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Culture of Truth for VS Sundays: Orthrodoxy

11:58 pm in Uncategorized by California Sherry

Tonight on Virtually Speaking Sundays, political & social analysts digby and Marcy Wheeler consider Aaron Swartz, DOJ, WikiLeaks and PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records); Colin Powell, John Brennan and the CIA, Chuck Hagel and DoD. Jay Ackroyd moderated. They were outstanding! Follow @digby56 @emptywheel @Bobblespeak @JayAckroyd  Listen here.

The VS Media Panel: Avedon Carol, Cliff Schecter, Dave Dayen, Dave Johnson, Dave Waldman, Digby, Gaius Publius, Joan McCarter, Marcy Wheeler and Stuart Zechman.

Each Sunday, political satirist Culture of Truth tracks the Sunday Morning ‘News’ Shows, particularly Meet the Press. In The Bobblespeak Translations he gives us a laugh-out-loud, perceptive rundown, capturing “What They’re Really Saying When They’re Saying What They’re Saying.” Then, for Virtually Speaking Sundays, CoT crafts a short audio commentary, read aloud by one of several readers and capturing the most most ridiculous moment from Meet the Press. We run them as a bottom-of-the-hour segment during our Sunday shows and then at midnight eastern, I post them as stand-alone audio.

Based on this morning’s Bobblespeak Translation – read the whole post here – tonight’s most ridiculous moment is called “Orthodoxy.” Listen to it here.

I’m Culture of Truth,

The Sunday talk shows began on a humorous note, as George Stephanopoulos played a clip from the movie “Lincoln” showing brave statesmen voting for the 13th Amendment, and said the film quote “shows Congressman Clay Hawkins and others breaking with their party to oppose slavery, inspiration perhaps for our next guests, the new chairs of the No Labels movement, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin and former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman.” unquote

After this unintentionally hilarious introduction, the two No Labels gentlemen of course refused to take a position on anything, except to assure viewers concerned about gun violence that both men quote “have been shooting since we were 5 or 6 years old,” unquote, and that Manchin will introduce a bill with conservative John McCain and liberal Joe Lieberman to put together a commission on mass violence, but that he can also quote “guarantee you there will not be an encroachment on your Second Amendment rights” unquote.

On Meet The Press, Mike Murphy said he was quote “puzzled” by the fact that President Obama’s pick to be Secretary of Defense has been called contentious, and also puzzled that there will also be a fight over Jack Lew, who he admitted is “totally qualified to be treasury secretary” unquote. Mike Murphy and Haley Barbour and Andrea Mitchell all pronounced themselves very confused and troubled as to why the President is nominating people he agrees with and not more conservative Republicans.

Colin Powell assured David Gregory that he is still a Republican, but observed quote that “There’s also a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the Party,” unquote.

Gregory expressed fear that with possible spending cuts, quote “we’re on the brink of creating a hollow force.” and asked “Would a Secretary of Defense Hagel preside over the hollowing out of the Defense Department?”

Powell reminded him that people worried about defense spending cuts quote “are the same people who are saying we have got to cut spending,” unquote

Powell blamed the invasion of Iraq on the CIA, saying quote “We subsequently found out that a lot of that information was not accurate and that is very unfortunate but that’s the way it unfolded,” but then a minute later said the war quote “was the correct thing to do and it was well supported by the intelligence.” unquote

But the most troubling moment came in a a discussion of torture. Gregory asked, quote “To the extent that enhanced interrogation techniques played some role in tracking down the courier which led to bin Laden, and I choose my words carefully, do the ends justify the means?” unquote

Powell argued that the military never committed waterboarding or other acts known to be torture, and said quote “we can’t be a nation that is lawless. We cannot be a nation that simply ignores our obligations to ourselves, our obligations to our constitution, our obligations to our own moral standing in the world.” unquote

Without missing a beat, as if he did not hear a single word Powell said, Gregory responded quote: “But the ends justify the means if you get bin Laden in the end?”

