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S12.E26: Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Seinfeld, Haley Barbour, John Huntsman, Andrea Mitchell

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, comic Jerry Seinfeld, former Gov. Haley Barbour, former Gov. John Huntsman and journalist Andrea Mitchell

 

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Wow, that is quite a lineup.

Good lineup but kind of a crappy show. I have nothing against Jerry Seinfeld but he didn't fit into this show. I would rather the whole hour had been devoted to the events that have gone on during the show's hiatus. Huntsman has interesting things to say but barely had a chance to speak. Same with Andrea Mitchell. I would have liked to see Haley Barbour put on the spot and made to define exactly how the president is supposed to "lead." What exactly is he supposed to do? And would he agree that an opposition that decided from day one to oppose everything he did-no matter what it was-might have had something to do with the gridlock in Washington?

We'll never know, because we had to cut to the comedian Maher has a man crush on. Nothing wrong with that, but does it really belong on a politically oriented show? It was disappointing.

Edited by SpiritSong
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I'll never understand why Bill has blowhards like Haley Barbour on his show if he's not going to do a halfway decent job of challenging him. That "the president needs to lead" bullshit was ripe for the picking. They don't want Obama to lead, they want him to get out of the way. They've done everything they can to block everything he's tried to do.

 

I'm really tired of Nancy Pelosi and her Pollyanna attitude about voters being wise and Democrats having positive messages. They should be using the same fear tactics Republicans use to get voters to the polls. Just look at what Republican legistlatures are doing all over the country to women's rights. That's the kind of thing they should be scaring the electorate with, because it is scary.

 

Jon Huntsman might like to play the moderate card but he pulls that same "both parties are at fault" crap and whenever someone points out how the Bush administration got us into this quaqmire in the middle east he pivots to what Democrats have done.

 

I think Bill hit the nail on the head about Fox news making the difference in partisanship and nobody wanted to touch that with a ten foot pole. I guess they're all afraid of Fox news. No doubt, there are other contributing factors like right wing radio shows, but there's no real progressive version of Fox news, it's a propaganda machine with no equal. People really believe that shit.

 

I still don't get what the hell Flip a District does. Is Bill going to contribute a million dollars to the opponent? Campaign for him? What?

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I'll never understand why Bill has blowhards like Haley Barbour on his show if he's not going to do a halfway decent job of challenging him. That "the president needs to lead" bullshit was ripe for the picking. They don't want Obama to lead, they want him to get out of the way. They've done everything they can to block everything he's tried to do.

 

Truth. Granted, I'm not a political news junkie, but I am aware enough to know that the Republicans publically made it clear that they would not pass anything that Obama wanted; they were bound and determined to make him a one termer; that didn't work. That nonsense about Obama not working with them, not talking with them? Whatever. It's so much like what S.E. Cupp said last time she was on about how Obama never compromised, when from where I'm sitting, that's all he's done.

 

I really wish Bill had demanded CONCRETE examples. And that "doesn't lead"  was the perfect opening.

 

Agree, that Jerry Seinfeld shouldn't have been on. All he managed to do, was make Bill lose his flow at a couple places, make him lose his place during New Rules...

 

The only good thing I can say about last night, is the place where they had the show. I was thisclose  to it earlier in the day when I was at a farewell lunch for two associates who are leaving my firm.

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Agree with everything said here.  I was disappointed that Jerry Seinfeld kept interrupting Bill's New Rules.  But I'm never happy when he has other comedians on at the end.  Let it be Bill's show and let him talk politics.  I don't care for his man crushes.  

 

I was happier with the in-between shows banter between Keith Olberman and Michael Moore.  I wish Keith would be a real guest again.  He seems to be shying away from making political comments these days (I wonder why). 

 

I heard Michael Moore (jokingly) say that Haley Barber had killed someone backstage.  I'm not sure that was funny, although I can't stand Haley Barbour. 

Edited by SierraMist
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I'll never understand why Bill has blowhards like Haley Barbour on his show if he's not going to do a halfway decent job of challenging him. That "the president needs to lead" bullshit was ripe for the picking. They don't want Obama to lead, they want him to get out of the way. They've done everything they can to block everything he's tried to do.

 

 

I really wish Bill had demanded CONCRETE examples. And that "doesn't lead"  was the perfect opening.

