Culture of Truth: Small Wars

July 27, 2014 – Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. Excerpted from July 27 Virtually Speaking Sundays with digby and Gaius Publius.

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

If you're a grumpy conservative, it was a good day for you on the Sunday Talk shows.

ABC's This Week was in full panic mode, wondering if flying is no longer safe, and if passenger planes should have missile defense systems, even though that would not have helped Malaysian Flight 17.

All of Jon Karl's guests, even Fran Townsend, thought that's unnecessary, and instead she tried to blame Obama for the crash in Ukraine.

She then called temporarily halting flights to Tel Aviv ridiculous, saying that it “sent a very bad signal,” to the bad guys, that they quote “have some control over the environment” and that “they've got you scared.” She then warned that battle-hardened terrorists are coming to the United States and “we ought to be concerned.”


Host Jon Karl is also afraid of shoulder fired rockets, saying “you have this image of terrorists out kind of taking target practice.” On the show Karl twice used the phrase “it's frightening.”


On Meet The Press, Richard Engel visited the previously most crowded neighborhood in Gaza, now reduced to rubble, while David Gregory interviewed Benjamin Netanyahu. The prime minister said UN schools are a legitimate military target, but then said the recent attack “may have been Hamas rocket fire.”


He then spoke with a UN official who informed Gregory that a few minutes before, the main UN compound in Gaza had been hit by a bomb. Gregory then confronted the official with a grainy black and white video he couldn't see, which Gregory said could not be verified, but was “posted on YouTube,” and asked him “Is this accurate?”


Chuck Schumer said, on Putin, “What I learned in Brooklyn, you show a bully weakness, they take further advantage. You show them strength, they back off.” He then said Europe should not be like 1938 Europe, and proposed getting tough with Putin by taking the World Cup away from Russia.


For this week's visit to Real America, Kevin Tibbles went to Vermont to learn if Canada's health care system is leaking across the border liked a socialist maple syrup. On the possibility of state provided health care, one Vermonter said “I'm frightened by it,” and feared that if Vermont gives everyone in the state free health care, “Everybody's going to move out.”


But the most ridiculous moments came during the panel discussion by the Beltway pundits, who apparently really need you to get off their lawn.

On marijuana legalization, we got a “didn't inhale” joke, while David Brooks came about against legalization, saying “I just don't think it's the way we want to spend our minds.”


Brooks also disdained our current culture “where everyone should do what they want” but said to “to me, there's some role in government playing some role in restraining some individual choice just to create a culture of healthiness.”


Ruth Marcus said, “I'm with David,” for “mommy reasons” and argued that marijuana costs IQ points, and seemed to suggest banning alcohol and tobacco as well. Judy Woodruff, concurring, said “it's a fascinating that the two of you are agreeing.” David Gregory accidentally gave the game away by saying “Well, they're both so conservative.”

Gregory then complained that the US isn't influencing events in the world enough, expressed astonishment that Chuck Schumer doesn't want to fight a war with Russia, and called Obama weak, as he does every Sunday.

David Brooks then explained that after WWII we had an American-led order “which involved small wars every seven or eight years, but it kept the wolves at bay,” and “you just get a lot more disorder unless you get that constant, affirmative pressure.”


So we have a Bush administration official telling us not to react to rocket attacks because it sends a bad signal, marijuana shouldn't be legal because kids can easily get alcohol, and in order to maintain world peace we need to fight a small war every seven years.


And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Be Afraid

July 13, 2014  – Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. Excerpted from July 13 Virtually Speaking Sundays.

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

A lot to cover on the Sunday shows this week – economic growth, jobs, immigration, religion, the plight of people desperate for a better life, and that's just LeBron James returning to Cleveland.

 

On immigration, David Gregory called it, of course, Obama's Katrina, and complained that the President quote “doesn't look like he's engaged enough. He's not down on the border looking at it.”

 

On Meet The Press, Wall Street Journal writer Kim Strassel said Republicans were a bit phony when it came to incessant cries to secure the border, prompting Rick Santorum to respond “it's not phony” and it's “obviously not secure.”

 

When Strassel pointed out immigrant kids are volunteering to be taken into detention, Santorum changed his mind, and said “Well, that's because we have a president who said, "Hey, if you come, you're going to be able to stay because we're not going to enforce the law.”

Even Strassel pointed out he was lying, saying “No, he did not say that. He did not say that.”

Santorum also said “I think the president not going to the border is the same thing as George Bush flying over New Orleans. I think you have to be there. You have to pay attention. You have to care.”

 

Representative Mike Rogers said a 2008 law treating Central American immigrants differently can't be an incentive, because Diane Feinstein interprets that statute differently, and he blamed the President for abuse of immigrant children because if “they're going to open up with loving arms and keep those kids, you're encouraging that behavior.” He said deporting kids immediately is “better for the children. You don't want kids exposed to this sex trafficking and drug use.”

 

Rogers then said 97% of all measles cases in America come from immigrants and that terrorists from 10 countries including Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Iran and Iraq are sneaking into the US from Mexico.

 

On ABC, George Stephanopoulos asked “why didn't the president go to the border?” When David Plouffe responded “he doesn't need to go to the border to address this crisis.” Stephanopoulos said “But why not go?”

 

Cokie Roberts and George both agreed the President had to go to the border, but for different reasons. Roberts said “If the president had gone to the border, obviously it doesn't make a big difference, but it's symbolically important” and “it's important to show America what's happening with these kids. This is not the time for us to be tough guys.”

 

While George wants to the President to go to personally deport some kids, saying “it's not going to be all compassion.”

Bill Kristol enhanced his reputation as a humanitarian when Cokie Roberts said In Honduras, the chance of being murdered is 1 in 14. “You can't send children home to that.” Kristol responded “I'm afraid you have to.”

Later, when the panel whole panel praised LeBron James, Kristol interjected, saying “I hate all this good-natured sportsmanship.”

 

On Meet The Press, David Gregory addressed the LeBron situation by declaring Bud Light his favorite beer.

On international affairs, Gregory asked the foreign minister of Iran who they will pick to be the next leader of Iraq, something the neocons no doubt anticipated in 2003.

 

Cokie Roberts blames the current Israel-Palestine conflict on America's failure to kill enough people lately, saying “we just haven't made a strong enough presence in that region to have people be afraid of this country,” And “there's a sense that they can get away with anything they want to get away with.”

 

Kristol agreed, despairing America's weakness, as did Stephanopoulos, wishing Obama had just bombed Syria. Roberts said if America had gotten involved in the Syrian civil war, Israel and Palestine would not be fighting now, saying “If we had been in Syria a lot sooner, maybe all of this wouldn't be happening.”

 

But the most ridiculous moments came when both shows insisted on asking if Republicans would impeach the President because of something Sarah Palin said. David Gregory briefly mentioned it, while George Stephanopoulos asked Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who rejected the idea, if he would impeach. He then played a long clip of Sarah Palin and asked his panel about it. All the Republican guests thought it was absurd, with even famous Palin supporter, Bill Kristol saying “No responsible Republican elected official has called for impeachment.”

 

So, we learned that when Palin finally disappears from the scene, and when even Republicans are ignoring her crazy utterances, the last people on earth still hanging on her every word will the hosts of the Sunday talk shows.

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Channeling the People

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July 20, 2014 – Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. Excerpted from July 20 Virtually Speaking Sundays.




Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

It was busy day for war hawks on the Sunday talk shows.

 

John Kerry hit the circuit to discuss covert U.S. intelligence on the Malaysian plane shot down over Ukraine – namely that a leading rebel bragged about the shooting on social media.

 

George Stephanopoulos asked him about John McCain's statement that President Obama isn't forceful enough, and that the world is in greater turmoil than at any time in his lifetime, which, since he was born in 1936, means John McCain apparently believes things are worse under the black guy who beat him that at the height of the Second World War.

 

David Gregory demanded that Kerry called Putin names, saying “But call Vladimir Putin what he is. What is the threat that he and Russia present to the United States and to The West?”

Kerry replied “It's not a question of the threat that they present to the West, David.”

 

Gregory responded “But I detect in your words, Mr. Secretary, some reluctance to make this a one-on-one battle.”

 

Lindsay Graham was his usual calm self, saying about the deaths in Gaza, in WWII “more German soldiers got killed than American soldiers,” and saying John Kerry “gave the most ridiculous and delusional summary of American foreign policy I could imagine.”

 

He also said “The world is adrift. And President Obama has become the king of indecision. His policies are failing across the globe, and they will come here soon.”

With all these disasters all around the world, Gregory asked Graham what Obama should do? Graham's first answer? “Call Putin the thug that he is.”

In the unlikely event that calling Putin a thug doesn't solve all the worlds problems, he also wants to arm the Ukrainian government against their rebels, but arm the Syrian rebels against their government, warning “Syria has become a safe-haven for terrorists to attack our nation.”

Of course he also called Obama weak.

 

On immigration, Graham said Republicans will never work with Obama until he changes the law Republicans enacted in 2008, adding, “I blame Obama for this moment.”

 

But the most absurd moments came during the battle-craving panel, balanced by Amy Walter, hawk Andrea Mitchell, Conservative Ron Fournier, and new panelist Jason Riley, author of a book titled “How Liberals Make it Harder For Blacks to Succeed.”

 

Ron Fournier started off the panel by bravely calling Putin a “thug” and complaining that President Obama “has not really has not tried to impose his will and his vision on the global community.”

 

Walter chimed in that the public has lost trust in the President “when the website crashed, and he's not getting it back.”

 

Jason Riley punched his Beltway card by complaining that America should have bombed Syria, saying “We set a red line. Assad ignored it. There were no consequences. Putin was taking note. He not only took note, he took Crimea.”

