Real Time Thoughts on Meet the Press (February 17, 2013)


Dennis McDonough is here to represent the White House. He is President Obama’s new Chief of Staff, a man with a long resume in foreign policy and national security. (Does not that point to what the president’s agenda?)

The Republican intransigence on Sen. Hagel’s appointment as the Sec. Def. Does this fight make him a weaker Secretary, as former Sec. Def.  Bill Cohen said?

No, he’ll be just as strong as ever in office. In fact many Republicans have come out and said they’ll stop the filibuster next week when they reconvene in the Senate. (Congress is out of session for too long, methinks! Vacation versus vocation, what of that?)

The sequester business? How does the president go forward when he won’t be able to go against his own base?  And then, there’s all the talk about the president’s plans to move against the sequester. But the problem is he wants new revenue when the Republicans have said they will not move on revenue.  And Pres. Obama’s said that sequester will not happen.

David Gregory is pointing out that the math on those two propositions doesn’t add up. How then will sequester finally get resolved, taken down.

David Gregory pointed out data on Medicare that shows that an average middle class couple retiring in 2010 puts in $120K but draws out nearly $400K. That ratio is only getting worse, as the American population ages. This is what is killing Medicare.

How then will the president’s modest reform change that ratio for the better? McDonough is making points that turn on accepting that the president’s common sense moves will change Medicare for the better. (He’s surely right that raising the minimum age for benefits is only a cost shifter; it doesn’t reduce the cost of Medicare.

On gun control, vis-a-vis Gabby Giffords move to push some reasonable controls through Congress. The president seems to want a vote on the proposals available, to put Congress-folk on the record; this also suggests that the president has given up on an assault weapons ban and clip ban.

On the Catholic Church and moves on a new pope, yeah, McDonough is saying that the Church has been real cool to America.

The Handsome Gavin Newson, Alex Castellanos, Carly Fiorina, Chris Matthews are the roundtable.

Mark Kelly is here to talk on any gun control moves around.

Chris Matthews is here to say that Hagel will be confirmed; he’s weaker but will have to shape up. However, he will gain by Sen. Ted Cruz’s untoward innuendo.

Sen. McCain is here too. Oy! Sen. McCain pointed out that Sen. Hagel was disagreeable when he disagreed with President Bush’s surge and said that Pres. Bush was one of the worst presidents since Herbert Hoover.

Sen. McCain: Hagel is one of the most unimpressive nominees to lead the Pentagon (Huh?? Whaaahh?)

His big complaint is that Sen. Hagel is to the left of Pres. Obama and that somehow makes him unfit to lead the Pentagon. But, consider: Sen. Hagel was apparently qualified to lead the Pentagon in 2000. Because Sen. McCain said so when he was running for the presidency. (So he was qualified then? And he’s no longer qualified now?)

On Benghazi: what did the president know? When? What?  Sen. McCain just said there’s been a cover up?

David Gregory asks: “Cover up of what? You said there’s been a huge cover-up; cover up of what?

Sen. McCain: why did the president say that he didn’t know what caused the attack on Benghazi? (Okay, and if it turns up that there was nothing but intelligence officials hedging on that information? What happens then?)

On the sequester: Sen. McCain: the president said that the sequester wouldn’t happen. Why won’t he sit down and talk to some Republicans on this?

On immigration reform? Will something pass if Pres. Obama sends something through? No, no, but there;s some work, bipartisan work, that’ll pass Congress. (What? What does that mean?)

Will Sen. McCain support at least a universal background check? This, even if nothing can go through Congress?

Sen. McCain: yeah, sure. Joe Manchin, yadi yadi. support and whatever…

Oh, Gavin Newsome is so handsome. So says this brown heterosexual man.

Newsome is saying what I just said: that it is nonsense that Sen. Hagel is not qualified to run the Pentagon. He was qualified 13 years ago and it’s silly that he’s not qualified now?  This is just political revenge for Hagel walking away from Sen. McCain when he ran against then-Senator Obama.

Carly Fiorina: oh, blah, blah, blah!

Chris Matthew is saying that neither Republicans nor Democrats have a lot to win with a reasonable. There’s no leadership on this issue that’s moving the bill forward.

The president just said that he won the election. He’s said that the economy supports his view of how to “grow the economy”.

The president wants to show the government as moving the economy, not private business.

Chris Matthews: This isn’t what’s happening. Look at the world out there: With a 2% interest rate, this is a good time to invest in public infrastructure. When do people buy cars and houses? When the interest rate is 2%. This is the right time to invest in public works!

The economy isn’t growing, blah blah blah says Carly Fiorina!

Captain Mark Kelly, husband of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords who started an organization to fight for reasonable gun control.

Basically, Captain Kelly is saying that the universal background check will go through. Now, it should go through. (I think it must go through.)

The strongest thing Capt. Kelly said: why is the NRA protecting the mentally ill and criminals from background checks. (This suggests that Capt. Kelly is saying that the NRA is enabling criminals and the mentally ill to own unchecked guns. I certainly think the NRA is doing just that.)

~ by Faheem Haider on February 17, 2013.

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