Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Blog

This blog is being transferred to a new URL, which can be accessed by clicking here.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Michael Steele Finally On The Rachel Maddow Show.

Article first published as Former Chairman of the RNC, Michael Steele, Makes Amends on the Rachel Maddow Show on Technorati.

The former Chairman of the RNC, Michael Steele, appeared on the Rachel Maddow, for an interview that could be among his best.  During the two years of his tenure at the RNC, he often seemed defensive during interviews, sometimes frankly awkward, to the delight of liberal hosts and commentators. Last night in contrast he appeared relax, very articulate, with a sure grasp of the topics that were brought before him. 
The interview was fun to watch. Rachel was as usual very funny, punchy, and surprisingly cordial to Mr. Steele who, almost jubilant, seemed to love it. He agreed to stay longer. Things got even tastier when successive clips were shown of Rachel renewing invitations to the Chairman of the RNC, “anytime, anywhere”.

When asked why it was so hard to get him to come to the show, he replied that he is a fan, always wanted  to come to the Rachel Maddow Show, but the way the RNC is structured made it impossible. “The Chairman of the Party has a unique opportunity and responsibility to take the message where it has never been before” he declared with a deep sense of genuineness.
That assertion doesn’t just make sense. It raises a mistake that is constantly made by both Democrats and Republicans (truth be told, the latter more often than the former) by preaching more to the choir. Having watched and listen to him multiple times before he became Chairman of the RNC, I consider Michael Steele to be intrinsically knowledgeable and articulate. He performed poorly over the past two years because he was often too scripted and constantly went against his own self.
What would Michael Steele chairmanship have been had he appeared equally or more on MSNBC than on Fox News; more on The Tom Hartman or Joe Madison Show than on Rush Limbaugh or Mark Levin Show. That was hard to imagine, and Mr. Steele, although he believed in the righteousness of such an approach couldn’t defend and adopt it. He didn’t have the courage to face the ire that would have definitely come from the conservative media personalities today so influential in the Republican Party.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why is the Media so Complaisant with Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey

Article first published as The Hype About Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey. on Technorati.

The arrogance of Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey is beyond belief. I was watching him today on Morning Joe, still defending his decision to go on vacation to Florida while his state was about to get hit by a massive snow storm.

His argument remains that he made to his kids a promise that he wasn't going to default on. His family comes first, and after all, he argues, he was able to get the job done directing his team of collaborators from his vacation spot using his cellular phone, as opposed, for instance, to the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, who was there but couldn't get the job done.

What a simplistic mind! According to Governor Christie’s reasoning, nothing happened, therefore he did nothing wrong. Mark Harperin, co-author of the New York Times bestseller "Game Change" who was on the panel, deserves a lot of credit for pointing out to him that something could have gone wrong, to which the Governor could only respond with a silent look around the table.

Closing the segment, Joe Scarborough called Governor Christie awesome, fearless, the kind of person that was missing in 1994 when the Republicans took over the House.

On January 4, 2011, I wrote an entry in my blog outlining the hype surrounding the character of Governor Christie. I mentioned the billions of dollars of funding that the State of New Jersey missed a few months ago in the Department of Education Program “Race to the Top” due to a gross mistake that was made by his administration. Governor Christie didn’t then admit any wrongdoing or take any responsibility; he instead forced the State Education Commissioner to resign, and blamed some “Washington bureaucrats” for his administration shortcoming. Typical right wing spin, it’s always the Washington bureaucrats' fault.

The media is letting Governor Christie get away with a series of mistakes and misjudgments; he is being constantly called a hero, a rising star in the Republican Party. His spins are seen as gutsy moves when they are nothing less than troubling signs of arrogance and incompetence. Joe Scarborough said one day in his program that Governor Christie should be on any Republican candidate short list for Vice President in 2012. Let’s hope that American people don’t let anybody con them into accepting such frivolousness.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Beer being turn into coffee.

