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The Ultimate Guide to the Political Talk Shows

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I am sick and tired. I have tried to watch them but I can’t stand it any more. They are hurting the political discourse in this country and outside the wonks who live and breathe politics, they have no relationship with average people. I’m talking about political talk shows. Here is the ultimate guide so you never have to watch them again.

I should clarify one point. The shows and the news in general on the broadcast networks have an effect on average people more than those on cable but all of them still are pretty much worthless unless you obsess about politics.

Ultimate Political Talk Show Guide

1. The shows covered under this guide is as follows:

ABC This Week
CBS Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer
Fox Fox News Sunday w/ Chris Wallace
NBC Meet the Press with David Gregory
PBS The McLaughlin Group

Cable
CNN State of the Union with Candy Crowley
CNN Reliable Sources
MSNBC The Ed Show
MSNBC Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann
MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show
FOXNEWS Any show at any hour

2. Formats are pretty much the same in that they allow for unquestioning press release spin

3 Except for the MSNBC shows, the spin is at least misleading and in most cases lies.

4. Again except for the MSNBC shows, the hosts never really ask follow up questions.

5. The shows all have the same guests and those guests lean toward the GOP with a token Democrat in some cases. Again MSNBC is the opposite – having mostly Democratic or left leaning guests but the GOP rarely appears on MSNBC shows even as tokens.

6. MSNBC shows are better because they at least stick with facts and the truth even when it looks bad for Democrats and liberals in general. The other shows “concern troll” for the Democrats on all topics and accept the GOP talking points as true on their face.

7. The hosts and/or guests on any FOX “News” shows are either stupid, racists, or both at the same time.

8. All shows tend to have stories and topics that are important only to those who live inside the Washington DC beltway. Occasionally, most likely the MSNBC shows will actually have a topic of importance to all Americans.

9. Most of these shows favor “drama” over substance where yelling and arguing is seen as “good”, except for Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann, and The Rachel Maddow Show. Or they obsess on the political process which is like watching sausage being made.

10. You don’t have to watch any of the shows live or on your DVR. You can go to the network websites and watch clips, watch the Daily Show and Colbert Report to get a funny take on what the shows have on, or visit these websites:

http://crooksandliars.com/

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

and for special handling of FOX “News” crap:

http://mediamatters.org/

11. Although it seems some shows might be better than the others, at the end of the day you don’t need to watch them to keep yourself informed. They take up time better spent with friends and family and laughing and having fun.

Even those on the left can be a douche

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The other day it was reported that Congressman Dennis Kucinich had said he would vote no on the Senate version of the Health Care Reform bill. It’s the version that more than likely will be passed if a vote is taken. On the MSNBC show “Countdown” the founder of the Daily Kos blog Markos Moulitsas called out Kucinich for his principled stand and even suggested he be challenged in the next election for suggesting the bad Senate bill be killed. One can not like the man, disagree with his views, but don’t be a dick about it. Markos is being a dick about it.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The attack continued on Moulitsas’ twitter feed calling Kucinich ineffective and his supporters – robots. He asked for one piece of legislation Kucinich had sponsored that passed and when one was pointed out (H.J. 26) Markos dismissed it out of hand.

Then today in his regular posting on Daily Kos he wrote:

No ambiguity — MoveOn members want to pass the bill. We spent the last several months fighting to make it better, and we did. It’s not great, but it’s better. And as Howard Dean wrote yesterday, the fight for better health care reform isn’t over.

Dennis Kucinich may rather make common cause with the GOP and Rush Limbaugh, but sane progressives have to realize that this is a step forward. And once the foot is in the door, tweaks can always be made. But our foot must be in the door, and that’s why the GOP and insurance companies are fighting this with all their might.

Midday open thread

He basically is calling anyone who shares Kucinich view on the bill insane including progressives who agree with the congressman – like me.

What is ironic is that as late as December Moulitsas held the same view of the Senate bill and also called for it to be killed.

My take is that it’s unconscionable to force people to buy a product from a private insurer that enjoys sanctioned monopoly status. It’d be like forcing everyone to attend baseball games, but instead of watching the Yankees, they were forced to watch the Kansas City Royals. Or Washington Nationals. It would effectively be a tax — and a huge one — paid directly to a private industry.

Without any mechanisms to control costs, this is yet another bailout for yet another reviled industry. Subsidies? Insurance companies are free to raise their rates to absorb that cash. More money for subsidies? More rate increases, as well as more national debt. Don’t expect Lieberman and his ilk to care. They’re in it for their industry pals.

Strip out the mandate, and the rest of the bill is palatable.

Remove mandate, or kill this bill

The mandate is still in the bill and Markos now is towing the party line that the bill has to be passed since it is better for the party than nothing.

Normally I agree 90% with the views of Markos and Daily Kos but the people who gave up on getting a better bill to pass the crap Senate version just so they can claim “victory” leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I understand that Moulitsas personally doesn’t like Dennis Kucinich but he doesn’t need to be a douche about it and let it cloud his public comments about the man especially someone who hasn’t changed their mind all of a sudden like Markos seemed to have done.

Countdown to change

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Here is something nifty: