TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads

Oh, hello, there everyone! Welcome once again to your quickly typed recap of the bright images and dim ideas that flicker across my teevee screen as I aim my TiVo at Sunday mornings political chat shows.

Oh, hello, there everyone! Welcome once again to your quickly typed recap of the bright images and dim ideas that flicker across my teevee screen as I aim my TiVo at Sunday mornings political chat shows. My name is Jason. Hey, New York. Look at you. My, you are looking just today. Lose some deadweight ideas recently? Well, it suits you.

Hey, everyone, here's some bad news -- unless of course, you hate this liveblog, in which case, hooray, good news! We are entering a brief period of livebloglessness. Next week, I shall be away on Sunday, traveling to scenic New Jersey for the holiday weekend. The week after that, we will be back, with the regularly scheduled liveblog. But the week after that, I will be away for two Sundays while I am in the United Kingdom, doing Britishy things. And I understand it is a tradition there to never watch Meet The Press. Which is genius.

Then I'll probably be back, probably until I die! So, that's the situation, hope everyone can deal. In the meantime, here's today's thingamajig. As always, email comment twitter tra la!


Michele Bachmann is going to chit-chat up Chris Wallace this morning, and also, DEFICIT PANIC WITH JON KYL. And panel discussion. And more on the Chris Wallace-Jon Stewart interview? Calm down, Chris Wallace! That happened a week ago! That's when I will be using the washroom.

But Michele Bachmann is up in the polls these days, and why not, since everyone's getting a turn to be second to Mitt Romney. Why is she a front runner in Iowa? She says she was born there and she is "very serious" and she'll have jobs created. "Everyone will say that," says Wallace. She is a "fighter for the cause" and will "do what she says" and "says what she means" and "one thing leads to another." You tell her "something wrong, I know you listen too long." But "one thing leads to another." Communicate: pull out your party piece, etc.

Is she suggesting that Mitt Romney is not sincere? She's not necessarily saying that.

Is she really a fiscal hawk? Because the L.A. Times reports that she has has a long history of trawling for earmarks, not just for her state but for personally enrichment. She says that the money that went to her husband's clinic was "training money" that went to "train employees." Ha: of course, the money that went from the government to Planned Parenthood didn't go to fund abortions, but I'm pretty sure that when the wind is blowing in that direction, Michele Bachmann understands what fungibility is. (Similarly, she and her husband have never received any money from her father-in-law's farm, to which she steered money.)

Wallace: "In terms of the money, and I don't know the details as well as you do..."

Hey, here's a pro-tip, Chris! Learn those details, maybe? Before the interview, I mean. What is this, the regulatory capture hour?

At least he brings up the fungibility issue, and Bachmann says that the money given to the clinic actually took away from the clinic because during the employee training, those employees weren't able to bring more income in. What? That's crazy. Presumably you took the money to enhance your employees and thus enhance your revenue stream. Otherwise, why would you take this money? You are a small government conservative. WHy didn't you turn this money down? "It certainly didn't help our clinic," she says.

She wants to "repeal Obamacare," in case you haven't heard. Wallace points out that she voted to strip Medicare of $5 trillion, the same thing she accuses "Obamacare" of doing. She dodges the question at first, and then shifts to pointing out that current seniors would be unaffected. Wallace doesn't buy it, and even calls it a "voucher plan," which she doesn't like. Then she just goes back to sashaying around the question.

Eventually she bottom lines it, squarely with Ryan's plan: current seniors will have their Medicare. If you are 555 or younger, there will "need to be adjustments." Those adjustments, of course, come in the form of vouchers that are specifically designed to not keep pace with the inflationary costs of medical care, growing gradually more and more worthless as the divide widens. And so, the problem with Medicare is solved by the government ceasing to pay for Medicare.

What does she think of the marriage equality law in New York? She thinks that it stands under the tenth amendment. Wallace points out that she also supports a Constitutional amendment to trump that right that New York claimed for themselves.

