Yes, there are times when we watched him during news events that monopolized coverage for the entire day and beyond (death of Princess Diana, explosion of the space shuttle, etc., usually bad stuff now that I come to think of it), and I have to admit that it requires a particular talent to fill time and juggle multiple interviews during long stretches on the air. And Larry King most definitely has that talent.
And please, don’t let anybody con you into thinking that King is a casualty of our fractured corporate media and political culture. He’s had his time in the spotlight (and 25 years is a pretty darn good run), but as it must for all of us in one way or another, it’s time for him to step aside (besides, there are too many people making too much money over the conservative versus liberal shouting match that passes for informed discourse in this country to kill that golden goose, if you will, while Beltway shills like David Broder and his pals tut-tut over the oh-so-un-bipartisan incivility).
So good luck managing your finances among your 27 wives, Larry (personally, what did it for me with King was the kiss from Marlon Brando – bleaugh!).
Republicans are accusing Democrats of invoking Nazis after Vice President Biden sent out a fundraising message warning of the looming "GOP blitzkrieg" of dirty campaign tactics.So “invoking the Nazis” is inappropriate, huh (and yes, it is)?
The e-mail was sent via the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. In it, Biden warned that House Democrats would "be hit with a GOP blitzkrieg of vicious Swift-Boat-style attack ads, Karl Rove-inspired knockout tactics, thinly veiled attempts at character assassination and Tea Party disruptions."
Republicans took exception at the characterization, given that "blitzkrieg" was a term to describe Germany's military offensives during World War II. A spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner told The New York Daily News that "invoking the Nazis' crimes against humanity in a political debate is simply inappropriate."
In response, I have only this to say:
Halt die Fresse, wingnuts (I’ll let you, dear reader, search for the translation – and by the way, you will note that Boehner didn’t say that Biden was wrong).
Update: Even though I STILL can't embed their vids - heckuva job, MSNBC! - K.O. had a good comeback on the whole "blitzkrieg" thing here, along with some lamentable idiocy from Kathleen Parker that was so stupid, it gave me a headache just to consider posting about it (what was that Pulitzer for again?).
Update 7/14/10: Oh, and let's not forget this either (h/t Atrios).
This week the country was treated to some mid-summer levity as a bunch of U.S. House members manufactured and professed grave concern and quite possibly outrage about the possibility of ongoing political corruption -- way over there in Afghanistan.Malcolm’s idiotic jibes notwithstanding, this story tells us that $4 billion in aid to Afghanistan is being cut because of allegations that our tax dollars are going to Afghan warlords (would that Obama’s predecessor had taken such a step, or at least bothered to account for the billions that were funneled into Mesopotamia without accounting for where the money went and how it was used).
This is the upside-down red-blooded American political institution where folks have stored $90,000 in cash in their food freezers. Doesn't everyone? Where phone calls from substantial political donors get passed right on through to the elected member while ordinary citizens can leave a message.
Now, as for the $787 billion approved 16 months ago for stimulating the domestic economy, a sum almost 197 times larger than the controversial Kabul aid package, well, that money is obviously in safe, clean, English-speaking American hands. No need to examine that spending too closely.
And if Malcolm or anyone else has any questions about how the funds for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are being allocated, all you need do is click here.
But if he included that link, of course, that would imply that Malcolm would be practicing something approximating "fair and balanced" punditry. And when I think of that cockeyed notion, all I can say is this...
“Talk about a recipe for disaster: Democrats are offering no budget, no priorities, and no restraints – yet all their taxing, borrowing, and spending continues unchecked,” says Ryan, the top Republican on the budget committee.(And this was after the Repugs voted against the Dem budget because of taxes on Big Oil and the "banksters," while crying poor mouth at an extension of unemployment benefits...and speaking of which, except for John
“With this budget failure – a first in the modern era – Democrats are missing a critical opportunity to provide the fiscal discipline economists say is needed to create private-sector jobs and boost our economy,” Ryan also says.
Ok, time for just a little perspective.
As noted here, Ryan was elected to Congress in 1999. That would make him a member of the 109th Congress, which was run by his party.
And as the Center for American Progress tells us here…
The 109th Congress left office in the early hours of Saturday morning, December 9, having logged fewer days of legislative activity than even the infamous “Do-Nothing Congress” of 1948. Notably absent from the following list of last-minute “accomplishments” is comprehensive immigration reform, a minimum wage increase, and nine out of 11 appropriations bills needed to fully fund federal activity for the 2007 fiscal year.The gall of the modern-day Repug party is almost too contemptible for words.
The failure to pass a working budget for the federal government—the fundamental constitutional task of Congress—highlights the failures of the conservative leadership of the departing Congress.
And Irrational Spew Online gives “props” to Ryan here for his talk to the AEI on the budget, in which Ryan said “the economy is going off a fiscal cliff” (not a single syllable uttered about unemployment, apparently).
Well, Ezra Klein took a look at Ryan’s budget proposal here and tells us as follows…
As you all know by now, the long-term budget deficit is largely driven by health-care costs. To move us to surpluses, Ryan's budget proposes reforms that are nothing short of violent. Medicare is privatized. Seniors get a voucher to buy private insurance, and the voucher's growth is far slower than the expected growth of health-care costs. Medicaid is also privatized. The employer tax exclusion is fully eliminated, replaced by a tax credit that grows more slowly than medical costs. And beyond health care, Social Security gets guaranteed, private accounts that CBO says will actually cost more than the present arrangement, further underscoring how ancillary the program is to our budget problem.And yes, you’re right – I scurrilously failed to include Klein’s complimentary language towards Ryan for so much as even having a set of ideas, regardless of how draconian they are.
An important note to understanding how Ryan's budget saves money: It's not through privatization, though everything does get privatized. It's through firm, federal cost controls. The privatization itself actually costs money.
You can argue whether this cost control is better or worse than other forms of cost control. But it's a blunt object of a proposal, swung with incredible force at a vulnerable target.
I wouldn't balance the budget in anything like the way Ryan proposes. His solution works by making care less affordable for seniors. I'd prefer to aggressively reform the system itself so the care becomes cheaper, even if that causes significant pain to providers. I also wouldn't waste money by moving to a private system when the public system is cheaper.
The net effect is still the same, though. Despite our corporate media’s infatuation with Ryan’s presumed back-to-basics simplicity, his fiscal policy would be emblematic of his party; the full flowering of the Repugs’ “ownership society,” in which those with means will succeed, while those without will have their savings drained, health care denied, and “kicked to the curb” for their trouble.