For those who don’t know me, I write a blog called Roger Ailes . Jane has graciously asked me to contribute a Sunday Morning Heads Recap post to firedoglake, and I’d like to thank her for the opportunity. Yesterday at 4:00 p.m., I was praying that I do a better job than Tim Russert.
Why recap? Well, last week one of my commenters asked me, "It’s Sunday afternoon, and people are watching some horsesh*t tv program about politics? No wonder everyone’s so fat." So read this post, and you can spend your weekend more productively and drop a few pounds as well.
There will be certain gaps in the coverage. In my cable market, all four broadcast head shows run at the same time (8:00 to 9:00 a.m.). (There are second showings of Meet the Press and Fox News Sunday at 10:00 a.m.) So, for example, I missed the bit where Laura Bush declared herself a feminist by blinking her eyes in Morse Code.
Our topics today: Privacy invasion, the Hayden confirmation, National Guard mobilization, Newt Gingrich’s bloviation, shills for the Administration, and Mom.
Invasion of Privacy On Face the Nation, National Security adviser Stephen Hadley could neither confirm nor deny that the Administration is collecting the telephone records of millions of Americans, but assured us that the Administration was doing nothing illegal and besides the courts have held that there’s no right to privacy in business records and besides FISA’s legal structures are not designed for today’s problems. Besides, Bush has made it very clear that he only authorizes legal activity. Bob Scheiffer’s interrogation of Hadley went nowhere.
General Hayden On This Week, Sens. Chuck Hagel and Joe Biden assured Geo. Stephanopoulos that they’re going to ask General Hayden questions before they confirm him as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Rogaine Joe assured us that sterling Hayden was "first rate" and "a man of honor," and the consensus credited Hayden with standing up to Dick Cheney (except in the wiretapping and phone records cases and whatever else we don’t know about). On Late Edition, Senator Patrick Leahy said the problem was the Bush Administration, and not Hayden. Why not both?
Immigration Sens. Hagel and Biden both snickered at Bush’s plan to have National Guard troops stationed at one of America’s two borders. It seems the plan is unrealistic, given the lenghty commute times between Iraq, Afghanistan and the American Southwest. On CNN, Senator Bill Frist enthusiastically endorsed the idea of dispatching the National Guard to the netherlands of California, Arizona and Texas. And while we’re at it, First would like a nice wall, and it doesn’t have to be 30 feet tall for the entire run.
On Face the Nation, Hadley could neither confirm nor deny that Bush’s Monday address will propose mobilization of the National Guard. (CNN, on the hand, has already deployed Larry King to the border as part of its 5-hour package surrounding the address.)
Newt Gingrich How do you defend the indefensible? If you’re Newt Gingrich, you call it "totally legal." On Meet the Press, Newt explained to a docile Tim Russert that he has nothing against the government tracking your telephone calls. Newt’s real beef is that the President didn’t disclose the program before going forward; had he done so, 90 percent of the country would have said "go right ahead, and plant a microchip in my lip while you’re at it."
Newt also decried partisanship moments after deriding "San Francisco/Vermont Democrats" and backtracked from every one of his past statements critical of the Administration and the G.O.P. On Iran, Newt averred that a second front in Persia was eminently doable. We’re not overextended, you see, we’re "only limited by our own psychology." Speak for yourself, Newt.
Newt also defended his well-established unethical conduct, stating that the $300,000 he paid to the House represented the cost of the investigation, not a fine, and that he took full responsibility for all of his attorney’s errors.
Laura Bush and Mary Cheney A desperate White House summoned both Chris Wallace and Geo. Stephanopoulos to afternoon tea with Laura Bush. Asked by Stephanopoulos why her husband’s ratings continue to circle the drain, Laura revealed that the Presidency is a difficult job. She also vouched that most Americans actually approve of her husband’s job performance, based on her personal interactions at Republican campaign events.
On Fox, dullard Mary Cheney revealed to Chris Wallace that she came this close … this close … to quitting the Bush campaign because of Bush’s support for the Federal Marriage Amendment. Had it been something important, like the estate tax, she would have been long gone.
Bob Scheiffer’s Mom At the end of Face the Nation, Bob recited some generic Mother’s Day doggerel that assured us Mom will take our side no matter what. You don’t know my mom, Bob.