Christiane Amanpour

Rev. Franklin Graham On Obama’s Birth Certificate: ‘Why Can’t He Produce That?’

Oh boy…the trend here is that prior to supporting Trump on this fabricated birther issue, most of those who support his efforts, like Rev. Franklin Graham,  have already been inducted into the “hall of crazy” for previous off-the-wall political statements.

Mediaite

Reverend Franklin Graham appeared on This Week and host Christiane Amanpourgot him to share his feelings on many of today’s political personalities. In addition to speaking favorably of many potential Republican candidates for President, Graham revealed that he too is curious about why President Obama has yet to produce more records related to his birth.

Graham previously traveled with Sarah Palin to Haiti but declared that he doesn’t expect her to run for President. Graham said, “I don’t think she likes politics, I think she likes speaking on the issues, and I agree with many of the issues that she brings up.” Regarding other possible candidates, Graham admitted that Mitt Romney is “a very capable person,” however, Graham seemed more excited to talk about Donald Trump. Graham revealed about Trump:

“When I first saw that he was getting in, I thought ‘well this has got to be a joke,’ but the more you listen to him, the more you say to yourself, ‘you know maybe the guy’s right.’”

Not only is Graham open to supporting Trump for President, but Graham apparently has been listening to Trump long enough to also wonder about Obama’s birth certificate. Graham thinks Obama “can solve this whole birth certificate issue pretty quickly . . . I don’t know why he can’t produce that?” And despite considering Obama to be a “nice man,” Graham also suggests that even if Obama considers himself to be a Christian because he goes to Church, “a membership [alone] doesn’t make you a Christian.” Overall, it seems like the Reverend delivered to Obama a not so pleasant Easter Sunday message.

Watch the clip from ABC below:


 

Sunday Night Round Up

I’m about to watch the Oscars so this will be my last post for the evening. I haven’t watched the Oscars in literally years (since 1999) so I imagine between modern technology like HDTV among other things, the show should be worth watching.

Clarence Thomas Grabbing the Narrative by the Horns

Massive Rally in Heavy Snow
Our Eric Kleefeld has just filed his latest dispatch from Madison. A massive rally i..

Wisconsin is the front line in right-wing class warfare
The political showdown in Wisconsin is about class warfare. No one in the traditiona..

Gadhafi’s Son: It’s Just A Big Misunderstanding, No Attacks On Civilia..
In an interview with “This Week” with Christiane Amanpour, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, th..

Beck Sees Evidence For His Grand Conspiracy Theory Everywhere
Glenn Beck has asserted that protests in the Middle East, Europe, and the United Sta..

Tax the Rich: Minnesota’s Governor Teaches Scott Walker A Lesson
DAN DIMAGGIO FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT According to Governor Walker and his Koch-bac..

In Libya
Bernie Avishai remembers time spent in Libya in 2007 and the people he met there. In..

Gingrich to announce 2012 intentions

Giffords’s circle struggles to heal
Staff, friends find hope in congresswoman’s signs of recovery.

Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) Refuses to Endorse Sarah Palin for President
When The Quitter endorsed Nikki Haley in the Republican primary for South Carolina g..

Anderson Cooper Reports From Dimly-Lit Room In Egypt: “I’m A Little Bit Scared”

Although it was not the peaceful marchers that harmed Anderson Cooper, it was President Mubarak’s thugs, I wondered about his safety when Cooper was standing in the middle of the peaceful crowd on the day of the Million Persons March.  I felt that Cooper exhibited a bit of hubris, standing in the middle of a tens of thousands of Egyptians at the time and probably thinking that everyone knew him so he had nothing to worry about.  

I know that Anderson Cooper is always in the midst of a major crisis, but in my mind, he may have been a bit too cavalier, just to get his up close and personal reports to CNN.  I might be a bit harsh on Cooper given the eventual result of what happened to him, but sometimes the story is not worth the risk, in my opinion.

Mediaite

Anderson Cooper is not a rookie journalist when it comes to dangerous situations, but it’s difficult to remember a time in which he has faced more personal danger than during his coverage of the Egyptian revolts. Reporting from an undisclosed location in Cairo tonight, Cooper gave an update on the situation on the ground to the best of his ability– apologizing for reporting from a dimly-lit room, admitting some fear, and explaining that the media in Cairo is being systematically shut down.

