TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads

Good morning, everyone, and welcome back to your well-rested liveblog of the Sunday morning garbage monsters and their teevee shows. My name is Jason, and I have not been in the United States lately. Did I miss anything important?

We did not have a liveblog last week because I was in Ontario, Canada, most likely at brunch during this time. If I've successfully conned you into following me on Twitter, you probably already know how this went. I saw some famous waterfalls, experienced the wonder of Niagara-on-the-Lake's quirky micro-climate, and then did the usual touristy things in Toronto. The people we met in Toronto were very nice and sort of weirded out by the way we weren't too fazed by the wave of high heat and humidity that plagued the city during our visit. "Oh, this is actually a little bit nicer than it is in Washington, DC at the moment," we'd say.

"Oh, ha-ha, a crack-smoking mayor, you say? Been there, done that, actually he got re-elected to various offices a couple times after that," we would continue. Of course, that's where the comparisons typically ended. I'm not sure you could get a "This Town" sort of book out of Toronto, though we did encounter some mosquitoes on the Centre Island that were indistinguishable from Capitol Hill staffers. Also, they manage to have a just and equitable and efficient health care system in Canada that everyone LOVES, so that's different, too. I talked to one small business owner who caught a nasty bacterial infection in his leg, that nearly killed him and did end up laying him up for a couple of months. He basically had his life saved, and was taken care of during his recovery, with daily home visits by nurses, and none of it cost him a penny.

I explained to him that American critics of Canadian health care would say that he maybe got great medical care at no cost, but he did so at the expense of his Freedom (TM). He was like, "LOL." Then he went back to happily running his awesome business, instead of being dead.

Also they had ice wine, which is pretty great. But vacations must come to an end and so I am back to watch the Sunday chat shows so you don't need to. As usual, please feel free to converse in the comments. drop me a line if need be, follow me on Twitter if you can tolerate it, and whenever you get bored waiting for more of my typing today -- or during the week -- I invite you to check out my Rebel Mouse page, which I try to keep regularly updated with fun and diverting reads.

Okay, let us begin.


We are going to have some mediapoop about race in America today, with neurosurgeon-turned-infotainer Ben Carson and Maryland Representative Donna Edwards. Also, Detroit is almost as bankrupt as everything that's been written about Detroit's bankruptcy, so city manager Kevyn Orr is going to mansplain all of that to us today, too. Plus a panel and stuff.

But first, it would seem that a sizable portion of America would prefer it if black kids didn't get shot for sport by Saturday-evening cop wannabes when they buy iced tea from our vital convenience store sector of our economy, and have basically hullabalooed about that enough to draw out President Obama, to say some things about the matter. So what do Ben Carson and Donna Edwards think about all of this? I guess we're going to find out.

Carson says that "our opinions are based upon our life experiences" and "in a situation like this" he can "understand why there is so much outrage" about the death of Trayvon Martin, but he also acknowledges that we have a legal system that's "not a perfect system" but that's "what we have." Wallace didn't ask Carson to summarize Obama's remarks, but there you go, a capsule summary anyway.

Wallace asks Edwards if it was constructive for Obama to talk about race (it should be pointed out that Wallace has, for his own part, taken the side that Obama wasn't trying to stoke tensions but rather relieve them, so he is just teeing up questions in a genial fashion here) and Edwards says, sure it's appropriate, and it's appropriate to share experiences -- like being shadowed while shopping, that "give a voice" to everyone who has had similar experiences.

What about making a Federal case out of this? Edwards says that in terms of filing Civil Rights chargesm there are limits to what can be done, and she thinks that the White House and the Department of Justice understands that. She also reckons that if, ultimately, there's no Federal charges filed, people will accept that as proper and just.

What about an economic boycott of Florida? Edwards says she "hasn't examined that" and says that there "hasn't been a unanimous call" in the Congressional Black Caucus about supporting a boycott, "in fact we haven't even discussed the matter."

Carson explains that he was once asked why he doesn't talk about race that often, and he says it's because he spends his time examining the human brain, which makes "people who they are," not their covering, which is a pretty nice answer, if we're talking about the path by which we one day put all of our prejudices and our bullshit behind us. We are maybe a few steps back up the road from actually grokking that.

Wallace points out that blacks disproportionately perpetrate violent crimes, and are disproportionately victimized by violent criminals. For my part, I hope that someday, more black people get to do things like run big banks into systemic, economy destroying failure, like white people get to do without fear of any consequences.

Edwards says that every time they take up the issue of fighting poverty or improving education, lawmakers are doing what needs to be done to ameliorate these problems. Wallace comes back asking if things like filing Civil Rights charges or calling for an economic boycott of Florida are distractions from that. Edwards pretty much made it clear a few minutes ago that she wasn't too into either of those things, but whatever! She says that just because some people have called for those things, it doesn't mean that's all they are doing. "We're not one-trick ponies," she says.

Edwards and Carson fall out over something. I think that Carson is taking the position that more people need to have "intelligent discussions" instead of conflicts, and Edwards says the people like her African-American aides just need to be able to go to work without being hassled by law enforcement every day.

Hey, so we're suddenly interested in Detroit. And, hey there, Irony, how you doing today? Oh, ha, you say you have Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr for me -- the guy who will ultimately decide who gets righted and who gets wrecked without ever having to face any personal accountability for those decisions? Hey, you are right, Irony, I should be careful what I wish for.

Anyway, some county judge has stepped in to halt the bankruptcy proceedings. Here's why:

Ruling the governor and Detroit’s emergency manager violated the state constitution, an Ingham County Circuit judge ordered Friday that Detroit’s federal bankruptcy filing be withdrawn.

“It’s absolutely needed,” said Judge Rosemary Aquilina, observing she hopes Gov. Rick Snyder “reads certain sections of the (Michigan) constitution and reconsiders his actions.”

The judge said state law guards against retirement benefits being “diminished,” but there will be no such protection in federal bankruptcy court.


Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Detroit, said Friday that Aquilina’s ruling justifies the need for congressional hearings on whether Detroit is misusing the bankruptcy process to slash retiree pensions and health insurance coverage.

Well, of course they are because the whole point of "emergency management" as an alternative to "representative democracy" is to make sure the public sector employees bear the brunt of fiscal mismanagement. Orr has contended that the judge's decision is incorrect, because if he doesn't get to rook all the public sector employees then being the "Emergency Manager" of Detroit won't actually be any fun.

Anyway, all of this is "in litigation" so Orr is "limited in what he can or should say," so I guess it was really smart booking this guy!

Wallace asks if Orr isn't really just planning to screw all the people who've worked for Detroit their whole lives, and Orr says, "There's a real issue there." Nevertheless, he promises a "dialogue" with the stakeholders, and arrive at "concessions." But are there going to be "cuts?" Orr says that there are going to be "adjustments," because we speak Newspeak now, I guess. Orr says he is "empathetic about the problem" but that "we have crossed the Rubicon" and now the Gauls have to get slaughtered.

What can Michigan or the Federal government do to help? Orr says that the expectation is that no one will or should help them.

You know that you are probably screwed when the only guy coming to defend you is Steven Rattner, but apparently Steven Rattner is about all Detroiters have left right now, in terms of defenders. In a New York Times piece from Friday, Rattner contended that "the 700,000 remaining residents of the Motor City are no more responsible for Detroit's problems than were the victims of Hurricane Sandy for theirs, and eventually Congress decided to help them."

Orr disagrees with the idea that what happened to Detroit was akin to a natural disaster and you have to concede that, I'm afraid.

Wallace is pretty up to speed with the structural factors that have impeded Detroit, and continues to contend that city leaders who made commitments they couldn't keep are more responsible for the current problems than the civil servants who lived their lives in the city and are now seemingly poised to be first before the firing squad in this Grand Emergency Management Revolution. Orr agrees that one of Detroit's larger problems is the fact that the city is a sprawling, piece of real estate that can't be adequately serviced by a cash-strapped municipal government.

Wallace notes that the bankruptcy filing has been deemed a mistake by some, citing Standard and Poor's' downgrade of the city's credit rating. The good news, for Detroit, is that Standard and Poor's has recently admitted that everything they have to say about anything is a hot load of gossamer horseshit and that no one should take them seriously.

Anyway, that's what's going on in Detroit, a place that's actually only slightly more dysfunctional from the place where you live, so I wouldn't get too cocky.

Okay, so let's panel with Bill Kristol and Kirsten Powers, along with super-noob Scott Brown and the soulless sold-out skin-sack doing business under the name "Evan Bayh."