Michele Bachmann would only appoint activist judges that would be activists for the positions she favors.

We're somewhat in the weeds now, but she's upset that the Obama administration has chosen to not defend DOMA. That's why she thinks there will be a "call for a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage."

Okay, Bachmann is right when she says this is "not inconsistent." Bachmann has historically disliked the LGBT community. She's also been a big old tenther. So, New York currently has the right to do what it likes in terms of marriage, because the Constitution has reserved them that right. How to fix? Allow the Constitution to assume that burden by ratifying a new amendment. Then she can get what she wants in New York. But the country is so rapidly speeding away from the level of antipathy you need to pass that sort of amendment, that it's not even worth worrying about. (And this is a big reason why the White House isn't defending DOMA.)

Mitt Romney didn't sign a pro-life pledge and Bachmann thinks he's too flip-floppy on the matter for her taste and she's disappointed. Bachmann sticks up for Tim Pawlenty on Minnesota's budget problem, and she will create jobs, somehow, with magic. She is okay with Rick Perry getting in the race, because what is she supposed to day? 'OH NO I HOPE HE DOESN'T RUN!'

"Are you a flake," Wallace asks. "I think it would be insulting to say that," she says,"I am a serious person." (She makes me glad I got waitlisted at William And Mary. For three seconds. Then I remember I went to George Allen's alma mater. Everyone's got some shame in their game, I guess!)

Now we're going to talk to Jon Kyl, who walked out on the debt ceiling negotiations. What would you say to a guy who walked out on negotiations after making such a big damned deal about OMG OMG THE DEBT CEILING? I think I'd say, "Shut up crybaby. Get back in there and do your damned job. Who left the damned door unlocked, anyway? Stop whining, you stupid baby." It helps that Jon Kyl looks like a baby that's been inflated and had a toupee stapled to his head. He is also one my most favorite liars.

Anyway, what's going on with the debt ceiling is that the deal is in place but Jon Kyl and Eric Cantor no longer want their fingerprints on the deal because OMG OMG SOMEONE IS RAISING TAXES and so now John Boehner is going to have to be the adult in the room, all for something that should be a de rigeur action of Congress.

Kyl objects to "changes to the tax code." Wallace says, yeah, but you're getting $3 in cuts to every $1 in taxes. Kyl -- and this is probably not intended to be a factual statement -- says that the "key here is to get economic growth," but if that were the key, then everyone would say, "Let's raise the debt ceiling like we always do, and start working on jobs, instead of wasting everyone's time?" And the American people, who keep telling pollsters, "No, we do not really care about the deficit at the moment, unless you are referring to the one I run up in my household every time I try to buy something to eat," would be gladdened by this.

"We need to put people back to work," says Kyl, who is not actually doing anything productive about that.

Does Kyl really want to be protecting mortgage protections for millionaires? Short answer: yes. Of course he does.

Does Kyl really want to be protecting welfare subsidies for oil companies making record profits? Short answer: yes. Of course he does. It will hurt the consumer! And the consumer is making out like a bandit, under the current regime of bailouts for oil companies!

What about the idea that there will be a financial calamity if the debt ceiling isn't raised? Kyl says that yeah, that probably will happen. What are the chances you get the deal? He says we have to get the deal, but taxes won't be part of it.

Kyl will be okay, because Obama and the Democrats have been complete crap at negotiating, dating back to before the election, when they punted on resolving the Bush tax cuts because they thought they had such a winning position on the issue, that they didn't actually need to take any actions. (They were wrong.)

So, unless Boehner decides to be an adult (and also rustles up enough votes), look for the White House to cave on that, thus rewarding Kyl for being a baby.

Panel time with Brit Hume and Kristen Powers and Bill Kristol and Juan Williams.

Congress is mad at Libya, but they didn't do anything to stop the Libya mission, so it won't stop. But at the very least, Hume says, is that they have made it clear that they don't like the war. And they "won't authorize" it. Congress probably should have spent the past few decades asserting the fact that only they have the right to declare war, but they didn't and now this is what they get.

