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ABC’s “This Week” Sinks to New Lows

The panel announced for ABC’s This Week should have been a warning: “Danger: Really Stupid and Dishonest Comments Likely.”

ABC’s This Week: The Chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, Christina Romer, on job numbers, the housing market, and the possibility of a double-dip recession. Roundtable: George Will, Liz Cheney, Al Hunt, Judy Woodruff, Robert Reich.

Just allowing Judy and Al on the same show was embarrassing, but allowing a vicious partisan hack like Liz Cheney to spew her poison was beyond the pale . . . and then they added George Will!! Nevertheless, I foolishly tuned in about half way through the panel because I wanted to hear Christy Romer (whom I respect).

Instead I was just in time to hear Liz Cheney, whose purpose in life is to make false statements and mount malicious personal attacks against Obama — and liberals — as a strategy for keeping her father from being tried for war crimes. It is shameful that ABC would give this woman a forum unless to denounce and refute her.

She furthered her goals by proclaiming that the reason an explosive-in-his-shorts Nigerian got on a plane bound for Detroit was because the Obama administration was unwilling to torture people. No one countered this; could no one on this panel remind her that her father’s policies are a primary reason people from a dozen countries are volunteering to kill Americans? Shame on all of them.

Stephanopoulos then cited Nate Silver for the calculation that the chances of being killed by a terrorist on US airlines was some astronomically small number — was it 1 in 25,000,000? — vastly less than being struck by lightening, to which George Will concluded this was proof that “government is inefficient.”

No George, this is proof that America’s government, its political parties and its atrocious media and Beltway pundits are overly preoccupied with the wrong priorities.

Our media has been overwhelmed with stories wondering why US intelligence sources did not connect the dots on Mr. Underpants. So you probably missed the NYT articles here and here that Yves Smith was tracking on how the people who make hamburger for the nation’s school lunch programs routinely add in portions of the cow that, uh, are “likely to be contaminated with feces,” resulting in a constant threat of E. Coli poisoning, that may (if you believe the beef companies’ studies) or may not “control” the contamination via ammonia treatment. School lunch officials complained, but no one told the rest of the Dept of Agriculture and FDA, and the threat is out there, every day, that you could literally be eating shit sandwiches.

Wanna read more about “failure to connect the dots”? Start here:

Tainted Burgers Show that Corporate Profits Trump Public Safety (Cargill and McDonald’s Version)

Or how about connecting the dots to find out how over a hundred immigrants died while in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and why government is still covering up the investigations.

And you might not have seen any coverage of a new study published in Science showing how inadequate federal regulation has allowed coal mining companies to ravage the environment and endanger the lives and health of thousands in communities across America through mountain-top removal. What did the last five Presidents — and last 50 Governors — know, and when did they know it?

Unless you watch Rachel Maddow, you likely missed coverage of how the financial reform bills have been hopelessly watered down, so the much needed Consumer Financial Protection Agency may not survive the intense corruption between industry and Congress. Do you think Geithner’s NY Fed efforts to suppress A.I.G. SEC filings is a dot? Is it connected to the bankster’s bonuses? Is the “jobless recovery” connected to the 50 Little Hoover time bombs ticking away in state budgets?

There have been dozens of stories in the last few weeks and months about the total breakdown of regulation to protect the public health and safety and the broader public interest. The problem was bad enough during the last Administration, but it hasn’t ended. The problem stems from what has become the core principle of the Obama Administration, one enthusiastically embraced by Beltway pundits: No one in the elite can be held accountable for harming the public. And when the principle of accountability disappears, then the line between politics and criminality disappears.

It’s just old news that some 45,000 people will die this year because they didn’t have health insurance and couldn’t get health care. But of course, the Congress and the Administration have a nifty plan that will cut that by more than half, they say, which means that only 20,000 or so people will die from our disgraceful health care system. Can we get some dot-connecting focused on that, media?

Liz Cheney never mentioned that her Party couldn’t offer a single vote to help solve any of these problems, especially the problem that will kill 45,000 Americans this year, and next, and next, and 20,000 or so even after a decade. Instead, she and her fellow slashers were all out complaining that Obama couldn’t connect the dots in Yemen. These people have no clue what a dot looks like or where to look.

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John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

You can follow John on twitter: @JohnChandley