Right wingers continue to identify with the crazies
Heidi Harris last night on Hardball became the latest winger to identify themselves -- willingly -- with right wing extremists (or ex-treh-mists, if you're from Boston...) And she makes the extraordinary claim that there are no lone wolf nuts out there. None at all! She just doesn't believe it.
If you can believe it, the segment AFTER Frank Gaffney's on "Hardball" last night was even crazier than the Gaffster. It featured one of the dyed-in-the-wool right wing crazies, whom I lovably call the AWMSGN (Angry White Male Survivalist Gun Nuts.) Charles Blow of the New York Times profiled them last Saturday, and appeared on the segment. His take:
My read: They’re apocalyptic. They feel isolated, angry, betrayed and besieged. And some of their “leaders” seem to be trying to mold them into militias.
Now watch the segment, and ask yourself, how did the Nutters of Appalachia manage to recruit a guy named Gottlieb, and does he feel entirely safe among them...
The neocon crazy train rides again: Gaffney plays 'Hardball'
If you missed the performance on "Hardball" tonight by the almost comically paranoid Frank Gaffney (the man whose life is apparently devoted to tilting at Muslim windmills) you missed a treat like few others. David Shuster filled in admirably for Chris Matthews, and the only thing missing was that look of utter consternation that Chris tends to get on his face whenever a neocon speaks. Gaffney, who has created an entire organization to fight ... wait for it ... sharia law (which isn't being implemented in the U.S. ... yet) claimed, with all due seriousness, that:
1. The U.S. should have shot down that failed North Korean long-range missile launch, possibly restarting the Korean War and causing the annihilation of tens of thousands of South Koreans in the process. It's a thought echoed by the purportedly legit wing of the neocon press.
3. Dick Cheney (of whome Gaffney declared himself a "member of the fan club" is right about the country being less safe, and we'll be even worse off if the Obama administration dismantles our super secret missile shooter-downer ... rays!!
I think I've figured it out. The neocons, who also said Saddam Hussein had developed wooden, pilotless drones that could deliver chemical weapons over the U.S., (and that he, not Tim McVeigh, blew up the Murrah building in Oklahoma) and who insisted that Ronald Reagan go to war with the Soviet Union which was going to nuke us into last week ... even as that country was busy collapsing ... are not only insane, and constantly in need of a Boogeyman to go to war with (I mean for other people to go to war with ... they don't DO fighting, themselves... too busy thinking up crazy stuff...) they're living in a warped, Twilight Zone episode of "The Jetsons," in which Mr. Spacely isn't just mean, he's trying to kill you, and make you submit to Sharia law...
Watch the segment, and pay close attention to the incredulous look on fellow panelist David Corn's face:
For your viewing pleasure: the Chris Matthews Ari smackdown
Ari Fleischer (who apprently really is a douchebag, Jon Stewart!) and a charter member of the hilarious Bush Legacy Project, defends the Bush years, and declares it "shameful" to place 9/11 within the Bush years, when clearly he wasn't president until immediately afterward. Enjoy!
BTW the one thing Matthews didn't do, was point out to Ari that 1) the recession that Bush "inherited" began in the second quarter of 2001 -- after I'm pretty sure he was president. And the so-called "record job creation" Ari touted during Bush's term, which he said were the best EVER! ... were actually the third worst job creation numbers of all the presidents dating back to Harry Truman. Only Bush's father and Gerald Ford saw fewer jobs created on their watch. Payrolls expanded by about 3 million during Bush's two terms, or about 375,000 per year, which puts him DEAD LAST in the per year number versus all the presidents since Harry gave 'em hell. Here are the totals:
Truman - 8.4 million Eisenhower - 3.5 JFK - 3.6 LBJ - 11.9 Nixon - 9.4 Carter - 10.5 Reagan - 16.0 Bush I - 2.5 Clinton - 23.1 Dubya - 3.0
He hammers a hapless Republican (California Rep. Darrell Issa) for the idiotic, perennial put down of referring to the "Democrat Party." Transcript:
Issa: “What's scarier, though, President Obama proposed that these budgets -- these deficits created under a Democrat Congress, he's going to cut them in half over a long period of time…”
Matthews: “Well, I think the Democratic Party calls itself the Democratic Party, not the Democrat Party. Do we have to do this every night? Why do people talk like this? Is this just fighting words to get the name on?
