2106 The Candidates The Issues The Media The Fiasco

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I was watching Meet the Press this past Sunday and saw Chuck Todd interview Jeb Bush. The entire interview was about Jeb’s drop in the polls. Why was he dropping, why wasn’t he the frontrunner, what does this say about his future Todd kept asking. I kept longing for Todd to ask “how would you safely get us out of Afghanistan, Iraq and now Syria?” Or, “the numbers look good on the economy but they aren’t good for every day Americans, they are earning less working more and tens of millions of uncounted unemployed people, how specifically would you address this?”

But, no. All he asked were unimportant irrelevant questions. This is what our media has become. No substance, just about producing ratings. It is very much a shame in that the American people aren’t being educated so they can make informed make decisions. And, the candidates don’t have to talk about anything specific.

Everyone is talking about the CNBC debate and the GOP candidates getting together to make demands of the media before the next debate. This is an extremely dangerous situation. The news media is supposed to be the 4th estate of the U.S. government. They should never give in to the demands of any candidate. As President Obama said last night, how could these crybabies ever deal with Putin if they can’t deal with CNBC moderators?

So true.

The CNBC debate wasn’t as much of a fiasco as everyone has made it out to be. But, the debate itself was set up very poorly. Five or 6 different people asking questions? That’s too many people. Asking Trump if his candidacy was like a comic book character, asking Jeb why his numbers are dropping. See above. The audience wants substance, not BS.

The point is really no longer about if George Bush made the wrong decision invading Iraq (YES he did) or if Obama’s seemingly lack of strategy has made the situation worse (probably); the point is how do we fix it. How would each candidate fix the messes we are involved in. Sorry Mr. Trump, staring down your rivals won’t change anything.

If you look at the candidates from the GOP I am hard pressed to find one acceptable candidate. Sure, Trump and Christie make me laugh with the ridiculous things they say, but they aren’t suitable. Carly? How many times does this woman have to lie for people to get it. She shamelessly plays the gender card by saying ‘Hillary’ ever other word. Carson, Huckabee, Jindal, Cruz all just so full of bigoted hate and pandering to their bases. Unsuitable. The rest? Forgettable.

On the Dem side it’s a bit different since so few are running. Really the only two meaningful people left are Clinton and Sanders. Whereas I have not decided yet, Bernie talks a great game but can he win in a general election? Hillary is probably the most prepared and competent person to ever run for the presidency. It would be nice to see a strong experienced leader that doesn’t need the learning curve Obama and Bush needed.

There are so many things going on today that choosing our next leader is vitally important. Even if you just look at the Supreme Court, a Dem must win.

There are so many other issues as well. Actually being able to create real jobs that can pay enough for a family to live on. There is a reason why we have more people living in poverty than any other time in our history: because the newly created jobs, while impressive in numbers, are low paying, part time, and unacceptable. A dire warning to Hillary, if you keep up the Obama happy dance about the economy you will look out of touch and uncaring.

There are so many other issues from income inequality to education to legalized discrimination to Climate Change. And many many more. But we aren’t hearing any substantial conversations on any relevant issues, and, we probably won’t.

Right now this is a fiasco. Candidates running wild, trying to bully the news media. The news media unable or unwilling to ask candidates the questions to move our country forward and the worst of all; I don’t think there is one candidate running who has the American peoples best interest and the country’s best interest as their first priority. It’s all about them.

So, where does that leave us? In a shitty place. This is definitely not what our founding fathers wanted for the future of this country.  Together we must change everything.

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Sunday Talk Shows News Media #MTP Reviews and Commentary

ImageYou might ask yourself why I watch Meet the Press when I am so critical of it. The answer to that is simple; MTP had been the gold standard for many years; it spawned an entire industry. It should be the best and it simply isn’t. David Gregory is a horrible moderator who always seems more interested in getting his point across rather than learning new information from his guests. His ultimate goal is to make news on  the show, to garner publicity. This is not an admirable goal for an alleged ‘journalist’ to have. It’s obvious MTP is having problems in the ratings by the way they keep switching around their format, sometimes different every week. The panel is there, then they sit there while other guests are being interviewed, then they come back. This isn’t shaking things up, this is providing an inconsistent and often incoherent format. I am just happy that Gregory has stopped trying to push that web extra he has sometime during the week. Another knock at MTP, they are relying too much on NBC/MSNBC talent and should seek opinions of others. A month or so ago they had Chris Matthews, whom I enjoy watching, on shamelessly promoting his new book.

