Tag Archives: This Week

Auto-Tune the News! (Vol. I)

First saw these guys on Rachel Maddow. Absolutely genius. I want all news, all the time to be auto-tuned….CNN take note.

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more about “Auto-Tune the News #2: pirates. drugs…“, posted with vodpod
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Twitter Gains Legitimacy?

Interesting post from Glenn Thrush over at Politico dealing with Twitter and politics (two items that seem to go hand in hand more and more often these days):

George Stephanopoulos is grilling Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in a language she can understand — Tweet.

GS: @clairecmc Hey Senator, George here. On This Week, you signaled support for omnibus (great to have you btw) What changed?18 minutes ago from web in reply to clairecmc

CM: Ultimately just couldn’t do it. Not just earmrks tho, also increase in spendng(8%too much)& failure to reconcile $ with stimuls

McCaskill has about 15,000 Twitter followers; Stephanopoulos about 133,000.

[Shameless plug: I Tweet at GlennThrush]

But George’s query represents, it seems to me, a logical challenge for a technology that has created a new, novel and closely monitored semi-public space.

McCaskill has generated great publicity with her entertaining and often candid Tweets — clearly enhancing her political reputation (at least with reporters) through the medium. So doesn’t that give reporters the right to use the same space to pose hard-nosed questions?

Even more so, due to greater and greater use of the service by politicians like Sen. McCaskill in an attempt to create more general transparency for the media and constituents alike, has Twitter “accidentally” become a much more significant  journalistic tool than had ever been envisioned?

Thoughts?

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Rush vs. Republicans, Round 1

How is it that there is an argument going on within the GOP/Politosphere about whether or not the Republican party wants President Obama to fail? This seems completely ludicrous! We’re only a little more than a month into his presidency. It wasn’t all that long ago that Obama won an election in which a fair majority of the American public voted for his proposed policies and, to some degree, ideology. The ideology hasn’t changed, so one must ask whether or not some Republicans (Rush Limbaugh) with hopefully short-term amnesia have inadvertantly decided to take a stand against the American citizenry, because let’s be clear: if Obama fails, we all fail.  Of course, I’m simplifying a more nuanced battle royale- the one between unelected non-deciders like Rush and elected officials like Eric Cantor and even Michael Steele- but for now let’s just all hope that sanity wins the day (notice that today Eric Cantor represents sanity…).

Chris Good over at Marc Ambinder writes about the inter-party dance-off:

Rush Limbaugh’s barn-burner at CPAC this weekend drew a line in the sand, once again, for Republicans: either they want President Obama to fail, or they don’t. RNC Chairman Michael Steele, subsequently, walked a tightrope on the issue last night in an interview with D.L. Hughley on CNN.

Conservative and liberal blogs alike Monday picked up on Steele’s response, some blasting Steele and others promoting a fight between the two GOP heavyweights. But Steele’s answer to Limbaugh, and its political implications, were a bit more complicated.

First came the question of Steele’s status as party leader. Hughley challenged the RNC chairman, asserting that Limbaugh is the GOP’s de facto leader. “No he’s not,” Steele responded. “I’m the de facto leader of the Republican Party.”

On the philosophy behind Limbaugh’s “fail” assertion, Steele supported the conservative commentator; on the rhetoric of it, Steele stood opposed to Rush:

“How is that any different than what was said about George Bush during his presidency?” Steele asked, making a point Limbaugh himself made during the CPAC speech, in response to Hughley’s blasting of Limbaugh’s “incindiary” rhetoric.

“Let’s put it in the context here,” Steele said. “Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. His whole thing is entertainment…yes, it’s incindiary, yes, it’s ugly.” And that’s the line that has gotten the idea of Steele vs. Rush so much play in the blogosphere today.

The complexity of Steele’s response stands in stark opposition to that of House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, who, speaking on ABC’s “This Week” yesterday, clearly distanced himself from the radio commentator’s claim: “Nobody–no Republican, no Democrat–wants this president to fail, nor do they want this country to fail or the economy to fail,” Cantor said.

While Cantor and Steele both attacked the rhetoric, there are big differences between their political situations: Cantor, as a prominent leader in the House GOP, has to work with Obama; Steele, as the party’s top political officer, has to generate campaign cash, balance the interests of the GOP’s base–much of which, evidently, strongly agrees with Limbaugh–all the while asserting himself as political top dog in the GOP against claims that Limbaugh is the party’s de facto leader.

Steele has put forth a vision for a more inclusive GOP–not necessarily inclusive to the idea of working with Democrats, but inclusive to new voting demographics–and “incindiary” rhetoric like Limbaugh’s may seem to threaten his chance at bringing in new votes. Then again, nothing generates campaign donations like passionate support, and nothing generates passionate support like “incindiary” opposition to Democrats.

The idea of Steele attacking Rush likely isn’t one the RNC wants floating around the blogosphere–after all, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) ended up calling Limbaugh to apologize for criticizing him in January–but Steele stood behind Rush’s desire for Obama to “fail.” He may not be reaping the media-coverage benefits for doing so, but the distinction highlight’s Steele’s position between Limbaugh, Cantor, and the GOP donor base.

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BREAKING NEWS: Eric Cantor Exaggerates Omnibus Bull

Oh how I loathe Eric Cantor. It’s not really his politics, though I certainly don’t agree with them. I do think he is an in intelligent, if perhaps overly ambitious guy, and have to applaud his ability to whip every single House Republican in line when it came to the Stimulus bill. No, it’s much more his general demeanor. The way he always seems to be whining and exaggerating even when he perhaps is not (I’ll have to take a look at FactCheck.org and research his honesty quotient later on…).

Glenn Thrush’s most recent entry on his Politico blog Hill Intrigue does seem to give at least a smidge of credence to my amateur assessment that Eric Cantor is indeed a liar liar pants on fire:

House Minority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is rounding up — big-time — in his accounting of the $410 billion omnibus plan that passed the House last week.

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos, Cantor claimed: 

We have a — five — an almost $500 billion omnibus bill that came out of the House that will be considered by the Senate… The fact [is] that there are 9,000 earmarks in this bill…

The omnibus number is off by a whopping $90 billion — a more than the 22 percent deviation.

Cantor’s 9,000-earmark claim is also an exaggeration and doesn’t even contain the modifier “almost.”

Taxpayers for Common Sense, whose Feb. 24 earmarks analysis is widely cited (and the source of Cantor’s claim), had the total at 8,570. That amounts to $7.7 billion, $500 million less than the previous year.

UPDATE: We pointed this out to a Cantor spokesman who has yet to respond

I think I can forgive you this time Cantor, but we’ll be watching you and your devious ways. *

 

*There are also Democrats I dislike for shameful reasons, who I am sure will soon be written about. I like to think of myself as an equal opportunity offender.

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