TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads

Good morning everyone, and thanks for taking time out of your busy-watching weekend to join me, and this semi-live blog, chronicling our Sunday Morning chit-chat about our dumb politics.

Good morning everyone, and thanks for taking time out of your busy TWILIGHT-watching weekend to join me, and this semi-live blog, chronicling our Sunday Morning chit-chat about our dumb politics, which have made pizza a vegetable, hooray! I mean, how is the "Super" Committee going to compete with that? They should just give up, now. (Actually, since they'll probably fail at their job this week, they should maybe just admit it and start their Thanksgiving break early.)

Anyway, my name is Jason, I am back from Baltimore, sorry I couldn't watch these shows with you last weekend. ("Sorry I couldn't watch these shows" is obviously a lie, but it's one of those white lies we tell in polite company, right?) You guys know all the various pre-game suggestions! Feel free to send an email, or say hello to one another in the comments. You may also follow me on Twitter, if you like.

From time to time, you may have to wait a few minutes for more liveblog to appear. While you're waiting, why not check out Willy Staley's "A Conspiracy of Hogs: The McRib as Arbitrage," which I forgot to share with you back when it came out.

Okay, well! Let's begin.


There are three days until the Super Committee's deadline to save the world. So why are two of them, Jeb Hensarling and Xavier Becerra, doing on a teevee show? Shouldn't they be working? The answers to both questions is "LOL," I suspect? Maybe Hensarling and Becerra are just the two people on the Super Committee that nobody likes, and while they are away, everyone else will finally figure everything out, and when Hensarling and Beccera return, they'll be like, "Aw, darn, we really wanted to be here to help," and the other Super Committee members are all, "No, no! You guys totally helped! You brought doughnuts back and stuff! Big help!" Meanwhile Patty Murray is mouthing the words, "These guys totally suck!" to Dave Camp, who's like, "OMG I KNOW WANNA MAKE OUT?"

Anyway, Hensarling is up first. He says, "Nobody wants to give up hope!" So: give up hope. He says that everyone on the Super Committee is really swell and nice and all, but it's a daunting challenge. He then says, "We're not going to give up hope" about a million times. He says that the Democrats haven't done enough to solve the problem of Medicare and that Jim Clyburn was right last week when he said that the Democrats hadn't "coalesced around a position." He says, "there are multiple frameworks out there that could work" and there is some "common ground on tax reform" but then he says, "We haven't given up hope" again.

You should give up hope, because the Supercommittee members are on Sunday Morning Teevee, complaining about one another, not to each other's faces, like sadsacks. This is very "high school sophomore visits the principal's office." The only way this is distinguishable from "Glee" is that no one's attempted to sing an Adele song yet.

"I'm not saying it's anybody's fault," Hensarling says, suggesting that it's the Democrats' fault. "It's not a matter of blame," he says, while blaming the other side. Maybe there will be a last ditch idea to cut the deficit using passive-aggression!

Wallace suggests that the GOP members have just been averse to raising taxes on the rich. Hensarling says that he disagrees. He also notes that "all the bipartisan" plans seem to want to do that, for some reason he can't understand.

How will this end? Hensarling says that he doesn't know. "Nobody wants to give up hope." Wallace wants to know if they'll hold some formal session where each side votes the other down, and Hensarling won't say whether having a formalized session of abject failure is a good idea.

Hensarling regrets that they are going to pass on an opportunity to do something significant about the debt. But the good news is that passing on opportunities to do something about the debt is actually a great way to do something about the debt!

Literally, the best thing Congress could do right now is dedicate post offices to their friends and keep trying to turn pizza into things that pizza is not.

What about the chances that the Pentagon trigger ends up getting changed? Hensarling says that he hopes it will be changed. The whole point though, is that was supposed to be the thing that encouraged the Super Committee to compromise.

