Sunday Talking Head Thread
If it’s Sunday, it’s a lot of the same idiots we see every Sunday, with the occasional sprinkling of a guest we want to see. You decide what we have in the mix today: (via WaPo)
FOX NEWS SUNDAY: Undersecretary of State R. Nicholas Burns ; L. Paul Bremer , former head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq; Steven A. Rosenberg , chief surgeon at the National Cancer Institute.
THIS WEEK (ABC): Burns ; Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon ; seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong .
FACE THE NATION (CBS): Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora ; Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres .
MEET THE PRESS (NBC): Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman ; Lebanese special envoy Nouhad Mahmoud .
I don’t know about you guys, but the green rooms at Face the Nation and Meet the Press had better be two green rooms this morning. I’m just saying.
True story: when I was in college, I worked for the National Model United Nations Conference (and later for the Board of Directors for the UN-NGO that ran the NMUN). I worked on the conference staff for two years and ended up running the whole thing my Senior year. My first year on the staff, I ended up being put in charge of the diplomats reception that was held on the day that a large number of UN Ambassadors came to speak to the various committees at the conference. (It was a huge college conference, held in NYC every spring, with around 2800 to 3000 college kids and faculty members in attendance.)
I had to assign two staff members to the following duty: one each was assigned to the Israeli and the Palestinian representatives, and they were asked to rotate around the room with their assigned diplomat, to make certain that neither had to deal with making eye contact, and to be certain that there was no moment where they were in the same space at the same time. Because, at that point in time, neither was acknowledging the other’s right to exist — and in order to get them to agree to come and speak at the conference, we had to make special accomodations to avoid that sort of embarassing moment that might lead to, you know, a handshake or discussion or diplomacy…but, I digress.
The Israeli delegate to the UN ended up being called back to the mission right after his speech, and the Palestinian representative was then able to roam freely about the room, and the two staffers who had the assignments were bummed not to get a chance to rotate grown men around a room so they never had to make eye contact.
I tell you this little story as an illustration of how the human side of who we are sometimes gets in the way of acting like a grown-up and doing the thing that needs to be done. But true statesmen do the tough work.
Unfortunately, we seem to have a drought of true statesmen at the moment. Or, at least, the people who are trying to talk sense seem to consistently be dismissed by the current Administration as partisan critics (even when they have been staunch Republicans for the whole of their lives). Can’t wait to see Nicholas Burns’ response to the op-ed from Brent Scowcroft in this morning’s WaPo. My favorite part of the Scowcroft missive is the last line: "Let us not shrink from the task." You just know he was thinking, "Please, don’t let that chuckleheaded Junior screw this up, too," don’t you?
(btw, before I forget, any of our Seattle readers have more information on the shooting there at a Jewish Center? Police are classifying it as a hate crime, according to this morning’s papers — that particular type of enhanced penalty case is tough to prove — you have to show intent and motivation above and beyond just the crime itself, but actual evidence of racial or other bias and intent to act as a result of that bias — so I’m guessing the cops have some substantial evidence to make that stick. Just wondering what readers are hearing on the local news on this.)
Let me know if anything good pops up on a show you are watching.
Today’s bird photo is, of course, a bald eagle. This photo is simply stunning, and that raptor gaze of the eagle as it sits on its perch really captures that kick-ass attitude that they have up close. I found the picture on the Fresno-Chaffee Zoo website, and had to share it with you guys this morning.
Bald eagles are, thankfully, coming back from the brink, but they are still a highly protected species, and rightly so. There is a nesting pair that comes back each year to an island in the Ohio River in the Parkersburg, WV, area where I grew up. My dad and I used to take the binoculars and peek at them every year as they were building their huge platform of branches and vines and such — never looked very comfortable, but the hatchlings always seemed pretty content.
Also, I found the mother lode of all birding information about birdwatching in the National Parks. After last Sunday’s discussion, I thought this would be useful for anyone who is now planning a trip. To be honest, I had NO idea how many National Parks were near where I live. Clearly, our little family will be taking a few more road trips…