What Were They Thinking?

So, I’m watching This Week this morning, and thinking that Jake Tapper is the best host they’ve had since Brinkley left, and of course, the thought is spoiled by an ad of Christiane Amanpour coming on and telling us that she’s taking over next month. At which point, of course, the show becomes unwatchable.

Why in the world did the ABC suits decide that Americans want to get their Sunday morning political news from an Iranian, British-raised anti-American “journalist”? I’ll be watching the ratings, but I won’t be watching the show. Especially if George Will is gone.

[Update a few minutes later]

Speaking of Jake Tapper, this is one of the things that he elicited from the always smarmy David Axelrod:

This morning on ABC News’ “This Week,” Senior White House Advisor David Axelrod insisted that President Obama’s recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick to be the administrator of The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services was simply “too important” to wait for a Congressional hearing.

Yes, when it comes to our nation’s health care, we can’t let that pesky “advise and consent” thing and the US Constitution get in the way. It’s for the children.

30 thoughts on “What Were They Thinking?

  1. Bill Maron

    Spoken like a true totalitarian. Of course they don’t see it in themselves, just their critics.

  2. Michael Gersh

    Tapper also said, as part of a question, something like “why, since all economists believe that the stimulus has saved and created jobs, do some people still believe that the stimulus doesn’t work?”

    Jake Tapper might be closer to reality than most on the looney left, but he is still a long way from reality. Any of us could find a dozen links to top economists who believe that stimulus has failed, and that tax cuts would have been FAR more effective. Tapper, Anampour, what is the difference, really? At least Amanpour does not pretend to be fair minded.

  3. Leland

    I didn’t know she was Iranian either. That certainly explains a lot.

    As for picking her, I think it is the DC/NY media cocooning. They are so in to their own little world, they are completely detached from “viewers” outside of the Beltway or the Vineyards, except for the occasional Hollywood star that they find intriguing.

    The rest of us that don’t get it are just backwards racists.

  4. Rand Simberg Post author

    Spare us the Axelroddish bullshit. The Republicans have done nothing to block this nomination. The Democrats never even scheduled hearings.

  5. Chris L.

    Yes Chris, having a substantial majority in both houses of congress and control of the executive branch doesn’t really mean you are in charge of, let alone responsible for, anything. Apparently this whole democracy thing doesn’t work well if you actually have people who disagree with you.

  6. Rand Simberg Post author

    Rand & Chris L. – have you never heard of a filibuster? Or is this another case of denying inconvenient facts?

    Of course we’ve heard of a filibuster. But we haven’t heard of one with this nominee. There is no excuse to do a resource appointment for a nominee for whom the Democrats haven’t even scheduled confirmation hearings.

    This is nothing but complete disdain and contempt for the Constitution (as in much else this administration and Congress does). And now that we see you defending it, we know what you think of that document as well.

  7. Chris Gerrib

    If the Senate is sitting on a hundred nominees, why add another? Especially since the Republicans were signaling that they were going to try and block this nomination. BTW, Berwick’s office has been vacant since 2006.

    I would argue (as did the Republicans during the Bush years) that refusing to give an up-or-down vote on dozens of nominees is “disdain and contempt for the Constitution.” I’d expect more recess appointments.

    Bottom line, Rand – when you play with fire, sometimes you get burnt.

  8. Chris L.

    Rand, that’s one of the reason’s this appoint was made when it was. Actually having a hearing on this one would have exposed certain weaknesses in the new plan that is now law. Obama couldn’t afford to have the issues involved re-fought on the senate floor, so so much for advise and consent. As I said before, this democracy thing is very inconvenient if you have to deal with people who disagree with you.

  9. Hal Duston

    Chris Gerrib,

    How could the republicans threaten a fillibuster during the first year of the Obama administration when they only had 39 seats in the senate?

  10. Chris Gerrib

    Hal Duston – I’m not sure what planet you’re writing from, but the Republicans did repeatedly threaten filibusters. First, until Franken was seated (mid-2009) the Democrats had 59 votes and needed 60. Then they needed ALL 60 for every vote. Not only that, but under Senate rules, just threatening a filibuster forces so many hours of debate.

    See here for a graph of filibuster abuse.

  11. Rand Simberg Post author

    “Filibuster abuse” does not justify ignoring the Constitution. But we know you’ll go on attempting to defend the indefensible in the fascist cause.

  12. Bill Maron

    Okay Chris, the Dems still own the Senate. They could schedule hearings anytime they wanted and the Republicans can’t stop them. You should ask dingy Harry why. It would seem to help them to schedule hearings and cast the Republicans as obstructionist. That assumes their appointees aren’t too far out of the mainstream, like Berwick. The quality of the appointees plays a big part in confirmation. Given many of the previous appointees and their troubled pasts, one could understand the lack of hearings.

  13. Chris Gerrib

    Bill Maron – the Republicans have held up nominees for months, then, when a vote is finally taken, the nominee is approved with 70 or 80 votes. There’s simply no excuse but obstructionism.

  14. Leland

    Gerrib, I don’t have time to review each and every case, but just reading the news regarding Berwick, it appears the vetting process is taking too long. That long process seems to begin with Obama. One would think the most transparent White House in history could share its paperwork with Congress to help speed along the process.

    What I know for sure is that no Senator can filibuster a topic that’s not even scheduled for discussion. So the claim that Berwick was blocked by a filibuster, or even threat of a filibuster, is so much nonsense. So, you have already been told.

    there are none so deaf as those that will not hear

  15. Leland

    Republicans have held up nominees for months

    Again, the Max Baucus (D-MT) lead Senate Finance Committee was told of Berwick’s nomination in April. The staff of that committee was still working through the vetting process in July. 4 months of delay seem to be because of the vetting process managed by both the White House and Democrat lead Congress.

    So, you have already been told.

    there are none so deaf as those that will not hear

  16. Rand Simberg Post author

    Ooohhh….ooooohhhhh… [waving hand frantically] I know!

    When Republicans use it, it’s abuse, and when Democrats use it, it’s proper use.

    What do I win?

  17. Chris Gerrib

    Hal & Rand – re: filibuster – how about when it’s used twice as often as the previous record amount?

    But, whether the filibuster is used too much or not, if the Senate won’t “advise and consent” to appointments, the Constitution clearly allows for recess appointments.

  18. Hal Duston

    Chris Gerrib,

    A particular use of the filibuster is either abusive or it is not. E.g. the item the filibuster is being used to block rises to the level of filibuster usage or it does not. This is the case regardless of how many times it is used.

    I use Facebook much, much more than my wife does. Does this mean that I am abusing it? No, it does not.

    On what date did the appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick move into the category of filibustered or even blocked by the GOP? If the advice and consent is desired, then let the committee hearings be scheduled.

  19. Hal Duston

    P.S. I assume you subscribed to this same point of view when George W. Bush named John Bolton as Ambassador to the United Nations via recess appointment.

  20. Casey

    The ‘stache strikes fear into the hearts of millions, including Voinovich. :)

    Apparently some folks can’t distinguish between “get a hearing, but not a vote,” and “never scheduled a hearing in the first place.”

    Dunno why anyone should be surprised The dems haven’t passed a budget yet, either.

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