Cooper, speaking live via what appeared to be a computer, reported that his only method of broadcast at the moment was from the room he occupied, an “undisclosed location,” the anonymity of which was, “frankly, for our own safety.” Acknowledging that the physical attacks on him had made headlines this week, he admitted that “journalists don’t like to become part of the story, but unfortunately, they have been made part of the story.”

He then detailed the situation regarding actual broadcasting. While he noted that Tahrir Square was currently full of protesters, many of them, he predicted, “scared for their lives,” there were no live cameras allowed on the ground, and absolutely no way of broadcasting live from the area. Their cameras, he explained, were “systematically taken down.” He did not exclude himself from the national climate of fear, either. “I don’t mind telling you I’m a little bit scared,” he admitted, though he noted that “there’s a lot of people who are scared right now in Egypt,” likely more than he is.

Cooper appeared entirely genuine in his fear, and his broadcast, somber and surprisingly collected for the situation, provided a chilling reflection of the current state of the nation through the eyes of what amounted to a blindfolded journalist– but one still able to speak. The report via CNN below:

Sam Donaldson To Al-Jazeera: “Thank You For What You’re Doing”

Aljazeera has always come under fire in the United States because of it’s frank broadcasting of what was really going on in Iraq and Afghanistan during both the Bush and Obama administrations.   This was viewed as a threat to our troops as well as Aljazerra being accused of aiding and abetting the al-Qaeda.

Whatever one thinks of Aljazeera, the fact remains that it’s reporting of the events in Egypt is vital.  Sam Donaldson agrees…

Mediaite

While Christiane Amanpour was away reporting in Egypt, former This Week host Jake Tapper got to play back home with the roundtable. During an informative discussion about the situation in Egypt and the various potential consequences with ABC’s Sam Donaldson and Abderrahim Foukara, the Washington Bureau Chief of Al Jazeera International, Donaldson expressed his gratitude for all Al Jazeera has done.

Earlier Foukara stressed that Al Jazeera helped bring about the story of the Egyptian revolts to 300 million people in the Arab world and beyond. Donaldson commented:

“Talk about propaganda for Al-Jazeera. Thank you for what you’re doing. People say Al Jazeera fanned the flames here by bringing the fact that democracy is in existence and that people are being suppressed. That’s what we need. We need more communication in the world. It’s not Al Jazeera’s fault that Mubarak is under siege now.”

ABC’s George Will expressed doubt about Al Jazeera’s influence, suggesting, “we in the media tend to think the media drives the world, and I have a feeling this would be going on across this region regardless of the media.” Yet Donaldson continued, “the world drives the world, to the extent the world knows about what’s happening everywhere else. That’s what media does.”

Given that the controversial Al Jazeera network is not widely available in the U.S. and has been criticized in the past for demonstrating an anti-American bias in its coverage, Donaldson’s praise might raise an eyebrow. However, it’s hard for anyone to argue with the simple idea that the free flow of information and an exposure to as many ideas as possible is itself a democratizing force that is beneficial to a society.

Watch the clip from ABC below:


 

Shooting rampage victim arrested at ABC-TV town hall meeting (Video)

This is very sad.  I hope Mr. Fuller is not charged when all the facts come out.   He was shot in the knee just a week ago and no doubt he’s still trying to deal with it.

I believe appearing on ABC’s Town Hall Event talking about  the Tuscon shooting, may have been too soon for Mr. Fuller…

KGUN9-ABC

Two things are clear from Saturday’s ABC News town hall meeting in Tucson.  One:  Tucsonans are eager to move forward and recover from last week’s horrible shooting rampage.  And two:  that process is going to be slow and painful.   That latter point was driven home by the arrest of a shooting victim, who threatened a speaker during the taping of the program.

ABC News Anchor Christiane Amanpour hosted the remarkable gathering of victims, heroes, witnesses and first responders.  It was the first time most of them had been together since Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a Safeway parking lot, killing 6, and wounding or injuring 14 others — a rampage that happened one week earlier almost to the hour. 

On the platform with Amanpour were Col. Bill Badger, who helped tackle gunman Jared Lee Loughner; Daniel  Hernandez, who ran to help wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords while most people were ducking for cover, Patricia Maisch, who grabbed a magazine away from Loughner; Bill Hileman, whose wife, Susan, is still recovering from gunshot wounds.  

On the front row was Kenneth Dorushka, who was shot shielding his wife from Loughner’s gunfire; and J. Eric Fuller, who was shot in the knee.

