Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Most Ridiculous Moment – May 29, 2016


It was an eventful day on the Sunday talk shows. Big topics of the day were, of course, Hillary Clinton's e-mails, Donald Trump's most recent deranged rants, and how exactly Bernie Sanders can still win the Democratic nomination. We also got what may only be 
the beginning of Republican leaders being 
forced to answer awkward questions about the fact that their party's nominee may be 
an unhinged lunatic.

Senator Bernie Sanders was on Meet The Press and Face The Nation. Chuck Todd asked several horse race questions, and only one touching on policy: “Do you want to say that Israel is occupying Gaza?”

Todd asked several questions about Sanders' path to the nomination, finally getting getting Sanders to say “Hey, look, Chuck, California is the Big Enchilada.”

Sanders kept trying to steer the conversation back to issues such as the minimum wage, paid leave, tuition-free college, and climate change, but Todd turned to Clinton's e-mails, asking “Do you think Hillary Clinton needs a clean bill of health from the F.B.I. before she accepts the Democrat nomination?” and 
“Do you think it's important for them to 
find out what the F.B.I.'s going to do before the vote in Philadelphia?”and if Sanders' supporters were “rooting” for Hillary Clinton to be indicted.

On CBS, host Jon Dickerson asked Senator Senders zero questions about substance, likewise asking about about “Hillary Clinton's e- mails and her behavior.”

Sanders replied, “I have been talking about are the issues that really are the issues facing the American people, why the middle class is declining, income and wealth inequality, why kids are leaving school $50,000, $70,000 in debt.” Dickerson then asked if he will have a Super PAC if he is the Democratic nominee.

Todd also had a pointless interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who will succeed Trump as the host of a celebrity game show on basic television. He repeatedly dodged the question of whether he would endorse fellow Republican Donald Trump. Schwarzenegger insisted he still a Republican, and is now focused on spending billions on infrastructure and fighting climate change.

Senator Ron Johnson popped up on CBS. Asked about Trump's plan to ban 1.6 billion Muslims from the U.S., he said, “Let's defeat ISIS. Let's defeat Islamic terror wherever it resides. And what we do need to do is just be a lot smarter in terms of how we do airport security, layered defenses. We need to beef up the number of canine units we use. No technology can be beat the benefits of the nose of a dog.”

On ABC, Senator John Barasso dodged on the Muslim ban, cutting Social Security, and forcibly deporting 11 million immigrants, saying, “We need to talk about border security and whether that's a physical wall on top of an electronic wall on top of e-verify.”

Dragging out the JV Pundit Squad on this Memorial Day weekend, Bill Bennett said he thinks that Paul Ryan will back Donald Trump, but, “I don't think it will happen at the level of those ideas. I think it will happen at the level of even deeper ideas, you know, Article One of the "Constitution," pro-life, other things.”

Bennett also added, “People have to look at the fact that Donald Trump has moved from 
a certain place to another place.”

The pundits are very sad Hillary Clinton didn't has an even worse week, with the explosive revelation that she used a personal e-mail server, which has been known for some time. The New York Times' Mark Leibovich observed, “I mean I think this was a great week for Donald Trump to not say anything. And, of course, I mean so much oxygen was taken by Donald Trump to bring up Vince Foster and what he said about the Mexican judge in San Diego the other day. I mean this is a lot of oxygen being devoted to an issue that, you know, frankly, could have been spent talking about Hillary Clinton.”

It's an article of faith among pundits that whatever Donald Trump does, must be good, at least for Donald Trump.

Chuck Todd said “So far, Trump appears to be a candidate coated in Teflon. Not so much for Clinton. One difference is how each candidate deals with their vulnerabilities. Trump almost embraces the attack. While Clinton struggles to explain.”

While Jeffrey Goldberg observed, “he's not going to stop insulting Mexicans and Native Americans, as he did this week, because it's working and he goes with what works. 
I think that's the simple rule.”

Conservative pundit Kellyanne Conway astutely observed of Trump, “do you know what he's got that Hillary doesn't have? He's actually the nominee of his party. And she's not.” and that President Obama said 'eventual Democratic nominee', “leaving open the possibility that it may not be Hillary Clinton. So I didn't hear him say that he's campaigning for Hillary Clinton and he's endorsed her.”

Things devolved from there, with Chuck Todd asking where does the none of the above vote go? “Does it go to Greens and Libertarians and sort of split?” With Gerald Seib adding, “You know, we shouldn't forget, there's another place the none-of-the-above vote can go, and that's to the Green party.”

Although Trump is one of the most hawkish and militaristic candidates in modern history, Chuck Todd added, “Because you look at Trump as a non-interventionist on foreign policy, and some of those Ron Paul, Rand Paul supporters have drifted toward Trump because they see the main Republican party as too hawkish.”

Robert Costa unfortunately pointed out it's all well to search for other parties, only to find they are crazy too, noting some 'Never Trump' Republicans “were inching close to the idea of maybe supporting the Libertarian ticket. But then they watched these candidates, 
they watched this convention, and they realized it's an imperfect vessel.”

But the most absurd moments came with 
Jon Karl's interview with Trump guru Paul Manafort.

Asked why Trump is still taking gratuitous attacks on prominent Republicans such as Susanna Martinez, Mitt Romney, and Jeb Bush, Manafort said quote “Governor 
Romney is jealous of the fact that the first businessman to be nominated by the Republican party with record numbers, is Mr. Trump, and, uh, with a chance of winning.”

On Governor Martinez, he said “he was talking about the welfare system and how it's out of control in New Mexico.” 

He blasted the pundits, saying, “They said he wasn't going to be able to win a general election, he wasn't going to be able to unite the party. All of these things are wrong. He's proven them all wrong.”

Jon Karl played footage of Trump saying “I want to debate him so badly. I'd love to debate Bernie,” then said, “this is a flip-flop. I mean you heard the tape.” Manafort said “well, what changed is he became the presumptive nominee – he became the actual nominee of the party”

Manafort denied saying Trump was unlikely to choose a woman or a minority for Vice President, because in fact that would be viewed as pandering, even though he did.

Asked if thought the Trump offices are bugged, he said quote “Certainly there are people probably would like to, because there's a lot of good work going on there.”

On Trump bringing up the suicide of Vince Foster, Manafort said “The point is, trouble follows the Clintons everywhere. People are frustrated with all of the drama around the Clinton family and the history of the Clinton family.”

So Trump is teflon, while Clinton struggles, because Trump goes with what works; this will finally be the year of the Green Party and Libertarian Party; Trump has proved he pundits wrong when they said he wouldn't win the general election; and it's Presidential to create drama by leveling long debunked accusations against the Clintons because people are frustrated with all the drama around the Clintons.

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Most Ridiculous Moment - May 1, 2016

Title: "Mocked"

It was a fun day on the Sunday talk shows. Ted Cruz demonstrated, forcefully, why no one likes him; Lindsey Graham reminded us why most people hate Donald Trump; and the pundits treated viewers to their fan fiction of a fantasy world where Republicans and Democrats in Washington are non-partisan and get things done because Barack Obama and John Boehner have a weekly round of golf.

Ted Cruz was on all three shows, where he insisted “the support we're seeing is surging,” and “Republicans are uniting behind our campaign.”

He claimed that “Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and John Boehner are all the Washington cartel. It is the corruption of Washington.”
He said “Hillary is a very smart, committed liberal.” And said of Trump, “he yells, he screams, he curses, or he insults”

Cruz said Trump, of all people, was soft on illegal immigration and is weak and naive for supporting the Iran deal. Martha Raddatz asked, “If you rip it to shreds, then what do you do?”

Cruz answered, “Then what you do is you make absolutely clear to the Ayatollah Khamenei he will not acquire nuclear weapons.”

He showed off his well-known people skills by managing to insult and visibly annoy Meet The Press host Chuck Todd. Cruz spun a conspiracy theory that the media are entirely run by Democrats, and could make millions airing GOP debates, but are leaving money on the table so they can ensure Trump is the nominee. Then as soon as wins, they will turn on him, so Hillary Clinton will win the election.