Is Obamacare failing? Kristol says it is. Powers says it's not. Brown says it is, and he misquotes Max Baucus -- who did not say that the ACA was a trainwreck, he said that the money that HHS moved out of the budget for promotion and public information was a potential train wreck. Dave Weigel explains the whole weird history of this paranormal activity here. We should commend Dim Scott for mastering the novice level of pundit hackery, even if it is of an early-May vintage.

The soulless sold-out skin-sack doing business under the name "Evan Bayh," says that the "far left" is the same sort of monstrous people are the "far right" because wanting millions of more people to have insurance through something like single-payer is DEFINITELY the same thing as wanting millions of more people to have less health care coverage.

And the soulless sold-out skin-sack doing business under the name "Evan Bayh," like Dim Scott, also misquotes Max Baucus. It is like a Hack Pundit Pileup.

Wallace wants to know if the decision to delay the employer mandate has "shaken supporters." Powers says no, and sort of makes distinctions between the employer mandate and the individual mandate. What she needs to do, though, is point out that the employer mandate is pretty unimportant. If Obamacare was a car, the employer mandate would be the vanity mirror on the sun visor -- something that's not ultimately necessary and perhaps should just be stricken from the law altogether. She doesn't do that, and so Kristol can contend that there's "no intellectual argument for delaying the employer mandate and not the individual mandate" because the "individual mandate is more complicated." Of course, that's not an intellectual argument either. In fact, it sort of just helps underscore the relative unimportance of the employer mandate.

Now our panel of infotainers is going to talk about Trayvon Martin, so I guess I'm going to have to bear witness to that, then. Kristol objects to people using the trial as a larger symbol or as an avenue for demagoguery, which is sort of ironic. He doesn't have any real objection to President Obama talking about it. Powers doesn't have any real objection either.

For some reason, we are asking Dim Scott about black-on-black violence. He word-salads that "civil rights leaders" should "get involved in that very real effect."

"Because if we don't start addressing that right away," Brown says, "it's only going to get worse."

Yes, people should begin to talk about that, I guess. "HUH. CRIME. BOY, I DUNNO."

Wallace is sort of dimwitting up the place with this obsession. He really can't let go of the fact that there are other problems that could get the focus of the Zimmerman trial, so why aren't they getting the focus? And he's basically blaming "black leaders" and "civil rights leaders" for this. In truth, "black leaders" and "civil rights leaders" focus on a wide range of problems, and are really forceful in their "let's look in the mirror" criticism of their own communities. The only reason Wallace's perspective is different is because he and his infotainment peers do not give a tinned shit about these matters until something like the Zimmerman trial makes these matters super-sexy. PUNDIT-HACK, HEAL THYSELF.

The soulless sold-out skin-sack doing business under the name "Evan Bayh," helpfully says that this is just a "tragedy" and we "need to move beyond that," and "we need to move in a positive direction" and I'm sure that he will really contribute to those efforts through all of his lobbying activities.

Scott Brown comes out in favor of people coming together and being nice.

Helen Thomas has died and the panel has opinions. Powers says that she was a "trailblazer" and the "first woman to be a White House Correspondent" and she "asked tough questions that made people angry." Kristol says he that he's "gotten past" the comments about "Jews getting out of Palestine," and goes on to laud her work ethic and her career. Wallace generically joins in.

Now Wallace is interviewing Mark Leibovich, whose "This Town" I am still in the middle of reading, because I went on vacation to Canada and managed to stop caring about this sort of stuff for a week. So far, it's very funny! And what's kind of interesting about reading the book is that as you read it, it actually awakens that weird scumbag part of your psyche that likes telling you that you should WANT to have your picture on the wall of the Palm, or that you should WANT to hang out at Tammy Haddad's brunch, and you just sort of have to catch yourself and remind yourself that, in fact, you don't want those things at all, because you value being able to look at yourself in the mirror and not feel a deep-rooted shame.

That seductive pull is sort of the important part of the book, which is largely about the way that Barack Obama's team was extravagantly against all of Capitol Hill's shallowness, before rather extravagantly succumbing to it.

Full disclosure! I show up in the book, by virtue of having written this, and that alone is sufficient enough to tweak my ego. So, hooray, I can be a vain, super-pillock as well! For this reason, I sometimes find myself missing the version of myself that lived in Canada for a week.


We conclude our summertime tribute to the Chris Matthews Show, which bravely ran for only thirty minutes and was super-formulaic -- both qualities that made it the perfect show for Sundays I wanted to be lazy and not subject myself to three hours of this crap. Today is, I think, the last episode of this show, which means we'll get a listicle of thoughts from the cloud computer that is Matthews' favorite guests. Then they shall turn out the lights, and most people will slowly forget that "David Ignatius" is a thing.

