Barbara Walters

Kos’ Sunday Talk: Without qualification

Daily Kos’ Sunday Talk

In 1965, Bob Dylan famously said: “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

Perhaps that was true at the time he said it, but the Timesthey have a-changed since then.

What hasn’t changed is the climate.

You don’t have to take my word for it; just ask Marco Rubio—he’s not a scientistman.

He’s also not a serious presidential contenderman—but that’s completely beside the point.

The point being, expertise is overrated.

I mean, Rush Limbaugh’s tenuous grasp of history didn’t prevent him from writing award-winning historical fanfiction.

And despite his lack of medical credentials, Karl Rove was able to diagnose Hillary Clinton with a traumatic brain injury (and not, as many suspected, the Benghazi flu).

Sometimes, the truth hurts.

Morning lineup:

Meet The Press: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO); RNC Chairman Reince Priebus; Rep.Adam Kinzinger (R-IL); Glenn Greenwald (The Intercept); Former Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AK).Face The Nation: Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I);  Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner;  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R);  White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; National Commander of the American Legion Dan Delinger;  RoundtableJackie Calmes (New York Times), Jerry Seib (Wall Street Journal), Katrina Vanden Huevel (The Nation) and John Dickerson (CBS News).

This Week: Tribute to Barbara Walters; Reddit Co-Founder Alexis OhanianBerin Szoka (Tech Freedom); Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard), Peggy Noonan (Wall Street Journal), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D).

Fox News Sunday: Former Vice President Dick Cheney and His Lovely Wife Lynne;   RoundtableBrit Hume (Fox News), Kirsten Powers (USA Today), Republican StrategistKarl Rove and Juan Williams (Fox News).

State of the Union: Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D); Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Roundtable:  Former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and Amy Walter (Cook Political Report).

Evening lineup:

60 Minutes will feature: a report from inside Iran as the prospect of a nuclear deal with world powers looms on the horizon (preview); a report on the 150-year history of the Capitol Dome (preview); and, a report on an orchestra in Paraguay that fashions musical instruments from refuse scavenged at a dump (preview).


10 things you need to know today: May 17, 2014

Thousands are evacuating their homes in the Balkans amid the threat of more flooding.

Thousands are evacuating their homes in the Balkans amid the threat of more flooding. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

The Week

GM will pay a record $35 million fine, flooding in the Balkans kills at least 20 people, and more

1. GM to pay record $35 million fine following ignition switch recalls
General Motors’ 10-year delay in recalling vehicles with faulty ignition switches cost the company $35 million in a record settlement, the Department of Transportation announced on Friday. GM employees knew about the defect as early as 2004, but the company failed to recall nearly 2.6 million vehicles until February of this year. The faulty ignition switches could shut off while driving, disabling airbags and even anti-lock brakes and power steering; the problem reportedly led to the deaths of at least 13 people. [TIME]


2. Record flooding kills at least 20 people in the Balkans
At least 20 people are dead and tens of thousands more are evacuating their homes in Serbia and Bosnia, following record floods in the Balkans this week. Meteorologists said rainfall of this magnitude occurs only once each century, and the flooding is the worst recorded since scientists began tracking it 120 years ago. Officials believe they may find more bodies as floodwaters recede, and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksander Vucic warned his citizens that a new flood wave pushing along the Sava River could hit regions of the country on Sunday. [The Associated Press]


3. GOP leaders block vote on citizenship path for military veterans
Republican leaders in the House on Friday blocked a vote on a popular bipartisan measure which would have provided a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who had served in the military. The legislation, known as the ENLIST Act and proposed by Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), focused specifically on those who had been brought illegally to the U.S. as children and later served in the military. It was opposed by far-right members who said the bill equated to “amnesty” for immigrants. [The Associated Press]


4. Top VA health care official resigns amid uproar
Just a day after appearing before Congress in response to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ alleged mismanagement, Dr. Robert Petzel stepped down from his post as undersecretary for health. Petzel, who was expected to retire later this year, offered his resignation to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki on Friday; Shinseki accepted, saying the VA must “do more to improve timely access” to healthcare. Complaints about long wait lists and falsified reports at VA hospitals and clinics have rocked the department, triggering a deluge of inquiries. [The Associated Press]