He said “Even though the media stands to make millions of dollars off of the debate, you hear radio silence from the media about no debates. They're giving up millions of dollars. And the reason is your network's executives are partisan Democrats.”
And, “Suddenly you're gonna hear every day about Donald Trump's tax returns.”
On CBS, host Jon Dickerson asked Cruz if was trying to overthrow the will of the people, asking, “In a situation where delegates over people, won't that lead to riots?”
Cruz answered, “No, it won't, although Donald may do everything he can to encourage riots.”
On the same show, Lindsey Graham endorsed for electing Ted Cruz, saying “I believe Donald Trump's foreign policy is isolationism. It will lead to another 9/11,” unquote He argued for more U.S. force in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya, and expressed fear that Trump will hurt all Republicans, noting “Women and Hispanics hate his guts, for good reason.”

On ABC, Raddatz went to the Clinton e-mail well again, asking Bob Gates, Secretary of Defense under Bush and Obama, if he would know, just by looking a document, that it should be Top Secret. He said no, so the unsatisfied host asked again.

Chuck Todd spoke with CIA director John Brennan about travel to the dangerous land of Europe, asking “How safe will Americans be in places like Germany this summer?” Brennan pointed out authorities have stopped many attacks, prompting Todd to respond, “But there are a lot of plans.”

But the most absurd moments came in the Meet The Press panel. Tom Friedman said of foreign affairs, This is a Waylon Jennings moment,” and observed quote “one of the things that's deeply behind it is the mood in the country for the last eight, ten years has been where the children of permanently divorcing parents.” unquote, to which Todd said, “I don't know if I've heard anybody put it any better than that.”

The entire panel was in agreement in reaction to John Boehner and President Obama appearing in a skit together at the White House Correspondent's Dinner.
Todd said “And all of a sudden I'm thinking, "That's great." And I'm thinking, "Wait a minute. Where was that when America needed it?" and “We all wondered, what if they golfed together all the time?” And “What if they did share a smoke,” with Kristen Welker adding “What would that be like, if they could have actually done that?”

Todd also anticipated possible public reaction, saying “But that kind of comment gets mocked by the partisans on both sides.” and quote “we're going to get mocked right now. 'Oh, there you go. Fournier, Todd, Friedman, all you guys."
Ron Fournier agreed, saying the fact of the matter, that's what leaders do – is you set an example and you set a tone”, and “again, and again, and again, and again.”

So, Ted Cruz mathematically cannot win the nomination until a second ballot at a convention, so the party should unite around him; the media is conspiring to deny him the nomination by not broadcasting yet another debate; Germany is too dangerous visit because of terrorism, while in America this year toddlers have shot 23 people; and although it's well-known Republicans planned to obstruct the President from the start, and were rewarded with articles asking why Obama won't lead, and even now won't consider the current Supreme Court nominee, if only Obama and Boehner smoked together, there would be cooperation in Washington.

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Most Ridiculous Moment – April 24, 2016

Identity Politics”

It was a fun day on the Sunday talks shows. Reince Preibus and Charles Koch worked out their issues on national television, Bill Kristol is trying to get a General sign on to his plan for an independent run for President; and conservatives pundits are worried that America is too driven by “identity politics.”

Bernie Sanders was on ABC and CBS, where he explained his worse showing among low-income voters, by saying “poor people don't vote. I mean, that's just a fact,” and “I would hope that if I am the nominee that on Election Day you're going to see a very, very large voter turnout,” and added, “if we got a voter turnout of 75 percent, this country would be radically transformed.”

On ABC, George Stephanopoulos asked Reince Priebus why so many prominent Republicans, such as Senators John McCain, Mark Kirk, and Kelly Ayotte 
are already announcing they will not go to the Republican Convention. Priebus said,, 
“I don't remember seeing some of those folks at the convention in the past.” Stephanopoulos replied “Well, John McCain was your nominee.”

Priebus also unveiled his general election strategy, saying, “We had two soldiers from Benghazi at the RNC meeting who were
lied to by Hillary Clinton.”

Also on ABC, Jon Karl, sat down with the ninth richest person in the world, Charles Koch. Koch said “absolutely,” the system is rigged in favor of the wealthiest, and, “In favor of companies like ours. Because 
we have this corporate welfare.”

Karl pointed out that, “Republicans are adamant about protecting a lot of these tax breaks.” Koch replied, “absolutely.” Koch agreed Bill Clinton was generally a better President than George W. Bush, and that Hillary Clinton would be possibly be better than another Republican.

