Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Daily Strike-4/19/09-Talk Show Fun

Good Sunday evening and welcome to the Daily Strike. The President is on his way back from Trinidad tonight after an eventful few days in Latin America. Let's see what went on today in politics.

SUNDAY TALK SHOWS: A busy day on the talk-show circuit, I don't even know where to start. Let's go with the release of the Bush-era torture memos. The release raised the ire of Bush CIA Director Michael Hayden, who partied on Fox News Sunday with fear-mongering like it was 2002. He claimed that because of the release of these memos, intelligence officers will now spend time worrying about the views of the New York Times and the ACLU (good?). He also said that Al Qaeda has been clued in on how far the U.S. will go t0 glean information. He also refused to say that Waterboarding was torture. This guy is full of you know what. First of all, most of this information had been widely known by the public since about 2005. Second of all, what difference does it make if Al Qaeda knows what our techniques are? Are they not going to share vital information now that they know we used to waterboard? All evidence has show that torture is an extremely ineffective way to gather intelligence, because prisoners only say what they think will stop the torturing. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel scoffed at these criticisms on "This Week" by reminding people that this information is widely known. He said, "Go to the New York Review of Books. It's there."

Emanuel also offered his opinions on the subject of bipartisanship. The strong-armed former Illinois Congressman said that the administration is willing to work with the Republican party, but he also called them the "party of no." He says that they have not been coming to the negotiating table with constructive ideas so far. I hope Emanuel is implying that if Republicans don't play ball on health care reform, energy legislation or financial regulation, the administration will still go full speed ahead.

On Meet the Press, White House economic adviser Larry Summers said that the administration is going to push hard in the coming weeks for a credit card reform package that prevents the companies from "marketing credit in a way that addicts people." He also said the President will focus on a series of financial market regulations throughout the rest of the calendar year. The Senate considers such a bill tomorrow. Details on that in tomorrow morning's Weekly Strike.

The goat of the day has to be Republican Senator John Ensign of Nevada, who called Obama's handshake with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez "irresponsible." Said Ensign, "When you're talking about the prestige of the United States and the presidency of the United States, you have to be careful who you're seeing joking around with.” This just reeks of Republican implications that Obama is somehow "anti-American." It was the same thing a couple of weeks ago when Republicans were assailing the President for acknowledging that the U.S. has treated Europe with some bluster. Ensign failed to mention of course (luckily Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar helped him out) that Chavez shook George W. Bush's hand in 2001. Obama pointed out in a somewhat dismissive tone at a press conference today that he doubts one handshake will hurt the strategic interests of the United States.

That's it for tonight. Many thanks to Small Town Roots, who wrote some very nice comments yesterday. You all better follow his example!

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