Today’s show was disappointing, as most have been. Gregory had an interview with Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) on to discuss the U.S. and Global Economy. Lagarde talked about strong growth and low unemployment in the U.S. now and thinks 2014 will be stronger. Gregory doesn’t ask, know, or understand why the U.S. unemployment rate is 7.0%. Lagarde, a so called expert, thinks the rate will lower next year to the mid 6% range. Now, how can you live in the U.S. and not know all of the questioning of that official rate. How can you not ask the expert, who also doesn’t seem to know, how accurate that rate is. I have heard and read so many estimates about the real unemployment rate, the real number of unemployed people. I have heard ranges of 13% – 28% unemployment rate. Longterm unemployment, I have heard a low of 4 million (the official U.S. government rate) to a high of 89 million. The exact number isn’t the point, what the point is is that we have a longterm unemployment crisis. Our expert shoo-shoos and dismisses it. Gregory is more interested in if Lagarde will run for president of France. This could have been such an opportunity to have her, or some other economists, on and ask, what’s going on. What are the real numbers. What will it take to get these people back to work. But no, it’s just a waste of people’s time to watch. NBC News you can do better.  Your Grade: D

We switch over to CNN where some of my favorite anchors are. I like Candy Crowley, and I really like Barbara Starr! They are both bright women who report the news well and ask good questions. CNN has been going through lots of changes recently. They got rid of one of their best talent, Soledad O’Brien, I think she is great and should have been kept on. Try getting rid of Peirs, Wolf, and many others!

Then we switch to Reliable Sources, which I usually watch while typing emails. This morning they were talking about that Neanderthal from that duck show. I have tried to not mention him or the show because I believe in not giving any publicity to people I think are despicable. On Reliable their were 3 guests talking about the uproar and how it was so blown out of proportion. And also that he articulated what many Americans believe in homosexuality from the bible. First off, do you feel the same way about anyone that’s been divorced, anyone who works on Sunday, anyone who disagrees with the notion that blacks should be slaves and women should be property? Or do you cherry pick from the bible and only hold gays out for ridicule. Newt Gingrich, married 3 times, how could anyone that believes in the bible not have a problem with him? What is the most despicable about the comments from the star of the show is his talking about sin, talking about homosexuality in the same breath as bestiality. If you are a true bible thumper and outspokenly shun your divorced friends, ostracize people who have affairs, refuse to associate with people who work on Sundays, your words might have some credibility. But they don’t, because I haven’t seen anyone do those things. Freedom of speech? Sure, I am all for it. But, when you work for and are representing a company you can’t always say everything that pops in your head. Otherwise that company, only concerned w their bottom line, might fire you. Me? I am self employed so I can say anything I want.

Getting back to the Sunday shows. I think George Stephenopolous is one of the best interviewers out there so I haven’t watched his show yet. I also think Chris Wallace gives an excellent interview and haven’t watched him yet.

We deserve a better news media.

I Have To Weigh In On Syria #GinsburgView

Image 6Its so frustrating watching alleged news shows like Meet the Press when the moderator asks the wrong questions; its not just that show its almost every news show. Maybe its me, I have always thought of and seen things differently than most people, I guess thats what people mean when they say I have a unique ‘voice.’ Ok first question for the Chief of Staff, how can this be a short targeted mission? Assad is desperate and doesnt want to end up like Saddam so he will fight until the end. My guess is that Assad uses chemical weapons more and more. What is Obama’s stance on future usage? We strike again? These people, including Hezbollah and Iran hate us; if I were them I’d use chemical weapons monthly and drag the U.S. into a never ending war. Why wasnt this asked? It seems there is no direct proven link that Assad gave the order or if one of his people did. Some even think the opposition used them.  So we as a Country are getting into a war that has no end game and could go on for years.

Barack Obama has really messed this up; from ignoring the first chemical attack over a year ago, to a few weeks ago beating the drums of war, saying he doesnt need Congress to act, to sending Kerry out there comparing this Adolf Hitler. Making it seem like a strike was imminent to doing a complete U-turn and asking Congress for support. A Congress that has never given him support. I cant think of a worse position for a president to be in. The UK voted down military action, the American people are strongly against any action; and no one in the world has stood up and said they would help. If Congress votes no and Obama doesnt act he will be a lame duck for the rest of his presidency. If he does act and this continues for a long duration, or isnt effective he will also look bad. I dont get it, after ignoring Syria for 2 years why is he now in such a hurry? He should have just done it then come to the American people and explained what he did, we would have stood behind him.  Rather, he is in a lose/lose situation.

At first I supported his plan, I thought when an American president says something he should follow through. Now I have changed my mind, we should not do anything. Peggy Noonan had a great column this week in The Wall Street Journal, she pointed out we dont have to have a strike in order to show the world we mean what we say. And we don’t. If Obama wants to take action there are other ways of doing it, it doesnt have to be militarily. Someone on one of the Sunday shows said something about how we could ‘think out of the box’ as to what should be done. When you have Iran saying the use of chemical weapons is wrong, Iran, you know you pretty much have the worlds consensus that its wrong.

As I see it we dont have a clear mission, we dont have solid proof Assad gave the order and we have a Country saying no.

Feel free to weigh in if you feel differently!

What Are The President Congress and the Media Not Talking About?

IMG_1432Lets see, we have a GOP and tea party thats obsessed with budget cuts, lowering the deficit, cutting vital programs and of course obstructing everything president Obama wants to do. We have a president who is clearly working on his legacy, he wants gun control, immigration and a grand bargain on debt reduction to be what he is remembered for. We have a media that goes for the lowest hanging fruit and will make a story out of anything thats easy and salacious. Everyone thinks the media is left leaning, they are actually just lazy and want any kind of sensational stories to tell to try to boost ratings and clicks on their websites. This combination is a recipe for finishing off the decline of the American Empire.

So, what is it that no one is talking about? The long term unemployed. Their are estimates that run anywhere from 5 million to 89 million of people who are long term unemployed and or who have stopped looking for work because they cant find any. The media should be explaining to the public about this crisis, and what the long term consequences of it will be. Last month the unemployment rate dropped; the reason it dropped was because 500,000 people stopped looking for work. Last week on Meet the Press Andrea Mitchell was starting to explain this and David Gregory cut her off to talk about something else. This is the story. No one digs into the numbers; yes we have had 4 years or however long of job creation; however that job creation is only enough to break even. This is the first period since the Great Depression that this many people have been unemployed for this long a period. The workforce participation rate, which is basically the percentage of people who have jobs compared to the entire population, has not been this low since the 1970s when women were barely in the workforce. Their have been some articles showing prejudice in hiring through ageism, the longterm unemployed and how companies wait for that perfect hire and make people go through rounds of interviews then decide not to hire anyone. In general the Media, whose purpose is to call out the government on what they are doing wrong and to educate the public of serious issues, gets a grade of F.

President Obama was going to pivot to jobs after ObamaCare, or after the election, or after the midterms. Wait, he never did it. For those that say he tried to push a jobs bill through the congress that is true. However, he did this in September 2011 and has done almost nothing since. Thats unacceptable. I see him on the road, almost campaign style, talking about gun control. Gun control is an important issue, but its not worth spending all of his political capital on. So, why is he focusing on guns over jobs? Some say he knows he won’t get anywhere with jobs so he is deliberately not talking about it and he is talking about guns so it will become one of his legacy issues. This to me is deplorable behavior. For those that say he can do more than one thing at a time, that is true. But in order to get the kind of jobs bill passed that will make a dent in unemployment he needs to be out there rallying the cause. The GOP talks about how we are spending record levels on Food Stamps and other assistance programs. Hmmm, why would that be the case? Oh yeah, the 10’s of millions of people who are unemployed and need assistance. And yet Barack Obama is making minimal effort at best to create jobs, he is a huge disappointment and for job creation he also receives a grade of F.

The GOP is more to blame than Mr. Obama for the lackluster economy since they have obstructed and filibustered everything Obama has tried to do. By being the party of ‘just say no’ they have made the environment in Washington caustic and much worse than it was when President Bush was in office. What is the GOP’s motivation for this? I think its racial, I could be right I could be wrong. In 2010 when the tea party came in they made things even worse. Yes there is a debt problem but its not as pressing as the unemployment problem. Every cut the tea party tries to enact has the exact opposite effect, their actions have made the debt larger. As I have mentioned I think the tea party should be tried for treason by mishandling of the economy. Every crisis that they have caused has slowed the economy. The slower the economy is makes for few jobs created, consumers spending less, GDP falling. All of this adds to the debt and deficit and all of it is caused by the tea party in their so called effort to lower the debt. The GOP and tea party get grades of criminal F.

Why is longterm unemployment such a problem? Because it destroys peoples lives, it takes away their dignity, ends many marriages. Why should the government care? Well in the coming years those 25 – 89 million people are going to be signing up for welfare, medicaid and are going to put a much more serious strain on the debt of this country. If Obama spent the time and effort on creating jobs rather then gun control we could have serious investments made. We need another large stimulus for job creation, we need tax incentives for companies that hire the longterm unemployed. There is so much that could be done. If the government invested $400 Billion in job creation now the taxes the workers would pay would lower the deficit by $4Trillion over 10 years.

