Good morning everyone! And a Happy Independence Day to all of you. Welcome to your Sunday Morning liveblog. My name is Jason and I have been enjoying this holiday weekend greatly, mostly relaxing, spending some quality time with my wife...I haven't been paying much attention to the news. Anything important happen this weekend? Anything? If so, let me know or something! As always, you can leave a comment below. or send me an email, or even follow me on Twitter! Tell me what's been going on!
Oh, look! I see it was Malia Obama's birthday, yesterday! I bet she just dominated the news cycle the past couple of days. You know eleven year old girls! They love attention and are immature, and can turn any occasion into a chance to make some semi-coherent, rambling speech!
Okay, without further to do, here's...
FOX NEWS SUNDAY
OMGZ HA HA SARAH PALIN! She's resigning! And suing the entire internet for defamation! And breaking new ground in CRAZY AWESOME? Here's the super-media ready Sean Parnell, the Lieutenant Governor who is now governor. Palin used the word "crazy" in her remarks, as well as a tortured metaphor involving point guards. She brought the ball up the court, and ran the offense, and decided whether to shoot, or who to pass to....should she dump the rock into the post or take the shot herself. Come on, guys! Get the spacing right! Got to move without the ball! Wait, what does Ron Artest want? OH GOD! WHY DID RON ARTEST BRING A GUN ON THE COURT? THAT GUY IS CRAZY! Put the gun AWAY, Ron ARTEST. You are totally going to draw a technical. OH I BETTER CALL A TWENTY SECOND TIME OUT AND RESIGN AS GOVERNOR OF ALASKA.
Karl Rove, who built the permanent Republican majority, cites David Letterman as the unspeakable obstacle to everyone thinking she is a sane woman. Mike Huckabee says that she needs to completely exit the spotlight. But why did she "call a press conference that raised questions?" And why did she choose to have a press conference in front of so much Alaskan wildlife, that giddily squawked and hooted and mooed while she was speaking, about resigning, and the box-and-one offense?
Huckabee says that the challenge Palin will face is basically that she's a big old quitter who runs from challenges. Rove says that it's "unclear what her strategy is," but doesn't that mean that her strategy is potentially AWESOME and CRAZY? Plus she's SUING THE INTERNET, with lawyers, and stuff.
Oh hai! Sean Parnell? Forgot all about you and junk? You're the guy who did that "Lazy Sunday" rap, or something? He says Palin went to Kosovo and proved that she "didn't need a title" to effect change, because she laid on hand and healed wounds and make cotton candy appear in mid air.
"It could be a brilliant strategy," Huckabee says, "we just don't know." Rove says she'll have to be unconventional and that she's "lost control of time." IT'S LIKE SHE'S A DOCTOR WHO EPISODE. OH, JESUS! Is Sarah Palin going to fight the Daleks, or something?
Here's Mike Mullen, who's actually fighting real wars instead of wars against pretend robots and Alaskan bloggers. Russia has recently allowed the U.S. the use of airspace, and he'll be on the wing, meeting with Russians this week with the President. Mullen says that the Russians feel that the Cold War is over and that everyone wants to move forward.
What about missile defense? Mullen says that everyone is "going to have to work their way through it" and it won't be determined later this year.
What's up with North Korea, launching their crazy missiles? Mullen says that they are trying to "send a message." That message: I AM RESIGNING AS GOVERNOR OF ALASKA, TOO! POINT GUARDS! MOOSE! SHUT UP BLOGS, OR I'LL SHUT YOU UP.
Why is Obama such a missile defense cutting monster? Mullen says he's comfortable with current levels of response to North Korea. He's also "very comfortable" with the troop levels in Afghanistan, and thinks that it will allow for a safe election this year in the country. Mullen presents the team as being pretty in sync.
Mullen says the "politics are critiical" in Iraq right now, and that the current leadership needs to take charge of security. He doesn't see trends heading back toward widespread violence. On engagement with Iran, that's up to the president, but he remains concerned with Iran. A military strike against Iran, he says, could spur "unintended consequences" but that military options remain on the table.
OH NO! Steny Hoyer and John Boehner? TOO MUCH CHARISMA. And they are going to yell about the stimulus. Hoyer says it makes everyone sad that the stimulus hasn't worked faster and that it's not like Boehner's created a whole lot of jobs, either. John Boehner basically says, "BUT WE HAVE ANCIENT IDEAS ABOUT SMALL BUSINESSES AND STUFF! Didn't the American people vote for my ancient ideas in 2008?" But seriously, they probably need to do a second stimulus, maybe because the Congress watered it all down into ineffective marm, which is what they do, and the Obama administration I guess are saving their head-busting legislative strategy for a rainy day, in 2015 or something.