 

Ugh I was so frustrated with this! Bill even let Barbour has the last word of the segment and moved on to his next topic without even challenging him. It was such a softball and Bill would not swing at it!  I know he has brought that up with other guests so I don't understand why he let it go last night. Maybe the knowledge that there was another show he had to do took away some of his edge and focus?

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I would have liked to see Haley Barbour put on the spot and made to define exactly how the president is supposed to "lead." What exactly is he supposed to do? And would he agree that an opposition that decided from day one to oppose everything he did-no matter what it was-might have had something to do with the gridlock in Washington?

 

That "the president needs to lead" bullshit was ripe for the picking. They don't want Obama to lead, they want him to get out of the way. They've done everything they can to block everything he's tried to do.

 

 

This is right up there with "he's had six years." I would suggest Obama was a leader in delivering a literal sea change in domestic policy with the ACA. But yeah, they do it in Congress on tv: Lead us, Mr. President. Well, but no, because when he asks for money for the problem with the kids on the border, you counter with 1% of what was requested. You can't negotiate with that. Or when he takes the lead on gun control, you filibuster.

 

It's fair that Obama probably should have been better on foreign policy. This is really unprecedented stuff though. It's hard for anyone. Some things are actually working. Russia is taking a hit on sanctions and, Obama has led Europe into passing sanctions too. 

 

That's great that Reagan and O'Niel would work together. He raised taxes even! But back then people were interested in finding ways to govern. Now it's "We are going to make this a one term President." Where can you go from there?

 

I'm really tired of Nancy Pelosi and her Pollyanna attitude about voters being wise and Democrats having positive messages. They should be using the same fear tactics Republicans use to get voters to the polls. Just look at what Republican legistlatures are doing all over the country to women's rights.

 

I don't think they need to use scare tactics. It's straight up facts and doesn't need any spin. Bill has said before, Democrats never put their foot down and highlight success more. All the new stuff came out about how the ACA actually cost less, the deficit is at its lowest since 2008, unemployment is the lowest, growth is markedly improved. 

 

No politician is going to say, "you're right Bill, most Americans are stupid" either. Voter turnout is low in the midterms and the voters who come out are the angry ones mostly. But she's not really interested in changes either more than she is in maintaining the status quo. They need to change the message. 

 

Maybe the knowledge that there was another show he had to do took away some of his edge and focus?

 

That's a good point. I bet it was.

Edited by ganesh
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I roll my eyes everytime Nancy Pelosi speaks. Yeah, the Democrats do care about the people, blah-blah-blah. But you're bad enough in regards to dirty dealings in Washington. Not nearly as bad as Republicans, but bad enough. And as ganesh says, they just want to maintain the status quo. Especially where Nancy Pelosi is concerned. I just wish Bill would flat out say to her "Lady, you're full of shit", instead of kinda kissing her ass.

 

And speaking of kissing ass, why bring Jerry Seinfeld onto the panel, unless it's because Bill wants to slurp him up?

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Well, she was the former Speaker of the House and could be again. I don't think telling her that she's full of shit is constructive. 

 

There are ways you can respectfully criticize. No one is denying that Congress' approval rating is in the toilet. You can ask, why can't you govern better? Getting out voters in the midterms, especially young people, is hard. 

 

You know what I'd like? "What do you do all day?" Because this Congress has passed next to no laws. Who do you talk to? What do you think is important for the majority leader to do? Appeal more to the american people? Get more back room channels open?

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I don't think they need to use scare tactics. It's straight up facts and doesn't need any spin.

 

Well yes, but the truth is scary. That's my point. They aren't going to get Democrats to the polls by saying "Good jobs, equal pay, education." They need to get people to the polls by saying "If Republicans take over congress, look what's going to happen. The same thing happening in Texas, and in Kansas, women's rights being trampled on. Get out and vote."

 

That said, Bill made the point (without really expanding on it) I've maintained all along: If Republicans do gain the majority in the Senate, what really changes? They won't have a filibuster-proof majority so it will just be the same old gridlock.

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They won't get enough seats in either house to override any vetoes. I suppose if there were a republican majority they could pass a bunch ridiculous legislation that Obama would have to veto, so then they could claim that they want to do something, but Obama won't let them. I suppose that could be used for 2016.