Issa: “No this isn’t intended to be fighting words…”
Matthews: “They call themselves the Democratic Party. Let’s just call people what they call themselves and stop the Mickey Mouse here - save that for the stump. Seriously…I want to get back to Congressman Frank and some English here…”
Every so often, Chris Matthews gets Philly with it. Like today, for instance, when during the 5 p.m. iteration of "Hardball," in an interview with Howard Dean, Chris expressed his frustration with America's inability to get universal healthcare done.
CHRIS: We haven’t been able to do this in good times, we haven’t been able to do this, Republican, Democrats... we’ve been dickin' around about this thing for years, decades no. It’s just not gotten solved. Why do you think we can solve it during the worst economic crisis since the 30s?
DEAN: Because it’s the worst economic times since the 30s. people finally get this. The business community really has been in trouble for years because of this particular issue and finally they just can’t afford it anymore. Because we’re in tough ec times, a large number of middle class people are losing their health insurance or know somebody who’s losing their health insurance. ...
Oh, Chris also endorsed HoDo for HHS secretary on the show. Nice.
UPDATE: MSNBC scrubbed the audio for the 7 p.m. version (and they'll probably do the same with the transcript.) But this is Chris at his best, truly keeping it real. Enjoy the original, real muthaf**n South Philly version here:
Dick Armey just made what might be the single most outrageous statement I've ever heard on 'Hardball,' MSNBC, or cable news, for that matter. In a heated discussion over economic policy with the wonderful Joan Walsh of Salon.com, whom I'm proud to say gave me my first editorial writing break and my first paid opinion writing job, back in 2000, he had the cheek to tell her he's ... wait for it ... glad she's not his WIFE. Watch:
Unfreaking believable. Bob Herbert of the New York Times came on in the next segment and said what's clearly true: that oaf owes Ms. Walsh, Chris Mathews, and the 'Hardball' viewers, an apology. If quizzling Phil Gingrey can go groveling to Rush Limbaugh over quite reasonable comments he made on Hardball and in Politico, surely Dick, who is very appropriately named, can manage to fashion a reasonable apology.
I'm literally being driven insane by the Barack Obama campaign. Literally. The nicey-nicey approach, the courtliness, the inability to use the word "lie..." the 11 days they've allowed the superior marketers in the McCain campaign to positively define Sarah Palin, the failure to capitalize on early focus groups showed she tested poorly with undecided voters... all of it represents wasted opportunities for Team Obama due to poor messaging and lack of aggressiveness, and that's bloody frustrating in a year when we're facing the possibility of four more years of Bush policies and evangelical nonsense in the White House.
That said, and after watching Olbermann last night practically giving Obama campaign advice (um ... might you want to attack...? Ya think???) the Obama camp may finally be getting the message.
They've produced their first really direct attack ad of the campaign. Here it is:
Good ad. Now the Obama people need to follow it up by going on offense, every day, pushing back hard at the Palin-loving media, and stomping a mud-hole in the McCain-Palin ticket. It really is this simple: there is no new politics. There's politics. And the candidate with the more disciplined, aggressive messaging wins. Right now, the McCain team is playing kick-ball, while the Obama team is playing croquet. Get in the game, people, or watch the geezer and the church lady take the oath of office in January.
The John McCain campaign chose to go bat crap crazy after the Obama campaign capitalized on El Richbo's colossal gaffe, telling a Politico reporter that he'd have to have his staff get back to him regarding how many homes McCain owns. Now, they're threatening to put "everything" on the table, from Rezko to Rev. Wright, a sure sign in politics that they fear the line of attack that McCain is the elitist in the race will work.
Tonight on the final "Verdict" (and I'm sorry the show is going, btw...) Republican talking point peddler (he's actually a nice guy, but geez... enough with the hackery, man...) Rev. Joe Watkins floated the trial balloon that not only is Rezko "on the table," Obama is "attacking John McCain's wife," because in fact it's Cindy who owns the 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 homes they've got.
Really? Do you really want to go there? Because if you do, I've got questions:
If John McCain left his first wife for Cindy, when did they start dating? While he was still good and married to wife #1. (Somebody call Rick Warren... and the National Enquirer!)
