Thursday, September 11, 2008

Questions that Remain on this 9/11 Anniversary. Meanwhile...

...Glenn Beck and Chuck Norris are tired of getting "screwed" by people with McJobs

OK, I admit I'm not carrying the cup very well today. Here comes another unattractive rant.

I don't usually spend a lot of time reading the Daily Kos, but there was a post today that I thought was pretty good for this week's Cheers and Jeers: Thursday. It was a list of unanswered questions on this, the 7th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Here are a few of them.

When he was warned in the August 6, 2001 PDB, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike In US", why did the president do nothing except tell the guy who delivered it to him, "All right, you've covered your ass, now"?

Why did Rudy Giuliani put the anti-terrorism command center in the World Trade Center against the advice of experts who knew better?

Why were members of the bin Laden family allowed to fly out of the country when all planes were grounded?

Father Mychal Judge: Saint...or Supersaint?

Was it really necessary for the president to tell us to go shopping?

Why did Rudy Giuliani say he "was at the site as often, if not more, than most of the workers," when he only visited the site for 29 hours over a span of 41 visits? -

When the president called for greater security at airports, why was there such a lopsided focus on passengers and very little on cargo until recently?

Why is there still a giant hole in the ground in Lower Manhattan?

When Ann Coulter---one of the most respected figures in the Republican party---said, "These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis. I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much," why wasn't she banished into obscurity?

When Jerry Falwell---one of the most respected figures in the Republican party---got on TV and said, "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen'," why wasn't he defrocked and sent to work in soup kitchens for the rest of his life?

When Glenn Beck---one of the most respected figures in the Republican party---said, "When I see a 9/11 victim family on television, or whatever, I'm just like, 'Oh shut up!' I'm so sick of them because they're always complaining," why wasn't he banished into obscurity?

Speaking of CNN talk show host Glenn Beck...

There is a certain term that Liam commonly uses to describe Mitt Romney, which fits quite accurately.

The same term would apply to Glenn Beck, and even more so.

Last night I was on the treadmill, and I happened to catch a few minutes of Beck talking with the grotesquely face-lifted tough guy, lately of the Mike Huckabee campaign, Chuck Norris. Norris has been running around recently hawking his new war-mongering book Black Belt Patriotism: How to Reawaken America. I'd seen him a few minutes earlier on Larry King's show on the other CNN channel, baring his bleached teeth, or bad caps, or whatever the heck they are, at Arianna Huffington.

During their conversation, out came this exchange:

BECK: Here`s the thing. First of all, what do you think of Sarah Palin?

NORRIS: I like her. I like her a lot.

BECK: When I watched her give her speech and she said fellow citizens, it was the first time that I have ever seen anybody give a political speech where I thought, she is like me. She is not part of that mess.I think she is -- she gives me the hope that there is somebody out there that connects with the American people and sees how stupid the people in Washington are being right now.

NORRIS: I hope when they get into Washington that they will be able to get the control back to the people. The whole thing is, Glenn, in 2005, over 6,000 taxpayers who make over $250,000 a year pay no taxes. I think I heard it from you. You know how many pages there in the IRS tax code? 66,498 pages in all, now who knows what`s in that tax code? The IRS doesn`t but I bet you these high-falutin` tax accountants do. And they are the ones that are finding all these loopholes in this tax code.

BECK: Let me flip it on its head. About 48 percent of this country really doesn`t -- get more back from the country from the IRS than they pay in. A lot of Americans under Obama, about 50 percent will not pay any income tax.Chuck, I challenge you to spend the day and just one day and look at all the people that you encounter and realize that half of the people that you encountered today, including the people who haven`t given you the right sandwich when you`re driving out of the drive thru, you are paying their tax bill. There is two Americans. There is the Americans that are willing to work hard and believe that some day I`m going to be able to change things and I`m going to be able to have a slice of the American pie. And then there`s other Americans that just don`t give a flying crap. I`m tired of carrying around the people who screw up my order at the drive thru every single time.