Most of the event was devoted to a recounting of what had happened that terrible morning.  Amanpour gently led the witnesses and survivors through the events, getting them to tell what they saw and experienced, and to talk about how they are coping.

Probably the most emotional moment came when Bill Hileman talked about his wife Susan’s dual struggle:  physical and emotional.  The youngest victim who died in the shooting, 9 year old Christina Taylor Green, was there because she wanted to meet Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  A neighbor took her to the “Congress On Your Corner” event.  Susan Hileman was that neighbor.   Bill Hileman said that his wife now struggles with the fact that she took a neighbor’s child to the event, but was not able to bring her home again.

The theme of the event was “An American Conversation Continued” —  the idea being to continue the conversation that a madman’s brutal rampage had interrupted.  So it was inevitable that the conversation would eventually turn to politics.   It did, toward the end, with Amanpour leading a discussion on a very touchy but obvious topic:  gun control. That’s where the atmosphere turned tense.   When Tucson Tea Party founder Trent Humphries rose to suggest that any conversation about gun control should be put off until after the funerals for all the victims, witnesses say Fuller became agitated.  Two told KGUN9 News that finally, Fuller took a picture of Humphries, and said, “You’re dead.”     More…

Tea Party Favorites Rand Paul & Jim DeMint Struggle To Name Specific Budget Cuts

This is nothing new.  Tea Party favorites have always been either inarticulate in expressing their views on the budget (among other things) or silent for fear of appearing inarticulate on the issues…

Huffington Post

Signaling how difficult it will be for the Republican Party to live up to its campaign promises of cutting spending while preserving the Bush tax cuts and not cutting benefits for seniors, Tea Party favorites Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Sen.-elect Rand Paul (R-Ky.) struggled on Sunday to actually name any specific cuts they plan on making.

On ABC’s “This Week,” Christiane Amanpour repeatedly pressed Paul to move beyond “slogans and platitudes” to “direct information” on how the Republican Party will balance the budget and cut the deficit.

Paul immediately reiterated that he was going to push for a balanced budget amendment and said that cuts needed to come from across the board — including defense spending. Whenever Amanpour asked whether a specific program — such as Medicare, Social Security and health care — would be cut, Paul simply kept reiterating that he was going to be looking “across the board.” He was unable, however, to actually name anything significant that would be on the chopping block:

AMANPOUR: Give me one specific cut, Senator-elect.

PAUL: All across the board.

AMANPOUR: One significant one. No, but you can’t just keep saying all across the board.

PAUL: Well, no, I can, because I’m going to look at every program, every program. But I would freeze federal hiring. I would maybe reduce federal employees by 10 percent. I’d probably reduce their wages by 10 percent. The average federal employee makes $120,000 a year. The average private employee makes $60,000 a year. Let’s get them more in line, and let’s find savings. Let’s hire no new federal workers.

AMANPOUR: Pay for soldiers? Would you cut that?

PAUL: I think that’s something that you can’t do. I don’t think –

AMANPOUR: You cannot do? […]

AMANPOUR: So, again, to talk about the debt and to talk about taxes, there seems to be, again, just so much sort of generalities, for want of a better word. […]

PAUL: Well, the thing is that you can call it a generality, but what if — what if I were president and I said to you, Tomorrow, we’re going to have a 5 percent cut across the board in everything? That’s not a generality, but there are thousands of programs. If you say, Well, what are all the specifics? There are books written on all the specifics. There’s a book by Christopher Edwards, downsizing government, goes through every program. That’s what it will take. It’s a very detailed analysis.

DeMint had a similar experience on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” When asked by host David Gregory where the American people should be prepared to sacrifice in order to cut the deficit, DeMint said, “I don’t think the American people are going to have to sacrifice as much as the government bureaucrats who get paid about twice what the American worker does. First of all, we just need to return to pre-Obama levels of spending in 2008. We need to cut earmarks so people can stop taking home the bacon, we need to defund Obamacare and then we need to look at the entitlement programs, such as the way Paul Ryan has done in the House with his Road to America’s Future.”

When Gregory pointed out that going back to 2008 spending levels won’t get anywhere close to balancing the budget, he asked whether everything would be on the table. DeMint said he opposed cutting Social Security. “If we can just cut the administrative waste, we can cut hundreds of billions of dollars a year at the federal level. We need to keep our promises to seniors, David, and cutting benefits to seniors is not on the table.” DeMint also said that cutting benefits for veterans is out.  Continue reading and watch video here