Our linkfest taking you to sites with varying opinions.
Is Jenna Bush Being Treated Like Royalty? There were some rumblings about how GWB daughter Jenna Bush is being treated like royalty after she got a non-political gig on ABC’s Good Morning America. But as Jules Crittenden points out here such criticism often seems to downplay or ignore the role of the Kennedys as seeming American royalty.
Pointing to the Bush political and cultural dynasty without noting the Kennedy political and cultural dynasty doesn’t tell the entire story. And some of the brooha-ha about ABC seems to ignore the fact that her job will be part time and non political. But here is the hitch: if former President George Bush’s first real sit down interview is with any ABC program media critics and ABC’s political critics will ask whether this was party the point all along: to get a big “get” that’s be a bigger “get” than Jenna Bush. Its hard to believe ABC would allow itself to fall into that trap. Or..?
Speaking Of The News Media there is now an ongoing debate about the mainstream media’s news judgement.
Alberto Gonzales Backs Eric Holder’s Decision To Investigate Torture according to the Washington Times. So does this mean Dick Cheney considers Gonzales a politically motivated RINO who doesn’t care about keeping American safe? (Just asking…)
Obama and the Polls: He’s facing some perilous polling trending since support is eroding among some core constituencies. A new Zogby interactive poll shows Obama’s support in a southward nose dive. Is he displeasing those on the right, those on the left and some in the center? The big question: does this White House have the political smarts to regain any of these key pillars or do a political course correction? David Brooks says no President has fallen this fast in polling and that if the Democrats use the reconciliation process to pass healthcare reform it’ll be suicidal.
Why Did Republican Conservatives “Win” August Politically? Former Clinton Labor Secretary and blogger Robert Reich says he knows why.
The Latest New Media Old Media Battle: It’s Time’s Joe Klein versus Salon’s Glenn Greenwald. Here’s Klein. Here’s Greenwald. And the confrontation that touches on the issue of what is a private communication is generating a variety of reactions such as here, here, here and here.
Could Afghanistan Do to Obama’s Agenda What Vietnam Did To LBJ’s? Andrew Malcolm looks at the bad news from the war front. Conservative columnist George Will has called for the U.S. to get out — which is also sparking some debate. But is what is needed more troops in Afghanistan?
The Release of the Lockerbie Bomber: Was that the suicide of the West?
Get Ready For Controversy and Demonstrations In NYC: Guess which anti-semitic leader whose election led to riots in the streets, charges of a fixed election and the security-forces murder of a young woman who was protesting is coming to dinner? Read Ed Morrissey.
How Bad Is The Healthcare Criisis In The U.S? Some American seniors are moving to Mexico to get cheaper care there..
Fox News All Cheney All The Time: It’s always enlightening to watch Fox News’ kid gloves interviews with former Vice President Dick Cheney (which is why Cheney should soon get a regular show with Chris Wallace as his sidekick). But yours truly, who used to work in the media and who was trained as a journalist, isn’t the only one who notices. Dick Polman has a must read. But here are a few parts of it. Firstly, Polman is on vacation but Cheney’s latest inspired him to write:
Nevertheless, as I sat in a restaurant yesterday, sure enough, there was Dick Cheney grousing on the TV monitor, in a video clip from Fox News Sunday. I couldn’t help but wonder what had sparked his ire (yet again), and what fact-challenged assertions he was undoubtedly inflicting (yet again) on the Sunday audience.
It turns out that Cheney doesn’t like the Justice Department’s decision to investigate whether CIA operatives broke the law while questioning suspected terrorists; in Cheney’s words, “it offends the hell out of me, frankly.”
That’s a good one. Dick Cheney, who marched us to war with a litany of lies (many of them uttered on Sunday talk shows), declares that he is offended by the Justice Department’s attempt to uphold the rule of law. Could attorney general Eric Holder possibly garner a better endorsement for his decision?
Cheney argued yesterday that torture has worked. He told Fox News that his “sort of overwhelming view” is that torture has been “absolutely essential in saving thousands of American lives, in preventing further attacks against the United States.” The torture, he said, has “worked very, very well.”
It’s amazing. This guy’s credibility was shredded years ago, yet he still gets air time; indeed, his latest assertions were shredded before he even taped his Fox appearance.
And on Wallace?
Fox News didn’t challenge Cheney on any of these points. Chris Wallace didn’t ask him about the CIA Inspector General’s comments, or Townsend’s comments, or Reagan’s legacy. By contrast, we had this scintillating Q&A exchange about the Justice Department’s decision to launch its torture probe:
Wallace: “You think this is a political move, not a law enforcement move.”
(Definitely side-kick material if Cheney gets his own show.) Read it in its entirety.
Here’s Proof That There Are Second Acts In Scandal Plagued Political Stories: Guess which disgraced former Governor of New York is considering running for U.S Senate?
The 10 Most Embarrassing Town Hall Moments For Democrats: Listed by Right Wing News’ John Hawkins.
UPDATE: Are the Democrats In Serious Danger Due To Disappointment In Their Own Ranks? The Daily Kos’ Kos looks at a poll and notes that Obama’s evaporating support and writes:
Problem is, Democrats are losing ground at far bigger rates. People are unsure whether Democrats have what it takes to enact real change, and deliver on their grand promises from the 2006 and 2008 campaigns.
With Independents potentially sitting this next election out (as the numbers hint at), we’re in bad shape in a base election. Core Republicans are engaged and solidly home. Democratic constituencies are wavering (look at those African American numbers). The only key Democratic constituency to have moved more Democratic are young voters — from +30 Democratic to +37, but only because they are abandoning Republicans at a bigger rate than Democrats. And even those gains are threatened by the (non) geniuses in DC seriously contemplating a health care mandate without cost controls (like the public option).
At current rates, any 2010 losses would not stem from any resurgence in conservative ideology — Republicans are simply not making any significant gains anywhere — but in a loss of confidence in Democrats. There’s a way to change that dynamic — deliver on the promises made the last two election cycles. Failure to do that would make cynics out of too many idealistic political newcomers, while turning off base activists who do the hard on-the-ground work of winning elections.
Seems pretty obvious out here, outside the Beltway, and the numbers bear it out, but there’s no indication that Democratic Party leaders in DC — from Obama to Reid — are fully aware of how dangerously close they are to setting the stage for an electoral drubbing in 2010.
Kos, of course, writes from the perspective of a progressive. But it again raises the issue of whether Obama is caught in a political pincer which will leave him little “wiggle room” since no matter in which direction he moves, he can lose support. And the Democrats increasing disunity is countered by Republiicans’ increasing unity. So, as he notes, in a “base election” the Demmies could be in big trouble.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.