Bill Kristol, still mired in the denial stage, advocated for an independent run for President by a Marine General, dismissing skepticism by citing General Dwight Eisenhower, who ran as the Republican nominee.

On Meet The Press, the leader of the 'Stop Trump' movement expressed her “total frustration,” that people keep voting for him, saying, “I don't know why our voters ignored the 15 candidates that might have been able to beat Hillary Clinton.”

With Donald Trump openly mocking the idea of being Presidential, she observed, “it would be funny if it weren't so frightening. 
I mean, this is a guy that's running to be the leader of the free world.” Joy-Ann Reid suggested “that the party is the problem.”

But the most ridiculous moments came with conservative pundit discussion of 'identity politics.' Reihan Salam insisted that, 
“What people are missing is that Bernie Sanders is speaking to a lot of white voters, in many cases, who feel marginalized by the rising place of identity politics in the party, the rising place of African- Americans and Latinos. They don't necessarily think of it that way. But Bernie Sanders is giving them a way to say that, hey, we still have a place at the table.”

Ezra Klein pushed back, saying he was “very skeptical,” and observing, “I think when you look at what's happening with Sanders and the party right now you see fundamentally a generational split.”

The Meet The Press panel discussed possible Democratic Vice Presidential candidates, including Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren, Deval Patrick and Tom Perez. Nicole Wallace, who tried, vainly, to make Sarah Palin a plausible candidate for Vice President, said of the discussion, 
“The identity politics just reek of incredible cynicism to me.”

Chuck Todd said, “Oh, and you don't think we're going to see identity politics on your side?” Nicole Wallace said “the identity, this is where Republicans pull their hair, there's such an opportunity on the Republican side, because this is all about identity politics.
It feels very cynical, it feels very 

So, even the Koch brothers believe Republicans have rigged the system to give benefits to the rich; pundits can't understand why GOP voters don't want to vote for one of their establishment candidates; and the senior advisor of the team that wanted Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the Presidency says the Democrats are wrong for being Clinton-esque and incredibly cynical for 
considering a diverse group of 
Vice Presidential candidates.

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.  

Friday, April 15, 2016

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Paul Manafort – Trump campaign
Maynor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Glenn Beck
Joy-Ann Reid
Molly Ball
Matt Bai
Rich Lowry

Todd: omg Sanders has won 7 out of 8 contests!

Todd: but Clinton left Wyoming 
with more delegates

Todd: Trump has drawn big crowds
while Ted Cruz won all 34 delegates 
in Colorado

Todd: Cruz keeps winning delegates
while Trump is asleep on the job

Todd: Ted Cruz is running circles 
around Donald Trump

Todd: Trump lost lost in Colorado 
and North Dakota

Trump Supporter: we would have lost
Colorado anyway – people here are
sane and not racists

Todd: Trump is hoping to crush
Cruz in New York state

Todd: meanwhile Paul Ryan is
putting out a campaign video

[ break ]

Todd: welcome Mr. Manafort

Manafort: nice to be here Chet

Todd: you're the Delegate Whisperer

Manafort: it's what I do

Todd: Trump completely failed
on getting getting delegates

Manafort: we won a county in Nevada

Todd: oh come on you're were out gunned

Manafort: it's true

Todd: right

Manafort: Trojan delegates have 
no protection!

Todd: you said you will win in May

Manafort: no I said there will be a path

Todd: I see

Manafort: I feel good about
some unbound delegates

Todd: are you in charge now?

Manafort: no Mr Trump is in charge

Todd: good lord

Manafort: along with top advisors
Meatloaf and Gary Busey and Ted Nugent

Todd: you're worked for Gerald Ford
do you even know any delegates under 90?

Manafort: I know how to work 
the process Chad

Todd: Roger Stone threatened any
delegates who don't support Donald Trump

Manafort: he's crazy

Todd: did Stone hire you?

Manafort: no I've known Donald Trump
for 30 years – ever since we were
negotiating a real estate deal and
Roy Cohn helped mediate

Todd: oh how did he do that

Manafort: he put kidnapped my
cocker spaniel and I changed my mind

Todd: Is threatening delegates fair?