5. NAACP names Cornell William Brooks as new national president
On the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision by the Supreme Court, the NAACP announced Cornell William Brooks as its new national president and CEO this morning. Brooks, 53, is a civil rights attorney and ordained minister from Georgetown, South Carolina. “As long as America continues to be a great, but imperfect nation, there will be a need for the NAACP,” he said. Brooks also noted that he plans to address issues such as voting rights, resegregation of schools, and renewed activism among young people. [The Associated PressThe Root]


6. Arkansas Supreme Court suspends gay marriage ruling
Just a day after Arkansas judge Chris Piazza revised his ruling last week which overturned the state’s gay marriage ban to include all state laws preventing gay couples from marrying, the stateSupreme Court suspended Piazza’s decision on Friday. Piazza first struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban last week, and more than 450 same-sex couples had since obtained marriage licenses. However, the Supreme Court noted a law prohibiting clerks from issuing marriage licenses, which is separate from the marriage ban. Piazza expanded his ruling to include that law on Thursday, only to have the Supreme Court place his revised decision on hold. [The Associated Press]


7. U.N. monitors: Human rights violations escalating in Ukraine
United Nations monitors released a report Friday saying a significant number of human rights violations had been noted in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. The 34-strong contingent, which Russia dismissed as political maneuvering by Western powers, cited a “wave of abductions and unlawful detentions.” Most of the incidents reported were in eastern parts of the country currently controlled by armed groups, and the report noted that Ukraine’s May 25 presidential election could be an important factor in calming the tension — although several candidates have reported incidents of intimidation already. [Reuters]


8. Golden Gate Capital agrees to buy Red Lobster for $2.1 billion
Let’s hope the “Olive Garden renaissance program” pays off for Darden Restaurant Inc., which agreed on Friday to sell its Red Lobster seafood restaurant chain for $2.1 billion to Golden Gate Capital. The San Francisco private equity firm will officially acquire the chain after the deal closes in the first quarter of 2015. Darden’s Red Lobster store sales declined by 8.8 percent in March as compared to the same time last year. However, some of Darden’s shareholders expressed concern over how the deal would affect their stock values. [Los Angeles Times]


9. Barbara Walters makes final appearance on The View
Barbara Walters retired on Friday from a journalism career spanning more than half a century. There to see her off The View, a talk show Walters founded 17 years ago, were 25 of the most influential female broadcast journalists working today — representing every major news network. “I was teary, but I wasn’t going to cry because I was really very happy,” Walters said after the show, which also featured guest appearances by Oprah Winfrey and Hillary Clinton, wishing Walters a happy retirement. [ABC News]


10. Scientists discover bones of what may be ‘biggest dinosaur ever’
Paleontologists announced this week that they have uncovered the fossilized bones of what may be the largest dinosaur discovered yet. A local farmer first found the remains in Argentina, and scientists said they have uncovered nearly 150 bones so far, all in “remarkable condition.” While researchers at the site estimate the dinosaur could have been as tall as a seven-story building, Dr. Paul Barrett cautioned that it is too early to know for sure just how big the animal might have been, but that it is nevertheless “a genuinely big critter.” [BBC News]

Barbara Walters Rejects George Zimmerman’s Interview Demands


Barbara Walters Daytime Emmys

I wonder when all is said and done, will the Zimmerman defense team plead that their client is insane?

The Huffington Post

Barbara Walters revealed on Thursday that she had rejected demands made byTrayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman in exchange for an interview.

The New York Post reported on Thursday  that Walters had traveled down to Florida with the intention of interviewing Zimmerman, but walked away after he requested that ABC get him a hotel room for a month.

Walters was not competing for the first interview with Zimmerman, as he had already granted that privilege to Fox News’ Sean Hannity. Hannity’s interview aired on Wednesday night.