Hensarling says that he doesn't think that the markets will react badly to the Super Committee's failure because the triggers will still bring about the promised reduction in the debt. He says he's sad that the committee might miss an opportunity to do something better. Hensarling could, of course, put his name on the "This Is What I Think We Should Do Bill Of 2011," but that would require political courage, and if anyone had that, we wouldn't have a Super Committee. But remember, the good news is doing nothing at all is a great option. Hooray for failure! We're all failing upwards. It's not just Newt Gingrich!

Xavier Becerra is here now, and he says that "we're deep into the fourth quarter" but there's still time on the clock. He also says that the Committee could meet until Wednesday, but Wallace points out that there was a promise to give the CBO two days to score it and allow public scrutiny for forty-eight hours. I think that what Becerra is suggesting is that the outline of whatever they have is good enough to go forward, and leave two more days of negotiating. But it's hard to say. Part of me just suspects that he didn't know the answer to that question.

Becerra says that "the smart way" to solve the problem is to make a deal and avoid the triggers. He says that the "elements of a deal" are still there, and he's not ready to "assume failure." That's too bad, because assuming failure is the best thing you can do right now.

Have the Democrats rejected an increase in the Medicare eligibility age? Becerra says it's "on the table" and would be a part of a deal if the Democrats felt it was part of a "balanced deal." Have they rejected a reduction in the cost-of-living adjustment in Social Security? Basically, the same answer, though he adds that he would "fight like the dickens to take it off." Off the "table." Always the table!

"Every plan that the Democrats have put forward has included cuts to entitlements," Becerra says. "Why should the wealthy escape participation," is the question, he suggests. Wallace asks him about a million times, "Why couldn't you make a deal?" and Becerra just keeps saying that he hasn't given up.

"I think it's a wimpy way out to change the triggers," after a series of votes established them as part of the carrot-stick mechanism. "Even if you think the triggers are dumb?" Wallace asks. But the whole Super Committee is dumb!

Anyway, Becerra and Hensarling are both free to return to the Super Committee and maybe everyone can lay in a puddle and cry.

Mark Zandi is here to mansplain how the world is going to change after the Super Committee fails. Wallace asks him to adjust his forecast after hearing from Hensarling and Becerra, and Zandi says, "sounds like no deal." He says that we need both spending cuts and tax increases, and why is this so controversial? Mark Zandi just doesn't understand anymore. He just wants to find a nice, shady, clover-covered glen to lie down in and sleep for months and months.

"Investor expectations in the committee are very, very low," he says, pointing out that in this way, "investors" are like all human beings. He says that "going into next year" it remains unclear if Congress will have the "fortitude" to follow through on what they've already agreed to, and that's where the markets could react badly. What is wrong with the "markets" that they think there's a possibility that lawmakers have "fortitude?"

Zandi says that he doesn't expect the ratings agencies to react to the Super Committee failing, and he points out that the "do nothing" plan brings in lots of revenue. (He reminds me, of course, that the big impediment to the "do nothing" plan is that eventually, you get to the UI benefit extension in early 2012, and that's when someone in Congress will get the big idea to "do something" to make the "do nothing" plan no good anymore.)

Now it's time for paneling with Brit Hume and A.B. Stoddard and Bill Kristol and Juan Williams. What's the deal with Newt Gingrich, anyway? Brit Hume says, "well, it was his turn," and now he gets to be the "non-Romney" candidate, and "everyone who's occupied that spot has begun a slide." Hume says that Gingrich "has vulnerabilities and a long track record and books" and a variety of positions that aren't popular with conservatives. And the Freddie Mac lobbying is the thing everyone will be talking about, beginning with Chris Wallace and Stoddard, who says that Gingrich has been "disingenuous" with his answers and is flip-flopping like Mittens does.

"There's a lot of Newt bashing on the panel today," says Wallace, who's set up ten minutes of Newt-bashing with his questions.

Kristol says that Gingrich is, at the very least, a former leader of the Republican Party, and so there will be a flocking to Gingrich in reaction to Romney. "I think he can defend his record in contrast with Romney," he says. Juan Williams compares Gingrich to the Macy's balloons -- his past is a bunch of balloons and at any moment, "one of those trees might poke it" and pop it. But how often do balloons in the Macy's parade pop because of trees? Has that ever happened?