Bill Kristol says that the Libya mission is awesome and that we'll get Gadhafi and he's upset that so many Republicans are against it. He is terribly upset that Obama plans to withdraw a teensy, itty-bitty number of troops from Afghanistan, though.

Speaking of! Hume says he hopes that the teensy number of troops that are coming out will be a "sensible pullout." He thinks that every president needs to keep an eye on public sentiment, because, I don't know, he is a public servant, and serves at the pleasure of the American people? But Hume is pretty clear that no President should listen to the public if the public doesn't have patience for remaining in Afghanistan until 2014, and watching soldiers who were as young as seven years old when the war began die at age eighteen, because all of the adults in their life failed them, fatally.

Bill Kristol is offended by the very idea that anyone would play politics with their war decisions, because 9/11, 9/11, 9/11!

Williams and Kristol fight over this. It's funny, because no one they love or care about is going to die in a war!

OMG OMG THE DEBT CEILING. It's totally going to ruin the DEBT WAINSCOTTING. Hume thinks, "BLEAH if this was up to the Democrats it will all be done with tax increases." On the other hand, doing it all with spending cuts is awesome!

Wallace: "The $3 in spending for $1 in tax increases, isn't that going to make it hard for Republicans to say no?" Ha, ha, clearly Wallace isn't familiar with "the Republican party."

Kristol doesn't think the GOP should negotiate at all, and that he's only recently become "radicalized" about that. Williams points out that the GOP will rightly get tagged with the blame for the economic calamity if the ceiling doesn't get raised. Hume just doesn't think that the calamity will happen. (He believes that the GOP will be forced to raise the debt ceiling through some elaborate blackmail plan involving letters to pensioners.)

Bill Kristol is very upset, at the prospect that the debt ceiling will get raised, like it always did before, back when nobody erected some crazy fortress of fear about this entirely quotidian event.

Chris Wallace is still mad at Jon Stewart and vice versa, and he's mad at the Huffington Post's headline, and Fox's constant demonization of Eric Holder at least allowed Fox viewers to know he is the U.S. Attorney General, and they probably won't be getting same-sex married to each other anymore, but he'll probably have Stewart back on again for the sake of ratings, if he promises to not bring up all the other things Politifact has said about this matter, the end.


Today, everyone will politely put the War in Afghanistan into historical context. Also, great: more discussion of Jon Stewart and Chris Wallace. Plus there will be some discussion of Jon Huntsman. And another day passes, and we get closer to death. Okay, so who's going to be Matthewsing it up at the Conventional Wisdom Genius Bar this morning? Michael Duffy, Norah O'Donnell, Helene Cooper, and David Ignatius.

People are against the war. Most people! Lots of people. Jon Huntsman wants a safe and rapid withdrawal. And political pundits have deluded themselves into thinking that Mitt Romney has as well, so if they keep repeating it, maybe it will become true.

David Ignatius thinks that Obama will try to straddle two positions -- he'll say they are "what the generals want" and "what people want," but Obama's stradding should really be put in these terms:

1. "One the one hand, if I'm not at least a little bit in favor of ending this war, people will rightly believe me to have lost my fracking mind."

2. "On the other hand, if I end this war, Republicans will say I'm a big pussy."

INTERJECTION: "Mr. President, Jason Linkins here. You can rest assured that no matter what you do, the GOP will say that."

OBAMA: "No, no. I think I can get them to like me this time!"

SADDLED AND STRADDLED. Everyone enjoy at least three more years of Afghanistan!

Ignatius is "amazed" that the war is being attacked by people on the left and right, but not so much that all the death and debt and destruction is anything more than a grand political abstraction.

Is the president aware that he's more hawkish, Matthews asks? Cooper doesn't know if it's fair to call him that, and that he wants to bring home as many troops as he can, but sheesh, it's not like he's the commander-in-chief or anything!

Duffy says that Obama is a "victim of his own success." Shouldn't have killed Osama bin Laden! Terrible move! Now people are like, "Hey, can I maybe see my dad again? He's been in Kandahar forever!"

Democrats are apparently saying, "Where's our jobs bill, and why is this money going to Afghanistan," many years too late. Ignatius adds, "It's a very corrupt country, so much of that money is being wasted." Hooray! (And we're meeting with the Taliban, a group that everyone says has been "eliminated or eradicated.") We should definitely continue this until 2014. I mean, I think we'll really close out with three very strong years, in which we limit the amount of money Karzai steals from us, and maybe the Taliban would like to be "rebranded" or something.

Michael Duffy still thinks that Romney's on the withdrawal side of this debate! In New Hampshire, Romney said:

ROMNEY: It's time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can, consistent with the word that comes to our generals that we can hand the country over to the Taliban military in a way that they're able to defend themselves. Excuse me, the Afghan military to defend themselves from the Taliban. That's an important distinction.

It's time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can! It's time for us to put out this fire as soon as we possibly can! It's time for us to save the baby seals as soon as we possibly can. Come on, Michael Duffy! You look like you aren't a small child! Are you really fooled by this?

"Is there any upside for the President to be rather intranisgently pro-hawkish?" Matthews asks, in a sentence I dare not diagram.

Ha, Matthews thinks that the President is a "bit behind the curve" on this war. Ignatius thinks, though, that Obama can salvage this by generating synergy with the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11. I hope it's called SEPTEMBER 11TH DECADAPALOOZA -- THE YEAR WE DESTROY CYNICISM, OR, AT THE VERY LEAST, FINALLY CONVINCE YOU TO CEASE ALL ATTEMPTS AT CIVIC ENGAGEMENT OVER THIS, I MEAN, YOU WERE TOLD TO GO SHOPPING, SO GO SHOPPING, MEANWHILE, HERE ARE SOME BALLOON ANIMALS, NOW SHUT UP: "YEEHAW, 9/11!"

Now there are some clips of The Daily Show. I think the point Matthews makes is that as the show stuck around on the air, it hired more writers and evolved and got better at making jokes.

Norah O'Donnell says that Jon Stewart is like everyone who yells at the idiots on the teevee, only he does it better than everyone, and helps people have more fun by being the guy who does it. Which is a smart and fair way of looking about it.

Matthews: "Plus more people get their news from him." Actually, more people who "get news" watch his show and subsequently "get the jokes" and go on to have a slightly deeper understanding of the context of that news. I'm quite sure, though, that you can't enjoy the Daily Show without being fairly hyper-engaged with the news in the first place.

I kind of don't understand what this next discussion is about! The tea party likes certain candidates, and the establishment likes other candidates. But the Tea Party has basically been co-opted by the establishment. So, if Romney wins the nomination. they'll work very hard and very enthusiastically for him. At the very least, they'll work hard to elect downticket Republicans. In the meanwhile, sure, some far-right primary voters will vote for people like Michele Bachmann.

Also, Chris Matthews is really sad that Norah O'Donnell is leaving NBC, it seems! Cheer up, you'll still see each other at parties and junk!

Anyway, primary voters! They will vote. In the primaries!

Things Chris Matthews does not know includes the fact that a third stimulus package is on the way (Duffy), a White House official is worried about the future of Af-Pak troop levels and how they affect our ability to cold invade Pakistan whenever we need to (Cooper), Pakistan's relationship with India is getting better (Ignatius).

Matthews big question relates to the Bloomberg poll that finds a plurality of people saying they're worse off now than they were in 2008. How does Obama fix this problem? (Go back in time and reinstate Glass-Steagall!) Duffy says he has to get people to feel like they are better off, so they stop saying things like that in polls. (O-kay!) Ignatius says he has to hope the economy does better, and look confident, and it wouldn't hurt if the GOP nominated someone who was widely regarded as unstable. Cooper says that he will "try to make it right." O'Donnell says the Obama team will try to make this a "choice" election and not a "referendum" election.

