We interrupt the Sunday programs with this just in: President Obama took a dark-of-night secret journey to Afghanistan for talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a salute to U.S. troops.
Meanwhile, back on the set, Washington was in the dark, or left in the dust, whichever you prefer. At any rate, nobody knew about the trek until most of the shows were over and the President landed in Kabul, making coverage of the story limited.
Notable but not quite soundbiteable this Sunday. Check out Senior White House advisers David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett on U.S.-Israeli relations lately. It sounds like they are dialing back the public expressions of U.S. anger at Israel for approving new construction in disputed territory. It’s pretty nuanced if real, but it IS the Middle East we’re talking about. I’m half expecting calmer, nicer, less tense pronouncements as we head into Easter week.
But Sunday talk was mostly domestic – health care reform and the civility of the debate thereof. Turns out the whole health care reform debate didn’t get settled with the bill’s passage. It got moved to another venue: from the legislative arena to a wholly political one.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called the new law a “house of cards… a Ponzi scheme… (that will) blow up the deficit.” Also, he doesn’t like it.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was a glass half full guy predicting that six months from now, voting for the new health care bill will be a political plus because “…the parade of horribles… will have vanished.” Tea Party star Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) said “we’ll find out in November who won or lost this battle,” noting a new CBS poll showing over 60 percent of Americans want the GOP to keep challenging the new law. One has to wonder if some of that 60-plus percent are health care reform supporters who assume GOP criticism will backfire at the polls.
Mississippi Republican Governor Haley Barbour wins top sound bite billing for his colorful explanation of why the federal government has no authority to force Americans to buy health insurance “anymore than in the name of homeland security they can force every American to have to buy a gun.”
Almost-civility reigned across the Sunday broadcast spectrum. Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) disagree quite disagreeably about various aspects of the new law, in particular its affect on student loans. Mikulski pleaded for “respect” and “decorum” so the American people will take Congress seriously. She also wants to end a system that “enables you to raise a lot of money after using outrageous and bizarre behavior” (an idea that would likely mean the end to reality shows as well).
Sen. Alexander was less inclined to play nice after the White House announced more than a dozen “recess appointments,” which is basically governance code for getting your nominees into office while Congress is gone. It’s a tried and true maneuver favored by both parties especially when they have controversial nominations glued to the bottom of the Senate’s inbox. White House senior adviser David Axelrod pled the Republicans- made-the-President-do-it defense. Particularly perturbed about the recess appointment of union lawyer Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board, Alexander accused the President of throwing “fuel on the fire.”
RECESS APPOINTMENTS & UNCIVIL POLITCS
Senior White House Adviser David Axelrod, on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“We are in a position where the Republican Party has taken a position where they’re going to try and slow and block progress on all fronts whether it’s legislation or appointments.”
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“What the President has done is throw fuel on the fire at a time when the debate about politics is a very angry debate to begin with.”
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“If we don’t ourselves seriously and act in a serious way, we are not going to be taken seriously by the American people. I have a suggestion: let’s go back to the three R’s, respect, words of decorum and stop the rewards system that enables you to raise a lot of money after using outrageous and bizarre behavior.”
HEALTH CARE REFORM: THE NEXT CHAPTER
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), on NBC’s “Meet the Press”
“It is a house of cards. It is a Ponzi scheme of the first order. It's going to blow up the deficit. It's going to affect every business, every family in this country. It was done by one-party rule and it was a shame we had to go down this road.”
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), on CBS’ “Face the Nation”
“We'll find out in November who won or lost this battle. Over 60 percent of Americans still want Republicans to fight and repeal this. So what I do next is I'm trying to replace those who voted for this bill, I want to repeal it, and I want to replace it with some real reform that puts patients in charge of their healthcare again”
Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS), on ABC’s “This Week”
“I do not believe the United States government has a right, has the authority or power to force us to purchase health insurance any more than in the name of homeland security they can force every American to have to buy a gun.”
Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA), on ABC’s “This Week”
“This is not a government takeover. We left the private health insurance companies in tact. The only way they can afford to give coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, the only way they can afford to do that is if everyone goes in the insurance pool. These lawsuits are frivolous.”
Senior White House Adviser David Axelrod, on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“We are working our way through our concerns with our Israeli allies. We think we’re doing it in the appropriate way. And I’m confident that we will make progress. But we’re going to make it by being blunt and straightforward, as allies are, and use the channel, the appropriate channels.”
Senior White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett, on ABC’s “This Week”
“The United States is a strong and ardent ally of Israel. The fact of the matter is that friends can disagree. And I think what's important is that world leaders are able to sit down with one another have frank conversations and move forward. I don't think there's any doubt in the mind of Bibi Netanyahu about the president's commitment to Israel and its safety and how important that is for the United States and for the region.”
