It looks like George Stephanopoulos exactly that. He took a question directly from Sean Hannity.

I’m having some trouble really expressing my outrage, bitterness, displeasure. It seems Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos were reading the Republican manual on smear because they spent 45 minutes on nothing. I don’t care if Senator Barack Obama talked to or hung out with Bill Ayers. If Obama had said that he wanted to overtake the government by any means necessary, then that is something that I would pay attention to. If Obama stood up in church and shouted, “Let’s kill Whitey!,” then that’s something we all need to know. The fact that Obama met with someone proves what? It shows that he is open-minded enough to talk with everyone, except Bill O’Reilly.

ABC did America no favors yesterday but I think that they have shown the Republicans that these types of attacks aren’t working.

By |2008-04-17T23:49:24-04:00April 17th, 2008|Domestic Issues|Comments Off on ABC Takes Question From Sean Hannity?
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