If things continue as they are Mr. Obama’s legacy will be one of a president who did nothing for the jobless and this will over shadow anything else he has done.

Political Lies — Worse than Watergate

Most Sundays I record all of the Sunday Political Shows and then watch them during the day. What I found yesterday was extremely disturbing. Both campaigns had their surrogates out in full force; not one of them could answer a question, give a detail. It was like watching a shell game at a carnival, with the dodging that was going on, the lack of follow up from the interviewers. I believe our system is completely broken, from top to bottom and everywhere in between.

I started with Meet the Press, David Gregory gives a horrible interview, he seems much more into making a headline than he does getting answers out of his guests. He interviewed Chris Christie. Christie dodged every question, turned every question around to “why arent you asking the president this” to everything will change after the debate. It was infuriating to watch because Gregory allowed him to dodge every question. Next came on David Plouffe, Obama advisor, he also dodged every question. When asked how a 2nd term of Obama would look he answered that Mitt Romney was unqualified. The same duo was on a few more of the shows; with the same lack of information, the same pointing fingers to the other sides deficits. There was a new piece of misinformation yesterday coming from the Romney camp; they claim they never said wealthy people would receive any tax cuts. Even though their proposal is for 20% tax cuts for everyone; they claim the wealthy will have fewer loop holes so they wouldnt be paying less. This of course, is not true at all. And of course they wouldnt say which loop holes would be closed. One of the most egregious interviews was Paul Ryan on Fox News. Chris Wallace did push Ryan on the numbers, because they dont add up; after dodging for 2 or 3 questions Ryan finally said it would take too long to describe the math. Ryan also went on to say the wealthy would not be receiving any tax relief at all because after all everyone should pay their fair share. Did Wallace ask if everyone should pay their fair share for health insurance too? No, he let that slide. Wallace let just about everything slide with  Ryan. No details on how their 20% tax cut would immediately create 7 million jobs. You have to wonder if they just make up these numbers. No new details on Medicare. Actually just as bad as Paul Ryan was David Axelrod on Candy Crowley’s CNN program. I like Candy, she gives a good thorough interview. She kept asking over and over again how Obama plans to create more jobs and  what his second term would include. Axelrod slithered out of answering every time; it was pathetic to watch. He had no answers.

The truth of the matter is that we have nothing to go on from either campaign. Romney and Ryan have made big promises; creating 12 million jobs, 20% tax cuts, reinvigorated economy. Not one detail on how they would do that. Not one. There only line is that Mitt is a business man and has done  so outstandingly well in business he is qualified to be president. Yes Mitt has done well, but many many people have done better. Mitt isnt even on the Fortune 400 list. Obama on the other hand also has nothing to say, no new ideas, no longterm vision. He cant answer why he would be able to create more jobs in his second term or grow GDP. Nope, no answers. None. Also, no vision for what he would like to do, no specifics. Just a whole lot of generalities. To me this is completely unacceptable from both campaigns. Its unacceptable the media isnt better prepared to ask tougher questions and call the candidates out. On one of the shows a Romney surrogate said history shows us tax cuts have always led to a thriving economy. What kind of bullshit is that; how the interviewer couldnt ask what about the George W. Bush tax cuts, how they created no new net jobs, and how they are one of the biggest parts of our debt. How does a statement like that go unchallenged. Its astonishing to me.

The fact of the matter is that I think Barack Obama has been a horrible president; as I have said on here many times, he should be doing more, creating more jobs, helping the long term unemployed get work. I do believe Mitt Romney would be far worse; he has had so many opinions on so many subjects, sometimes changing opinions on the same day, he cannot be trusted to be president. He is not strong enough to stand up to the tea party; he would be a farce on the worlds stage. Obama is the only way to go; he must win and I urge everyone to vote for him.

Although, deep down, I wish Hillary challenged Obama in the primaries and was the Dem candidate now. I think she would be a fantastic candidate, unlike the two we have now.

Rating The People That Bring You The News

Ok,  so today I thought I’d do something different and rate the newscasters of the day.  These people will be in no particular order and they are my views, yours may differ, if so tell me:

Barbara Walters – A pioneer in the business, led the way for many women.  She was the first woman to do just about everything in journalism.  Even though she has interviewed world leaders she is a bit tabloid-esque for me, meaning she is better on the stories that are salacious than real news.

Diane Sawyer – I can’t stand her; for some reason she has always turned me off.  I don’t like her style, don’t like the way she interviews people.  She kind of comes across as insincere and above it all.

George Stephenapolous – I like him a lot, I really like the way he interviews people on the political show ‘this week’.  I think he has an excellent combination of asking tough questions without being an annoying bulldog.

David Gregory – I think he is terrible.  He does not ask provocative questions, he does not ask good follow up questions.  What he is doing as moderator of NBC’s marque program is a mystery.  His goal seems to be to make a headline, period.  Not inform the audience, get more information; just to get a headline.  He should be replaced.

Wolf Blitzer – Another one who is just not good.  He is always breathless, always self promoting other CNN shows, his blog; all to the point of distraction.  His interview skills are mediocre and his hyper style just makes me want to turn the channel.  And, how CNN gets away with ‘Breaking News’ ‘This Just In’ when its been online for hours is an embarrassment to CNN and their credibility.

Candy Crowley – Now I think she is one of the unsung heroes at CNN; I think she gives an excellent interview, asks tough questions and is really very good.  I think CNN should use her more than they do, she is a gem!

Brian Williams – I don’t really watch him too much so I don’t have all that much to say, but that voice is surreal.  Its like you are watching a parody of what newscasters are like, not a real person.

Katie Couric – I find her delightful, she is better at soft news than hard news but I think she has a nice relaxed style of interviewing people, she is at ease, she is humorous.  I hope her new show goes well, I like her.

Chris Matthews – Now he is a piece of work; he always interrupts people, gets excited and seems like a barking dog.  But, I enjoy his show, I enjoy the way he doesn’t let anyone off the hook, he makes people answer his questions and doesn’t let them get away with answering with talking points.  I just wish he wasn’t so obviously a democrat, by being so up front about that it brings his fairness credibility down a notch.

Chris Wallace – I think he gives an excellent interview.  He equally pushes Dems and Rs to answer his questions and not get away with avoiding them.  He asks good questions and in turn is good to watch.  His drawback is that he is clearly asking questions from the Republican standpoint and view his show as the balance to the left leaning media.  That says he is right leaning, which is not what we need, we need honest, unbiased news.

I am only giving my point of view of people I actually watch, so if some are missing it is probably because I don’t watch their shows.  Or I could have forgotten a few.  If you agree or disagree let me know.

Santorum, Romney, Obama — We Deserve Better

Yesterday I was watching the Sunday News shows, as usual, and was appalled at an interview on Meet The Press conducted by Savannah Guthrie.  She was interviewing Rick Santorum, she could not have been more condescending, shrill or quite frankly obnoxious.  She must have asked him 4 times if he was getting out of the race, she interrupted him many times.  She made reference to, at one point, asking Mr. Santorum if he understood what she was saying, accusing him basically of being stupid.  I have only seen Ms. Guthrie one other time when she hosted MTP, and I was equally unimpressed then.  Nothing she did in particular then stuck out in my mind, just that she was a rude woman who  talked down to her guests and constantly interrupted them, almost like a pit bull.  The encounter with Rick Santorum should be looked at by NBC, they should never have her moderate that show again; it was a complete embarrassment.

Now I am no fan of Rick Santorum, as an openly gay proud married (to another man) man I think his views on homosexuality outrageous.  He keeps talking about his religious beliefs, which are very disturbing.  I am not religious at all, but I would think (hope) that the main principles in all religions would be to love and except all other people, respect their religious beliefs as you want them to respect yours and to not judge people.  Rick breaks each and every one of those principles.  He can believe whatever he wants, but he needs to accept other people have other beliefs, instead he just spouts his beliefs like a child, without once voicing support for other peoples beliefs.  This in itself should be a sin.   How do you pick and choose what you want to believe from the bible?  The bible says women are the property of their husbands; slavery is fine; people should be stoned to death for things like adultery, its ok to kill your neighbor if you see him working on a Sunday.  All of this can be overlooked, but the party about being gay he clings on to.  Guess what Rick, maybe god put gay people here for population control.  I think you are a disgrace to the Catholic religion, not just for your bigoted stance on gays but also for your closed mindedness and lack of respect for people who have differing views than you do.  You seem to have no compassion for anyone with differing views.

Just a few words on Mitt Romney; a car elevator?  Its ok to be rich, its fantastic actually, but the things you say not only make you seem out of touch with main stream Americans, they make you seem like you are from another planet.  I have never seen a candidate who is so awkward, so stiff and robotic, so opinion less.  I certainly hope that you are not the nominee, and certainly not ever president of this country.

Barack, I’ve said it a thousand times on this blog, why can’t you get better messaging?  Why?  Everyone hates the healthcare bill because no one knows whats in it.  Everyone thinks you are doing a mediocre job because you don’t talk about your accomplishments.  The Republicans have painted a picture of you and most of our country is believing it.