 

Andrea Mitchell of course immediately agreed, complaining about ineffective American leadership, and that the President did not express appropriate moral outrage over the Malaysian bombing. Then she bashed the Germans and Dutch for also failing to live up to her standards in opposing Russia.

 

When Gregory asked “what does real western opposition look like, Andrea?” She cried out “Weak. It looks really weak!”

 

Gregory then compared Putin to Hitler, and Fournier, wisely said “the way you handle a bully is you draw a line, you say what you're going to do, and when they cross a line, you do it. And the West has not done that. President Obama has not done that.”

 

Chuck Todd noted Rand Paul is leading in some GOP polls, which made Ron Fournier very angry. He said “President Obama right now is channeling the American public and looking weak. Rand Paul is channeling the American public. Even a big part of the Republican sentiment. But now we're going to see the Cheney wing of the party make him look weak. That is going to happen!”

 

The panel concluded with immigration. Andrea Mitchell whined that “the bottom line is the president has to show more engagement.” Ron Fournier haughtily declared “We have both parties from the far right and from the far left pushing for extreme options. And we have a president of United States who was asleep at a switch,” while Riley stated “the compassionate thing to do is to prevent these countries from sending the kids,” and suggested the President is enjoying this problem, saying “I think he wants the issue.”

 

So the Beltway media is finally unified – they want America to be more involved in fighting in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Ukraine, (but not Benghazi); they want more, and faster deportations, and even though the President and Rand Paul are both “channeling the American people,” we are assured the Dick Cheney wing will rise again. That is going to happen!

 

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Conspiracy Theories

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July 6, 2014 – Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. Excerpted from July 6 Virtually Speaking Sundays.

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

There was a lot to cover on the Sunday Talk Shows – immigration, the Supreme Court, the Middle East. On Meet The Press, Rep. Raul Labrador came on to accuse the administration of making stuff up and then said the administration “is doing nothing about border security.” He also said the administration is “creating a crisis at this time that is actually going to harm these children.”

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The Congressman condemned what is happening to immigrant children as outrageous, and said “we need to actually take a strong stance against what's happening and against these illegal cartels.” His solution to help the children? “What this administration needs to do immediately is deport these families, these children. I know it sounds harsh.”
There was a brief discussion of the Supreme Court majority opinion in Hobby Lobby. Michael Gerson assured us, “it was very narrow ruling.”

Then, Iraq architect Tony Blair came on to talk about how to fix the Middle East, saying we need to get rid of “this toxic mix of religion and politics,” and “have the type of government that a majority of people in the Middle East probably want.”

On CBS, Bob Schieffer somehow landed an interview with John McCain and Lindsay Graham, who said they support immigration reform. He asked them “how do you feel about being members of a body that won’t act, and a party, on a crisis like this?”

Graham blamed the President for the Congress not passing immigration reform, saying “There are people in the Republican Party who get it. But the President is making it very hard for us.”

On ABC, when host Martha Raddatz pointed out to Rick Perry that a law signed by President Bush created looser standards for immigrants from Central and South America, Perry responded, “The rule of law is that the Constitution requires that the United States secure the border. And we're not doing that.”

Perry then said of the President, “I don't believe he particularly cares whether or not the border of the United States is secure,” and “I mean, I hate to be conspiratorial,” but suggested the President is leading a coordinated effort the bring millions of immigrants from South America to the U.S.

Newt Gingrich wisely pointed out “Do you really think we're going to absorb 165 million people?”

The show then interviewed the head of Open Carry Texas, who feels that the law in Texas allowing people to openly carry a rifle without a license is too restrictive.

But the most absurd moment came when a delighted Martha Raddatz introduced noted deep thinker and recently convicted felon Dinesh D'Souza, saying he “offers a strident defense against the country's critics,” and asked about his new movie, “Could this provocative take on American history be this summer's box office smash?”

She then asked D'Souza to tell her viewers about his theory that back when Hillary Clinton was in college, Saul Alinsky hatched a plan to use Clinton and Barack Obama to turn America into a socialist nation. As D'Souza put it, “there's actually a bridge connecting Hillary to Barack. And that bridge is Saul Alinsky.”

Raddatz did not ask D'Souza about his recent guilty plea to campaign finance fraud, but did say “It's a very interesting movie. Everybody should go see it and continue a debate like this.”

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Out of Touch

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June 29, 2014 – Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. Excerpted from June 29 Virtually Speaking Sundays.

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

Being away for a while, I missed some ridiculous Sundays. Back on June 15, Mitt Romney, the man who got crushed by Barack Obama in 2012, came on Meet The Press to blame Eric Cantor's loss on Obama, call Obama weak, and unironically accuse him of underestimating his adversaries.

For expertise on Iraq, Gregory turned to Paul Wolfowitz, who you may remember from such hits as 'there will be no ethnic fighting in Iraq', and 'we will be welcomed as liberators.'

On June 22, David Gregory interviewed another future losing Presidential candidate, Rand Paul. On that show, the word 'Benghazi' was used 16 times. I counted.

This week, on ABC, viewers were warned about an urgent terror threat and toothpaste bombs, while Bill Kristol expressed his deep concerned about Obama's overreach.

On Meet The Press, Gregory had on a former Obama White House lawyer to ask her if the House might impeach the President, citing as a reason EPA carbon limits and an order increasing the minimum wage for federal contractors.

On the arrest of Ahmed Abu Khattala, over the Benghazi attack, Gregory said, “You've heard the criticism already. Why not put him before a military commission? Why not put him in Guantanamo Bay rather than put him in a civilian proceeding?”

Then followed a rather hilarious interview in which Bill Clinton basically called David Gregory shallow, and, interrupting Gregory, pointed out that what Hillary Clinton had said about their finances was “factually true.” They then discussed Dick Cheney, Benghazi, and whether “it's time to give pot a chance.”

Gregory then interviewed Reince Priebus, who tactfully called the Clintons quote “obnoxious” and hypocrites for criticizing Dick Cheney, and said on foreign policy, Republicans are proactive while Obama is hesitant, for example, in not bombing Syria. When Gregory pointed out that Obama successfully got chemical weapons out of Syria, Priebus said he didn't know anything about that, and brought up Benghazi.

On the panel, it was on to more pressing issues, including the non-existent lawsuit John Boehner says he wants file against the President, and the IRS.

But the most absurd moments came in three different segments of the show discussing whether Hillary Clinton has too much money to be elected President in two and a half years. Reaching for a narrative, David Gregory, Chuck Todd, Steve Schmidt, Bill Clinton, Reince Priebus, Anita Dunn, Nia-Malika Henderson, and Andrea Mitchell all solemnly considered whether Hillary Clinton is “out of touch,” a phrase that was used on the show eight different times. I counted.

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Political Courage

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June 1, 2014 – Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. Introduced by Jay Ackroyd. Richard Eskow and Stuart Zechman comment. Text at virtuallyspeaking.us. Excerpted from June 1 Virtually Speaking Sundays.

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

It was a particularly crazy day on the Sunday talk shows, as the subject of the day was the deal to trade America's only POW for Gitmo detainees. On Meet The Press, Chuck Hagel defended the deal, while David Gregory kept asking why the recently released Sargent won't speak English like a real American.

 

Rep. Adam Kinzinger – who is the new go-to guest, replacing John McCain – showed himself to be an expert at hedging – welcoming the POW home, then hinting that he is a deserter; praising the outcome, but calling the deal “shocking”, and praising Gen. Shinseki and condemning him at the same time.

 

When Gregory asked Kinzinger if Republicans in Congress were willing to spend more money on veterans, he insisted that the answer is not to spend more money, but to get better outcomes, and that you can't “just throw money at the problem”.

 

The show then hit on the two most important issues facing America – Edward Snowden and Benghazi. Turning to the all-important “patriot or traitor?” question, Chuck Todd showed an exclusive poll showing most Americans don't seem to care one way or the other, and seriously revealed that “hashtag patriot” beat “hashtag traitor” on twitter, thus solving the question once and for all.

 

Newt Gingrich then completely took over the discussion, ranting about 9/11 and how Snowden committed treason, and was a traitor, and intoned that Millenials won't support Snowden after we're attacked again, and they're all murdered, or something.

 

On ABC's This Week, George Stephanopoulos hinted darkly about the newly released POW, asking “there are a lot of questions about how he originally was captured and whether or not he had deserted, had left his post. Is that going to be investigated? And if it's found that he did, indeed, leave his post, will he be disciplined or has he already paid the price?”

 

Then came an interview with the delightfully unhinged Ted Cruz, who condemned the rescue of Sargent Bergdahl, saying terrorists now know if you capture a U.S. soldier, you can trade that soldier for five terrorists, but refused to say if he would do the same thing as President, insisting Bergdahl could have been rescued through military force.

 

He then said he that recently traveled to Israel, Ukraine, Poland and Estonia, and everywhere he goes Ambassadors whisper to him “where is America?” meaning, not literally, but that America is weak and Obama is weak.

 

After calling Obama weak, he immediately rejected using force in Ukraine, saying only the President “should have spoken out clearly in support of freedom;” put anti-ballistic missile batteries in Eastern Europe, and export natural gas, all of which would clearly drive Putin out of Ukraine.

 

He then complained that Hillary Clinton is politicizing Benghazi, and identified his key concern as “whether President Obama was awake or asleep while this terrorist attack was happening”

 

After accusing Obama of setting up straw men, he then claimed some fellow Republicans believe the best way to win is quote “you don't stand for anything.”

 

He wrapped up, telling an odd story about a women in Nebraska who hugged him and told him she has six kids, no husband, and 5 low-paying jobs because of Obamacare.