Hume says the Gingrich was a "poster child for Republican excess" after he was driven from the House by his colleagues, and is crazy vulnerable to attack ads from the Obama campaign. It's pretty clear that it costs a lot less money to run against Newt than it does to run against Romney, doesn't it?

So, what about the Super Committee, guys? Stoddard says that the members have pre-scored their proposals and so it's fair for the members to say that their work can go right to the midnight hour, but the larger point is that the Super Committee was designed to fail, destined to fail, and there are no consequences for failure because there will be thirteen months before the triggers go into effect. She says that next December, the triggers will be rescinded in the lame duck session of Congress. Essentially, someone slipped Damocles a pair of scissors.

Over the next year, she says we can look forward to a fight over the Bush tax cuts, and a political food fight over changing the Pentagon trigger to some other trigger, which will go away next December.

What's the political fallout of failure? Kristol doesn't know, but he figures that it will "increase the sense that 2012 is a very big election." Also increasing that sense: everyone in the media who covers that election and can't go to sleep at night without being able to believe that they are doing the most important work in the universe.

Williams and Wallace fight over Occupy Wall Street a little bit: because Williams thinks their issues have salience and might inform voters, and Wallace thinks that they are violent, in the way they have damaged the business ends of thousands of police truncheons. (I think Williams original point was that over the long haul, voters would come to identify the GOP as the party of the "super-rich." Which means the Democrats are the party of the rich who don't feel quite as super? Don't know how OWS got mixed up in that -- they seem to want to be considered apart from a campaign horse-race, and they are smart to think like that!)


Ron Paul is here to talk to Bob Schieffer about to campaign, and maybe they will touch on other business that concerns their home land of Rivendell, west of the Misty Mountains. Oh, and I CAN HAZ Super Committee losers? YES, CAN HAZ: Pat Toomey! And also, Joe Manchin is here, hopefully to discuss his awesome legislative technique of running home to attend Christmas parties to avoid having to cast controversial votes on things. (Though, if everyone were as cowardly as Manchin, the "do nothing" plan would succeed!)

But first, Ron Paul! He's "among the frontrunners," so it's time to ask him questions! Like, say, "did 9-11 happen because of actions that the United States took?" Oh boy! Here we go. Paul says that there's a "connection" not a causality, and that the 9-11 Commission and the CIA agree with that standpoint, and we removed a controversial base in Saudi Arabia as a result, and so, isn't that a tacit admission of this? "It's not a full explanation, but our policies have definitely had an influence," he says, pointing out that people don't like being bombed and occupied.

"But what you're saying is that it's America's fault," says Schieffer. "I think that's a misconstruing of what I'm saying," responds Paul, who adds, "We didn't cause it, the average American didn't cause it...our policies had an influence...that's a far cry from blaming America." Schieffer won't let it go: "But what you are saying is that it's the government's fault." "I'm saying the policymakers contributed to it, contributed to it." Oh, no! Everyone's fighting! "I'll take the ring to Mordor!" yells Frodo. "No, Frodo, the free market will sort it out!" says Paul.

Is Paul's policy to solve the Iran problem by being nicer to them? Paul says that he just wants to use diplomacy. "The biggest danger we face is the possibility we'll overreact," he says. Schieffer says that no one's proposing that we bomb Iran, that the only thing anyone's talking about are the sanctions that Paul opposes. Paul says he opposes the sanctions because they lead to war.

"But if you say that no one is suggesting [that we bomb Iran], why don't you listen to some of the debates?" Paul asks.

"May I correct you? I have been listening to the debates. I know some candidates have suggested it. The United States government has not said we're going to bomb Iran," retorts Schieffer.

"Well OBVIOUSLY they haven't said it, but the implication is that 'nothing is off the table.' You've heard those statements," says Paul.

"Well, yes," says Schieffer. Everyone is so mad!

Does Paul believe that we should have troops stationed anywhere? He says no, except for submarines, which Paul believes is a "worthwhile weapon." "Besides, we're bankrupt, we can't afford it anymore." So Paul would bring troops home from Japan and South Korea.