David Gregory usually invites classic centrist guests who will agree with his centrist Beltway views, but even if he has a guest who disagrees with this worldview, he either doesn’t hear it, or his brain simply cannot process any deviation from orthodoxy, especially one as fundamental as the idea that the ends justify the means. And that’s the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Satirical Commentary for Virtually Speaking Sundays

4:33 pm in Uncategorized by California Sherry

Each Sunday, political satirist Culture of Truth tracks the Sunday Morning ‘News’ Shows, particularly Meet the Press. In The Bobblespeak Translations he gives us a laugh-out-loud, perceptive rundown, capturing “What They’re Really Saying When They’re Saying What They’re Saying.” Then, for Virtually Speaking Sundays, CoT crafts a short audio commentary, read aloud by one of several readers and capturing the most most ridiculous moment from Meet the Press. We run them as a bottom-of-the-hour segment during our Sunday shows and then at midnight eastern, I post them as stand-alone audio.

Based on this morning’s Bobblespeak Translation – read it here – tonight’s most ridiculous moment is called “B-S:”  (Listen to it here.)

Today on Meet The Press, David Gregory actually got to meet his idols, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles. Gregory watchers were expecting a scene reminiscent of the fan reaction to the Beatles performance at the Ed Sullivan theater, but while Gregory was was clearly excited, he did manage to restrain himself from screaming when they appeared via remote locations. But first, Gregory introduced Senator Mitch McConnell by cryptically informing him quote “As you know, I spent the holidays in Kentucky, in your home state” unquote.

McConnell complained that we have a debt crisis, which threatens to America into Greece, so quote “We were able to get permanent tax relief for 99% of American taxpayers and therefore quote “We’ve resolved the tax issue now. It’s over. It’s behind us.” unquote

McConnell threatened to default on the country’s debts in order to force the President to agree to spending cuts. “It’s a shame” McConnell said, “that we have to use whatever leverage we have in Congress to get the president to deal with the biggest problem confronting our future. And that’s our excessive spending.” unquote

But of course McConnell is really still trying to achieve the old Republican dream from 1930s, finally admitting that by spending cuts he means raising the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security, and means-testing Medicare.

Gregory introduced Simpson and Bowles by comparing the national debt to a family with a large credit card balance, and describing his guests as quote: “two of the nation’s leading voices on fiscal responsibility,” unquote

Bowles got the ball rolling by first announcing quote: “We have got to reform the tax code to make it more globally competitive. We have got to reduce this entitlement spending, particularly as it relates to healthcare.” unquote

Gregory impressed his heroes by bragging that he had asked the President quote “specifically about what he would do on Medicare” and the President defended the value of social programs to seniors and students, prompting Gregory to ask Bowles quote: “what would you specifically call on the president to do on Medicare that he’s been unwilling to do heretofore?”

Bowles responded that we need simplify the tax code, broaden the base, and quote “reduce healthcare spending on Medicare by about $500 to $600 billion over the next 10 years. You’re going to have to do it in some of the ways that Mitch McConnell talked about.” unquote

On Social Security, Alan Simpson said quote “For god’s sake, there were 16 people paying into that and one taking out when I was a freshman at the University of Wyoming. Now there are three people paying into that baby and one taking out and the life expectancy is 78 instead of 60. What the hell? Who’s kidding who.” unquote

So David Gregory finally got his dream guests, who like all people deeply concerned about the debt – which is of course much more important than unemployment – are deeply eager to lower corporate taxes, broaden the tax base, raise the retirement age, and mean-test Medicare. Because they are fiscal conservatives. And that’s the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

On Virtually Speaking Sundays tonight, political & social analysts Joan McCarter and Cliff Schecter discussed guns and public safety, Social Security and the Presidential Legacy.  Listen here. Follow @JoanMcCarter @CliffSchecter @Bobblespeak @JayAckroyd

The VS Media Panel: Avedon Carol, Cliff Schecter, Dave Dayen, Dave Johnson, Dave Waldman, Digby, Gaius Publius, Joan McCarter, Marcy Wheeler and Stuart Zechman.