Today, apparently Chris and his army of thought-havers will take up the matter of America's future and we will award full points to anyone who quotes Tony Soprano, thusly: "It's good to be in something from the ground floor. I came too late for that and I know. But lately, I'm getting the feeling that I came in at the end. The best is over."

Give Matthews credit for prescience. The first inquiry is whether or not we'll ever get to the point where race will be "irrelevant to that person's hopes." Michelle Norris says that she hopes "race" never becomes "irrelevant" but that "racism" does. She cites the fact that the definitions of "race" are changing and becoming more "multi-hued" and less simple. In the future, she imagines that a person's racial background will become an "important part of a personal portfolio" but nor "hold people back."

Matthews says that Obama's presidency has changed the way a non-white American can see their future, as perhaps being more limitless than it was before. My colleague Howard Fineman agrees and notes that now it's "okay for everyone" to aspire to be president.

Clarence Page makes a great joke about how Hollywood's basically made being the President a "black job." He goes on to note that poor whites still outcumber poor blacks in America, but it's not "culturally chic" to dwell on their poverty.

Slight shift to immigration, as Matthews wants to know if the shift from "illegal aliens" to "undocumented immigrants" reflects a culture in which prejudices aren't as ignorant, or merely a culture in which politically correct norms are enforced more stringently. Michael Duffy says that it's "both."

Is America going to be the "lone superpower" in two decades? "With any luck we won't," says Andrew Sullivan, who says the "transition to a post-imperial America is overdue, and I welcome it." He also notes that between the time that the Chris Matthews Show began, and today, he went from someone who had to contend for his right to me married, to being married at last.

FIX THE DEBT OMG OMG, blathers Bob Woodward. David Brooks briefly steals Tom Friedman's schtick. He is bullish on the future because of how quickly we can "join networks." Why haven't you rural poor joined LinkedIn? Tsk, tsk, rural poor!

Katty Kay is pretty sure that the "entrepreneurial spirit" is still alive in America, and she's concerned that "the government might get in the way of that." But I'd have rather she contended with Matthews' question, which was more about whether a kid born in America today is going to have a shot to outpace his parents in terms of economic mobility. And the truth is that right now if you want to end up affluent then you'd better be born into affluence in the first place. Sorry, guys! Remember, you came in at the end.

Joe Klein explains that Europe has cooler stuff than we do because they have fewer people and a smaller geographic area.

"We do find ourselves at way," says Matthews, ruefully, "How good is that getting." I'll admit it, I am going to miss these sorts of inquiries.

David Ignatius says that the good news is that the information age is so populist that authoritarian regimes are "failing" as a result. Ehhhh. I don't know about that. There is a learning curve to all things, including authoritarianism.

Ha, so the rest of this show is going to be one long champagne toast to Chris Matthews. The epilogue to Mark Leibovich's book is basically writing itself, as flutes are passed to the panelists by tuxedo-clad PA's.

Michael Duffy very quickly horks his flute back. Easy does it, drunky, pace yourself.

Chris Matthews says that "some politicians continue to make the mistake of thinking that if they're friendly with somebody then they're not dealing with a reporter." LOL.

Matthews says that everyone learns from each other, and it's amazing that some people know different things than other people.

Kelly O'Donnell says that she likes the way Chris Matthews padded out the half-hour by just putting long Saturday Night Live clips in the show. I too applaud that, because I was always able to get up and use the loo.

We actually get to some things that the show accomplished that we should remember it for. Andrew Sullivan and Matthews share a nice moment in which the former applauds the latter for always giving marriage equality a haven, and treating his love for his husband just as a simple, normal, human thing. And Katty Kay properly lauds Matthews for being one of the few shows on which you'll find more than one woman sitting on the day's panel. The diversity on this show has always been really remarkable. Matthews credits his producer, and says that lessening the testosterone level really helps the discussion.

Okay, well, this part of the show has now dragged on past the point that it needed to -- Matthews is now somehow talking about Spencer Tracy.

The show concludes with Matthews saying that it's been totally awesome having this show and meeting with "caring, thinking, hopeful people" and learning about life. He will still be on Hardball, he notes, but the Chris Matthews Show was the Manic Pixie Dream Girl of Sunday morning, and now it's over.