Moving on to Paul's plan to cut most of the government. "What do you do to all the things that those agencies run or supervise or develop?" asks Schieffer, who uses the example of national parks. Paul says that there's a transition period to shift these responsibilities baked into these plans.

And that's it? That was a ridiculously short interview. And Schieffer just basically says, "Okay, bye now" and the last thing you hear is Paul croaking out his goodbye and he's cut off halfway through. I guess that's what you get, Jesse Benton, for shaming CBS News for only giving Ron Paul 90 seconds to speak: you get an angry Bob Schieffer running at all of your candidate's most vulnerable positions.

Now Pat Toomey is suddenly here. What's it like being a Super Committee loser, Schieffer asks. KIDDING. But he does say that all the Super Committee has amounted to is "business as usual" and in the context of Congress, "business as usual" refers to "loudly siphoning from a reservoir of Pure Suck through an old rubber tube, constantly."

Toomey says, "Well, I will acknowledge that time is short." BUT WE WORKED SO HARD, REALLY WE DID.

Schieffer is basically like, "LOOK AT YOU. WHAT IS THE POINT OF YOU?" Yeah, kidding, but really, that's the overall tenor of this segment. You had one simple thing to do, Super Committee! And that was figure out a way to absolve everyone in Congress of decades of neglect and incompetence! And you couldn't even do that!

"As I've said, we had twelve good people who worked hard on this," says Toomey, who says that the Democrats can get behind the GOPs proposal or make a countering offer that he promises to look at and take seriously.

"Well if the dog hadn't stopped to make a phone call, he would have caught the rabbit," says Schieffer. But maybe the dog was just using his new iPhone to say, "Screw this rabbit chasing! Siri, is there a good place where I can go to have tapas this afternoon?"

Schieffer basically says that Grover Norquist is terrible and is to blame for everything that's gone wrong. And now he's making Toomey watch Steve Kroft's interview with Norquist, as punishment. Schieffer asks Toomey why he put revenue on the table knowing that Norquist was going to punch him in the nuts. He says that it was pointless to even participate in the Super Committee without considering revenue increases.

Toomey says that the "silver lining" for him is that "we're going to get the cuts anyway." BUT! He says that the triggered cuts need to be reconfigured, so that the entire Pentagon trigger that was sort of the thing that was supposed to goose the GOP into doing something in the first place, goes away.

Joe Manchin will now tell us all of his exciting ideas. "We can't fail, we can't allow people to fail." Awesome. He says that he "stood tall" and encouraged everyone to "go big," and if the Super Committee fails he will try to get something like the "gang of six" plan through Congress. Go bold and go big, he says, over and over. Go bold and go big, unless it's a vote on ending Don't Ask Don't Tell, and then it's go home and drink egg nog!

Manchin says that we need to put a plan on the table and we need leadership and Obama is the leader and we need someone to "step forward" and "put their politics aside" and "be a good American" and this is "not the blame game" and it's "not about the next election it's about the next generation" and man, if cliches sold for a trillion dollars each Joe Manchin would be the mayor of Surplus City!

Joe Manchin wants to see leaders be leaders, and everyone who is "serving" doesn't want to be associated with failure. But would Manchin have Obama campaign for him? "This is not a team sport," he says. So what's the deal, Joe? Is this everyone work together, let's not play the blame game? Or is it "this is not a team sport," because taken as a whole, this whole Sunday show appearance seems to be a long, whining monologue about how everyone is ruining Joe Manchin's life, and he didn't come to Congress to be associated with a body with a 9% approval rating, and so everyone had better start doing more for Joe Manchin's reputation and happiness right now. In turn, he will be the 100th guy in the room to support the controversial stance of "not failing and stuff, you guys."

Schieffer points out that ten years ago, 65% of Americans actually liked Congress, and now people like Paris Hilton and BP are actually better-liked, and remember how last week CBS ran a story about how they were all getting rich off insider trading? "You know, in certain older civilized cultures, when men failed as entirely as you have, they would throw themselves on their swords." JUST KIDDING, that's a line from Serenity, but it's basically Schieffer's subtext today.