 

But the most absurd moment came when Stephanopoulos opened up the panel discussion, talking about the POW deal, saying “Bill Kristol, I have to tell you, I've been surprised at the vehemence of the criticism coming out after this announcement.” and Kristol was able to reply with a straight face, albeit a rictus grin, quote “I've been impressed by the courage, actually, of the Republicans who were willing to criticize what is, I think, an unfortunate deal made by the President of the United States, obviously at what's happy to have Sgt. Bergdahl back and therefore take some political courage, I think, to say, wait a second, let's look at the long-term national interest of the country”, while Peggy Noonan helpfully added “you have just told terrorists in the world and the Taliban, we can tell you now how to get your people out of GITMO. It's take an American soldier.”

 

Because of course it's very easy to just go take an American soldier, which is why there was only POW before yesterday.

 

Noonan then went on to accuse President Obama of making good speeches but running what she calls a “slobocracy,” a word she is proud to have invented.

 

So George Stephanopoulos and Bill Kristol, who have apparently been living under a rock inside a cave, are surprised and impressed that Republicans had the courage to attack a decision made the President, even one that rescued an American soldier, and Peggy Noonan, whose favorite President was a professional actor who traded weapons for American civilian hostages, criticizes the deal the President made, and thinks Obama is a speech maker who runs a “slobocracy.”

 

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Long Wars That Seem Without End

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May 18, 2014 – Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays.

 

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

It was a very busy day for the Sunday talk shows, unless you host Meet The Press. In that case you got the day off, while NBC just showed a bunch of clips from past episodes, back when televisions longest running new program was, you know, watchable.

ABC's This Week, however, covered more categories than Jeopardy.

First up was the mass shooting in California, where host Martha Raddatz wondered if police could have done more to prevent it. Pierre Thomas made the dubious claim that if the police had known he had “actually purchased weapons. That might have given them the predicate to do a search.” Not only is that doubtful, but it's unclear what a search of home would have accomplished, since the shooter's considerable stockpile of guns and ammunition were purchased and owned legally.

 

Next up was the Pope's trip to the Middle East, and Raddatz wondering whether the Pope's visit will create peace between Israel and Palestine, and then it was on to the VA scandal.

 

And that was touched on only briefly, before discussion turned to the Presidential election in Ukraine, won by a “chocolate king” who runs a “candy empire.” No word yet whether the new president will be guarded by Oompa Loompas.

Discussion then turned to an Obama administration indictment of Chinese military officials for alleged theft of US company trade secrets. Raddatz of course, sees this as bad for Obama, asking Jon Huntsman, “Is the Obama administration doing enough?”

When Hunstman actually discussed the issue seriously, Raddatz, clearly frustrated, said “Well, let me ask you again, are we doing enough? Will this do any good?”

Raddatz mentioned Edward Snowden's revelations about US spying, then asked, “how do the Chinese retaliate? Or will they retaliate? And when do we call this an act of war?” as a solution, Raddatz said, “So we get cyber mercenaries, Steve?”

Pivoting to allegations that NFL teams pumped their players with pain killers to get them back on the field, former NFL player Mark Schlereth denied there was a problem, saying “I've never been around a player that didn't put more pressure on himself to play injured than the team did.”

Raddatz then brought in her balanced roundtable, of Democratic strategist David Plouffe, Republican strategist Matthew Dowd, Republican strategist Ana Navarro, and Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson.

On the Veterans Administration, Raddatz asked quote, “Did the president handle this correctly?”

Dowd gave a nuanced answer, praising improvements to the VA the President has made, and mentioning historic mistreatment of veterans, including health care, unemployment and homelessness, and concluding, “If you look at this and take a broad perspective on this, you take a look at this first. The number one thing is, is we've got to quit fighting long wars that seem without end. That's what's driving a huge part of this problem that we have here.”

Raddatz wasn't interested, replying, “But let's talk about how the president has handled this. It took him almost four weeks to come out and say anything really about this. Why? And was that the wrong thing to do?”

 

Plouffe, of course defended the President, so Raddatz was forced to turn to Navarro, saying, “But shouldn't the president have come out here sooner?” and “Ana, should Shinseki resign?”

 

Navarro complied, but Soltis Anderson was no help, saying quote “you know, it's a favorite Washington game - something goes wrong, somebody's - you know, heads have to roll in order to make it all right,” and instead arguing there is “a structural problem within the VA”

 

Raddatz suggested privatizing the VA, but Matt Dowd pointed out that his brother really likes the service he gets at the VA, but he just has to wait too long to get it.

 

Raddatz then talked about actor Jon Voight and his daughter, actress Angelina Jolie.

 

Raddatz ended the program with a piece about a reunion of troops who 10 years ago were ambushed in an alley, pinned down and unprotected. Eight soldiers were killed and 60 were wounded. The doctor who treated them was a pediatrician who until that day had only ever treated children. By the end of their tour the Division had lost 169 soldiers. The division commander, Martin Dempsey, has been promoted twice and is now Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. You haven't heard about this incident because it's not Benghazi.

 

So: ABC assembles a panel of one Democrat and three Republicans, and prompts them with leading, inside baseball questions like “Did the president handle this correctly?” and “shouldn't the president have been out there sooner?” “ and "was that the wrong thing to do?” and still can't get the Republican guests to do what they're supposed to do, which is avoid substance and bash the President. Maybe ABC will have to become like NBC and just show clips from their glory days.

 

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Brain Damage

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May 18, 2014 – Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays.

 

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

It was another fun week for the Sunday talk shows, and the topic of the week was Hillary's brain, brought up by Karl Rove, known also as Bush's brain.

ABCs' This Week assembled an all-star panel of Bill Kristol, Jennifer Granholm, Keith Ellison and Peggy Noonan, spending most of their time discussing Karl Rove's accusation that Hillary Clinton has a brain trauma which might prevent her from competently performing the duties of the office of the President, which is somewhat ironic coming from the man who put George W. Bush in the Oval Office.

 

On Meet The Press, David Gregory opened up with Reince Priebus, and repeated asked him whether Hillary Clinton has “suffered some sort of brain injury that raises legitimate questions about whether she's healthy to serve as commander-in-chief?” Priebus replied: “I'm not a doctor.”

 

On the possibility of Clinton running, Priebus said, “Benghazi shouldn't be swept under the rug, four diplomats had died. Boko Haram, these people have over 200 girls in Nigeria. The Syria issue, the Russian”

 

Priebus concluded by saying: “I actually doubt very much whether she actually will run for president in 2016,” and “She's causing us to talk about her today.”

 

Speaking with Senator Claire McCaskill, Gregory mentioned Benghazi and Hillary Clinton's alleged head injury, and asked “Should she do more to be completely transparent?”

 

He then confronted McCaskill with the fact that she endorsed Barack Obama in 2008 when she could have endorsed Clinton, saying “And yet now, you were one of the first people to endorse her. What has changed over this arc of time that makes her so formidable in your mind now, when she wasn't before?”

 

Discussing Jill Abramson and women in the workplace, Carly Fiorina assured us the real problem is “When liberals use women as a political cudgel, when they basically say, "If you don't support our liberal orthodoxy on all these issues, you're waging a war on women," that's disrespectful to women.”

 

In a continuing series, Meet the Press sent Kevin Tibbles to the American heartland to find out what regular Americans are thinking. Tibbles landed in Kentucky, where he understandably headed straight for the nearest Bourbon distillery.

 

Landing an interview with noted Ed Snowden whisperer Glen Greenwald, for some reason the show decided to experiment with only asking questions from social media. Can questions from random people off the Internet be any worse than those from beltway pundits? There's only one way to find out.

 

Questions included, "How much are activists, humanitarians, or those outspoken about government policies, targeted, and how?"

 

Another questioner compared Ed Snowden to Daniel Ellsberg, asking “How are we supposed to see Snowden in the same light? He ran like a coward, and Ellsberg showed great courage and stayed in the country.”

 

Two other social media questions: "What is his response to critics who call him a traitor for helping Snowden?" and "How does he feel about making the U.S. a sitting duck to our enemies?" Final question was “ask him what is the chance we can get legislation to stop decades of the abusive application of the states' secrets privilege?”

 

But the most absurd moments came during the roundtable discussion, with

Chuck Todd, Carolyn Ryan form The New York Times, Blanche Lincoln, and noted conservative doctor Ben Carson. Gregory kicked off by asking the retired neurosurgeon to predict the midterms.

 

“We've been talking about the midterms. Doctor, I'll start with you. What's going to define what this race actually comes down to? Are we going to battle about health care, immigration? Or is it really just about President Obama?”

 

Carson said “As I've been traveling around the country, what I've discovered is that people recognize that this is a pivotal election.” Even Gregory laughed out loud, saying “Do we ever cover elections that aren't pivotal moments for our country, though?”

 

Carson continued though, explaining that “what is at stake is what kind of place is America going to be? Are we truly an exceptional nation with different core values than the rest of the world? Is that what led us to the pinnacle position in the world? Are we a nation that's for, of, and by the people? Or are we for, of and by the government? That's what this election's about.”

 

Gregory, of course, took this to be about Obama's manhood, saying “what's interesting about that, Chuck, is that it does get to this larger thing about has Obama weakened America, here at home or abroad.” Carolyn Ryan observed that the White House is weak and Hillary is pulling all the energy out of it.

 

Gregory then showed a clip of Carson saying “You know, Obamacare is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. And it is, in a way, it is slavery, in a way. Because it is making all of us subservient to the government. And it was never about health care, it was about control.”

 

On the show, Carson clarified saying “In a way, anything is slavery that robs you of your ability to control your own life. And when you take the most important thing that you have, which is your health care, and you put that in the hands of government bureaucrats, I think you have done the wrong thing.”

 

Continuing on these lines, he said “And as I was about to say, you go back and you look at the neo-Marxist literature, and look at what they say. You don't have to listen to what I say about taking control of health care of a populace and making the people dependent. This is not what America is about. Do I believe in health care for everybody? Absolutely. But I think there are much better ways to get there, which is: leave the care in the hands of patients and of doctors.”

 

So, given a chance to speak with the reporter behind the NSA stories, we get mostly meaningless questions pulled from social media with no follow up, a discussion on women's equally devolves into bashing liberals, the Sunday shows bring in journalists and politicians to ask about the retired Sec of State's head injury, and when they finally do get to speak with a real life brain doctor, they ask him about the mid-term elections and about how Obamacare is slavery, and a neo-Marxist plot to take control of the population.

 

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

CoT: Benghazi, Weakness, Force, Power & the Due Right of Having Died in the War on Terror

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                                       Listen

May 11, 2014 – Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays.

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth

In a strong show of support, this week NBC preempted David Gregory's Meet the Press for English football or, as it known in America, that boring sport played by socialists, communists, and terrorists. I was forced to sit through a reminder of why I never usually sit through the panel of ABC's This Week.

Taken from transcriptions of this week's Bobblespeak Translations

Taken from transcriptions of this week's Bobblespeak Translations

Host Martha Raddatz was informed that today voters in eastern Ukraine will likely vote for independence, although the question is ambiguous, people may vote more than once, and there are armed men on the streets. Terry Moran reported from Moscow that Putin is very popular, and “Last night he even hit the ice in an exhibition hockey game and he scored six goals.”

Jon Karl interviewed Marco Rubio, who confirmed that he is probably running for President, although Karl noted he now polls below famous racist Donald Trump.

Karl asked him:

“Do you think you're ready to be president?”

“But you think you're ready?”

“You think you're qualified?”

“You think you have the experience to be president, if you make that decision?”

Rubio said, I do, “I mean – I'll be 43 this month.”

 

Rubio is pivoting away from immigration reform and is now focused on Benghazi, accusing the administration of misleading the families of the victims, and saying “I would prefer that we  focus not on the fundraising elements or the political elements of it.”

Karl noted that Florida is threatened by climate change, but Rubio isn't buying any of that climate change flim-flam, saying “I don't agree with the notion that some are putting out there, including scientists, that somehow there are actions we can take today that would have an impact on what's happening in our climate,” and “I don't know of any era in world history where the climate has been stable. Climate is always evolving, and natural disasters have always existed.”

To a dumbfounded Karl, he confirmed that rejects the scientific snake oil, saying “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it,” also, “I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it. Except it will destroy our economy.”

 

Raddatz interviewed Richard Clarke who says he knows that because of Edward Snowden we may not be able to prevent the next embassy attack, then pushed his novel about terrorists attacking Americans with drones, freaking Martha Raddatz out even more.

And it doesn't take much, since Raddatz, like her fellow host David Gregory, is eager for another war and is obsessed with American “weakness.”

To Chuck Hagel, on Nigeria, she asked “one of the things people keep saying is, why wouldn't U.S. Special operators go in and try to find the girls?” and “Should Russia be considered an enemy?” Hagel replied “I think that's a little simplistic."

 

She also asked him why General Shinseki didn't foresee back in 2001, the Veterans Administration would have a backlog in 2014, and asked Hagel “Do you feel confident that our drones, guided weapons, warships, will not be hacked?” which just happens to be the plot of the current season of the TV show “24”

 

Pivoting to the panel, after the required segment discussing Monica Lewinsky, in which Bill Kristol defended his theory that team Hillary met with Vanity Fair Editors and forced them to publish an essay from Monica so Hillary will be elected President two and half years from now, Raddatz wanted to talk Hillary and Benghazi.

Rep. Kinzinger blamed Hillary Clinton for all the wars going on all around the world, while Donna Brazile wanted to talk about improving embassy security, but Raddatz interrupted her, saying “I want to stay with Hillary on this for a moment,” and quote “no one has really been held accountable in a larger way.”

Kinzinger said that when he was in the military he was told F-16s will always be ready to bomb terrorists outside a consulate and that by blaming a protests over a video, Obama cheapened the deaths of four Americans, because that quote “did not give them their due right of having died in the war on terror.”

 

But the most absurd moment came when Raddatz complained to Chuck Hagel that America hasn't started more wars lately.

Raddatz referenced “all the heat President Obama has been taking over his foreign policy choices, even this from the usually friendly "New York Times" editorial page. "The perception of weakness, dithering, inaction, there are many names for it, has indisputably had -- a negative effect on Mr. Obama's global standing."

 

Raddatz told Hagel quote “ When I travel overseas, people say different things about America. They say it's not as forceful,” and to her panel asked “So Secretary Hagel actually says he has heard people say that America looks a little weaker, although he doesn't agree with them. Bill Kristol?”

 

Kristol was worked into a positive lather, saying that's “stunning”, and “Martha, there is a perception out there that we're too timid about using our power and that our power is eroding. And that's pretty appalling.”

 

Progressive Donna Brazile jumped in to call the red line in Syria “a dumb comment to make at a time when we should have showed more bold action."

 

Kristol claimed Obama and Clinton refused to put Boko Haram on the terror list for years, presumably out of timidity, and that under the Obama administration “the perception is out there that we are not serious about exercising power.”

 

So, when not obsessing over an attack on a consulate in Libya, in which four Americans were killed, while just now winding down two of the longest longest wars in American history; after over 2,300 Americans killed in Afghanistan, and over 4,400 Americans killed in Iraq; the same pundits and discredited neocons now say it's appalling that the US is too timid about using power; want to send to troops to Nigeria and Syria and Ukraine; complain that America is weak; and demand more bold action; and that the US needs to exercise power and be more forceful all around the world.

 

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Very Serious Correspondents

May 4, 2014  – Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays.

Hi I'm Culture of Truth,

Today the very serious Sunday talk shows were preoccupied with the Beltway media's favorite subject – itself.

Read the complete translation

Read the complete translation

The topic of the day was the White House Correspondents Dinner, an annual event where the Beltway media invites a comedian to make fun of Washington, and then get offended when actual jokes are told about their very serious profession and the people they cover.

 

On This Week, Jeff Zeleny talked to Al Franken, observing that he has turned himself into a serious person, to which he responded, quote “I was always a serious person.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said that more white people believe in ghosts than is racism, which is “why we have shows like Ghostbusters and don't have shows like Racist-buster.”

Martha Raddatz saw US troops practicing for another embassy attack, Rick Santorum said there's a firestorm out there across America of people believe Congress has not investigated Benghazi enough, while Laura Ingraham said the American people want prosecutions over Benghazi.

On Meet the Press, David Gregory spoke with Sacramento mayor and former NBA player Kevin Johnson, who praised the NBA commissioner for exceeding all the players expectations within 72 hours, but Gregory wanted to know if Donald Sterling should still be out “immediately.” Gregory then got Johnson say California is losing jobs to Texas because of too many regulations.

Rick Perry and his hipster glasses came on to defend the death penalty, although he did concede that states should kill people competently. He then outlined the GOP economic plan, which is to make America look more like Florida and Louisiana, by cutting taxes, dismantling regulations, and limiting lawsuits.

 

But the most absurd moments came when Gregory turned to his panel, consisting of Chuck Todd, conservative Kathleen Parker, Anita Dunn, tea party congressman Jason Chaffetz, and from the Black Eyes, singer will.i.am.

 

will.i.am was a bit out of his element, arguing for more educational opportunities for American children to kids from his neighborhood will go to Harvard, as kids from Brazil and India do, prompting Jason Chaffetz suggest abolishing the Dept. of Education.

 

Gregory displayed a poll showing millennials approve of President Obama by a margin of 53 to 40 percent, and asked will I am why the young people hate Obama so much, causing even Chuck Todd to question his math. Chaffetz said the EPA is killing jobs.

 

Gregory announced that because of a new House panel, the media is obliged to discuss Benghazi for the next few months at least, although neither he nor Chuck Todd could quite figure out what the scandal is supposed to be.

Chaffetz explained it was whether the attack was motivated by a video, which is apparently okay or terrorism, which is bad, or whether the White House used the word terrorism the same day, or the next day, or the day after. Frustrated by Chuck Todd's skepticism of a 48 hour long cover-up, Chaffetz explained it was like “the Taliban was in the inside of the State department.”

will.i.am only wanted to talk about education, and jobs and opportunities for all Americans, and what we can all do make this a better nation, making him the sane one on the panel.

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: It's Not Abating, It's Spreading

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                                          Listen

April 27, 2014 – Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

It was another weird week on the Sunday talk shows. On This Week, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson spoke about all the threats he is dealing with, including al-qaeda, Syrian terrorists, domestic bombers, tornadoes, hurricanes, oil spills, border security, presidential security, aviation security, cyber threats, and toothpaste bombs.

He then denied that he's not deporting enough undocumented immigrants.

George Stephanopoulos then interviewed Elizabeth Warren, mostly trying to get her criticize Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

On Meet The Press, David Gregory hosted a discussion of 'This Week's Incredibly Racist Guys in the News', which included an assurance from the head of the NAACP that the owner of the L.A. Clippers will not be getting their Lifetime Achievement Award.

Gregory then interviewed the Deputy National Security Advisor, complaining that Vladimir Putin still isn't following U.S. orders, saying “here we are, more than a month later, Crimea is gone. Russia is not listening to the United States,” and “So what isolation and influence over Putin have you really achieved?” and complaining “Putin's not blinking” and “Putin is persisting”.

He twice asked “Would you target Putin specifically?” then oddly, asked “What's the larger, strategic interest for the United States? I mean honestly, Putin cares a great deal more about Crimea and Ukraine than the United States”

But the most absurd moment came during Gregory's bizarre interview with Tony Blair, in which Gregory kept trying to get Blair to criticize President Obama, while the former British Prime Minister only wanted to talk about his fear of radical Islam.

Blair attacked Putin for invading Ukraine, but defended the invasion of Iraq, saying “We removed brutal dictatorships. Allowed the people a chance to elect their government. They came out in both cases and voted, showing that they wanted such election,” and “We gave them a massive amount of financial support. What was the disruptive effect?”

He denied invading Iraq made radical Islam worse, pointing out that 9/11 was before the invasion, and quote “this is where we've got to be realistic about this”

Gregory tried to steer the conversation to Obama's weakness, saying “you said the threat of radical Islam is not abating,” and asking quote “who specifically do you blame for it happening?”

Blair responded, “I don't think it's a question of blaming anyone,” and warned “This Islamist ideology, which has been exported from the Middle East, I'm afraid is growing. It's not abating.”

Gregory responded, “But is that in part because this administration has taken its foot off the gas pedal?”

Gregory pressed further, saying “The obvious conclusion to me from what you're saying is this administration, this president, is making a mistake by disengaging from Iraq, by disengaging militarily from Afghanistan.”

Blair, not realizing that Gregory has his own, separate obsession, seemed confused, replying quote “No, I'm not criticizing President Obama at all over this.”

Incredibly, Gregory doubled down on last week's insanity, saying “what you're saying is that you have to call it what it is. And you can't be reluctant to act. And on this program last week, David Brooks, columnist for the New York Times said the following about President Obama. He said, "Let's face it, Obama, whether deservedly or not, does have, I'll say it crudely," this is him speaking, "a manhood problem in the Middle East. Is he tough enough to stand up to somebody like Assad, somebody like Putin?”

So, after being roundly mocked for David Brooks' and Chuck Todd's silly comments last week, and amid reports that even NBC is trying to figure out what is going on inside his head, David Gregory repeats their remarks about manhood as if they were interesting and intelligent, rather than completely idiotic. 

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: The Sunday Show Manhood Problem

April 20, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy and links.  Follow @Bobblespeak

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

It was a special day for the Sunday shows, not just because it was Easter, but because one show was so ridiculous, even those who don't normally watch such things took note.

 

To celebrate the holiday, ABC's This Week invited Franklin Graham, who, having praised Vladimir Putin's anti-gay laws, addressed all his gay fans who tuned in, saying “Maybe gays that are watching want to know, ‘Can God forgive me? Or can I go to heaven as a gay person?’ Absolutely.” How? Quote “You’ll have to repent”

 

Ralph Reed was on hand to critique gay marriage, single parents and all households without the perfect mom and dad, saying “This isn't about Vladimir Putin. This is about what's best for children here in the United States.”

 

Reed said quote “the social science on this is clear,” and “the social science is irrefutable.” Challenged by Cokie Roberts, he responded “I think the social science is just simply not yet in on same-sex couples.”

 

ABC then broke for it's all star panel of Bill Kristol, Donna Brazile; Jeff Zeleny; and S.E. Cupp.

 

On Meet The Press, David Gregory addressed pressing issues in the 2016 Presidential race, asking about Hillary Clinton: “Does the fact that she's going to become a grandmother, on top of all the other considerations, factor into this question?”

 

Addressing Obamacare, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz mistakenly began to describe the benefits of the law, forgetting that on Meet The Press, only pure politics is discussed, and any issues of substance are banned. Gregory objected, saying “But you're making an argument on the merits,” and again, “You're arguing the merits, Chairman!”

 

The show then went to Kentucky for an extended piece on a proposed Noah's Ark Theme park. On the $150 million park about the destruction of humanity, noted intellectual David Brooks said “I'm for anything that can introduce some of the moral reminders of the moral currents in life.”

 

But it was on the topic of Ukraine where the show devolved into the truly absurd.

 

David Gregory practically begged the Prime Minister to accept “advanced lethal weaponry to stop the Russians?”

 

While Bob Corker spent most his time complaining about Obama's weakness, saying “our foreign policy is always a day late and a dollar short because we're reacting” and the U.S., “helped in many ways to create the problems that are existing there.”

 

Corker fears “we're going to lose eastern Ukraine” and helpfully observed, “I hate to say such a crass thing on Easter Sunday morning: the wisest thing that Assad did really was to kill 1,200 people with chemical weapons.”

 

But David Gregory is even more upset, saying “the reality is that, as I talk to business leaders around the country, as I talk to former diplomats, you have to worry day by day the lessons that Putin is drawing from this.”

 

He complained Putin has not paid a penalty, and asked, “So how then do you have a strong, clear message that says to him, "Okay, we're done here. You can't go any further"? and later even more upset, asking of Putin, “how do you send that message that enough is enough?”

 

As always on the Sunday talk shows, the problem is sending a message, toughness and manhood. It took the paragon of masculinity, David Brooks, to point out what everyone was thinking, bravely saying:

 

“Let's face it, Obama, whether deservedly or not, does have a (I'll say it crudely) a manhood problem in the Middle East: Is he tough enough to stand up to somebody like Assad, somebody like Putin? I think a lot of the rap is unfair. But certainly in the Middle East, there's an assumption he's not tough.”

 

Chuck Todd has a form of facial hair, so he chimed in as well:

“You know, it's not just Bob Corker saying it, okay, questioning whether the president is being alpha male. That's essentially what he's saying: He's not alpha dog enough. His rhetoric isn't tough enough. They agree with the policy decisions that they're making. Nobody is saying – but it is sort of the rhetoric.”

 

So, David Gregory has talked to business leaders, and is worried that America is not properly adhering to the well-known “enough is enough” school of international politics. Obama is making all the correct policy decisions, but his “rhetoric isn't tough enough” and he's “not alpha dog enough.” Instead of addressing the multiple overlapping complexities involved in Syria and Ukraine, the experts sum it all up “crudely” as “Obama has a manhood problem.” 

 

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Lifeblood of the Pundits

                                       Listen laugh, weep

                                       Listen laugh, weep

April 13, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and ABC This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

If it's Sunday, it's another day of substance-free gossip shows about politics, not policy.

On Obamacare, Meet the Press panelists Paul Gigot and Mike Murphy bashed the law, Rep. Donna Edwards defended it, and Kara Swisher, auditioning, she hinted, to take David Brook's place, used the word “debacle” twice, and “disaster” three times. Responding to Rep. Edwards, David Gregory got philosophical, saying quote:

“The problem, Congresswoman, is that there's a lot we still don't know. That's a reality. You can't anticipate all the consequences of ObamaCare.”

Gregory quoted Paul Gigot on the politics of the law, and then turned for a rebuttal, to Paul Gigot.

We then got an interview of Kathleen Sebelius by Andrea Mitchell. It was a typical Beltway interview, long on gossip and passive voice accusations, devoid of substance.

Questions Andrea Mitchell asked the former HHS Secretary:

- “Should you have delayed the rollout and tried to get it right the first time?”

- “One of the things that has been written is that there was so much attention being paid as to whether the insurance companies would offer enough choices, but not enough was paid to, just, the website”

- “Did the White House oversell it?”

- “Along the way, what was your low point?”

- “then there's all the sort of back sniping. This is Washington, after all. People are asking, 'Were you pushed or did you jump?'”

 

Back with the panel, Gregory, trying to avoid substance, said, about Kathleen Sebelius, “Alright, so the pure political question, is the resignation a sign of ObamaCare's success or failure? Republicans were quick to pounce on that this week up in New Hampshire. Ted Cruz, Scott Brown talking about it,” and after playing a quote from non-office holder Scott Brown, said:

“This is why people love politics. How long did it take to come up with that line? But Paul Gigot, this is the political question, right? This is not about actuarial science. It's who's going to win the fight over whether ObamaCare is a good thing or a bad thing, government run amuck or government helping people?”

Mike Murphy agreed, saying “The perception of it, which in politics is reality, is complete failure.”

On voting rights, Gigot asked, quote “If voter I.D. were about voter disenfranchisement, why was African American turnout so much greater in 2012?” While Gregory asked “How powerful is the issue?”

 

Swisher wanted to talk about voting by smartphone, since, “you get your groceries delivered, you get your, you know, Amazon is suddenly going to bring drones some day, and I think they probably will actually.”

 

There was a lengthy segment from Boston Harbor, where Gregory interviewed city officials, with an emphasis on the heroism of first responders, while Harry Smith tied the response to the bombings to Lexington and Concord.

 

The show also had a segment praising the Gettysburg Address, where Ken Burns helpfully noted that at his website you can hear Bill O'Reilly and David Gregory recite the Gettysburg Address.

The panel gravely wondered what would happen if Lincoln lived in an age of twitter and pundits, with Ken Burns speculating that the media would write "The president came to Gettysburg to distract attention from this disastrous military campaign out West."

But the most absurd moments came speculating about whether Jeb Bush would run for President, and just how wonderful he is.

On  ABC This Week Ana Navarro assured us that the Bush name won't be a liability, since quote “frankly, George W. Bush's numbers are better than Obama's,” to which Republican Matt Dowd replied quote “That's not actually true.”

Navarro continued, undaunted, saying, “whenever you see George W. Bush it's in three instances. He's either helping a kid with malaria in Africa; he's helping a wounded warrior... or you know, doing paint by numbers. He's become non-controversial.”

 

On Meet the Press, Gregory said “A lot of talk this week about Jeb Bush” and then he turned to Mike Murphy, a former advisor to Jeb Bush.

 

The former Jeb Bush employee frankly loves Jeb Bush, but Murphy is sad because “leadership has been replaced in American politics by marketing. We micro target, micro pander, let's focus group and figure out how to win, you know, this, win that.” unquote

 

But Jeb Bush is here to end cheap tactics, like focus groups, pandering, and winning. Murphy said “we've lost sight of politicians who tell you what they think is right, they make an argument for it, and then you figure it out. And that's who Jeb Bush is. He's not a typical weather-vane kind of guy.”

Murphy observed that it's still early, saying “You know, there is a speculation machine in D.C. It's incredible.”

Gregory replied: “Right, it's called our life blood.”

Kara Swisher jumped in, saying quote “That's all you do here, right?” unquote.

Yes it is, Kara, yes it is.

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Even the Liberal ....

April 6, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

 

Today the Sunday shows opened up with breaking news – searchers, may or may not, have found possible evidence of the missing plane.

 

On Meet The Press, shifting to a discussion of the most recent mass shooting at Fort Hood, Admiral Mullen explained in the thirteenth year of war soldiers find dealing with personal and financial problems at home as difficult as combat.

 

David Gregory asked Mullen why military bases don't have better security, and if the answer to shootings on bases is more guns. Mullen disagreed; Gregory then asked if militant Islamists will take over Afghanistan and Pakistan.

 

Gregory then had on Shaun McCutcheon, the prevailing plaintiff in the recent Supreme Court decision eliminating aggregate limits on campaign contributions, who explained the decision was a victory for free speech. When Gregory asked if such contributions do not lead to corruption and a potential quid pro quo with the donor and candidate, he insisted it's about “we the people.”

 

Later, Meet The Press reporter Kevin Tibbles visited a town of 50 people in Nebraska, and discovered that the Keystone Pipeline would revive the fortunes of the town, by bringing in new customers and allowing the local bar to buy a new air conditioner.

 

Michael Lewis came on to explain the solution the high speed trading on Wall Street, which will probably lead to another financial crisis, is not more regulation, no doubt to everyone's relief.

 

But it was the Meet The Press panel, as usual, that provided the most absurd moments. The “expert” panel consisted of conservative John Sununu, conservative Kathleen Parker, the founder of AOL, Steve Case, and pretend-liberal Harold Ford.

 

Addressing Obamacare reaching its goal of over 7 million signups, the Meet The Press panel of course declared it a total failure. Gregory played an ad by Americans for Prosperity, and Sununu announced that Obamacare had spent $2 trillion to reduce uninsured by 3%. Parker said it the law was a disaster, and even the liberal Harold Ford agreed, saying Obama should not be doing a victory lap, because frankly his friends John and Kathleen raised legitimate questions that need to be answered.

 

On the Supreme Court decision, Steve Case said social media now makes money in politics irrelevant, Sununu said each person gets one vote, so money in politics is unimportant, Kathleen Parker said people are free to ignore ads on television so money in politics doesn't matter, and even the liberal Harold Ford agreed, saying the court decision is “a positive thing” because it empowers candidates, shocking everyone by saying that on this particular issue, he disagrees with “his Democratic friends” .

 

On the Keystone Pipeline, David Gregory observed that once you leave the snobbish elite enclave of Washington DC, you learn that people don't care about environmental regulations. He then asked Post columnist Parker to tell us all about regular Americans. She said Barack Obama should adopt this town, approve the pipeline, and “watch that city blossom like a desert flower.”

 

Even the liberal Harold Ford agreed, practically calling the President a liar for not already approving the pipeline, insisting the pipeline would affect climate change, saying the economics in favor of approving “are clear,” as for safety, well there are thousands of miles of pipeline all across the country, so what's a few more.

 

So, today on the Meet the Press we learned Obamacare is still definitely a failure, and a disaster; more money in politics is empowering, but because of Twitter and Facebook, candidates don't need money anymore anyway; and middle America wants a pipeline to run right through it, and it will revive tiny towns all across the land... and we know all this must be true, because even the liberal Harold Ford agrees.

 

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Sunday Madness

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                                                Listen

Mar 23, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak


Hi I'm Culture of Truth,

Click to read the full Bobblespeak

Click to read the full Bobblespeak

It's time for March madness, but on the Sunday shows, madness comes every month of the year.

On the missing Malaysian airlines flight, Bob Hager and Michael Chertoff said we need to “investigate the private lives of the cockpit crew” and “one of the key issues will be what do they find in the background of the pilots.”

Rich Lowry surprised even David Gregory by insisting Obamacare can be repealed in 2017, while the President of the NCAA came on talk about the great reforms the NCAA would love to implement if only they didn't oppose them.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said, if a young man or a young woman with all the expenses they have, legitimate expenses as a student athlete, including this so-called stipend, that extra amount of money, “I think that makes great sense and I think it'd be very valuable to the students”... on more education he said “provide them with a commitment for a lifelong education, at least to finish that Bachelor's degree, they want to come back and finish? Great. Let them come back and finish. I think that's terrific.”

And “Making sure that they have all the resources available to be successful so that they're set up for the rest of their life. That's what we want.”

All well and good, but the NCAA doesn't actually do any of those things.

On Ukraine, it's all about who's tougher, American or Vladimir Putin!

On This Week, Martha Raddatz spent several minutes reminiscing about the Cold War, while speaking over a clip of the movie "The Hunt for Red October," she said, “For decades and decades, it was the stuff of nightmares. Both imagined and real. East versus West. Good versus evil. Spy versus spy.”


On Meet the Press, Gregory asked Representative Mike Rogers, about Vladmir Putin, “Do you think President Obama has done enough to stop him?” Rogers didn't take the bait, but said quote “we have to take a tough stand with our European partners.”


Andrea Mitchell agreed, saying “the weak link here is Angela Merkel, the Germans, and the rest of the Europeans, who are reluctant to take tough steps. They've been remarkably weak.”  While, David Brooks helpfully observed “you don't go invading other countries”

Rogers wants to send noncombatant-military aid, while noted military affairs expert Rich Lowry wants to send Ukraine weapons, and quote “sanctions that really inflict severe pain.”

Gregory is worried about America's image, asking “What does it take for the U.S. to singularly use its influence today as opposed to in earlier years?”

Things got really strange when Gregory reduced the situation in Ukraine to a fight between the United States of American and Vladimir Putin, and turned to America's foremost expert in foreign and military issues, David Brooks.

He asked, “What does it take for the U.S. to regain the upper hand in this fight with Vladimir Putin, David Brooks?”

Brooks: “Fear. I think President Obama has been quite good, quite aggressive. He's been out front with sanctions. The sanctions are beginning to hurt. But there are two things the sanctions are never going to do."

“One is overcome the Russian mentality. They're thinking, "We handled Stalingrad. We had people starving in the streets and we still won. So we can endure a little economic suffering. Second, the psychology of fear. Who do you fear? I think the president has been very aggressive, predictable, especially given our alliances. But does Vladimir Putin fear Barack Obama?"

“And to create that climate of fear, you have to do something really aggressive. Something that will put Putin back on his heels. And frankly, I think if this thing continues to escalate, I can give you an idea of arming Ukraine, giving them some actual weapons to have a good, deterrent effect, is someplace to get ahead.”


So in a situation involving national, ethnic and tribal identity, self-determination, international law, trade, control of resources, corruption in government, use of force, and sovereignty, the best minds of the Sunday talk shows believe the the answer lies in being tough, inflicting hurt, severe pain, suffering, and fear, and for the nation and the President to use the psychology of fear and to be really aggressive to create a climate of fear.


And that's the most ridiculous thing that's happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Fruitless Sundays

Listen beginning midnight

Listen beginning midnight

Mar 16, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

sThere was a lot to cover on the Sunday shows, with a Malaysian airlines Boeing 777 still missing, Russian incursions into Ukraine, and David Gregory's need to devote part of his show to criticizing President Obama.

We learned the missing plane either landed or crashed over South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle east, Australia, the Pacific Ocean or the Indian Ocean.


On This Week, addressing the missing plane, Representative Peter King said “there's been no terrorist connections whatsoever, there's been no terrorist chatter,” and “The fact is, nothing has come out indicating a terrorist connection,” but also “I still have questions about the two Iranians who were on the plane. But again, that could be a side issue.”

 

When George Stephanopoulos asked, “What's your biggest question about the Iranians?” King replied, “Just the fact that they were there and written off so quickly as having any threat,” and “it just creates a terrorist atmosphere,” but then followed up quote “Having said that, there's nothing showing it. I just wouldn't rule it out now is all.”

King also said “I wish the FBI were over there,” and said “Malaysia, for whatever reason, has been resisting” FBI involvement.

On Ukraine, Senator Chris Murphy would not commit to sending weapons but in lieu of guns did suggest sending Ukraine meals ready to eat.

On Meet The Press, David Gregory confronted Senator Jeff Flake with this tough question: “the president two years ago, said Assad's days were numbered. How did he misjudge it?”

Flake responded: “I think we could have done a better job with our policy in Syria.”

Gregory was not satisfied, replying: “But this is the ultimate thing with Russia, as well. Conservative Charles Krauthammer calling it Obama's fruitless accommodationism. Does it invite Russia's Putin to take the action he's taken, or Assad to feel like he's got more staying power, when the president doesn’t follow through with Syria?”

Dick Durbin pointed out Russia invaded Georgia under President Bush and Republicans refused to give the President the authority to use force in Syria. Even Jeff Flake said “I don't think anything the president did or said lended itself to what Putin did here.”

Gregory changed the subject.

Meet The Press sent a reporter to Iowa to observe real Americans in their natural habitat, who reported back, his findings, “They want less bickering and more problem-solving.”The reporter also broke the news that “groups like Americans For Prosperity are already slamming Democrat Bruce Braylee for supporting Obamacare,” and then played a clip from the Americans for Prosperity Ad.

But it was the panel that was truly ridiculous. Gregory's guests were former White House Press Secretary Bob Gibbs, Carolyn Ryan from the New York Times; Israel Ortega from the Heritage Foundation, and Jon Ralston, a political reporter from Nevada.

Gregory opened the panel by announcing the country is “overall in a kind of malaise” and asked “what is driving such disappointment with both parties right now?” What he really meant was Democrats, clarifying quote “the disappointment, Robert. The disappointment that Democrats have in this president, about ObamaCare.”

Gibbs was mostly concern trolling, saying quote “There's no doubt that the rollout for healthcare is still providing a huge hangover and “There's real, real danger that the Democrats could suffer big losses” and speculating this if the President doesn't help Democrats raise money, that would be bad.

But he did point out the public does also not want to completely repeal Obamacare.

Gregory wouldn't have it, responding “Do they want to hear the particulars that Robert' is talking about on healthcare? Or are they kind of thinking, wow, this thing just is kind of a disaster?”

Ralston agreed, saying: “Maybe people don't want it repealed, but they're still upset with healthcare.gov,” and “They may have friends or members of their family who have had problems with healthcare.gov.” He also called the Nevada exchange “an absolute disaster.”

Ralston also observed “voters are going to respond to healthcare.gov, Obamacare” his proof? “That’s why Scott Brown announced by saying 'Obamacare Democrats'.”

Gregory confronted Ortega with tough questions such as “You see motivated Republicans, Israel?” and “Republicans are going to be seen as the wrong side of the those economic issues. Is there something you worry about?”

Ortega assured Gregory Republicans going to be just fine.

After a Harry Smith interview with Bill Maher, Gregory followed up with this observation, “Bill Maher is talking about comparing Republicans and Democrats. We posed this question a little bit earlier on Facebook. Will President Obama be an asset or a liability for Democrats in November? It ties this conversation together. What do you think, Israel?”

Ortega replied “I think it's going to be a liability” while Ryan, from the liberal New York Times, assured us that Democrats are saying that Obama doesn’t care about helping other Democrats, that quote “people have lost trust in President Obama,” and that “Obama has become poison.”

So, to demonstrate what average Americans are thinking, Meet The Press shows an ad by Americans for Prosperity; asks a guy from the Heritage Foundation to if Republicans are motivated, and if Obama is a liability; a Nevada reporter to assure us people are still mad about the health care website and that Scott Brown's campaign announcement shows what the American people are thinking; a reporter from liberal the New York Times to tells us Obama is poison, and even though a Republican Senator won't blame the President for Vladimir Putin's actions in Ukraine, David Gregory quotes, without factual support, Charles Krauthammer's assertion that Putin and Assad are encouraged by the President's 'fruitless accommodationism.'

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: He's Not Listening

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Listen

Mar 9, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak


Hi I'm Culture of Truth,

Meet The Press has entered the 21st century, with a brand new website, an app with exclusive content sponsored by Shell, and with the host and guests live tweeting during the show, thus giving a long-sought answer to an age-old question: just what are people thinking when they are talking to David Gregory?

Click

Click

Of course, CPAC was this week, so conservatives were in the news and on the Sunday shows. Ted Cruz told Jonathan Karl that he believes he can get President Obama to repeal his signature health care reform law, a signature proposition even Karl called bizarre.

Cruz then announced that Obama's foreign policy is to quote “coddle and appease our enemies” and “you better believe Putin sees in Benghazi four Americans are murdered and nothing happens. There is no retribution.”

 

On Ukraine, When Karl asked “What would you do? Military action?” Cruz replied, “No. No, look, not at all.”

 

Apparently Cruz believes in the power of magic incantations, saying the President should be more like Ronald Reagan, “when he stood in front of the Brandenburg Gate and said, 'Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.' Those words changed the course of history.”

 

On Meet The Press, Peter King compared Rand Paul to isolationist Charles Lindbergh, and commented on the missing plane from Malaysia, “Malaysia has been a hub for Al Qaeda activity. Prior to the attacks on the U.S.S. Cole, there was a meeting in Malaysia. So many of the 9/11 hijackers went through Malaysia.”

Martha Raddatz and david Gregory are pretty sure terrorism must be involved, because of the stolen passports, something even their hawkish guests are not so sure about.

In the panel discussion, Andrea Mitchell talked up Rand Paul and Jeb Bush as leaders of the GOP, while Ron Fournier revealed that he and Ralph Reed like to get together and talk about how to rescue the Republican party.  Fournier said millenials “really have a problem with Barack Obama on the N.S.A. stuff,” while Reed said that generation is more anti-abortion than Boomers and seniors.

David Gregory volunteered that the GOP can take a lesson from Pope Francis and try to be less judgmental.

Gregory interviewed Cardinal Dolan, and brought with him a list of grievances from the Republican party.

He told the Cardinal “conservatives in America, some of the headlines, conservative U.S. Catholics, feel left out by the Pope's embrace” and asked “There are conservatives in America who say, "No, no, there's not an income and equality problem. There's an opportunity and equality problem here." Commentator Rush Limbaugh even calling the Pope a Marxist. How does he respond to that?”

 

Gregory also asked about civil unions, which Dolan opposes because society would suffer, about recent legislation in Arizona allowing discrimination, and about Michael Sam, a college football star who recently said he was gay.

But the most bizarre moments came during the discussion of Ukraine, a situation that seems to have driven David Gregory around the bend. He simply cannot understand why other world leaders do not whatever the President tells them to do.

He asked the Deputy National Security Advisor:

Since this started, the president and his top officials have issued it seems like line after line, and Putin seems to have crossed them all. Why does this president, and the United States generally, have so little influence over him?” and “my question is we've said, "Don't do this or else," and President Putin keeps doing it, and more. So why doesn't the President have a greater ability to influence what Putin does before he does it?” and “He's not listening, and I think people watching this want to know why it is that the administration can't exert greater pressure on him to stop him before he does something.”

 

Gregory also observed Putin is “doing what he wants to do because he perceives weakness from the west, particularly from President Obama. So are all options on the table? Are you saying to President Putin, "Go no further or else military options are on the table"?

Finally he quoted Ralph Reed livetweeting that Putin is laughing at the U.S. and asked Andrea Mitchell “how do you make Putin stop? Do you think the administration has figured out the answer to that yet?”

So Ukraine must be independent, but other countries must bend to the American will. It is a peculiar notion, not to mention an insulting one, of international politics that imagines the entire world as populated by recalcitrant children needing only firm instruction from the President of the United States. Curiously, many people around the world, from very small countries to the largest on earth, not only do not eagerly enjoy be told what to do by the U.S., some actually seem to resent it. Given how the nation's military might, and proud Americans are, this may be disappointing, but when you consider how much Americans value their own independence, it should not be so baffling.

 

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.


Culture of Truth: Be Afraid

March 2, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak

Hi I'm Culture of Truth,

I bet you thought the Sunday talk shows couldn't get any stupider. But this is America, and these are professionals. On ABC's This Week, Rich Lowry vigorously defended the Arizona anti-gay bill, saying if you refuse to serve coffee to a gay person, “you're not going to have a defense under this law, because serving someone coffee is not a burden on your religion.” Rather, he said, “You're dealing with the occasional baker or florist who has a genuine conscientious objection.” So, making and serving coffee is not a burden, but bread is. What if a gay person orders coffee and toast? This sadly went answered.

Click

Click

On Meet The Press, California Governor Jerry Brown address legalized marijuana, saying “how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world's pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together.”

But of course the real topic of the day was if America's President is manly enough to stop Vladimir Putin from putting troops in Crimea. Also America's pundits are kind of bored, and wouldn't mind another war to shake things up a little bit.

 

George Stephanopoulos asked John Kerry “Sir, are there any military options on the table? During the crisis with Georgia, President Bush moved military warships to the region, sent humanitarian aid on a military aircraft. Is the U.S. prepared to do that now? Anything more?”

 

David Gregory summed up the situation in Ukraine, saying, “for the past ten days, administration officials and the president himself has basically said to Russia, "Don't do this, or else" and he likewise asked KerryIs there a military option?” Following that up with, “Is there a military option that has to be contemplated here?”

 

He followed that up with this non sequitur: “You say it's not about the U.S. and Russia. But the reality is that just <span>Wednesday</span>, you told my colleague Andrea Mitchell that Vladimir Putin said he would respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine.” He also asked Kerry

"I wonder as you hear some criticism from conservatives who say, "The issue here is that Vladimir Putin is not afraid. That he saw a red line by this administration in Syria and then no follow-up, no action. That he thinks that he can provoke the U.S. and the West and that President Obama won't do anything in response."

 

John Kerry wisely pointed out “you just don't invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests.”

 

David Gregory has tough questions for Republicans, too though, asking Marco Rubio:

Do you agree with some of your colleagues who say it's the weakness of President Obama and the United States right now that has emboldened President Putin of Russia?” and “What does it say to you that Vladimir Putin has ignored the United States for ten days?”

 

Of course he asked quote “Do you think there is a military option here for the United States”? Even Rubio rejected that, saying quote “I don't think anyone is advocating for that.”

 

What we need is talk tough, on Ukraine and also Venezuela, “We need to say very clearly, "The United States and its people and its government are firmly on the side of the ambitions and the desires, the rightful desires of the people in the street”

The pundits are tired of Obama not being as manly as Putin.

Gregory quoted the Washington Post writing: “It took Vladimir Putin less than a day to trample on President Obama's warning against a Russian military intervention in Ukraine. The U.S. now faces a naked act of armed aggression in the center of Europe by a Russian regime that is signaling its intent to steamroller this U.S. president and his allies. Mr. Obama must demonstrate that can't be done."

 

Chuck Todd is very angry, saying,“Putin acts, Obama warns. Putin acts, Obama warns. This is a pattern that he can't afford to stay in here and just continue to warn.”

and quote “I think that they know that he's got to act, no more just issuing very harshly-worded statement.

 

Tina Brown pushed back at the manly rhetoric, saying “no need to just go off on this bellicose.” but then said quote “It's almost as if Putin is brilliant, really. I mean, he's sort of outfoxing Obama all the time.”

 

Kathleen Parker is even more frustrated, saying: “Obama has drawn the red line, he's moved back from that. Putin knows that and everybody else sees that. So he's really weakening our position I think where he says there are going to be costs.”

When the Mayor of Baltimore observed that maybe the American people don't want another war, Parker responded “I don't think that's even an option. But you have to be strong in what you say up front.”

So when the President proposed using force in Syria, Republicans vigorously opposed it, but now complain failure to bomb Syria led Vladimir Putin to put troops in Crimea, where Russia has a Naval base. It's time for more than harsh words, but action, but no one is advocating for force; this is a test of Obama's leadership and whether bad actors take him seriously; but there's no need to be bellicose, Obama is weakening our position where he says there are going to be costs; Ukraine isn't worth fighting for; you have but you have to be strong in what you say up front, Obama must demonstrate what Russia is not allowed to do, but force is not an option.

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Those Meddling People

                    Listen

                    Listen

Feb 23, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak

 

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

If America were at a cocktail party, it would say “enough about you – let's talk about me.”

Mexican police caught a drug trafficker This Week host Martha Raddatz called “Mexico's Osama bin Laden” Her chief concern – would the Mexicans please cooperate and send him here.

While Representative Mike McCaul conceded Mexico is a sovereign nation, this is a special case, because he once escaped from a Mexican prison, so really he should be in a U.S. SuperMax, which can hold someone described as this clever and innovative, though not, of course, accused terrorists, who can easily slip out of a SuperMax.

 

Raddatz is still worried, and McCaul agreed, saying its up to the administration to pressure Mexico to hand him over to the U.S. for trial, somehow spinning the capture of a major international drug dealer as a loss for Obama.

On Ukraine, Raddatz turned to two esteemed foreign policy experts, Tom Friedman and Bill Kristol. Because, like Mexican drug cartels, Ukraine is really about the U.S., Raddatz asked “is this a new version of a kind of Cold War here?”

Friedman said, no, it isn't, and in fact, it's a good thing the U.S. is not directly involved in Ukraine right now.

Kristol got petulant, whining that President Obama said Ukraine is not part of a Cold War chessboard. “I don't know why he says that with some disdain. That was not an ignoble thing for us to play on that chessboard for 45 years. We ended up winning that Cold War.”

 

Kristol also thinks the U.S. needs to be involved in Ukraine, as we should have been in Syria, which was “a peaceful revolution, a pro-Western revolution to an amazing degree.”

Incredibly Raddatz then asked Bill Kristol, a man famous for his attachments to Dan Quayle, Sarah Palin, and being always wrong about everything, to judge all of Obama's foreign policy. He said, of course, Obama doesn't do enough for all the people in the world who want America to liberate them.

To David Gregory too, the U.S. should decide what happens in Ukraine.

He asked Susan Rice, of the President of Ukraine: “Does he have to go, in the President's mind?” and “The president spoke with President Putin. Was his message pointedly, "Back off here, let Ukraine follow its own course?" and “do you think the United States has a big financial role to play in helping Ukraine?”

On the outcome of the protests: “does President Obama view this as a positive sign?”

 

On Russia he asked “Why shouldn't Americans look at Vladimir Putin and Russia today as an enemy?”

 

When Rice tried to insist that Russia not an enemy, Gregory got visibly frustrated. His voice rising, he asked: “Don't you understand that perspective of Americans who may not be in the foreign policy establishment who say, "When is enough enough? I mean when do you confront Putin at some point and call him on all this stuff?"

 

The Ukraine is really about the U.S. So is Syria. Gregory asked “Is the U.S. prepared to escalate on the ground to achieve a different result on the battlefield?”

Gregory then turned to his crack panel of Judy Woodruff, Helene Cooper, David Brooks and Chris Matthews.

On Ukraine, Chris Matthews has it nailed: “It's so familiar, because I grew up rooting for the captive nations of Eastern Europe. Catholic school, a lot of Ukrainians in Philadelphia went to school with us. They were the smart kids, the hardworking kids.”

and “What I found interesting over the weekend was not in the Olympics, but in Ukraine, they're wearing ski masks,” and “Why would you wear ski masks after you've overthrown the guy?

For Gregory, Ukraine “is ultimately about the United States and Russia.” Brooks agreed, saying “so that is a potential epic conflict between us and them.”

Gregory said “some believe this harkens back to the Cold War,” and “I heard the president say, "Look, we don't want to look at this like the Cold War." But isn't that how Vladimir Putin views all of this? Doesn't he look at this sphere of influence very much in a Cold War context?”

Gregory even inadvertently mocked himself, quoting Josh Marshall “where he took on the idea that this is a cold war again. He basically said, "Stop it.”

But everything that happens in the world is really about America, and whether we are weak or strong. He asked “What is the President's voice? Is it a foreign policy that's defined by its limitations or by its potential?” and “I want to talk about Obama. Because I do think that this becomes the leadership challenge.” and “Do you think the President's been clear enough about what America stands for?”

 

But the most telling moments came in the regret all the panelists had that, due to the upcoming elections, the parties have given up on chained CPI and immigration reform.

 

Brooks said quote “in the old days in Washington, you'd cobble together a bipartisan coalition and get rid of the fringes.” Matthews emphatically agreed, saying “it used to be that the parties would help each other” unquote and “both parties have gone to their base.” Woodruff agreed, saying “both parties have gone into the bunker.”

 

If there's one thing all pundits agree on, it is nostalgia for a long-lost Washington, where deals were made over cocktails, and passionate citizens could be ignored. Whether it's the U.S. or Ukraine, or Syria, politics would be so easy if weren't for those meddling people. And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.

Culture of Truth: Olympian Denial

Listen

Listen

Feb 16, 2014 - Political satirist Culture of Truth bases The Bobblespeak Translations on the Sunday Talk Shows:  Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Using show transcripts, he creates the 'most ridiculous moment' for Virtually Speaking Sundays. We create a separate podcast and post the copy here.  Follow @Bobblespeak

Hi, I'm Culture of Truth,

This Sunday, it was all about snow, which most of the US has too much of, and the Winter Oympics, which doesn't have enough.

In covering the Olympics for Meet the Press, Richard Engel interviewed the President of Chechnya, who has been showered with riches by Vladimir Putin, including a private zoo, a personal gym, and a toy radio controlled helicopter, suggesting if nothing else that buying a country is cheaper than waging war on it.

In his Olympic story, David Gregory of course interviewed Mitt Romney, who said “go USA. I’m very excited to watch these hockey games.” While Gregory spoke this never-before-uttered sentence “My son was so excited about Arne Duncan.”

Romney, who is famous for running an Olympics in America, now says the games are a big waste of money. Romney attacked Vladimir Putin for his Olympic spending, saying “all that extra money could be used to do some very important things in terms of fighting poverty and fighting disease all around the world,”  – of course notable concerns of Mitt Romney.

Gregory then dutifully asked about Bill Clinton as a sexual predator, as Rand Paul manipulated him to, while Romney complained that unemployment is supposed to be below 5%.

Ridiculously, Gregory pointed out that when Romney was asked if he would run for President again “I can’t count all the nos.” then asked “is there something, Governor, that might make you change your mind?”

Romney reiterated his opposition to marriage equality, because “I think the ideal setting for raising a child is the setting where there's a father and a mother.”

Asked about whether gay marriage is destroying America, he said “I think it's going to take a long, long time to determine whether having gay marriage will make it less likely for kids to be raised in settings where there is a mom and a dad.”

Nicole Wallace said the Republican party needs to be open to all, those who support equal rights and those who don't.

She also said Obama wrecked America's credibility by not bombing Syria, even though, as Chuck Todd pointed out, when it looked like Obama might launch missiles, the Republicans had a fit.

On ABC's This Week, George Stephanopolous pointed out that millions have signed up for Obamacare, which Peggy Noonan shot down by calling those numbers lies.

But of course the big story this week was the crazy weather, from the snowstorms of the East to the drought out West, which to their credit, ABC pointed out is part of one large weather system.

Stephanopoulos observed that climate change will mean more extreme weather, and the group discussed solutions such changing out stop intersections and making them roundabouts, and Gucci going green.

Meet The Press had a slightly different approach to the climate change discussion, deciding to host a debate with Bill Nye The Science Guy and Representative Marsha Blackburn. It was not a fair fight. While a stupefied Bill Nye tried to recite facts and figures, Blackburn called Nye not a scientist but an actor, and repeatedly said there is no consensus on climate change, causing even Gregory to interrupt and try to come to her rescue, focusing instead on the costs of dealing with it. While an exasperated Bill Nye was reduced to saying “I encourage the congresswoman to really look at the facts,” and to waving around a picture of the melting Antarctic. Blackburn confidently asserted “when you look at the social cost of carbon, and there is a lot of ambiguity around that, what you also need to be doing is looking at the benefits of carbon.”

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.