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and the week ahead,
No the healthcare debate isn't totally settled. The American people that said NO! loud and clear represent 55% up to 68% of the public, according to the polls, are very angry and no amount of silver-tongued teleprompter verbege is going to sooth them before November. An Adminstration that totally ignores the will of the voters in either ignorant or arrogant beyond belief.
Hope Obama explained the insulting pay raise to our Men and Women in Uniform while he was there. Okay for him to spend out-of- control to travel "where ever he wants to go", but neglect our troops. Great Photo Op, again. What a farce!
Like they say Obama took over the Titanic when it had hit the iceberg and and halfway to the bottom of the SEA! its pretty hard to stop that kinda of momentum...id say Obama has done great! Since passing the Health care bill a lot of countries like canada, france etc have been put on notice! all the jobs they got from our country because they had better affordable health care may start disappearing...and reappearing on home soil we dont realize the enormous good and shot in the arm Obama has given AMERICA! Obama has done great for our country because in the years to follow our country will be stronger than ever! The Republicans if they had any intelligence would have figured that out by now. Small wonder Americans at the end of the day turn to the intellectuals (Dems) when we in trouble! God Bless the Troops!!! Amen.
I'm sorry, but Crowley's journalistic skills are lacking.
The health insurance debate has Always been political. All the GOP cares about is Obama's Waterloo.
Problem is Candy, he's looks like the Duke of Wellington and you remain
one of the "villagers".
The Media talks and tell too much on the news, that's why you didn't know.
Nobody seems to talk about the less-tangible economic effect of Health Care Reform: that of having a generally healthier population and the impact that would have on the overall need for healthcare.
And if we're healthier we think clearer-and are better Americans.
How can one party squeel like pigs in a trough about procedings
used by the other WHEN, in power, they do the EXACT same thing ? I suppose its a case of one black pot calling the other pot black. OR
another phrase IS, What goes around, come around. BUT look how the Publicans SQUEEL when THEIR ox is gored.
How can ANYBODY state that HCR is going to "burst" the budget when, most of the complainers supported the "bursting" of not one but, 2 WARS? WHO are the ones that voted FOR the war that are NOW opposing HCR!? THEY are the hippocrits! EVERYTHING for another country BUT, NOTHING for US Americans who [by the way, if you do not know..] ARE FUNDING EVERYTHING CONGRESS VOTES ON!!!? Do you see THIS!? I DON"T get it and I'm NOT DUMB! It's all there in plain Black AND white. IMO, some of these "bloggers" AND politicians need to EDUCATE themselves ON FACTS before opening their litte mouths. Just HOW do they survive in this world? Maybe by living in a cave, fearful of the "Goverment" and holding on tightly with their sidearms [while] all their representatives are driving their luxury cars and have their pensions and go home to not one but, TWO OR MORE HOMES along with THEIR own publicly funded insurance plans, PLUS getting lucritive "bonas's/kickbacks" from large (and small) corporations to vote in THEIR favor...Oh, don't get me started. What a way to go!...Sam
PS: LOVE YA CANDY! Tell it like it truly is!...Sam
Candy Crowley is something suprisingly not to be expected these days: a journalist who can write.
Thanks for the memories.
I, for one, am sick and tired of the Republicans telling me that every single citizen in the US is against health care reform. That is just another Joe Wilson lie. All the polls show (not the Murdock Wall Street Journal) that over half of the country supports it. And, if the other half would watch something other than Fox News, they'd find out that every single talking point that the Republicans repeat is nothing more than lies. I laugh every time I see a Senior Citizen complaining about the government takeover as they head off to the bank to deposit their Social Security checks or pull out their Medicare card...what a bunch of hypocrits and selfish people.
So Obama heads to Afghanistan to try to shift the focus of the news away
from his horrendous Health Care business?
I for one hope they leave him there and never let the COMMUNIST TRAITOR back into the US. Bring AF1 back EMPTY, for the next president to use.
This is true. If anger is not acknowledged, then people do not think that the idiots in Washington D.C. are listening to the public.
But acknowledging anger is not enough. These idiots need to realize that they have totally disregarded the real citizens of the United States of America and this in the past has led to insurrection and violence.
The very existence of this country is at stake. The people who have immigrated here legally did so to get away from governments that control every aspect of its' citizens' lives. If these nut cases turn our country into a socialistic hell like the countries that these legal immigrants fled, these idiots and nut cases will be in for a new awakening. They will get the message in November 2010 – November 2012 when they are all replaced by real people who have no problem with a free country or they will risk history repeating itself over again.
Crowley , you and all of CNN I noticed the big difference regardless of how you all tried to pretend. Please change your name to FOXX 2.
Did he speak in Indonesian or Swahilli there, since Austrian would be difficult to understand 3,000% of the time.