If John McCain doesn't own the homes, why is that? Because Cindy is a $100 million heiress who was damned sure not gonna marry a social climbing pol without an ironclad prenup.
If John McCain is a social climbing pol with a super rich wife, a pre-nup, and access to so many homes he can't remember them, what else is he forgetting? That Cindy also brought to the marriage a fortuitous introduction to a Mr. Keating.
And by the way, if John McCain wants to go Rezko, let's take his Rezko and raise him a Diamond. Per Crooks and Liars back in April:
When considering John McCain’s history of unethical behavior, the list usually starts (and ends) with the Keating Five scandal in the 1980s, for which McCain was rebuked by the Senate Ethics Committee for having shown, at a minimum, poor judgment. In the aftermath, McCain helped improve his public image, and bury the scandal, by becoming an advocate of campaign-finance reform.
But the notion that McCain cleaned up his act may not be entirely true. Take, for example, Donald Diamond, a wealthy Arizona real estate developer and generous McCain contributor, who wanted some coastal land in California freed up by an Army base closing.
When Mr. Diamond wanted to buy land at the base, Fort Ord, Mr. McCain assigned an aide who set up a meeting at the Pentagon and later stepped in again to help speed up the sale, according to people involved and a deposition Mr. Diamond gave for a related lawsuit. When he appealed to a nearby city for the right to develop other property at the former base, Mr. Diamond submitted Mr. McCain’s endorsement as “a close personal friend.”
Writing to officials in the city, Seaside, Calif., the senator said, “You will find him as honorable and committed as I have.”
Courting local officials and potential partners, Mr. Diamond’s team promised that he could “help get through some of the red tape in dealing with the Department of the Army” because Mr. Diamond “has been very active with Senator McCain,” a partner said in a deposition.
For Mr. McCain, the Arizona Republican who has staked two presidential campaigns on pledges to avoid even the appearance of dispensing an official favor for a donor, Mr. Diamond is the kind of friend who can pose a test.
Ya think? The closer one looks at this, the worse it appears.
In California, the McCain aide’s assistance with the Army helped Mr. Diamond complete a purchase in 1999 that he soon turned over for a $20 million profit. And Mr. McCain’s letter of recommendation reinforced Mr. Diamond’s selling point about his McCain connections as he pursued — and won in 2005 — a potentially much more lucrative deal to develop a resort hotel and luxury housing.
In Arizona, Mr. McCain has helped Mr. Diamond with matters as small as forwarding a complaint in a regulatory skirmish over the endangered pygmy owl, and as large as introducing legislation remapping public lands. In 1991 and 1994, Mr. McCain sponsored two laws sought by Mr. Diamond that resulted in providing him millions of dollars and thousands of acres in exchange for adding some of his properties to national parks. The Arizona senator co-sponsored a third similar bill now before the Senate. […]
For the California projects, the campaign said the McCain aide arranged the introduction to an Army official for Mr. Diamond’s team as “a constituent matter.”
Other things that are now "on the table":
John McCain's use of former mistress/current wife Cindy's corporate jets for his campaign...
John McCain's rejection of an MLK holiday (you want to play Rev. Wright clips? Take two doses of that next week during the 40th anniversary of the March on Washington. Hey, John, maybe you can consult your personal wise man John Lewis for advice on a response...
You know what, bat-crap crazy McCain communication staffers? Turns out it really is fun putting things on the table. Thanks!
Oh, and welcome to the come-uppance, Diamond John. And yes, yes, I know you're a former POW, okay?
Wow. If you TiVo'd "Hardball" tonight, skip the 5 p.m. and version and green dot the 7:00. I just watched the most stunning ten minutes of that program that I think I have ever seen. It was a conversation between Chris Matthews, Andrea Mitchell, who has been covering the Clinton campaign, and our old friend Patrick Buchanan, author of the excellent book, "Where the Right Went Wrong," and a man who, while very bright, can loosely be said to be an unofficial captain of the white power movement. Buchanan was in such a lather over what he called put-downs of West Virginia voters on the MSNBC set, "calling them dumb and uneducated, poor, and racist," I thought his head was going to explode. He then went into a jeremiad about why the pundits don't say that Blacks who give Barack Obama 92 percent of their votes are bad people. "Maybe they said, he's one of them, and maybe the people of West Virginia said she's (meaning Hillary Clinton,) one of US." The use of "us" was a telling slip.