Boehner says Hoyer sounds like the "kid who showed up everyday with his homework and he says the dog ate his homework," and I wish that dog metaphors could put Americans to work. And now they're arguing over Boehner's numbers. Boehner says, "Americans will invest in small businesses! BLAH!!" but of course, Americans seem to be saving money, and banks aren't lending, and SOMEONE has to spend money.
John Boehner thinks the public option will be too popular, and it could hurt a lot of private sector insurance companies, who have worked very not-hard on their very not-good insurance packages, and that what the free market is, a place where crap received crutches from the government because they spent all their money getting a passel of nimrods re-elected, and its the circle of life, so suck it America.
Boehner is perplexed, utterly, by the call to spend money to fix healthcare. HOW WILL IT DRIVE DOWN COSTS? And yet he's also like: SPEND THE MONEES, ON SMALL BUSINESSES, MAYBE, MOST OF WHICH FAIL, TO SAVE THE JOBS.
PANEL TIME: Hey, Bill Kristol? Explain what your girlfriend, Sarah Palin, is up to? Kristol says that it's a "high-risk" move, but that being Governor of Alaska is for losers like Sean Parnell and that it's time to study issues and travel the country shooting everyone's wolves and fighting Daleks alongside the TimeLords, from Gallifrey. He says that the "media" has been really tough on her, but she's gone "all in" now, and will probably be awesome, and hey, "Bristol Kristol" has a nice ring.
Jennifer Loven says that Palin "hit the victim note" and will get "more of the same," meaning scrutiny. And she's also running the risk as being seen as "flighty." Stephen Hayes says that Bill Kristol is awesome and he loves him, like a puppy dog, but that he's crazy and Palin doesn't have a substantive policy base and now she doesn't have the "stature to make statements" because she quit the job she's best known for. Then Juan Williams makes a million WTF faces, not understanding the strategy. He talks about Tim Pawlenty, not aware I guess, that TPaw is not going to have his platform either.
Bill Kristol says, "WHATEVER, BARACK OBAMA is president and he never did anything in his life, ever, before becoming president." Williams says that Obama had ideas, and that Palin doesn't have any. Kristol says that Palin's speech at the 2008 RNC was her version of Obama's 2004 DNC speech. Loven says that Palin's decision was not a "game changer." ARGH, DRINK, BECAUSE SOMEONE SAID "GAME CHANGER."
Then Jennifer Loven says that the 2012 election is a long way away, and we haven't heard the Dalek's platform on universal health care, yet.
FACE THE NATION
Okay, we're tuning in to FTN, next, and will circle back around to watch THIS WEEK on TiVo. No MEET THE PRESS TODAY! WOO WIMBLEDON!
Mike Mullen, again? Well, at least we have John Dickerson, for some holiday variety, hosting the show! Mullen tells John that he's comfortable with the strategy in Afghanistan, but that it's going to be tough going. What about Jim Jones saying that the in-field commanders not being able to ask for more troops? Mullen, again, says that everyone's committed to the "proper resourcing" of the effort, and that they want nothing more than what is required. Again, McChrystal is going to have the chance to assess the situation from his own perspective, bring in requests, and they'll be listened to.
Can military force alone win in Afghanistan? Mullen says no: the economic underpinnings must be solid, governance must be good. Ambassadors are working at supporting the Afghanistan government at "every level."
Iraq: what happens if violence flares up? Is that on the Iraqis? Mullen sees "no indication" that an uptick is in the offing. They're focused on the overall strategy, which all seems to dovetail rather precisely with the Status of Forces Agreement.
Dickerson moves with FTN's trademarked briskness to North Korea, Mullen says that the international community needs to bring pressure against North Korea, and that it remains a concern. "It's like a black hole," intel-wise, Dickerson suggests. Mullen agrees.
Who's calling the shots in Russia, Medvedev or Putin? Mullen hems on that one, suggesting only that he's committed to working with his partners in Russia, and that there are "political factors" that Obama will have to deal with. On the military side of things, there's an obvious difference of opinion on missile defense.
Biden suggested that there's nothing the U.S. can do if Israel wants to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. Mullen says the same sort of things he said on FOX. He's concerned, the U.S. has a narrow window to work within, but the unintended consequences of a military strike are of equal concern to Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon.