NORRIS: That`s one of the biggest complaints, Jean and I, my wife, is them screwing us. The thing is too that that`s why I`m such in favor of the fair tax, Glenn. The thing is we got $13 trillion in offshore accounts that people are hiding their money. The thing is if we can bring that back into our economy, the three million manufacturing jobs that are outsourced overseas, if we could bring all that back. And that`s why I supported Huckabee so strongly because he was a strong supporter of the fair tax.

BECK: The tax system in our country is all upside down. It`s ridiculous.

NORRIS: Totally upside down and we have got to do something to correct that. That`s why I said we need a voter`s revolution here.

BECK: Yes, we do. We do. We are going to get one, one of these days. Hopefully it will happen at the ballot box and if it continues to go the way it has, unfortunately, I think it is going to go in a different direction.

I sure hope your hunch is right Glenn.

I have to admit that even though I was amused by Beck and Norris temporarily talking merrily at cross-purposes with each other, with Beck hurling abuse at fast-food restaurant workers and Norris focusing the outrage more on where it rightly belongs, I wish I could have had hit Beck with a roundhouse kick even if Norris wasn't about to.

So, Glenn is tired of carrying those fast-food workers with those McJobs tailor-made and designed for both low wages and high turnover? Yeah, those bloodsucking freeloaders! They've been living high off the hog for too long (sorry, pig reference...). Poor baby. They've messed up his #1 supersize meal too many times. I haven't taken the time to check his dubious numbers, but how about a little outrage, Beck, at CEOs who fail miserably and still get paid huge parachute severance packages, or who collect multi-million dollar bonuses for laying off thousands of people and shipping jobs overseas?

How does a clown like this get a gig on television?

Liberal media my ... eye. At least with the wingnuts on FOX, you know what you're getting. On supposedly liberal CNN you get this guy and that xenophobic, racist kook, Lou Dobbs. You're giving populism a great name, Lou. As for MSNBC, they've canned Matthews and Olbermann from their anchor jobs. Liberal media. What a joke.

As for Norris, I feel like watching him take a beating from Bruce Lee.


crystal said...

Hey, did I read you almost take Chuck's side on taxes? :) Poor man, what happened to the guy I liked back at martial arts school? Probably taken over by one of those pod plants.

Garpu said...

I`m tired of carrying around the people who screw up my order at the drive thru every single time.

*sigh* Dorothy Day is rolling in her grave. That's the exact same attitude you find in a local school district, where kids have their lunches taken away if their parents can't or won't pay. That isn't a rich district. Sometimes that's the only decent meal those kids get. Trust me, you don't want to read the comments.

Liam said...

When you get to Beck, Coulter, Limbaugh, etc., you're dealing with people who are out and out mean. They're cruel, small-minded, petty, nasty, horrible people. And that's what the GOP convention was all about. What's worse is still so many people are into what they have to say.

A whole army of *********s.

Jeff said...

As bad as they all are, I bet most of them at least know what the Bush Doctrine is, unlike the Republican vice-Presidential nominee.

Liam said...

And that is why, I guess, McCain is polling ahead in the polls.

I'm getting so angry my head is going to explode. This is the lesson, kiddies: shameless lies, slander, and distraction will always help you get ahead.

crystal said...

Even scarier was her saying that she never even considered the possibility of whether she was qualified for the job .... never think, oops, I mean, never blink. We're doomed.

Jeff said...

Nah, not doomed. Its time to rally. RALLY!

cowboyangel said...

Olbermann and Matthews will simply be analysts/commentators during election coverage now. And they both continue hosting their regular programs. I'm not sure I disagree with the decision by MSNBC, which is what we normally watch. Keith and Chris have always been commentators more than journalists. Trying them out as anchors, a role usually reserved for "journalists," was an interesting experiment, but they were biased at times, as commentators are wont to be. Personally, I don't think the change is that big of a deal, and I'm curious why so many people think they were both totally canned from being on the air. It's a fairly minor adjustment.

It's a tricky situation between MSNBC and NBC. NBC has a reputation, deserved or not, of good journalism, and Olbermann-Matthews were damaging that reputation. I can see why they made the move.

Anyway, I'd say MSNBC has made up for it by giving Rachel Maddow her own show. I've always liked her, and from what I've seen of the show, she's doing a great job. She's as intelligent as Olbermann and does an excellent job of analysis, but without his arrogance and sometimes overbearing attitude. (And I say that as someone who likes Olbermann.) Rachel's got a really nice tone to her show.

cowboyangel said...

Oh, I forgot: You skipped the most important question. (I'm assuming it was the original list.)

Why, after seven years, is Osama Bin Laden still running around free?

If I were running Obama's campaign, I think I would run ads showing Larry Craig and Mark Foley over and over, along with Bin Laden - the campaign theme would be: "Republicans Are Fags and Can't Catch Bin Laden."

We stopped Hitler and the Nazis in 3 1/2 years. Why can't we catch a guy with bad kidneys hiding in a cave.

Jeff said...

Hi William,

Olbermann is a bit over the top, and was taking his personal vendetta with O'Reilly to the same level as his vendetta with Bush, but I really don't think Matthews is all that partisan. Not nearly as partisan as every apologist, ideologue, and shill over at FOX.

The Bin laden question? I did leave that one out. I think it's hard to find a man who was buried a long time ago. Do you really think Bin Laden is alive? I do not. I haven't thought so for years.

cowboyangel said...

It's not so much that Matthews is partisan or not, but the way he and Keith approached their job as "anchors." They both get too excited as commentators - which make them good commentators - to stay within the traditional lines of "journalism." You weren't going to mistake either one for Brian Williams, put it that way.

Actually, Olbermann has some good arguments about new approaches to the news, the main gist being that news is always biased in one way or another, and that he at least makes it clear where he stands. I don't agree with that entirely, but I read an essay by him that at least showed he had done some serious thinking on the matter.

Though I agree with him that news is always biased, I'm old-fashioned in terms of journalism and believe news should at least try to be fair. I think the old bias of organizations like the New York Times (old money Eastern Liberal) or Time (conservative Henry Luce anti-Communism) was different than the new bias as practiced by Murdoch's Fox News. The new bias is a more aggressive, partisan, and politically motivated bias, as opposed to the old bias which seemed to be a result of the world view of a particular news organization. A small but crucial difference.

Murdoch's model has won. We see that especially in blogging. And I'm not comfortable with the increasingly blurry line between journalism and blogging. But it doesn't matter, it's going the way it's going.

Bin Laden dead? Well, there's no way to prove or disprove that at this point, is there? I grant you that it's a real possibility. As your post said, it would make sense for Al-Qaeda to keep it secret. Like Hussein keeping secret the fact that he didn't have any WMD.

In the end, though, I think the guy's still alive. Perhaps in a very ill and weakened state, but alive. He seems too much of a messianic figure in parts of the Muslim world for his death to be kept a secret for too long. But I really don't know.

David said...

I was going around the channels, trying to find something OTHER than the storm coverage! I landed on this interview. I can't believe how bad the "Liberal Media" has gotten!

It was "US vs. Liberal Hollywood". It was fun to see how "closeted" these right-wingers have become!

Jeff said...

Hi David,

You know, I remember when FOX's Shep Smith was freaking out down in New Orleans during Katrina because of the complete inaction on the part of the feds. I thought for a minute there that he was going to convert to bleeding heart liberalism, but it didn't last.

Jeff said...


It's in the interest of certain people on both sides of this war to perpetuate the idea that Bin Laden is still alive.

No, we cannot prove that he's dead. If he was buried in an unmarked grave somewhere in the wilds of Afghanistan, nobody would ever be able to prove anything. I find the Taliban account of his death at Tora Bora convincing, and for someone who was such a publicity hound, the sheikh who loved to "preach" and be seen on video as the potential new Caliph as much as he did, I find it a little more than strange that not a single convincing videotape has been seen of him since that time.

Besides, Bin Laden's mother is a Shia. He wasn't much of a sectarian. If Bin Laden had been in charge of al Qaeda during the Iraq War years, I find it very hard to believe that they would have pursued the strategy that they did of fomenting a sectarian civil war between Iraq's Sunni and Shia. I think he was more shrewd than that, and he hated Zarqawi.

You're right, there appears to be no way to know for sure, but I have my hunches.