Real Time Thoughts on Meet the Press (Januar 17, 2010)

Today is all about Haiti.  David Gregory wants to get some time in to talk about Obama’s first year in office.

The Red Cross is predicting that 100,000 to 200,000 people have died.  3.5 million people in Haiti have been affected.  This is monumental stuff.

Rajiv Shah is up now.  He is the adminstrator of USAID. Keep in mind that he’s been in office for 2 weeks.

Shah is saying htat it is still possible to rescue people.  This is still a rescue operation Assuming that there are still pockets of clean air anywhere in Haiti, this strikes me as improbable optimism 5 days into this catastrophe,.

What seems more plausible is that the various organizations and governments should be gearing up for riots and violence, while still lookign for people.  We are talking about millions of people who have gone without food for nearly a week.  The focus should be the humanitarian intervention to make sure that people get food, water and shelter, but somone has to keep a third eye on security in Port Au Prince.

In fact the World Food Program coordinator for Haiti has argued in teh times that though there are 200 flights taking off and landing in Haiti, most of those flights are the U.S. military planes.

Presidents Bush and Clinton up next.  They’ll be talking about Haiti and only Haiti.

Clinton is reporting that 40% of the Haitian police have signed back in to work.  Clinton thinks that the U.S. government needs to help out running organizations and infrastructure that the Haitians themselves cannot run.  For example, the U.S. military ios running the aiport for the next 3 days, subject to further renegotiation.  This might explain teh WFP’s complaint.

On rebuilding Haiti, Clinton is saying that immediately before the quake, Haitians were not interested in rebuilding the economy; it was a move to build a new economy (whatever that means!).  So the plan to do just that will be fed into teh works. But obviously, there has to be some allocational changes.

DG is asking why Haiti matters to teh U.S. national interest.  Clinton’s response is that Haiti is our neighbor.  And because their neighbors to their south are now interested in helping out, we can now take that neighborly duty and see if we can make this work.  The reason why THIS is important is because we can then see if we can use that model to help places in Africa and elsewhere.  Nevertheless, Clinton’s argument is that we should be interested in Haiti because Haiti is our neighbor.

Bush is talking about fending oneself from scheisters.  And has commended Obama for moving as quickly as he obviously has in response to the quake.

Karen Hughes, John Podesta,  Mark Halperin and Bob Woodward are up next.

DG is asking Bob Woodward whether we have the political commitment to invest in Haiti as is required.  Bob Woodward can do no better than to say that though the GOP and the DEM’s might engage in infighting, the leaders of the parties are saying “Wait a minute, this is a terrible devastation and we have the opportunity to do something to make our world better.”

Mark Halperin is saying Rush Limbaugh spewed hateful stuff.  But given the unity in this country the other Republicans in this country did not repudiate him.

David Gregory is asking his guests about Obama’s first year in office.  John Podesta is defendng him by saying that he inherited the worst recession in a life-time and he will spend time showing Americans exactly what the healthcare reform will give them.  If he does so, he will win office again.  Karen Hughes is saying that every presidents inherits adverse conditions.  She is reading off the GOP talking points, just as Podesta is reading off the democratic talking points.  Neither is an egregious breach of comity.

But Woodward is suggesting that people look at the broader time horizon that lies ahead. After all, he wants the guests to know Lou Cannon wrote in Reagan’s first year in office, that he would not run in 1984.

Mark Halperin is saying that McCain and Clinton argued that Obama is just rhetoric; he cannot possibly govern.  Halperin wants to say that Obama has done just the opposite.  He has governned well given the circumstances, but he cannot seem to inspire the majority of Americans.

Okay, now Karen Hughes is just parroting the Cheney line.

Coakley is on the line now.  Halperin is saying that if Coakley loses, the adminstration will go the House of Representatives and tell them to pass the Senate bill.  The Senate doesn’t need to vote again, and Ben Nelson cannot vote down the bill.

Woodward is ripping up Hughes.  For she s saying that Obama ran as a centrist and has governed from the left.   Woodward is saying that look he sent in 50,000 and more troops to Afghanistan and if he is a lefty because he passed healthcare, then surely Bush should be considered a lefty for passing the biggest entitlement in socialized care until 2009.

~ by Faheem Haider on January 17, 2010.

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