So, today, we'll have Marco Rubio and Chris Coons try to set themselves apart from the Super Committee losers in their midst, and the roundtable panel will jibber about Newt Gingrich. And Rahm Emanuel is here, for some reason. Maybe he's here to lend perspective as to what one gets paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by Freddie Mac to do, exactly.

But first, let me get coffee, during Jonathan Karl's Montage For Rock-Bound Recluses. Though, as I'm listening, I can't help but notice that Karl implies that the $54B that Freddie received in the bailout was larger than any of the banks. I take this to mean, "larger than any one bank." Obviously, $54B is but a tiny part of the $700B TARP, which in turn, is just a tiny part of the $4.7 trillion bailout. There was a $138 billion "wind down loan" made to Lehman, though, as a part of the bailout. So, I think that this part of the Karl-tage is just wrong, perhaps because of oversimplification, perhaps because almost no one in the media understands the bailout beyond TARP.

Rahm Emanuel was a dinner, and GET THIS, he praised Obama and criticized Romney! How did this happen? We will get to the bottom of it!

Emanuel says that all of the GOP nominees are "espousing the same policies" that they were espousing back when Obama was elected. I don't know, dude! The 9-9-9 plan is new, Rick Perry's let's cut everyone's pay plan is new, Michele Bachmann probably wants FEMA to "cure" homosexuality, Jon Huntsman has some daughters that use Twitter...there's a lot of exciting new things that don't make much sense to me.

Amanpour points out that Obama promised to "unlock the gridlock" and change politics and make Washington a super-fun place for functional adults instead of a place where grown-ups make pizza a vegetable because it contains an ingredient that's a fruit. Lesson learned: DON'T MAKE THIS PROMISE. Instead, promise people that as President, you will contend every day with idiots but refrain from actually hitting them, repeatedly, with fists. Voters will say, "Wow. You are amazing. Because I really want to puch those guys, you know?" HA, BUT CONGRESS JUST TURNED YOUR FISTS INTO PIZZA BY LAW AND NOW YOUR PUNCHES ARE DELICIOUS.

Rahm says that the President came with a plan and the GOP brought their ideology. And it is correct, that Obama offered a Grand Bargain, but as long as Thomas Friedman isn't aware of it, then it doesn't count.

But the Super Committee was Obama's idea and it's a failure so...Rahm says, no, this is what Congress wanted and they had triggers to serve as an insurance policy. And he's back to pointing out that the plan Obama offered was one that contained items that are typically painful for Democrats to swallow. (At some point, wouldn't their "ideology" rear up as well? Probably not, because the Democratic Party's ideology is "Please like us! Just like us, okay?")

Is Amanpour surprised that Rahm Emanuel is essentially an Obama campaign surrogate? I don't understand this interview, at all. It's like she expected to trip Rahm up or something. "Craps, you got me Christiane! Yeah, I just think the Republicans are super-okay people!" She seems surprised that he's passionately defending Obama. "You're passionately defending Obama," she says. Also, this grass is green.

Emanuel says that "elections are about choices" and that if America chooses Mitt Romney, then the Oval Office will be full of "fog." People will be mad bumping around into the ottomans and whatnot!

As a Mayor of a city that has an #Occupy movement, Emanuel says that he will uphold First Amendment rights and the law, and somewhere in the middle there the amount, by liters, of pepper spray drenched on the faces of people, will be determined. People have "angst" he says, that he cannot turn a blind eye to. He pronounces "angst" in a strange way, though, because at first I think he's saying "eggs" or "aints." (I rewind the TiVo again when it sounds like he's saying "You can't be callous about homos." He actually said "homeowners.")

I think what we learned from that is that Rahm Emanuel supports Obama, or something, for re-election.

Suddenly it's panel time! Why? All we've learned so far today is that Rahm Emanuel is going to support the President's re-election. Sigh. We'll have Matt Dowd and George Will and Peggy Noonan and Paul Krugman expand on this. (LOL -- who is the "centrist" on this panel? Noonan?)