Walters confirmed much of the Post’s story on Thursday’s “View.” She explained that Zimmerman’s lawyer, whom she referred to as “effective,” confirmed Tuesday night that Zimmerman would do an interview. Walters said that Zimmerman was going to tape an interview with Hannity before sitting down with her. Walters said Hannity “had been very supportive to [Zimmerman] in the past and George Zimmerman told me that he was very grateful, and I appreciated his loyalty to Hannity.”

Walters agreed that her interview would tape and air after Zimmerman sat down with Hannity. She said that she had then flown down to Florida for the interview.

When Walters and her team arrived in Florida, she said that Zimmerman came in dressed in a t-shirt, rather than a suit. “That should have been my first clue,” she said.

According to Walters, Zimmerman said that the plans had changed, and he was refusing to do the interview unless ABC granted him one request. Walters refused to confirm that he had requested a month-long stay in a hotel. “It was a condition that, being a member of ABC News, I was unable to grant,” she said.

Walters described Zimmerman as “desperate for money” and “very worried about his family.” She also said he was “polite, soft-spoken, stubborn.” She said that his lawyers “wanted him to do the interview.”

The drama took a bizarre twist when Walters announced that Zimmerman wanted to call into the show to speak to Walters. “He wouldn’t do the interview, but now he has something to say,” she said, later adding, “This has been an interesting day, to say the least.”

She then pointedly refused to put him on air. “Mr. Zimmerman, if you could not do the interview yesterday, I don’t think we should do a quick one today,” she said. “In the future if you feel differently, we will consider it.”

Though she did not acknowledge that there had been any monetary request made of the network, Walters has asserted in the past that ABC News does not pay for interviews.

In July 2011, ABC News chief Ben Sherwood announced that the network would stop licensing photos, since questions about payment would inevitably follow after ABC News nabbed a major interview.


Palin’s Persecution Complex Culminates With “Blood Libel” Accusation

This author is on point…”It’s always about Palin…”

Religion Dispatches

Sarah Palin just made her horrendous week worse with her new video in which she accuses her political critics of “blood libel.”

This gaffe — demonstrating both an ignorance of religious history and language — tops a disastrous week: her crosshairs map has been Exhibit A in the discussion of the use of gun-related imagery in political rhetoric. But her PR has been woefully inadequate in explaining the map away as “surveyors symbols.” Her TLC show will not be renewed by TLC, her chances for a successful run at the presidency have been downgraded, and even Barbara Walters expressed “feeling a bit sorry for her.” Palin, however, has remained aloof and cocooned in Wasilla, while hired minions wipe her Facebook page constantly so that negative comments do not show up. So how is Barracuda Barbie a.k.a. Queen Esther shaping her response? The persecution meme.

Palin’s typical pattern is that she takes a phrase from somebody (in this case, possibly Glenn Reynolds, writing in the Wall Street Journal), picks it up, and uses it for her own. In today’s debacle, referring to criticism of her “crosshairs” map as a “blood libel,” Palin shows that even if six people are killed, it’s still all about her. The strategic release of this video, before President Obama travels to Arizona today for a memorial service, shows her self-serving political ends. In addition to misuing the term blood libel — which historically refers to the accusation that Jews murder Christian babies — her additional reference to dueling shows that she will not retreat from any violence-laden speech.

Blood libel, a term rooted in medieval Christianity, started as a rumor that Jews were killing Christian babies, and using their blood to mix into matzoh. The blood libel, refuted first by Pope Innocent IV through a series of papal bulls, has nonetheless persisted throughout history as a way for Christians at times to scapegoat Jews. Palin, by calling the media’s alleged persecution of her a “blood libel” plays into this evil history by inference. But does she understand how this comment of blood libel appears anti-Semitic? Not only is Rep. Giffords Jewish, but accusing the media of “blood libel” could be seen as playing into anti-Semitic memes that Jews control the media.    More…

Oprah On Palin Run: ‘I Believe In The Intelligence Of The American Public’…

…and so do I.