Does anybody remember the time when Georges W. Bush was "the guy you wanna have a beer with"? That was in 2000 and 2004. Back then the claim was very fashionable, and a journalist, Radio or TV commentator wouldn't be considered part of the elite punditry if he or she doesn’t adopt that narrative in making a judgment about then presidential candidate, and four years later incumbent president Bush chances of being elected.
We know what happened. President Bush got elected and re-elected, and after his presidency turned out to be what most American would rather not be reminded of, the beer buddy narrative became a laughing matter among the so called pundits and slowly went dead.
History seems to repeat itself with the rise – I would say the manufacturing of a new character, Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey. Darling of the Tea Party, he launched a crusade against the teachers union and the state government employees whom he constantly paints as costly and inefficient. He is known for constantly ranting against those bodies and the Federal Government, which he blames even for his own personal mistakes. A few months ago for instance, the State of New Jersey missed billions in funding due to a gross mistake made by the administration of Governor Christie. In the midst of that controversy he forced his State Education commissioner to resign, and blamed some “Washington bureaucrats” for his administration shortcoming.
What was the media reaction? They reported his spins as gutsy instead of pointing out his arrogance and incompetence. He continued to be referred to as someone who is not a politician, which is one of the most idiotic statements in US politics. Even more remarkable, I heard a few weeks ago Joe Scarborough in his program Morning Joe say that Governor Christie should be on anybody short list for Vice-President in 2012; and last Thursday, Mike Barnicle, from the same program stated with a straight face that Christie is becoming “someone you wanna have a coffee with”. And I wondered what happened to the beer. Did Barnicle substitute coffee for beer because he was embarrassed by the George Bush debacle? Don’t they realize that the Presidency, and any elected office for that matter, should be decided by something more serious than the coolness of a candidate, by a serious vetting rather than some imaginary beer or coffee drinking sessions? Let's hope that this time the American people show due diligence.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What is Chris Matthews doing?

President Obama made no secret of his eagerness for green energy. He campaigned on it and has devoted an important part of his administration to an ambitious green energy plan.
Yet, when earlier this week he called the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, Jeff Lurie, to commend him for his intent to use alternative energy to entirely power Lincoln Financial Field, home of his Football franchise, the story got twisted. It was literally reduced to what, I am sure, was a preliminary chat during which Obama thanked Mr. Lurie for giving Michael Vick a second chance after his dog fight conviction and jail time.
Chris Matthews, on his Tuesday, December 28 edition of "Hardball", echoing the conservative talkers, perennial Obama bashers, run with that bone thrown at them by Mr. Lurie. Mr. Matthews didn't spend a minute talking about the main purpose of the President's conversation with Mr. Lurie; he rather bashed the President for getting into social or cultural issues. Senseless, futile pandering to a hypothetical, thin conservative audience.
Mr. Lurie knew what he was doing when he talked about this portion of the conversation he had with the President. Not only did the story put his franchise on the spotlight, it also would likely increase its appeal in every sense of the word. Great PR move, and it cost him only a five minute conversation with a reporter.
The side story is what, in my opinion, is symptomatic of the state of the mainstream media they like to refer to politicians as being in the tank of Big Business when they themselves constantly play naively into the hand of those same businesses. John McCain used to call them his base, Big Business has probably all along called them and is still calling them so, only secretly.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Different Personalities, Different Styles,

MSNBC has different host with different styles, consequence of their different backgrounds. I initially thought of going through each of them giving a personal view of their personalities, but my future post will alternatively reflect this.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Why MSNBC Lineup Review?

I get my daily dose of politics from MSNBC. So I am a fan. But I do not always agree with what is said by the hosts and pundits on that network, and when I disagree I find myself fuming and sometimes senselessly cursing in front of the TV. Because I watch TV almost always all alone, after my night shift, when everybody else in my household is still in bed. I can now, when I disagree - or agree for that matter - get to this platform and express my opinion on the issues of the day, and hopefully engage in some interesting and mutually instructive discussions with other people.
I must say that I agree more often with some hosts at MSNBC than others. For instance I love Rachel Maddow whom I have been following since she was a regular guest of Tucker Carlson on CNN about eight years ago. I used to listen to her every evening on Air America, and when she started appearing on MSNBC as a guest I predicted that she would be hired on that network or another one within a year. On the other hand I find myself often at odd with Chris Matthews who sometimes favor sentiment over facts in his analysis. But I love him for his unique ability to nail (that's his word) conservative clowns who dare appear on his show. You'll easily figure out what I think of the other hosts in between when I start posting comments about their shows.