Chris then impressed me, trying to gently explain to Pat that given this country's 400 years of history on race, where we've had only three Blacks elected to the Senate and just a handful of governors, "and that's it," while whites have been "running everything," it's quite a different thing for Blacks to vote for someone who looks like them who could be president, then for white voters in West Virginia to "volunteer to a total stranger that race played a part in their vote."
The clincher was Matthews describing the more colorblind world his kids live in, where they have teachers, friends, and even romantic interests who are Black, "and they don't even think about it," and he said he wanted to see America become that world. Then he pointedly asked Pat, "do YOU want to see that world?" When Pat failed to answer, he asked him AGAIN. Pat stumbled out something about Martin Luther King's dream, and went right back into his red-faced rant about how poor West Virginia white folk "haven't been running anything."
Did you catch the disastrous debut of BET J's "My Two Cents" host Crystal McCreary Anthony on "Hardball" this week? The poor dear had apparently been deployed by the House of Bob (Johnson) and was dutifully trotting out some pro-Hillary talking points (although she did have to admit that the threatening letter from Clinton donors, including her boss, to try and bully Nancy Pelosi into backing down on her delegates rule statements "didn't look good,") when she caught a left to the jaw from Matthews over her unsourced comments about Barack Obama's "Jewish problem."
Meanwhile, The HuffPo defends Ms. McCreary Anthony. and offers her some help on sourcing. The moral of the story: Bob should have his staffers read the Huffington Post prior to all Hardball appearances...
Waiting for the Youtube on ... Stephanie Tubbs Jones
Is Stephanie Tubbs Jones drinking? First, she referred to Barack Obama "in his native clothing" regarding that Kenya photo circulated by the Clinton campaign on MSNBC this morning. Then, the Ohio congresswoman who sat through the humiliation of that poor Texas state senator (Kirk Watson and acts like she did the humiliating (kind of the way Rudy Giuliani survived 9/11 and acted like he thwarted it) ... turned in a very odd performance on "Hardball" tonight. She seemed way too giddy, constantly interrupting Bill Clinton's former campaign manager, David Wilhelm, who is now supporting Barack, and generally stepping all over the proceedings. This lady has either completely fallen in love with the notion of herself on television or she's fallen off the wagon.
Update: here's the video of Tubbs ... in her native clothing...
Still waiting for the Youtube on Tubbs Jones in her falling down drunk performance on Hardball...
Chris Matthews confuses me. Sometimes he's a Democrat, sometimes he's a Bushie. ... Or is he? The same guy who praised the magnificence of Bush's inauguration and how it represented the beauty of America's system of peaceful transfer of power, who gushed over Bush's appearances at Ground Zero (several days late and a dollar short) and that aircraft carrier stunt when we supposedly won the war, now calls the Bush administration a bunch of criminals and Soviet style free speech squashers. I know he hates the Iraq war (now) and that he fears that the neocons will drag us into another war with Iran, but given his past Huh?
Maybe he was drunk.
Chris Matthews had barely finished praising his colleagues at the 10th anniversary party for his “Hardball” show Thursday night in Washington, D.C. when his remarks turned political and pointed, even suggesting that the Bush administration had "finally been caught in their criminality."
In front of an audience that included such notables as Alan Greenspan, Rep. Patrick Kennedy and Sen. Ted Kennedy, Matthews began his remarks by declaring that he wanted to "make some news" and he certainly didn't disappoint. After praising the drafters of the First Amendment for allowing him to make a living, he outlined what he said was the fundamental difference between the Bush and Clinton administrations.
The Clinton camp, he said, never put pressure on his bosses to silence him.
“Not so this crowd,” he added, explaining that Bush White House officials -- especially those from Vice President Cheney's office -- called MSNBC brass to complain about the content of his show and attempted to influence its editorial content. "They will not silence me!" Matthews declared.