Mullen says he's very satisfied with progress in Pakistan, "They've done very well." Dickerson raises concerns about the untamed northern region, but Mullen says that the Pakistani military leadership has a strategy in place that's "measured, thorough, and will take some time" to implement.
Dickerson draws a pair of Chucks -- Grassley and Schumer, not Converse All-Stars -- to talk about health care. Grassley thinks that the public option would wreck small businesses before Wal-Mart has a chance to, and he's just against nationalizing everything! The government is an unfair competitor! And yet government programs are terrible! Support your terrible mom and pop insurance company by crawling off into the woods to die if they won't let you get treated!
"When you have accessibility and affordability, you don't need government health care," Grassley says. And he's right! Of course, the whole point of private insurance is to prevent accessibility and affordability.
Schumer is for the public option, but not for the sake of being the only option. "Let's have both compete...both will exist in the market." And, of course, the American people are CRAZY IN LOVE with the public option.
Anyway, Schumer goes on and on and on and on, filibustering the entire show, so Dickerson calls a halt to that. Honestly, CBS News...can't you give your guys an extra half-hour? Sometimes it's like we don't even get to come up for air!
Grassley says that "we can put people in prison for collusion" in the insurance industry. This would be awesome, if I really thought that anyone in government would do something like that -- put the people who pay for their re-election in jail.
Schumer says he lives in a co-op and is a co-operator! And then he gets back to draining off all of FTN's time. Grassley says, WOO BIPARTISANSHIP WILL SAVE US ALL! FEEL THE BIPARTISAN MAGICKS AND THEIR HEALING LOVE-TOUCH. Schumer wants to "keep the insurance companies honest."
Dickerson asks Grassley about Palin's decision, and he says the decision was "astounding," and that while he's not an Alaskan, he imagines if he would, he'd rather she remain as governor of Alaska. So, now he's getting sued for defamation, by Sarah Palin's team of bonkers lawyers.
Today! VPOTUS Biden! Shiny! Plus a panel that I believe has been de-Liz Cheneyed in favor of bringing in Todd Purdum, to talk about crazy Eskimo grifter Sarah Palin and how everyone on the McCain campaign hated her, except Randy Scheunemann, and now she's going to become the White Oprah in the hopes of putting Meghan McCain on her Anti-Book Club. Then her lawyers will sue the entire universe, and the Sun.
Joe Biden! Exclusive headliner! He went to Iraq, but didn't get an awesome haircut like Stephen Colbert! His son, the future Senator from Delaware, was also there.
And now, questions from George Stephanopoulos! Are we securing the victory or cutting our losses? Biden says securing victory! Yay! Also, probably some loss cutting! But Dick Cheney has a sad, because i guess he never intended to follow the Status Of Forces Agreement that HE AGREED TO! Dick Cheney, though, he is hell bent on leaving a legacy of jacking Iraqis behind when he leaves this earth.
What if the Iraqis are incapable of running their own country and violence flares up again? Biden says that would suck, but that the United States is adhering to the Status of Forces Agreement. Biden expects this years election to "come off peacefully."
Biden says in Iran, that the "dust hasn't settled." GS seems surprised by this, but Biden says that the matter isn't over. What about the response to violence? Biden says that the whole world watched and rendered a judgement. How goes on to say that Obama's response was exactly right. What about rumors that he was arguing for a more forceful response? Biden says Obama got it right, keeping the U.S. fingerprints off the nascent protest movement. GS mentions that Iran is still blaming the U.S. for the uprising. Biden laughs it off, "It's simply not true."
GS asks about future negotiations: "How do you engage with Iran now, without breaking faith with those reformers?" Hey! That's the question that our own Nico Pitney brought to Obama from Iran! And that reminds me, to update my list:
LIST OF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS WHO WOULD REFUSE TO SHOW UP IF THE WHITE HOUSE TOLD THEM THEY WOULD BE CALLED ON TO ASK A QUESTION:
NO NAMES YET.
So far, the entire White House Press Corps is on the side of destroying democracy, but I imagine that will have to change!
This George Stephanopoulos! What a genius! He gets to ask, WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE WHO SAY YOU ARE DOING TOO LITTLE IN IRAN one second, only to turn in a peerless pirouette and ask, WHOA HO, MR. VPOTUS! WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE WHO SAY Y'ALL NEED TO HIT THE PAUSE BUTTON? Biden repeats that everyone is waiting and seeing.