Manafort: Ted Cruz is doing that!

Todd: really?

Manafort: he's using Gestapo tactics

Todd: whoa

Manafort: we will be filing complaints

Todd: do you plan on whining your 
way to the nomination

Manafort: I just am totally focused 
on delegates

Todd: is bribing delegates ok?

Manafort: look everyone hates Ted Cruz

Todd: that's true

Manafort: Trump can win
states Romney lost

Todd: you worked for the
corrupt dictator of Ukraine

Manafort: I am the Tom Hagen of politics –
I have only one client Trump and he
insists on never hearing bad news

Todd: will you be careful with
your clients in the future?

Manafort: I'm always careful

Todd: thanks for coming

Manafort: [ slinks off wordlessly ]

[ break ]

Todd: so panel Trump has finally hired
some muscle to get some delegates 
– will this work?

Lowry: this is a campaign built on the
deranged fantasies of one megalomaniac
racist billionaire with a twitter feed 
and a dream

Todd: amazing

Lowry: a convention will favor Ted Cruz
who may be a lizard-person but knows the rules

Todd: Trump says they're going to win

Ball: well what else would they say?

Todd: good point

Ball: the new message is 'Trump isn't 
totally incompetent'

Bai: can Trump convince delegates 
to back him?

Todd: can Ted Cruz?

Reid: no one likes either of them

Todd: but Trump is fun and charming!

Reid: they forget the nuts and
bolts of winning in politics

Todd: he said Trump is in charge
of his own campaign – and he is!

Ball: he really believed he changed
politics and guess what he was wrong

Lowry: people who go to GOP conventions
are fiercely conservative and activists
and those are Ted Cruz people

Todd: as usual Sanders won the
votes but Clinton won the delegates

[ break ]

Todd: welcome Senator Sanders

Sanders: good to be here Ted

Todd: you won Wyoming but lost in delegates

Sanders: yes we are losing
but not by as much as before

Todd: right

Sanders: I can beat Trump

Todd: do you gotta win New York?

Sanders: it's hugely important

Todd: indeed

Sanders: but she's from New York

Todd: can you win without winning New York?

Sanders: darn tootin I can

Todd: all right

Sanders: its too late for anything 
but a revolution

Todd: Claire McCaskill says its
sexist to call Clinton unqualified

Sanders: that's absurd

Todd: it is?

Sanders: Hillary's team has
has gone after us very hard

Todd: I see

Sanders: look at this headline
written by the Washington Post!

Todd: it's something else

Sanders: she loves Henry Kissinger!

Todd: don't we all

Sanders: she has terrible judgment

Todd: she does

Sanders: she supported NAFTA and
loves fracking and raised money 
from Wall Street

Todd: you haven't released tax returns

Sanders: my wife is working on it

Todd: I see

Sanders: we're doing out
best to get copies of them

Todd: okay then

Sanders: the wealthy are getting wealthier!

Todd: thanks for coming Bernie

Sanders: you too Chad

[ break ]

Todd: welcome Mayor De Blasio

De Blasio: it's great to be here Charlie

Todd: why is Bernie Sanders so popular?

De Blasio: Hillary is going to win New York!

Todd: how is Hillary different from Obama?

De Blasio: she's going to get things done!

Todd: all right

De Blasio: Hillary she knows Washington!
She knows where all the bodies are buried! Literally!

Todd: what change does she change offer from obama

De Blasio: she's focused on
the needs of children all her life

Todd: okay

De Blasio: she took on the insurers 
back in 1993!

Todd: how did that go?

De Blasio: she has a tough plan to 
take on Wall Street!

Todd: good news

De Blasio: this isn't Political Theory 101
its about tangible change

Todd: did Bernie push her to the left?

De Blasio: she's talked about
this progressive stuff all her life

Todd: yeah but Bernie Sanders is a socialist

De Blasio: well he's driven the conversation no doubt

Todd: doubt free

De Blasio: she's the most
progressive candidate in a generation

Todd: did you break campaign finance law?

De Blasio: no we didn't

Todd: did you use a non-profit to
funnel money to your campaign?

De Blasio: no we didn't

Todd: if you say so
[ break ]

Todd: so panel Trump needs
61% of all remaining delegates

Todd: can do it if he sweeps New York
and New Jersey and Maryland

Todd: and he takes Indiana and Washington

Todd: and he sweeps Montana and does 
well in California and Oregon

Todd: then he gets 1,245 and squeaks in

Todd: but realistically Trump will do
well in the northeast, poorly in Indiana,
he loses Montana, but does well in California

Todd: and he then ends up 72 delegates short

Todd: then we get a crazy-ass multi-ballot
convention and Paul Ryan swoops in and he is the nominee

Todd: what happens them? Will the crazies
lose their minds? To find out we're
going to talk to Glen Beck!

[ break ]

Todd: conservative talk radio is furious about a possible brokered convention

Todd: Beck has endorsed Ted Cruz 
because he is also insane

Todd: welcome Glenn

Beck: good to be here Chit

Beck: what if the take nomination
away from Donald Trump?

Beck: it would be the end of the GOP!

Todd: strong words

Beck: but Ted Cruz is going to the nominee!

Todd: what if Paul Ryan plucks that chicken

Beck: you can't just disenfranchise 
millions of people

Todd: sure you can

Beck: it must be one of the two leaders!

Todd: if you insist

Beck: people already feel
disenfranchised and angry – 
this would only add to it

Todd: true enough

Beck: we don't want to play into
their anger and vitriol and hatred

Todd: you of all people would never do that

Beck: it was Martin Luther King said 
'Obama is going to put us all in FEMA 
concentration camps'

Todd: gonna fact check that one

Beck: the New World Order built
the Denver Airport to lock up talk show hosts!

Todd: Paul Ryan out out a campaign video – is he running for President?

Beck: I don't trust that dork – 
he's in on the conspiracy!

Todd: to do what?

Beck: to cover up the fake moon landing!

Todd: why would he do that?

Beck: because of what Trump's and 
Obama's fathers did at Roswell!

Todd: I don't what to know more

Beck: we need to find our principles!

Todd: so you would prefer Trump 
if it's not Ted Cruz

Beck: Trump would be a disaster
but you can't disenfranchise people

Todd: I think I follow you

Beck: I will never vote for Trump
but if he earns it he should get it

Todd: would you support a third party

Beck: I'm not voting for Trump ever!

Todd: sounds like a yes

Beck: Trump would lose to Clinton!

Todd: good to talk to you

Beck: She killed Tupac!

Todd: thanks for coming

[ break ]

Todd: omg Bill Clinton had a run-in with
people protesting the crime bill from 1994!

Todd: that wasn't Black Lives Matter 
but it looks bad

Reid: his legacy is being criticized
and it makes him mad

Bai: the crime bill was very complicated
black and poor people were the 
victims of crime

Reid: but it was also controversial even at the time

Lowry: it was passed during a
three-decade long crime wave

Reagan and Bush had nothing to do with!

Todd: the Clintons can be condescending 
even when they're right

Ball: well he is the first two-term
President Democratic President since FDR

Todd: the political pandering in New York is out of control!

Todd: Hillary tried to ride the subway!

Clinton: I love the subway

Cruz: L'chaim!

Kasich: fill me with pastrami baby

Sanders: I love pizza!

Lowry: why not – we always get 
Iowa pandering

Ball: New Yorkers love to be pandered to

Todd: Glen Beck right

Lowry: absolutely – Paul Ryan is softy

Todd: my god

Lowry: it's gonna be Trump or Cruz

Todd: wait what about Kasich

Reid: Beck is a self professed uniter who said

Barack Obama hates whites people

Reid: but he's right about Paul Ryan

Todd: he said he hates Trump
but you'd better nominate

Trump or he'll get mad

Ball: that makes no sense at all

Bai: no one is being disenfranchised!

Todd: the parties are private 
organizations after all

Ball: the Republican party not a democracy!

Todd: Trump failed the behind the scenes organization

Reid: the ultimate irony is the
GOP are ignoring base of the party

[ break ]

Todd: Herbert Hoover has joined
the Washington Nationals!

Todd: can you win?

Hoover: yes

Todd: if you don't will you have a great depression?

Hoover: that makes me sad Ted

Todd: and that's another
episode of Meet The Press