This is what I get for not doing a show on Fridays!  I catch up on Monday mornings!

So… this morning on the show, I spelled out my feelings about President Obama’s Jobs plan, which he presented to us by way of an address to a joint session of Congress Thursday night.

  • I thought it was a good speech – delivered in a manner that he should have begun using two years ago
  • I still don’t like the “payroll tax holiday”.  It gives those in Congress who keep claiming that Social Security and Medicare are insolvent the means to make those assertions self-fulfilling prophesies, and does nothing to help the unemployed
  • I found this paragraph deeply troubling:  “Now, I realize there are some in my party who don’t think we should make any changes at all to Medicare and Medicaid, and I understand their concerns. But here’s the truth. Millions of Americans rely on Medicare in their retirement. And millions more will do so in the future. They pay for this benefit during their working years. They earn it. But with an aging population and rising health care costs, we are spending too fast to sustain the program. And if we don’t gradually reform the system while protecting current beneficiaries, it won’t be there when future retirees need it. We have to reform Medicare to strengthen it.

Now, if  “Medicare Reform” means lowering the eligibility age and/or opening it up for anyone to be able to buy into (on a sliding scale based on age/income), beginning to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies on their prescription drug prices, and reforming the fee for service system under which it currently operates, then I’m all for it.

On the other hand, if it means raising the eligibility age, as has been suggested by this administration, to -say- 67, or some other misguided “reform” as per the right wing’s desires, then I’ll have a really big problem with it!

To be continued….

In the aftermath of the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, I was joined by Jason Leopold who’s had a number of  mind-blowing pieces up at recently:

From June 13, 2011:  “Exclusive: New Documents Claim Intelligence on Bin Laden, al-Qaeda Targets Withheld from Congress’ 9/11 Probe”

From August 11, 2011: “Former Counterterrorism Czar Accuses Tenet, Other CIA Officials of Cover-Up

From September 9, 2011: “New Documents Suggest DoD Watchdog Covered Up Intelligence Unit’s Work Tracking 9/11 terrorists”

As she does every Monday morning, Nicole Belle of Crooks and Liars joined me for “Fools on the Hill” – our weekly session deconstructing the Sunday talking head shows.  Today, she brought us these stories:

It was inevitable that the Sunday shows would be all about 9/11.  Ten years after the fact and we’re still not having honest discussions about that terrible day.  Most of the Sunday shows opted not to have regular shows at all, pre-empting then for coverage of the memorials.

We did get a couple of discussion-worthy clips.

First up, we have “If it’s Sunday, then it’s time for John McCain”  on and he actually uses the context of 9/11 to complain about troop withdrawals.  In Iraq.  Who didn’t attack us on 9/11.  Who posed no threat to us.  The country that we’re responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths.

But if that isn’t ridiculous enough, former Chief of Staff Andy Card told Anderson Cooper that he was “pleased” with Bush’s response on 9/11, you know, those seven minutes of silence after he was told the country was under attack.

And moving into ridiculous to egregious and evil, Dick Cheney is still out there, insisting waterboarding not only worked but “produced phenomenal results”.  At this point, the only phenomenal result I will truly be satisfied by is Dick Cheney waiting trial in The Hague.

Much of the legacy of the 9/11 is a sad, shameful black marks, as Paul Krugman wrote and promptly for which he got vilified by the right wing blogs.  One of the biggest black marks is how complacently we all accepted the loss of our civil liberties.  Much of the reason why is that the media basically glossed over it.  And on Fox, they’re still glossing over all of the Bush crimes.  For example, Brit Hume doesn’t think most Americans should be worried about being spied on…because he’s not.

But my favorite clip on Sunday was from Fareed Zakaria, who completely destroyed Rumsfeld’s Iraq War talking points.