"It's fair to say that the President's plan has not changed...if the Iranians want to engage, we'll engage."
Biden says that Israel is allowed to go crazysauce and start bombing people if they want, but no one will pressure the U.S. from deviating from a path that serves our national interests. Will the U.S. let Israel get crazysauce? Biden says we can't dictate. GS says that we can say something about it. Biden won't deal in hypotheticals.
What about North Korea policy? Are we just waiting for the regime to collapse? Biden says no, they will ratchet up pressure, multilaterally, with regional partners. Biden suggests that the issue of succession in North Korea is a significant one, at the moment.
Guess what? Biden is fond of the "Obama/Biden approach" to Afghanistan! So, THAT'S controversial!
What happens if Afghanistan shows no progress? What if Americans see no success? Biden "doesn't think that's where we're going."
What about the stories circulating about there being no possibility of new troops? And hey, does someone get an award for getting the phrase "Whiskey tango foxtrot moment" on the air? Because that was nicely done! "That is WTF," Stephanopoulos says, adding that it's a miltary term that "stands for 'what the blank.'" Uhm...it's also a commonly used term on the internet, but it's nice to know the military will preserve this saying if Sarah Palin and her team of snowbreathing pterodactyl lawyers succeed in suing the entire internet. Speaking of Alaska, TARFU there right now, FUBAR if you ask me, OMFG.
Biden says that he spent five months in the Situation Room with the Joint Chiefs and the National Security Adviser. And then somebody finally let them out, to take a shower. Because whiskey tango foxtrot.
How does Joe Biden explain the crappy unemployment numbers, post stimulus? "The truth is, we, and everyone else thought that
Iraq had weapons of mass destruction the economy was healthier than it was." Yes. That's why when you win a historic election, you need to pass policies that aren't watered down dreck, but that actually work, because now you might have to go, hat in hand, back to the same 90 year old men who sit atop every Congressional committee and who are bribed by lobbyists to be afraid of fire and volcano gods and UFOs to pass a second stimulus, to make up for the one you didn't pass in the first place. Foxtrot foxtrot foxtrotty foxtrot McFoxtrot.
BLAH BLAH weren't the foxtrotting "stress tests" predicated on rosy unemployment numbers? FOXTROT JITTERBUG CHARLESTON!
Paul Krugman, of course, is ESSING his PANTALONS, because he wants a new stimulus, but Biden is all: BLAH, LET'S WAIT. "This has been pretty well-managed, so far."
GS points out that half of the United States are going to fail, and require Sarah Palin to come and protect them from Wolfen with her YouBETCHACopter. Biden says that nobody knows for certain is a second stimulus is necessary, and that time will unspool and more of the first stimulus will hit the economy.
Biden "hopes he has brought some expertise" to the job of Vice President. UHM. WEREN'T YOU RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT, AT ONE POINT?
Finally, Biden has to talk about deranged frostvixen quitterface Sarah Palin, because he was the last person to run against her and her expert point guardery. Biden says that "personal decisions" have an impact on politics, and that maybe she wasn't happy with her personal life, but that he doesn't know and won't "second guess" Palin. As for it being a result of "political bloodsport," Biden says no, it wasn't. And hell, he's got a point! Palin has always shown a real eagerness to dispense the bloodsport, herself. Anyway, she will now sue stimulus packages, with her team of gobbling lawyertwits, and it will be awesome.
PANEL TIME, woo! Sarah Palin tells the world that staying as Governor of Alaska would be apathetic, and dead fish like, and point guards and BURN THE INTERNET FOREVER. CLEANSE THIS LAND IN THE WHITE-HOT FIRE OF MY ESKIMO ANGER! But what does the panel think of this?
George Will is here, no doubt fresh from one of those Washington Post Salons at Katherine Weymouth's house where Marcus Brauchi publicly auto-erotically asphyxiated himself to the delight of all the health care industry lobbyists who'd gathered in Weymouth's Stately Pleasure Dome to watch journalism gurgle and choke with orgiastic pleasure over its own demise!
GS is like: "Were you driving you car, or living your life, when Sarah Palin decided to go foxtrotting CRAZY in front of cameras, while seals and moose gamboled around in the background moaning in sexual frenzy? Because WOW WHAT WILL MITT ROMNEY DO TO TOP THIS EPISODE IN OUR LIVES.
Sarah Palin will not accept being a "lame duck," by which she means, "have a few years left in my very first term in an office of even marginal importance." She will also not be a "turkey, shoved in a woodchipper" or a "raven, at your chamber door" or a "bluebird of happiness" or a "murder of crows" or a "point guard for the Washington Mystics" or a "figure who is talked about on blogs" or a "realistic contender for any public office ever again." SHE WON'T PUT ALASKANS THROUGH THAT. Instead, she will put the rest of the country through something, and Alaska shall secede from the United States and blast off into space and settle on top of the Hale-Bopp Comet, where they shall forever glide through the celestium on a ribbon of white-hot ice.
George Will, fresh from setting off pinwheels and roman candles at the recent Washington Post Lobbyist Foxtrot-Fest And Hot Baby Oil Rubdown Hour With Fred Hiatt, says he does not understand why Sarah Palin did what she did, maybe she is from that alternative universe in FRINGE where the World Trade Center still stands and David Letterman is kept on a leash for Bristol Palin's own amusement. Anyway, whatever, she's BORED of working and wants to quit and wants "peace."
Cynthia Tucker is all "bish pls!" "If she wants peace, we won't be seeing her on the campaign trail." And now Palin's lawyers are suing Cynthia Tucker for slander and assault and arson.
Todd Purdum says he "can't rule out" that there's a scandal or another shoe to drop. Tony Blankley says, "I think she's the best intuitive contender in the Republican party." GS, is all, "Intuitive? What the Foxtrot are you talking about, Tony Blankley?" He says, "She has good political gut-sense on how to talk to the American people." Wow. To think that on July 3rd, America needed to be talked to in such a loopy and rambling way, on the importance of quitting your job and giving up and GOIN' ROGUE and launching a weaponized polar bear attack from Galt's Gulch. AWESOME. This was so foxtrotting intuitive! Maybe Tony Blankley can intuit up a box of ball peen hammers to fall from the sky, on everyone's head, so that we could better align ourselves mentally, with our snowbilly savior.
Matthew Dowd says some weird stuff about quarterbacks, I think intended to compare Palin to Ryan Leaf or something.
Blankley says that it's just impossible for Palin to be President and run for Alaska, let alone sue the media for pointing cameras at her as she self-immolates. Will says that there is no "plausible comaback strategy," but he'll consult with any lobbyists who are willing to pay him $25 to rub butter on his bare nipples. Cynthia Tucker calls Palin "Richard Nixon without the policy experience." SHE'S LIKE SPIRO AGNEW WITHOUT A RECORD DEAL.
Todd Purdum slaps her around for her self-regard and grandiosity. Speaking of: Purdum's editor is Graydon Carter! And now they're all talking abour narcississm and self-involvement. Pots are shinin' up kettles!
George Will goes off on his "RISING GENERATION OF GOP STARS" which he mentions every foxtrotting week. SHORTER VERSION: "PLEASE NO MORE SARAH PALIN, GAH." Blankley insists that Sarah Palin is the only Republican giving off "positive energy." "There's a lot of pulsating going on," he says. Dowd says, yeah, "that's a huge problem," because she's like a million carnies or something.
Now they are talking about substantive stuff! The economy! Green shoots! What is this discussion? Cynthia Tucker says that the Obama administration is dug in and are showing vulnerability. Will rightly points out that the next stimulus package is the third package.
Then Matt Dowd attempts a "to be fair" moment where Obama's lost two million jobs in six months and how he remembers Bush getting singed for similar numbers back in 2004. It's a tidy little construction, and convincing if you are dumb enough to believe that the economy has no momentum and direction, and was in fact, inert in its trendline on January 20, 2009. Of course, intelligent people understand that the economy was on a dramatic downward slide that needed to be arrested. The momentum may not have been adequately arrested, but it's not like it was stationary or trending upward on Inauguration Day. Nice try, though, Matt Dowd.
Purdum says, WOO OBAMA CAN COME BACK MAYBE. You know, like he did in the campaign? Except Obama didn't have to wade through Congress in the running of his campaign. And it was an active, not a passive, campaign.
Then the entire gathered Washington establishment sings a praise chorus to the virtues of bipartisanship, always more important than good public policy. One day, we'll be able to get bipartisanship to heal our wounds and fuel our cars and what not.
Oh boy, it's over! I can sit back, have lunch and wait for Sarah Palin's lawyers to show up at my door and Foxtrot me, but good. Have a nice Sunday, everyone! Finish shooting off those fireworks, for America!
By the way: Pourmecoffee, for the win: