Archive for pundits

Lawrence O'Donnell's First Week Back Rocking His 30 Rock Desk


Lawrence had one long taxk-crash-in-Cuba hiatus!

We've all been in cabs, foreign or domestic, that had us wondering if we'd survive to make the flight, the dinner reservation or zee occasional STAT run to Walgreens in the middle of the night ... but poor Lawrence O'Donnell actually had the serious Taxi Accident of city-dweller/tourist angst, and just barely finished his first week back on MSNBC's (more sane) evening 30 Rock line-up.

After a three month medical sabbatical. Lawrence, we missed ye well. Not that Ari Melber didn't do a Yeomen's Work.

please tread on me

Do we truly realize just how much has happened in three months?!??!


For true fun, check out Lawrence's perspective on that hiatus, and his Last Word on a week back at his anchor chair at 30 Rock [his earlier programs had been coming to us Live from NBC's Cali HQ].

He is by far one of our finer pundits. A highlight this week was his Opinion segment on 'legitimate rape', which is so worth the minutes to see or see again.

In the wake of Hobby Lobby and the Latest Regressive Right Idjit Moves to send our culture back in time, having someone of Lawrence's calibre unpack the current Fvx Hysteria is soothing.

There is intelligent life on television, he and Maddow prove it. [And Saturday Night Live but they are in reruns for a bit longer.]



Punditry: "The one field in which being wrong is key to a successful career"


punditiot definition punditry

Don't even get me started on punditry... says me who does punditry 24/7. For starters, why do so many pundits-- or as I like to call them, punditiots-- mispronounce the word "pundit"as "pundint"? This drives me up a wall, but I digress. There are so many other legitimate criticisms of punditry, why waste time on that? Well, for one, I expect "experts" to sound literate. I also expect them to sound expert. And to do their, you know, homework before willfully (and sometimes inadvertently) spreading dis-, mis-, and piss-information to a gullible audience.

Take Iraq...


And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Max Boot wants to send troops to Iraq and use them, supported by air power, to stop the advance by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. ("Here's what the U.S. can do about Iraq," Op-Ed, June 18)

I'm sure that would work just fine. We would be in a stalemate with the Sunni Muslim ISIS fighters controlling the northwest, the Shiite Muslims controlling the south and the Kurds controlling the northeast — not too different from the situation in Iraq for most of our war there, and with no great pressure on Prime Minister Nouri Maliki to change to a more inclusive and democratic government.

So I ask Boot and the other war hawks, as President Obama would: And then what?

Martin Nachman, Apple Valley


After dismissing the three "most popularly debated Iraq options in Washington," Boot proposes that the U.S. put in place a "comprehensive counterinsurgency plan, with military and political lines of operation."

Isn't this exactly what we just recently extracted ourselves from after 10 years of failure, death, expense and endless war? Let the current situation continue to play out into the three de-facto states that already exist in Iraq.

Let the area players find their own truce.

Donald Croley, Hermosa Beach


Boot proposes that we do another "surge" in Iraq, but this time with fewer troops. But if the last surge was so successful, why is there a need to do one now? And how long before we will need to do yet another one?

Why is punditry the one field in which being wrong is the key to a successful career?

David Greene, San Pedro


Sunday Talkers


Image: Arseniy Yatsenyuk via Getty Images

Please read about this week's Sunday talk show talkers on Politico.


Sunday Talkers


SundayTalkers1from our friend Silly Rabbit at DKos

Morning lineup:

Meet The Press: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY); Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL); Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff; Legal Advisor to Edward Snowden/Kossack Jesselyn Radack; Openly Gay Former Olympic Athlete Billie Jean King; Roundtable: Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Former FCC Chairman Michael Powell, Republican Strategist Mike Murphy, Carolyn Ryan (New York Times) and Chuck Todd (NBC News).

Face The Nation: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX); Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY); Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX); Openly Gay Former Olympic Athletes Billie Jean King & Brian Boitano; Roundtable: Peggy Noonan (Wall Street Journal), Bob Woodward (Washington Post), Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard) and Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley.

This Week: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney; Rep. Peter King (R-NY); Documentary Filmmaker Greg Whiteley; Roundtable: Cokie Roberts (ABC News), Matt Bai (Yahoo News), Van Jones (CNN), Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Greta Van Susteren (Fox News).

Fox News Sunday: White House Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY); Roundtable: Brit Hume (Fox News), Julie Pace (Associated Press), George Will (Washington Post) and Former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN).

State of the Union: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY); White House Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer; Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD); Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK); Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.

Evening lineup:

60 Minutes will feature: an interview with Virginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds (preview); an interview with departing Tonight Show host Jay Leno (preview); and, a report on "Year Up," a program that has trained thousands of disadvantaged students for internships that often lead to corporate jobs (preview).

On Comedy Central...

Jon Stewart made the case against former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen.

The Daily Show

Monday: Actor/Comedian Jeff Garlin

Tuesday: Actor/Comedian Louis C.K.

Wednesday: Actor Johnny Knoxville

Thursday: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

And Stephen Colbert examined the effects of marijuana on football

The Colbert Report

Monday: Political Forecaster Nate Silver

Tuesday: NFL Player Justin Tuck

Wednesday: NFL Hall of Famer Cris Carter

Thursday: NFL Player Drew Brees


Video- The Daily Show: Assume the Physician


Sunday Talkers



Morning lineup:

Meet the Press: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell; Roundtable: Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker (D), Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R), GOP Strategist Mike Murphy and Andrea Mitchell (NBC News).

Face the Nation: Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal; Sen. John McCain (R-AZ); Sen. Joe Machin (D-WV); Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D); Roundtable: Rajiv Chandrasekaran (Washington Post), Amy Walter (Cook Political Report) and Jon Dickerson (CBS News).

This Week: Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI); Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN); Richard Haass (Council on Foreign Relations); Martha Raddatz (ABC News); Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV); Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R); Roundtable: Paul Krugman (New York Times), Peggy Noonan (Wall Street Journal), Al Hunt (Bloomberg News), Judy Woodruff (PBS) and Former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker.

Fox News Sunday: Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH); Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT); Roundtable: Brit Hume (Fox News), Bob Woodward (Washington Post), Kimberley Strassel (Wall Street Journal) and Former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN).

State of the Union: NRA President David Keene; Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D); Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV); Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R); Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD); Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN); Reliable Sources: Paul Farhi (Washington Post); Robert Costa (National Review); Keli Goff (; Christine Brennan (USA Today); Gail Shister (TV Newser); Adam Buckman (Xfinity TV); Rebecca MacKinnon (CNN).

The Chris Matthews Show: Howard Fineman (Huffington Post); Liz Marlantes (Christian Science Monitor); John Harris (Politico); Kasie Hunt (NBC News).

Fareed Zakaria GPS: Peter Beinart (Daily Beast); Bret Stephens (Wall Street Journal); , Hermitage Capital Management CEO William Browder; Author Stephen Cohen; Author Bruce Bartlett; Jeffrey Toobin (CNN).

Up with Chris Hayes: Joy Reid (MSNBC); Columbia University Prof. John McWhorter; Eli Lake (Newsweek/Daily Beast); Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!); Dave Zirin (The Nation); Tara McGuinness (Center for American Progress Action Fund); Chris Anders (ACLU).

Evening lineup:

60 Minutes will feature: a report on technological advances, especially robotics, that are revolutionizing the workplace, but not necessarily creating jobs (preview); an interview with Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayer (preview); and, a report on the extreme sport of free diving, in which divers reach great depths on one breath (preview).

On Comedy Central...

The Daily Show

Monday: Musician Roger Waters

Tuesday: Bob Schieffer (CBS News)

Wednesday: Actress Jessica Chastain

Thursday: Actress/Writer Lena Dunham

The Colbert Report

Monday: Piers Morgan (CNN)

Tuesday: Author Jared Diamond

Wednesday: Tom Brokaw (NBC News)

Thursday: Author Akhil Reed Amar

Via Silly Rabbit.


Idioms for Idiots



Just listening to Fox News and MSNBC yesterday, I thought I was at a Chinese restaurant and had just opened up a package offortune cookies.  Hardly an original comment among them  Here's some of their pundit's wisdomTheir bon mots were flying off the shelves.  They were a dime a dozenRelating to the fear of going over the (Fiscal) Cliff the best they could offer was we've reached the 12 o'clock hour and we've jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire.

The Republicans were so eager were they to stick it to the man (Obama) on raising the national borrowing ceiling, getting his back up against the wall, they were trying to have their cake and eat it tooIt's a bitter pill to swallow.  The "do nothing" Congress is in a pickle, 'they're damned if they do and damned if they don't."  They are between a rock and a hard place.   Congress made their bed and now they have to lie in it.  And they're not so eager to reap what they sow.

They claim they've been burning the midnight oil to find a solution to keep things from going from bad to worseDrastic times call for drastic measures.  We're no longer on the fence nor are we on top of the worldWe're in the doghouse and the dog days of summer are approaching.  For too long it was out of sight, out of mind.  Now we have to sink or swim.  No more bandaid cures.  Looks like Republicans are going to have to bite the bullet.  They made their bed, now they have to lie in it.

Maybe a few less axioms and bromidesand a few more ounces of prevention and we'd have have a pound more of cure.  When Obama and Boehner met last year to work out a "grand deal" the result was this upcoming fiscal dilemma -- the perfect storm - these Draconian cuts called the sequester.  By not accepting Obama's overly generous offer back then, the Speaker is now kicking himself in the backside because a bird In the hand is worth two in the bush.  He punted the ball down the field because he was blinded by the bush tax cuts, and couldn't see his hand in front of his face and accept 'yes' as an answer."

He probably had a chip on his shoulder which now, for many of us has become a blessing in disguiseWe're heading back to shore.  We're going to return to yesteryear -- the Clinton years.  Jobs were plentiful.  People didn't complain about their taxes, they found a way to pay them, rich and poor alike.  And we had surpluses in the Fed with a stock market that flourished.  So let's not rush out the crying towels.  Boehner may get a taste of his own medicine if he loses the Speakership.  According to the tea party, he was nothing more than a wolf in sheep's clothing  and he's going to now be receiving a slap on the wrist, or perhaps more -- getting what he deserves.  Hopefully he'll take it like a man.  He did nothing with his rhetoric but add fuel to the fire and show his actions speak louder than words. He did nothing and that's what we got in return.

As we race against the clock we find ourselves all in the same boat.  Perhaps it's better late than never that Obama makes The Boehner bend over backwards and pay the piper.   But I won't be sobbing crocodile tears or crying over spilt milk.  We're strong -- built American tough and we can take it.  Will we survive?  It's anyone's call.  But thanks to the 112th Congress now it time to face the music.  Truer words were never spoken.

Writer/Producer David Garber

For the past 25 years, David Garber has been serving as the show runner and or writer on some of television’s biggest hits… Saved By The Bell, Power Rangers, 227, Bill Cosby Show and many other network series. His writing and producing have also netted David two very prestigious awards:the PRISM AWARD and the TV CRITICS AWARD – TV SPECIAL OF THE YEAR. Currently he’s authoring a short story series called “A Few Minutes With…”