Some random thoughts that came into my head after watching some of the Sunday morning network news talk shows …


I used to be a fan of David Gregory.  I used to think he had some real chutzpah.  I occasionally still see flashes of it, but when I tuned in to “Meet The Press” expecting to witness a toe-to-toe battle between Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Grover Norquist, lobbyist/conservative activist/founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and one of the driving forces behind Republican Party budget stalemating today, I was greatly disappointed that Gregory didn’t have them fight it out, man to man.

You know, like the way Tim Russert used to moderate.  Have his guests with opposing viewpoints call each other a liar, and force viewers to see who was stretching the truth more — unless, of course, those viewers were just checking in to cheer on their favorite fact-bender because of their own pre-determined beliefs or feelings without caring squat about the real story.

Grover Norquist
Image via Wikipedia

Instead, Schumer said his bit on the failure of the Joint Congressional Committee on Deficit Reduction to reach a deal last week eliminating at least $1.2 trillion from the nation’s debt, and Norquist was able to skew a few facts his way, all pretty much uninterrupted with little or no breaking in for nasty things like actual facts, as part of the “last word.”

What facts were skewed, you may ask?  Well, I could pull a “Glenn Beck” and urge you to look up the facts yourself.  But I will throw this out there.  Watch the interview here, and around the 1:00 mark he talks about 1982 and Democrats saying that if taxes were increased, they would go with $3 of tax cuts for every $1 of tax increases, only to see spending go up sharply — all the Democrats’ fault.  Then do some research here and dig up who was really responsible for spending increases in those years (one hint: it wasn’t Democrats who came up with the idea for the “Star Wars” missile defense system).

Who in the world is Grover Norquist anyway?  Seeing as how his father was an executive at Polaroid, it’s safe to say that he’s never exactly been left wanting for anything in his life.  He’s never been elected to public office, yet he has a major say in what happens in American politics.  He’s one of the biggest puppeteers in Washington, D.C., today.  Did you vote for him in any election?  According to CBS News, “a significant portion (of contributions to ATR, from which Norquist received $200,000 in compensation in 2009 according to his IRS filings that year … for a part-time job) appears to come from wealthy individuals, foundations and corporate interests.”

Nice gig if you can get it.

Who voted for Grover Norquist?  At least, who among the voting public across America, that is?

And conservatives were griping about the “czars” that were appointed early in the Obama administration?  Good ol’ Grover’s the mightiest “czar” of all!  And who appointed him?  Even Ronald Reagan didn’t appoint him, he just offered a suggestion and Grover ran with it!  And he’s now one of the most powerful figures in American politics!!

How much sense does that make?  Oh, yeah, this is American politics we’re talking about.  It’s not supposed to make sense, right?


It’s actually been quite a while since I’ve watched “The McLaughlin Group” on PBS, but I was able to see it again on Sunday.  Nice to see Eleanor Clift still there to provide some sanity and common sense.  It seemed a little odd that this particular show had the chief marketing executive from MetLife as part of the panel while repeatedly showing results of surveys on American pessimism done by … MetLife.

And there was … Pat Buchanan.

Pat Buchanan in Manchester, NH
Image via Wikipedia

I recall my days as managing editor of The Morning News in Blackfoot, Idaho.  I had some power there, boy.  But I paid attention to what the readers wanted, and I tried to give them what they asked for.  At one point, the readers wanted more of a conservative view on the editorial page.  I scanned the list of syndicated columnists the paper could afford to use.  I picked Pat Buchanan.

Would you say that was conservative enough?  I mean, it’s not like our paper had all kinds of flaming liberals on the editorial page.  We had Jack Anderson on a daily basis.  We had Bill Hall and his views from northern Idaho and the Lewiston Morning Tribune.  We had Chicago’s own legendary Mike Royko (man, I loved Royko!).  But when readers asked for “more conservative,” I went for the gusto!  I went for Patrick!  Joseph!  Buchanan!

Is there a race or a religion or a gender that Pat Buchanan can’t seem to avoid sticking his neoconservative foot in his mouth about in some manner?  If so, I have yet to see it.  And let’s not talk about how MSNBC is such a liberal alternative to the Fox News Channel.  Have you ever watched “Morning Joe,” with former Florida conservative Rep. Joe Scarborough launching into his neoconservative hissy fits and Pat Buchanan as a frequent contributor?  It’s real entertainment for your satellite or cable dollar, let me tell ya!

So, there was Pat Buchanan on “The McLaughlin Group” on Sunday.  And there were some of the other “talking heads,” trying to pinpoint exactly what the motivation has been behind the Occupy movement.

I swear, I don’t think most of the “talking heads” will ever get it when it comes to the Occupy movement.  Why?  Because they’re getting paid hundreds of thousands upon millions of dollars to be “talking heads.”  Watching them struggle to understand the middle class, even some of the liberal analysts, is quite funny.

If memory serves correctly, Buchanan has had glowing things to say about the Tea Party movement, which folks like good ol’ Grover Norquist have surely benefited from (i.e., $$$$$).  But when it comes to the Occupy movement, good ol’ Pat on Sunday called it “nonsense.”

Good to know that all these “talking heads” are helping to take this nation on a road to … ???


5 thoughts on “Another pleasant valley Sunday

  1. Having very little, if any, inherent propensity to exercise responsible or reasonable leadership, the far radical right has been slowly dissolving in a bucket of water containing a substance called, “Awakening Of America.”

    They have latched onto what I consider to be the most extreme ideologues in order to try to please their radical right friends,co-horts, associates and supporters and have begun to value party loyalty and personal ambition far above service to the country – – (strictly my opinion of course and completely biased to my own prejudices)

    No one elected these “surrogate leaders” and even as I write, their spell over American Conservatism is being broken by America’s demonstrated rejection of their often (crazy) notions (My opinion getting into the picture again) and the party of No, Nothing and Nonsense seems to be scratching for a firmer foothold on reality – – they have recently even begun to hold retreats where they get their heads together and discuss such things as “How to speak to minorities and to women…etc.”

    Great Blog you have here!

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