Matthews wishes O'Donnell all the best as she jumps to CBS. We do as well! She'll get to be the only on-air O'Donnell there, so that's pretty exciting.


I figure that you really can't fully appreciate how great it is to not have to watch these shows for a week without immersing yourself fully in the crapulence, so, hey, it's MEET THE PRESS time! Don't forget to mindlessly @-reply and hashtag their topics in Twitter, so that the pace of David Gregory's Tweetdeck reaches hypnotic levels.

Okay, so, more OMG OMG DEBT CEILING chat, with Chris Christie, for some reason. Jack Reed and Jim Webb will talk about Afghanistan. And one last dull roundtable discussion, where Katty Kay will have to sit in the same room as Matt Bai and David Brooks for as long as possible without screaming. This is one day I'm prepared to let Chris Christie blather on and on. Unfortunately, this interview has been edited for television.

Chris Christie says that the President has to get involved personally in the OMG OMG DEBT CEILING discussion and that everyone has to have "skin in the game," except for, I'm presuming, anyone who wants to raise taxes. He says that if the President leads the way in selling what John Boehner and Eric Cantor wants, more people will get behind what John Boehner and Eric Cantor wants.

What about a balanced budget amendment? Is that too far? Christie says that Demint's purity test is not something he can get behind. But, as the elite pundits have called for significant deficit reduction, there ought to be significant deficit reduction.

David Gregory, apparently, needs assistance in differentiating the way a state government works and the way the federal government works, and apparently requires an exclusive interview with a politician, rather than say, asking an intern for help or looking it up on Wikipedia.

Chris Christie says he is by no means "demagoguing" anyone when he makes teachers out to be monstrous devils. Hey, you know, somehow, in about 2008 the economy got severely damaged, and someone needs to be held accountable, and it may as well be those high and mighty teachers with their short days and summers off who have made out like bandits on the backs of the public teat!

Christie basically tells David Gregory that he's pretty stupid to be asking him to evaluate the war in Afghanistan. He says that tapping the strategic petroleum reserve might end up "looking like a political move" (which would come in response to a bunch of people attempting to say that the president personally made gas prices high, for some reason, because: politics).

What are Republicans going to do about the wages of the "middle class," a group that David Gregory hears is out there, existing, in America. Christie says that everything is going great in New Jersey, so move there, for growth. You don't have to pump your own gas! For the middle class, that is like living like kings.

Christie has no 2012 endorsement. He will not be running. He does not think anyone new needs to join the race. Michele Bachmann? Ho, ho: Chris Christie has never heard of this famous lady, from Tea Party Screechtown! he looks forward to hearing more about this lady, who seems to be "serious about her beliefs."

Would he sign the abortion pledge that all the Republicans are signing? "I haven't seen the abortion pledge and I don't know what it says." Pretty cagey! I mean, you do have to check that out. I could be a pledge to become an abortion, and who wants that! At any rate, Christie is pro-life, with exceptions for rape and the life of the mother. So New Jersey ladies are chattel, but chattel that Chris Christie doesn't feel needs to perish in the act of broodmaring. He says New Jersey will continue to pursue civil unions and wouldn't sign a bill like Cuomo signed in New York.

(New York is just up the road, affluent New Jersey members of the LGBT community!)

Chris Christie basically doesn't think it's "anyone's business" what policies he endorses. And he says, "Damn right" public servants should treat their constituents like dirt, and yell at them and mock them. Frankly, Chris Christie is the apotheosis of the creeping celebritization of politicians that's been underway for a long time. Every once in a while, one of these people screws up and, say, sends a picture of their crotch out on twitter. But they all feel bulletproof now. None are under any illusion that most Americans believe any longer that political power comes from the citizenry, that they serve at our pleasure. People need to take back their power, and flip the script!

There should be a sort of caste system in America, where anyone who becomes a public servant (and will reap the astounding affluence that comes from having served) is made to feel, during their time in office, like they are less-than-a-citizen, because they truly are! We're not the ones who are supposed to say, "How high?" when Chris Christie says "Jump!"