"They've finally been caught in their criminality," Matthews continued, although he did not specify the exact criminal behavior to which he referred. He then drew an obvious Bush-Nixon parallel by saying, “Spiro Agnew was not an American hero."
Matthews left the throng of Washington A-listers with a parting shot at Cheney: “God help us if we had Cheney during the Cuban missile crisis. We’d all be under a parking lot.”
Wow. "Hardball" stand-in David Shuster just bitch slapped Iraq war-o-phile and Scooter Libby defender Fouad Ajami over the latter's ridiculous comparison of Scootie-pie to the U.S. troops fighting, dying, bleeding, losing limbs and coming home permantly disabled from the war in Iraq. It was a thing of beauty, as Shuster cut up every lame argument Adjani tried to make, then brought in Paul Reikhoff to tag team the squirmy little weasel from the troops' point of view. After that, Shuster utterly dismantled that kook Dan Burton who tried so hard to take down President Clinton, but apparently hasn't learned the difference between an acquittal on perjury and obstruction and a conviction. The poor old cooter seems to still be salivating for the blood of Bill, but he can't wrap his addled mind around Libby's having been found guilty, but not punished for his criminal behavior. What a show. What a couple of maroons! Damn. Chris Matthews had better watch his back. There's a new big dog at MSNBC.... The video is here or get the link here. I'll post the transcript as soon as it's available. It's a thing of beauty...
For more classic Shuster smack-down, check out Youtube... first victim: Libby pal Tucker Carlson.
By the way, to understand why so many people are outraged by Ajami's idiocy, here's the crux of what he wrote in the Wall Street Journal last month:
In "The Soldier's Creed," there is a particularly compelling principle: "I will never leave a fallen comrade." This is a cherished belief, and it has been so since soldiers and chroniclers and philosophers thought about wars and great, common endeavors. Across time and space, cultures, each in its own way, have given voice to this most basic of beliefs. They have done it, we know, to give heart to those who embark on a common mission, to give them confidence that they will not be given up under duress. A process that yields up Scooter Libby to a zealous prosecutor is justice gone awry.
So Scooter is akin to our troops fighting in Iraq? Really? I hope Mr. Ajami doesn't really believe that, because such a belief is an insult not only to the troops in Iraq, but to anyone who has ever worn the uniform, which, by the way, includes neither Libby nor the boss he nearly went to prison to protect. Just thought I'd mention that. Oh, and by the by, in addition to being a recalcitrant and rather delusional neocon, Ajami is a Lebanese Shiite, which would make him likely quite pleased with the new government of Iraq, such as it is.
Ajami also wrote this:
This case has been, from the start, about the Iraq war and its legitimacy. Judge Walton came to it late; before him were laid bare the technical and narrowly legalistic matters of it. But you possess a greater knowledge of this case, a keen sense of the man caught up in this storm, and of the great contest and tensions that swirl around the Iraq war. To Scooter's detractors, and yours, it was the "sin" of that devoted public servant that he believed in the nobility of this war, that he did not trim his sails, and that he didn't duck when the war lost its luster.
Funny ... I thought it was about the outing of a covert CIA operative by her own government. Funny, that.
...that Chris Matthews would criticize Rudy Giuliani. He just did so on "Hardball," saying, during a back and forth with actor/political junkie Ben Affleck about the politican candidates:
"I agree with what Fareed Zakaria wrote in Newsweekthis week, which is that terrorism isn't bombs and explosions and death... terrorism is when you change your society because of those explosions... and you become fearful to the point that you shut out immigration, you shut out student exchanges, you keep people out of buildings ... and begin to act in an almost fascist manner because you're afraid of what might happen to you, and that's when terrorism becomes real, and frighteningly succesful. That's what I believe, and that's why I question the way Giuliani has raised this issue. He raises it as a specter, and in a wierd way, he helps the bad guys."
Wow. That's a switch, Chris. I honestly didn't think this guy was capable of doing anything besides fawning over Rudy. Of course, he did get in a swipe at Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky during the segment, just to make the point that he's still Chris "the Clinton obsessor".
But a stunning development nonetheless. I get the feeling Matthews is disappointed that his Big City Mayor hero has turned out to be nothing but a fear mongering neocon -- liberal on social issues, crazy for war in the Middle East, and authoritarian in the extreme.