Wednesday, in a historic moment, President Barack Obama came out for gay marriage in an interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts. President Obama would always say his views were "evolving" on gay marriage and gay rights, but it always seemed more like he was waiting on the public to "evolve." Under his administration he watched as the political environment became more favorable towards things like ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell in the military (which Obama did) and fighting the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which under the Obama Administration the Department of Justice does not defend. And for the criticism that has come on the left, that Obama's words could have been stronger, as he's still left marriage up to the states, there's no denying the historic nature of this.
Entries in ABC News (9)
Somewhere, in-between me knitting booties for little Blue Illuminati Carter, the GOP had two debates this weekend leading up to the New Hampshire primary. The first debate, hosted by ABC News had so much promise, starting off with a lot of angry posturing, testy exchanges, harrumphing and epic put downs, but for some reason, ABC thought it would be way too exciting to watch six men on the edge of a breakdown lose their collective shit on stage, so they zapped all the life out that sucker by making the debate about how much Mitt Romney hates "hypothetical" questions about gay people and abortions.
Got an email from ABC News reporter Yunji de Nies saying the segment on Disney's The Princess and the Frog was bumped from this morning's Good Morning America. (Booo!) But it might air tomorrow? (Yeah!) I'll keep you posted. Sorry to all you folks who actually got up and the crack of dawn (like my family) to not see me! Thanks for your continued support!
It's on like popcorn! The Snob and Yunji! Together again! I sat down with my fav ABC News reporter Yunji de Nies today and shot an interview on Disney's The Princess and the Frog! I'm going to be quoted in a story that will air Saturday morning (tomorrow) on ABC's Good Morning America around 7ish EST! Pray that I don't get bumped by any more Tiger Mistressessesssssss!
Talkin' bout Michelle Obama! With giant afro hair! Clips of my interview will air as part of a much larger story on Michelle O's own First 100 Days. I'll be watching myself through my fingers! I'm so excited! I'll either be brill or sound crazy, there's never any in-between with me. Yeah for me! Check your local listings! (Nightline)
John McCain is mad as hell and conservative curmudgeon George Will isn't going to take it anymore.
He starts out with quote, an allusion to John McCain being like the queen in Alice In Wonderland wildly shouting "Off with their heads!" at every perceived tormentor. Howling it over our financial crisis and conservative columnist George Will's critique doesn't get any better from there.
Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama.
Channeling his inner Queen of Hearts, John McCain furiously, and apparently without even looking around at facts, said Chris Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, should be decapitated. This childish reflex provoked the Wall Street Journal to editorialize that "McCain untethered" -- disconnected from knowledge and principle -- had made a "false and deeply unfair" attack on Cox that was "unpresidential" and demonstrated that McCain "doesn't understand what's happening on Wall Street any better than Barack Obama does."
George Will is through with the Straight Talk Express. Especially as it evolves into the Befuddled Talk Express. Will is exasperated with McCain and writes as much so in his column Tuesday. It's a vigorous literary battering that never lets up as Will exerts his frustration and disappointment with McMaverick.
McCain's smear -- that Cox "betrayed the public's trust" -- is a harbinger of a McCain presidency. For McCain, politics is always operatic, pitting people who agree with him against those who are "corrupt" or "betray the public's trust," two categories that seem to be exhaustive -- there are no other people. McCain's Manichaean worldview drove him to his signature legislative achievement, the McCain-Feingold law's restrictions on campaigning. Today, his campaign is creatively finding interstices in laws intended to restrict campaign giving and spending
An old school conservative, Will stands on the side of smaller government. Like many fiscal conservatives, he questions the necessity and rectitude in a possible $700 billion-plus bail out of private companies who caused the market meltdown by taking duplicitous mortgages and selling them as investment funds.
On ABC's This Week, Will called the move to buy up the bad debt of wayward companies the dreaded "S" word -- socialism. The prudish pundit doesn't want to reward the bad actors in this drama, but he also doesn't want a potential president of the United States running around half-cocked calling for men to be fired and heads to be chopped. It was a frustration that Will unfurled previously on the show Sunday. He surprised the writers at The Huffington Post with his sudden frankness about McCain's temper, rashes and the "age issue."
In the Sunday morning quintet Will assesses that John McCain has shown his true personality and "it has made some of us fearful." Sam Donaldson knocks McCain around about his gaffe riddled week where he repeated numerous times that the economy was fundamentally sound as the markets went into free fall. Within the span of a few hours in one day McCain went from being mute on the crisis to suddenly acknowledging the collapse and turning into a populist.
The panel called in pandering.
By the end of Will's column he poses a question that he believes every voter must consider.
Conservatives who insist that electing McCain is crucial usually start, and increasingly end, by saying he would make excellent judicial selections. But the more one sees of his impulsive, intensely personal reactions to people and events, the less confidence one has that he would select judges by calm reflection and clear principles, having neither patience nor aptitude for either.
It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?
I find Will's doubting of McCain's ability to lead fascinating because he is seeing what other Republicans foretold during the primaries. That McCain had temper issues. That it concerned them that he could be president with his tendencies to go with gut and heart over substance and fact.
It is McCain's love of risk over reward that lead to an "almost" endorsement for Obama from the conservative. A de facto endorsement for a man Will is ideologically opposed to but may be a safer bet as Will argues that voting for a president has to be about more than judicial appointments.
What's the point of electing McCain if his temperament and nature make him unfit for the position? What if the same unpredictable nature that caused him to select a political novice/novelty act, Gov. Sarah Palin, as his running mate, that precociousness that caused him to call for a man to be fired when it was the entire financial regulatory system and private industry who caused his mess, what if that same personality was applied to the world we live in today? What would a McCain presidency wrought?
Would McCain roll the dice on Iraq? Nuclear disarmament? Our relationship with China? Our relationship with Russia? In our adviser and protector role with Israel? In our crises at home with finances, ballooning budgets and deficits, wounded soldiers returning home, unemployment, health care, problems in the Food and Drug Administration and education? Would he go for parlor tricks, gimmicks and pixie dust? Would he go for having Cindy McCain blow a kiss on the dice before McCain shouts "Come on seven, eleven!" on America?
Can McCain control McCain and will others begin to ask this same question if George Will is asking this question? Is McCain's maverick streak merely the side effect of the gambling addict? A sign of mania and lack of impulse control?
Does maverick equal reckless?
We already know George Will's answer. But what does the rest of America think?
The bar was set so low Gov. Sarah Palin didn't have to do much to pass, but she's going to need a more than cram session with party operatives to ace the final. (Photo: Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin and ABC News' Charlie Rose, Reuters)
Every answer was answered quickly and assertively as if every word was parsed, perfected and practiced over and over and over again.
I could hear Gov. Sarah Palin's Republican coaches echoing in her ear:
"We are friends with Israel and I don't think that we should second-guess the measures that Israel has to take to defend themselves and for their security."
Who cares that in the real world Israel would never do anything that big without letting us know first, without us being complicit in either the knowledge of the act in presage or in helping execute a strike. We interfere directly with Israel's interests all the time, from pushing for elections in the territories leading to the election of Hamas, to arming Hamas' opposition Fatah even though both organizations hate Israel. (One just didn't want to recognize them as a state.)
There wasn't a lot of depth in her answers. The Alaska is close to Russia foreign policy defense, repeated by so many Republican operatives with straight faces, is starting to border on comical. How is that even a serious answer? To quote Barack Obama:
"They must think you're stupid!"
And throughout the interview I wondered if she thought I was stupid. If she thought I couldn't hear the coaching and see the gears turning in her head. That I could tell the places where she fumbled because she couldn't go deeper than paper thin. That she retreated to her garrisons of "energy" and "talking points" whenever things got too complicated. That she was quick to answer but easy to trap and ABC News' Charlie Gibson tried when asking her about the "Bush Doctrine" (a foreign policy view which morphed over time) or having her clarify if she saw the war on terrorism in the Middle East was a "holy" war, a mission from God, as she alluded to in a testimony she gave at her home church.
It will be interesting how she will handle future interviews. Despite what the operatives squawk, Palin was not vetted and because the press and public knew so little about her there was going to be a gauntlet she would have to run. Avoiding gaffes and traps and verbal slip ups and casualties of personal failings. One false move and all her hard work could be derailed.
She can't do worse than her superior, John McCain, who often falters under questioning, even more so than the president. George W. Bush is not exactly known as an adept speaker, but he's usual good at avoiding traps by either being flip or refusing to answer the question.
McCain can only ramble, making mistakes and misspeaking but usually escaping unscathed due to his decades in the public view. Palin doesn't have that to fall on. She can't just blurt "war hero" as a cry of "uncle" causing the other side to relent. The Republican Party has suddenly become righteous about sexism charging headfirst into "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" territory with Palin. They cry sexism over every criticism even though they and Palin once described women who point out prejudice and privilege are "whining."
Maybe the chorus of hockey moms crying "she's just like us" because she the Brett Favre of vice presidential candidates, can protect her. That they can shelter her with the belief she's just a "regular dude (or dudette in this case)." She married young, she's a working mom and her teenage daughter is pregnant.
She's just like us.
I find this mantra both silly and scary because why would you want someone like you to be president? You want your president to be better than you. Your vice president to be better than you. To be "elites." The creme of the brulee. For them both to be smarter and more savvy and more cunning than you because they're going to be leader of the free world.
Not the head of your bowling league team.
Being a regular dudette is not a threshold you have to cross to be a candidate for the number two spot on a presidential ticket. I want to know if you've got game. If you can bring it. If you are rock solid. If you can take it -- the criticism, the heat, the pressure, the pain, the politics, because it never lets up. Because if you win you enter a whole new world of internal and external pressures that never takes a holiday, even when you do.
I know I couldn't take it. Could you? Can Sarah Palin?
She hasn't proved that to me. Not yet. But the test has only begun and next time it won't be open book.
I had to hear what the hype was about.
Everyone was talking about ABC News' Democratic Debate, promoted to death as a "Rumble in the Jungle" sort of bonanza and I didn't watch it because ... there had been more than 18 Democratic Debates already.
I just didn't think anything new could come out of yet another one of these two-hour "respectfully-disagree-a-thons" where everyone's answers are about the same and all the squabbling is petty.
But after a listen on YouTube it seems this time, rather than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama niggling over health care plans and who going to end the war in Iraq fastest, ABC decided to act a damn fool.
Charlie Gibson: Pledge now that which ever one of you wins this contest you'll take the other as your running mate and that the other one will agree if they lose to take the second place on the ticket. So I put the question to both of you, why not?
No one should actually be surprised that ABC's Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos spent the first 45 minutes of the debate discussing former members of the Weather Underground, flag pins and "electability." The news coverage of the entire race has been an examination in belly button lint. All these non-events have been treated as serious political discourse simply because they pop up on YouTube and spread virally through e-mail.
"(This is the) manufactured issue that our politics has become obsessed with and once again distracts us from what should be my job when I become commander-in-chief," Obama said.
Why not reduce the debate to questions about Barack Obama's patriotism? He's not wearing a flag pin. Obviously he hates America! And because I don't spell women with a "y," I'm obviously not a real feminist. And because I'm single and childless obviously I'm anti-family and hate children!
It was unseemly, but TV journalism has been unseemly for awhile. It's simply new to see ABC, a well-monied, Disney-owned broadcast network, handle this so sloppily. Even CNN's Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer would have mixed the inane with the serious. I'd hope wouldn't open with the "Hold hands and kiss! C'mon! You know you want to do! Do it! We all want you to do it and run together for president!" question.
Even the, "oooo, so-not-scary" Chris Wallace and Brit Hume at FOX might have mixed it up (although some are claiming FOX's Sean Hannity fed Stephanopoulos some of his more brow raising haymakers). But 45 minutes of damning fluff meant only to impugn Obama's character with the whole "secret Muslim/America-hater" gambit?
Obama was once seen eating a bratwurst during the Taste of Chicago. Bratwursts created by Germans. Germans were responsible for World War II so ... dear God! OBAMA HEARTS HILTER! Al Qaeda, Castro, Louis Farrakhan and Rev. Wright together at last!
There are so many legitimate ways to criticize Barack Obama. There are so many legitimate questions. Like his voting record. I realize it's not as long as others, but there is still an actual voting record full of, you know, FACTS that one could base their questions on.
But never mind me. Please. Continue discussing all that nothing. Let us talk about "elitism," even though our country was founded by "elites." Let's talk about voter "antipathy" in Pennsylvania because Obama was smoozing at a San Fran fund raiser saying shit you say at a San Fran fund raiser. Let's talk about Rev. Wright and The Weather Underground and Clinton's Bosnia flub.
