The brilliant guy in the White House:
"We will rebuild, we will recover and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before," the President said. "Let there be no doubt: health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait and it will not wait another year." Read the full text of President Barack Obama's powerful address before a Joint Session of Congress here.
Is this the best the Republicans have to offer?
Bobby Jindal epitomizes Republicanism. The Louisiana governor appears to forget a Republican president failed to aid Hurricane Katrina victims. Jindal also perpetuates a levitating train myth disproved by Newsweek. And he can't seem to grasp Obama's statement that no one earning less than $250,000 per year will face a tax increase.
Santelli and Liddy in fantasyland
In the Columbia Journalism Review, Ryan Chittum dissects Rick Santelli's misleading spin and NBC's cynical collaboration:
"Rick Santelli continues to make a fool of himself, touring the media to defend his call for a “tea party” over the homeowner bailout.
"I’d be inclined to let this dog of a discussion bark itself out, especially since Santelli chose to carry it to the paranoid ghettos occupied by the likes of G. Gordon Liddy.
"But this is too much.
"Not content with his soon-to-be-expired fifteen minutes of fame, Santelli went on Liddy’s radio show and complained that the White House was threatening him and/or his family, somehow.
"SANTELLI: He started that press conference saying, “I don’t know where he lives, I don’t know where his house is.” This is the Press Secretary of the White House. Is that the kind of thing we want? Is that —
"LIDDY: It’s a veiled threat.
"SANTELLI: It really is. […] I don’t really want to be a spokesman, but I really am very proud of a) the response I’m getting, which is overwhelmingly positive, and b) discourse, that is debate. That if the pressure and the heat I’m taking from the White House – the fact my kids are nervous to go to school – I can take that, okay.
"Now, Liddy knows about threats from the White House, having plotted to assassinate columnist Jack Anderson and he knows about other kinds, having encouraged listeners to shoot ATF agents in the head (“Head shots, head shots…. Kill the sons of bitches”), but the idea that the White House press secretary “threatened” Santelli is nuts and irresponsible.
"Here’s that “threat” from press secretary Robert Gibbs:
“I’ve watched Mr. Santelli on cable the past 24 hours or so. I’m not entirely sure where Mr. Santelli lives or in what house he lives but the American people are struggling every day to meet their mortgages, stay in their jobs, pay their bills, send their kids to school.”
"Poorly phrased, maybe, but Gibbs is clearly saying that Santelli is out of touch with regular people. A fair point, considering that Santelli thinks traders on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange represent a “cross-section of America” and that people who can’t pay their mortgage are “losers.”
"And here’s a question: Why is a CNBC editor going on a show with a convicted felon on the outer fringes of American public discourse?
"But the larger point is this: Santelli’s outburst, whether spontaneous or staged, is one thing. For NBC cynically to ride this tiger of fear and misguided outrage is something else entirely. Its producers and anchors encouraged Santelli during his blowup and now NBC’s networks have promoed the hell out of it (“Rick’s Revolution," “Rebel Yell,” including leading the NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams with it on Thursday.
"And now, on Liddy’s show, Santelli is completely off the reservation. NBC/CNBC only has itself to blame. Whatever the network’s calculations, this is a low point for the peacock. Playing with your credibility may give you a short-term gain, but it’s a long-term drain."
San Francisco Chronicle under threat
And the San Francisco Chronicle, once one of the nation's top ten newspapers, is in danger of folding. I have written for the Chronicle and while in recent years its quality has deteriorated, it would be a shame to see the city's major newspaper collapse.
Worried about health care? Just die young, writer says.
Mark Hemingway, writing for The National Review Online:
"Why do Democrats push preventative health care as a cost savings measure at every turn? If you want to save the healthcare system money, drop dead of a heart attack at 50. Living to 88 on the other hand — that's expensive."
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