Cheers, Chris! Sorry that you didn't end up hosting MEET THE PRESS, like you probably wanted, but I think we can both look at that heap of garbage and conclude that you actually dodged a bullet there.


Okay, so This Week will attempt to infotain us about race in America for a few minutes, too, beginning with clips from Obama's press room discussion of the matter, and continuing with...uhm...a discussion of Detroit? Okay! Whatever.

Anyway, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, who ran Detroit before Michigan switched to a whole new system of governance that trades the franchise known as "citizenship in an electoral democracy" for "let's just do some corporate America approved stuff and shut up about things like 'rights' because why not?" is here to...I don't know...make noises and gesticulate?

“I’m surely hoping that this will be a new start. Detroiters are a very, very resilient people,” he says, adding that “Detroit is a very iconic city, worldwide, and our people will fight through this.”

But is Federal assistance coming? Bing says that "it’s very difficult right now to ask directly for support.” This would be slightly different if Detroit was a city of sketchy rebels, some with ties to al Qaeda, who need weapons to shoot some people, and then later probably kill Americans with. Anyway, Bing says that while he's gotten "great support from this that we’ve done our bankruptcy filing, I think we’ve got to take a step back and see what’s next.”

Bing says, "“There are over 100 major urban cities that are having the same problems that we’re having. We may be one of the first, we are the largest, but we absolutely will not be the last. And so we’ve got to set a benchmark in terms how to fix our cities and come back from this tragedy.”

That's a fun way of looking at this! Detroit is sort of like putting a man on the moon, if the moon was a bankrupt city, and you wanted to actually get that man off that moon.

Stephanopoulos says that the Detroit bankruptcy "comes against the backdrop" of President Obama's remarks on race. This is only true because of the coincidences of timing, and not because Detroit is the Trayvon Martin of cities. But this is George Stephanopoulos, and his congenital habit of mistaking all shiny objects for one another. Bing politely blows him off: “It’s a financial issue, and it’s green. We’ve got to get some funding that’s necessary to help us fix our problem right now.”

“The polarization between our city and our suburbs is something that’s been going on for the last 60 years,” he says, adding, "If Detroit fails, doesn’t make it, then all these surrounding suburbs are going to feel the brunt of it also."

As Alec MacGillis points out, the whole matter of city-versus-suburbs in Detroit's (mis)fortunes has been overstated. But instead of having Alec MacGillis on a panel we'll have to make do with Matt Dowd and Cokie Roberts and Pierre Thomas and Dana Perino and Van Jones.

What does everyone think about Obama's speech? (Stephanopoulos terms it Obama's "standing his ground," which means we've reached peak tackiness on the issue, folks.)

Dowd says it was a very "telling" speech and that "a big part of the speech was dealing with his part" in his own evolution. He also lauds Obama for lauding approaching the aftermath of the verdict without lapsing into violence.

Jones says that we're better off for the fact that Obama didn't demur on talking about the matter because he is part of the black community. He also says that the people reacting to the verdict are doing sophisticated things in response, like putting legislation together, and that's all for the good.

Perino sort of alleges that the Friday speech made it a "news dump" -- implying that the choice of days had to do with Obama hoping that it would be a little noticed event. I would have thought Perino would be capable of understanding this, but since she evidently does not, I'll point out that the "Friday news dump" traditionally does not involved walking into the press room and standing in front of a few hundred reporters and some teevee cameras and saying things.

A better point that Perino makes is that Obama was essentially signalling that there isn't going to be a Federal civil rights case, which is probably, in all practicality, appropriate. Pierre Thomas, nevertheless, says he has sources that say the Justice Department will examine the possibility anyway.

Cokie Roberts speculates that it was perhaps Sasha and Malia that convinced the President to man up and talk about this. She and Dowd express serious concerns over the "Stand Your Ground" laws. Thomas adds that in the African-American community, there isn't a lot of widespread faith that the legal system will respect their right to stand their ground.

Perino re-emphasizes the fact that Obama is signalling that relief is not coming in the form of a Federal civil rights case.

Jones decides to fight against cynicism, suggesting that we all might be too quick to suggest that people on the right bring up things like black-on-black violence in Chicago solely to score political points. Rather, he thinks that there is a real possibility that a "Jack Kemp"-style "silent" conservative faction exists, which could play a role on a right-left coalition that could come together with an urban-centered policy focus.

Jones inspires the panel to head to a happy and hopeful place. Dowd and Perino cosign that. Dowd notes, also, that we are getting further apart in terms of income class than we are in race, and more focus is needed on those matters as well.

Ted Cruz is a shiny thing, and he went to Iowa, and that's also a shiny thing! So maybe he is shiny shiny Iowa running for President OMGZ because Iowa LOL. So we have a huge segment with Jonathan Karl that essentially build up to this:

KARL: What's going on here, are you running for President?

CRUZ: We are having a national debate about which direction the country should go...and what I am doing now is trying to participate in that national debate.

KARL: Are you ready to run for President?

CRUZ: I'm not focused on the politics.

KARL: Is it fair to say you're not?

CRUZ: John, John.

KARL: You were born in Canada, can be president because Canada though?

CRUZ: My mother is from Wilmington, Delaware.


CRUZ: Blargle!

And so on and so forth. Anyway Cruz also is mad about the background checks bill because Obama was trying to "restrict the 2nd Amendment" by exploiting a tragedy. He also says that it's okay if people want to call him a wacko bird because he will never reciprocate an insult. Mind you, he says that right after saying that President Obama's very core principles are "dangerous." Don't take that personally, I guess!

There is also a colloquy over a Daily Show joke that leads to the revelation that there is something called "Texas syrup" and a "Texas syrup festival." I prefer Texas "sizzzurp," myself.

Cruz also says that Marco Rubio is a swell guy and he likes him but the Gang Of Eight immigration bill is dangerous and wrong too.

"It was like thirty minutes of getting pounded," says Cruz, about a formative life experience. It's more fun to just quote that out of context.

All that said, TED CRUZ IOWA BE PRESIDENT SOON SOMEDAY YES NO? We may never know the answer to that question, unless we do, in which case we will.

Jonathan Karl has tagged out Pierre Thomas so that we can all talk about the 2016 Sexlections and the 2014 Midterm Sexlections. Karl is like, "DUDE MAYBE CHRIS CHRISTIE AND PAUL RYAN WILL RUN. RUBIO! CRUZ! RAND PAUL! WHOOPING! NOISES! COLORS! SOUNDS! SMELLS! A WARM WETNESS YOU CAN TOUCH!" Cokie Roberts adds, "THAT IS FUN."

Ha, Matt Dowd snarks about Ted Cruz saying that he is "humbled" every time he looks at his massive painting of Ted Cruz arguing before the Supreme Court. Fun fact: it is actually a painting of Ted Cruz, depicted as a centaur, arguing before the Supreme Court. (And it actually is humbling for all of us who aren't centaurs.)

Dowd says that Cruz has never demonstrated an ability to "speak to the center of the country." Perino says that Cruz is "a great national politician and a great retail politician." Those two concepts seem to be at odds.

Jones notes that the GOP's rather successful strategy of keeping the House, through redistricting, has made it harder for them to have the conversations that allow their national candidates to take the White House. That's true. It's also true that the Democrats have a fairly winning hand in presidential elections, but in the legislative chambers, they don't benefit at all from having the vast majority of their base located in cities.

Roberts says that it will be hard for would-be GOP Senators to run on "nothing" in 2014, but I guess we're going to find out!

Karl says that the GOP agreeing to allow Obama to have his nominees get a Senate vote as a "cave in." Gah. That's how normalized pointless obstruction has become. Agreeing to simply govern maturely is now a "cave in."

There is some discussion of the Cheney-Enzi race. Karl cautions that it will be a very tough race, and Enzi is not going to be painted as a guy who kept himself aloof from his constituents. Dowd says that "Mike Enzi is not Dick Lugar." Jones says that this is more about Liz Cheney "establishing her brand." I am just happy that Liz Cheney is going to let us all get some page views out of the Wyoming Senate race.

There is a remembrance of Helen Thomas. Perino has fond memories of her, saying that Thomas gave her a lot of encouragement when she assumed the role of Press Secretary. Everyone agrees that she was great. That's about it.

Okay, well, there's another Sunday down, many thousands more to go! Thank you for patiently awaiting my return. I can tell you that I will unfortunately miss one Sunday in August, but not for a while, and anyway isn't August supposed to be the "slow news month?" (Actually, it isn't always that way.)

Nevertheless, we shall return next Sunday and until then, I hope that the week ahead for all of you is a healthy and happy one.

[The Sunday morning liveblog returns on July 28. Until then, check out my Rebel Mouse page for the web's most fun reads.]