 

The only real risk would be actually impeaching Obama. Even if the House passed Articles of Impeachment, I don't think the senate would go through with it. 

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Bill blaming FOX News was just...pitiful. Bill, you don't get to call Palin a cunt, make an entire career off Bush jokes, try and embarrass Christine O'Donnell because she wont come on your show, and pretty much spend every episode of your show chronicling how Republicans are wrong about everything all the time, and let's not forget the "tea baggers", and then blame FOX for being polarizing. The reason FOX's rating are better than MSNBC (and always have been) is because they are known for being conservative (though I would say MSNBC is more to the left than FOX is to the right) and because it is one channel. Liberals aren't starved for commentary in any medium.

 

Really, I think Bill can feel the country changing. I mean, you can make your faithful liberal audience who will clap for every "Republicans? Boo!" point you make, but...it's kind of old at this point.

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Bill blaming FOX News was just...pitiful. Bill, you don't get to call Palin a cunt, make an entire career off Bush jokes, try and embarrass Christine O'Donnell because she wont come on your show, and pretty much spend every episode of your show chronicling how Republicans are wrong about everything all the time, and let's not forget the "tea baggers", and then blame FOX for being polarizing. The reason FOX's rating are better than MSNBC (and always have been) is because they are known for being conservative (though I would say MSNBC is more to the left than FOX is to the right) and because it is one channel. Liberals aren't starved for commentary in any medium.

 

Really, I think Bill can feel the country changing. I mean, you can make your faithful liberal audience who will clap for every "Republicans? Boo!" point you make, but...it's kind of old at this point.

 

As long as Fox News continues to spread bullshit and treat people like they're stupid - and not just their regular audience - then people like Bill, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert will continue to call them out on their out and out lying!

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Fox News is also disingenuous in that they're passing themselves off as news when they really aren't. And one could say the same about MSNBC. I watch the actual news, and haven't watch more than 5 minutes of these channels in my life. They spin things to whip up their bases. Usually, the easiest route is through outrage. FN is probably easier to rip on, but he took on MSNBC too. 

 

They're in the business of ratings and entertainment and they won't tell you that. So is Bill and he doesn't hide it. Bill has been pretty clear what he's about for a long time. He uses political commentary as the paradigm for his comedy. He's been around making jokes long before Bush, so I wouldn't say he's made a career out of Bush jokes. He's also made jokes at Obama's expense. He's been on tv pretty much continuously since Clinton and was decently well-known on the circuit before that. I'm pretty sure he's made jokes about Clinton. And he made a joke about Hillary in his last stand up. So, to suggest Bill only has made jokes at the expense of conservatives, it's wrong, taking in the whole of his career. 

 

He's not always funny, but not all comedy is actually funny. It's also not his fault that the political landscape is pretty bereft. Something happens. Obama's response is billed the worst thing to do and it will destroy the world. He's a tyrant when he does something and completely ineffectual when he doesn't. He's The Worst President Since WWII. Someone proposes a bill. The Senate filibusters. It dies. Everyone is re elected. Repeat.

 

There's only so much you can mine from that. I mean, what is it, 50 times they voted to repeal the ACA? How many times can you joke about that. 

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though I would say MSNBC is more to the left than FOX is to the right

 

With three hours of Joe Scarborough every weekday? That is quantitatively disproven.

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I think whether you're talking about FOX News or MSNBC, the issue is the same: they have their core viewers, and so the stories they report, how they're presented, what they choose to focus on, and so on, is skewed to their target demographic. Neither one of them are true news organizations in my view, and they both have few (if any) contributors that are journalists in the truest sense of the word. This is because all these news channels are owned by corporations, and driven by the desire to increase profits. line. So their goals are not borne out of wanting to deliver the news, but rather motivated by growing shareholder value and the bottom line.

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Neither one of them are true news organizations in my view, and they both have few (if any) contributors that are journalists in the truest sense of the word.

 

Not even remotely. They're entertainment programs not much different than Real Time. 

 

No offense to Maddow, who seems like a nice lady, but Bill was correct in pointing out how their coverage of the Christie "scandal" was largely driven by ratings rather than the actual coverage of news. 

 

If you want to watch actual news, watch PBS News Hour. 

Edited by ganesh
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