Amanpour: "You saw in Rahm's speech that this was not just a defense of Obama, but taking on Romney. Is that the strategy?"

What? Uhm...yeah. See, as a political ally of the incumbent President, Rahm will say nice things about the president, and criticize the President's opponent. That's the strategy. It is pretty arcane, you know, how this works.

Will says yes. This is the strategy. Noonan says that the election will be a "demolition derby" where everyone tears everyone down. Krugman points out that the reason the Obama administration is preparing to contend with Romney is because every other candidate is really pretty easy to defeat. Dowd says that the Non-Romney's haven't shown sufficient stick-to-itiveness to capture the voters yet, but one could come clear in Iowa.

Krugman offers a hypothesis: "You have a republican ideology, which Mitt Romney doesn't believe in. He just oozes insincerity, that's just so obvious. But all of the others are fools and clowns. There's a question here -- maybe this is an ideology only fools and clowns can believe in. That's the Republican problem."

George Will says, "That's not uncharacteristically severe on Paul's part."

He then goes on to say that Gingrich is "the classic rental politician."

Gingrich is an amazingly efficient candidacy in that it embodies everything that is disagreeable about modern Washington. He's the classic rental politician...People think that his problem is his colorful personal life. He'll hope that people concentrate on that rather than, for example, ethanol. Al Gore has recanted ethanol. Not Newt Gingrich. Iindustrial policy of the sort that got us Solyndra, he's all for it. Freddie Mac, he says, hired him as a historian. He's not a historian."

Will Gingrich's attempts at damage control work? "Ohhhhhhuuggghhhhhhooohhhh, I don't know," says Noonan, who says that the coming GOP tide is a desire to fundamentally change Washington, which sounds to me like Perry's number will eventually come up again, because Romney is the guy who'll "tinker" with the system but not change it, and Gingrich is the guy that no one believes really wants to change anything.

Dowd agrees with Noonan: "The problem we have is Newt Gingrich, is a symptom of a Washington problem. He said 'I don't lobby.' But he's paid lots of money not to lobby but to influence people. He left Congress, sort of a middle-class politician income, he became a multimillionaire over the course of the last ten years. Does the part of the party that wants an anti-Washington, antiestablishment, anti-candidate, want someone who became millionaire basically by selling his influence?"

Will says, "I didn't even finish my list" of things he hates about Gingrich. "And on top of this is the absurd rhetorical grandiosity." This is pretty hilarious, if you are anyone other than Gingrich. Krugman's just laying back in the cut.

Matt Dowd predicts that Ron Paul will win the Iowa Caucus and disrupt Romney in New Hampshire. Blam! There it is. Love having Dowd on a panel show, because he's just, "Whatever, I'm gonna get BOOMTOWN on you."

Noonan says that on the plus side for Newt, the base knows that the establishment hates him, and that's good, because EFF THE ESTABLISHMENT #OCCUPY THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE, or something? Also, Newt's debate style is "fresh" because he refused to fight with the other candidates and yelled at the media instead. Word, Peggy. That is so fresh. So dope!

Will says Herman Cain is "out and done" and that Ron Paul will probably run as a third party candidate and tip over some states. Noonan says that under that scenario, Obama wins. Of course, Ron Paul has said HE DOES NOT WANT TO RUN AS A THIRD PARTY CANDIDATE. And besides, if Dowd's right, we have something even more awesome to look forward to -- a convention fight in Florida. Hold steady, Ybor City! Don't print the wrong name on balloons and confetti!

Now Marco Rubio and Chris Coons are here because they made a pony that is some sort of modest jobs bill, maybe someone wants to vote on it? No? Want to turn pizzas into more things? Pizzas are puppy dogs now? Great. Thanks guys.