Americans have really got to recover the lost art of making their representatives in Congress -- and by this I mean, the specific people they elect -- feel small. And if you voted for a guy, you have to be responsible for that. You aren't their pal! I prefer the guy who represents me to always be choking on an apology.

Let's try to remember the American Caste System:

From highest to lowest:
1. My fellow American citizens.
2. Our pets.
3. Our bloggers.
4. Our public servants.
5. The people appointed to office by our public servants.
6. The people who staff the people on levels 4 and 5.
7. Starlings.
8. Everyone who works on MEET THE PRESS.
9. Mold, lichens.

Christie: "Don't question my parenting decisions." If I feel like it, dude, I will. Until you're my equal again, I suggest you lie back and try to enjoy it.

Christie at the very least, seems to understand that being an unrestrained, rapacious dick excludes him from being considered "vice-presidential material." He reiterates again that he won't be president.

Wow. Chris Christie did blather on long enough to push the Reed/Webb interview to nearly the halfway point in the show, which means the terrible panel will at least be somewhat brief. Huzzah! See, Chris Christie has met my needs today, so he may have a cookie!

Unfortunately, this is a discussion about Afghanistan, which is a serious subject, so i expect that this will be over with very quickly to make way for David Brooks to make love to himself.

But, okay! Afghanistan. We will be taking a few troops, here and there, out of Afghanistan. Reed says, though, that Obama's decision to putatively do some withdrawal type stuff was not a difficult decision. And how could it be! It's almost no decision at all!

What are the "broader concerns" that General David Petraeus alluded to while suggesting that the drawdown was more aggressive than he would have preferred, which is hilarious, given the fact that it's not aggressive at all, even a little teensy bit. Webb says that his concern is that we need to actually start fixing America, and put Afghanistan on a path where they are taking care of themselves. Webb also says he's not "holding his breath" that withdrawal from Iraq will pan out (it will unless the Iraqis say otherwise, please see the current Status of Forces Agreement) and that he has problems with "the Libya situation." (Maybe call it a "war," because you know, the Congress doesn't have the power to "declare a situation.")

Webb also says that we are "approaching a Munich moment" with China. Gregory says he'll get back to that, but before we discuss anything that relates to the lives of actual Americans, let's have some Republican-versus-Democrat Horsey Race Timez! Will liberals keep voting to fund the war? Because Barbara Lee says she won't...sort of. Can we not draw down quickly now that Osama is dead?

Reed says that we have a clear strategy! We are "coming out of Afghanistan." Some restrictions apply. Void where prohibited!

"The mission still seems unclear," says Gregory, who like everyone else, is noticing this for the first time, long after it would have been useful. Webb says the drawdown could be quicker, but he doesn't want "to send the wrong signals to the Taliban." (The current signals we're sending, by the way are: "Wow! Ten years and y'all haven't budged, have you! Would you like to maybe negotiate our way out of this? We would like to leave now.")

"That's a really important point," says Gregory, saying what he would say if Webb had said he preferred mayo on his turkey sandwich.

Reed insists that we are no longer talking about "nation-building." Rather, we are talking about "stabilization." Got it. All we have to do now is make the "graveyard of empires" with a corrupt central government in Kabul and Taliban warlords ruling over a citizenry who grow opium for their livelihoods "stable." This does not at all sound like something that will be left to future generations to solve, at all!

Webb says that he doesn't think that most Americans will accept a result that doesn't lead to stabilization in Afghanistan. He doesn't think we need a permanent presence in Iraq or Pakistan. (Reed says we need one in Af-Pak.)

1. Bring Whitey Bulger to justice immediately!
2. Let Chris Christie yell at America, they deserve it.
4. Solve the Israel-Palestine dealie
5. Stabilize Afghanistan
(If you have time: Check out the rumors of a "massive unemployment crisis" we keep hearing about.)