Huffington Post

Oprah spoke to Parade magazine for its latest issue, and one of the subjects that came up was a potential run by Sarah Palin for the presidency.

Oprah has dodged the question about her thoughts on Palin before, most notably in an interview with Barbara Walters, where she pointedly refused to answer whether she thought Palin was qualified. This time, she said the public would “fall in love” with Palin if they watched her reality show. The interviewer then asked if the thought of a Palin run scared her.

Oprah’s response? “It does not scare me because I believe in the intelligence of the American public.”

(H/T Political Wire)

Politico’s Week In One-Liners

The week’s top 10 quotes in American politics: 

“Note to self – don’t use the words ‘shot’, ‘with’, or ‘troops’ to start anymore msgs.” – Cyclist Lance Armstrong, after having tweeted: “Shot w/ some the troops. One of Saddam’s old palaces in the background.” 

“This guy has emotional problems.” – Barbara Walters, on John Boehner’s penchant for tears.

“I respect John Boehner because he has worn his feelings on his sleeve on things that are so important to him.” – Sarah Palin, offering a different take on Boehner’s tears. 

“It is freezing on the East Coast. It was so cold, John Boehner had to use anti-freeze before his morning cry.” – Yet one more take, from NBC’s Jimmy Fallon

“A new suit.” – What one child told first lady Michelle Obama to buy her husband for the holidays.

“I’d be sleeping on the couch.” – President Barack Obama, describing his fate had he not signed the child nutrition bill his wife championed.

“Let me try to explain why I don’t follow more people…” – Sen. Claire McCaskill, beginning a long description about her Twitter practices.

 “The dog is a mess. He just leaves his toys everywhere. And then he loses them and then he’s got nothing to play with.” – First lady Michelle Obama, talking about first dog Bo.

“It shouldn’t be called an omnibus. It should be called an omni-terrible.” – Sen. Tom Coburn, slamming the spending bill before the U.S. Senate.

 “Have you ever been a member of the communist party?” – A Chicago resident having fun with Rahm Emanuel as the city reviewed the mayoral candidate’s residency status.

John Boehner’s Crying: Is He Drinking Too Much?

Incoming “Weeper of the House”, John Boehner may have more of a problem than just crying all the time…

Politics Daily

Incoming House Speaker John Boehner’s recent interview on “60 Minutes” with Lesley Stahl, where he once again cried publicly, has created a minor controversy among pundits, with observers trying to figure out the cause of his unusual behavior.

Is it depression? Or is Boehner simply in touch with his emotions? Does he wear his heart on his sleeve, or does he cry on a dime because he has a tender spot for all things American?

While it’s impossible to know, some are beginning to speculate that Boehner’s penchant for turning on the waterworks might have some connection to his consumption of wine. Liberal MSNBC host Ed Shultz, half-jokingly, called Boehner a “cheap drunk” the other day, Capitol Hill aides of both parties are wondering, and there’s even a web page devoted to it.

So is drinking the issue — and why might a person struggling with drinking be more prone to weeping in public?

Speaking generally, Dr. Robert DuPont, who served as the second White House drug czar and was the first director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, tells me that “alcohol reduces inhibitions. Whatever emotion you have, you’re more likely to express it [when drinking].” DuPont added that alcohol reduces the functioning of the frontal lobes, and “the frontal lobes have to do with judgment, which is why [intoxicated] people do impulsive behavior.”

Alcohol also “brings out underlying emotions,” explains Dr. Michael Fingerhood, an associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University. “It generally is unmasking what is inside them.”    More…

President Obama To Barbara Walters: ‘I Don’t Think About Sarah Palin’


President Obama sat down with Barbara Walters for a holiday weekend special set to air next Friday called A Barbara Walters Special: A Thanksgiving Visit with President and Mrs. Obama and it seems that Ms. Walters was able to generate draw out his thoughts on the 2012 campaign. Though he says that he’s not giving much consideration to the coming presidential run, he is instead focusing on being “the best possible president.” And, he said, he certainly isn’t focused on a potential challenge from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

ABC News Political Director Amy Walter reports:

When asked specifically if he thinks he can beat Sarah Palin in 2012, the president told Walters “I don’t think about Sarah Palin.”