Let's all fiddle together while Washington burns.
If the American experiment fails it won't be because we've been taken over by another country or that the Average Joes have come down with a case of Al Qaeda Fever. We're going down because we're a nation of fools. A nation of children who want everything for nothing. Who want their bridges to not fall down, but don't want to pay taxes. Who want to waste what tax money there is on people, places and things that don't need them in the first place. Who want war but want someone else to go fight it. Who want to reap the rewards but none of the consequences. Who want cheap goods and services, who want cheap food and labor but don't want to own up to what has to be done to keep those goods and services cheap, that we are a nation of snakes swallowing our own tails whole.
But please. Don't mind me, Charlie and George, CNN and FOX, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, Akon and Lil' Wayne. Please continue to celebrate the dumb and decadent. Our bedazzled ignorance is growing in numbers to the point that one day we will be like Moby, we will be all made of stars, legions of mirrors glistening, reflecting back upon ourselves onto the YouTube's of our desires and Andy Warhol's cliched 15 minutes turns to an operatic aria of self-masturbatory narcissism where you don't need to be rich or "elite" to obtain.
PS. I too found it highly suspect that Stephanopoulos told Clinton he did not want to ask her about the "Bill Richardson = Judas" thing. Maybe they were trying to go light on Hillary Clinton because they bought the hype. Maybe George felt some residual loyalty to the woman who's husband used to sign his checks. Who knows. George really shouldn't have helmed the debate for those reasons alone.
I haven't really gotten into the Richardson flap because I don't like the guy.
Last year I had to do a lot of research on No Child Left Behind and I found his pandering on the issue rather disgusting. He was advocating repealing it, but wasn't offering anything that would actually fix the inequities in our education system. This was made doubly disgusting as his state was rife with education problems too.
I also thought for an intelligent man he came off as a moron on every morning show I saw him on. Tim Russert beat him down so bad on Meet the Press last fall I'm positive Richardson has PTSD over it.
Richardson has his good points and can even come off as a likable guy, but I didn't see Richardson's endorsement of Obama as a "good" thing. It wasn't bad because the only person it hurt was Hillary Clinton. Richardson was their guy and he went with Obama. But for all his talk about Obama being the guy for America I felt it was more about Obama being the guy for Richardson. He wants to ride Obama's coattails like he road the Clintons'. So, if I were in the Obama camp I'd keep an eye on that dude.
He's up to no damn good.
Sadly ... no, not sadly ... nonchalantly, I missed the Democratic debate on Wednesday. All those car crash reviews in the press gave the impression that an old man and a former member of the Clinton Administration couldn't conduct a mindful, provocative debate.
"The nation has witnessed, first hand, George Stephanopoulos and Charlie Gibson for who they really are: pandering yellow journalists. www.huffingtonpost.com.barkers ...," blogger Bob Cesca wrote at
Nearly 17,000 comments flooded ABC News' Web site, many of them pouring scorn on the moderators, who were booed by the auditorium crowd near the end of the debate.
"Stephanopoulos and Gibson are the worst of hacks. Asinine nincompoopery. I'm glad they were jeered at the end," one poster, identified only as Splendoline, wrote.
Damn! Out of all the shitty debates, from Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper talking to YouTube to various debates Republicans refused to show up for, I miss this one--the one that apparently took crappy to a whole new level.
Since I missed it (as I'm really, REALLY on vacation. I got my hair done today and I'm sore all over from moving muscles other than my fingers) please feel free to fill me in where all that the negative press left out.
Other than that ... seriously. He worked for the first Clinton Administration. You didn't think that would be an issue, ABC News? Because it doesn't matter if you leave the White House in a huff, saying you were famously disgusted and disappointed by your boss' skirt chasing. That gives you even more reasons to say, "Hey, Disney. Maybe I should really sit this one out. Let someone who actually went to J-school and worked at a TV station in Fresno for two years have a shot. You know. Someone who didn't just stroll in off the street after having a fight with their boss and take a job some other poor journalist, like ... I don't know ... Cokie Roberts had worked so hard for and was denied yet again."
Oh, Stephanopoulos. When will you ever learn?