Reed isn't happy with the way Libya went down, but he will gladly pass a law allowing it to continue for a year. Webb disagrees, and says the president should have come to Congress, and lacked precedent to go into Libya. "We have to stop this addiction," he says. Webb will support Lugar's Libya bill.

And that's it? We're not going to talk about China, like you promised, David Gregory? Oh well! The good news is the panel discussion has been limited to a potential nineteen minutes only.

What's up with the mounting criticism of the president's leadership? Brooks says it's somewhat warranted and somewhat not warranted. Christie is like this way and Obama is like that way. One way has advantages and disadvantages, and the other way has disadvantages and advantages. Plop plop: reference to Miles Davis, laugh at self for being cleverness, boom: the social animal.

Ha, the Economist wonders if we'll regret Obama taking too many soldiers home from Afghanistan too soon! It makes me wonder is the Economist has heard of this thing called "economics."

David Gregory, pivoting from the War in Afghanistan: "Okay, Matt Bai, apply this to the debt ceiling talks." If Bai says anything other than, "No children will grow up to be dead things in Afghanistan if we raise the debt ceiling tomorrow, he deserves to have a bucket of swamp water dumped on his head."

Bai says, after Gregory answers his own question, says that there's going to be a deal, but goes on to say that the debt ceiling matter should not have been "negotiated in secret." Yes. There should have been weeks and weeks of public grandstanding. That would have helped immensely to settle an issue that had never ever been an issue until the GOP started turning it into one by public grandstanding.

Brooks thinks that Obama needs to have more pie charts and town hall meetings, like Chris Christie. And maybe he could have yelled at Afghanistan peasant ladies! Show leadership! Anyway, David Brooks is pessimistic, because he thinks both sides are "prepared to go to the wall." (To Brooks' mind, the most reasonable thing to do is to let the most unreasonable side prevail.)

Katty Kay points out that at this point, the markets are probably about to quiver because they recognize how blessedly stupid our lawmakers are.

David Gregory continues to be impressed with the "cork-board" graphic NBC came up with to remind him who is in the 2012 race for the GOP nomination.

Matt Bai is talking about horses and squirting. He says the 2012 race started "later than usual." What deadline did we miss? I mean, wouldn't it be better if we held off for a few more months?

The panel agrees that there could be enough moderates to give Huntsman the nomination, unless there aren't, in which case, someone else will be the nominee. Huntsman has time to make his case, unless he doesn't, in which case he won't. Pawlenty, according to Brooks, made a big error pretending to be working class, when he is really the candidate of moneyed entrepeneurs. "Pawlenty does not understand his own campaign," David Brooks says, of the man running the 1,234,952nd political campaign in American history where a rich guy who likes other rich guys runs for office on the promise to help rich guys get richer while posing as if he was a working class pipe-fitting, goat-herding, son of a millworker-slash-meatpacker. He says that Huntsman is something new. (Huntsman is also extremely wealthy.)

What about Palin going to Iowa to premiere her movie the same week Michele Bachmann is going to Iowa. Two ladies in Iowa at the same time? Is that possible? Wait, what was the question again? Whatever, we mentioned Palin!

Now we get to the part of the show where Meet The Press reports on this show, Meet The Press, and whether or not it managed to make news on Twitter. Meet the Press reports that what's "trending" right now is the poll numbers for Romney and Bachmann in Iowa. Also, OMG OMG THE DEBT CEILING is trending. And the marriage equality vote in New York.

David Gregory reports that David Gregory is pretty sure that Jim Webb said some important things this morning on Meet The Press. That's a Meet The Press exclusive: this report that something that happened on Meet The Press turns out to have been worthy of pointing teevee cameras at.

Also, people are talking about things on Twitter today. Again, that's a MEET THE PRESS exclusive. Must credit MEET THE PRESS.

Oh, man! What a rip off! Meet The Press is going to be away the same weekend as I. It's never as satisfying to have Sunday off knowing that it's a day they're having off, too. But it's too late now.

Anyway, we return in two weeks. Have a great Sunday afternoon and fortnight of blessings and joy!