“Obviously Sarah Palin has a strong base of support in the Republican Party and I respect those skills,” Obama said. “But I spend most of my time right now on how I can be the best possible president. And my attitude has always been, from the day I started this job that if I do a good job and if I’m delivering for the American people the politics will take care of itself.

“If I falter and the American people are dissatisfied, then I’ll have problems,” he said.

The interview, which also included first lady Michelle Obama, covered a wide range of topics including the recent events in North Korea, the latest controversies over TSA screenings in airports, the “shellacking” his party took in the 2010 midterms, the economy, and, of course, Thanksgiving traditions.

The full interview, “A Barbara Walters Special: A Thanksgiving Visit with President and Mrs. Obama,” will air Friday, Nov. 26 at 10 p.m. ET.

Sarah Palin: ‘I Believe’ I Could Beat Obama In 2012

There’s something in the air in the state of Alaska that makes some of its political figures over confident.  Joe Miller comes to mind (sorry fella, it’s over, Murkowski won!) Then there is the half term Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin who Sen. Lisa Murkowski believes “does not like governing” and “lacks the intellectual capacity to become President”.

Yet, Sarah Palin says she can “take Obama down in 2012″.  The collective progressive message to Mrs. Palin is bring it on!

Huffington Post

On a day with increased buzz over Sarah Palin’s potential decision to announce a run for president in 2012, a video released Wednesday provides a clear indication that if Palin lacks anything necessary to embark on that mission, it isn’t confidence.

In an interview with ABC News scheduled to air in full on December 9, Barbara Walters asked Palin, “If you ran for president, could you beat Barack Obama?”

“I believe so,” Palin responded.

“I’m looking at the lay of the land now, and … trying to figure that out, if it’s a good thing for the country, for the discourse, for my family, if it’s a good thing,” Palin said in the segment, set to be part of Walters’ “10 Most Fascinating People” of 2010.

Her response is no huge surprise. Most candidates who would be willing to pour millions of dollars and thousands of hours of work into a campaign presumably can be expected to believe that they could end their quest in victory — especially a contender with a strong following, like Palin. Nonetheless, the former vice-presidential candidate’s response appears to be the most expressive of her still undecided, yet increasingly anticipated, 2012 presidential run.

Earlier Wednesday, the New York Times Magazine released a profile that seemed to insinuate similar aspirations for Palin. In her interview with Robert Draper, the author of the piece, Palin spoke candidly about her need to prove herself to voters and to add more substance to her political persona. Talking to the New York Times, a symbol of Palin’s commonly degraded “lamestream media,” may be a sign that Palin is trying to nip some of her most common criticism in the bud.

Video here.

‘The View’ Reacts To Bill O’Reilly: ‘Condescending,’ ‘Disrespectful’ (VIDEO)

Bill O’Reilly, the pinhead from Fox News Asylum, made a complete fool of himself on The View last week.  The ladies of The View discussed it today…

Huffington Post – Media

The ladies of “The View” appeared live Monday for the first time since Bill O’Reilly’s controversial appearance on the program that prompted Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg to walk off the set Thursday.

Barbara Walters, who Thursday said that the two co-hosts should not have walked off, continued her admonishment of their walk-off.

“We must be able to have conversations without fury, without rage, without screaming, without obscenities, without walking off,” she said. “It’s very dramatic, people love train-wrecks, people want us to do more of it because it’s good for the ratings. You don’t walk out of your own home. You can walk out of somebody else’s home, you don’t walk out of your own home. He was someone we invited. We are used to Bill O’Reilly. He loves this, he loves to pull your chain, he loves to get you angry. This is just what he wanted.”

Behar defended her walk-off, saying, “On this show we always speak about standing up to bigotry, so I stood up.”

Goldberg said that she found O’Reilly both “condescending” and “disrespectful,” and said that O’Reilly “started with” her as soon as he came onto the set.

 Continue reading…


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