Rubio says that he's not making any big claims about the numbers of jobs it will create, he just wants to sort of demonstrate that Congress can maybe do one thing, and give people hope that they aren't just a bunch of idiots. Coons says that their bill draws from a variety of sources and from all sides, and he really doesn't see what there is to object to...hey, remember when people like, totally wrote bills and then got co-sponsors and shopped them around and tweaked them and stuff? No? Everyone's off to another meeting of the Twelve People Have Almost Got Their Arm Up The Tag End Of Their Alimentary Canal Past The Elbow Committee? Okay, well, have fun with that!

People! It is MAJOR NEWS TODAY that two Senators have written a bill! It's like they discovered a viable Dodo egg in the National Archives.

Look! Here is a scene of Clive Owen and Clare-Hope Ashitey carrying the Rubio-Coons bill through Washington!

Rubio says that he never though the Super Committee was a good idea, but the Democrats on the committee deserve some defense, because in his opinion, the President hasn't provided leadership. Rubio says that he hopes the Super Committee will do something meaningful, Coons says he has to hold out hope, too. The broader challenge, he says, is to identify $4 trillion in cuts. Neither man says that we deserve a further downgrade, though both clearly sympathize with the argument.

Back to the panel, for some sniping at the Super Committee.

Will says that the Super Committee is dumb and the trigger is nothing that puts fear into anyone. Krugman disagrees that the trigger cuts represent trivial amounts, but basically agrees with the rest -- the super committee was a terrible idea, and by the time the trigger even kicks in, there will be a new President or a re-elected one, and that creates "a whole new political universe."

Dowd points out that the Super Committee hasn't even met since November 1st. "They can't even walk across the hall!" And every institution is failing and sucks right now, like Penn State, they suck, and there's failure everywhere, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

"The Super Committee is over, it has broken down," says Noonan. She blames Obama, for not getting involved and having a "psychological effect" on the committee. Gah! Why do people believe that a guy can walk into a room and get them to just abandon all of their interests on the strength of SENTIMENTALIZING REALLY HARD about something? We have a Super Committee, solely because back during the debt ceiling negotiations -- which should have NEVER been a thing, Obama should have said, "NOPE. ZERO." to that instead of opening the door to that lunacy -- the President said, "Let's cut $4 trillion from the budget, raise $1 trillion in new revenue, and we'll move up the Medicare eligibility age, too. I'll lay my hand right on that electric rail." And John Boehner said, "Awesome. This is a deal well beyond anything I had any right to expect I'd get, let me take it to my guys." But when he took it to his guy, they were all playing with chicken bones and rubbing blood and gristle on their face and stewing in one another's stink and they grunted in very negative and hostile fashion at Boehner -- like, "BLAH WE PRIMARY YOU DROOL SLURP!" -- and the Speaker knew he was Nowhere Man. So the Super Committee was formed. "Send me your best men and women, people of the Republican and Democratic Party." And that went nowhere too!

Honestly, the critique of Occupy Wall Street is that they take up space and bother people and make no contribution or demands and no one seems to know what they want. But that critique applies double to Congress, who are actually tasked with solving a bona fide financial crisis. Is the only reason we haven't turned the fire hoses and pepper spray on them because they've all insider-traded their way to wealth and respectability? (SPOILER ALERT: YES.)

Now there's a segment on Penn State, which I guess we're having a hard time understanding as well? Need help with this? Here's help:

Okay, well, I wish we'd ended with the first panel discussion on This Week, which was fun, and not on a reminder that people sometimes harbor child predators, but that's the way this all worked out today. Here's a reminder that next week is Thanksgiving and there will be no liveblog of the Sunday shows. But then, we'll be back, and there will be two weeks of liveblogging! Then, there will be no liveblog again on December 18 or December 25. Somehow, I am going to try to wake up on New Year's Day to liveblog, but let's hope there are no Sunday shows that day. Eventually, 2012 will come and these periodic liveblog shortages will end. So that's how all that is going to work, hooray!

At any rate, I hope that everyone has a lovely Thanksgiving, and I hope everyone is safe in their travels and ready to have a wonderful weekend of reunions with family and old friends and tryptophan. I hope that the knowledge that I am intensely thankful, to all of you who read this every Sunday, serves as a small blessing that spurs forth a wonderful holiday for everyone.

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